Neal - Houston-Packer Collection BX9333 .N4 1754 v1

xviii PREFACE. ments in the church. They perfuaded his majfy to fiJle the predfind- rian controverfy, both in the pulpit and prep, and would, no doubt, in a fewyears, havegot the balance of numbers on their fide, ifby grafting at too much, :they had not precipitated both church andflate into confufìon. It was no advantage to theft divines, that they were linked with the ROMAN CATHOLICS,for thefe latter being fèn/ible they could not be protetled by law, cried up the prerogative, andjoined their forces with the court divines, to fupport the difen/ingpower; they declared for the unlimited authority of the fovereign on the one hand, and the abfolute obedience ofthe fubjeht on the other; fo that though there is no real cbmsetiion between arminianifm and popery ; the two parties were unhappily combinedat this time, to de/!roy the puritans, and to Jobvert the confiitution and laws of their country. iieylin's life But if ABBOT was too remfi, his Jioccefr LAUD was as much too fu- of Laud, rious, for in the firLl year of his government, he introduced as many changes, p 5o6. as a wife and prudent flatefman would have attempted in (even; he pre- vailedwith his majßy to fit up the englifh fervice at Edinburgh, and laid the foundationof the foots liturgy; he obtained the revival of the Book of Sports; he turned the communion tables into altars; he Jent out injunc- tions which broke up the french and dutch churches; and procured the re- peal of the irifh articles, and thofè of England to be received in their place. Such was his rigorous profecutiou ofthe puritans, that he would nei- ther fuller them to live peaceably in the land, nor remove quietly out of it ! His GRACE was alto the chief mover in all thole unbounded ads of power which werefubverfiveof the rights and liberties of the people : And while be had the reins in his hands drove fo near the precipices ofpopery and ty- ranny, that the hearts of the m f relayed Prot f ants turned again/t him, and alm ji all England became PURITAN. I am fenfsble that no part of modern h f ory has been examined with fo muchcritical exalJnefs, as that part of the reign of king CHARLES I. which relates to the rife and progrefs of the civil war ; here the writers on both fides have blown up their pogions into a flame, and infteadof hif tory, have given as little elfe but panegyric or fatyr. I have endeavoured to avoid extremes, and have reprefented things as they appeared to me, with mode/ly, and without any perfonal refetlions. The charabler I have given of the religious principles of the LONG PARLIAMENT, was de- /gnedly taken out of the earl of Clarendon's hiflory of the GRAND RE BELL ION, that it might be without exception : And I am of opinion, that the want of a due acquaintance with the principles of the two houfes with regard to church dífcipli,ne, has milled our bell h. forians, who have reprefentedfume of them as zealous prelatifts, and others as cunning pref-