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The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Old portraits and modern Sketches (search)
ce, the Court offered him the bishopric of Hereford. Superior to personal considerations, he declined the honor; but somewhat inconsistently, in his zeal for the interests of his party, he urged the elevation of at least three of his Presbyterian friends to the Episcopal bench, to enforce that very liturgy which they condemned. He was the chief speaker for the Presbyterians at the famous Savoy Conference, summoned to advise and consult upon the Book of Common Prayer. His antagonist was Dr. Gunning, ready, fluent, and impassioned. They spent, as Gilbert Burnet says, several days in logical arguing, to the diversion of the town, who looked upon them as a couple of fencers, engaged in a discussion which could not be brought to an end. In themselves considered, many of the points at issue seem altogether too trivial for the zeal with which Baxter contested them,—the form of a surplice, the wording of a prayer, kneeling at sacrament, the sign of the cross, etc. With him, however, the