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tions were moderate, when compared with the doctrines inculcated in the sermons of various divines. Dr. Spratt, in a sermon before the Artillery Company, endeavoured to prove, from texts of Scripture, that the use of arms is lawful in a private, and much more in a public quarrel, but contrary to the Grospel, if not. sanctioned by a legal authority. The intention of this harangue seems to have been to encourage the soldiery in abetting the King's arbitrary government. Dr. Hickes, an equally zealous and more conscientious friend of royal power, asserted in his sermons, that the professors of Christianity ought to die, rather than resist by force, not only the King, but all that are put in authority under him. It waa to confute the last-mentioned author, that Mr. Samuel Johnson, chaplain t© Lord Russell, wrote a book called the Life of Julian the Apostate, defending resistance in extreme cases. *
It is not to the credit either of the piety or the wisdom of this age, that political questions were treated by divines, and decided by reference to Scripture. Our Saviour, whilst he lost no op* portunity of recommending charity and bene? volence, expressly declined any interference with the political duties of his disciples. And
* Sea Appendix.
those who have been ordained of his church* when they enter into the violence of party disputes, too often betray at once their want of
_ experience as statesmen, and of charity as Christians. That which has been called the high church party in England, has made itself unfortunately remarkable for a bitter hatred of liberty and toleration. It was, no doubt, from observing this disposition, that Lord Russell was inclined to favour the Dissenters. He wished the Chtoroh to open its doors, that Protestants might not have enemies amongst themselves. His sentiments, I hope, were not less Christian than those of the high dignitaries, who promoted intolerance in the Church, and tyranny in the
The trial of Argyle, which took place in Scotland at the end of the year 1681, would have been a disgrace even to the most arbitrary government in Europe. He had rendered himself obnoxious to the Duke, by moving, that in an act which confirmed all former acts, the words "atad ail acts against popery," should be in>serted. It was a year after this that James desired him to take the test for privy councillors, an oath ambiguous in its terms, and which James himself had said, no honest man could take. The Earl wished to decline and disqualify himself, but by advice of the Bishop of Edinburgh, the Duke's friend, he subjoined an explanation, saying that he took it "in so far as it was con. sistent with itself and the Protestant religion."
And that he did not mean to bind himself from endeavouring, in a lawful way,1 any alteration he might think to the advantage of church and state, not repugnant to the protestant religion, and to his loyalty. The Earl of Queensbury had before said, on taking the oath, that he did not think himself obliged to oppose alterations in church or state, in case it should please His Majesty to make any. Argyle's explanation raised no debate at the time; and the duke desired him, with a smile, to sit down by him. But the next day he was desired to give in his explanation in writing, and to sign it; and within a few days he was found guilty of treason upon no other evidence. To make the injustice complete, Lord Queensbury officiated as LordJustice General. The Earl, happily for himself, made his escape from the castle of Edinburgh. The royal brothers then protested Bo harm was meant to his person, which did not, however, prevent sentence being past, that he should be put to death when apprehended; that his name, memory, and honours, should be extinct: that his posterity should be incapable of honour,
place, or office; and that his estates, goods, and chattels, should be forfeited. *
Such was the manner in which the Court treated their opponents in a country where the violence of their supporters enabled them to commit any kind of offence against justice. In England, the vengeance of the Court against the Whig leaders was still retarded by the influence which they maintained in the city. It was found that the proceedings in the case of quo warranto being embarrassed by legal forms, would occasion considerable delay. A shorter way to the same object was perceived by electing sheriffs against the will of the citizens.
It had been an ancient custom for the Lord Mayor to name one of the sheriffs for the ensuing year, by drinking to him, and this nomi
* It is curious to remark the reasons which are given in the Life of James, supported in this instance by reference to their letters, for the conduct of the King and the Duke in this affair. The Duke refuses the intercession of the Duke of Lauderdale, because "he would not be diverted, to make friends to himself, from pursuing the King's interest, wherever he thought it concerned." The King, on the other hand, "thought fit to issue out a proclamation for apprehending my Lord Argyle, that if it mueed his person, it might convince the world, at least, he was satisfied with the Duke's management, and silence, thereby, the discourses industriously spread abroad, as if he had been prosecuted more out of a pique by the Duke, than, by reason of any guilt to the King." What an affecting picture of brotherly love!
nation was generally confirmed by the livery. But the letter of the charter, and various precedents, demonstrate, beyond all doubt, that the right -of election resided in the citizens at large, and that the choice allowed to the Lord Mayor Was only a matter of courtesy between the city and its-chief magistrate. The Court, however, made use of this custom as an engine to impose, ttot only one, but both sheriffs of their own party. Sir John Moore, the Lord Mayor, a very weak man, was prevailed upon to drink to Mr. Dudley North, a Turkey merchant. The Whigs having pitched upon Mr. Papillion and Mr. Dubois for sheriffs, assembled in great numbers on the day of election, and were clamorous for a poll. The Lord Mayor, insisting on his right to choose one of the sheriffs, by. drinking to him, would not proceed to an election, but adjourned the court. And here the sheriffs of the year, Mr. Shute and Mr. Pilkington, were guilty of a great irregularity. For they still held on the court, and began a poll. Upon which some confusion ensued, and the next day the Lord Mayor complained of the sheriffs for a riot, and they were committed to the Tower.
After another irregular poll, the election of the sheriffs at last took place, on the 15th of July, when the Lord Mayor insisted that North was already chosen, and would only poll for