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THE SABBATH.

had grown barbarous; bull-and bear-baiting, interludes, and bowling were reckoned among them, and the more earnest spirits longed not only to promote edification but to curb excess. Sabbatarianism, therefore, though opposed, made rapid progress. Its opponents did what religious parties, when in power, always do—exercised that power tyrannically. They invoked the arm of the flesh to suppress or change conviction. In 1618 James I published a declaration, known afterward as "The Book of Sports," because it had reference to Sunday recreations, Puritan magistrates had interfered with the innocent amusements of the people, and the King wished to insure their being permitted after divine service to those who desired them; but not enjoined upon those who did not. Coarser sports, and sports tending to immorality, were prohibited. Charles I renewed the declaration of his father. Not content, however, with expressing his royal pleasure—not content with restraining the arbitrary civil magistrate—the King decreed that the declaration should be published "through all the parish churches," the bishops in their respective dioceses being made the vehicles of the royal command. Defensible in itself, the declaration thus became an instrument of oppression. The High Church party, headed by Archbishop Laud, forced the reading of the documents on men whose consciences recoiled from the act. "The precise clergy," as Hallam calls them, refused in general to comply, and were suspended or deprived in consequence. "But," adds Hallam, "mankind loves sport as little as prayer by compulsion; and the immediate effect of the King's declaration was to produce a far more scrupulous abstinence from diversions on Sundays than had been practiced before."

The Puritans, when they came into power, followed the evil example of their predecessors. They, the champions of religious freedom, showed that they could, in their turn, deprive their antagonists of their benefices, fine them, burn their books by the common hangman, and compel them ta read from the pulpit things of which they disapproved. On this point Bishop Heber makes some excellent remarks. "Much," he says, "as each religious party in its turn had suffered from persecution, and loudly and bitterly as each had, in its own particular instance, complained of the severities exercised against its members, no party had yet been found to perceive the great wickedness of persecution in the abstract, or the moral unfitness of temporal punishment as an engine of religious controversy." In a very different strain writes the Dr. Bownd who has been already referred to as a precursor of Puritanism. He is so sure of his "doxy" that he will unflinchingly make others bow to it. "It behooveth," he says, "all kings, princes, and rulers that profess the true religion, to enact such laws, and to see them diligently executed, whereby the honor of God in hallowing these days might be maintained. And, indeed, this is the chief est end of all government, that men might not profess what re-