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HISTORY OF THE PURITANS,
DEATH OF KING CHARLES I.
DEATH OF KING CHARLES II.
IN THE YEAR 1684-5.
CONHAINING AN ACCOUNT OF
Their Principles; their Attempts for a further Reformation
and Characters of their principal Divines.
By DANIEL NEAL, M. A.
A NEW EDITION,
REVISED, CORRECTED, AND ENLARGED,
By JOSHUA TOULMIN, D. D.
TO WHICH ARE PREFIXED,
Some Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Author.
This know alfo, that in the laft Days perilous Times fhall come.
They shall put you out of the Synagogues: yea, the Time cometh, that
John xvi. 2.
BATH, PRINTED BY R. CRUTTWELL;
AND SOLD BY
C. DILLY, POULTRY; AND J. JOHNSON, ST. PAUL's CHURCH
M DCC XCV1.
HIS volume brings the History of the Sufferings of for
proteftant diffenters have fince complained of feveral difficulties and difcouragements, yet most of the penal laws have been fufpended; the profecutions of the fpiritual courts have been confiderably restrained by the kind interpofition of the civil powers, and liberty of confcience enjoyed without the hazard of fines, imprisonments, and other terrors of this world.
The times now in review were stormy and boisterous; upon the death of king Charles I. the conftitution was diffolved: the men at the helm had no legal authority to change the government into a commonwealth, the protectorship of Cromwell was an ufurpation, because grafted only on the military power, and fo were all the misfhapen forms into which the administration was caft till the reftoration of the king. In order to pass a right judgment upon thefe extraordinary revolutions, the temper and circumftances of the nation are to be duly confidered; for thofe actions which in fome circumstances are highly criminal, may in a different fituation of affairs become neceffary. The parties engaged in the civil wars were yet living, and their refentments against each other fo much inflamed, as to cut off all hopes of a reconciliation; each dreaded the other's fuccefs, well knowing they must fall a facrifice to those who should prevail. All prefent views of the king's recovering his father's throne
* The reader will obferve that the period here referred to is the paffing the act of toleration, with which Mr. Neal's Fourth volume concludes. But the additions to the original work, by notes and fupplements in this edition, have neceffarily extended it to a Fifth volume, which comprehends the Author's two laft chapters, the papers that form the Appendix to each of his volumes, and other papers.
were defeated at the battle of Worcester, the loyalists being then entirely broken and difperfed; fo that if some fuch extraordinary genius as Cromwell's had not undertaken to steer the nation through the storm, it had not been poffible to hold the government together till Providence fhould open a way for reftoring the constitution, and fettling it on its legal bafis.
The various forms of government (if they deserve that name) which the officers of the army introduced after the death of Cromwell, made the nation fick of their frenzies, and turned their eyes towards their banished fovereign; whofe restoration, after all, could not be accomplished without great imprudence on one part, and the most artful diffimulation on the other. The Prefbyterians, like weak politicians, furrendered at difcretion, and parted with their power on no other fecurity than the royal word, for which they have been fufficiently reproached; though I am of opinion, that, if the king had been brought in by a treaty, the fucceeding parliament would have fet it aside. On the other hand, nothing can be more notorious than the deep hypocrify of general Monk, and the folemn affurances given by the bishops and other loyalifts, and even by the king himself, of burying all paft offences under the foundation of the Reftoration; but when they were lifted into the faddle, the haste they made to fhew how little they meant by their promises, exceeded the rules of decency as well as honour. Nothing would fatisfy, till their adverfaries were disarmed, and in a manner deprived of the protection of the government; the terms of conformity were made narrower and more exceptionable than before the civil wars, the penal laws were rigorously executed, and new ones framed almost every feflions of parliament for feveral fucceffive years; the non-conformist ministers were banished five miles from all the corporations in England, and their people fold for fums of money to carry on the king's unlawful pleasures, and to bribe the nation into popery and flavery; till the Houfe of Comimons, awakened at laft with a fenfe of the threatening danger, grew intractable, and was therefore diffolved.