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it seemed to do so. But, though he put on an out- 1660. ward appearance of moderation, yet he was in another and deeper laid design, to which the heat of these men proved subservient, for bringing in of popery. A popish queen was a great step to keep it in countenance at court, and to have a great many priests going about the court making converts. It was thought, a toleration was the only method for setting it a going all the nation over. And nothing could make a toleration for popery pass, but the having great bodies of men put out of the church, and put under severe laws, which should force them to move for a toleration, and should make it reasonable to grant it to them. And it was resolved, that whatever should be granted of that sort should go in so large a manner, that papists should be comprehended within it. So the papists had this generally spread among them, that they should oppose all propositions for comprehension, and should animate the church party to maintain their ground against all the sectaries. And in that point they seemed zealous for the church. But at the same time they spoke of toleration, as necessary both for the peace and quiet of the nation, and for the encouragement of trade*. And with this the duke was so possessed, that he declared himself a most violent enemy to comprehension, and as zealous for toleration. The king being thus resolved on fixing the terms of conformity to what they had been before the war, without making the least abatement or alteration, they carried on still an appearance of moderation, till the strength of the parties should appear in the new parliament.
• This is inconsistent. S.
1660. So, after the declaration was set out, a commission A treaty ;„ was granted to twelve of a side, with nine assistants the Savoy. to eac^ gjj^ w^0 were appointed to meet at the Savoy, and to consider on the ways of uniting both sides. At their first meeting, Sheldon told them, that those of the church had not desired this meeting, as being satisfied with the legal establishment; and therefore they had nothing to offer; but it belonged to the other side, who moved for alterations, to offer both their exceptions to the laws in being, and the alterations that they proposed. He told 180 them, they were to lay all they had to offer before them at once; for they would not engage to treat about any one particular, till they saw how far their demands went: and he said that all was to be transacted in writing, though the others insisted on an amicable conference; which was at first denied: yet some hopes were given of allowing it at last. Papers were upon this given in. The presbyterians moved that bishop Usher's reduction should be laid down as a groundwork to treat on; that bishops should not govern their diocese by their single authority, nor depute it to lay officers in their courts, but should, in matters of ordination and jurisdiction, take along with them the counsel and concurrence of the presbyters. They did offer several exceptions to the liturgy, against the many responses by the people; and they desired all might be made one continued prayer. They desired that no lessons should be taken out of the apocryphal books; that the psalms used in the daily service should be according to the new translation. They excepted to many parts of the office of baptism, that import the inward regeneration of all that were baptized. But as they proposed these amendments, so they did also 1660. offer a liturgy new drawn by Mr. Baxter. They insisted mainly against kneeling at the sacrament of the Lord's supper, chiefly against the imposing it; and moved that the posture might be left free, and that the use of the surplice, of the cross in baptism, of godfathers being the sponsors in baptism, and of the holy days, might be abolished. Sheldon saw well what the effect would be of putting them to make all their demands at once. The number of them raised a mighty outcry against them, as people that could never be satisfied. But nothing gave so great an advantage against them, as their offering a new liturgy. In this they were divided among themselves. Some were for insisting only on a few important things, reckoning that if they were gained, and a union followed upon that, it would be easier to gain other things afterwards. But all this was overthrown by Mr. Baxter, who was a man of great piety; and, if he had not meddled in too many things, would have been esteemed one of the learned men of the age: he writ near two hundred books u: of these, three are large folios: he had a very moving and pathetical way of writing, and was his whole life long a man of great zeal and much simplicity; but was most unhappily subtle and metaphysical in every thing. There was a great submission paid to him by the whole party. So he persuaded them, that from the words of the commission they were bound to offer every thing that they thought might
"Very sad ones. S. (Dr. Baxter he should read, he said,
Samuel Johnson was of a dif- "Read any of them, they are
ferent opinion; for when asked "all good." Boswell's Life of
by Mr. Boswell, what works of Johnson, vol. iv. p. 242.)
1660. conduce to the good or peace of the church, without considering what was like to be obtained, or what effect their demanding so much might have, in irritating the minds of those who were then the superior body in strength and number. All the whole matter was at last reduced to one single point, whether it was lawful to determine the certain use of things indifferent in the worship of God? The bishops held them to that point, and pressed them to shew that any of the things imposed were of themselves unlawful. The presbyterians declined this; but affirmed, that other circumstances might make it become unlawful to settle a peremptory law about things indifferent; which they applied chiefly to kneeling in the sacrament, and stood upon it, that a law, which excluded all that did not kneel from the sacrament, was unlawful, as a limitation in the point of communion put on the laws of Christ, which ought to be the only condition of those who had a right to it. Upon this point there was a free conference, that lasted some days. The two men that had the chief management of the debate, were the most unfit to heal matters, and the fittest to widen them, that could have been found out. Baxter was the opponent, and Gunning was the respondent, who was afterwards advanced, first to Chichester, and then to Ely: he was a man of great reading, and noted for a special subtilty of arguing: all the arts of sophistry were made use of by him on all occasions, in as confident a manner as if they had been sound reasoning: he was a man of an innocent life, unweariedly active to very little purpose: he was much set on the reconciling us with popery in some points: and because the charge of idolatry seemed a bar to all thoughts of reconciliation with them, he 1660. set himself with very great zeal to clear the church of Rome of idolatry: this made many suspect him as inclining to go over to them: but he was far from it; and was a very honest, sincere man, but of no sound judgment, and of no prudence in affairs: he was for our conforming in all things to the rules of the primitive church, particularly in praying for the dead, in the use of oil, with many other rituals: he formed many in Cambridge upon his own notions, who have carried them perhaps farther than he intended. Baxter and he spent some days in much logical arguing, to the diversion of the town, who thought here were a couple of fencers engaged in disputes, that could never be brought to an end, nor have any good effect. In conclusion, this commission, being limited to such a number of days, came to an end, before any one thing was agreed on. The bishops insisted on the laws that were still in force, to which they would admit of no exception, unless it was proved that the matter of those laws was sinful. They charged the presbyterians with 182 having made a schism, upon a charge against the church for things, which now they themselves could not call sinful. They said there was no reason to gratify such a sort of men in any thing: one demand granted would draw on many more: all authority both in church and state was struck at by the position they had insisted on, that it was not lawful to impose things indifferent, since they seemed to be the only proper matter in which human authority could interpose. So this furnished an occasion to expose them as enemies to all order. Things had been carried at the Savoy with great sharpness,