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out the prevalence of such superstition, he conceived it impossible to subjugate his people, and in order to accomplish the fond object of his wishes, he did what no prudent despot ever attempted, attacked all that the community venerated, and thus kindled a flame which was necessarily directed against that usurped prerogative which imposed innovations. By his absurd and wicked policy, therefore, he roused into an enemy that religious feeling which, in these measures, he insidiously aimed at converting into a necessary ally of arbitrary power. Aware that he stood by public opinion, he yet, in the chimerical hope of substituting sentiments more favourable to his pretensions, lost that support of the throne, by insulting as well as violating all that the people esteemed most sacred. All the religious innovations which, as we have shewn, were, in spite of Mr. Hume's sneers, of the most aggravated nature, and were also the precursor of farther change, sprang from the grossest abuse of civil power ; and the grievances in church and state, therefore, necessarily found the same advocates. Hence the field which has been opened for the ridicule so successfully poured upon that period. Men became naturally zealous for their faith in proportion to the violence with which the prince attempted to deprive them of it, and as their language corresponded with the occasion, it is easy to misrepresent the age, by viewing its character, through the medium of times when the established religion was protected instead of being sapped,Ttnd abstracted from all the circumstances that then operated upon the public mind.
The picture which has been given of the age is, therefore, unjust; and it is only necessary to peruse the works of that period, even the productions of professed puritans, as Ludlow, Hutchinson, Milton, &c. to be satisfied that the same minds which were so fervently imbued with religious zeal, were not only illuminated by genius, but enriched with the choicest literature of ancient and modern times. Gloomy and fanatical as that period is represented to have been, it is not to be doubted that a similar interference, even now, with the established faith and worship, would lead to the same result. But it should always be remembered, that the arbitrary proceedings of the prince, in regard to religion, not only implied the arrogation of a power to make any farther changes, but an authority incompatible with the very idea of every thing like civil or religious rights. Religion, therefore, formed a grand portion of the contest, even viewed in regard to its civil consequences, and it was dearly esteemed on its own account: but it was only an integral part of the general disease of the state. The privileges of the nation had been assailed in all points, and there was an almost universal cry for redress *.
* "But," says Mr. Hume, "it may be worth observing, that all historians who lived near that age, or what perhaps is more decisive, all authors who have casually made mention of those public transactions, still represent the civil disorders and convulsions as proceeding from religious controversy, and consider the political disputes about power and liberty as entirely subordinate to the other." Now, who are the historians and authors to whom he alludes ?—Whiteloclce, Clarendon, nay, Ludlow, or even Hutchinson and Milton? Does he discover it in the Parliamentary Debates, or the State Papers, or in the innumerable pamphlets published during the contest? The parlia- Had the people failed to embrace the opportunity for redressing their wrongs, and adopting measures to prevent their recurrence, they must have deservedly been pronounced worthy of the slavery which had been prepared for them; and matters must have either terminated in a dreadful convulsion in the next age, or Britain, the seat of wealth and innumerable comforts, the preserver and disseminator of rational liberty in modern times, and hence, the nurse of genius and the mother of science—the land which has, in reality, given the impulse, in modern times, to the cultivation of every thing valuable in all quarters of the polite world, must have sunk into all the deplorable misery of the Peninsula. When the case is thus broadly stated, there is scarcely a mind which can refuse its assent to the proposition, that at a certain limit submission would have been criminal; yet it ought not to be overlooked, that the advocates of arbitrary power would have then discovered, in the previous tyranny and the pusillanimous acquiescence, still stronger arguments with which to vindicate the prince and condemn the people. Every former act of arbitrary power would have been, in that event, represented
mentary lenders were indeed blamed by one of their own party for dwelling too much on the religious grievances, and thus in a manner withdrawing the public attention from the multiform oppressions under which the kingdom had groaned; but no one can peruse the sources of information to which we have referred, without being satisfied of the groundlessness of this artful, sweeping, unauthorised, statement. The cotemporary royalist writers always maintained that the clamour about religion was a mere colour for factious designs against the government!
in the blackest colours, and the submission of the people vilified, in order to throw odium upon the nation for their unjust rebellion to a sovereign, whose only fault consisted in acting mildly upon the principles to which he had equally succeeded with the throne; while the popular leaders would have been reproached as artful demagogues, who inflamed the people with chimerical notions of freedom to which their ancestors never pretended,— as austere fanatics, who were content to plunge the kingdom into convulsions for an object altogether mean and contemptible. All the benefits accruing from their virtuous struggle would have been forgotten, while the calamities, the vices, arising naturally out of a period of convulsion, would have been incalculably exaggerated, as a warning to after ages never to assert their rights against the will of the chief magistrate. To the spirit of our ancestors, therefore, we owe all our most invaluable privileges; and it would be ungrateful not to acknowledge the obligation *.
* In the above I have endeavoured to embrace the sum and substance of Mr. Hume's defence of the Stuart family. But theibllow-ing singular note deserves a remark: " Lord Clarendon, vol. i. p. 233, says, that the parliamentary party were not agreed about the entire abolition of episcopacy. They were only the root and branch men, as they were called, who insisted on that measure. But those who were willing to retain bishops, insisted on reducing their authority to a low ebb, as well as on abolishing the ceremonies of worship and vestments of the clergy. The controversy, therefore, between the parties was almost wholly theological, and that of the most frivolous and ridiculous kind." Really it is distressing to find an author of Mr. Hume's powers writing in this style; and it is scarcely possible to conceive a more complete non sequitur than that, because the people desired an abolition of ceremonies, which were intended to substiBtraffbrde Strafforde, who had long ago foretold, that if attend the the king were forced to call a parliament, he, as a king against chief minister, would be sacrificed to the public
his own *
und*'bu' resentment> a°d whose injustice and unrelenting assurance of barbarity had made him personal enemies, who protection. were resoive(j t0 pursue him to the scaffold, now solicited leave to retire to his government of Ireland, or to remain with the army at York, that, removed from the eye of parliament, he might elude its vengeance; but Charles, who depended much upon his advice, insisted on his being near his person, assuring him that not a hair of his head should be touched *. The event proved that, though in
tute a religion of the imagination for that of the heart, in order to prepare the public mind for the doctrine of passive obedience in the state, ceremonies which were not so inhumanly enforced as altogether insignificant, but which implied points of faith universally abhorred— that because they desired to reduce the power of a body, or even to abolish the order that had so monstrously abused their function against the civil and religious privileges of the nation,—" Therefore, that the controversy between the parties was almost wholly theological, and that of the most frivolous and ridiculous kind." Did it really follow that, because this was one branch of grievance, there was no other? With such logic, we should not wonder at his conclusions, even independently of his statements. But was this author so unphi- losophical and uncharitable as to conclude, that because all points of faith were, in the abstract, viewed with indifference by himself, the people might justly be compelled, by bloody persecution, to embrace any religious innovations at the will of the prince? Did he not perceive the political consequences of these innovations? and infer that, as they were imposed out of political motives, so they were justly resisted on the same principle? It is strange, too, that great part of his argument goes to establish that new ideas of government had sprung up during the dynasty of the Stuarts, and yet that elsewhere he ascribes all to religion.
* Whitelocke, p. 37. This writer tells us that, as the Parliament was to meet on the 3d of November, " some persuaded the archbishop to