Chapter I a

Beginnings and Nature of American Presbyterianism

The controversies which have so long agitated the Presbyterian Church have, at length, resulted in its separation. It would not be easy to state, in a manner satisfactory to both parties, the points of difference between them. It may, however, be said, without offense, that the one party is in favor of a stricter adherence to the standards of the church, as to doctrine and order, than the other. On the one hand, it has been contended that the Westminster Confession of Faith was adopted as the Confession of the Presbyterian Church only in a very qualified manner, and that the proper condition of ministerial communion is nothing more than agreement in those points which are “essential and necessary in doctrine, worship, or government.” As it regards church order, it is said that American Presbyterianism is some thing very different from the Scottish system; that our higher judicatories have only judicial and advisory powers, that is, the right to hear and decide appeals, complaints, and references, and to give advice; that the General Assembly, especially, is nothing but an appellate court and advisory council; that our several courts are, as to their existence and action, entirely independent of each other. It is asserted that “Congregationalism was the basis of Presbyterianism in this country,” and that “had Congregation alists never entered the field beyond the bounds of New England, Presbyterianism would scarcely have existed in this country, except in name.” It is not to be supposed, however, that all the brethren who are now considered as “New School” adopt, to their full extent, either of the extreme opinions above stated.

On the other side, it is contended that our church, ever since it had a constitution at all, has been strictly Calvinistic in doctrine, and purely Presbyterian in government, that is, that such were the requirements of the judicatories of the Church. The condi tion of ministerial communion was not merely agreement in the essential doctrines of the Gospel, but the adoption of that system of doctrine which is contained in the Westminster Confession and Catechisms. A great distinction has always been made between ministerial and Christian communion. We are bound to regard and treat as Christians, all whom, in the judgment of charity, we believe to be the children of God. Accordingly, assent to the Westminster Confession of Faith is not required of the private members of the church, nor are private Christians subjected to discipline for any error not regarded as subversive of Christianity. But of those who aspire to be teachers or rulers in the church much more has been required. It is not enough that such should be Christians. They must be sound in the faith. To secure this end, the church has required their assent to her doctrinal standards as containing the system of doctrines taught in the word of God. And by system of doctrine, according to the lowest standard of interpretation, has been understood the Calvinistic system as distinguished from all others. There are indeed many whose views of subscription are such that they could not adopt the Confession of Faith, unless they were able to receive every distinct proposition which it contains. This may be right; but it is believed that no attempt has ever been made to enforce the discipline of the church against any individual who was not believed to reject some of the distinctive features of the Calvinistic system as contained in our Confession.

With regard to church order, it is contended that our church adopted from the beginning, and has ever continued to exercise that form of government which had been previously adopted in Scotland, Ireland, Holland, and among the Protestants of France. This system was everywhere, in all its distinctive and essential features, the same. It required the government of individual congregations to be vested in the pastor and elders, and not in the brotherhood. It required the association of several particular churches under one Presbytery, composed of ministers and elders. it provided for provincial and national Synods, composed of dele gates from the lower courts, and recognized as belonging to Synods, the authority of review and control, and the right to set down rules for the government of the church.

When it is said that we adopted the Scottish system, the expres sion is used in its ordinary and proper acceptation. When two countries or two churches are said to have the same system of government, it is not implied that they have the same laws in all their details. We, for example, have some rules about the reception of foreign ministers, the forms of process, statistical reports, &c., which are peculiar to ourselves. The Church of Scotland has a multitude of rules relating to tithes, patronage, &c., which arise out of its peculiar circumstances. So, also, the French churches have rules about schools and colleges which may not he found in the Scottish books. Still the Church of Scotland considers itself as adopting the same system of discipline as the Protestants of France, and no authority is more frequently quoted by Scotch writers than the Ratio Disciplinæ of the French churches. The question is not about any particular laws or rules, but about prin ciples of government. Are our courts “as to their existence and action entirely independent of each other”? Are the acts of our Synods, when not judicial, merely advisory? Or have our judica tories the right to set down rules for the government of the church?

The power claimed for Synods, using the word in its general sense, is nothing more than what, in express terms, is said to belong to them in the Confession of Faith. It is by no means an unlimited power. It relates merely to matters of government; for all legislative powers in “matters of religion,” or in things affecting the conscience, our church has, with one voice, uniformly disclaimed. It is, moreover, restricted by our present constitution within very narrow limits, much narrower than those within which our old Synods were accustomed to move. It is in the sense thus explained, it is maintained, that our church did, from the beginning, adopt the Scottish system of government, and has maintained it ever since. It is difficult to know what is meant, when it is said, “the Presbyterian systems of the French Huguenots and of South Britain, were much more mild than those of Holland and Scotland, where they had the civil authority to protect them and enforce their enactments.” Such remarks are frequently made. It is said that we adopted a system more allied to the mild form of Presbyterianism prevalent among some of the Reformed Churches, than to that of Scotland.

It is a great mistake to suppose that French Presbyterianism was more mild than that of Scotland, as would abundantly appear from a review of Quick’s “Synodicon, or the Acts, Decisions, Decrees and Canons of those famous national councils of the Reformed Churches in France.” There were twenty-nine of these Synods held at irregular intervals, in the course of a hundred years, as permission could be obtained from the government. The first was held in 1559, the last in 1659. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes, of course, put a stop to all such assemblies, and consummated that long train of persecutions, by which the Reformed Churches in France were nearly extirpated. It is said that, in ten years, 200,000 French Protestants suffered martyrdom, and about 700,000 were driven from the kingdom. Few por tions of the Christian church have higher claims on the sympathy and respect of Protestants than the Reformed Churches of France. They were, however, rigidly Calvinistic, and strictly Presbyterian, and those who do not respect these characteristics, cannot respect them. Some idea of the kind of Presbyterianism which prevailed in France, may be gathered from the following facts. The provincial Synods were obliged to furnish their deputies to the national Synod, with a commission in these terms: “We promise before God to submit ourselves unto all that shall be concluded and determined in your holy Assembly, to obey and execute it to the utmost of our power; being persuaded that God will preside among you, and lead you by his Holy Spirit into all truth and equity by the rule of his word, for the good and edification of his Church, to the glory of his great name; which we humbly beg of his Divine Majesty in our daily prayers.” (Quick, Vol. I, p. 478.) On the next page is the follow ing record: “The Confession of Faith of these Reformed Churches in the kingdom of France, was read word by word, from beginning to the end, and approved in all its articles by all the deputies, as well for themselves as for the provinces that sent them, and all of them sware for themselves and provinces, that they would teach and preach it, because they believed that it did perfectly agree with the word of God; and they would use their best endeavor, that as it had been hitherto, so it should be evermore received and taught in their churches and provinces.” This Confession contains forty ar ticles, and occupies nine folio pages; and when it is remembered that it was drawn up by Calvin, it may be conceived what doctrines it contains. It became the custom to have the Confession read and readopted at every national Synod. The record is nearly in the same form every time; it was read “word by word, and re‑examined in every particular point and article”; and the deputies “swore” or “protested” for themselves and principals, “to live and die in this faith.”

That the French churches agreed with those of Holland in doc trine and discipline, is evident from the fact that, when the deputies from the Dutch Churches appeared in the national Synod, held in 1583, and tendered the “Confession of Faith and body of church discipline, owned and embraced by the said Churches of the Low Countries, this Assembly,” it is recorded “having humbly and heart ily blessed God for that sweet union and agreement, both in doc trine and discipline, between the churches of this kingdom and of that republic, did judge meet to subscribe them both; and it did also request those, our brethren, their deputies, reciprocally to subscribe our Confession of Faith and body of church discipline; which, in obedience to the commission given them by their principals, they did accordingly; thereby testifying mutual harmony and concord in doctrine and discipline of all the churches in both nations.” (Vol. I, p. 143.)

When the canons of the Synod of Dort were published, they were presented to the national Synod of France, held 1620. From the record relating to this subject, the following is an extract: “This Assembly, after invocation of the name of God, decreed that the articles of the said national council held at Dort, should be read in full Synod, which being read accordingly, and every article pondered most attentively, they were all received and approved by a com mon unanimous consent, as agreeing with the word of God and the Confession of Faith of these our churches—for which reason all the pastors and elders deputed unto this Assembly, have sworn and protested, jointly and severally, that they consent unto this doc trine, and that they will defend it with the utmost of their power even to their latest breath. And this Assembly ordaineth that this very canon be printed and added to the canons of the said council, and that it shall be read in our provincial Synods and universities, that it may be approved, sworn, and subscribed to, by the pastors and elders of our churches, and by the doctors and professors in our universities, and also by all those that are to be ordained and admitted into the ministry, or into the professor’s chair in any of our universities. And if any one of these persons should reject, either in whole or in part, the doctrine contained in, and decided by the canons of the said council, or refuse to take the oath of con sent and approbation; this Assembly decreeth, that he shall not be admitted into any office or employment, either in our churches or universities.” (Quick’s Synodicon, Vol. II, pp. 37, 38.)

In the Synod, 1644-45, it was reported “by certain deputies of the maritime provinces, that there do arrive unto them from other countries, some persons going by the name of Independents, and so called, for that they teach every particular church should of right be governed by its own laws, without any dependency or subordination unto any person whatsoever in ecclesiastical matters, and without being obliged to own or acknowledge the authority of col loquies or Synods, in matters of discipline or order; and that they settle their dwellings in this kingdom; a thing of great and dangerous consequence if not in time carefully prevented. Now this As sembly fearing lest the contagion of this poison should diffuse itself insensibly, and bring in a world of disorders and confusions upon us, all the provinces are therefore enjoined, but more especially those which border on the sea, to be exceedingly careful that this evil do not get footing in the churches of this kingdom.” (&c., &c., p. 467.)

There are many acts of these Synods which would make modern ears tingle, and which prove that American Presbyterianism in its strictest form, was a sucking dove compared to that of the immediate descendants of the Reformers. To maintain truth and order in the church in those days of conflict, it required a sterner purpose and firmer conviction than are commonly to be met with at the present time, when many are wont to change their church and creed almost as readily as they change their clothes. This account of the French church has been given, because, as will appear in the sequel, there was at an early period, a strong infusion of French Presbyterianism into the churches of this country, and it is well to know something of its character.

The Scottish system is now spoken of with disapprobation, and its early advocates are called “sectarian bigots.” This is certainly not the way in which our fathers were accustomed to speak on this subject. In a minute adopted in 1751, the Synod of New York says, “We do hereby declare and testify our constitution, order, and discipline to be in harmony with the established Church of Scot land. The Westminster Confession, Catechisms, and Directory for public worship and church government, adopted by them, are in like manner received and adopted by us. We declare ourselves united with that church in the same faith, order, and discipline. Its approbation, countenance, and favor, we have abundant testi monies of.” In their address to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, written in 1753, in furtherance of the efforts of Messrs. Gilbert Tennent and Samuel Davies, in behalf of the college of New Jersey, they say, “In the colonies of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Carolina, a great many congregations have been formed upon the Presbyterian plan, which have put themselves under the synodical care of your petitioners, who conform to the constitution of the Church of Scotland, and have adopted her standards of doctrine, worship, and discipline.” Again: “Your petitioners, therefore, most earnestly pray that this very reverend Assembly would afford the said college all the coun tenance and assistance in their power. The young daughter of the Church of Scotland, helpless and exposed, in this foreign land, cries to her tender and powerful parent for relief.” Whose language is this? Not that of the “Old‑side” Synod. If it was, it might be regarded as a matter of course. It is the language of the “New -side” Synod, of that body which, according to the popular represent ation, were opposed to the Scottish system. It is the language of the Tennents, Blair, Pemberton, Davies, Burr, Finley, and others. Yet it is language which those who think they adopt their prin ciples will not now bear.

Both parties in our church have appealed to its early history in support of their peculiar opinions. It is the object of this work to review that history, in order to show that our church has always demanded adherence to the system of doctrines contained in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, as the condition of ministerial communion, and that it has ever claimed and exer­cised all the distinguishing powers of Presbyterian government. The arguments in support of this position will be drawn from the origin, from the official declarations and constitution, and from the history of the church. As there have, at different periods, been many persons connected with the Church of England, who disliked Episcopacy, so there have, doubtless, been many connected with the Presbyterian Church who disliked its principles, and were far from complying with its demands. The question, however, is not about the opinions of individuals, but the avowed principles of the Church.

It is admitted that the early history of the Presbyterian Church in the United States is involved in great obscurity. The reason of this fact is obvious. Presbyterians did not at first emigrate in large bodies, or occupy by themselves extensive districts of country. In New England the early settlers were Congregationalists. The history of that portion of our country is, therefore, in a great mea sure, the history of that denomination. The same remark, to a cer tain extent, is applicable to the Dutch in New York, the Quakers in Pennsylvania, the Catholics in Maryland. The case was very different with regard to the Presbyterians. They came, as a general rule, as individuals, or in small companies, and settled in the midst of people of other denominations. It was, therefore, in most in stances, only gradually that they became sufficiently numerous in any one place to form congregations, or to associate in a Presbyte rial capacity. It is true their increase was very rapid, partly by the aggregation of persons of similar principles, though of different origin, and partly by constant immigration. This peculiarity in the history of American Presbyterians arose, in a great measure, from the fact, that the persecution which drove so many of the early settlers to this country, fell, in the first instance, heaviest on the Independents and Quakers; and when it came upon the Pres­byterians (at least those of Scotland), it did not drive them so generally from their own country, but led to a protracted struggle for liberty at home, a struggle which was eventually crowned with success.

Owing to the circumstances just referred to, we are obliged, in tracing the early history of the Presbyterian Church in this country, to review the colonial history of the several States, and gather from their records the scattered and imperfect intimations they afford of the origin of our own denomination. There is one preliminary remark, which must be constantly borne in mind. The Puritans were not all Congregationalists. The contrary impression has indeed become very general, from the fact that the Puritans settled New England, and that Congregationalism became there the prevalent form of church discipline. Hence it seems to be confidently inferred that all emi grants from Old or New England bearing that designation, must have carried Congregationalism with them wherever they went. Hence too, it is taken for granted that, if a minister came into our church from New England, he could not be a Presbyterian. This is a great mistake. The Congregationalists or Independents were a mere handful, compared with the whole number of the Puritans. This term was applied to all who were desirous of a greater degree of purity, in ceremonies, discipline, or doctrine, than they found in the estab lished Church of England. The first Puritans, under Elizabeth, scrupled about the church vestments. They had no difficulty as to the doctrines of the church; they were willing to submit to Episco pacy, but they could not reconcile themselves to the “idolatrous gear,” as they called it, which had so long been the distinguishing badge of the popish priesthood. This was the first cause of schism in the English Church. It is true many Puritans reluctantly sub mitted to the imposition of the clerical habits, and retained their standing in the church. This was the case with Grindal himself, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury. A majority of the members actually present in the Convocation, held 1562, as they were desi rous of a further reformation, were stigmatized as Puritans. All the most eminent churchmen were on their side, as Jewel, Grindal, Sandys, Nowell. Archbishop Parker and Cox, Bishop of Ely, stood almost alone on the other side, sustained, however, by the authority of Elizabeth, whose will was law. The hold which the Puritans had upon the people is manifest from the frequent major ities which they commanded in parliament, even during this des potic reign. The main controversy was as yet about ceremonies. Had the use of the habits and a few ceremonies been left discre tionary, both ministers and people had been easy; but it was the compelling these things by law (as they told the archbishop) that made them separate. It was thus that the first and most scrupu lous class of Puritans were ejected from the church.

When Whitgift was made archbishop in 1588, he tightened the reins of discipline and of course increased the number of dissen ters. He published three articles, which all who enjoyed any office or benefice in the church were obliged to subscribe. The second of these articles declared that the Book of Common Prayer “con tained nothing contrary to the word of God.” This, large num bers could not assert, and hence were suspended or deprived. Many, however, still remained in the church, who either escaped the imposition of the articles, through the favor of their bishops, or subscribed with such explanations, as satisfied their consciences. Hitherto, doctrinal matters had not entered into the controversy. The faith of the Reformers was still the faith of the church. Whitgift, the great persecutor of the Puritans, was a most strenu ous Calvinist, as were Grindal before him, and Abbot after him. James I, who had sent deputies to the Synod of Dort, and had urged on the persecution of the Remonstrants, suddenly became, under the influence of a few favorite ecclesiastics, a convert to Arminianism. This, however, did not change the faith of the church or of the nation. Even “Oxford,” at this time, says Le Bas, the biographer and eulogist of Laud, “bore a greater resem blance, in many respects, to a colony of Geneva, than to a Semi nary of Anglo‑Catholic Divinity.”

As Arminianism, from this time, became the doctrine of the high church and court party, Calvinism was identified with Puritanism. One of the earliest parliaments under Charles I “took up the increase of Arminianism as a public grievance. It was coupled in their remonstrances with Popery, as a new danger to religion, hardly less terrible than the former.” Under the administration of Archbishop Laud, the Puritan party rapidly increased. It was the fate of that prelate to appear at a time when his spirit and principles were in direct opposition to those of the people whom he attempted to govern. He was for receding to the very confines of Romanism; they were getting alienated even from Episcopacy. He laid peculiar stress on matters of ceremony; they were becoming more and more enamored of simple forms of worship. He was most despotic in his ideas of government; they were determined to be free. Every parliament met but to demand a redress of grievances (of which those arising from the bishops formed a prominent part), and was dissolved only to have their burdens rendered more intolerable. This conflict ended as might have been expected. The principles of Laud brought himself and his unhappy master to the block.

During all this time, opposers of the government were called Puritans, a term not expressive of any one set of opinions, so much as of one common object. Episcopalians, who refused to read the book of Sunday sports; Presbyterians, who objected to the power of the bishops; Independents, who rejected all govern ment in the church, beyond that of a congregation over itself, were all Puritans. Subsequent events proved that the second of these classes was much the most numerous of the three. Even as early as the time of Elizabeth, a large portion of the clergy of the established church were Presbyterians in principle. They were unwilling to separate from the church as long as unity could be preserved, and were willing to submit to Episcopacy, rather than be guilty of schism. They endeavored, to a certain extent, to associate in Presbyteries, without separating from the establish ment. As early as 1572, a Presbytery was formed on these prin ciples at Wandsworth, and other associations of the same kind were instituted in different parts of the kingdom. Travers drew up in Latin a form of government, entitled “The Discipline of the Church as described in the Word of God,” which was printed at Geneva in 1574. It was subsequently translated into English, and revised by Cartwright. This discipline, which is published at length by Neal in the Appendix of his history, is completely Presbyterian. It was subscribed by above five hundred beneficed clergymen, as agreeable to the word of God and to be promoted by all lawful means. Thus early and thus numerous was the Presbyterian party in the Church of England.

When the arbitrary measures of Charles I drove the nation into rebellion, the partisans of the court were of course Episcopalian; the opposite party was, or became, in the main, Presbyterian. It is not easy indeed to ascertain the proportion which the parties in the Long Parliament, opposed to the government when it first assembled, bore to each other. Of the Presbyterians, there appear to have been two divisions—the one strenuous for their whole system, the other willing to admit Archbishop Usher’s plan, either from preference, or as a compromise. A bill was brought forward by Sir Edward Dering for the utter extirpation of Episcopacy, which passed its second reading by a vote of 139 to 108. Yet this gentleman afterwards advocated the plan of Usher. There is no doubt that many Presbyterians would have acquiesced in this scheme which was essentially Presbyterian, could it have harmonized the conflicting parties in the kingdom. When all hope, however, of a compromise was at an end, they became more strenuous in advocating their own system.

When the compact came to be formed with Scotland, all the members of the commons who re mained at Westminster, to the number of two hundred and twenty-eight, and between twenty and thirty peers, subscribed the solemn league and covenant. This, no doubt, was done by many from motives of policy, but it is to be hoped that the strong declara tions in favor of Presbyterianism which that covenant contains, were not insincere on the part of the great majority. When the parliament called together the Westminster Assembly of Divines in 1643, of the one hundred and twenty clerical and thirty lay members, of which it consisted, not more than six or seven were Independents, a few were Erastians, and the remainder, with the exception of some Episcopalians, who soon retired, were Presbyterians. Of these Presbyterians there were the same two divisions, which were just mentioned as existing in parliament. That this Assembly was a fair representation of the state of parties among the opposers of the government, subsequent events sufficiently proved. The Presbyterians became completely predominant, and their form of government was established by law, a measure to which the Independents did not object, though they insisted on free dom for themselves. That the English Presbyterians were sufficiently decided, is evident from the fact that the Assembly asserted the jus divinum of Presbyterianism. To this the parliament very properly demurred, and required the declaration to be put in the form in which it now stands in the Directory, viz. “that it is lawful and agreeable to the word of God, that the church be governed by congregational, classical, and synodical Assemblies.” With this the English Presbyterians were as little satisfied as the Scotch. Against this declaration the London ministers, as well as the mayor and common council, earnestly remonstrated.1

The power of self-government the Church of England has never enjoyed. Every sentence of a spiritual judge is liable to be reversed by s civil tribunal. Its bishops are appointed, and their number increased or diminished at pleasure, by the government. Since the power has passed out of their own hands, the high-church party begin to complain bitterly of this thralldom. … It was on this principle of subordination to the civil authority that Presbyterianism was established by the Long Parliament, as provision was made for appeal from the censures of the church to a civil tribunal. (Neal, Vol. III, pp. 297, 303.) It is hard to see how this can be avoided in any country where ecclesiastical censures are followed by the forfeiture of civil rights.

The Independents were a small minority in parliament, among the clergy, and in the nation. Their strength was in the army. They no doubt in creased greatly under Cromwell, but at his death, when the ejected members resumed their seats in parliament, the whole kingdom was in the hands of the Presbyterians. At the restoration of Charles II, “The Presbyterians,” says Neal, who was very far from being their friend, “were in possession of the whole power of England; the council of state, the chief officers of the army and navy, and the governors of the chief forts and garrisons, were theirs: their clergy were in possession of both universities and of the best liv ings of the kingdom.” Another proof how numerous and impor tant the Presbyterians were considered, is that it was deemed advisable, in order to conciliate them, to allow Charles II five months after his return, to issue a declaration in which so many reductions of Episcopal power, and so many reforms were promised, as to make the hierarchy very little more than it would have been, had Archbishop Usher’s plan been adopted. This declaration was designed, says Hallam, merely “to scatter dust in men’s eyes.” The motion in parliament to give it the force of law was lost by a vote of 183 to 157. Instead of compromise, the harshest mea sures were soon adopted. The act of uniformity was passed which required re‑ordination of those who had been presbyterially ordained, “assent and consent to all and every thing contained, and prescribed, in and by the Book of Common Prayer,” and the profession of the doctrine of passive obedience. This the Presbyte rians could not submit to, and were consequently ejected from the ministry of the church, to the number of about 2,000. These, of course, were only the most conscientious, or the most decided. Multitudes who had taken the covenant conformed and retained their stations. This was the case with Dr. Reynolds, a man of great learning and excellence, who was made Bishop of Norwich. Among those who were ejected were Baxter, Calamy, Manton, Bates, Meade, and many others scarcely less distinguished for their learning, piety, and zeal.2

  1. Neal, Vol. III, pp. 290, 291. One great point of difference between the Assembly and the parliament related to the power of the civil magistrates in relation to the church. The Presbyterians had passed a resolution declaring that Jesus Christ had established a form of government for the church “distinct from the civil magistrate.” With this the parliament were by no means satisfied. They claimed an authority in the church as extensive as that which had been exercised formerly by the king and parliament combined. The Assembly was called merely to give advice; they were expressly denied any jurisdiction, power, or authority ecclesiastical, whatsoever. Accordingly, Episcopacy was abolished, the directory for worship enjoined, Presbyterianism established, all by act of parliament. The church had nothing to do with it. This was in strict accordance with the English method, which has been almost completely Erastian since the time of Henry VIII. The church cannot act with authority; the form of government, the articles, the liturgy, all derive their binding force from the civil rulers. The church is the creature of the State. To assert the independence of the church has always hen regarded as the height of clerical arrogance. … 

  2. The representation given above of the prevalence of Presbyterianism among the Puritans of the reign of Charles I is not so strong as that which may be found in the works of authors, who cannot be suspected of partiality. Mr. Bancroft, in his History of the United States, speaking of the state of England, at the close of the first civil war, says: “The majority (of parlia ment) was with the Presbyterians, who were elated with the sure hope of a triumph. They represented a powerful portion of the aristocracy of England; they had, besides the majority in the Commons, the exclusive possession of the House of Lords; they held command of the army, they had numerous and active adherents among the clergy; the English people favored them. Scotland, which had been so efficient in all that had thus far been done, was entirely devoted to their interests, and they hoped for a compromise with their sovereign. … And what compromise should be offered by the Independents? How could they hope for superior influence, when it could be gained only by rising above the Commons, the peers, the commanders of the army, all Scot land, and the mass of the English people?” (pp. 9, 10.) This superior influence they did gain by the genius of Cromwell, by forcibly ejecting the majority of parliament, and by the devotion of the army. “A free parliament would hate been their doom,” says Mr. Bancroft, “Had peace never been broken, the Independents would have remained a powerless minority; the civil war gave them a rallying point in the army.” (p. 12.)