Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

PREFACE.. XV gravity, and took more pains in their parishes than those who adhered to the bishops, often preaching against the vices of the court. Their labours and their sufferings raised their reputa- tion and rendered them very popular."* Hume, who treats their principles with ridicule and contempt, has bestowed upon them the highest eulogium. " So absolute," says he, " was the " authority of the crown, that the precious spark " of liberty had been kindled, and was preserved, " by the Puritans alone; and it was to this sect " that the English owe the whole freedom of their " constitution."t It is granted that theyhad not all equally clear views of our civil and religious rights. Many of their opinions were confused and erroneous ; yet their leading principles were the same. Though they had, in general, no objection to a national establishment, many of them maintained, " That all true church power must be founded in a divine commission : that where a right to com- mand is not clear, evidence that obedience is a duty is wanting : that men ought not to make more necessary to an admittance into the church than God has made necessary to an admittance into heaven: that so long as unscriptural impo- sitions are continued, a further reformation of the church will be necessary : and that every one who must answer for himself hereafter, must Burnet's Hist. ofhis Time, vol. i. p. 17, 18. t Hume's Hist. of Eng. vol. v. p. 134.