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dently at the conclusion that the clergy had no right to require the State to exercise coercive jurisdiction in support of their opinions. No doubt this concurrence was brought about by arguments of a very different kind. Selden would have restricted the clergy to the use of moral suasion, because he dreaded their encroachments upon the rights of the laity. Robinson would have asked for the same change because he dreaded lest they should interfere with the free exercise of religious zeal. If Selden had had his way, there would have been very little religious zeal left to interfere with. To such a man the one-sidedness, the violence, the very excitement of theological partisanship were eminently distasteful. He looked upon the enthusiasm of Laud, and the enthusiasm of Robinson, as equal nuisances to society. He never forgot that strong feeling contains the germs of possible tyranny over the opinions of others, and, in his heart, he fixed his hopes upon a calm and philosophical religion in which, though there might be no fanaticism, there would be but little life. If Robinson, on the other hand, had had his way, the English Church would have been parcelled out into a number of independent congregations, the members of which would have treated the mass of their countrymen as unworthy of the very name of Christians. In spite of his own breadth of view, piety and devotion would have been found

1 Amongst the articles presented by the emigrants to the King before they obtained leave to sail, and signed by Robinson and Brewster, were some in which they agreed to respect and obey the bishops, but only on account of their position as officers of the Crown.

"We judge it lawful," they say, "for his Majesty to appoint bishops, civil overseers, or officers in authority under him, in the several provinces, dioceses, congregations, or parishes, to oversee the churches and govern them civilly according to the laws of the land, unto whom they are in all things to give an account, and by them to be ordered according to godliness.

"The authority of the present bishops in the land we do acknowledge, so far forth as the same is indeed derived from his Majesty unto them, and as they proceed in his name, whom we will also therein honour in all things, and he in them.

"We believe that no synod, classes, convocation, or assembly of ecclesiastical officers hath any power or authority at all, but as the same by the magistrate is given unto them."-S. P. Colonial, i. 43.

1621

PROGRESS OF THE COLONY.

171

accompanied in his followers by much narrowness of mind and intolerance of spirit.

The liberal statesmen and the Puritans.

Fortunately for England, men like Selden and men like Robinson were able to work together towards a common end. In the great revolution which was approaching, it was Puritanism which was to play the part of the motive power. It was not enough that men should hold theories about liberty. What was needed was that there should be found those who were ready to dare anything and to suffer anything on behalf of Him whom they called their Lord; men who could confront kings, as being themselves the servants of the King of kings. When such had done their work, then would come the part of the calm philosophic statesmen, of the men whose minds were directed to the study of the natural creation, rather than to the contemplation of the perfections of the Creator, and who were quick to mark the moment at which the enthusiasm of their allies blinded them to the laws of nature, or hurried them on to demand the realisation of an ideal to which the world would be unwilling to submit.

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By the declaration which had been voted so enthusiastically on June 4, the Commons had left to the King that full liberty of action which he loved so dearly.

1620. November. Germany after the battle of Prague.

They had also left him the responsibility of acting wisely; and, unfortunately, partly through his own fault, but still more through the faults of others, the chance that he would be able to act wisely had been considerably lessened by the events of the seven months which had elapsed since the battle of Prague.

Between Ferdinand and Frederick nothing but distrust was now possible. In the eyes of the Emperor his fugitive enemy was a mere disturber of the peace whose flagitious intrigues must be baffled at any cost. In the eyes

Ferdinand and Frederick.

of Frederick, Ferdinand was himself a pretender who had been lawfully dethroned, and who now owed his success to the armies and the gold of the King of Spain. Nor were the views with which the rivals regarded their obligations as members of the Empire less opposite to one another. Ferdinand held that, in virtue of his office, he was the guardian of the peace of the Empire, and that this peace had been broken by the invasion of his dominions, and by the illegal assumption of one of the seven Electorates. Frederick, on the other hand, held that he had no quarrel with the Emperor as such. He had merely defended against an Archduke of Austria the throne which he held by legitimate election.

1620

WARLIKE PROSPECTS.

173

For years political controversy raged around these simple points in an interminable circle. Masses of paper wearisome to read, wearisome even to look at, were piled up by learned controversialists on either side. As each party started from premisses which were rejected by the other, both naturally failed either in convincing their contemporaries or in instructing posterity.

Views prevalent in Germany.

Regardless of such technicalities, the vast majority of German Protestants had maintained an anxious neutrality during the Bohemian war. They saw clearly that Frederick's theories involved the permanent establishment of anarchy. If the Emperor was to be nothing more than the nominal head of a federation, bereft even of the authority needed for the repression of private war amongst its members, order could never be preserved. Every prince who coveted his neighbour's lands would easily find an excuse for invading them, whilst the only authority known to the constitution would be powerless to interfere.

Yet, strong as the disposition was to rally round the Emperor, there were not wanting other considerations to lead thinking men in an opposite direction. That strict law of which Ferdinand had constituted himself the champion, was almost certain to be ruinous to the very existence of Protestantism in Germany. From declaring Frederick to be a traitor, it was but a short step to the forfeiture of his lands and dignities. If indeed Frederick, and such as Frederick, had been alone exposed to danger, the world would easily have borne the mishap. But the presence of a new Catholic Elector at the Diets and Assemblies of the Empire, could hardly fail to be attended with undesirable consequences, and it was certain that a new Catholic Lord of the Palatinate would make short work with the conscientious convictions of his subjects. The next step would be to demand the restitution of the ecclesiastical lands which had been seized since the peace of Augsburg, and to convert each regained abbey and bishopric into an outpost of Jesuitism. Even if, in respect for the letter of the law, the triumphant Emperor stopped here, every Protestant knew full well that the tide of religious aggression would

not thus be stayed. Each Protestant prince would learn that power had passed to Vienna, and that favour was to be obtained there but in one way. If he would only consent to abandon his religion, the restored ecclesiastical estates would offer bishoprics and canonries for his younger sons. Partial judges would be ready to listen with open ear to the complaints of every Catholic who had quarrelled with his neighbours. One by one, it was to be feared, the Protestant princes would drop off into the seductive arms of the Church of Rome, as the Protestant aristocracy were dropping off in France, and as Wolfgang William of Neuburg had dropped off in Germany, at the time when his claims upon the Duchy of Cleves stood in need of Catholic assistance. Each apostate in turn would carry with him the legal right of proscribing the religion which his subjects had learned to cherish, and each defection would close in more tightly the ever-narrowing circle within which Protestantism could live, and within which alone the free moral and intellectual life of the Germany of the future would be able to develope itself.

Such were the thoughts, dimly and confusedly penetrating the minds of the great majority of German Protestants. If Weakness of only John George of Saxony had been capable of the Elector translating their inarticulate feelings into prompt and of Saxony. decisive action, he might have won himself a name second to none in the annals of his country. If he could have stood forward at the head of the Princes and people of Northern Germany, to tell the Emperor that he might deal as he pleased with Frederick, but that the frontier of Protestantism must not recede, he would have found no want of support. Unhappily he did nothing of the kind. Knowing full well the double danger of civil anarchy and ecclesiastical tyranny with which the Empire was threatened, he wavered between the two. At one time he was eager for Frederick's complete restitution. At another time he was eager to see him completely crushed, and after every disappointment, he was ready to take refuge in the solace of the hunting-field and the bottle.

That which John George might have accomplished with comparative ease, presented far greater difficulties to James.

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