Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 19, 1709-1714. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Mercurii, 25 Januarii.
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes fuerunt:
Jenkins' Pet. referred to Judges.
Upon reading the Petition of Juliana Jenkin Widow, Relict of John Jenkin, deceased, on Behalf of herself and of Richard Jenkin, Charles Jenkin, Thomas Jenkin, and Juliana Jenkin, Infants, her Children by the said John Jenkin; praying Leave to bring in a Bill, to vest in Trustees One Moiety of several Messuages, Lands, and Tenements, lying in the County of Kent (Part thereof being in Jointure to Elizabeth Haffenden, Mother of the said John Jenkin), to be sold, with Regard to be had to the said Elizabeth Haffenden's Estate for Life, to discharge the Debts of the said John Jenkin; and the Remainder of the Money to be laid out in the Purchase of other Lands, to be settled to the Uses of the Marriage Settlement in the Petition mentioned, which will be for the Benefit of the said Infants:
It is Ordered, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Consideration of the said Petition shall be, and is hereby, referred to Mr. Justice Powell and Mr. Justice Gould; who are forthwith to summon all Parties concerned in the Bill; and, after hearing them, to report to the House the State of the Case, with their Opinion thereupon, under their Hands, and whether all Parties that may be concerned in the Consequences of the Bill have signed the Petition; and also that the Judges, having perused the Bill, do sign the same.
Ball versus Coggs & al.
Upon reading the Petition and Appeal of George Ball Gentleman, from a Decree of the Court of Chancery, made the Twentieth Day of February One Thousand Seven Hundred and Six, wherein an Accompt was directed to be taken by a Master of Chancery, which depended in that Court until the Nineteenth Instant, in certain Causes, wherein John Coggs Esquire was Plaintiff, against the Petitioner and others Defendants; and also wherein the Petitioner was Plaintiff, against John Defendants; and praying, "That that Part of the said Decree beforementioned may be amended, and the Petitioner allowed Three Shillings and Six Pence per Hundred, for all the Time since he was turned out from the Management of the Mills in the Petition mentioned, as well as for the Time be was employed to supervise the same; and that it be continued to him during his Life:"
It is Ordered, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said John Coggs and others, Defendants in the said Cause, may have a Copy of the said Appeal; and shall and they are hereby required to put in their Answers thereunto, in Writing, on Wednesday the Eighth Day of February next, at Eleven a Clock in the Forenoon.
Message from H. C. with a Bill.
A Message from the House of Commons, by Mr. Dolben and others:
Who brought up a Bill, intituled, "An Act for Sale of several Tenements, in Cheek Lanc, near West Smithfield, (the Estate of James Bridges Esquire); and for purchasing other Estate, of the like Value, to be settled to the same Uses;" to which they desire the Concurrence of this House.
Oliver's Pet. referred to Judges.
Upon reading the Petition of Joseph Olliver, of the Parish of St. Thomas the Apostle, in the County of Devon, Gentleman, Isaac Gibbs, of the City of Exon, Esquire, and Benjamine Olliver, of Cowley, in the said County of Devon, Gentleman; praying Leave to bring in a Bill, for Sale of Part of the Lands and Tenements, in the County of Devon and City of Exon, in the Petition mentioned, for Payment of the Petitioner's Debts, and raising a competent Maintenance and Portions for his Younger Son and Daughter, and for the Education of the Heir in Tail during the Petitioner's Life, and for preserving the young Timber thereon growing:
It is Ordered, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Consideration of the said Petition shall be, and is hereby, referred to Mr. Baron Bury and Mr. Baron Price; who are forthwith to summon all Parties concerned in the Bill; and, after hearing them, to report to the House the State of the Case, with their Opinion thereupon, under their Hands, and whether all Parties that may be concerned in the Consequences of the Bill have signed the Petition; and also that the Judges, having perused the Bill, do sign the same.
Lee's Pet. referred to Judges.
Upon reading the Petition of Elizabeth Lee, Widow and Relict of John Lee, late of Barnstable, in the County of Devon, Gentleman, for and on Behalf of herself and Mary and John Lee, her Two Infants, Children, and also of George Lee Gentleman; praying Leave to bring in a Bill, for vesting all the Real Estate in the Petition mentioned in Trustees, to be sold, for Payment of the said John Lee the Father's Debts, which the Personal Estate will not extend to pay; and to apply the Surplus-money, after Payment of the said Debts, to the sole Use of the Petitioner Elizabeth and her Two Infant Children, Share and Share alike:
It is Ordered, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the Consideration of the said Petition shall be, and is hereby, referred to Mr. Justice Dormer and Mr. Baron Lovell; who are forthwith to summon all Parties concerned in the Bill; and, after hearing them, to report to the House the State of the Case, with their Opinion thereupon, under their Hands, and whether all Parties that may be concerned in the Consequences of the Bill have signed the Petition; and also that the Judges, having perused the Bill, do sign the same.
Dr. Sacheverel's Answer to the Articles of Impeachment against him.
The House being informed, "That Doctor Sacheverell was at the Door;" he was called in; and, kneeling at the Bar, delivered his Answer to the Articles of Impeachment against him.
Which was read, as follows; (videlicet,)
"The Answer of Henry Sacheverell Doctor in Divinity, to the Articles exhibited by the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, in Parliament assembled, in the Name of themselves and of all the Commons of Great Britain, in Maintenance of their Impeachment against him, for high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
"The said Henry Sacheverell, saving to himself all Advantages of Exception to the said Articles for the Generality, Uncertainty, and Insufficiency thereof, and of not being prejudiced by any Words, or Want of Form, in this his Answer; admits, that, at the Request of George Sacheverell Esquire, High Sheriff of the County of Derby, he preached a Sermon at the Assizes held for that County, on the Fifteenth Day of August One Thousand Seven Hundred and Nine; and that, at the Desire of the Right Honourable Sir Samuel Garrard Baronet, Lord Mayor of the City of London, he also preached a Sermon, at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, before the said Lord Mayor and the Aldermen and Citizens of London, on the Fifth Day of November last; and that he caused the said Sermons to be printed. But denies that he preached, or caused the same to be printed or published, with any such wicked, malicious, or seditious Intent, as in the Preamble of the said Articles is affirmed; the said Henry Sacheverell having been induced to print the Sermon he preached at Derby, at the Request of the Gentlemen of the Grand Jury for that County, to whom he humbly presumed to dedicate the same, as the most public Acknowledgement he was capable of making, for the peculiar Honour he had received by their public Approbation of that Sermon: And the said Lord Mayor having been pleased to express his good Liking of the Sermon preached at St. Paul's, the said Henry Sacheverell, at his Request, caused the same to be printed, with a Dedication thereof to him. And for Answer to the said Articles, humbly faith:
"To the First Part of the First Article, the said Henry Sacheverell denies that, in his said Sermon preached at St. Paul's, he doth suggest and maintain, "that the necessary Means used to bring about the happy Revolution were odious and unjustifiable;" nor doth he, in any Part of that Sermon, affirm any Thing concerning the necessary Means used to bring about the happy Revolution. The said Henry Sacheverell is so far from reflecting on His late Majesty, or the happy Revolution, that he endeavours, in that Sermon, to clear the Revolution and His late Majesty from the black and odious Colours which their greatest Enemies had endeavoured to cast upon both.
"And as to that Part of the said Article, whereby the said Henry Sacheverell is charged with "suggesting and maintaining, "that His late Majesty, in His Declaration, disclaimed the least Imputation of Resistance;" the said Henry Sacheverell doth acknowledge himself to have made such Suggestion; and declares, that he made it not in Dishonour, but in Vindication, of His said Majesty; the Resistance the said Henry Sacheverell represents the late King to have disclaimed, being such a Resistance as tended to the Conquest of this Realm, as plainly appears from that Part of His late Majesty's Declaration, which is referred to, and verbatim set forth, at the Bottom of the same Page in which he mentions His late Majesty's disclaiming any such Imputation.
"Whether the said Henry Sacheverell was mistaken or not, in expressing himself as if the late King had disclaimed any Imputation of Resistance, when he the said Henry Sacheverell meant thereby, that the late King disclaimed the Imputation of a Design of Conquest, he humbly conceives, such a Suggestion by him, plainly designed for the Honour of the late King, cannot, in any reasonable Construction, be thought a Reflection on His said Majesty, or deemed any Crime or Misdemeanor.
"For the further Justification of what the said Henry Sacheverell said, in Reference to His late Majesty's having disclaimed any the least Imputation of Resistance; the said Henry Sacheverell humbly observes, that, in His late Majesty's Declaration, the following Passages are contained, "We have thought fit to go over to England, and to carry over with Us a Force sufficient, by the Blessing of God, to defend Ourselves from the Violence of evil Counsellors. We think fit to declare, that this our Expedition is intended for no other Design, but to have a free and lawful Parliament assembled."
"As to the last Charge in the said Article, the said Henry Sacheverell denies that he doth in his said Sermon suggest and maintain, "that to impute Resistance to the said Revolution, is to cast black and odious Colours upon His late Majesty and the said Revolution." The Persons whom the said Henry Sacheverell in his Sermon describes, as casting black and odious Colours upon His late Majesty and the Revolution, are not those who impute Resistance to the late Revolution, of whom the said Henry Sacheverell affirms nothing; but those new Preachers and new Politicians, who teach, in Contradiction to both Gospel and the Laws, that the People have the Power vested in them the Fountain and Original of it, to cancel their Allegiance at Pleasure, and to call their Sovereign to account for High Treason against His Subjects; nay, and to dethrone and murder Him for a Criminal, as they did the Royal Martyr, by a Judiciary Sentence; who are Maintainers of Antimonarchical Schemes, and of such damnable Positions as are, by the Laws of Church and State, condemned for Rebellion and High Treason; and who urge the Revolution in Defence of such Principles. Unless, therefore, those who impute Resistance to the Revolution be the same with those new Preachers and new Politicians above specified, the said Henry Sacheverell affirms nothing concerning them.
"The said Henry Sacheverell, upon the strictest Search into his said Sermon preached at St. Paul's, doth not find that he hath given any the least colourable Pretence for the Accusation exhibited against him in this First Articles, but barely by his asserting the utter Illegality of Resistance to the Supreme Power upon any Pretence whatsoever; for which Assertion, he humbly conceives, he hath the Authority of the Church of England, which, in divers Passages of her Homilies, too large and too numerous to be here specified, but by the said Henry Sacheverell ready to be produced, hath taught and inculcated this Doctrine, as founded on the Word of God; particularly in the Sermon of Obedience, contained in the former Book of Homilies, set forth in the Time of King Edward the Sixth, where are these Words: "Here, good People, let us all mark diligently; it is not lawful for Inferiors and Subjects, in any Case, to resist and stand against the Superior Powers; for St. Paul's Words be plain, That whosoever withstandeth, shall get to themselves Damnation; for whosoever withstandeth, withstandeth the Ordinance of God."
"Which said Book of Homilies is affirmed in One of the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, which concern the Consession of the true Christian Faith, to contain a godly and wholesome Doctrine, and is ordered "to be read in Churches by the Ministers diligently and distinctly, that they may be understanded of the People." And the said Henry Sacheverell, in further Maintenance of the said Doctrine and Position contained in the Books of Homilies, and of the Authority of those Books, faith, That, by an Act of Parliament made in the Thirteenth Year of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, intituled, "An Act for the Ministers of the Church to be of found Religion," it is enacted, "That no Person should thereafter be admitted to any Benefice with Cure, except he should first have subscribed the said Articles, in the Presence of the Ordinary, and publicly read the same in the Parish Church of that Benefice, with Declaration of his unseigned Assent to the same." And that, by an Act made in the Fifth Year of Her present Majesty's Reign, intituled, "An Act for securing the Church of England as by Law established," it was enacted, "That the said Act made in the said Thirteenth Year of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth should remain and be in full Force for ever, and be inserted in express Terms in any Act which should be made for ratifying the Union of the Two Kingdoms of England and Scotland, and therein declared to be an essential and fundamental Part thereof." And the said Act was accordingly inserted, in express Terms, in an Act for the Union of the Two Kingdoms, and thereby ratified, and declared to be an essential and fundamental Part thereof.
"And the said Henry Sacheverell doth further humbly insist, and is advised, that the aforesaid Assertion is agreeable to, and warranted by, the Common Law of England, and divers Acts of Parliament now remaining in full Force.
"The said Henry Sacheverell doth, with all Humility, aver the Illegality of Resistance, on any Pretence whatsoever, to be the Doctrine of the Church of England, and to have been the general Opinion of our most orthodox and able Divines, from the Time of the Reformation to this Day. This Doctrine hath, in the most solemn Manner, been taught in that University whereof he hath been for more than Twenty Years a Member. This hath been often, with public Approbation of each House of Parliament, preached and printed; and, in Terms of greater Force than any used by the said Henry Sacheverell, hath, by the Right Reverend Fathers of our Church, dead and living, been avowed and maintained.
"And the said Henry Sacheverell was the rather induced to preach against the Doctrine of Resistance of the Supreme Power, upon the Fifth Day of November; because on that Day the Church commemorates our Deliverance from the traiterous Attempts of rebellious Papists, and because the Lawfulness of resisting the Supreme Power was originally a Popish Doctrine; for which Reasons, as he humbly conceives, the Rubric of the Office appointed for that Day by Her late Majesty Queen Mary (of blessed Memory) directs, that, "after the Creed, if there be no Sermon, shall be read One of the Six Homilies against Rebellion."
"Whilst therefore the Church of England, as by Law established, is in a safe and flourishing Condition, under Her Majesty's happy Administration; whilst Popish Tenets are by all good Protestants condemned and abhorred; whilst the Laws of this Realm continue in their full Force and Vigour; the said Henry Sacheverell humbly hopes, that a dutiful Son of that Church, a sincere Protestant, and a faithful Subject of Her Majesty, shall not suffer, for asserting the Doctrine of Non-resistance of the Supreme Powers: But if this Doctrine be declared erroneous, and it should please God that he should suffer for asserting it, he trusts that God will enable him to shew his steady Belief of this Doctrine, by a meek and patient Resignation to whatever shall befall him on that account.
"To that Part of the Second Article, which charges, "that he, the said Henry Sacheverell, doth suggest and maintain, That the Toleration granted by Law is unreasonable, and the Allowance of it unwarrantable;" the said Henry Sacheverell saith, That, upon the most diligent Inquiry, he has not been able to inform himself that a Toleration hath been granted by Law; but admits, that an Act did pass in the First Year of King William and Queen Mary, intituled, "An Act for exempting Their Majesties Protestant Subjects, dissenting from the Church of England, from the Penalties of certain Laws;" which Exemption the said Henry Sacheverell doth not any where maintain or suggest to be unreasonable, or that the Allowance of it is unwarrantable; but hoped that he had prevented any such Misapprehension, by declaring his sincere Meaning in these Words, contained in his Sermon preached at St. Paul's: "I would not be here misunderstood, as if I intended to cast the least invidious Reflection upon that Indulgence which the Government hath condescended to give them, which, I am sure, all those, who wish well to our Church are ready to grant to Consciences truly scrupulous: Let them enjoy it in the full Limits the Law has prescribed."
"If there be any other Expressions concerning Toleration, which may seem to carry a dubious Sense, in any other Parts of his Sermon; he hopes that they will not be applied to the Exemption granted by Law, but will be interpreted agreeable to this avowed Approbation of that Law.
"And to such Part of the said Second Article as charges, "that he the said Henry Sacheverell asserts, That he is a false Brother, with relation to God, Religion, or the Church, who defends Toleration and Liberty of Conscience;" he, the said Henry Sacheverell, saith, That he, having so plainly declared himself in Favour of the Exemption granted by Law, when he blames those who upon all Occasions defend Toleration and Liberty of Conscience, cannot be thought to reflect on the Defenders of that legal Exemption or Indulgence which he himself approves and defends: He doth indeed suggest it to be one Part of the Character of a false Brother, upon all Occasions, to defend Toleration and Liberty of Conscience; and, to excuse the Separation, lay the Fault upon the true Sons of the Church, for carrying Matters too high." Which universal Defence of Toleration, and Excuse of Separation, attended with the laying the Fault of such Separation upon the true Sons of the Church, are by him jointly mentioned in one and the same Clause of the Sentence, and in one and the same Branch of the Character; so that this Reflection doth not extend to all who defend Toleration and Liberty of Conscience, much less to those who defend the Exemption granted by Law to Protestant Dissenters: but to such only, who, at the same Time they defend universal Toleration and Liberty of Conscience, do also excuse the Separation, and lay the Fault thereof upon the true Sons of the Church, for carrying Matters too high; and these he did then, and still doth, with all Humility, conceive to be justly blameable; and, if Members of this Church, to be false Brethren.
"And as to that Part of the Second Article, whereby the said Henry Sacheverell is charged with asserting, "That Queen Elizabeth was deluded by Archbishop Grindall to the Toleration of the Genevian Discipline;" he, the said Henry Sacheverell, saith, he humbly conceives, he hath good Authority, from the Histories and Monuments of those Times, for such Assertion. But whether he hath, or hath not, he humbly apprehends such Assertion to be no Proof of his maintaining, or suggesting, that the Exemption of Protestant Subjects, dissenting from the Church of England, from the Penalties of certain Laws, granted by an Act made in the First Year of the Reign of King William and Queen Mary (which Exemption he supposes to be intended by the legal Indulgence or Toleration granted to Dissenters, mentioned in the Preamble of the Articles, and by the Toleration granted by Law, mentioned in this Second Article) is unreasonable, or the Allowance of it unwarrantable; for he is humbly of Opinion, that there is a wide and manifest Difference between a Toleration of the Genevian Discipline, and an Exemption of Protestant Dissenters from the Penalties of certain Laws; between a Toleration allowed merely by the Regal Power, and an Exemption granted by Act of Parliament; which Exemption he is so far from thinking unreasonable or unwarrantable, that, from the Bottom of his Heart, he wisheth it, under the same Restrictions and Limitations, extended to all Her Majesty's Protestant Subjects throughout the whole Kingdom of Great Britain.
"And as to such Part of the Second Article, whereby the said Henry Sacheverell is charged with "scurrilously calling the said Archbishop Grindall a false Son of the Church, and a perfidious Prelate;" the said Henry Sacheverell humbly hopes, that any harsh Expressions he hath used, concerning that Prelate, may be rather excused; because the said Archbishop, having permitted Innovations to be obtruded on the Church, did thereby incur the high Displeasure of so good and pious a Princess as Queen Elizabeth, by whose Order he was suspended, and continued under such Suspension to the Day of his Death. However, the said Henry Sacheverell presumes, that no Words spoken of an Archbishop, above One Hundred and Twenty Years since deceased, will, in Construction of Law, amount to an high Crime and Misdemeanor.
"And as to such Part of the Second Article, whereby the said Henry Sacheverell is charged with maintaining, "that it is the Duty of Superior Pastors, to thunder out their Ecclesiastical Anathemas against Persons entitled to the Benefit of the said Toleration;" he, the said Henry Sacheverell, saith, "That he doth not maintain, or suggest, that it is the Duty of Superior Pastors to thunder out Ecclesiastical Anathemas against Persons entitled to the Benefit of the Toleration; which Persons, where he speaks of such Anathemas, are neither by him mentioned nor intended. But if the Expressions, by him unapplied to any, must be determined to any one Sort of Persons, he humbly conceives, that the Connexion of his Discourse will determine them to those schismatical and factious Persons, who take Permission for Power, and advance Toleration immediately into an Establishment; and such schismatical and factious Persons, he humbly apprehends, are not the Persons entitled to the Benefit of the Act of Exemption, which was designed only to give some Ease to scrupulous Consciences in the Exercise of their Religion.
"And as to the last Part of the Second Article, whereby the said Henry Sacheverell is charged with "insolently daring, or defying, any Power on Earth to reverse such Sentences;" the said Henry Sacheverell faith, That the Sentences, which he, the said Henry Sacheverell, dares any Power on Earth to reverse, is such, and such only, as is ratified in Heaven; and such Sentence he still affirms to be by any Earthly Power irreversible; and hopes it will not be thought Insolence in him to affirm, what he conceives would be Blasphemy in any one to deny; and doth further acknowledge himself firmly to believe, that some Sentences pronounced by the Pastors of the Church are ratified in Heaven; and that some Persons, exempted from Punishment by the particular Laws of the Land, may yet, by the Laws of Christ, be justly liable to such Sentence; and that Schism, or a causeless Separation from a Church imposing no sinful Terms of Communion, is a Sin, which exposes the Persons guilty thereof to the Censures of the Church.
"As to so much of the Third Article, as charges the said Henry Sacheverell, "that he doth falsely and seditiously suggest, and assert, That the Church of England is in a Condition of great Peril and Adversity, under Her Majesty's Administration; and that, in order to arraign and blacken the said Vote and Resolution of both Houses of Parliament, approved by Her Majesty, he, in Opposition thereto, doth suggest the Church to be in Danger;" the said Henry Sacheverell denies that he hath either asserted or suggested the Church of England to be in a Condition of great Peril and Adversity, under Her Majesty's Administration. But he doth freely acknowledge, that he hath in his Sermon suggested, "that, when National Sins are ripened up to a full Maturity, to call down Vengeance from Providence, on a Church and Kingdom debauched in Principles, and corrupted in Manners, and, instead of the true Faith, Discipline, and Worship, given over to all Licentiousness both in Opinion and Practice, to all Sensuality, Hypocrisy, Lewdness, and Atheism, then we (that is, evidently, all the Members of such a Church or Kingdom) are in Danger, in such deplorable Circumstances." And this Suggestion of Danger, arising to a Church and Kingdom, from Vice and Infidelity, he humbly presumes, is not opposite to the Vote of the Two Houses, or seditious; but entirely agreeable to what is solemnly declared in an Act of Parliament, made the Ninth and Tenth of His late Majesty King William the Third, for the more effectual suppressing of Blasphemy and Profaneness; wherein it is affirmed, "That many Persons had of late Years openly avowed and published many blasphemous and impious Opinions, contrary to the Doctrine and Principles of the Christian Religion, greatly tending to the Dishonour of Almighty God, which might be destructive to the Peace and Welfare of this Kingdom;" and he conceives, that, since the passing that Act, the detestable Crimes, for the effectual suppressing of which that Act was intended, have greatly increased. And the said Henry Sacheverell faith, The Suggestions by him made, of Dangers arising to us from Vice and Infidelity, he apprehends to be in no wise more seditious, or repugnant to the Vote of the Two Houses approved by Her Majesty, than the like Suggestions occurring in the solemn Prayers of the Church, authorized by Her Majesty, and frequently used before each House of Parliament, wherein we beseech God, "that no Sedition may disturb this State, nor Schism distract this Church; and that He would give us Grace, seriously to lay to Heart the great Dangers we are in by our unhappy Divisions."
"And as to so much of the said Third Article, whereby it is charged, "that the said Henry Sacheverell, as a Parallel, mentions a Vote, That the Person of King Charles the First was voted to be out of Danger, at the same Time that His Murderers were conspiring His Death; thereby wickedly and maliciously insinuating, that the Members of both Houses, who passed the said Vote, were then conspiring the Ruin of the Church;" he, the said Henry Sacheverell, doth say, that he doth not draw any Parallel between the Vote concerning the King's Person, and the late Vote of the Two Houses, which he neither there nor elsewhere in his Sermon mentions. But had he suggested one Vote to be parallel to the other, which he hath not, yet would he not thereby have wickedly and maliciously insinuated, that the Members of both Houses, who passed the late Vote, were then conspiring the Ruin of the Church; but would only have intimated, that as some Persons were conspiring the Murder of the King, whilst others, no Way privy to their wicked Intentions, voted His Person to be out of Danger; so, when the Two Houses voted the Church of England to be in no Danger under Her Majesty's Administration; there might be some others, who were conspiring the Ruin of the Church; and many others, who, by their Vice and Infidelity, were drawing down God's Vengeance both on Church and Kingdom.
"As the Vote of both Houses, made Four Years ago, did concern those only who did then insinuate the Church of England to be in Danger under Her Majesty's Administration; so it cannot, he presumes, affect those who do now suggest the Christian Faith, which is the Foundation upon which every Christian Church stands, to be endangered by those Atheistical and Irreligious Principles, which are daily from the Press propagated amongst us, notwithstanding the Provision made by the said Act for suppressing Blasphemy and Profaneness: So that the said Henry Sacheverell thinks, that he might with Truth affirm (as he did in his Sermon preached at Derby), "That there never were such outrageous Blasphemies against God, and all Religion, Natural as well as Revealed, vented publicly with Impunity, in any Christian Church or Kingdom in the whole World, as at present in our own; of which Assertion the said Henry Sacheverell is ready to produce undeniable and ample Proofs, if called thereto.
"As to the Fourth Article, it contains several Charges of a very high and criminal Nature, of which the said Henry Sacheverell knows his Heart to be entirely innocent; and he observes, with Comfort, that whereas, in the former Three Articles, he is said to have maintained or asserted, as well as to have suggested, the Doctrines and Things therein laid to his Charge; in this Fourth Article, he is not accused of maintaining or asserting, but barely of suggesting, what is therein contained: And he humbly hopes, that bare Suggestions or Insinuations, could they with any Colour of Probability be made out, as he is fully satisfied they cannot, will not, under the most mild and gracious Government (at a Time when several new Laws have been made for securing the Liberties of the Subject), by your Lordships, the great Guardians of our Laws and Liberties, be adjudged sufficient to involve an English Subject in the Guilt and Punishment of high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
"To the several Parts of the said Fourth Article, the said Henry Sacheverell doth, in all Humility, answer; as to such Part thereof, whereby it is charged, "that the said Henry Sacheverell, in his said Sermons and Books, doth falsely and maliciously suggest, That Her Majesty's Administration, both in Ecclesiastical and Civil Affairs, tends to the Destruction of the Constitution;" he, the said Henry Sacheverell, faith, "That he hath not made any Mention, in either of his Books or Sermons, of Her Majesty's Administration in Ecclesiastical or Civil Affairs, or of Her Ministers. So far is he from suggesting, that Her Majesty's Administration, both in Ecclesiastical and Civil Affairs, tends to the Destruction of the Constitution; that, amongst the inestimable Blessings which are owing to our Deliverance annually commemorated on the Fifth of November, he reckons this to be One, "That Her Majesty, the good and pious Relict of the Royal Family, sits now happily upon the Throne of Her Ancestors; and prays, that God may long preserve Her, for the Comfort and Support of the Church;" and professeth, that what he spoke, proceeded from a tender Concern for Her Majesty's Person and Government: And in the Dedication also of his said Sermon, preached at St. Paul's, solemnly declares, as he did before in his Discourse, "That his only Aim and Intention was, earnestly to contend for the Safety, Rights, and Establishment of Her Majesty, together with those of the Church."
"And as to such Part of the said Fourth Article, whereby it is charged, "that the said Henry Sacheverell doth suggest, That there are Men of Characters and Stations in the Church, who are false Brethren;" the said Henry Sacheverell faith, That the false Brethren, as described by him in his Sermon, are either those who propagate false Doctrines; or who give up the Discipline and Worship of the Church; or who are for a Neutrality in Religion; or who with well to the Church of England, and are ready to sacrifice their Persons and Estates in her Vindication, but do not shew their Zeal in the Communion of the Church, as well as for it, in obeying her Precepts, as well as defending her Rights. These being the several Sorts of false Brethren enumerated by the said Henry Sacheverell; if he should have suggested, that there are Men of Characters and Stations in Church and State (Words by no Means restrained to the highest Characters and Stations), to whom the Denomination of false Brethren, in some one or more Senses of that Word as by him interpreted, doth belong, he humbly hopes that such Suggestion would not be deemed false, malicious, or highly criminal.
"And as to such other Part of the said Fourth Article, whereby it is charged, "that the said Henry Sacheverell doth suggest, That there are Men of Characters and Stations in the Church and State, who do themselves weaken, and undermine, and betray, and do encourage, and put it into the Power of others, who are professed Enemies, to overturn and destroy the Constitution and Establishment;" the said Henry Sacheverell denieth that he suggesteth any such Things concerning Men of Characters and Stations in Church or State, where he speaks of those, "who weaken, undermine, and betray, and encourage, and put it in the Power of our processed Enemies, to overturn and destroy the Constitution and Establishment." There Men of Characters and Stations are not mentioned by him; and where he mentions Men of Character and Stations, Twelve Pages afterwards, the only Place wherein he mentions them, there he speaks nothing of weakening, undermining, and betraying, or of encouraging and putting it in the Power of our professed Enemies, to overturn and destroy the Constitution and Establishment; and hopes, therefore, that he shall be no Ways answerable for a supposed Reflection, which depends upon the Conjunction of Passages so widely distant from, and so little relating to, each other.
"The Weakeners, Underminers, and Betrayers of our Constitution, and the Encouragers, to whom the said Henry Sacheverell doth in any Part of his Sermon refer, will, he presumes, upon a candid Examination of those Passages, appear to be one of these Three Sorts of Persons; either, First, such as, by their Writings, endeavour to subvert the Foundations of our Church and State; or, Secondly, such, whether Writers or others, who are for a latitudinarian, heterogeneous Mixture of all Persons, of what different Faith soever, uniting only in Protestancy; which would let into her Bowels those, who neither believe her Faith, own her Mission, submit to her Discipline, or comply with her Liturgy, which he afterwards styles the Model of an universal Coalition; or, Thirdly, those occasional Conformists, who have so far eluded the Corporation and Test Acts, by their abominable Hypocrify, as to have undermined the Foundations, and endangered the Government, by filling it (as far as they could) with its professed Enemies, that is, with themselves. Of all these and their Encouragers, the said Henry Sacheverell confesses himself to have suggested, that they do, in his Opinion, weaken, undermine, and betray the Constitution. But that either these, or their Encouragers, are Men of Characters or Stations in the Church or State, he hath not any where suggested.
"And as to such other Part of the said Fourth Article, which chargeth the said Henry Sacheverell, with "charging Her Majesty, and those in Authority under Her, both in Church and State, with a general Maladministration;" the said Henry Sacheverell faith, "That he abhors the Thoughts of bringing any Charge against Her Sacred Majesty, whom he never mentions but in Terms of the profoundest Duty and Respect; nor doth he tax those in Authority with a general or with any Mal-administration, which is a Word he hath never used, nor, as far as he can find, any other Word or Words by which the Thing is implied. So far is the said Henry Sacheverell from making any undutiful Reflections upon Her Majesty, or Her Administration, that, in the several Writings that he has published since Her happy Accession to the Throne, particularly in one which is an avowed Defence of Her Title to the Crown, and a Justification of Her entering into a War with France and Spain, he hath expressed himself with the most hearty and loyal Zeal for Her Majesty's Person, Government, and Administration.
"As to such other Part of the said Fourth Article, whereby it is charged, "That the said Henry Sacheverell, as a public Incendiary, persuades Her Majesty's Subjects to keep up a Distinction of Factions and Parties;" the said Henry Sacheverell faith, That he is so far from being guilty of this Charge, that, in his said Sermon, he invites the Separatists to renounce their Schism, and come sincerely into the Church; and complains of those who have villainously divided us with the knavish Distinctions of High and Low Church-men, and "wishes we might be one Fold, under one Shepherd, and that all those invidious Distinctions, that now distract and confound us, were lost; so that we might be terrible, like an Army with Banners, to our Enemies, who could never break in upon such an uniform and well-compacted Body."
"And as to such other Part of the said Fourth Article, as charges, "That the said Henry Sacheverell instils groundless Jealousies, and foments destructive Divisions, among Her Majesty's Subjects;" the said Henry Sacheverell faith, That, in his said Sermon, he, on the contrary, rebukes and condemns those, who, by false Insinuations, and raising groundless Jealousies and Fears, embroil the Public, and bring it into Confusion."
"And as to such other Part of the said Fourth Article, whereby it is charged, "That the said Henry Sacheverell excites and stirs up Her Majesty's Subjects to Arms and Violence;" the said Henry Sacheverell faith, "God forbid that he should be guilty of so heinous a Crime, who asserts the utter Illegality of Resistance to the Supreme Power, upon any Pretence whatsoever;" which Assertion he conceives to be the chief, if not only, Ground of the Charge exhibited against him in the First Article.
"In Confutation of this Charge, he begs Leave to recite one Passage out of his Sermon preached at Derby, in the following Words; "We may be Partakers of other Mens Sins, if we do not, to the utmost of our Power, endeavour to prevent or obstruct their Commission, when they manifestly endanger the Good of the Public. As we are Members of any Government or Society, we are all obliged, in Point of Honour, Interest, and Conscience, to maintain its Security, promote its Welfare, and guard it against factious Designs, or seditious Conspiracies, that may threaten its Constitution, discompose its Peace, or violate and subvert its Laws. God and Nature have invested every Subject, from his Cradle, with a Commission to engage, discover, and disappoint, the Enemies of His Church and Country; and he that is either privy to, industriously conceals, or any ways abets, their schismatical, illegal, or rebellious Enterprizes, both in the Eyes of Human as well as Divine Laws, is an Accomplice and Partaker in the Guilt, a Traitor to God and his Prince, a Patron and Protector of Injustice, and a common Adversary to himself, as well as all Mankind." And the said Henry Sacheverell hopes, what he hath said in the Dedication of the same Sermon, "That there are not wanting some to preach the Truth, and others to support it, at the Expence of their Lives and Fortunes," will not be construed as exciting Her Majesty's Subjects to Sedition and Rebellion; since that Truth, which he commends some for preaching, and others for supporting, is by him opposed to the Attempts of those who betray and run down the Principles and Interests of our Church and Constitution; and since he there deservedly commends the High Sheriff of that County, on account of his steady Loyalty and Zeal to serve Her Majesty and the Government, for which he hath been so remarkably distinguished.
"In the Sermon preached at St. Paul's, he doth indeed excite Christians, "to put on the whole Armour of God, as wrestling not only against Flesh and Blood, but against Principalities, against Powers, against the Rulers of the Darkness of this World, against Spiritual Wickedness in High Places." But he hath learned from the same Saint Paul, that the Arms of Resistance, taken up by Subjects against the Higher Powers, are no Part of that Spiritual Armour; and the Principalities and Powers, by him mentioned, being plainly distinguished from Flesh and Blood, cannot, he thinks, be so far misinterpreted, as to be understood of Earthly Potentates and Rulers.
"And as to so much of the said Fourth Article, whereby it is charged, "That he, the said Henry Sacheverell doth wickedly wrest and pervert divers Texts and Passages of Holy Scripture, that his said malicious and seditious Suggestions may make the stronger Impression upon the Minds of Her Majesty's Subjects;" the said Henry Sacheverell says, That, having no malicious or seditious Suggestions to imprint, he could not intend to wrest any Passagers of the Holy Scripture to that wicked Purpose. Hard is the Lot of the Ministers of the Gospel, if, when they cite the Word of God in their general Exhortations to Piety and Virtue, or in their Reproofs of Mens Trangressions, or where they are lamenting the Difficulties and Conflicts with which the Church of Christ, whilst militant here on Earth, must always struggle; the several Texts and Passages by them cited shall be said to have been by them meant of particular Persons and Things, and shall be construed in the most criminal Sense, and be made, by such Construction, one Ground of an Impeachment for high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
"And as to all other Matters and Things in the said Articles contained, and not herein before particularly answered unto; the said Henry Sacheverell faith, he is Not Guilty of them, or any of them, in Manner and Form as the same are charged upon him in and by the said Articles; and humbly submits himself to your Lordships Judgement.
Then the Lord Chancellor asked him, "If he had any Thing further to say?"
He replied, "He would abide by his Answer."
And being withdrawn;
Message to H. C. with the Doctor's Answer.
A Message was sent to the House of Commons, by Mr. Rogers and Mr. Hiccocks:
To acquaint them, "That Doctor Henry Sacheverell hath put in his Answer to the Articles of Impeachment sent from their House against him; which their Lordships communicate to them, and desire that the said original Answer may be returned with convenient Speed."
Dominus Cancellarius declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque ad et in diem Jovis, vicesimum sextum diem instantis Januarii, hora undecima Auroræ, Dominis sic decernentibus.
Veneris, 14 die Aprilis, 1710.
Hitherto examined by us,