Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. 39 and he employed it all, with the zeal of a fanatic, to root out Puri- tanism, and to promote those Popish principles and practices with which (though himself an enemy to the court of Rome) he was so enamored. The mind of Charles was one of that class to which such notions are most congenial. He verily thought, as Laud did, that aPuritan was far worse than a Papist ; and that, amongall the errors of the church of Rome, therewwas not one so deadly as the error of supposing that there might be a true'church without pre- lates or priestly vestments, and without liturgy or pompous cere- monies. It was therefore no difficult matter for the primate to persuade the monarch that he would be doing God service by stretching his prerogative to introduce.into Scotland, not only the entire hierarchy, but the liturgy and ceremonies of the church of England. The insane attempt roused that jealous and turbulent people. to,rebellion. A solemn covenant for mutual defence and support, and for the entire reformation of their national church from Popery and prelacy,, was Subscribed with oaths by willing thousands, and proved a bond of union which all the art and pow- er of the English court were unable to dissolve. The king, having accumulated from the surplus of illegal taxation a treasure of two hundred thousand pounds, raised an army to reduce the Covenanters to obedience. The queen, at the same time, made an appeal to the Catholicsof Englandfor help in this emergency ; and they came forward with abundant free -will offerings, thus helping to fix the impression on thepublic mind, that thequestion to be de- cided by arms, was in fact the question between Protestantism on the one hand, and a return to Popery on the other. One grand infirmity in Charles's characterwas anextreme obsti- nacy of purpose, conjoinedwith the utmost vacillation of conduct ; and never, perhaps, was that infirmity more strikingly exhibited than in his management at this crisis. The enterprise of forcing Eng- lish uniformity on the Presbyterians of Scotland, was one of which he might have said beforehand, "The attempt, and not the deed, confounds us;" and had he been endowed with the talent, as he was impelled by the spirit ofusurpation; he wouldhave seenthat, if once embarked on such a project, he had no alternative but success or ruin. Having made great preparation, he marched in person, at the head of a numerousarmy, to the Scottish frontier. There, without hazarding a single action, he made a treaty with the Cove- nanters, in which he yielded nearly every thing they could ask for; and at once disbanded his army. Then, suddenly, when he began to feel the operation of his own concessions, he recom- menced hostilities without an army, and without the means of raising one, his last resources having been expended in the pre- vious operations.