Page images

And the justices at the sessions where any penalties under any act or acts relatiog to reProtestant dissenting minister shall live, are ligious worship, as any person who shall have required to tender and administer the said last- taken the oaths and made the declaration prementioned declaration to such minister, upon scribed by or mentioned in the 1 W. & M. or his offering himself to make and subscribe the any act amending the said act, is by law exempt. same, and thereof to keep a register; for the And by § 6, it is provided, that no person registering of which he shall pay 6d. to the offi- shall be required by any justice to go to any cer of the court, and no more; and 6d. for a greater distance than five miles from his own certificate thereof signed by such officer.' home, or from the place where he shall be re

By stat. 10 Ann. c. 2, $ 9. Any preacher or siding at the time of such requisition, for the teacher of any congregation of dissenting protes- purpose of taking such oaths as aforesaid. tants, duly qualified according to the act of $ 7. Any of his majesty's protestant subjects W. & M., shall be allowed to officiate in any may appear before any one justice, and produce congregation, although the same be not in the to such justice a printed or written copy of county where he was so qualified; provided the said oathis and declaration, and require that the place of meeting hath been duly certi- such justice to administer such oaths, and to fied and registered: and such teacher or preacher tender such declaration to be made, taken, and shall, if required, produce a certificate of his subscribed by such person; and thereupon such having so qualified himself, under the hand of justice shall administer such oaths, and tender the clerk of the peace where he was qualified; such declaration to the person requiring to take and shall also, before any justice of such county and make and subscribe the same; and such or place where he shall so officiate, make and person shall take and make and subscribe such subscribe such declaration, and take such oaths oaths and declaration in the presence of such as aforesaid, if required.

justice accordingly; and such justice shall attest And by 1 W. & M. c. 18. § 11., and 19 the same to be sworn before him, and shall transGeo. III., c. 44. § 1. Every such teacher and mit or deliver the same to the clerk of the peace preacher, that is a minister, preacher, or teacher for the county, &c., for which he shall act as of a congregation, having taken the oaths, and such justice, before or at the next general or subscribed as aforesaid, shall from thenceforth quarter sessions of the peace for such county, &c. be exempted from serving on any jury, or from And for the making and signing of which cerbeing chosen or appointed to bear the office of tificate, where the said oaths and declaration are churchwarden, overseer of the poor, or any taken and made on the requisition of the party other parochial or ward office, or other office, in taking and making the same, such justice shall any hundred of any shire, city, town, parish, be entitled to demand and have a fee of 2s. 6d. division, or wapentake, and by 42 Geo. III., c. and no more: and such certificate shall be con90, and 43 Geo. III., c. 10, from servink in clusive evidence that the party named therein has the militia, either personally or by substitute, if made and taken the oaths and subscribed the he be a licensed teacher of any separate congre- declaration in manner required by this act. gation, and has been licensed twelve months Dissenters chosen to any parochial or ward previous to the yearly general meeting appoint- offices, and scrupling to take the oaths, may exed to be held in October, &c.: and by 43 Geo. ecute the office by deputy, who shall comply with. III., c. 96, § 12, from serving under the army the law in this behalf. Stat. 1 W. & M. st. of reserve act, If he be a licensed teacher of 1, c. 18.—But it appears that they are not subany separate congregation in holy orders, or ject to fine on refusing to serve corporation pretended holy orders, and not carrying on any offices. For where a freeman of London was. other trade, or exercising any other occupation elected one of the sheriffs, but refused to take for his livelihood, except that of a school- the office on account of his being a dissenter, master.

and, as such, not having received the sacrament By stat. 52 Geo. III., c. 155, § 2, no congre- according to the rites of the Church of England, gation of Protestants for religious worship, within a year before his election, an action was where more than twenty persons shall be present brought in the Sheriff's Court, for the. penalty besides the preacher's family, shall be permitted incurred by such refusal, and a judgment re(unless registered under former acts) until duly covered; which judgment was affirmed in a writ certified to the bishop, &c., or to the sessions, of error brought in the court of Hustings. But and a due return shall be made thereof once a the defendant having obtained a commission of year to the bishop or archdeacon, and registered errors, the judges' delegates reversed both judgin the court of the bishop, &c., on penalty of ments; and, on a writ of error in parliament, £20 on every person allowing any such congre- this judgment of reversal was affirmed; the gation, to meet in any place occupied by him. judges being (except one) of opinion that the Persons preaching in any place without consent defendant was at liberty to object to the validity of occupiers, are liable to a penalty of £30. of bis election, on the ground of his own nonAnd by $ 4.

Every person who shall teach conformity. or preach at, or officiate in, or shall resort to any And thus the reader has before him a summary congregation or assembly for religious worship of view of the existing legal situation and rights of protestants, whose place of meeting shall be the Protestant Dissenting body. duly certified according to the provisions of this 2. Of the principles common to this body us art, or any cther act or acts relating to the certi- separatists from the establishment, we know of tying and registering of places of religious wor no general authentic summary : but dissenters at slip, shall be exempt from all such pains and larve are very familiar with ihose arguments for

the liberty of conscience, the right of private ingly, the dissenters allege, that the church of judgment, and final obedience to God alone in re- England is a parliamentary church; not proligion, which they consider as involving the right perly an ally, but a mere creature of the existing and duty of the course they adopt. They are government, depending cntirely upon the acts also not without respectable publications on the and authority of parliament for its essence and subject, by learned individuals of their hody. frame. The qualifications of its ministers, their It will be sufficient to mention those of Dod- power to officiate, the manner in which they are dridge, Watts, Dr. John Taylor, Neal, Delaune, io administer the sacraments, are all limited and Palmer, and Towgood, all of whom have pro- prescribed by authority of parliament: and this duced ablc defences of the dissenting system. authority, which at first made, can alone alter

The celebrated Richard Baxter declared, what and new make it; can abolish, or add to, its artiis true, perhaps, of a majority of the existing cles or rites, according to its pleasure, even dissenters, that the Non-conformists of his day though the whole bouiy of bishops and clergy agreed with the doctrines of the thirty-nine arti- ever so much dislike or ever so earnestly protest cles, and differed only from the church in the against it. Therefore, while some dissenters form of government. He says, that the Inde- justify their dissent from the establishment, pendents, as well as Presbyterians, offered to sub- because, for example, they think that some cerescribe to the articles, except as to prelacy and monies imposed, or the various orders of minisceremony. We are one,' he adds, with the ters, or the received subjects of baptism, or the church of England in all the necessary points of mode of administering baptism and the Lord's faith and Christian practice.'

supper, or the state of her discipline, are incomYet these men departed from the church of patible with the scriptural paitern; others go England, at the expense of all their earthly farther, and attempt to prove, that every religious comforts; and some of them braving perse- establishment is neither more nor less than a cution, even to death ;' laid the foundation direct violation of some of the strongest injuncof the existing dissent, by denying the autho- tions of the great Head of the church. rity of any body of fallible men to decree rites These quote the words of Jesus Christ, My and ceremonies' in the church. They contended, kingdom is not of this world, as virtually foras do the modern dissenters, that what was left bidding all such attempted alliances between indifferent by the only lawgiver of his church, church and state, as every ecclesiastical estashould not be made important and peremptorily blishment involves. They say that such a system enjoined upon his followers. They revolted, debases Christianity into an engine of state, separticularly, at subscribing to the principle of a cularises its ministers and institutions, argues a power in the church to decree rites and ceremo- concealed distrust of the apostolic weapons of nies, and to have authority in matters of faith,' faith, prayer, and the words of truth and soberas so indefinite and extensive, that under the ness,' and is, in its influence on the conduct of shadow of it, all the enormous usurpations and the dominant party towards those who differ superstitions of the church of Rome might be from them, essentially persecuting, and have been included. If the church of Eng In confirmation of this view of the subject, land, it is moreover said, claims and exercises this they adduce the existing state of the laws with power, and obliges all its ministers to subscribe to regard to dissenters. They argue that, every articles of faith, which it hath authoritatively man has a right to the common privileges of the decreed, and to use in religious worship cere- society in which he lives; and among these monies and rites, which it hath authoritatively common privileges is a legal capacity for serving enjoined; hath not the church of Frauce, or the his sovereign and country; a right, so important, church of Spain, the same authority and power? that the forfeiture of it is made the punishment It cannot be an exclusive privilege of any one of some of the greatest crimes. No man who church. And if it be allowed that the church of does not forfeit that capacity of serving his soveRome has this prerogative, such a claim would reign and country, which is his natural right, as overthrow the Reformation and the foundatious well as the honor and emoluments that may of the church of England itself. They say, with happen to be connected with it, by overt-acts, a modern divine of the church of England, 'When- ought to be deprived of them; and disabilities ever useless rites and ceremonies are imposed, that are not thus incurred, are unjust penalties, corruptions are passed into a law, and the terms implying both disgrace and privation. Punisbof coinmunion are such as are not authorised ment, without the previous proof of guilt, cannot by the law of Christ, then it becomes a duty to be denied to be an injury; and injuries inflicted, dissent, and they are the separatists who compel on account of religion, are undoubtedly perseothers to divide, not they who deplore the ne- cutions. cessity of so doing.'

The dissenters, therefore, contend, that the But dissenters have further enquired, who are subjection to higher powers, and obedience to the persons that are, in point of fact, invested magistrates, which the Scriptures enjoin on with this authority and power? In other words, Christians, relates only to civil

, not at all to who are the church? This power to order the religious matters; and that so far is Christianity manner of God's worship, and to settle articles from enjoining, that it actually forbids obedience of faith, is not lodged in the bishops and clergy, to civil governors in things of a religious nature. who are usually denominated our spiritual pas- It commands us to 'call no man upon earth fators and guides, but entirely in the king and ther or master,' Matthew xxiii. 8, 9, i.e. to acparliament of these realms, under whose direc- knowledge no authority or jurisdiction of any lion and control the clergy are to act. Accord- in matters of religion, but to remember that


One only is our master' and lawgiver, even submission to any ecclesiastical injunctions, but Christ; and that all Christians are brethren, such as are plainly authorised by the word of Matthew xx. 25.

God.' We cannot follow out the dissenting system Early in the Reformation, a respectable party izto its numerous separate lines of divergence of the church of England contended for a more, from the established church. Under the parti- complete departure from the popish models of cular names of each of their well-known deno- church government and discipline. Bishop Hoominations will these be fully discussed. But per, perhaps, led the way to the practical semany pious and excellent men, we may add, cession that afterwards took place, by refusing to have divided from the church of England, on be consecrated in the Roman pontificals. This account of her laxity in discipline; others from was in the reign of Edward VI. On the persethe evident disagreement, as they allege, between cutions that arose under queen Mary, a considethe doctrines of the desk, or liturgy, and those rable number of the British exiles settled at of the pulpit; and while the major part of dis- Frankfort, and agreed to conduct their worship, senters, as we have stated, profess agreement with without answering aloud after the minister, and her doctrinal articles, a respectable minority without using the liturgy and surplice; to begin would object to several of them. The entire the public service with a general confession of system of Wesleyan Methodism, a species of sins, then to sing a psalm, after which the minister modern dissent, bas grown out of the first of prayed for the divine assistance, and next prothese complaints against the church. We do ceeded to the sermon; after sermon, to use a genot feel ourselves called upon to add more as to neral prayer for all estates, and particularly for the general principles of this body. See ME- England, at the end of which were subjoined the

Lord's prayer, and a rehearsal of the articles of 3. Their history, dissenters, of course, contend, belief ; then the people were to sing another corniences with the persecutions of that early psalm, and the minister to dismiss them with a sect of our religion with whose affairs the book blessing. Such was the order which they had of the Acts of the Apostles is occupied : but, in unanimously adopted; and, having chosen a this country, they consider themselves the succes- minister and deacons, they invited their dispersed sors of the Wicliffites and Lollardites of the brethren to join with them. In the year 1556 Dr. fourteenth century. Of John Wicliff Mr. Gil- Cox joined them, with several of his friends; who pin says, “The authority claimed by the church he interrupted the public service by answering aloud strenuously opposed. It was a scandal, he would after the minister, and read the whole litany, in say, to the Christian church, that any of its mem- violation of the agreement upon which the conbers should set up their own authority against gregation was formed. They out-numbered the that of their Saviour. The great argument of first settlers, and, obtaining leave of the magisthat day (which was indeed a subtle one) for the trates for the free use of king Edward's serviceauthority of the church, was this. Many persons, book, performed divine worship according to the besides Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John, wrote rites that had been authorised by that prince. The gospels; but the church rejected them all, original party, upon this, left the city of Frankexcepting these four : and this it did by its own fort, and removed to Basil and Geneva. Here proper authority. It might, by the same autho- commenced the distinction of Puritans and Conrity, have rejected those four gospels, and have formists, by which the two parties were ever received others. It follows, therefore, that the afterwards known, the former being called authority of the church is above that of any gos- Conformists, on account of their compliance with pel.–To this Wicliff replied, that the evidence the ecclesiastical laws of Edward VI., and the for the received gospels was so strong, and that latter, Nonconformists and Puritans, from their for the rejected ones so weak, that the church insisting upon a form of worship of a purer kind, could not have done otherwise than it did, without as they alleged. doing violence to reason. But the best argument, On the accession of queen Elizabeth, the schism he said, if it were proper to avow it, for sup- became more important. Dr. Cox was appointed porting the authority of the church, was the bishop of Ely; and the standard of orthodoxy, necessity of it to support the tyranny of the pope. according to this divine, and the majority of the This was what made it worth defending at the bishops, was “ the queen's supremacy and the laws expense of truth. In another place, speaking on of the land;' whilst the Puritans contended for the same subject, he says, that the pope would the decrees of provincial and national synods,' not submit his actions to the same criterion, by allowed and enforced by the civil magistrate; which Christ was contented to have his actions for neither party, it must be allowed, was for tried. If I do not, says Christ, the works of my admitting full liberty of conscience, and freedom father which is in heaven, believe me not. But of religious profession. the pope's authority, it seems, must be acknow Ministers were now obliged to comply with an ledged, though he manifestly does the works of act for the uniformity of common prayer and serthe devil. Thus, says he, Christians are in greater vice in the church and administration of the thraldom than the Jews under the old law; and sacraments; to subscribe a declaration of faith, that liberty, by which Christ hath made us free, issued by order of the archbishops and bishops, is, by the wickedness of designing men, changed for the unity of doctrine; to take the oath of suinto the most absolute spiritual bondage. The premacy to the queen, &c. The question about days, says he, I hope, will come, when men will habits was revived; and in 1566 these and sebe wise enough to shake from their necks the veral other ceremonies, 'imposed by law, comdominion of human ordinances; and disdain pelled the puritaus to an open separation. In

the following year they published other objec- enlarged them; and each of the successive motions against the hierarchy and various ceremo narchs has renewed and redeemed his pledge nies, for the use of which, they contended, there to keep the toleration act inviolate: and while was no foundation in Scripture or antiquity. The the parties interested are still hopeful of the abroleaders of this separation were chiefly beneficed gation of all excluding statutes, on the subject of persons of the dioeese of London; who first religion, they wait with patience the final conassembled, with such of their flocks as chose to viction of the government and country as to the follow them, in woods and private houses, sub- period of awariling their rights. jecting themselves to a variety of legal penalties DISSENTIENT; a word literally signifying they and frequent imprisonment. The adherence of dissent or disagree, prefixed to protests, or rather the puritans to Calvinistic principles seems, in to the reasons of dissent, given in by protesting no small degree, to have urged the established peers, in the upper House of Parliament, to be clergy at this time to adopt the intricate distinc-, entered on the journals of the house. tions of Arminius on the subject of grace, free DISSERTA’TION, n. s. Lat. dissertatio. A will, &c. But several episcopal divines remained discourse; a disquisition ; a treatise. attached to the puritan system in the reign of

Plutarch, in his dissertation upon the Poets, quotes James I.; and all these abettors of Calvinism,

an instance of Homer's judgment in closing a ludicrous whether episcopal or presbyterian, were called

scene with decency and instruction. doctrinal puritans. At length, according to Ful

Broome on the Odyssey. ler (Church Hist. book ix. p. 97, book x. p. 100),

I have known a woman branch out into a long exe the name was extended to stigmatise all those tempore dissertation upon the edging of a petticoat, and who endeavoured in their devotions to accoin

chide her servant for breaking a china cup in all the pany the minister with a pure heart, or who were figures of rhetoric.

Addison. remarkably holy in their conversation. Queen Elizabeth and James I. treated these ing, and the dissertations that accompany it so judi

The following relation is so curious and entertainearly dissenters with that rigor which induced cious and instructive, that the translator is contident many of them to emigrate to the colonies. In his attempt stands in need of no apology. the year 1629 they founded Massachusett's Bay. Johnson. Preface to Father Lobo's Voyage. The colony of Connecticut was formed by emi

DISSEʻRVE, v. a.

Dis and serve. grants of the same class in 1636, and that of New

Disse'rvice, n. s.

To do injury to; Haven by those who, in 1637, fled from the per

DissERVICEABLE, adj. secution of Laud, and the oppressions of the

to damage; hurt.

DissE'RVICEABLENESS, n. s. star-chamber and high commission courts. The puritans were afterwards not allowed to transport

Having never done the king the least service, he themselves to New England; we have seen, in took the first opportunity to disserve him, and engaged the article Cromwell, how singularly the future against him froin the beginning of the rebellion.

Clarendon. lord protector was then prevented expatriating himself; and many of them removed, with their

All action being for some end, and not the end families, to the Low Countries.

itself, its aptness to be commanded or forbidden, On the restoration of Charles II., in the year viceableness to some end.

must be founded upon its serviceableness or disete

Norris. 1660, the name of Puritans, says bishop Burnet, was changed into that of Protestant Noncon We shall rather perform good offices unto truth, formists, who were subdivided into Presbyterians, than any disservice unto relaters who have well de


Brozone. Independents, Anabaptists, and Quakers. At this time a second Act of Uniformity was passed,

Great sicknesses make a sensible alteration, but by which all who refused to observe the rites, smaller indispositions do a proportionable disservice.

Collier. and subscribe the doctrines, of the church of England, were entirely excluded from power.

Desires of things of this world, by their tendency, From this period until the reign of king William promote or disserve our interests in another. Rogers. III. the Nonconformists were in a very precarious DISSETTLE, d.a. Dis and settle. To unsituation, sometimes involved in calamity and settle; to unfix. trouble, and at other times enjoying intervals of DISSEV'ER, v. a. Dis and sever.

In this tranquillity, according to the varying temper of word the particle dis makes no change in the the court and ministry. But in the year 1689 signification, and therefore, says Dr. Johnson, the memorable bill for the toleration of all Pro- the word, though supported by great authorities, testant dissenters from the church of England, ought to be ejected from our language. To part except impugners of the Trinity, passed in par- in two ; to break ; divide; rend asunder ; disliament almost without opposition, and delivered unite. those who could comply with the conditions it

Dissever your united strengths, imposed from the penal laws to which they had And part your mingled colours once again. been so long subjected.

Shakspeare. Fluctuations have taken place in the political The dissevering of fleets hath been the overthrow of treatment of dissenters since this period, and in many


Raleigh. the close of the reign of queen Anne the act of Shortly had the storm 90 dissevered the company, Occasional Conformity, which was pushed for- which the day before had tarried together, that most ward by the high-church party, threatened the ex of them never met again, but were swallowed up. tinction of their new liberties. But the accession

Sidney. of the present illustrious House of Brunswick to The meeting points the sacred hair dissecer the throne of these realms has confirmed and From the fair head, for ever and for ever. Pope.



For surprise is only produced when any .external dis and seps, sepis, a venomous serpent, because imitations suddenly obtrude themselves, and dissever whatever is bitten thereby, putrifies.- Minsheù nur passing trains of ideas.


To disperse; scatter; destroy: dissipation is th. DIS'SIDENCE. n. s.


Lat. dissideo. Dis- act or habit of dispersing or wasting : applied Dis'sIDENT,

disagreement. figuratively also to the mind, and particularly the See the article DISSIDENTS.

attention. Dissipable is an obsolete adjective DISSI’LIENCE, n. s. Lat. dissilio. The for, easily dispersed, or liable to dispersion. Dissi’LIENT, adj. act of starting asun The heat of those plants is very dissipable, which Dissi’LIATION, n. s.

under the earth is contained and held in; but when The air having much room to rereive motion, the

it comcth to the air it exhaleth.

Bacon's Natural llistory. dissilition of that air was great.

Abraham was contemporary with Paleg, in whose Boyle's Spring of the Air.

time the famous dissipation of mankind, and distincDISSIM'ILAR, adj. Dis and similar. Un- tion of languages, happened. DissIM'ILARITY, n. s. like; heterogeneous :

Hale's Origin of Mankind, DissIMILITUDE.

Swani of similitude. It is covered with skin and hair, to quench and Thereupon grew marvellous dissimilitudes, and by dissipate the force of any stroke, and retard the edge reason thereof jealousies, heartburnings, jars, and of any weapon.

Ray. discords.

Hooker. Gold is a wonderful clearer of the understanding ; Simple oil is reduced into dissimilar parts, and it dissipates every doubt and scruple in an instant. yields a sweet oil, very differing from sallet oil.

Addison. Beyle. I have begun two or three letters to you by snatches, The dissimilitule between the Divinity and images, and been prevented from finishing them by a thousand shews that images are not a suitable means whereby avocations and dissipations.

Swift. to worship God.

Stilling fleet. The parts of plants are very tender, as consisting As human society is founded in the similitude of of corpuscles which are extremely small and light, some things, so it is promoted by some certain dissi and therefore the more easily dissipable. militudes.


Woodward's Natural History. The light whose rays are all alikę refrangible, I

The circling mountains eddy in, call simple, homogeneal, and similar; and that, whose From the bare wild, the dissipated storm.

Thomson. rays are some more refrangible than others, I call compound, heterogeneal, and dissimilar. Newton. This slavery to his passions produced a life irregular

and dissipated.

Johnson. Savage's Life. If the principle of reunion has not its energy in this life, whenever the attractions of sense cease, the Dissipation, in physics, an insensible loss or acquired principles of dissimilarity must repel these consumption of the minute parts of the body; or beings from their centre.

Cheyne. that flux whereby they fly off and are lost. Women are curious observers of the likeness of DissipatiON, CIRCLE OF, in optics, that circhildren to parents, that they may, upon finding dis- cular space upon the retina, which is taken up fimilitude, have the pleasure of hinting unchastity. by one of the extreme rays issuing from an

Pope's Odyssey, Notes. object. When the distance of an object from Ideas of the same race, though not exactly alike, the eye is too small or too great for perfect or are sometimes so little different that no words can distinct vision, the rays of each pencil, issuing express the dissimilitude.

from the object, cannot be united at a point on Johnson. Preface to Dictionary. the retina; consequently, the rays of each pencil DISSIMULATION, n. s. ?

Lat. dissimula- will occupy a circular space upon the retina, DissiM'ULATING, n. s.

S tio. See Dis- which circle is called the circle of dissipation, SEMBLE, The act of dissembling; hypocrisy; bcause the rays of a pencil, instead of being colfallacious appearance or pretensions. See the lected into a central point, are dissipated all extract from the Tatler.

over this circle. Who coude tellen you the forme of daunces

DISSIDENTS, a denomination applied in So uncouth, and so freshe countenances,

Poland to those of the Lutheran, Calvinistic, Swiche subtil lokings and dissimulings,

and Greek professions. The kings of Poland For dred of jalous mennes apperceivings.

engaged by the pacta conventa to tolerate them

Chaucer. Cant. Tales. in the free exercise of their religion, but they had Dissimulation is but a faint kind of policy; for it often reason to complain of the violation of those asketh a strong wit, and a strong heart, to know when proinises. See Poland. to tell truth, and to do it.

DISSOʻCIATE, 0.a. Lat. dissocio.

To se-
He added not ; and Satan bowing low parate; disunite ; part.
His grey dissimulation, disappeared

In the dissociating action, even of the gentlest fire, Into thin air diffused.


upon a concrete, there perhaps vanish some active and Dissimulation may be taken for a bare concealment fugitive particles, whose presence was requisite to of one's mind; in which sense we commonly say, contain the concrete under such a determinate form. that it is prudence to dissemble injuries. Soruth.

Boyle. The learned make a difference between simulation DIS'SOLUBLE, adj. I Lat. dissolubilis. Caand dissimulation. Simulation is a pretence of what DISSOLUBILÖITY, n. š. ( pable of separation; is not, and dissimulation is a concealment of what is.

having one part separable from another. Disso Tatler, 213.

lubility is liableness to dissolution. DISSIPATE, d.o. Fr. dissiper; Span. and Nodules, reposed in cliffs amongst the earth, being Diss'ıPABLE, adj. Portug. dissipur; Ital. hard and not so dissoluble, are left behind. Dissipa'tion. N. s. and Lat. dissipare, from

Woodward's Natural History.

« PreviousContinue »