« PreviousContinue »
HISTORY OF THE PURITANS;
THE REFORMATION IN 1517, TO THE REVOLUTION IN 1688;
An Account of their Principles ;
THEIR ATTEMPTS FOR A FARTHER REFORMATION IN THE CHURCH, THEIR SUFFERINGS,
AND THE LIVES AND CHARACTERS OF THEIR MOST CONSIDERABLE DIVINES.
BY DANIEL NEAL, M.A.
A NEW EDITION, IN THREE VOLUMES.
THE TEXT OF DR. TOULMIN'S EDITION;
WITH HIS LIFE OF THE AUTHOR AND ACCOUNT OF HIS WRITINGS.
R. GRIFFIN AND co., GLASGOW; T. T. AND H. TEGG, DUBLIN ;
ALSO J. AND S. A. TEGG, SYDNEY AND HOBART TOWN.
HISTORY OF THE PURITANS.
KING CHARLES 1. 1640. THE CHARACTER OF THE LONG PARLIAMENT. THEIR ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE LATE CONVOCATION AND CANONS. THE IMPEACHMENT OF DR. WILLIAM LAUD, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. VOTES OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS AGAINST THE PROMOTERS OF THE LATE INNOVATIONS.
We are now entering upon the proceedings of the long parliament, which continued sitting with some little intermission for above eighteen years, and occasioned such prodigious revolutions in church and state, as were the surprise and wonder of all Europe. The house of commons have been severely censured for the ill success of their endeavours to recover and secure the constitution of their country; but the attempt was glorious, though a train of unforeseen accidents rendered it fatal in the event. The members consisted chiefly of country gentlemen, who had no attachment to the court: for, as Whitelocke observes, “Though the court laboured to bring in their friends, yet those who had most favour with them, had least in the country; and it was not a little strange to see what a spirit of opposition to the court-proceedings was in the hearts and actions of the most of the people, so that very few of that party had the favour of being chosen members of this parliament*." Mr. Echard insinuates some unfair methods of election, which might be true on both sides; but both he and lord Clarendon admit, that there were many great and worthy patriots in the house, and as eminent as any age had ever produced; men of gravity, of wisdom, and of great and plentiful fortunes, who would have been satisfied with some few amendments in church and state.
Before the opening of the session the principal members consulted measures for securing the frequency of parliaments; for redressing of grievances in church and state; and for bringing the
* Memorials, p. 35. VOL. 11.