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The fate of the book, however, is well known. An attempt to introduce it was made in the High-church of Edinburgh; but no sooner had the dean, in his surplice, begun to read the prayers from the desk, than a hideous noise was raised by the congregation, and the hapless dean assailed by a shower of stones and sticks. The bishop himself ascended the pulpit to remonstrate with the insurgents, but he too was quelled in his very 'pride of place,' by Jenny Geddes of famous memory, who launched a stool at his person, and compelled him to make a precipi. tate retreat from the church. The consequence of Laud's injudicious interference with the ecclesiastical affairs of Scotland, was the expulsion of his brother prelates from that end of the island altogether. · In November, 1640, parliament voted down the convocation, and declared its several constitutions and canons to be without any binding force on the clergy or laity of the land. A committee was then appointed, to inquire how far his grace of Canterbury had been concerned in the proceedings of the convocation, and in the treasonable design of subverting the religion and laws of his country. Next day, the Scots coromissioners presented a series of charges against the archbishop. On the committee bringing up their report, several members pronounced severe censures on the archbishop. Amongst others, Sir Harbottle Grimstone declared that “this great man, the archbishop of Canterbury, was the very sty of all that pestilential filth that had infested the government; that he was the only man that had advanced those, who, together with himself, had been the authors of all the miseries the nation groaned under. That he had managed all the projects that had been set on foot for these ten years past, and had condescended so low as to deal in tobacco, by which thousands of poor people had been turned out of their trades, for which they served an apprenticeship; that he had been charged in this house, upon very strong proof, with designs to subvert the government, and alter the Protestant religion in this kingdom, as well as in Scotland; and there is scarce any grievance or complaint comes before the house, wherein he is not mentioned, like an angry wasp, leaving his sting in the bottom of every thing.' He therefore moved, that the charge of the Scots commissioners might be supported by an impeachment of their own; and, that the question might now be put, whether the archbishop had been guilty of high treason ? which being voted, Mr Hollis was immediately sent up to the bar of the house of lords to impeach him in the name of the commons of England."
On the 26th of February, Pym, Hampden, and Maynard, presenteil the commons articles of impeachment against the archbishop at the bar of the house of lords. They consisted of fourteen articles. In the first he is charged with endeavouring to subvert the constitution, by introducing arbitrary power of government, without limitation or rule of law. In the second, he is charged with procuring sermons to be preached, and other pamphlets to be printed, in which the authority of parliaments is denied, and the absolute power of the king asserted to be agreeable to the law of God. The third article charges him with interrupting the course of justice, by messages, threatenings, and promises." The fourth, with selling justice in his own person, under colour of his ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and with advising his majesty to sell places of judicature, contrary to law. In the fifth, he is charged with the canons and oath imposed on the subject by the late convocation. In the sixth, with robbing the king of supremacy, by denying the ecclesiastical jurisdiction to be derived from the crown. In the seventh, with bringing in popish doctrines, opinions, and ceremonies, contrary to the articles of the church, and cruelly persecuting those who opposed them. In the eighth, he is charged with promoting persons to the highest and best preferments in the church, who are corrupt in doctrine and manners. In the ninth, with employing such for his domestic chaplains, as he knew to be popishly affected, and committing to them the licensing of books. The tenth article charges him with sundry attempts to reconcile the church of England with the church of Rome. The eleventh, with discountenancing of preaching, and with silencing, depriving, imprisoning, and banishing, sundry godly ministers. The twelfth, with dividing the church of England from the foreign protestant churches. The thirteenth, with being the author of all the late disturbances between England and Scotland. And the last, with endeavouring to bereave the kingdom of the legislative power, by alienating the king's mind from his parliaments. Upon these charges, the lords voted his grace to the Tower, whither he was carried on the 1st of March, amidst the shoutings and execrations of the populace. He remained in the Tower nearly three years, without petitioning for trial, or putting in answers to the charges. At last, the commons ordered the trial to be begun on the 12th of March, 1644. It lasted nearly five months. The principal managers were, Serjeant Maynard, one of the ablest lawyers of his age, Serjeant Wild, afterwards lord-chief-baron, and Samuel Browne, afterwards lord-chief-justice. The archbishop defended himself with considerable coolness and dexterity ; but the bill of attainder passed with only one dissenting voice. The king interposed his pardon under the great seal, but it was over-ruled by both houses, on the grounds, first, that it had been granted before conviction, and secondly, that the king couid not set aside a judgment of parliament.
On the 10th of January, 1644, Laud was beheaded on Tower-hill. He read a speech to the people from the scaffold, in which he acknowledged himself to have been a great sinner, but solemnly protested that before the tribunal of his own conscience he had not found any of his sins deserving death by any of the known laws of the kingdom. When the scaffold was cleared, he pulled off his doublet, and said, “God's will be done! I am willing to go out of the world ; no man can be more willing to send me out.” Then turning to the executioner he gave him some money, and bid him do his office in mercy; he then kneeled down, and after a short prayer, laid his head on the block, and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit ;” which being the sign, the executioner did his office at one blow. The archbishop's corpse was put into a coffin, and by the permission of parliament buried in Barking-church, with the service of the church read over him. The inscription upon the coffin was this, “In hac cistula condunter Exuviæ Gulielmi Laud, archiepiscopi Cantuariensis, qui securi percussus immortalitatem adiit, die x° Januarii, ætatis suæ 72, archiepiscopatus xii.” But after the Restoration, his body was removed to Oxford, and deposited with great solemnity in a brick vault, according to his last will and testament, near the altar of the chapel of St John Baptist college, July 24, 1663. “ Thus died,” says Neal, “ Dr William Laud, archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, and metropolitan ; some time chancellor of the universities of Oxford and Dublin, one of the commissioners of his majesty's exchequer, and privy-councillor to the king, in the seventy-second year of his age, and twelfth of his archiepiscopal translation. He was of low stature, and a ruddy countenance ; his natural temper was severe and uncourtly, his spirit active and restless, which pushed him on to the most hazardous enterprises. His conduct was rash and precipitate, for, according to Dr Heylin, he attempted more alterations in the church in one year, than a prudent man would have done in a great many. His counsels in state-affairs were high and arbitrary, for he was at the head of all the illegal projects, of ship-money, loans, monopolies, star-chamber fines, &c., which were the ruin of the king and constitution.”
The character of Laud, except by his partial biographer, Heylin, and his canonizer, Dr Soutbey,' has been justly reprobated by writers of all parties. Warburton, himself
, treats him with unmingled scorn. Thus, in the passage of Laud's diary, where he says, on the occasion of making Bishop Juxon lord-high-treasurer of England, “Now, if the church will not hold up themselves, under God, I can do no more,” Warburton contemptuously remarks, “ Had he been content to do nothing, the church had stood. Suppose him to have been an honest man, and sincere—which, I think, must be granted—it will follow that he knew nothing of the constitution either of civil or religious society. and was as poor a churchman as he was a politician.” The same prelate adverts to Laud's persecution of Dr Williains and Mr Osbaldeston in the following terms :-“ This prosecution must needs give every one a very bad idea of Laud's heart and temper. You might resolve his high acts of power, in the state, into reverence and gratitude to his master; his tyranny in the church, to his zeal for and love of what he called religion ; but the outrageous prosecution of these two men can be resolved into nothing but envy and revenge." Still more decisive as to the character and habits of Laud is the testimony of another prelate, Archbishop Abbot. The following passage occurs in his narrative :-“This man (he was then bishop of St David's) is the only inward counsellor with Buckingham, sitting with him sometimes privately whole hours, and feeding his humour with malice and spight. His life in Oxford was, to pick quarrels in the lectures of the public readers, and to advertise them to the then bishop of Durham, that he might fill the ears of James with discontents against the honest men that took pains in their places, and settled the truth (which he called Puritanism) in their auditors. He made it his work to see what books were in the press, and to look over epistles dedicatory, and prefaces to the reader, to see what faults might be found. It was an observation, what a sweet man this was like to be, that the first observable act he did, was the marrying of the earl of D. to the lady R., when it was notorious to the world that she had another busband, and the same a nobleman, who had divers children then living by her. King James did for many years like this so ill, that he would never hear of any great preferment of him, insomuch that the bishop of Lincoln, Dr Williams, who taketh upon him to be the first promoter of him, hath many times said, that
Seo Bok of the Church.'
he, when he made mention of Laud to the king, his majesty was so averse from it, that he was constrained oftentimes to say, that he would never desire to serve that master, which could not remit one fault unto his servant. Well; in the end, he did conquer it to get him to the bishopric of St David's ; which he had not long enjoyed, but he began to undermine his benefactor, as at this day it appeareth. The countess of Buckingham told Lincoln, that St David's was the man that undermined him with her son ; and verily such is his aspiring nature, that he will underwork any man in the world, so that he may gain by it."
BORN A. D. 1602-DIED A. D. 1644.
This champion of protestantism was the son of William Chillingworth, mayor of Oxford. He was born in 1602. He received the rudiments of education at a private school in Oxford, then tauglit by Edward Sylvester, a celebrated pedagogue. In 1618, he was admitted of Trinity college, of which he became fellow in 1628. Wood says of him, at this period, that "he was observed to be no drudge at his study, but being a man of great parts, would do much in a little time when he settled to it. He would often walk in the college grove and contemplate; but when he met with any scholar there, he vould enter into discourse, and dispute with him purposely to facilitate and make the way of wrangling common with him, which was a fashion used in these days, especially among the disputing theologists, or among those wllo set themselves apart purposely for divinity.” Polemical divinity was at this time in much repute on account of the frequent controversies which arose betwixt the priests of the Roman church and the clergy of the church of England. The toleration which the former enjoyed towards the latter end of the reign of James I., and throughout that of his successor, emboldened them to make a stand for the recovery of their lost footing in the kingdom ; and their efforts had been to a considerable extent successful in private families, and especially among the younger members of the universities. In 1628, we find parliainent petitioning his majesty “to command a surer and strait watch to be kept in and over his majesty's ports and havens, and to commit the care and searching of ships,- for the discovery and apprehension, as well of Jesuits and seminary priests brought in, as of children and young students sent over beyond the seas, to suck in the poison of rebellion and superstition,- unto men of approved fidelity and religion." The king promised to attend to the wishes of his faithful commons in this matter ; but the · Jesuits and seminary priests' still continued to flock into the kingdom, without check or molestation. Amongst others, came one John Fisher, or Percy, a man of acute and vigorous intellect, who soon won over several illustrious converts to the faith of his church. The reputation which young Chillingworth at this time bore in the university drew upon him the attention of the wily and accomplished Jesuit. They met, and encountered each other on several contested points ; but the youthful protestant was no match for his dexterous antagonist; he wavered, and finally gave way, before the reasonings of his opponent. Fisher pursued his advantage, and at last succeeded in persuading Chillingworth to go over to the Jesuit college at Douay, for the purpose of having his mind finally settled in the faith of the church of Rome. It would appear, from a letter which the young convert to Romanism at this time addressed to Gilbert Sheldon, that the argument which had chiefly weighed with his mind in making the change he now did, was the necessity of an infallible living judge of controversy in matters of faith. “Let me entreat you,” says he to his friend, “ to consider most seriously of these two queries :- 1. Whether it be not evident from scripture, and fathers, and reason,—from the goodness of God, and the necessity of mankind,—that there must be some one church infallible in matters of faith ? 2. Whether there be any other society of men in the world, besides the church of Rome, that either can upon good warrant, or indeed at all, challenge to itself the privilege of infallibility in matters of faith.'”
The delusion under which our young divine at this moment laboured was not destined to last long. He resided but a short time abroad. His intellect was too vigorous to be long ruled over by the Jesuit fathers of Douay; within the space of two months he abandoned their society, returned to England, and commenced a diligent and unbiassed inquiry into the whole points of controversy betwixt catholics and protestants.
Chillingworth pursued his investigations with great calmness, and a fixed determination to follow out the truth wheresoever it might lead nim. His candour exposed him to the charge of vacillation, which was bitterly made against him by Knott, one of his sturdiest opponents on the Jesuit side. Knott affected to represent Chillingworth as altogether destitute of fixed principles on almost any one point of religion,—as one who had changed “first from protestant to catholique, then from catholique to protestant, and then about again to catholique, till at last," he adds, “ he be come to that passe that it is hard to say what he is : Neyther precisian, nor subscriber to the 39 articles, nor confessed Socinian, nor right Christian, according to the grounds which he hath laid. If you will believe himself, for matters of religion he is constant in nothing, but in following that way to heaven which for the present seems to him the most probable.” Of the two ways which offered themselves to our inquirer's choice, few will now deem it a mark of weakness of judgment and infirmity of purpose that he preferred that of reason or inquiry, to that of authority or submission. But Chillingworth has nobly vindicated himself from the charge of inconsistency. Addressing bis antagonist, Knott, he says :-“ Neither truly were you more willing to effect such an alteration in me than I was to have it effected. For my desire is to go the right way to eternal happiness. But whether this way lie on the right hand or the left, or straight forwards ; whether it be by following a living guide, or by seeking my direction in a book, or by hearkening to the secret whisper of some private spirit, to me it is indifferent. And he that is otherwise affected, and hath not a traveller's indifference, which Epictetus requires in all that would find the truth, but much desires in respect of his ease, or pleasure, or profit, or advancement, or satisfaction of friends, or any human consideration, that one way should be true rather than another;