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One of the objections made against the puritanical observance of the Sunday, as given by Fuller, was this: That this doctrine put an unequal lustre on the Sunday, on set purpose to eclipse all other holidays, to the derogation of the authority of the Church.' It is remarkable how the influence of this notion still continues to operate. There are many parishes, some not twenty miles from the metropolis, where the open profanation of the Lord's Day is not more striking than the strictness with which Good Friday and Christmas day are observed. In one instance which recently came under our observation, while not a shop was open on the consecrated week-day, on the Sunday morning more business is regularly done in the town than on any other day of the seven; and this under the sanction, or at least with the connivance, of the Hon. and Rev. the Vicar and other resident magistrates, who have withstood every attempt to put a stop to the practice.-Of James himself it is stated, that
it is difficult to say whether he more disliked the strictness of a Sabbath observance as a badge of puritanism, or as a check on the natural carelessness and festivity of his temper. Theologian as he was, hie behaviour even at church was grossly irreverent; and the common decencies of the day were fearlessly violated by his household and attendants. On this head it is related, that the court being once about to remove on a Monday from Whitehall to Theobalds, the carts were sent through the city the day before in service time, with much noise and clatter. The lord-mayor caused them to be stopped, equally to the indignation and astonishment of the officers who at tended them, by whom an angry representation was carried to the king of the indignity which had been put upon them. James was much enraged, and swore he thought there had been no more kings in England than himself: however, after a pause, he condescended to order a regular warrant to be sent to the lord-mayor for the release of the carts: the magistrate immediately complied, with this remark: "while it was in my power I did my duty; but that being taken away by a higher power, it is my duty to obey. The king was struck with the answer, and, on second thoughts, thanked the lord-mayor for his conduct.'
The next memorable event in the reign of James, is his base sacrifice of Sir Walter Raleigh at the instigation of the Spanish minister, of which the King had the meanness to make a merit in the pending negotiation for the marriage of the Infanta to Prince Charles. He was cut off in the sixty-sixth year of his age, leaving one son behind him, Carew Raleigh. This youth became an accomplished gentleman,' and was some years afterwards presented at Court, But the King took a dislike to him, saying, that he looked like his father's ghost; and young Raleigh was advised to travel till the death of James.
VOL. XVIII. N.S.
In the midst of this negotiation with the Court of Spain, the Defender of the Faith had the compliment paid him by Prince Maurice, of a request to delegate representatives of the Churches of England and Scotland to the Protestant synod opened at the city of Dordrecht or Dort, in Nov. 1618. James had already fully committed himself on the question at issue between the Remonstrants and the Counter-remonstrants,byhis busy and arrogant interference in the matter of Vorstius the Socinian. But there is reason to believe that since then, his horror of the Arminian novelties had considerably abated.
The system of Arminius, which the king was pledged to reprobate in Holland, had in England already become that of many of the most able champions of the prelatical or high-church party, with which he had contracted so close and affectionate an alliance : on the other hand, the system of the Gomarists, whose cause he had hotly and hastily espoused, coincided exactly, both in faith and discipline, with the scheme of the Scotch presbyterians and English puritans, so much the object of his dread and detestation ; and it suddenly occurred to him, that the parity of ministers in the church, which in his own kingdoms he had constantly affirmed to be essentially incompatible with monarchical principles, must be equally irreconcileable with the authority which his ally prince Maurice was endeavouring to assume in Holland. Struck with the dilemma, he hastened to convey to this leader an earnest caution against bestowing his confidence exclusively on the Gomarists. The politics of Maurice did not apparently permit him to attend to this advice ; but the spirit of it was scrupulously observed by James himself in his selection of divines to attend the synod, which was evidently made on the principle of a balance, and with the parpose of promoting mutual conciliation. Vol. II. pp. 123, 4.
The Church of England was at this period on the eve of assuming a new phasis ; but its prelates were still for the most part Calvinists. Abbot, archbishop of Canterbury, is described as
painful, stout, severe against bad manners, of a grave and 'voluble eloquence, very hospital, fervent against the Roman
Church, and no less against the Arminians;' he was also a . most stirring councillor for the defence of the Palatinate.' The admirable Launcelot Andrews, whose death Milton bewailed, held the see of Winchester; George Carlton was bishop of Llandaff, and Hall and Davenant were destined shortly to become, the former, bishop of Norwich, the latter, of Salisbury. Other Calvinistic divines held high preferments; and the lord keeper Williams, subsequently bishop of Lincoln, is said to have coincided with Abbot in his theological opinions, although he discountenanced, as a politician, all rigour against either Arminians or Catholics. But the hierarchy was now about to receive as one of its episcopal heads, a man destined to effect an important revolution in the theo
logical character of the Establishment ;--a man whose fierce temper, unbounded ambition, and malignant bigotry seemed to combine all the elements of combustion and mischief. He, it seems, had been selected to knit the infamous, knot which united the Earl and Countess of Somerset in a guilty alliance; and he had since contrived to fasten himself on Buckingham, in whose favour he quickly supplanted the very man to whom he was indebted for his promotion. It reflects credit on James's sagacity, that when Williams importunately interceded with him to bestow on Laud the see of St. David's, the facile monarch did not yield without using ' fierce and ominous words 'too tart to be repeated ;' giving his consent in these remarkable words: Then take him to you, but on my soul you will repent it.' *
' It was not long before Laud's character began to display itself in his invidious efforts to have the primate declared irre• gular by the fact of involuntary homicide.' In this he was seconded by the lord-keeper, to whom a vacancy at Lambeth would have opened a brilliant prospect.
• Dr. Laud had a quarrel of twenty years standing with Abbot; who had on several occasions at Oxford opposed and censured him on account of the popish tendencies of doctrines maintained by him in his academical exercises. It was with the lord-keeper and the bishop elect of St. David's, that the suggestion of the archbishop's irregularity appears to have originated.”
For once, however, James shewed some firmness. By letters under the great seal, he assoiled the primate, to whom he continued to extend his protection; and notwithstanding the dist pleasure which he had occasionally entertained against him on political grounds, it was by Abbot that he chose to be attenıled in his last hours. During the life of the primate, the Calvinistic doctrines continued to find a powerful protector. It was not till after his decease, that Laud, in conjunction with Buckingham, was enabled to carry into execution his plans of ecclesiastical reform, and to display all the madness of bis zeal and all the fierceness of his intolerance. The death of Abbot gives the era of the establishment of Arminianism as the reigning system of the Church, on the ruins of the discarded theology of its founders, whose tenets were thenceforward abandoned to the Puritans.
From this period, the history of the reign consists of James's ill-advised contests with thať Parliament to which, as Lord John Russell justly remarks, 'every Englishman ought to look ' back with reverence. The King, the subject of public mockery abroad, was now fast sinking into insignificance at home. Buckingham's unbounded ascendancy not unfrequently shewed itself in a deportment rude and audacious to the monarch him
self; and it soon became evident that his chief concern was to conciliate the favour of the prince.
It was in concerting measures for the journey to Spain, that Buckingham, skilfully availing himself of the facile and governable temper of Charles, first found mean to possess himself of his unreserved confidence; and this, as we are told by Clarendon, "after a long time of declared jealousy and displeasure on the prince's part, and occasion enough ministered on the other."
With how fatal an influence the hereditary favourite continued to guide, or rather to precipitate the infatuated counsels of the youthful monarch, is but too well known. His power was now little short of absolute.
Nothing was ever denied him, and there was apparently nothing which he scrupled to ask. The doting king was even contented to live himself in absolute poverty and want, that he might shower riches with a more lavish hand on his favorite; and sublime as were his specu lative notions of the majesty of a king,-of the almost Divine honours attached to the character, he was willing in practice to submit him self to the will and pleasure of an insolent and capricious minion, who did not deign to observe towards him the common decencies of outward respect..... Such was the softness and pusillanimity of the monarch's temper, that, (after Buckingham's infamous conduct in Spain,) instead of inflicting upon him any outward mark of his displeasure, he continued towards him all his former demonstrations of confidence and affection, and suffered him to rule his court and his councils with a more imperious sway than ever. Yet the ingratitude of this creature of his love and bounty stung him deeply; he would often, in his absence, vent his feelings in bitter speeches against him, and his deep dejection was visible to every eye." He continued at Newmarket, as in an infirmary, for he forgot his recreations of hunting and hawking; yet could not be drawn to keep the feast of All-Saints and the Fifth of November at Whitehall, being wont to shew his presence at those solemnities. Against Christmas he drew towards the city, and no sooner."'
After this, we find Buckingham and his royal scholar Prince Charles, playing off the power of the Parliament against the old King, by zealously promoting a war with Spain, and a stinging petition' of the two houses against Popery. They next procured, in base revenge, the impeachment of the Earl of Middlesex, the lord-treasurer, for corruption; which the King passionately resented as a wound to the Crown that would not easily be healed, using, according to Clarendon, these remarkable expressions: to Buckingham he said in great choler, By -Stenny, you are a fool, and will shortly repent of this folly, and will find that, in a fit of popularity, you are making a rod with which to scourge yourself.' Then turning to his
son, he told him that he would live to have his belly-full of ' parliamentary impeachments; and when I shall be dead, added the old King, you will have too much cause to remem' ber how much you have contributed to the weakening of the • Crown.' If these ominous words afterwards occurred to Charles's recollection, he had not the consolation of knowing, that he had been actuated by either patriotic or honourable motives in this short-lived alliance with the Parliament against his father and sovereign. His conduct at this period reflects an indelible disgrace on his character. The feeble-minded King, now under the absolute sway of Buckingham and Charles, did not long survive these successive mortifications. He was seized, early in the Spring of 1625, with a tertian ague, and expired at Theobalds, Mar. 27, 1625, in the fifty-ninth year of his age. The supposition that his death was hastened by the drink and plaister administered by Buckingham, in defiance of the physicians, has much more probability than nine stories out of ten which attribute the death of princes to poison. Nothing could be more suspicious than the haughty favourite's officiousness at a time that he had every thing to gain, and nothing to fear, from the death of the King, whose confidence he was conscious of having justly forfeited ; and the motives of his mother, an intriguing and ambitious Roman Catholic, in furnishing the nostrums, are not less liable to reasonable suspicion. Yet, if poisoned, James was more fortunate than either his ill-fated mother, or his misguided son, who both died on the scaffold.
The pity awakened by the treatment which the doting monarch received from his creature Steenie, and our indignation against the audacious favourite, insensibly soften down the impressions produced by the tenor of James's private and political conduct, But in vain do we look for any points in his character on which to found a sentiment of esteem. Hume, in marshalling his virtues, admits that his generosity bordered on profusion, his
раcific disposition on pusillanimity, and his wisdom on cunning; his learning also, which he strangely classes as a virtue, bordered, he says, on pedantry. Lord John Russell has more correctly estimated his intellectual character, when he says,
His sayings do him credit as a wit; his learning was not un• becoming a scholar; but his conduct made him contemptible ' as a King.' Excessive and ridiculous vanity was his leading foible; but this, though an indication of a feeble character, would not in itself have betrayed him into crime. He is said to have been good-natured; but it may well be questioned whether a good-nature that kept him neither from fits of ungovernable passion, nor from acts of tyranny, nor from deeds of blood,-a good-nature which stood only in the way of his doing