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The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Old portraits and modern Sketches (search)
present himself at Court, and it is creditable to his heart rather than his judgment and discrimination that he seized the occasion to offer a long address to the King, expressive of his expectation that his Majesty would discountenance all sin and promote godliness, support the true exercise of Church discipline and cherish and hold up the hands of the faithful ministers of the Church. To all which Charles II. made as gracious an answer as we could expect, says Baxter, insomuch that old Mr. Ash burst out into tears of joy. Who doubts that the profligate King avenged himself as soon as the backs of his unwelcome visitors were fairly turned, by coarse jests and ribaldry, directed against a class of men whom he despised and hated, but towards whom reasons of policy dictated a show of civility and kindness? There is reason to believe that Charles II., had he been able to effect his purpose, would have gone beyond Cromwell himself in the matter of religious toleration; in other wor