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The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Old portraits and modern Sketches (search)
sitate about administering the sacrament to profane swearers and tipplers. But while Baxter, in the seclusion of his parish, was painfully weighing the arguments for and against the wearing of surplices, the use of marriage rings, and the prescribed gestures and genuflections of his order, tithing with more or less scruple of conscience the mint and anise and cummin of pulpit ceremonials, the weightier matters of the law, freedom, justice, and truth were claiming the attention of Pym and Hampden, Brook and Vane, in the Parliament House. The controversy between King and Commons had reached the point where it could only be decided by the dread arbitrament of battle. The somewhat equivocal position of the Kidderminster preacher exposed him to the suspicion of the adherents of the King and Bishops. The rabble, at that period sympathizing with the party of license in morals and strictness in ceremonials, insulted and mocked him, and finally drove him from his parish. On the memora