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1672. chimney, where they might burn away safely. Duke Lauderdale set about it immediately: and the benefit of the indulgence was extended to forty more churches. This, if followed as to that of doubling them in a parish, and of confining them within their parishes, would have probably laid a flame that was spreading over the nation, and was like to prove fatal in conclusion. But duke Lauderdale's way was, to govern by fits, and to pass from hot to cold ones, always in extremes. So this of doubling them, which was the chief part of our scheme, was quite neglected. Single ministers went into those churches: and those, who were not yet provided for, went about the country holding conventicles very boldly, without any restraint: and no care at all was taken of the church. Leightoun Sharp and his instruments took occasion from

resolved to t > • » 1

retire, and this to complain, that the church was ruined by tokare '' jjfijg|1^oun's means. And I wanted not my share in the charge. And indeed the remissness of the government was such, that there was just cause of complaint. Great numbers met in the fields. Men went to those meetings with such arms as they had. And we were blamed for all this. It was said, that things went so far beyond what a principle of moderation could suggest, that we did certainly design to ruin and overturn the constitution. Leightoun upon all this concluded he could do no good on either side: he had gained no ground on the presbyterians, and was suspected and hated by the epi342 scopal party. So he resolved to retire from all pubHc employments, and to spend the rest of his days in a corner, far from noise and business, and to give himself wholly to prayer and meditation, since he saw he could not carry on his great designs of heal- 1672. ing and reforming the church, on which he had set his heart. He had gathered together many instances out of church history, of bishops that had left their sees, and retired from the world: and was much pleased with these. He and I had many discourses on this argument. I thought a man ought to be determined by the providence of God, and to continue in the station he was in, though he could not do all the good in it that he had proposed to himself: he might do good in a private way by his example and by his labours, more than he himself could know: and as a man ought to submit to sickness, poverty, or other afflictions, when they are laid on him by the hand of Providence; so I thought the labouring without success was indeed a very great trial of patience, yet such labouring in an ungrateful employment was a cross, and so was to be borne with submission; and that a great uneasiness under that, or the forsaking a station because of it, might be the effect of secret pride, and an indignation against Providence. He on the other hand said, his work seemed to be at an end: he had no more to do, unless he had a mind to please himself with the lazy enjoying a good revenue. So he could not be wrought on by all that could be laid before him; but followed duke Lauderdale to court, and begged leave to retire from his archbishopric. The duke would by no means consent to this. So he desired, that he might be allowed to do it within a year. Duke Lauderdale thought so much time was gained: so to be rid of his importunities he moved the king to promise him, that, if he did not change his mind, he would within the year accept of his reVOL. I. Q q

594 HIST. OF THE REIGN OF K. CHARLES II.

1672. signation. He came back much pleased with what he had obtained; and said to me upon it, there was now but one uneasy stage between him and rest, and he would wrestle through it the best he could.

And now I am come to the period that I set out for this book. The world was now in a general combustion, set on by the ambition of the court of France, and supported by the feebleness and treachery of the court of England. A stand was made by the prince of Orange and the elector of Brandenburgh. But the latter, not being in time assisted by the emperor, was forced to accept of such conditions as he could obtain. This winter there was great practice in all the courts of Europe, by the agents of France, to lay them every where 343 asleep; and to make the world look on their king's design in that campaign as a piece of glory, for the humbling of a rich and proud commonwealth; and that, as soon as that was done suitably to the dignity of the great monarch, he would give peace to the world, after he had shewn that nothing could stand before his arms. But the opening the progress of these negotiations, and the turn that the affairs of Europe took, belongs to the next period.

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END Of Vol. 1.

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