Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/160

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political tergiversation was loudest, his thoughts on the mystery of the Trinity. It is probable that, at another time, his work would have been hailed by good Churchmen as a triumphant answer to the Socinians and Sabellians. But, unhappily, in his zeal against Socinians and Sabellians, he used expressions which might be construed into Tritheism. Candid judges would have remembered that the true path was closely pressed on the right and on the left by error, and that it was scarcely possible to keep far enough from danger on one side without going very close to danger on the other. But candid judges Sherlock was not likely to find among the Jacobites. His old allies affirmed that he had incurred all the fearful penalties denounced in the Athanasian Creed against those who divide the substance. Bulky quartos were written to prove that he held the existence of three distinct Deities; and some facetious malecontents, who troubled themselves very little about the Catholic verity, amused the town by lampoons in English and Latin on his heterodoxy. "We," said one of these jesters, "plight our faith to one King, and call one God to attest our promise. We cannot think it strange that there should be more than one King to whom the Doctor has sworn allegiance, when we consider that the Doctor has more Gods than one to swear by."[1]

  1. A list of all the pieces which I have read relating to Sherlock's apostasy would fatigue the reader. I will mention a few of different kinds. Parkinson's Examination of Dr. Sherlock's Case of Allegiance, 1691; Answer to Dr. Sherlock's Case of Allegiance, by a London Apprentice, 1691; the Reasons of the New Converts taking the Oaths to the present Government, 1691; Utrum horum? or God's ways of disposing of Kingdoms and some Clergymen's ways of disposing of them, 1691; Sherlock and Xanthippe, 1691; Saint Paul's Triumph in his Sufferings for Christ, by Matthew Bryan, LL.D., dedicated Ecclesiæ sub cruce gementi; A Word to a wavering Levite; The Trimming Court Divine; Proteus Ecclesiasticus, or Observations on Dr. Sh—'s late Case of Allegiance; the Weasil Uncased; A Whip for the Weasil; the Anti-Weasils. Numerous allusions to Sherlock and his wife will be found in the ribald writings of Tom Brown, Tom Durfey, and Ned Ward. See Life of James, ii. 318. Several curious letters about Sherlock's apostasy are among the Tanner MSS. I will give two or three specimens of the rhymes which the Case of Allegiance called forth

    "When Eve the fruit had tasted,
    She to her husband hasted,
    And chuck'd him on the chin-a.
    Dear Bud, quoth she, come taste this fruit;
    'Twill finely with your palate suit,
    To eat it is no sin-a."

    "As moody Job, in shirtless ease,
    With collyflowers all o'er his face,
    Did on the dunghill languish,
    His spouse thus whispers in his ear,
    Swear, husband, as you love me, swear,
    'Twill ease you of your anguish."

    "At first he had doubt, and therefore did pray
    That heaven would instruct him in the right way,
    Whether Jemmy or William he ought to obey,
    Which nobody can deny.

    "The pass at the Boyne determin'd that case;
    And precept to Providence then did give place;
    To change his opinion he thought no disgrace;
    Which nobody can deny.

    "But this with the Scripture can never agree,
    As by Hosea the eighth and the fourth you may see;
    'They have set up kings, but yet not by me,'
    Which nobody can deny."