This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 the other. Charles and his advisers triumphed, not so much through their own, art, dissimulation, and bad faith as through the blind bigotry, divided counsels, and self-seeking of the Noncon-formists. Seduction on one hand and threats on the other, the bribe of bishoprics, hatred of Independents and Quakers, and the terror of penal laws, 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. To secure his influence, 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 ’
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.