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MAGAZINE And REVEIW,
DIVINE AND USEFUL
For Ihe Church Of England, I am persuaded that the constant Doctrine of
Religion is not a personal thing, which every man may new model, or alter for himself, ivithout rebuke from his fello'x-Christians, or from the Governors of the Church, Jt is the joint patrimony of the xvhole community, and every man more or less, is accountable to his neighbour for any waste made in it. It if the common concern, and every one in his station and degree, must give a helping hand to preserve it in its native purity*
THE LIFE OF THE MOST REV. WILLIAM LAUD,
THIS illustrious prelate was born at Reading in Berk* shire, October 7, 1575. His father was a respectable clothier of that town, and his mother was sister of Sir William Webb, knight, lord mayor of London. After receiving his grammatical education at the free school of his native place, he was sent to St. John's College, Oxford, at the age of sixteen. In 1593 he was elected fellow of that society, and the year following took the degree of B. A. as he did that of M. A. in 1598, in which year he was grammar reader. In 1600 he entered into deacon's orders, and the next year was ordained priest; at which time he read a divinity lecture in his college. It was either in reading this lecture or. some other chapeL exercise, that he maintained the constant and perpetual Visibility of the Church of Christ, derived from the apostles to the Church of Rome, and continued in that church as well as in those of the east and south till the reformation. This is a position of considerable importance, and cannot be conceded without endangering the cause of episcopacy; yet so bigoted was Dr. Abbot, then vice-chancellor, against the Church of Rome, that he immediately took up a violent prejudice against Mr. Laud, which be maintained to his death. In 1603 he was one . Vol. VII- Churchm. Mag. July, 1804. B of
S of the proctors of the university, and the same year was made chaplain to Charles Blount, Earl of Devonshire; whom he inconsiderately married in l60j to Penelop*, ■the divorced wife of Robert Lord Rich, an affair which caused him afterwards great uneasiness, and exposed him to much censure. He took his degree of B. D. in J604, his exercise on which occasion gave great offence to the Calvinists. The questions he then disputed upon were, 1. The Necessity of Baptism; 2. That there could be no true Church without diocesan bishops. For the last " he was shrewdly rattled by Dr. Holland," the divinity professor, "as one that did endeavour to cast a bone of discord betwixt the Church of England and the reformed churches beyond the seas*." But every true churchman, wc are confident, will rather admire his honest boldness in maintaining this apostolical principle, which is the corner-stone of our ecclesiastical constitution, at a time when the Calvinists were too generally apt to yield that important point out of complaisance to their foreign brethren. Mr. Laud saw then that the prevalence of Calvinism was injurious to the interests of the Church, by making men indifferent to her polity; and so early did he set himself to oppose the novelties of Geneva, and to assert the plain principles of primitive Christianity. Not long after, he gave still greater offence to the party, in a sermon preached before the university; for which lie was severely questioned by Dr. Airay, then vice-chancellor, who charged the sermon with containing several popish passages: "The good man," as Dr. Heylyn expresses it, "taking all things to be matter of popery which were not held forth unto him in Calvin's Institutes, conceiving that there was as much idolatry iu bowing at the name, of Jesus, as in worshipping the brazen serpent." But Air. Laud so fully vindicated himself, that he was not obliged to make any recantation, as Wood acknowledges in/aj.particular account of the affair. Notwithstanding' tliis, Dr. Abbot, already mentioned, took advantage of this, sermon to renew his persecution of Laud, and lie did it so effectually, that "it was almost made heresy (as he himself tokl Dr. Heylyn) for any one to be seen in his company, and a misprision of heresy to give him a civil salutation in the streets."