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The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Old portraits and modern Sketches (search)
ffect his purpose, would have gone beyond Cromwell himself in the matter of religious toleration; in other words, he would have taken, in the outset of his reign, the very steps which cost his successor his crown, and procured the toleration of Catholics by a declaration of universal freedom in religion. But he was not in a situation to brave the opposition alike of Prelacy and Presbyterianism, and foiled in a scheme to which he was prompted by that vague, superstitious predilection for the Ro broke the strength of Presbyterianism. Baxter's whole conduct, on this occasion, bears testimony to his honesty and sincerity, while it shows him to have been too intolerant to secure his own religious freedom at the price of toleration for Catholics, Quakers, and Anabaptists; and too blind in his loyalty to perceive that pure and undefiled Christianity had nothing to hope for from a scandalous and depraved King, surrounded by scoffing, licentious courtiers and a haughty, revengeful prelacy
The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Historical papers (search)
rs. He was charitable to a fault: his faith in his fellow-men was often stronger than a clearer insight of their characters would have justified. He saw the errors of the king, and deplored them; he denounced Jeffreys as a butcher who had been let loose by the priests; and pitied the king, who was, he thought, swayed by evil counsels. He remonstrated against the interference of the king with Magdalen College; and reproved and rebuked the hopes and aims of the more zealous and hot-headed Catholics, advising them to be content with simple toleration. But the constitution of his mind fitted him rather for the commendation of the good than the denunciation of the bad. He had little in common with the bold and austere spirit of the Puritan reformers. He disliked their violence and harshness; while, on the other hand, he was attracted and pleased by the gentle disposition and mild counsels of Locke and Tillotson, and the latitudinarians of the English Church. He was the intimate perso