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 lessened his satisfaction at his release from Bed. ford jail that it had been brought about by the influence of the former at the court of a Catholic prince. Dissenters forgot the wrongs and persecutions which they had experienced at the hands of the prelacy, and joined the bishops in opposition to the declaration. They almost magnified into Christian confessors the prelates who remonstrated against the indulgence, and actually plotted against the king for restoring them to liberty of person and conscience. The nightmare fear of Popery overcame their love of religious liberty; and they meekly offered their necks to the yoke of prelacy as the only security against the heavier one of Papist supremacy. In a far different manner the cleareyed and plain-spoken John Milton met the claims and demands of the hierarchy in his time. ‘They entreat us,’ said he, ‘that we be not weary of the insupportable grievances that our shoulders have hitherto cracked under; they beseech us that we think them fit to be our justices of peace, our lords, our highest officers of state. They pray us that it would please us to let them still haul us and wrong us with their bandogs and pursuivants; and that it would please the Parliament that they may yet have the whipping, fleecing, and flaying of us in their diabolical courts, to tear the flesh from our bones, and into our wide wounds, instead of balm, to pour in the oil of tartar, vitriol, and mercury. Surely a right, reasonable, innocent, and soft-hearted petition! O the relenting bowels of the fathers!’ Considering the prominent part acted by William
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