The Diary of Thomas Burton: 4 February 1658-9

Pages 66-68

Diary of Thomas Burton Esq: Volume 3, January - March 1659. Originally published by H Colburn, London, 1828.

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Friday, February 4, 1658–9.

The House kept a fast within their own walls.

Dr. Owen preached. His text was Isaiah iv. 5. "For upon all the glory shall be a defence." (fn. 1)

Dr. Reynolds (fn. 2) preached. His text was 2 Phil. i. 2.

Mr. Calamy (fn. 3) preached. His text was Psalm xciii. iv. "The Lord reigneth."

Dr. Mauton (fn. 4) preached. The text was Deut. xxxiii. 4, 5.

The exercises held from nine till six. (fn. 5)

Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Knightley moved that the ministers have thanks, and print their sermons.

Sir Arthur Haslerigge and Mr. Scot moved against printing them.

Resolved in the affirmative.

Lord Fairfax spoke twice, inclining rather not to have the sermons printed.

He spoke but so so. Then arose a division about the question, so suddenly after the duty.

Mr. Godfrey and Mr. Bampfield came into the House. I question if they were sworn.

Mr. Disbrowe, Mr. Bulkeley, Mr. Hungerford, and Mr. Gewen, moved to have the sermons printed.

There was a collection for the poor at the door by the Serjeant; (fn. 6) so the Speaker went out without the mace.


  • 1. This sermon was entitled, "The Glory and Interest of Nations Professing the Gospel." See vol. ii. p. 97, notes.
  • 2. This eminent Presbyterian, who at length, "mitre and crosier dancing in his eyes," overcame his scruples against diocesan episcopacy, is thus described by Sir Thomas Browne: "My honoured friend, Bishop Edward Reynolds, was a person much of the temper of his predecessor, Dr. Joseph Hall, of singular affability, meekness, and humility; of great learning, a frequent preacher, and constant resident." Repertorium, (1723,) p. 20. Wood admits Dr. Reynolds to have been "a person of excellent parts and endowments, of a very good wit, fancy, and judgment, a great divine, and much esteemed by all parties for his preaching and florid style," though "of an hoarse voice." Yet, with his usually "great plainness of speech," the Oxford biographer thus exposes the versatility of this timely conformist. "In 1642, he sided with the Presbyterian party, and became one of the Assembly of Divines, a Covenanter, and a preacher before the Long Parliament. In 1646, he was appointed one of the six ministers to settle in Oxford, to preach the scholars into obedience to the said Parliament; afterwards, one of the visitors to break open, turn out, and take possession, as Dean of Christ Church, in the place of Dr. Samuel Fell, ejected, and Vice-Chancellor of the University. Being forced to leave his Deanery, in 1650, because he refused to take the independent engagement, [see vol. ii. p. 279, note *,] he retired to his former cure of Braynton in Northamptonshire. Afterwards, he lived mostly in London; preached there, and flattered Oliver and his gang; and after his death he did the like to Richard, and was the orator or mouth of the London ministers, to welcome that mushroom Prince to his throne, 11th October, 1658. Also, when hopes depended on Monk's proceedings from Scotland, he struck in with him, and who more ready than Dr. Reynolds and other Presbyterians,—[see vol. ii. p. 320,373, notes *,] when he and they saw how tilings would terminate, and could not be otherwise holpen,—to bring in the King after his long exile, by using his interest in the city of London, where he was the pride and glory of the Presbyterian party. "Soon after the Restauration, upon the feeling of his pulse, the King bestowed upon him the bishoprick of Norwich; which see he willingly taking without a nolo, was, after he had taken the covenant, and had often preached against Episcopacy and the ceremonies of the Church of England, consecrated thereunto, on the 6th of January, anno 1660–1. By virtue of which bishoprick he became an Abbot, (a strange preferment, methinks, for a Presbyterian,) of St. Bennet in the Holme, which he kept (with great regret-to his quondam brethren, whom he then left to shift for themselves,) to his dying day," in 1676. Wood adds, though I trust the imputation is unjust, "It was verily thought by his contemporaries, that he would have never been given to change, had it not been to please a covetous and politic consort, who put him upon those things he did." Athen. Oxon. (1692), ii. 420, 421. The King is described by Wood as advancing Dr. Reynolds to the mitre "upon the feeling of his pulse." In another place, this indefatigable detailer of anecdotes has shown the "Supreme Head over all causes ecclesiastical," either jesting with his high prerogative, of awful responsibility, or applying it to political purposes, with equal facility. "1677. Nov. 26. Divers would be asking the King who should be Archbishop; who, to put off and stop their mouths, he would tell them, Tom Baillies. He is a drunken lecherous justice of peace for Westminster. "Dec. 29. Congés d'elire [see vol. ii. p. 465, note †,] went to Canterbury to elect Dr. Sandcroft Archbishop of Canterbury, set up by the Duke of York against London, [Dr. Compton,] and York put on by the papists. York doth not care for London, because he showed himself an enemy to the papists at the Council Board." See "The Life of Mr. Anthony a Wood," (1772,) p. 271.
  • 3. See vol. ii. pp. 320, 373, notes.
  • 4. See Ibid. p. 89, 311, notes.
  • 5. See Ibid. p. 372.
  • 6. See supra, p. 13, note.