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Three Restoration Divines: Barrow, South and Tillotson. Volume I

Irène Simon

Part one

Chapter three. Church and state after the restoration

Texte intégral

  • 1 See Godfrey Davies, op. cit.; William Haller, op. cit.; A.E. Barker, op. cit.; A.S.P. Woodhouse: P (...)
  • 2 For the debates on religious toleration or accommodation in 1643-1645, see Ernest Sirluck’s Introd (...)
  • 3 On Erastus, see Ruth Wesel-roth: Thomas Erastus, Lahr (Baden), 1954. The Elizabethan Act of Suprem (...)

1James I had had too bitter an experience of Presbyterian Churchgovernment in Scotland to be ready to agree to the English Puritans’demands for reformation of the Church discipline. Though the Hampton Court Conference examined their grievances, it was soon clear that no progress would be made towards satisfying them, especially after the King had expounded to the assembled divines his doctrine of ‘No Bishop, no King’. The alliance of Church and Crown was thus sealed, which was to prove fatal to both in mid-century, and James’s words came true when the execution of Laud was followed by the ‘legal murder’ of Charles I. When the Presbyterians of the restored Parliament called upon Charles’s son in 1659 to end the anarchy that had followed upon the death of Cromwell, they thought they could ensure ‘liberty for tender consciences’ by having Charles sign the Declaration of Breda. How such liberty was to be achieved was left for Parliament to decide once the King was restored; meanwhile the Presbyterians were promised mildness and moderation. Since they were committed to the idea of a national Church no less than the Anglicans were—they had had recourse to Parliament to enforce their own discipline, and the 1644 Directory for Worship forbidding the use of the Prayer Book had been issued by Parliamentary ordinance—the Presbyterians must have contemplated far-reaching modifications of Anglican discipline since they could hardly have hoped to impose their own. True, another way of solving these problems was open to them, toleration; but this was no more countenanced by the former ‘new-forcers of conscience’ than by the Laudian clergy, who now began to raise their heads. Indeed, few men had ever contemplated such a solution even in the years of controversy about Christian liberty, when many had suffered under the Presbyterian rule1. The five members did not advocate toleration when in 1644 they appealed to Parliament to have the Presbyterian discipline made more flexible so as to provide for gathered churches; the non-separating Congregationalists in fact demanded no more than accommodation within the national Church. Only when the Accommodation Order proved abortive did the Assembly Congregationalists join forces with the Sects to advocate toleration outside the Church. Some of the Sects rejected the power of civil government altogether, on the ground that the Saints must be free to obey God’s commands as revealed to the individual conscience: this put them beyond the jurisdiction of any human law, and the Antinomians even claimed that the elect were above all law. Some Independents as well as the Erastians advocated toleration on secular grounds, as the only means to achieve civil peace, and some came near to urging separation of Church and State. The one who did this most clearly was Roger Williams, who argued from the segregation between the realms of grace and of nature that it was not for the magistrate to devise or enforce any form of Church discipline. Williams was prepared to tolerate every form of belief or even unbelief provided the mere natural state was not endangered; in fact he was pleading that the civil power need have no concern for the souls of men2. The Puritans of New England disagreed with this as much as did their Presbyterian brethren in England, and Williams’s experiment in religious toleration could only be carried out in his new-planted colony of Rhode Island. But Hooker, who thought it a gross error to believe that the magistrate need only concern himself with the good of the body, not of the soul, would have disagreed too; indeed, his conception of the relation between Church and State is decidedly Erastian3. Clarendon’s decision to refer the details of the Settlement to Parliament was therefore acceptable both to Presbyterians, who had themselves accepted the decisions of Parliament in Church-government, and to the Laudian Clergy, since observance of the Prayer Book had been enforced under Charles by the notorious Court of High Commission.

  • 4 Op. cit., pp. 139-42.
  • 5 A Bill brought in to implement the Declaration of Breda was thrown out by the Commons in October 1 (...)

2As Bosher has shown4 the Presbyterians made several mistakes. First, by trying to force a religious settlement as soon as possible, when it should have been clear to them that the first Parliament to be returned after the Restoration would comprise a large majority of old Loyalists since many of their own persuasion had been disqualified5. Second, by insisting that the King be brought back on terms, an attitude which could only confirm Royalist prejudices against them as no true lovers of monarchy. Third, they too often combined with Roman Catholics against the Anglicans for their loyalty to the national Church not to be suspected. The Anglicans, on the other hand, were not prepared to settle their differences with the Puritans: disagreement on ‘things indifferent’ had led to a wholesale onslaught on the Church, now that the Church was restored her faithful members were to guard against such danger. The only thing the Anglicans could have expected of conferences with the Presbyterians was to bring them back into the fold, perhaps by conceding some minor points in the Liturgy.

  • 6 As Bosher remarks, Reynolds should be considered as an Anglican Conformist rather than as a modera (...)

3Meanwhile Charles appointed some Puritans as chaplains in ordinary, and offered bishoprics to three Puritans: Edward Reynolds6 accepted the see of Norwich in September 1660, but both Baxter and Calamy refused to be made bishops. In October 1660, Charles promised to call a national synod to determine differences. The Liturgy was not enforced, and a conference of divines was convened in April 1661, with men like Sanderson, Cosin, Morley, Gauden and Sheldon on the Anglican side, and such Puritans as Reynolds, Baxter, Calamy, Bates and Wallis (the mathematician). It has been said that

  • 7 H.M. Gwatkin: Church and State in England to the Death of Queen Anne, London, 1917, p. 350.

the Puritans were not the rigid Covenanters of the past: as a party they were moderate men like Baxter, who wanted only some ceremonies abolished, and some made optional, freedom for extempore prayers, and the power of the bishops limited by a council of presbyters. They had brought back the King, and thought they could get as much as this7.

  • 8 Venner’s rising in January 1661, to set up the Fifth Monarchy in London, partly accounts for the e (...)
  • 9 In the sixteenth and early seventeenth century foreign (and occasionally Scottish) Presbyterian mi (...)
  • 10 Op. cit., p. 354.
  • 11 Sec G.R. Gragg, op. cit.

4Still, after lengthy debates lasting for more than three months the Conference failed to agree. Convocation then appointed a Committee of bishops to revise the Liturgy (November 1661); though many changes were introduced nothing of importance was conceded to the Puritans. The Revised Prayer Book was accepted by Convocation in December 1661, and by Parliament in April 1662. Parliament had met in May 1661, and was passing legislation against the Puritans8, with the result that the 1662 Act of Uniformity compelled all ministers to receive episcopal ordination9 and to declare their unfeigned “assent and consent” to everything “contained and prescribed” not only in the doctrinal articles but in the revised Liturgy; they also had to repudiate the Solemn League and Covenant and to subscribe to the doctrine of nonresistance to the prince. As H.M. Gwatkin remarks, the date, St Bartholomew’s day, August 24, 1662, had been “maliciously chosen to deprive non-conformists of the half-year’s tithes, which fell due a few days later”10. Though many Presbyterians conformed, including some who had sat at the Savoy Conference, a large number had to relinquish their ministry. Thus a strong group of Presbyterians—among them such eminent men as Baxter, Calamy, Bates and John Wesley—were driven into dissent, together with the Independents, the Quakers and the more extreme Sects, who in any case would have been excluded from the national Church. The Great Persecution11 had begun, and the further legislation known as the Clarendon Code only confirmed the rift between the Establishment and Dissent.

  • 12 On these, see P.G. Rogers: The Fifth Monarchy Men, London, 1966.
  • 13 Robert South, op. cit., I, ser. 7.

5Though some Churchmen did not approve of these measures, and Tillotson was notable among them, many felt, not unnaturally, that the men who had all but wrecked the Church in the preceding age should be kept under control. Since Crown and Church had suffered at the hands of the same enemy, the alliance between the two was cemented more firmly than it had been even in the days of Laud, and’No Bishop, no King’now seemed truer than ever. This no doubt accounts for the violence and unfairness of many High-Churchmen, notably South, in their treatment of the ‘fanatics’. This was no time for them to distinguish between the moderates like Baxter and the mad Fifth-Monarchy men12. All were loaded with the same opprobrium: their hands were red with the blood of the Royal Martyr; they had attempted to reform the Churches to the ground and to new-model the Church13; they had broken the bonds of society and therefore were not to be trusted as citizens; they were all republicans at heart and would sooner or later attempt on the son what they had achieved by the legal murder of the father; they were disorderly and unruly, and thirsted after the revenues of the Church; they encouraged the unlettered hinds to leave their shops and preach by the Spirit; they stirred rebellion by bewitching the mob with words; in short, they were out to subvert the order of Church and State, to further anarchy in men’s minds as well as in religion and in the body politic. South argued that they should be regarded as traitors to the State and outlawed since they not only refused to recognize the laws of the land, but were busy destroying them by all sorts of underhand means. Even more deadly was the ridicule that he poured upon them in sermon after sermon, even to mimicking their gestures and tone, as many contemporaries reported. His Mr. Holderforth, with his sneaking manner, nasal tone, and ridiculous jargon, drawing out fantastic similes for hours on end to a bewitched audience of cobblers and tinkers, is as contemptuous a portrait of the fanatic preacher as any drawn by Jonson or by the comic dramatists of the Restoration period.

  • 14 See his sermons on The Fatal Imposture and Force of Words, op. cit., II, ser. 9; VI, sermons 1 and (...)

6South was no doubt blinded by his prejudices, and in many of his sermons he preached politics rather than religion. But he would not have agreed that this was meddling with things outside his province; indeed, he most emphatically denied the charge, arguing that it is the pastor’s task to enlighten the minds of his hearers and to prevent them from being corrupted by false doctrines and from being drawn into evil practices14. In 1685 he prepared a sermon for Westminster School, where he had been a scholar, on the Virtuous Education of Youth, but was prevented from delivering it by the death of Charles II. There he argued that after the late confusions had extinguished the morality of the English nation, an Instauratio Magna was needed to remedy the effects of these lawless times. The strict and virtuous education of youth is, he says, the only way to prevent such calamities befalling England again; this is incumbent upon parents, schoolmasters and clergy alike. From their early years children should be taught hatred of the twin plagues of Christendom, fanaticism and rebellion, together with their duty to God and to their King. It is the clergy s duty, he says, to make the King’s government easy to him; they must undeceive the people about persecution and oppression of tender consciences. But it is also the schoolmasters’duty to instil these principles into children, so that they may lead a virtuous life. Thus South equates virtue with obedience to God and to the King, and the only aspect of it he develops in this sermon is the right behaviour of man as a citizen, i.e. obedience to the King.

  • 15 Op. cit., V, ser. 2, printed below.
  • 16 For his bequests to Christ Church College and other legacies to support poor students, see his Wil (...)

7Whatever modern readers may feel, this was a legitimate claim in an age that regarded it as the duty of the prince to look after the souls as well as the bodies of his subjects. South was more conservative than most, but his fear of mob rule was shared by such men as Dryden, or, in the next age, Swift. It is no mere accident that in the Dunciad the kingdom of dullness spreads from Smithfields and finally overwhelms the whole country. South dreaded the uncreating word as much as did Pope, and his violent attacks against the political corrupters appear in his sermons on the imposture of words. Nor was his defence of order mere subservience to the powers that be; in fact, he was the last person to flatter those in power, and his sharp tongue spared neither high nor low. True, the fanatics were fair game, and South never missed an opportunity of raising the laugh against them. Though this was often a facile way of enlivening a sermon, his bitter opposition to them had deeper sources. He loved order, not just established order, and the ravings of the tub-preachers or the frenzies of the illuminati were distasteful to him. He did not, like his fellowchurchman Swift, ascribe these to the ‘mechanical operations of the spirit’, but he saw in them a clear example of the topsyturvydom that results from the usurpation of reason by the affections. If the Presbyterians were included in his diatribes it is because, in his view, they were responsible for letting loose this flood of muddy waters: however much they might ‘antedate their loyalty’ to the upholder of order in the Commonwealth, it was they who had first struck at the root of all order, and had tried to destroy the Church root and branch. As he said in a thirty-January sermon15, the murder of Charles I had really been committed in forty-one, and his death in forty-nine was no more than the last act of the plot against him. The specialty of rule had been neglected, and degree being vizarded the unworthiest showed as fairly under the mask, South could have said like Ulysses, for he too believed in a hierarchy of laws. If he sneeringly remarked that the cobbler would be better employed at his last than raving about the Spirit, it is because he believed that each man should serve his Maker in the calling to which God has appointed him by giving him the abilities appropriate thereunto. The admirable contrivance of the universe results from its order and variety; in the varieties of gifts God has bestowed upon His creatures there is room for each man to do his best. To set up as an interpreter of the Word of God without first being learned in the use of words is mere presumption; take but degree away, and discord follows. South, who loved music and the due order of Church ceremonies, could feel nothing but horror at the threat of chaos returning upon the world. He was an aristocrat of the mind; for him nothing could be achieved without discipline: the office of the minister required a long and hard training, and faith was the reward of sustained efforts, to be crowned by the light suffusing the soul; it was not to be got by mere effusions or fitful illuminations. By temperament as well as by conviction South would be the defender of law and order; but, though this does not appear from his sermons, this aristocrat also took care to have poorer children educated16.

  • 17 Op. cit., III, ser. 5.
  • 18 Charles issued his Declaration of Indulgence on March 15, 1672, and declared war on the States Gen (...)

8For all this, South had his blind spots, and the least attractive side of him is certainly his failure, or refusal, to see the other’s point of view. If this made for trenchancy in the expression of his thought, it also led him to oversimplify some problems and through sheer prejudice to dismiss them too highhandedly. Such was the vexed question of tender consciences. On this, South was adamant: no accommodation, no relaxation of the penal laws, no toleration of Dissent. Thus, in a sermon17 preached at Christ Church before the University during the Michaelmas Term of 167218, he rejected the plea of tender conscience most emphatically by showing that the text of St. Paul which the Puritans had always invoked when demanding accommodation (or now, toleration)— 1 Cor. VIII.12 But when ye sin against the Brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ—had been misinterpreted by them. The Apostle’s command, South contended, was meant to protect weak consciences, i.e. those not yet proficient in knowledge of Christ’s doctrine, who were unable to distinguish between unlawful and indifferent matters such as the eating of meat offered in sacrifice to idols as a form of worship or as mere meat sold on the market. The characteristic of these weak brethren was to suppose unlawful what was merely indifferent; hence the Apostle’s command not to offend them by doing in their presence what they might mistake for a false act of worship, since this might encourage them to revert to idolatry. Now, says South, such weakness can only be pleaded in case of excusable, not willing or wilful, ignorance. To wound such a conscience means to rob it of its peace and embolden it to act against its present persuasion or judgement. A weak conscience may be wounded by example

  • 19 Op. cit., III, p. 186.

from a kind of implicit Faith in the Goodness and Lawfulness of another’s Acting grounded upon a supposal of his Piety and Judgment19

  • 20 Op. cit., II, ser. 12.

9or by command of a person in power. If the command be from a private person, as in the Apostle’s text, the promise of reward or threat of punishment may sway the will, and thus lead to a breach of purity. If it be from the magistrate upon persons under his jurisdiction, then this cannot be helped, and the command must be complied with. South does not say this explicitly, but at this point instead of showing that the weak conscience cannot be wounded, he proceeds to explain why the supreme magistrate in devising laws can—and must—only be concerned with the good of the majority. If a law becomes an occasion of sin to particular persons, this is extrinsic to the design of the law. As his comparison with God’s government of the world shows, this is exactly Hooker’s conception of law as regulating societies for the good of all or at least of the greatest number. Rather than not devise a law which he in his best judgement deems necessary to prevent the majority from being hurt in important matters, the magistrate must run the risk of weak persons turning this into an occasion of sin. And he is “not to answer for the inconveniences which may attend such persons either in their civil or spiritual concerns”. Every law of man, South says elsewhere20 when the matter is a thing not evil, is the law of God also.

10South gives in a nutshell the main burden of Hooker’s argument against the Puritans. It is only too clear that the ‘weak brethren’ could not have agreed, any more than they did with Hooker; for their argument still had been that there should be no compulsion to comply in things indifferent, observance or non-observance of which could not have hurt the majority in important matters. Here, then, South comes very near to affirming that Church ordinances aim at more than ‘decency’ in public worship, that in fact they are meant to prevent real harm being done to men’s souls. The reason for this appears from one of the conclusions he draws from his explanation of the text: that there is no bound to this plea of weak conscience. Clearly, the ghosts of forty-one were not yet laid, and South feared that such pleas about things indifferent would once again develop into arguments about fundamentals. The reference to the Presbyterians becomes quite clear when he says that those who make this plea for themselves do not endure it in others, and that they scruple neither at sacrilege nor at rebellion nor at the murder of a king. Once again, then, the attack on laws ecclesiastical is linked with breach of peace in the body politic, not simply because of the experience of the Civil War, but because respect or disrespect for laws in one domain argues the same in another domain, since laws, at whatever level, are expressions of the fundamental law to which they all aspire.

11South also shows that if the plea is granted the weak conscience will usurp the place of the magistrate, God’s vicegerent, to whom is delegated the power to ensure the welfare, both spiritual and corporal, of the community. Such a plea, he implies, posits the superiority of the individual conscience over the rational judgement that directs the framing of laws for the community; it is a form of self-assertion that impugns the sovereignty of reason, and thereby the sovereignty of God. At this point, however, he is more concerned to draw the practical conclusion that all such pleas of causeless separation should be rejected.

12However closely South argues, one of the main weapons he uses in this sermon is the power of words, or as he elsewhere calls it when speaking of his adversaries, the magic of words. True, his interpretation of the text is wholly warranted by the context; but once he has established this point, his use of the term ‘weak conscience’ clearly ranks the Dissenters among those weak, ignorant, and wilfully ignorant at that, Christians who fail to distinguish between truth and appearances. Sometimes he does this openly, but he does it insidiously all along: those weak brethren to whom scandal might be brought are merely men who take occasion of the best laws to sin; they may be driven thereto by implicit faith in the example of others—which suggests that they are no better than the Roman Catholics who had benefited by the Declaration of Indulgence, and with whom they had secretly plotted to obtain relief. Towards the end South’s prejudices break into the open, but this matters far less than the lesson he has been driving home all along, that a tender conscience is no other than a weak conscience, that the Dissenters are using fraud to prepossess the minds of men by representing a bad thing under a good name. If that is true, South could beat them at their own game by representing a good thing under a bad name. This is not to say that he was juggling with words, for he had explicated his text carefully; but as a good orator he did not rely on bare arguments alone to do the full work of persuasion.

13This is one of his most characteristic sermons, both for the vigour of his thought and for the pregnancy of the expression; to the detached observer it is a delight to see how the tender/weak equation insinuates itself into an argument that can stand on its own merit but gains force by this subtle play on words. South was a truly witty preacher, though not in this instance after the fashion of Andrewes. That he should have used his best powers in the cause of intolerance need not detract from our pleasure in reading him. Controversy could bring out the best and the worst in him, and his treatment of Sherlock, for instance, though always lively even in its most scholastic passages, is often scurrilous. In arguments of great moment, such as the defence of order or of right thinking, of the prayers of the Church or of the right use of words, his thought seems to shine the more brightly for the heat he brings to bear on the matter; the closely reasoned discussion sweeps us along, and his words, at once precise and vivid, give the thought a clear outline. The exposition of the hierarchy of laws in this sermon is only one of many examples of his felicity in compressing an argument to give it driving force as well as to concentrate on essentials. This is the very virtue he praised in the prayers and collects of the Church of England, and he may well have learnt it from these. No wonder he was such a staunch defender of the Liturgy.

  • 21 Again by implicitly equating the Act of Toleration and the Declaration of Indulgence he suggests t (...)

14South, whose letters to his ‘worthy friend Mr. John Locke’ express his high regard for the philosopher, could not countenance toleration even after the law of the land made it possible for Dissenters to worship freely. In a sermon on the plea of tender conscience preached in 1691 he said he would not “speak so much as one syllable against the Indulgence and Toleration21 granted to the opposers of the Constitutions of the Church; but he added:

  • 22 Op. cit., II, ser. 12, p. 447.

the Law which tolerates them in their way of worship (and it does no more) does not forbid us to defend ours22,

  • 23 Op. cit., V, ser. 12. A manuscript copy of this sermon (not in South’s own hand) now in the Bodleia (...)
  • 24 If the sermon was indeed preached in 1710 it must have contributed to the passing of the Occasiona (...)

15and he urged all lovers of the Church to teach young people the right principles for fear they might be induced ‘by trimming and time-serving’ to betray the Church of England. Yet he did speak against the Act of Toleration on another occasion, in a sermon that was given wide currency by pirated editions before he himself published it. Though we do not know when the sermon was preached23, it is clear that South is here resisting attempts at comprehension or at ‘easing’ the Dissenters, and trying to put pressure on Convocation or on Parliament by raising the cry of ‘the Church in danger’24. Toleration, he says, has had “a law (or something like a law) made in its behalf” but since the laws enjoining conformity have not been repealed, obedience to them remains a duty, and nonconformity a sin. This may seem a very lame argument indeed, but South further shows that the Act of Toleration can have no effect at all on “the nature and quality of the actions commanded or prohibited by the preceding positive laws of the Church”; the Act indeed takes away the penalties and thus gives temporal impunity, but it cannot warrant the transgression itself or take away the guilt of the action. In a passage characteristic of his conception of law he adds:

  • 25 Op. cit., V, ser. 12, p. 473.

Nor is it able to take off all sorts of Penalties neither; for as much as those enacted by the Divine Law can never be remitted or abrogated by any human Law, or temporal Authority whatsoever. And therefore our Separatists will do well to consider, that the Laws of our Church (admitting them to be but human Laws) yet so long as they neither require anything false in Belief, nor immoral in Practice, stand ratified by that general Law of God, commanding Obedience to all Lawful, though but Civil and Temporal Authorities; and consequently oblige the Conscience, in the Strength of that Divine Law, to an Obedience to all that shall be enacted and enjoined by the said Authorities. So that when God shall come to pass Sentence upon Men for their Disobedience to the same, whether in this World or the next, I fear that no plea of Toleration will be able to ward off the Execution25.

16This is the same plea as he made in 1672 for obedience to human laws as ultimately deriving from the law of God, but at this later date he was prepared to grant that human laws sometimes allow, though they cannot require, things contrary to the good of men’s souls. Hooker had granted the hypothesis that kings might sometimes be wrong and thwart, rather than further, the good of their subjects, in which case he hoped such kings would come to see that this worked against their own good; such tyranny on the part of kings did not, however, warrant resistance to them. The Church’s doctrine of passive obedience after the Restoration was substantially the same as Hooker’s, and obedience to the magistrate was enjoined with equal force by all divines, whether High-Churchmen like South or Latitudinarians like Tillotson.

  • 26 David Ogg maintains that “Almost at the first suspicion of this danger, the doctrine [of non-resis (...)
  • 27 Ibid., p. 202.

17South’s thought, however, may have undergone some change; at least he may have had to clarify his position under the pressure of events which forced him, as they did many Churchmen and loyal Anglicans, to reexamine the notion of Christian obedience to the magistrate. Hooker could ignore this, for he wrote in an age when the Prince’s laws agreed with those of the Church. So could South when preaching in the days of the close alliance between Church and State. This was no longer possible under James II, whose open assaults on the Church set many divines thinking. Not that they relinquished the doctrine of passive obedience, for even under such a ‘bad ruler’ they still maintained the duty of non-resistance however much they might fear that the light of the Church would soon be put under a bushel. Only when in April 1688 James ordered the clergy to read his Declaration of Indulgence in all churches did seven bishops, with the Archbishop of Canterbury at their head, draw up a petition to the King, in which they declared that they could not in conscience read an illegal Declaration in the House of God26. The seven bishops were sent to the Tower and brought to trial. In spite of James’s recent appointments to the Bench they were found not guilty by the jury, and on the night of their acquittal an invitation was sent to William of Orange, signed by “leaders of the great interests and parties in England”27, among them Compton, Bishop of London.

18What South thought at the time may be gathered from a brief reference in a sermon he preached in October 1688, in which he warns against the deceit practised by both fanatics and Romanists. Having reminded his hearers how Queen Mary abused her people and performed her promises to them at the stake, he added:

  • 28 Op. cit., I, ser. 12, p. 474. I do not know what proclamations he is referring to. When the seven B (...)

And I know no Security we had from seeing the same again in our Days, but one or two Proclamations forbidding Bonfires28.

  • 29 After the 1687 Declaration of Indulgence some of the Dissenters sent addresses of thanks to James (...)

19On 5 November next, i.e. on the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot and the very day of William’s landing at Torbay (of which South could not have known), he preached at Westminster Abbey. His sermon is not inflammatory as were many of those delivered on 5 November, and it is characteristic of him that he should have stressed the kinship between the wicked arts of the Jesuits and those of the men who acted “under the splendid names of the Power of Godliness, Christian Liberty, and the Scepter and Kingdom of Jesus Christ29. Yet, he goes on to say, one should not wonder

  • 30 Op. cit., V, ser. 9, p. 340.

that I ascribe these Reformers Practices to Jesuitish Principles; it being so well known, that the Jesuit never acts himself more than under another Person, Name, and Profession30.

20South stresses, however, that these Sons of Darkness at least have the prudence to manage things better than to fear a change in their Church-government every six months

  • 31 Ibid., p. 341.

or amongst all their Indulgences to afford any to their implacable Enemies31.

  • 32 By this South does not, of course, mean the persecution of Dissenters but the stripping of the Loy (...)

21The implacable enemies of the Church are of two kinds, but however much Protestants may have surpassed the Jesuits in wickedness, there is no doubt as to who are their real masters. South thus restates his earlier opposition to Declarations of Indulgence, but adroitly directs it against the Romanists. This is only natural since, whatever doubts Protestants may have had about Charles’s Declaration, they had no doubt whatever about James’s motives, and South had seen Magdalen College, Oxford, turned by the King into a Roman Catholic college in 1687. Yet, the text he had chosen (Isa. V. 4) is the complaint of God against the Jewish nation for their ingratitude in spite of the many favours they had received from God. This inevitably leads him to rehearse the many mercies of God to the Church of England: in permitting it to be refined from the superstitious dross of Romish practices, in pouring upon it His choicest blessings, in delivering it from the Armada and in “blowing up the Gunpowder treason itself”, but also in breaking the neck of the accursed rebellion. In return for these mercies, he says, we, like the Jews, have encouraged injustice and oppression32, rapacity and covetousness, luxury and sensuality. The main burden of the sermon is thus the sinfulness and ingratitude of the nation. It is only to be expected that these sins will be visited upon the English nation as they were upon the Jews: by God bereaving them of their best defences, i.e. their laws and their military force. Now, these were the two instances in which James’s attempt to restore Roman Catholicism appeared most clearly: in subverting the laws of the land, particularly in taking away the charters of towns and in issuing a Declaration of Indulgence, and in dismissing many officers in the army to place Roman Catholics in key-positions. The drift of South’s sermon must therefore have been clear to all his hearers, however covertly he expressed his criticism of James’s policy. But at no point did he suggest that the King should be resisted.

  • 33 Cp. Apologie de l’édit du roy sur la pacification de son royaume (i.e. of the edict of Amboise), 1 (...)
  • 34 Like his friend Francis Atterbury.

22South’s later contention that the Act of Toleration only abolishes penalties against Separatists but does not take away the guilt of the action shows that he could envisage some distinction between the realms of secular and of ecclesiastical laws, even though both were devised for the whole of the community. He was saying no more, in fact, than that some sins, such as lying, not punished, and not punishable, by the civil power still remain sins33. This was the thin edge of the wedge through which separation of the two provinces could be effected, and others had posited such separation in their defences of religious liberty. While Locke’s Letters on Toleration (1689, 1690) and Two Treatises of Government (1690) look forward to the Declaration des Droits de l’Homme and the American Declaration of Independence, South’s argument looks back to The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. According to Locke the laws of civil society are meant to remedy the inconveniences of the state of nature which arise from disregard of the rule of reason, and to safeguard individual liberty by ensuring that no man will encroach upon the others’rights; by the social contract the natural right of enforcing the rule of reason is transferred to the community as a whole, but the legislative power thus conferred on it is to be exerted in accordance with the law of reason. South, like Hooker, argues that the laws devised by the magistrate for the good of his subjects are, or should be, an instance of human law reflecting the law of reason or of God; if some subjects are thereby inconvenienced it is because they fail to conform to reason. The comparison brings into relief the difference between the concept of right reason and the concept of the individual conscience. The latter, which was maintained in the Nonconformist tradition and came to merge with the reason of the eighteenth-century philosophes, had been vindicated most eloquently in the years of the ‘accursed rebellion’ by Milton. Starting from the same premiss as Hooker and South, that “when God gave man reason, He gave him freedom to choose, for reason is but choosing”, he had pleaded: “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties”. Neither Hooker nor South would have granted that the individual’s reason may at times conflict with the reason embodied in the laws: to them this was only a form of self-assertion which threatened the rule of reason or of God. The Act of Toleration no less than the arbitrary measures of James II led South to re-examine his position; if his views remained substantially unchanged he yet felt the need to state clearly that some laws of the magistrate may not be devised for the good of his subjects’souls, and may even constitute an encouragement to sin. Only the laws devised by the Church could then be expected to reflect right reason; with the High-Churchmen in the Lower House of Convocation34 he then bitterly resisted all attempts at comprehension. If his position seems to have hardened, it is not only because he was growing old, but because in his view ecclesiastical laws alone could prevent the collapse of order.

23Barrow did not share South’s anti-fanatic zeal and indeed censured such harsh reviling of others even in the name of the true religion. In a sermon on evil-speaking he exhorts ministers to recommend mildness and moderation by their own example:

  • 35 Op. cit., I, ser. 16, p. 226.

Well indeed it were, if by their example of using mild and moderate discourse, of abstaining from virulent invectives, tauntings and scoffings, good for little but to enflame anger, and infuse ill-will, they would lead men to good practice of this sort: for no examples can be so wholsome, or so mischievous to this purpose, as those which come down from the Pulpit, the place of edification, backed with special authority and advantage35.

24The Apostle, says Barrow, enjoins us to speak evil of no man, not even of wicked men; there are, however, occasions when it is allowable and even necessary to speak ‘reproachful words’; for instance, in the administration of justice or when ministers inveigh against sin and vice. Vehemency may sometimes be used in defence of truth, and on particular occasions it is excusable to express dislike of notorious wickedness with some heat of language; yet even in these cases great caution is required, he says, and moderation is preferable to eruptions of passions, for

  • 36 Ibid., p. 233.

A modest and friendly style doth sute truth; it, like its authour, doth usually reside (not in the rumbling wind, nor in the shaking earthquake, nor in the raging fire, but) in the small still voice36.

25Barrow goes on to reprove the preposterous method of teaching and of deciding controversies which consists in vexing and angering others with ill language. According to this quiet and peace-loving scholar, no prejudice or passion should cloud the’apprehensive faculties’of the hearers, and to assert a doctrine with heat is to obscure it. Many of his remarks apply to South, and he is usually thought to have glanced at the Oxford Orator in this sermon, especially when he said that

  • 37 Ibid., p. 232.

Satyrical virulency may vex men sorely; but it hardly ever soundly converts them37.

26If Barrow’s temper inclined him to meekness and charitableness towards others, and if he never had a sharp tongue to use against enemies of the Church, he yet believed in order, discipline, and obedience to temporal and spiritual governors. Indeed one may even say that his respect for established order is greater than South’s, and he never censured people in high places; compared with the Oxford Orator he may sometimes seem mealy-mouthed, except occasionally in his Treatise of the Pope’s Supremacy. In his sermon on 1 Thess. IV. 11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to doe your own business, he grants that in some cases it is allowable to meddle with the affairs of others, but

  • 38 Op. cit., I, ser. 21, p. 293.

We should not (without Cause or Allowance) meddle with our Superiours, so as to advise them, to reprehend them, to blame and inveigh against their Proceedings; for this is to confound the right order of things, to trespass beyond the bounds of our calling and station; to doe wrong, not onely to them, but to the Publick, which is concerned in the upholding their Power and Respect: It is indeed a worse Fault than assuming the Ensigns of their Dignity, or counterfeiting their Stamps; for that is but to borrow the Semblance, this is to enjoy the Substance of their Authority38.

27This is passive obedience driven to its last conclusion; what Barrow enjoins, in fact, is uncritical acceptance of whatever decisions are made by authority. With him, one feels, the established order is sacred and immutable, and each man is to remain for ever in his station like the stars in their courses. This is more than Hooker or South would have contended, and not unlike the dessicated concept of rigid order that came to prevail in the eighteenth century until it was revivified by Burke’s notion of the organic growth of constitutions.

28The age was indeed a censorious age, and Barrow’s strictures on the criticisms and murmurings at the legislator, on people’s dissatisfaction with the Constitution or with the statesmen’s policy, on clamours of all kinds against the actions of the government, reflect the ferment of the years after the Restoration. What he advocates, however, is little short of an implicit faith in governors which hardly tallies with his insistence that the truths of religion cannot be accepted upon authority:

  • 39 Ibid., p. 294.

Every one acteth a Prince and a Bishop, or indeed is rather a Censour and Controller of both orders; not considering the wrong he committeth, nor the arrogance he practiseth, nor the mischiefs which naturally ensue upon such demeanour: for to direct, or to check Governours, is in effect to exauctorate or depose them, subsituting our selves in their room; and what greater injury can we doe them, or the Publick? to fix or reverse Laws, belongeth to the highest Authority and deepest Wisedom, which’tis enormous presumption for us to arrogate to our selves; by attempting such things, we confound the ranks of men, and course of things; we ruffle the World, we supplant publick Tranquillity; and what greater mischief than this can we doe among men39?

  • 40 See for instance: Walter Pope: The Life of Seth, Lord Bishop of Salisbury, 1697, ed. J.B. Bamborou (...)

29Clarendon, who made South his Chaplain, would have been horrified; not only the Clarendon who in the Long Parliament was ready to support measures limiting the prerogatives of the King, but the Clarendon who referred the Restoration Settlement to Parliament, Barrow’s theory meant conferring on ‘the highest Authority’ a power which Elizabeth would not have claimed, at least in theory. Perhaps Barrow was not aware of the real nature of ‘the Constitution’ of his country. What he feared above all, one feels, is that the world should be ruffled. The truth is that Barrow lived in a scholar’s world, and though he had been tossed in the storms of the Mediterranean and had grappled with pirates, what he prized above all was the peaceful life of Trinity College, from which he viewed the bustle of men in the great world outside. The manner and style of his sermons suggest the quiet deliberation of a mind with all time at its disposal, indeed quite unaware of time passing. As his sentences grow by addition and come to embrace the vast compass of his thought, so the argument builds up with consideration being added to consideration until the subject is exhausted. Whatever the force of each argument the victory is finally won by the weight of their number more than by the cogency of the reasoning. Barrow’s unconcern with time—and with his personal appearance—is vouched for by the testimony of various contemporaries40, but it could easily be inferred from the form of his sermons, or of the Treatise of the Pope’s Supremacy.

30Hooker at least had considered the possibility of kings being bad, though in the circumstances this was only a remote possibility; and he had argued that human law, though reflecting the law of God, was inevitably less perfect than God’s. Barrow seems to have believed that such Divinity doth hedge a King that

  • 41 Op. cit., p. 294.

There is a Kind of sacredness in the Mysteries of State; as the Mysteries of Faith do surpass natural reason, so do those of State transcend vulgar capacity: as Priests by special Grace are qualified best to understand the one; so are Princes by like peculiar assistance enabled to penetrate the former41.

31It is almost as though ordination and coronation conferred special powers which make both priests and kings able to peer into the secret counsels of God. This, of course, Barrow denied when contending against the Romanists; but in claiming for kings judgement more than human so that their words “may with us pass for oracular”, he extends the potestas ordinis to both kinds of rulers. As a consequence he recommends passive obedience as submission to a divine ordinance, and thus asserts the divine right of kings. Yet, he also grounds the authority of kings on ‘the reason of the thing’:

  • 42 Ibid., p. 294.

According to the ordinary reason of things they are best able to judge of such things, being, by reason of their eminent station, able to discern more, and farther than others... whereas we being placed in a valley, can have no good prospect upon the grounds and causes of their resolutions and proceedings; we, for want of sufficient use and exercise, cannot skill to balance the contrary weights and reasons of things42.

32Hooker and South would simply have said that it is the magistrate’s duty to make laws for the good of all, and therefore to view the whole of society from a higher prospect. Barrow indeed looks back to James I rather than to Hooker, and supports the belief in the King’s sacred power, still kept alive in his time, and after, by Charles II’s touching for the King’s Evil, and defended by many staunch Churchmen. For all South’s high Toryism one can hardly imagine him taking the King’s touching for the Evil quite seriously; it is characteristic that he states the doctrine of passive obedience in terms that suggest not the divine rights of the King, but rather the lawyers’maxim that the King can do no wrong.

  • 43 The manuscript text is continuous but was divided by Tillotson into 4 separate sermons, vol. III, (...)

33Barrow devoted a series of sermons43 to the text usually invoked to urge obedience to the magistrate, Heb. XIII. 17 Obey them that have the rule over you; he used it to develop the theme of obedience to spiritual governors, and justify episcopacy, but this also led him to face the question of the relation between spiritual and temporal power. Obedience is due to all spiritual guides or governors of the Church, he says, because

  • 44 Op. cit., III, ser. 24, p. 270.

they are by God’s appointment enabled to exercise acts of power; to command, to judge, to check, controll and chastise in a spiritual way, in order to spiritual ends; (the regulation of God’s worship and service, the preservation of order and peace, the promoting of edification in divine knowledge and holiness of life)44.

34Governors must guide the people in the way of truth and duty by giving instruction and by their exemplary practice. But there is distinction of ‘degrees and subordinations’ in this guidance, and the Church is an “acies ordinata, a well marshalled army” under the “Captain General of our faith and salvation”. This distinction was never questioned in ancient times, Barrow says, except by Arius,

  • 45 Ibid., p. 272.

and no wonder, seeing it standeth upon so very firm and clear grounds; upon the reason of the case, upon the testimony of Holy Scripture, upon general tradition and unquestionable monuments of antiquity45.

  • 46 “Thus under the pressure of a century of acute controversy, the Anglican divines had developed a p (...)
  • 47 In 1655 the Regius professor of Greek at Cambridge, Dr. Duport, resigned in the hope that Barrow w (...)

35For him, thus. Church-government is both grounded in Scripture and in reason, and it has the backing of tradition. Hooker had gone no further than to say that episcopacy was consistent with the models found in Scripture; Barrow seems to treat it as divinely ordained, though also instituted for prudential reasons46. This is like his contention that God gives Kings special powers but that they also have greater human skill to decide what is good for the community. This may explain why Barrow was found unacceptable to the authorities under the Commonwealth and refused to conform even to the extent that many loyal Anglicans did at the time47. Yet far from marshalling texts in support of this acies ordinata he develops the other two points: the reason of the thing backed by tradition, or, as Hooker would have said, natural reason as expressed in customs generally agreed upon. Reason requires such subordination in order to preserve concord, to establish a decent harmony in worship and service of God, to prevent factions, to guard against heresies, and

  • 48 Op. cit., III, p. 272.

to keep the Church from being shattered into numberless Sects, and thence from being crumbled into nothing48

36Christianity needs “societies to uphold it”, and no society can abide without “a single undivided authority”. This, Barrow says, “even the chief impugners of Episcopal presidency do by their practice confess”, i.e. the Presbyterians, with their classes, provinces, nations, and moderators of the assemblies. He then briefly refers to Scriptural testimony supporting episcopacy, and to the primitive use of Christians, ending with a vehement repudiation of all such as are so overweeningly presumptuous and so perversely contentious as to oppose the custom and current practice of the Churches through all ages down to the last age.

37Barrow proceeds to explain who the governors of the Church are that Christians are to obey, and to distinguish between true and counterfeit guides. The true guides are those who profess the doctrine delivered by Christ and his Apostles in word and writing and confirmed by tradition; who celebrate the true worship of God

  • 49 Ibid., p. 275.

in a serious, grave, decent manner, purely and without any notorious corruption either by hurtfull errour, or superstitious foppery, or irreverent rudeness49;

  • 50 Owing to Barrow’s characteristic way of piling up paragraphs rather than developing them organical (...)

38who are fitted to receive ordination by competent endowments of mind and good learning, and are found fit after examination of their abilities and of testimonies concerning their manners and conversation; who are admitted to their office by due ordination, and thus derive their authority by a continued succession from the Apostles. Barrow leaves out none of the qualifications required of the priest of the Church of England, from authority by episcopal succession to testimony of good principles in practice and doctrine50. He thereby distinguishes the Anglican clergy both from the priests of the Roman Church, who by superstitious additions have corrupted the true worship of God, and from the Puritans, who fail on practically every other count. To sum up, the true guides are those

  • 51 Ibid., p. 276.

who are acknowledged by the Laws of the Country, an obligation to obey whom is part of that humane constitution, unto which we are in all things (not evidently repugnant to God’s Law) indispensably bound to submit; whom our Sovereign, God’s Vicegerent and nursing Father of his Church among us... doth command and encourage us to obey51.

39Thus having listed all the distinguishing marks of the true governors of the Church—some of which, such as Apostolic succession, many of his hearers might find hard to discover—he adds an unfailing mark by which to recognize them: they are the pastors of the Church established by the law of the country. His uncompromising Erastianism may sound particularly uncongenial to most modern readers, but he will explain the relation between temporal and ecclesiastical authority at a later stage.

40Though it is easy enough to infer from the foregoing description who are the counterfeit guides, Barrow proceeds to list the characters of these seducers: they affect novelties, uncouth notions, big words, and dark phrases; they dote on curious empty speculations, and idle questions, which engender strife and yield no good fruit; they do not ground their opinions on the Word of God, sound reason, and the authority of good men, but warrant them by their own fancy, the impulses of their passions, and pretences to inspiration; they abuse weak and heedless people by shews of mighty zeal,

  • 52 Ibid.

by affected forms of speech, by pleasing notions, by prophesying smooth things, daubing and glozing52.

41they intrude themselves into the office of guides without any clear commission from God, or allowable call from men; they are not fitly prepared for the ministry; they are void of charity, turbulent, disorderly, violent, and deceitful; they create dissensions and abet disturbances; their doctrine is an empty form of godliness, and “they fill the minds of men with ill-passions, ill-surmises, ill-will”; they are unruly, presumptuous murmurers, who produce nothing but combustions and seditions in Church and State; in short they are

  • 53 Ibid., p. 278.

the Ministers of Satan, the Pests of Christendom, the Enemies and Murtherers of Souls53.

42Barrow may have censured South for using invective against the enemies of truth; but he could outdo him in passion and zeal for the House of God. Though he might not regard his description of Dissenters as a form of evil-speaking forbidden by the Apostle, yet he must have realized that he had loaded them with such opprobrium that they could hardly expect to get a fair hearing. Indeed, Barrow is using the power of his wit against them no less than does South; only it is a different kind of wit, more like Dryden’s lively spaniel that ranges after thoughts and words.

43Barrow next addresses himself to the nature of the duty, which implies both obedience to the governors’laws and embracing the doctrine they recommend. In developing the first point, he rehearses and expounds the arguments already put forward for government of the Church, and in showing that obedience was enforced by the primitive Church he stresses that

  • 54 Ibid., ser. 25, p. 285.

There were not then of old any such cavils and clamours against every thing prescribed by Governours; there were no such unconscionable scruples, no such hardhearted pretences to tender conscience devised to baffle the authority of superiours; had there been such, had men then commonly been so froward and factious as now, the Church had been soon shivered into pieces, our Religion had been swallowed up in confusion, and licentiousness54.

44Clearly, Barrow was not prepared to allow for any scruples of conscience. It is significant that in a discourse on obedience to spiritual guides, where as usual he takes time to amplify and examine every aspect of the question, he should here dismiss the problem of conscience as not even worth a minute’s consideration. This high-handed treatment suggests an even firmer refusal than South’s to hear the other point of view. For all his meekness Barrow sometimes strikes one as an overbearing authoritarian, who is only too ready to consider the matter closed. South, on the contrary, argues it out and thereby at least pays his opponent the tribute of granting his view some consideration.

45Barrow does consider the objections to the lawfulness of the Church-government at a later stage, only to refute them by an impressive series of rhetorical questions which reveal the rationale of his doctrine. The basis of his argument is, like Hooker’s, that the laws governing men are devised for the good of all; they cannot be expected to be perfect, but then, men live in a real society, not in “the Platonic idea of a Commonwealth”; these laws are based on reason and cannot take into account particular men’s fancies, and the purpose of government is thwarted if laws may be suspended at will. Besides, are the objections against obedience as clear and cogent as are the reasons that enforce it? have the scruples such strength as to outweigh the judgement of those whom God has authorized and enabled to devise laws? is it not the purpose of the governors’ office to resolve our doubts? are these men in earnest when they ground their nonconformity upon dark subtleties? are not the danger and guilt of bringing about disorder enough to silence scruples? did the Apostles and the primitive Church regard such pretences? Whatever he may have suggested at the beginning, Barrow argues not from Scripture but from the reason of the thing in itself and as evidenced by tradition, which, like Hooker, he believes to embody human reason; it is on this ground that he rejects the plea of conscience. This is consistent with his belief in order and due subordination. But he will also have to explain the grounds and due limits of such subordination in doctrine, since the burden of all his teaching is that implicit faith is not acceptable to God.

46Meanwhile, he has shown all the evils that ensue from disregard of the spiritual guides’ authority, and he adds that in the present state of things the guilt is aggravated by the ‘supervenient guilt’ of disobedience to the laws of the prince and of the country. This raises the question of the relation between secular and spiritual powers, and Barrow deals with it briefly. To secular powers, he says, God has committed

  • 55 Ibid., p. 288.

the dispensation of justice, with the maintenance of peace and order in reference to worldly affairs55.

47Before temporal rulers recognized Christ as their sovereign, ecclesiastical matters were wholly in the hands of spiritual guides, and to them Christians were obliged to yield obedience. Now that political authority backs and fortifies the laws of spiritual governors by civil sanctions, disobedience incurs a double guilt. Some pretend that by rejecting episcopal government they transgress no more than ‘a political sanction’, but that alone is a great offence, since God enjoins us to obey temporal governors in all things not evidently repugnant to His law; moreover, the civil law does not derogate from the ecclesiastical, it only corroborates it, so that each gains strength from the other. Barrow’s explanation clearly begs the question; he does not even seem to realize what the question is. Hence, he fails to meet the objection that things enjoined by the magistrate may be repugnant to God’s law, and he further fails to show whence springs this admirable concord between secular and spiritual powers. Yet he himself had had experience of a secular power enjoining things he found repugnant to God’s law: he had refused to take the Covenant, and had left the country until a better Church-government was restored. Perhaps he is stating no more, in this sermon, than that in fact the civil and ecclesiastical powers of the country happened to be working hand in hand. None the less it is significant that he should not have made clear the principles on which such union was based. After the Revolution the constitution of the country and the Coronation oath imposed on William were to ensure that the sovereign pledged himself to uphold the ‘Reformed Protestant Religion’; whether this would have satisfied Barrow any better than it did South remains an open question; but this would at least have given him some ground on which to base his confidence in the amicable working together of both powers. But only if his main fear had been, as it was to the men of 1689, that ‘the Reformed Church’—of which even before that date the King was supreme Governor—might be taken to mean the Church as reformed by the Council of Trent. In the present sermon, however, Barrow was arguing against the Dissenters, not against the Romanists.

48Barrow then proceeds to explain what constitutes obedience in doctrine. Here he must consider “one point which perhaps will more hardly be admitted”, i.e. that in some cases “it behoveth to rely barely upon [the governors’] judgment and advice”. Barrow needs to be careful in defining this point since it is all important to distinguish obedience of this kind from implicit faith, which he rejected as firmly as did other Anglicans. Yet, in this sermon he is first concerned to oppose the private judgement invoked by the Puritans. Hence his remark that persons “most contemptuous of authority” are in some cases constrained to rely upon the judgement of others, if only to know what is the literal sense of Scripture according to translations. Hence also his use of arguments which were generally used by the Romanists to refute the Protestants’claim that all truths necessary for salvation are expressed plainly in Scripture and can be understood by any man who diligently searches after truth. Barrow’s argument, in fact, is no different from South’s in The Scribe Instructed, that most men are unable for want of learning to discern the truth; yet, because of the general drift of his discourse Barrow at first sounds much nearer to the party he opposed so resolutely in his Treatise of the Pope’s Supremacy. It is only half-way in this development that he states his view unambiguously:

  • 56 Ibid., ser. 27, p. 303.

it is plainly reasonable to follow our Guides in all matters, wherein we have no other very clear and certain light of reason, or revelation to conduct us56.

49He expounds the qualification in order to distinguish this from implicit faith: it is not against conscience but according to it to submit to direction if we do so on the best of reasons, not blindly or upon compulsion; nor does such submission confer on these guides an infallible authority, for they are men and therefore subject to error. At which point Barrow is led to emphasize the other side of his doctrine, which so far had been kept so much in the background as to be almost ignored, that is, the duty laid on each man to use his own reason, judgement and discretion, so far as he is capable. If this sounds like a face-about, it is because Barrow and the Church of England as a whole stood midway between the two extremes, of the private judgement unaccountable to universal reason and of blind obedience. They could never stress the one to the point of nullifying the other, and they had to negociate their way between excessive claims for personal judgement or for submission. Thus, in a sermon on obedience, Barrow comes to stress the need to use reason, to judge independently of authority, to accept nothing upon bare authority, to prove all and hold fast that which is good, for

  • 57 Ibid., p. 305.

We are accomptable personally for all our actions as agreeable or cross to reason... the ignorance, or errour of our guides will not wholly excuse us from guilt... We are bound to study truth, to improve our minds in the knowledge and love of it, to be firmly persuaded of it in a rational way57

50Christ himself and his Apostles did not exact credit upon other terms than rational considerations. Hence, though we are bound to obey our guides we must “scan their dictates, and their orders”:

  • 58 Ibid., pp. 306-7.

We may, and are bound, if they tell us things evidently repugnant to God’s word, or to sound reason and common sense, to dissent from them; if they impose on us things evidently contrary to God’s Law, to forbear compliance with them; we may in such cases appeal ad legem et testimonium; we must not admit a non obstante to God’s Law58.

51This indeed was uncompromising language; it also happens to be the language that many Puritans, and among them the Great Rebel, could have used to justify non-obedience to the Church. But Barrow further defines his position by saying that God commands us to use the eyes He has given us, but that where our own eyes fail us we should use those of our guides. And his final advice is that we should forbear openly to dissent from our guides or to contradict their doctrine, except if it be so plainly false as to subvert the foundations of faith or the practice of holiness, because this may encourage inconsiderate people to do the same on mere slight pretexts. It is, in fact, as though at bottom Barrow could see the force of the sincere Dissenters’plea, but was loth to grant it lest it lead to dissent on what Tillotson called’little scruples’. It is also characteristic that in this part of the discussion what he advocates is the free use of reason, whereas in rejecting the plea of tender consciences he only spoke of fancy and passion. It is a pity he did not distinguish as clearly as Chillingworth had done between public reason and the private judgement that is no better than fancy. As it is, Barrow gives the impression that the Church of England has a kind of monopoly of reason. No doubt the Dissenters could have answered him that one man’s reason is another man’s fancy, and that the argument could cut both ways, since this was exactly the Romanists’charge against all Protestants.

52Barrow did not live to see the temporal power directly assaulting the Church it was pledged to support; nor did he so far meddle with the politics of religion as to express any view on Charles’s Declaration of Indulgence. His interest in mathematics may have kept him outside the strifes which his fellow-Anglicans had to face, and his aversion from all causes of discord would make him loth to deal with such contentious matter. What he would have done if asked to obey the unlawful commands of a lawful prince may be matter for speculation, but one feels that in any case the peace of Trinity College would have saved him from having to come into open conflict with authority.

  • 59 The same difficulty had arisen in the deliberations of both Houses. On this, and on the various so (...)
  • 60 See David Ogg, op. cit., pp. 218-20.

53The Anglican clergy, who had preached obedience to the magistrate and non-resistance even if commands were unlawful, were faced with a difficult choice when the crown was conferred on William and Mary. They had sworn allegiance to James and, though the Lords and Commons might say that James had ‘deserted’, it could be argued that he had done so under compulsion, so that the oaths were still binding59. On the other hand, James had clearly run away, had been brought back to England, and then had fled again60. No wonder many of his loyal clergy hesitated. Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, whom James had committed to the Tower a few months before, proposed that the King should be restored upon conditions. But who could trust the promises of a king who had broken his pledge whenever he felt strong enough to pursue his own course? Sancroft’s proposal was rejected by the Convention, and he withdrew to his palace. William and Mary were crowned by Compton, Bishop of London, while Sancroft remained at Lambeth and refused to vacate his see. The clergy had to take the oath of allegiance by 1 September, 1689. A large number of them—including several bishops, some of whom had been tried for refusing to have the Declaration read—felt they could not take the oath as long as James was alive, and were therefore deprived. Some of these, like Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells, simply retired and continued faithful members of the Church; others, notably George Hickes, Dean of Worcester, claimed that they alone were keeping the Church of England pure and undefiled, thus initiating the Non-juring schism.

  • 61 Op. cit., p. 234.
  • 62 See the letters published by W. Dodds (Mrs. Nowottny), op. cit.; Miss Dodds shows that South’s ani (...)
  • 63 It is unlikely that he was convinced of the legitimacy of William’s title to the Crown; he recogni (...)

54To say, as David Ogg does, that the clergy “were asked to do no more than to admit that an absurd doctrine had been discredited by events”61 is to apply to the problem a pragmatic test which no one who, like South, believed in the hierarchy of laws could have found acceptable. Taking the oaths to William and Mary involved making a decision which no sincere Churchman could arrive at without re-examining the doctrine of obedience to the magistrate. No doubt there were many time-servers and vicars of Bray then as always. No doubt many, among them Tillotson, were accused of being time-servers though they may have been quite sincere. That the problem was a real one appears from the discussions between Sherlock and South before they decided to take the oaths62. Though South was finally satisfied that this was lawful63, it is clear from his sermon on comprehension with the Dissenters that he did now regard the magistrate as not concerned with the good of his subjects’ souls in all the laws he devises. That the matter continued to rankle appears from a side-remark in his 1691 sermon on the nature and measures of conscience, in which he rehearses the several duties and virtues of a Christian, such as

  • 64 Op. cit., II, ser. 11, pp. 424-5.

Temperance, Meekness, Charity, Purity of Heart, Pardoning of Enemies, Patience; (I had almost said, Passive Obedience too, but that such old-fashioned Christianity seems as much out of Date with some, as Christ’s Divinity and Satisfaction)64.

  • 65 See Birch: Life, op. cit., p. cxviii.

55Tillotson himself dissuaded William from pressing the Comprehension Bill lest this should be felt to infringe the rights of Convocation65: he too, then, distinguished between a mere secular law, the Toleration Act, and one that involved directions for worship and hence the care for souls. He would not have argued that the sin remained; but his attitude shows that South’s distinction about laws secular and ecclesiastical in the Comprehension sermon was not prompted by mere partisan zeal.

56Tillotson not only took the oaths to William and Mary, but he was the trusted adviser of the King, and was to be elevated to the Archbishopric in 1691, when Sancroft had been at last persuaded to leave. Yet, he too had taught obedience to the magistrate and non-resistance, even in the days of James. In an early sermon, on The Advantages of Religion to Societies, he had shown that religion tends to the good order and more easy government of human society both because it teaches the magistrate “to rule over men in the fear of God” and because it makes the people “obedient to Government, and conformable to laws” since

  • 66 Op. cit., I, ser. 3, p. 41.

He that hath entertain’d the true principles of Christianity is not to be tempted from his obedience and subjection by any worldly considerations, because he believes that whosoever resisteth authority resisteth the ordinance of God, and that they who resist shall receive to themselves damnation66.

57True, he only mentions worldly considerations as a possible motive for disobedience and indeed he never dealt at length with the problem of tender conscience. This should not, however, be taken to mean that he granted the plea of conscience to be legitimate, or he could hardly have remained within the Church. Indeed, he made it clear that the differences among Protestants were not about fundamentals, but about things indifferent, which were made occasions for schism and faction though they were neither necessary nor evil in themselves. He advocated unity among Protestants, especially in view of the common enemy, but he clearly envisaged this as unity within the national Church. To break the unity of the Church on no weightier ground than ‘little scruples’ was the best way to let in the hated enemy:

  • 67 Op. cit., I, ser. 20, p. 193.

And shall little Scruples weigh so far with us, as, by breaking the Peace of the Church about them, to endanger our whole Religion? Shall we take one another by the throat for a hundred pence, when our common Adversary stands ready to clap upon us an Action of ten thousand Talents? Can we in good earnest be contented that rather than the Surplice should not be thrown out, Popery should come in; rather than receive the sacrament in the humble, but indifferent, Posture of kneeling, to swallow the Camel of Transubstantiation, and adore the Elements of Bread and Wine for our God and Saviour? and rather than submit to a Set Form of Prayer, to have the Service of God performed in an unknown Tongue67?

  • 68 Op. cit., I, ser. 32, ‘A Thanksgiving Sermon for our Deliverance by the Prince of Orange, Preached (...)
  • 69 Op. cit., I, ser. 31, p. 321. The sermon, on the Parable of the Ten Virgins, was preached before P (...)

58The sermon in which he thus sums up the points at issue between the Church and the Dissenters—at least, those amongst them with whom reunion was ever contemplated—was preached at the Yorkshire Feast, i.e. “at the General Meeting of the Gentlemen, and others, in and near London, Born within the County of York”, on 3 December, 1678. Among the audience there might be some who remembered that Tillotson, a Yorkshire man himself, had first been bred among Puritans and they would find in this passage a clear statement of the reason why he had later conformed. His appeal to unity is the more significant in view of the circumstances, since the Popish Plot was soon to be exploited by men who were no friends of the Church, and had probably been engineered by them. As appears from this sermon, Tillotson believed that the Plot was the work of the Papists, as he seems to have believed that the Great Fire was also their work68; this may not argue great critical acumen on his part, but it does show that he was not prepared to join in the outcries against Anglican intolerance: rather he put the blame for the lack of unity on the other party’s ‘little scruples’. True, he did not approve of the persecuting zeal of many of his brethren nor of the severe laws against the Dissenters, and he tried several times to find some means of accommodating them. But this does not mean that he was prepared to support the plea of conscience, even though he could hardly have treated it with the same harshness as South did. The difference between the two appears clearly in Tillotson’ s advice not to confine the Church of Christ within too narrow a compass, but rather to “err a little on the favourable and charitable part”69. These particular words were meant primarily to oppose the Romanists’ claim that none can be saved outside their own Church; but Tillotson also granted that sincere Catholics might be saved: for all his prejudices and for all his staunch opposition to the doctrines of Rome, he did extend his charity to Christians on both sides, and HighChurchmen felt that he erred more than a little on the favourable part in his treatment of dissenting brethren; but such was Tillotson’s temper.

59He again refers to conscience in a sermon preached at Whitehall in 1680, The Protestant Religion Vindicated from the Charge of Singularity, and says he cannot think that the plea of conscience warrants any man to affront the established religion of the country. The reservations and qualifications in his statement are, however, significant:

  • 70 Op. cit., I, ser. 27, p. 283. Printed below. This passage gave offence both to Anglicans and to Non (...)

I cannot think (till I be better inform’d, which I am always ready to be) that any pretence of Conscience warrants any Man, that is not extraordinarily commission’d, as the Apostles and first Publishers of the Gospel were, and cannot justify that Commission by Miracles as they did, to affront the establish’d Religion of a Nation (though it be false) and openly to draw Men off from the profession of it in contempt of the Magistrate and the Law: All that Persons of a different Religion can in such a case reasonably pretend to, is to enjoy the private liberty and exercise of their own Conscience and Religion; for which they ought to be very thankful, and to forbear the open making of Proselytes to their own Religion, (though they be never to sure that they are in the right) till they have either an extraordinary Commission from God to that purpose, or the Providence of God make way for it by the permission of connivance of the Magistrate70.

60The beginning of this passage might seem to refer to the Puritans’plea of tender consciences; his answer does meet their argument and is not unlike his answer to the scoffers, that even on the supposition that religion be false, it is uncivil to affront other men’s belief. It could hardly be contended, however, that Puritans should have been thankful to enjoy the private liberty and exercise of their own conscience and religion. The remark, in fact, could only apply to those members of the King’s household and Court who were allowed to have Roman Catholic chaplains and hear mass in private chapels. It is they and their priests who could not forbear “the open making of proselytes”, and it is at them that the whole sermon is directed since Tillotson is vindicating the Protestant religion from the Catholics’accusation of novelty; the point he grants—though the religion of the country be false—is one that the Puritans did not make; significantly too, he does not use the specific term plea of tender conscience. None the less, Tillotson refuses to countenance the pretence of conscience, though he seems to contemplate the possibility that the magistrate might permit the open profession of a different religion; perhaps he had in mind the period when the Declaration of Indulgence indeed permitted it or connived at it.

61Tillotson’s crabbed way of reasoning, or his incapacity to grapple with a knotty problem, appears from the end of the paragraph, which was added in a later edition. There he says that every man has the right to publish and propagate the true religion and to declare it against a false one, which clearly makes nonsense of his previous assertion; but, he continues, no man is under the obligation to do so, unless he has as clear a command from God as the Apostles had, in which case he is to abide all hazards, including martyrdom. It is not clear whether Tillotson distinguishes between ‘publishing the true religion’ and ‘constantly professing it for which, he had just argued, the subject is bound’patiently to suffer’ if a false religion be established by law.

  • 71 “Dr. Calamy’s account is, that King Charles II having slept most part of the time while the sermon (...)

62Since many of Tillotson’s sermons are intended to show the superiority or advantages of the Christian religion, he often stresses that belief in, and fear of, God are the basis of society, because without these all obligations of conscience cease. He repeats this argument in The Protestant Religion Vindicated, and he further explains that it properly belongs to the civil magistrate to support the true religion and to take care “that none be permitted to debauch and seduce men from it”, This should have reminded the King—if he had not been asleep71—that it was his duty to prevent the Romish priests from making proselytes. Tillotson then goes on to explain what power the civil magistrate in England has in matters of religion, in answer to the Romanists’objection that it has power to decide in matters of religion. According to him the magistrate has the right neither to reject God’s true religion, nor to declare what he pleases to be so, since

  • 72 Op. cit., p. 283.

he who acknowledgeth himself to derive all his Authority from God, can pretend to none against Him72.

63But he does not say how the magistrate is to know which is the true religion he is to support. Instead he proceeds to define the duties of the subjects if a false religion be established by law:

  • 73 Ibid.

the case here is the same as in all other laws that are sinful in the matter of them, but yet made by a lawful Authority; in this case the Subject is not bound to profess a false Religion, but patiently to suffer for the constant profession of the true73.

  • 74 Op. cit., I, ser. 19 (on 5 Nov., 1678), p. 181.

64The whole passage thus raises more questions than it purports to answer, and it is doubtful whether any Romanist could have been convinced by such an argument. What Tillotson is out to show, is that the King should enforce the true Protestant religion; only one part of the passage is at all convincing, the demonstration that it is proper for the magistrate to take care that people are instructed in the true religion. Obviously Tillotson was loth to say that the true religion should be defined by the Church, not by the civil government, which was exactly the Romanists’ contention, for this would have made the King subservient to the spiritual power. Indeed, one of his strongest objections to Roman Catholicism was that it absolved subjects from obedience to kings and even claimed the right to depose them74. This, in fact, accounts for the decidedly Erastian position of the Church of England, which was acceptable neither to Roman Catholics nor to the Saints: Pope Pius V’s bull of excommunication against Elizabeth, by making all Roman Catholics in England potential traitors to their sovereign, may well have contributed to shaping the Church’s Erastianism. In The Protestant Religion Vindicated Tillotson in fact makes the same distinction between potestas jurisdictionis and potestas ordinis which Elizabeth had insisted on making by altering her title. But in the context his argument is lame, and ultimately begs the question.

65What matters to us, however, is that no less than Hooker—though more confusedly—Tillotson posited that it is the magistrate’s duty to take care of his subjects’souls, and that it is the subjects’duty to obey, or suffer patiently under a bad prince. Whether his statement of the subjects’duty to suffer patiently in the constant profession of his faith may be called passive obedience is doubtful; but he certainly advocated non-resistance to a bad ruler.

  • 75 Op. cit., II, sermons 45 and 46. The sermons are undated but it is clear from the drift of the arg (...)

66Tillotson’s exposition of the theoretical basis of the doctrine of obedience to governors may be unsatisfactory, but he is no less positive than South on the binding nature of the duty itself. One of his main accusations against the Roman Church is that by striking at the civil power it dissolves the bonds of human society and subverts peace and order in the world. He developed this theme not only in his sermon of 5 November, 1678, when the occasion would naturally lend itself to it, but in other sermons as well. It is significant, however, that he should stress the duty of obedience to the magistrate not in opposition to the Dissenters—though he occasionally says that they should submit to the civil power—but when urging Protestants to remain steadfast in their religion. Indeed, it is under James that he was led to emphasize it as he again and again exhorted men not to depart from their religion. His two sermons on The Support of Good Men under their Sufferings for Religion75 were clearly meant to encourage Protestants against coming persecutions; there he shows what support they may expect from God, and why they must resist the temptation of apostasy. What he recommends is for men to commit their souls to God’s care and custody, to do their duty and to trust in God’s help if they should be brought to extreme sufferings for religion. He lists all the cases in which men may be said to suffer for religion, i.e. for not renouncing the true religion; for making open profession of it by joining in assemblies of Christians when ordered to conceal it; for not betraying their faith by indirect means; for maintaining any necessary or fundamental articles in it; for asserting and maintaining the purity of the Christian doctrine and worship; finally for not disclaiming undoubted truths of God though it be no fundamental article of religion. The example in this last case is, as one might expect, refusal to agree silently to the doctrine of transubstantiation, which, for Tillotson and all Anglicans, undermines the foundation of certainty by disowning the right of reason and of common sense. Tillotson is equally clear on what does not constitute suffering for religion, and he expounds it as carefully as the former point, thereby distinguishing sharply between persecution for faith and for what he elsewhere calls ‘little scruples’. He does not countenance indiscreet martyrdom, and his view is characteristic of the temper of his age no less than of his own reasonableness:

  • 76 Sermon 45, p. 313.

though God may be pleased to excuse the weakness of well-meaning zeal: yet he can approve nothing but what is reasonable76.

67Men are not to expose themselves unnecessarily to danger; neither do they suffer for their faith but only “for their fancy and for the wilful and affected error of a mistaken conscience” when they suffer for indifferent things, “which in heat and passion they call superstition and idolatry”. This is zeal without knowledge, and Tillotson had shown in a sermon preached on 5 November, 1682, that this is not acceptable to God; he thus implicitly links the zeal of the Dissenters with that of the Romanists at the time of the Gunpowder plot. His third qualification, that men are not obliged at all times to make open profession of truths not necessary, once more reveals a slight confusion in his thinking for this is the same as the preceding point: the distinction between fundamentals and things indifferent, or between things necessary for salvation and things not necessary, i.e. based on mere prudential grounds. What he is at pains to stress is that men should hold their peace and not run the risk of both hurting themselves and endangering the public peace of the Church. No doubt he felt it the more necessary to urge unity among Protestants in view of the growing danger from the Romanists; at the same time the peaceful submission he thus advocates, quoting Erasmus for his purpose, shows to what lengths he was prepared to go to avoid disturbance of the peace.

68When explaining how far men may rely upon the providence of God to bear them out in such trials Tillotson grants that God sometimes suffers good men to fall “in order to their more glorious recovery”, as he did in the case of Cranmer, and that some men fail in the hour of trial out of weakness. Tillotson’s readiness to accommodate other points of view may sometimes result in confused thinking, but his charity and love of peace are surely his signal virtues, virtues which were all too rare at the time. Here he urges his hearers to refrain from passing a severe judgement on those who fail in the hour of trial, not only because God may be pleased to accept even such a degree of suffering for martyrdom, but because those who have escaped such sufferings have no right to censure others.

69Such an appeal to peace and amity among men may have sounded like readiness to compromise on most points; yet Tillotson stresses that men cannot expect support from God unless they are careful of their duty and do what is required on their part,

  • 77 Op. cit., II, ser. 46, p. 319.

that neither to avoid sufferings, nor to rescue ourselves, out of them, we do any thing contrary to our duty, and a good conscience77

70Men must neglect no lawful means to preserve themselves from sufferings, particularly they must not fall out against each other and when the enemy is at the gates pursue their heats and animosities. This, in fact, is the main burden of the two sermons: unity among Protestants to prevent the attack against their common faith. But Tillotson is equally firm in rejecting unlawful means of selfprotection, such as rebellion against the civil power:

  • 78 Ibid., p. 320.

We must not break any law of God, nor disobey the lawful commands of lawful authority, to free ourselves from any sufferings whatsoever, because the goodness of no end can sanctify evil means, and make them lawful78

71It is not clear whether he means that commands of lawful authority are as such lawful, or that only such commands of lawful authority as are lawful are to be obeyed. And, characteristically again, he blinks the difficulty; instead, he proceeds to oppose his doctrine of obedience founded in the law of God to the doctrine of equivocation and mental reservations taught by casuists of the Roman Church. He therefore ends his discourse by urging men to prayer and repentance, the only way in which they may hope to avert the present danger. Thus, even in the days when ‘that terrible storm’ was threatening the Protestant religion, Tillotson advocated nonresistance to the magistrate.

  • 79 “On 22 January, the first day of the session, a declaration of the Lords enunciated the genesis of (...)
  • 80 Among these, the Great Fire, which he says was the work of the Papists.

72Many must have found it hard to reconcile such a plea for passive obedience with the Thanksgiving Sermon for our Delivery by the Prince of Orange which Tillotson preached on 31 January, 1689, that is, before Parliament had solved the constitutional problem79; his enemies were to remember how quick he had been to change his mind about obedience to the magistrate. This sermon, delivered at Lincoln’s Inn Chapel, is likely to have contributed to sway the minds of lawyers who may still have been hesitating about the legality of the whole procedure; it certainly prepared them to accept the Declaration of Rights, on which the two Houses agreed on 12 February. As Tillotson showed, the text he chose for the occasion, Ezra IX. 13,14, was spoken at a time of public humiliation but referred to a great deliverance, and cautioned the people not to abuse God’s mercies. Thus he stressed that the nation’s sins were the cause of all their sufferings and that God had worked a deliverance for men unworthy of it; but he concentrated on the sentence threatened in case they relapsed into these sins. The sin denounced by Ezra was “joining in affinity with the people of these abominations”, and though Tillotson refrained from emphasizing this, the parallel would have been clear to his audience. Instead, he dwells on the judgements visited on the nation for their sins80, the last of which was the encouragement given to the cruel designs of the hated enemy by a prince of that religion. Only the principles of humanity and of our religion, he says,

  • 81 Op. cit., II, ser. 32, p. 324.

restrained us from Violence and Cruelty, and from every thing which had the Appearance of Undutifulness to the Government which the Providence of God had set over us81.

73Since Protestants were bound not to resist, deliverance could only come from Heaven:

  • 82 Ibid.

if God had not put it into the Hearts of our Kind Neighbours and of that incomparable Prince, who laid and conducted that Great Design with so much Skill and Secrecy, to have appear’d so seasonably to our Rescue, our Patience had infallibly, without a Miracle, been our Ruin82.

  • 83 Op. cit., I, sermon 22, preached at the Assizes held at Kingston upon Thames, 21 July, 1681. The m (...)

74Now, God had manifestly been helped by human agents in putting this into the heart of William, to whom an invitation had been sent to come to the rescue of these patient people. What is more. Tillotson must have known it. Though he may have had second thoughts about the doctrine of obedience under the pressure of events, he was disingenuous enough both to restate it now and to ignore the active part taken by some of these patient people in bringing the deliverer over to England. Indeed, he went so far as to compare this great deliverance with that effected by God on another 5 November. Yet he recommended both unity among all Protestants and moderation towards the enemies that had all but brought about the Church’s downfall. Finally, applying the words of his text, he also urged his hearers to resolve never to join in affinity with the people of these abominations. He expounded this only as referring to private marriages, but in his audience at Lincoln’s Inn there must have been many who knew that the Bill of Rights then being drafted and debated in committee would provide against a Roman Catholic king reigning in England, and against a king marrying a Papist. In fact, the applications Tillotson draws from his text clearly announce the two Acts soon to be passed: the Declaration of Rights and the Toleration Act. It is only fair to add that on 8 March next, in a sermon at Whitehall before the Queen, he advocated forgiveness of injuries, and forbearance from revenge, urging for the purpose the humanity of the Protestant religion. If the question of passive obedience gave Tillotson no more qualms than the Thanksgiving sermon suggests, then we need not wonder that having preached previously on The Lawfulness and Obligation of Oaths83 he had no difficulty in transferring his allegiance to William.

  • 84 Op. cit., II, ser. 30.
  • 85 This stress on property again echoes Locke.
  • 86 Op. cit., II, ser. 30, p. 215.

75On 29 May, 1693—the anniversary of the Restoration continued to be solemnized under William—he preached on The Duty and Reason of Praying for Governors84. After the Declaration of Rights, and in a sermon by a Latitudinarian Archbishop, we can hardly expect this duty to be based on the hierarchy of laws and the ensuing concept of the magistrate as Vicegerent of God. Indeed, Tillotson’s view of government owes more to Locke’s Treatises than to Hooker’s Laws. For him as for Locke, government is necessary to ensure the security of every man’s person and property, because otherwise human society would disband and run into confusion. This implies that for him as for Locke men naturally tend to society—though confusion may ensue—and are not, as Hobbes had argued, naturally hostile to each other. The reason why we should pray for governors is, in the Apostle’s words, “that we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty”. This comprises two things: security “in our civil rights and interests, in the quiet and peaceable possession of what is our own”85 and protection “in the free practice and exercise of religion and virtue”86. The main benefit men derive from government is thus protection of laws. Tillotson does recognize that

  • 87 Ibid., p. 216.

the edge and authority of laws may be, and sometimes is turned upon the true religion, and the sincere professors of it87

76and his answer to the objection is, to say the least, startling:

  • 88 Ibid., p. 216.

even then tho’ good Men may receive great harms and injuries from persecuting Princes and Governors; (as the primitive Christians did from several of the Roman Emperors) yet then it so happens, that good men have some considerable benefit and protection from the civil government and laws, being for the most part preserved from the fury and rage of the multitude; so that tho’particular persons undergo the tryal of cruel sufferings, yet much great [er] numbers do escape and are preserved88.

77He goes on to argue that no human law was ever made against “several of the main and essential parts of religion”, which makes one wonder if the Archbishop of Canterbury was prepared to consider that external professions of religion are not essential. If so, no wonder he was accused of Deism. What he meant, however, was what he had maintained before, that in time of persecution Christians might hope and believe that God would effect their delivery, but meanwhile

  • 89 Ibid., p. 217.

were patiently to obey and suffer... and to pray for the powers that persecuted them, that they also might be brought to the acknowledgement of the truth89.

  • 90 See David Ogg, op. cit., p. 235.

78Now, under a King whom he could trust and who was pledged by his coronation oath to govern according to ‘the statutes in parliament agreed upon, and the laws and customs of the same and to maintain ‘the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law’90, Tillotson might well consider the case of a bad ruler as a remote possibility, as remote indeed as it had been to Hooker under Elizabeth. Yet the difference in outlook is significant: governments are now intended to secure the liberty of the subject and his right to worship. A revolution had been effected in doctrines about the power of the magistrate. Yet, some traces of earlier thinking still appear in Tillotson: though he does not speak of the body politic as does South, he still envisages king and people as somehow bound in an organic connexion, so that they are often punished or rewarded for the sins or good actions of one another. In this, as in his thinking about natural law, Tillotson is wandering between two worlds. His thought reflects the confusion characteristic of a transitional age, whereas South is firmly anchored in the old order and can drive his argument to its logical though harsh conclusions. South felt that with the death of Queen Anne all that was good had left this world; Tillotson could have said even before the end of the century: “Tis well an old age is out, And time to begin a new”.


79In his defence of the acies ordinata and of ecclesiastical laws Barrow developed exactly the same argument as that on which Calvin had based the necessity for the Church to have legislative powers. Barrow was aware of this since he referred to the’chief impugners of episcopacy’ as sharing the same view. Indeed, the first part of his sermon seems to echo this passage from the Institutes:

  • 91 John Calvin: Institutes, IV, 10, quoted in François Wendel: Calvin, tr. by Philip Mairet, London, (...)

If we see it to be necessary in all companies of men that there should be some police to keep peace and concord between them, if in all things there must be some orders, to preserve a public civility and even humanity among men, then these things ought most of all to be observed in the Churches, which are maintained primarily by good order, and by discord are altogether disintegrated. Wherefore, if we would do our best for the preservation of the Church, we must diligently work so that all is done decently and in good order, even as St Paul commands. But since there are such great contrarieties of mind and of judgement between men, no police could hold together among them if it were not determined by certain laws, and no order could well maintain itself without some certain form. So far from rejecting laws that tend to this end, we indeed assert that, without them, the Churches would incontinently be dissipated and deformed91.

  • 92 François Wendel, op. cit., pp. 309-10.
  • 93 The order of events makes this clear. The Revised Prayer Book was accepted by Convocation in Decem (...)
  • 94 David Ogg, op. cit., p. 451.

80Calvin may never have contended that the temporal power should be subject to the spiritual power, but only that the ministers of the Church were to explain to the Magistracy “the requirements of the Word of God, to which the civil legislation had to conform itself”92. None the less, the experience of James I in Scotland as well as the developments of Calvinistic rule in New England revealed that Calvin’s doctrine might serve to support theocratic regimes. After the bitter years of the Interregnum, the Church could have reversed the saying of James I and proclaimed ‘No King, no Bishop’. Rather than run the risk of being reformed out of existence the Church clung to the one authority that seemed to offer a safeguard against new schemes of reformation, i.e. to the supreme governor in spiritual as well as in temporal matters. In their statements on the relation between spiritual and temporal powers divines took care not to suggest submission of the Church to the State—which would have made them disciples of Hobbes—any more than subjection of the State to the Church. What they envisaged, in fact, was an amicable collaboration between the two powers, as it had been envisaged in the Elizabethan Settlement, and was made possible again by the Restoration Settlement93. By not pressing a definite theory the Church ensured a measure of flexibility in its relation with the State. This was gained at the expense of a clear-cut definition of the rights of each, which were left as vague as the relations between the Crown and Parliament. The Church taught obedience to kings and magistrates out of conviction, not by order of the temporal power. Indeed, it may be said that “the clergy provided even more strenuous advocates of the prerogative” of the King than did such men as Clarendon or Danby94; and this was inevitable after their experience of Parliament’s reforms in the forties. The Anglican divines who accused the Church of Rome of dissolving the bands of society by striking at the temporal power—though they often added that the Roman Church only did so when it suited her policy—might well have been horrified at the blandishments of the King and the Royal family which such sober Romanists as Bossuet delivered from the pulpit. They would have revised their view of the Roman Church if they could have foreseen that the same flood that was to sweep away monarchy in France also struck at the power of the Catholic clergy, which had been the strongest support of the Ancien Regime. The Anglican clergy did resist the notion that civil authority derives from the people; most of them did sanction the theory of Divine Right; all of them taught passive obedience. But they usually granted that a king may devise bad laws, and in fact the doctrine of non-resistance was never enforced so determinedly as when they recognized that the King was ordering things repugnant to God’s law. Even such a staunch High-Churchman as South openly condemned Charles’s Declaration of Indulgence, while one looks in vain for criticism of Louis XIV in any of the sermons of the Roman clergy in France. If the Church’s doctrine of her amicable relation to the King is nowhere defined quite clearly in theory, it is surely possible to infer it both from the way in which the Church had been restored and from the practice of her divines, who were loyal supporters of the government as well as of the Church, but who did on occasion denounce the actions of the governors or censure the behaviour of people in high places. True, if they openly displeased their master, they might be dismissed from the Court, as was Burnet, but they did not lose their offices, or suffer any penalty.


81One of the clergy’s tasks was to preach on public solemnities appointed by the magistrate, when they might be expected to preach politics. Religion and politics were not two distinct spheres, and the events commemorated were bound up with the life of the Church: the anniversary of the death of the Royal Martyr, on 30 January; Royal Oak day, the anniversary of the Restoration, on 29 May; and of course the anniversary of the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, on 5 November. Under William, the victory over Louis XIV could also be celebrated as a blessing from God since it marked the defeat of the hated enemy of the Protestant religion.

  • 95 Printed below.
  • 96 There is a story that when he was one day preaching before the King at Court South banged the pulp (...)
  • 97 See Ogg, op. cit., p. 200.

82Sermons preached on 30 January involved rehearsing all the evils suffered at the hands of the Puritans and in most cases would be the occasion for outbursts of anti-fanatic zeal. South’s sermon preached at Whitehall on 30 January, 1662/3, was close enough to the dire events for him to give vent to his indignation and worst prejudices95; in it he charges the fanatics with the foulest sins, voices his contempt of them, pours ridicule on their ministers, and denounces the post-dated loyalty of the Presbyterians, who now decry the action of which they had laid the premisses. Far from sharing Barrow’s view that truth, like its master, speaks in a still small voice, he justifies his harsh words by saying that the guilt of these men has made the very strictest truths look like satires or sarcasms, and bare descriptions sharper than invectives; for him the bitterest gall is not satire, but mere propriety. Though he ended his’poor description’ of the Royal Martyr by saying that “he was the father of such a son”, he had numbered among the virtues of Charles I his temperance and his virtuous life, whereby he upbraided the Court by his example particularly in keeping the bonds of conjugal affection inviolate. Charles II could hardly have slept at this inflammatory sermon96; he certainly caught the drift of this remark and appreciated the wit of Clarendon’s chaplain, who must have known how bitterly the Chancellor had resented Charles’s intrigue with Lady Castlemaine at the time when his marriage to the Infanta was being arranged. In this sermon South violently repudiates all suggestion of indulgence towards these late rebels to the Crown, and thus openly censures Charles’s move a bare month before to secure freedom of worship for nonAnglicans97: this, says South, is the same as for a man to indulge a dropsy or a malignant fever, and he supports this view by quoting from the Defensio pro Populo Anglicano by Cromwell’s Latin Secretary, “who like a blind Adder, has spit so much poison upon the King’s person and cause”. Indeed, he went so far in his attack against the rebels as to conclude:

and therefore [I] have this only to say of the King’s Murder, that it is a thing, than which nothing can be imagined more Strange, amazing, and astonishing, except its Pardon.

  • 98 Vol. V came out in 1717, but was prepared for the press by South himself.

83He went so far indeed that when he published this sermon98 he added a note to explain that this was no “reflection upon the Act of Indemnity itself, and much less upon the Royal Author of it”; yet he had preached the very reverse of indemnity and oblivion.

84South was probably unrivalled for violence of language and unfairness to the Puritans, except by Sacheverell in the next age; but thirty-January sermons generally dealt fire and damnation on the late rebels and their successors the Dissenters. South was all too easily carried away by his zeal for the House of Christ, and all too often forgot the first command of the Master. Yet on 29 May, 1670, preaching at Westminster Abbey, he chose for his text Matt. V. 44 But I say unto you. Love your enemies. There he shows that Christ added no new precept to the moral law and that his commands are therefore of eternal obligation: Christ did not set himself against the law of Moses, he perfected it. The whole drift of the sermon is thus the binding nature of the duty to love one’s enemies, a strange theme, one might think, for South to develop. As he explains the nature of the duty enjoined by Christ, he is, however, careful to point out that this does not annul the right to self-defence, for, as he puts it in his own pregnant way,

  • 99 Op. cit., III, ser. 3, p. 119.

though I am commanded when my Enemy thirsts to give him Drink, yet it is not when he thirsts for my Blood99.

85Hence, he once more reiterates his warning that princes are in duty bound to secure themselves against insurrections. Though he preaches mercy, he does not recommend oblivion.

  • 100 Year unknown.
  • 101 Additional... Sermons, XI, ser. 2. The Text, Hab. ii, 12 Wo to him that buildeth a town with blood(...)

86In another sermon preached on 30 January100 and published after his death and possibly preached under James101, South explains that the curse foretold by the prophet had its source in “the crying crimson sin of bloodshed” committed by the nation. Though bloodshed is punishable by bloodshed, he says, it is only for God’s deputies to use the sword of justice, and it is only for God to punish princes: for private persons to use the sword against princes is sin and merits the curse of God. To preserve society men put themselves under government, and the governor is made trustee by God to secure men in the free possession and enjoyment of their lives. The governor who wrings away a man’s estate is accountable to God as a thief, but the subjects have no right to revenge,

  • 102 Ibid., p. 60

for not all the Calvins, Bezas, Knoxes, Buchanans, or Paraeus’s in Christendom with all their principles of Anarchy and Democracy... can by any solid reason make out the lawfulness of subjects taking up arms against their Prince102.

87Such rebels have always brought the curse of God upon themselves, as well appears from the shortness of the government they set up in this country:

  • 103 Ibid., p. 64.

within five years their infant commonwealth expired; and in five years more Cromwell’s mushroom monarchy was at an end103.

88To speak severe words of these traitors is not to exercise private revenge on them; it is charity to posterity to make them dread the imitation of such villanies. In the circumstances the harshest terms are the properest.

  • 104 Op. cit., V, ser. 6, p. 272.

89For all his loyalty to the King as supreme governor, South could never forbear to criticize measures that he deemed bad. In the sermon he preached at Westminster Abbey in 1672 on the Anniversary of the Restoration he developed the theme of the unsearchable ways of God’s judgements and denounced the ways in which the self-styled prophets of the preceding age had interpreted the course of events. To conclude he stressed the folly of making the presumed success of an enterprise a rule of acting, and instanced this in the terrible guilt of Charles I in acquiescing in the impeachment and death of Strafford in the hope that the effect would be good, whereas, says South, it was the King’s clear duty to follow his conscience and protect his loyal servant. South recommended lawful, religious courses as the only ground on which to hope for God’s blessings, for he said, we cannot expect God’s mercy while atheism, profaneness and irreligion flourish, or, which is worse, when all religions are countenanced104. Even on such an occasion South could not silently acquiesce in the decisions of the King and clearly repudiated the recent Declaration of Indulgence.

  • 105 Year unknown.

90In another sermon preached on 29 May at Westminster Abbey105, on Ps. CVI. 7 Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt, he extolled the Providence of God in the government of the world, especially in the affairs of the Church, as instanced in the miraculous deliverance from the swarms of locusts that had pestered the land. Not only was such help undeserved, he says, but since then our vices have grown to monstrous heights. Such miraculous deliverance was not effected so that men should live in idleness and luxury:

  • 106 Additional... Sermons, IX, ser. 4, pp. 122-3.

God neither dried up the sea, to bring the Israelites into a land flowing with milk and honey, that they might debauch, revel, and surfeit upon that mercy: nor did he, by a miracle as great, reinstate a company of poor, distressed exiles in the possession of their native country, that they should live at that rate of vanity and superfluity, that the world now a-days cries out upon them for. God did not work wonders to cloath and feed a few worthless parasites with the riches of a Kingdom, to fill their cups with the blood of orphans and the tears of the widows. God did not intend that so universal a blessing, big enough for us all, should be diverted under ground, into the obscure, narrow channel of a few private purses; leaving so many loyal, suffering, undone persons, to sigh and mourn over their destitute condition, in the day of a publick joy. God did not restore us to scoff at religion, and to malign his church, as if the nation and the government might stand well enough without a church, but not without plays106.

91Thus did South treat his polite audience at Westminster Abbey. Charles must have been tolerant indeed not to reprove this loyal minister for thus glancing at the use of public moneys “to clothe and feed a few worthless parasites”, or fill a few private purses, including those of the King’s mistresses. South anticipates Defoe’s excoriating attack in The Review against men’s readiness to give money to see Hamlet but not to restore a chapel; but the gilded youth that surrounded the King patronized plays of quite a different nature from Hamlet, and there were many Buckinghams or Rochesters among South’s audience at Westminster Abbey.

92Such sermons preached on official occasions to select members of the ruling class cast an interesting light on the supposed subjection of the Church to the temporal power; they help us to define, better than any theory would, the true relation between Church and State after the Restoration. Incidentally, they also account for the ease with which Dryden could tell the story of the unruly Israelites under a monarch who

His vigorous warmth did, variously, impart
To Wives and Slaves; And, wide as his Command,
Scattered his Maker’s Image through the Land.

93Charles’s high esteem for South may well have led him to allow this preacher the liberty which kings used to grant their licensed fools, and we may guess that few divines had either the wit or the courage to speak their minds as freely as South did, supposing that they had such forthright views to put forward. We need only turn to the sermon Barrow preached on 29 May, 1676, to see that some divines confined themselves to enforcing the duty of obedience to, and prayer for, kings and all in authority. In listing the many reasons for this duty Barrow shows that it is an act of charity to the public since the safety of the prince is a great part of the common welfare, even if he is a bad prince. Even the worst of princes, he says, are preferable to want of government, which can only lead to anarchy. Moreover, prayer is the only allowable way of redressing our case if we suffer by, or for, princes; they are not accountable to us, or liable to our correction; we may not even rail at them nor tax their actions, nor complain or murmur against them, for all this is impiety towards God, whose representatives they are. All these sins were committed in the late times, as if, Barrow adds,

  • 107 Op. cit., I, ser. 10, p. 135.

God being implored by Prayer, could not, or would not, had it been needfull, without such irregular courses, have redressed those evils in Church or State, which they pretended to feel, or fear107.

94Even under Nero Paul prescribed prayer for the magistrate; all men can and may do in any circumstances is to beseech God for His blessings. Besides, says Barrow, it has been the practice of the Church in all times, except of the Roman Church, which is more sparing in this service

  • 108 Ibid., p. 137.

for that a superlative regard to the Solar or Pontifical Authority (as Pope Innocent III distinguished) did obscure their devotion to the Lunar or Regal Majesty108.

95He grants that the Church of England may be accused of being too lavish in her prayers for kings, but, he adds, it is a good fault, particularly in the present state of affairs, since times of danger are most seasonable for having recourse to God’s help and mercy in prayer. And the danger is only too clear with the growth of atheism, of profaneness and of dissoluteness of manners, when so many violate the laws and dare to create factions and feuds. As usual Barrow avoids all topical references, so that it is hard to say what particular factions and feuds he has in mind, although there had been considerable trouble since Parliament had reassembled in 1675. What is more important is that Barrow confines himself to the duty in general and states most clearly that subjects may not even discuss the actions of the magistrate. In spite of his peaceful temper Barrow could be more rigid in his doctrine of obedience than South proved to be in practice. On the other hand, he preached no thirty-January sermon, though on occasion he could be hard enough on the Puritans.

  • 109 Tillotson himself published 54 sermons. His chaplain, Ralph Barker, published 200 more after the A (...)
  • 110 Op. cit., III, ser. 142.
  • 111 Op. cit., II, ser. 30.
  • 112 After 1689 the 5th of November was consecrated to the memory of both the discovery of the Gunpowde (...)

96Of the 250 published sermons of Tillotson109 only two seem to have been preached on the Anniversary of the Restoration, and none on 30 January. Of the two sermons on 29 May, one was preached on Ascension day towards the end of the reign of Charles II, his editor tells us110; here Tillotson merely mentions the occasion at the beginning and at the end of the sermon, as a further cause to bless God, who by restoring the King has given a great security to the true religion. The other111 was delivered in 1693. The glory of the day commemorating God’s mercy “in ending intestine wars”, he says, has been not a little sullied since, but rather than rake up all these troubles he will rejoice in the happiness England now enjoys under Their present Majesties, by whom the country has been delivered of a great danger to religion and to the laws of the country. William and Mary clearly wished the apostolic succession not to be broken and therefore ordered that 29 May should continue to be solemnized112. Tillotson’s sermon develops approximately the same points as Barrow’s, though much more briefly, but as we saw, reveals a new orientation in political thinking in his definition of the aims of civil government.

97Sermons on the Gunpowder Plot denounced the other kind of traitors, those who, being absolved by Rome of allegiance to their lawful sovereign, had plotted against the government of the country and were thought to be still plotting to subvert its laws. There is the smell of sulphur in most of these sermons, but the emphasis varies according to circumstances as well as according to the particular bent of the preacher. In 1673 Barrow chose for his text Ps. LXIV. 9,10, which refers to the designs of Saul upon David’s life and to David’s rescue by the special providence of God. The main burden of his sermon is the duty to wisely consider God’s doing. In developing this theme he stresses the necessity to exercise our reason on all important occasions in which God’s providence manifests itself so that we may render Him due glory; but he also warns men against imputing to God what is in fact the work of His free agents. This is clearly directed against the Puritans’habit of seeing God’s special hand in all sorts of events and of interpreting them to their own advantage (South also said that they were prompt to see God’s hand in the naval victories of 1652 and 1653, but loth to admit it in similar victories after the Restoration). Barrow then lists all the marks by which men may recognize the working of Providence, and he infers the duties incumbent upon men to fear God, to declare His work, to express religious joy in the effects of Providence, etc. Only at the end does he apply these duties to the occasion; he refrains from exploiting it to stir contention or cast opprobrium on the Romanists even though the Declaration of Indulgence had been the cause of such heated discussions in Parliament in the early months of the year, and was generally attributed in the country at large to Charles’s leanings towards Rome. Here, then, as in his later Royal-Oak-day sermon, Barrow kept out of politics and of controversy though he must already have been gathering material for his refutation of the claims of Rome. Like Wilkins (who for a while had also been Master of Trinity College), he believed that all contentious matters should be kept out of sermons; above all he wished to further concord. His sermon on the Gunpowder Plot may be all the more edifying, but it has none of the liveliness that such a lusty contender as South could bring to the matter.

98The scourge of the fanatics also turned upon the other enemy of the Church, and for him as for Barrow the commemoration of the Gunpowder Plot was the occasion to expound the doctrine of obedience and the principles on which it rests. He did not, however, limit himself to bare statements of the whys and wherefores; he attacked the opposite theories and showed that the Puritans and the Romanists were at one in contending that the civil power must be subject to the spiritual. South taught non-resistance, but he did not blink the fact that the nature of the prince was all important. The earliest of his sermons on the Gunpowder Plot, preached at Westminster Abbey in 1663, is more anti-Puritan than one might expect on such an occasion. His text is Rom. XIII. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subjects, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake, which he expounds to show that men are subject to princes not only as they are liable to punishment, but as they are bound in conscience to submit to the magistrate. The drift of the whole sermon is therefore to impugn the plea of conscience as much as the plea that princes are subject to the Pope. The whole chapter of St. Paul’s epistle, he says, was intended to enjoin the binding precepts of allegiance to Christians who were then the subjects of a monster, Nero. The reason given by the Apostle is that obedience to the magistrate is obedience to God at the second hand: even a vile magistrate is still an officer by God’s institution. At this stage, then, he is prepared to say that such divinity doth hedge a king that

  • 113 Given seventeenth-and eighteenth-century punctuation, it is difficult to say whether South means “ (...)
  • 114 Op. cit., V, ser. 5, p. 206.

We are therefore to overlook all Impieties, and Defects, which cannot invalidate the Function113. Though Nero deserves worthily to be abhorred, yet still the Emperor is, and ought to be sacred114.

99To allow a man’s conscience to decide which command is lawful and which is not, is to place the legislative power in that man’s conscience and to make the subject have a prerogative against the laws. Resistance to the civil magistrate is ‘absolutely unlawful’, a mortal sin, and this is grounded both in reason and in Scripture.

100The Apostle says that “The Powers that are, are ordained of God”, and resistance is

  • 115 Ibid., p. 211.

the Violation of Government, which is the very Soul and Support of the Universe, and the Imitation of Providence. Every lawful Ruler holds the Government by a certain Deputation from God; and the Commission, by which he holds it, is his Word. This is the Voice of Scripture, this is the Voice of Reason115.

101This is the argument we have encountered before, and it is aimed at the private judgement asserting itself against the law of reason, which reflects the law of God. This doctrine, says South, has been impugned by the sons of Rome and by their offspring, the sons of Geneva. To recount the pernicious doctrines of Rome would be “the stirring of a great sink”, yet he does quote a number of texts from bulls and Councils to prove that Rome means to make princes slaves to popes; and he adds many examples to show that the popes have in fact deposed kings and stirred rebellion against them, from Henry IV of Germany to Queen Elizabeth. This doctrine, he says, has been confirmed by the Council of Trent, and the clearest comment on it is the Gunpowder Plot. Further, the Popish religion exempts the clergy from the jurisdiction of Kings, “be their crimes what they will”, so that a king cannot punish them,

  • 116 Ibid., p. 218.

So that the King, for any thing that he has to do in these Matters, may sit and blow his Nails; for use them otherwise, he cannot. He may indeed be plotted against, have Barrels of Powder laid, and Poniards prepared for him: But to punish the sacred Actors of these Villanies, that is reserved only to him, who gave the first Command for the doing them116.

102Here in fact, better than in any theoretical treatment of the subject, we grasp the true source of the doctrine of obedience to the prince. A law there must be, and a chief governor to enforce it: on this all that recognize the need for government are agreed. In face of the conflicting claims to supremacy of the spiritual and the temporal ruler, the choice was clear given the experience of history. The whole weight of English history and the memory of the many encroachments of the Papacy on the jurisdiction of kings, whether under Henry II or under Elizabeth, lay behind the Church of England’s doctrine of obedience to the King. History could not be reversed; the prerogative of the King was justified by as strong arguments from the past as could be found for the rights of Parliament in the development of common law.

103But this is no mere anti-popish sermon, and South next addresses himself to the “true seed” of the sons of Rome, those of Geneva. After quoting texts from “the great Mufti of Geneva”, from Beza, Knox, Buchanan, and Paraeus, he finally descends to the dregs, ‘the English Genevizers’, who, by the favour of Providence were given full scope to demonstrate what a monster Puritanism is, such a monster indeed that

  • 117 Ibid., p. 226.

if any Christian Prince should hereafter forget the English Rebellion, and himself, so far as to be deceived with those stale, thread-bare baffled Pretences of Conscience, and Reformation, he would fall in a great measure unpitied, as a Martyr to his sensless Fondness, and a Sacrifice to his own Credulity117

104Charles could not have been told more plainly that his late attempt (December 1662) to implement his Declaration of Breda was the action of a senseless, credulous fool. Thus much respect did South have for the person of the King in a sermon expounding the sacredness of the King’s office.

105He was to give an even clearer warning in 1675, once again from the pulpit of Westminster Abbey. In this sermon South once more stresses that government is

  • 118 Op. cit., III, ser. 12, p. 472.

a thing perfectly Divine, both as to its Original and Continuance in the World118.

106God invests princes with certain marks and rays of His divine image to overawe and control the spirits of men;

  • 119 Ibid., p. 473.

this is that properly which in Kings we call Majesty, and which no doubt is a kind of Shadow or Portraiture of the Divine Authority drawn upon the Looks and Persons of Princes119.

107He could hardly have gone further in defining the divinity that hedges kings; yet he may have overemphasized it just because he was not so sure that the shadow of divine authority was drawn upon the person of the present prince. At any rate he took care to say that kings are sent into the world not only to rule but to obey, that no prerogative can bar piety, nor exempt them from using discretion in choosing wise counsellors. The theme of this sermon, in fact, is the duties of kings rather than the duties of subjects, and South shows from the beginning that the two are inseparable. Monarchy is best adapted to the ends of government, he says, but

  • 120 Ibid., p. 480.

the Greatness and Strength of a Monarchy depends chiefly upon the personal qualifications of the Prince or Monarch120.

108Even though God does bestow extraordinary qualities on those who are to rule in His name, yet it is the bounden duty of princes to use these gifts. Charles could not have missed the drift of the argument, especially of the last point, that God saves princes by disposing their hearts to virtuous and pious courses. South here invokes the example of the Royal Martyr, and almost says like Hamlet “Look here, upon this picture, and on this”. Monarchy may be the image of divine supremacy, the kingly office may be sacred, but

  • 121 Ibid., p. 483.

it is the Person that makes the Place considerable, and not the Place him121.

109If South was clear-sighted enough to see, and courageous enough to suggest, that Charles came short of the divine image, his love for him was no less deep. One way by which God saves sovereign princes, he says, is

  • 122 Ibid., p. 467.

by wonderfully inclining the Hearts and Wills of Men to a benign Affection towards them122.

110God alone can turn the hearts of a nation “suddenly and irresistibly”: thus was David brought back to his throne after he had fled from Absalom, thus was England’s banished David brought back in the year sixty. At the same time, however, South clearly warns Charles that God can sway the hearts of the people away from princes, as He did when the kingdom was rent from the House of David and transferred to Jeroboam. It is affection that must bind, for then allegiance is easy. For all his violent denunciation of the rebels, South here suggests that the troubles grew from disaffection to the King, and the advice to Charles is clear, not to alienate his subjects’ hearts. What he has in mind appears from the inferences he draws from his theme: the duty and behaviour both of princes towards God, and of subjects towards their prince, which he applies to the present King. Charles was rescued from danger in the day of battle and followed by Providence into banishment, where

  • 123 Ibid., p. 491.

neither the barbarous Injuries of his Rebel Subjects at home, nor the Temptations of Foreign Princes abroad, nor all the Arts of Rome besides, could in his great Extremity bring [him] over to the Romish Profession123;

111since his return out to Egypt he

  • 124 Ibid.

still continues in the same Communion, which he was in when he went from us, Carolus a Carolo, firm and immoveable like the Son of a Father, who could rather part with his Crowns, Kingdoms, and his very Life, than quit his Honour or give up his Religion124

112If Charles was hoping soon to declare himself openly a Roman Catholic, then he was told kindly but firmly that this was the surest way to alienate his subjects’hearts and to be driven on his foreign travels once more. To South non-resistance was one thing, compliance quite another, and he thought it his business to tell his sovereign what was repugnant to God’s law or to the Church’s, whose governor he was.

113South’s third Gunpowder sermon was preached on the day William landed at Torbay; this is not really an anti-popery sermon, though the main theme, God’s complaint for the remissness of his people, is developed to the accompaniment of the storm threatening to overwhelm these ungrateful Israelites: unless they amend, God will take away their laws and their military force, i.e. favour the projects of James tending to destroy English laws and to restore Roman Catholicism in England.

  • 125 Op. cit., II, sermons 2 and 3.
  • 126 Op. cit., II, sermons 4 to 9.
  • 127 Op. cit., II, ser. 12.
  • 128 Op. cit., II, ser. 67.
  • 129 Op. cit., II, sermons 33, 34 and 35.
  • 130 Op. cit., II, sermons 45 and 46.
  • 131 Op. cit., II, ser. 72, p. 532.
  • 132 Cp. with his credulousness about the Popish Plot and the Great Fire.
  • 133 Op. cit, I, ser. 19 (1678); II, ser. 28 (1682); II, ser. 29 (1686); II, 49 (1688); III, ser. 192 ( (...)

114If Tillotson delivered only two sermons on the anniversary of the Restoration, he preached several on the Gunpowder Plot. These mark him as the sturdy advocate of the Protestant cause, as do many of his sermons, e.g. his vindication of the Protestant religion from the charge of novelty, his discourse on Transubstantiation, his sermons on Stedfastness in religion125 or constancy in the profession of the true religion126 on the danger of apostasy from the true religion127 or from Christianity128, on honesty as the best preservative against dangerous mistakes in religion129, or on the support of good men under their sufferings for religion130 (several of these were preached before Princess Anne to encourage her in resisting the influence of her father’s entourage). Though he once said that stirring up men’s passions was like muddying of waters131, he seems to have had no objection to stirring anti-popish zeal. Indeed, the reader soon wearies of his repeated attacks on the slightest opportunity, especially as they usually develop along the self-same lines. Tillotson might well have been called the scourge of the Romanists. If in this he is no worse than South, the effect is altogether different, for Tillotson everywhere champions sweet reasonableness and speaks in a sober tone, so that his prejudices against the Romanists appear to issue not from the heat of his passion, but from his narrow-mindedness. His attacks are not flashes of wit, but rather of bad temper. South could be sharp when scourging any vice or error; Tillotson, it seems, was prepared to overlook many errors for the sake of peace except those of Rome, and he could then resort to language no doubt less pungent than South’s but often more injurious. However serious his objections to Roman Catholic doctrines as impugning and forbidding freedom of inquiry, his reiterated criticism of such points as the—supposed—worship of saints and images suggests that he was probably unable to see beyond his own limited horizon132, an impression which, for all his unfairness, South never gives. It is only fair to add that Tillotson only published one of his Gunpowder sermons; in giving to the public all that his master had left behind Ralph Barker really did the Archbishop a disservice, for Tillotson when seeing his sermons through the press occasionally left out passages which he had used elsewhere, and which to the reader would have been mere repetitions. It would therefore be tedious to rehearse all his attacks against Rome, and we need only consider the main themes he developed in his sermons on the Gunpowder Plot133.

  • 134 The parallel was particularly apt in view of what was feared in those days. “Parliament reassemble (...)

115The one sermon on this occasion which he published was preached in 1678 to the House of Commons, and develops the theme of love and goodwill among men. Christ came to bring peace, he says, and all revengeful feelings are contrary to the Gospel; nor can they be excused upon any pretence of zeal for God and religion. The Church of Rome cannot plead for her cruelty to men any reason stronger than that which the disciples might have pleaded when Christ rebuked them saying “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of”. In applying the doctrine he warns his hearers to beware of a Church which countenances such unchristian spirit, which extirpates heretics with sword and fire, and which deposes kings and absolves subjects from obedience to them. The ‘bloody design’ commemorated on 5 November was consonant with these doctrines, and could not have been baffled without a miracle from God, as he hopes the present design will be134. In the circumstances it is understandable that Tillotson should have been carried away by his indignation, so far indeed that he had to check himself to remember his text

  • 135 Op. cit., I, ser. 19, p. 182.

and take heed to imitate that Spirit which is there condemned, whilst I am inveighing against it135.

116He granted that there were among Papists several persons of great piety and charity—and this was granting far more than many people would have done in these troubled months—but he insisted that the principles of that religion could only abet such hellish designs:

  • 136 Ibid., P. 182.

I doubt not but Papists are made like other Men. Nature hath not generally given them such savage and cruel Dispositions, but their Religion hath made them so... ’tis very true, That many Papists would have been excellent persons and very good Men, if their Religion had not hindered them136.

117Though his main theme was peace and goodwill towards men, though he said:

  • 137 Ibid. On October 31, 1678, “the Commons resolved ‘that there has been and still is a damnable and (...)

I speak not this to exasperate You, worthy Patriots and the great Bulwark of our Religion, to any unreasonable or unnecessary, much less unchristian Severity against them137,

118it is doubtful whether his sermon did further fairness of judgement; it did not discourage his hearers from proceeding to the judicial murder of several supposed traitors. Tillotson did acknowledge at the end of his sermon that he had been “transported upon this argument somewhat beyond his usual temper”, but he thought the occasion of the day and the present circumstances would bear him out.

119Comparison between South’s Gunpowder sermon in 1663 and Tillotson’s in 1682 at once reveals both the difference between the two men and the changed circumstances: while the one condemned the doctrines of both Puritans and Romanists, the other exemplifies zeal without knowledge almost exclusively from the practice of the Romanists and only briefly censures zeal about things indifferent; while South preaches obedience to the magistrate Tillotson enforces the duty of inquiry so that our zeal may be according to knowledge, and his conclusion is:

  • 138 Op. cit., II, ser. 28, p. 206.

God hath given us understandings to try and examine things, and the light of his word to direct us in this tryal; and if we will judge rashly, and suffer ourselves to be hurried by prejudice or passion, the errors of our judgement become faults of our lives138.

120Free inquiry after truth versus ignorance and inquisition is again the theme of Tillotson’s 1684 sermon. The great vindication of the Protestant religion, he says, is that it is ready to submit to an impartial examination; the reason why some are so concerned to suppress truth is because their doctrines and deeds might be discovered; he links this secrecy with the black and hellish design of the Gunpowder Plot, and also reminds his hearers of another dark design, the Popish Plot.

121In 1686, on the other hand, he chose for his text Christ’s words of comfort to the Apostles against coming persecutions (John XVI. 2). The burden of his sermon is therefore clear from the outset and his oblique references to the Church of Rome suffice to persuade his hearers that they need not fear the sentence of excommunication pronounced against them since they are in the right while their enemies are swayed by self-conceit. The attack on the Romanists is no less clear for being indirect, but Tillotson’s main purpose is obviously to encourage Protestants to remain steadfast in their religion because the Church of Rome plainly ignores the central truths of the Christian religion.

122His 1688 sermon is based on the parallel between the Romanists and the Pharisees, whom Christ reproved by saying “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice”. There he demonstrates that Christ did not intend to undermine natural religion, but to perfect it, and in doing so he comes dangerously near to Deism when he asserts that the Christian religion in its prescriptive part is “almost wholly made up of moral duties” and has very little in it

  • 139 Op. cit., II, ser. 49, p. 350.

that is merely positive and instituted, besides the two Sacraments, and praying to God in the name and mediation of Jesus Christ139.

123Only in the application does he turn to the occasion of the day, to show that the Romanists release men from their natural duties, by killing men or inciting others to kill men to do God’s service. No zeal for positive religion, Tillotson says, can justify the violation of the natural law: the corrupted doctrine of the Church of Rome was manifested this day fourscore years ago, when indeed there was a prodigious sacrifice; but where was mercy? He thus turns the argument for natural as above ceremonial laws to the purpose of the day, but the main theme he develops is in no way warped by the occasion for which it was selected. In fact, as one reads this sermon one is struck by Tillotson’s detachment from the events; it is almost as though he no longer felt the danger that had prompted him to offer comfort to his Protestant hearers two years before. And one cannot help wondering if he knew that relief was coming, that in fact it had all but arrived.

124As ministers of a Church established by law and governed by the King, Anglican divines were committed to preaching politics, but their amicable relations with the temporal power were not unruffled. They were in no way Statists, even if they stressed, as Tillotson did, that religion is the best safeguard of government. From the safe retreat of Trinity College Barrow could look upon the contentions of the time as utterly to be abhorred. Neither South nor Tillotson could ignore the pressure of events or the threats to the Church. South could speak his mind freely against the governor’s ill-advised measures, while Tillotson was all too keenly aware of the danger of Romanism and of the support given to it at Court. When the assault on the established Church became the unmistakable object of the King’s policy, both did, in their several ways, denounce the danger though they still regarded it as unlawful for subjects to take up arms against the magistrate. They did not teach civil disobedience, but their obedience then might well be called passive loyalty. So far had the folly of James altered their temper that even High-Churchmen like South could, though after deep heart-searchings, transfer their allegiance to another sovereign.


1 See Godfrey Davies, op. cit.; William Haller, op. cit.; A.E. Barker, op. cit.; A.S.P. Woodhouse: Puritanism and Liberty. Being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts, with Supplementary Documents, London, 1938; Don M. Wolfe: Milton in the Puritan Revolution, London, 1941.

2 For the debates on religious toleration or accommodation in 1643-1645, see Ernest Sirluck’s Introduction to vol. II of The Complete Prose Works of John Milton, (1643-1648), ed. cit., 1959. The Heads of the Proposals submitted to Charles I by the Council of Officers in 1647 included religious toleration; but the Presbyterians were no more ready to support the claims of their bitter enemies in 1659 than they had been at the time of the New Model Army’s victories. On toleration in England, see W.K. Jordan: The Development of Religious Toleration in England, London, 1932-1940 (vol. III). On toleration in the sixteenth century, see Joseph Lecler, S. J. : Histoire de la Tolerance au Siecle de la Reforme, Paris, 1955 (vol. II).

3 On Erastus, see Ruth Wesel-roth: Thomas Erastus, Lahr (Baden), 1954. The Elizabethan Act of Supremacy made the Queen “the only supreme governor of this realm, as well in all spiritual and ecclesiastical things or causes as temporal”, Elizabeth had been loth to accept her father’s title of ‘supreme head in earth of the Church of England’. Selden remarked: “There’s a great deal of difference between Head of the Church and Supreme Governor, as our canons call the King. Conceive it thus: there is in this kingdom of England a College of Physicians. The King is supreme governor of those but not head of them, nor President of the College, nor the best physician.” (quoted in H.R. Trevor-Roper: Archbishop Laud, London, 1962, p. 101). As Stephen Neill says, the difference was more than one of words: “In fact, the greater precision of the Elizabethan definition was very important indeed. Late medieval theory distinguished very clearly between potestas ordinis, the spiritual or sacramental authority mediated to the bishop or priest in his ordination but derived directly from Christ, and the potestas jurisdictions, the administrative authority by which the Church was ordered. Critics of the English Church had maintained, and sometimes still imagine, that the secular rulers of England have claimed priestly powers within the Church. Elizabeth was rightly concerned to make it plain that this was not so; though it has to be admitted that she allowed to herself a characteristically Tudor liberty in the interpretation of the limits of the potestas jurisdictions”. Op. cit., p. 102. The position is not unlike that of the Gallicans in the seventeenth century. For attempts at union between the Gallican and the Anglican churches in the early eighteenth century, see N. Sykes, op. cit., pp. 196-207.

4 Op. cit., pp. 139-42.

5 A Bill brought in to implement the Declaration of Breda was thrown out by the Commons in October 1660.

6 As Bosher remarks, Reynolds should be considered as an Anglican Conformist rather than as a moderate Presbyterian. Op. cit., p. 118. Reynolds had been restored as Dean of Christ Church, to replace the Independent John Owen, when the Presbyterians ejected by Pride’s Purge in 1648 were restored to Parliament by Monck in 1659.

7 H.M. Gwatkin: Church and State in England to the Death of Queen Anne, London, 1917, p. 350.

8 Venner’s rising in January 1661, to set up the Fifth Monarchy in London, partly accounts for the extreme violence of these measures.

9 In the sixteenth and early seventeenth century foreign (and occasionally Scottish) Presbyterian ministers were sometimes licensed to administer the sacraments in the Church of England. After the 1662 Act of Uniformity, however, episcopal ordination was ‘indispensable for all present and future holders of any ecclesiastical office whatsoever in the Church of England’. N. Sykes, op. cit., p. 116. Re-ordination of Presbyterian ministers was the stumblingblock in all discussions about comprehension after the Restoration. See Richard Baxter: Reliquiae Baxterianae, ed. M. Sylvester, London, 1696, pt. III.

10 Op. cit., p. 354.

11 Sec G.R. Gragg, op. cit.

12 On these, see P.G. Rogers: The Fifth Monarchy Men, London, 1966.

13 Robert South, op. cit., I, ser. 7.

14 See his sermons on The Fatal Imposture and Force of Words, op. cit., II, ser. 9; VI, sermons 1 and 2.

15 Op. cit., V, ser. 2, printed below.

16 For his bequests to Christ Church College and other legacies to support poor students, see his Will, first published by E. Curll in the Posthumous Works, London, 1717. The author of the ‘Memoirs of the Life of Dr. Robert South’ relates that as rector of Islip South received “200 1. per Annum, 100 of which, out of his Generous Temper he allow’d to the Reverend Mr. Penny, (Student of Christ Church) his Curate, and the other, he expended in Educating and Apprenticing the Poorer Children of that Place”, Memoirs of the Life of the Late Rereverend Dr. South, London, 1721, p. 106.

17 Op. cit., III, ser. 5.

18 Charles issued his Declaration of Indulgence on March 15, 1672, and declared war on the States General on March 17. Parliament was to meet in the autumn, and eventually met in February 1673. “The Commons concerned themselves at first... with a violation of their privileges”, including the King’s Declaration. “They presented an address (Feb. 14, 1673) declaring that penal laws in matters ecclesiastical could be suspended only by parliament; this they coupled with a resolution to bring in a Bill of Relief for Protestant dissenters, a proposal which was narrowed in committee to ‘ease for Protestant subjects that will subscribe to the doctrines of the Church of England and take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy’”. David Ogg: England in the Reign of Charles II, I, 365. The drift of South’s argument shows that he was equally opposed to the Bill of Relief since, unlike the Commons, he was not pleading infringement of Parliamentary prerogatives.

19 Op. cit., III, p. 186.

20 Op. cit., II, ser. 12.

21 Again by implicitly equating the Act of Toleration and the Declaration of Indulgence he suggests that the two are intended to relieve both Roman Catholics and Dissenters rather than to further peace among all Protestants. This was certainly good strategy, but it expressed more than South’s partisan zeal: Pope Innocent XI is said to have set greater hopes for relief of the Roman Catholics on William’s policy of toleration than on the determination of James II to give all key-posts to Romanists: “So it came about, that William’s expedition for the deliverance of Protestantism in England had not only the Pope’s approval but his active help, for it was he who brought the Emperor Leopold to full concurrence in it”. Gwatkin, op. cit., p. 370. It should be added, however, that the Pope was then at loggerheads with James’s ‘paymaster’, Louis XIV. See D. Ogg: England in the Reign of James II and William III, pp. 206-7.

22 Op. cit., II, ser. 12, p. 447.

23 Op. cit., V, ser. 12. A manuscript copy of this sermon (not in South’s own hand) now in the Bodleian Library (MS. Carte 206) bears the date 4 Aug., 1710. The 1716 pirated edition says that it was “preached in the last century”, Curll mentions no date in his edition of it in the Posthumous Works (1717). The date 1710 suggests that the sermon is related to the wave of High-Church feeling aroused by the Whigs’impeachment of Dr. Sacheverell, which brought the Tories back into power; on the other hand, South writing to Dr. Sloane on 31 May, 1712, mentions the “paralytick blow” he had suffered “two years since” which had deprived him “of the plainnesse and freedome of (his) speech”. (British Museum Additional MS. 4043). It is hard to determine the date from internal evidence since South revised his sermons for publication and occasionally added topical references which are sometimes anachronistic (see ‘Note on the Text’, below). Besides, before 1711 Occasional Conformity Bills had been “repeatedly passed by Tories in the House of Commons and regularly defeated in the Lords by the Whig bishops”. G.R. Cragg: The Church and the Age of Reason, Harmonsworth, 1960, p. 62.

24 If the sermon was indeed preached in 1710 it must have contributed to the passing of the Occasional Conformity Bill (1711) “which punished with ruinous fines any man who, having qualified for State or municipal office by taking the Sacrament in an Anglican Church, afterwards attended a place of Nonconformist worship” (G.M. Trevelyan: History of England, London, 19483, p. 500). In the sermon on The Virtuous Education of Youth, which South had prepared to preach at Westminster School in 1685 and which he published in the same volume (sermon 1, possibly revised for publication), he had urged his hearers to employ the utmost of their power and interest, “both with King and Parliament, to suppress, utterly to suppress and extinguish, those private, blind, conventicling Schools or Academies of Grammar and Philosophy, set up and taught secretly by Fanaticks, here and there all the Kingdom over” (vol. V, p. 41). This was the purpose of the Schism Act, passed by the Tories in 1714, which “took away from Dissenters the education of their own children, which was to be handed over to persons licensed by Bishops of the Established Church. The many excellent schools that the Non-conformists had established at their own cost were to be suppressed and their teachers turned adrift” (G.M. Trevelyan, op. cit., p. 500). Only the fall of the Tories on the death of Queen Anne prevented “this peculiarly odious and unnatural form of religious persecution” (ibid.). No wonder that on the death of Queen Anne South told a friend “That it was Time for him to prepare for his Journey to a blessed Immortality; since all that was Good, and Gracious, and the very Breath of his Nostrils had made its Departure to the Regions of Bliss, and Eternal Happiness” (Memoirs of the Life of the Late Reverend Dr. South, ed. by E. Curll, London, 17212, p. 138). South was the friend of Francis Atterbury, “the principal high church firebrand” in Convocation (Neill, op. cit., p. 179), and requested him to perform the last office at his burial (see Memoirs, p. 138).

25 Op. cit., V, ser. 12, p. 473.

26 David Ogg maintains that “Almost at the first suspicion of this danger, the doctrine [of non-resistance] was thrown over and that too, not by obscure clerics, but by seven bishops. Their protest against being required to order their subordinates to read the Declaration of Indulgence made nonsense of the doctrine of Non Resistance”; yet Ogg defines this doctrine as follows: “Resistance to the lawful King is both wicked and sacrilegious; obedience is due to his lawful commands, and submission to those that are otherwise.” England in the Reigns of James II and William III, p. 167. It is clear that by enjoining the bishops to order their clergy to read the Declaration, James was requiring more than passive obedience to an unlawful command, and the petition of the seven bishops made this clear. The distinction is not unlike the distinction South draws between human laws which allow, but do not require, things contrary to the law of God: for all his opposition to the Act of Toleration he would comply with the laws of the land and exhort Christians not to take occasion of this law to commit sin, i.e. to separate from the body of the Church. Ogg’s remark only applies to such men as Compton, who both taught passive obedience and signed tbe invitation to William.

27 Ibid., p. 202.

28 Op. cit., I, ser. 12, p. 474. I do not know what proclamations he is referring to. When the seven Bishops were acquitted on 30 June, 1688, bonfires were lit in all parts of London and bonfires were (and are) still lit on the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot; the latter would have been discountenanced by James II.

29 After the 1687 Declaration of Indulgence some of the Dissenters sent addresses of thanks to James II, among them William Penn. See Gwatkin, op. cit., p. 372.

30 Op. cit., V, ser. 9, p. 340.

31 Ibid., p. 341.

32 By this South does not, of course, mean the persecution of Dissenters but the stripping of the Loyalists who had lost their estates during the Interregnum. (After the Restoration goods and estates sold by the Loyalists to pay the fines imposed upon them were not restored.) The whole passage develops the criticism of the Act of Indemnity and Oblivion so often voiced by the old Loyalists, that the Act meant indemnity for the enemies, and oblivion for the friends, of the King.

33 Cp. Apologie de l’édit du roy sur la pacification de son royaume (i.e. of the edict of Amboise), 1563: “[L’edit] permet deux religions. Quand ainsi serait, permission n’est pas approbation.” Quoted in J. Lecler, op. cit., II, 69.

34 Like his friend Francis Atterbury.

35 Op. cit., I, ser. 16, p. 226.

36 Ibid., p. 233.

37 Ibid., p. 232.

38 Op. cit., I, ser. 21, p. 293.

39 Ibid., p. 294.

40 See for instance: Walter Pope: The Life of Seth, Lord Bishop of Salisbury, 1697, ed. J.B. Bamborough, Luttrell Reprint Society, no. 21, Oxford, 1961, ch. XX.

41 Op. cit., p. 294.

42 Ibid., p. 294.

43 The manuscript text is continuous but was divided by Tillotson into 4 separate sermons, vol. III, sermons 24 to 27; printed below.

44 Op. cit., III, ser. 24, p. 270.

45 Ibid., p. 272.

46 “Thus under the pressure of a century of acute controversy, the Anglican divines had developed a positive, constructive, and consistent apologetic for episcopacy as retained in the Church of England. It was held to be not of dominical but of apostolical appointment, and as divino jure only in that sense; as necessary where it could be had, but its absence where historical necessity compelled did not deprive a church of valid ministry and sacraments. It was necessary to the perfection or integrity of a church, though not to its essence; and on the ground of its historic continuance in the church, its restoration in the foreign non~episcopal churches was much to be desired.” Norman Sykes, op. cit., p. 81.

47 In 1655 the Regius professor of Greek at Cambridge, Dr. Duport, resigned in the hope that Barrow would succeed him, but a mandate from Whitehall made the electors appoint somebody else because Barrow was known as a loyalist. Barrow was granted leave of absence by his College and travelled to France, Italy and Constantinople. See P.H. Osmond: Isaac Barrow. His Life and Times, London, 1944, p. 45.

48 Op. cit., III, p. 272.

49 Ibid., p. 275.

50 Owing to Barrow’s characteristic way of piling up paragraphs rather than developing them organically, an unfair critic might say that these qualifications are required singly but not together; and this might be particularly damaging for the last requirement, which in fact is no more than a summary of all the foregoing, but is given equal rank with the others. The passage, which is too long to be quoted here, develops as follows: The true guides must be distinguished from the counterfeits. They are: “Those who constantly profess... Those who celebrate... Those who derive their authority... Those whose practice... Those who... appear sober... Those also, who are acknowledged by the Laws of the Country...” (pp. 275-6). Each sentence constitutes a separate paragraph, the word also in the last paragraph being particularly infelicitous.

51 Ibid., p. 276.

52 Ibid.

53 Ibid., p. 278.

54 Ibid., ser. 25, p. 285.

55 Ibid., p. 288.

56 Ibid., ser. 27, p. 303.

57 Ibid., p. 305.

58 Ibid., pp. 306-7.

59 The same difficulty had arisen in the deliberations of both Houses. On this, and on the various solutions envisaged, see Burnet: History of His Own Time, Bk IV, in line, and David Ogg, op. cit., pp. 224-7. Ogg notes that the Lords “rejected by 55 to 41 the resolution (of the Commons) that the throne was vacant” (p. 226).

60 See David Ogg, op. cit., pp. 218-20.

61 Op. cit., p. 234.

62 See the letters published by W. Dodds (Mrs. Nowottny), op. cit.; Miss Dodds shows that South’s animus against Sherlock in the Trinitarian controversy had its source in Sherlock’s face-about after he had advocated not taking the oaths.

63 It is unlikely that he was convinced of the legitimacy of William’s title to the Crown; he recognized him as de facto King, to whom obedience is due even as, according to Hooker and other defenders of passive obedience, it is due to a bad ruler. This is not unlike Fuller’s justification for complying in the Interregnum, quoted above. Wood accuses South of having been a timeserver under Cromwell, but this malicious gossip’s repeated accusations need mean no more than that South was among those whom Bosher calls “conforming Anglicans”.

64 Op. cit., II, ser. 11, pp. 424-5.

65 See Birch: Life, op. cit., p. cxviii.

66 Op. cit., I, ser. 3, p. 41.

67 Op. cit., I, ser. 20, p. 193.

68 Op. cit., I, ser. 32, ‘A Thanksgiving Sermon for our Deliverance by the Prince of Orange, Preached at Lincoln’ s Inn Chapel, January 31, 1688’ (i.e. 1689). Having rehearsed the many judgements of God on the English nation, he comes to the Great Fire: “God sent a terrible and devouring Fire, which in less than three Days Time laid the greatest Part of this great City in Ashes. And there is too much reason to believe that the Enemy did this; that perpetual and implacable Enemy of the Peace and Happiness of this Nation” (p. 324). Tillotson may have been fanning the fire of anti-Roman prejudices by disingenuously repeating this ludicrous assertion; yet one feels that he was himself as gullible as many of his hearers whenever a Popish Plot was ‘discovered’. He would not have repeated such unproven charges against Dissenters.

69 Op. cit., I, ser. 31, p. 321. The sermon, on the Parable of the Ten Virgins, was preached before Princess Anne in 1688, as were others (e.g. vol. II, sermons 2 and 3) to encourage her in holding fast by the Protestant religion.

70 Op. cit., I, ser. 27, p. 283. Printed below. This passage gave offence both to Anglicans and to Nonconformists. The former accused Tillotson of Hobbism and of serving the turn of popery; the latter of pleading the Popish cause against all the reformers. Tillotson was really grieved at this and explained to his friends that he had had to prepare this sermon at short notice and was ordered to print it immediately after delivery. He acknowledged that he had expressed himself badly, and in all subsequent editions he added a paragraph to mitigate the effect of this one. Another passage in the same sermon was thought to be ‘pure Hobbism’, and Tillotson altered it as best he could in the second issue of the first edition, and again when the sermon appeared in Sermons and Discourses (1686). See Birch: Life, pp. xli-xlviii. For the subsequent revision see D.D. Brown: ‘The Text of John Tillotson’s Sermons’, The Library, XIII (1958), 18-36, and ‘The Dean’s Dilemna’, ibid., XIV (1959), 282-7.

71 “Dr. Calamy’s account is, that King Charles II having slept most part of the time while the sermon was delivered, a certain nobleman stepped up to him, as soon as it was over; and said, ‘Tis pity your Majesty slept; for we had the rarest piece of Hobbism that ever you heard in your life’. ‘Ods fish, he shall print it then’, answered the King and immediately called the Lord Chamberlain and gave him his command to the Dean to print his sermon”, Birch: Life, p. xliii

72 Op. cit., p. 283.

73 Ibid.

74 Op. cit., I, ser. 19 (on 5 Nov., 1678), p. 181.

75 Op. cit., II, sermons 45 and 46. The sermons are undated but it is clear from the drift of the argument that Protestants were being threatened with persecution for their faith, and at one point Tillotson refers to the recent repealing of the Edict of Nantes (1685).

76 Sermon 45, p. 313.

77 Op. cit., II, ser. 46, p. 319.

78 Ibid., p. 320.

79 “On 22 January, the first day of the session, a declaration of the Lords enunciated the genesis of the Convention, namely the invitations extended by separate conclaves of Lords and Commons to William, requesting him to cause writs to be issued for its summoning. They then concurred with the Commons in an address of thanks to the prince, with a formal request that he would continue to direct the administration of affairs.” David Ogg, op. cit., p. 225.

80 Among these, the Great Fire, which he says was the work of the Papists.

81 Op. cit., II, ser. 32, p. 324.

82 Ibid.

83 Op. cit., I, sermon 22, preached at the Assizes held at Kingston upon Thames, 21 July, 1681. The main burden of the sermon is to repudiate the Quakers’objections to oaths.

84 Op. cit., II, ser. 30.

85 This stress on property again echoes Locke.

86 Op. cit., II, ser. 30, p. 215.

87 Ibid., p. 216.

88 Ibid., p. 216.

89 Ibid., p. 217.

90 See David Ogg, op. cit., p. 235.

91 John Calvin: Institutes, IV, 10, quoted in François Wendel: Calvin, tr. by Philip Mairet, London, 1963 (Fontana Library, 1965, p. 307). Wendel quotes from the critical edition by J.D. Benoit of the 1559 ed. of Institution de la religion chrestienne; the English version is by Wendel’s translator.

92 François Wendel, op. cit., pp. 309-10.

93 The order of events makes this clear. The Revised Prayer Book was accepted by Convocation in December 1661, and by both Houses of Parliament in April 1662. The Act of Uniformity imposing its use and enforcing the Liturgy received the royal assent on May 19, 1662. See David Ogg: England in The Reign of Charles II, I, 200-1.

94 David Ogg, op. cit., p. 451.

95 Printed below.

96 There is a story that when he was one day preaching before the King at Court South banged the pulpit and turning to Lauderdale asked him not to snore so loud lest he should awake His Majesty. Quoted in Mark Noble: A Biographical History of England, from the Revolution to the End of George Is Reign, Being a Continuation of Rev. Granger’s Work (i.e. James Granger: Biographical History of England, 1779), London, 1806, I, 100.

97 See Ogg, op. cit., p. 200.

98 Vol. V came out in 1717, but was prepared for the press by South himself.

99 Op. cit., III, ser. 3, p. 119.

100 Year unknown.

101 Additional... Sermons, XI, ser. 2. The Text, Hab. ii, 12 Wo to him that buildeth a town with blood, foretelling the Babylonian captivity, would have been particularly appropriate under James. On the other hand, speaking of the dismal end of those who lift the sword against their prince, South says that some have died in their beds, like “our late grand regicide”.

102 Ibid., p. 60

103 Ibid., p. 64.

104 Op. cit., V, ser. 6, p. 272.

105 Year unknown.

106 Additional... Sermons, IX, ser. 4, pp. 122-3.

107 Op. cit., I, ser. 10, p. 135.

108 Ibid., p. 137.

109 Tillotson himself published 54 sermons. His chaplain, Ralph Barker, published 200 more after the Archbishop’s death; though he tells us in the advertisement to the first volume that he has published the sermons exactly as he found them (having transcribed them from T’s shorthand), he also says at the end of the last volume that he has sometimes divided a continuous text into two sermons, or two into three.

110 Op. cit., III, ser. 142.

111 Op. cit., II, ser. 30.

112 After 1689 the 5th of November was consecrated to the memory of both the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot and the landing of William at Torbay.

113 Given seventeenth-and eighteenth-century punctuation, it is difficult to say whether South means “all impieties and defects which...” or “all impieties and defects, which...”.

114 Op. cit., V, ser. 5, p. 206.

115 Ibid., p. 211.

116 Ibid., p. 218.

117 Ibid., p. 226.

118 Op. cit., III, ser. 12, p. 472.

119 Ibid., p. 473.

120 Ibid., p. 480.

121 Ibid., p. 483.

122 Ibid., p. 467.

123 Ibid., p. 491.

124 Ibid.

125 Op. cit., II, sermons 2 and 3.

126 Op. cit., II, sermons 4 to 9.

127 Op. cit., II, ser. 12.

128 Op. cit., II, ser. 67.

129 Op. cit., II, sermons 33, 34 and 35.

130 Op. cit., II, sermons 45 and 46.

131 Op. cit., II, ser. 72, p. 532.

132 Cp. with his credulousness about the Popish Plot and the Great Fire.

133 Op. cit, I, ser. 19 (1678); II, ser. 28 (1682); II, ser. 29 (1686); II, 49 (1688); III, ser. 192 (1684).

134 The parallel was particularly apt in view of what was feared in those days. “Parliament reassembled on October 21, (1678), when the King announced that he would forbear opinion on the subject of the design attributed to the Jesuits. Therefore both Houses set to work and appointed committees for the examination of witnesses; one was deputed to search the vaults under the Houses... The first of these committees ordered a search under all rooms for gunpowder; and, as the fifth of November approached, the underground inspections became more rigorous.” David Ogg, op. cit., II, 570.

135 Op. cit., I, ser. 19, p. 182.

136 Ibid., P. 182.

137 Ibid. On October 31, 1678, “the Commons resolved ‘that there has been and still is a damnable and hellish plot, contrived and carried on by popish recusants for the assassination and murdering the King, and for subverting the government and rooting out and destroying the Protestant religion’”. David Ogg, op. cit., p. 573.

138 Op. cit., II, ser. 28, p. 206.

139 Op. cit., II, ser. 49, p. 350.

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