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With these dispositions, he was one of those divines, who signed the protestation which was presented to the army, against trying and destroying the king; and not content with joining among others in that cause, he distinguished himself above the rest by publishing a piece entitled “ The religious and loyal Protestation of John Gauden, doctor in divinity, against the present declared purposes and proceedings of the army, and others, about the trying and destroying of our sovereign lord the king; sent to a colonel, to be presented to the lord Fairfax, and his general council of officers, the 5th of January, 1648," Lond. 1648, 4to. Nor did his zeal stop here: presently after the king's death he wrote what he called “ A just Invective against those of the army and their abettors, who murthered king Charles I. on the 30th of January, 1648, with some other poetical pieces in Latin, referring to those tragical times, written February 10, 1648 ;" but this was not published until after the restoration in 1662.
He went still further: for, having got into his hands his majesty's meditations, &c. written by himself, he took a copy of the MS. and immediately resolving to print it with all speed, he prevailed with Mr. Royston, the king's printer, to undertake the work. But when it was about half printed, a discovery was made, and all the sheets then wrought off were destroyed. However, this did not damp Gauden's spirit. He attempted to print it again, but could by no possible means get it finished, till some few days after bis majesty's destruction; when it came out under the title of “ Eixav Barthxn," or, “ The Portraiture of his sacred majesty in his solitude and sufferings." Upon its first appearance, the powers then at the helm were immediately sensible, how dangerous a book it was to their cause; and therefore set all their engines at work to discover the publisher; and having seized the MS. which had been dispatched to the king, they appointed a committee to examine into the business. Gauden, having notice of this proceeding, withdrew privately in the night from his own house to sir John Wentworth's, near Yarmouth, with a design to convey himself beyond sea : but Mr. Symonds, his majesty's chaplain, and rector of Raine in Essex, near Bocking, who had communicated the MS. to the doctor, and had been taken up in a disguise, happening to die bei fore his intended examination, the committee were not able to make any discovery. Upon this, the doctor
changed his resolution, and stayed in England; where he directed his conduct with so much policy, as to keep his preferments during the several periods of the usurpation, although he published several treatises in vindication of the Church of England and its ministers, among which are, 1. “ Hieraspistes, or An Apology of the Ministers of the Church of England,” 1653. 2. “ The Case of Ministers' maintenance by tithes (as in England) plainly discussed in conscience and prudence," 1653. N. B. Tithes were abolished about this time. 3. “Christ at the Wedding, or, a treatise of Christian marriages to be solemnly blessed by ministers.” N. B. Justices of the peace were empowered to perform that rite in those times. 4. “A Petitionary Remonstrance presented to 0. P. by John Gauden, D. D. a son, servant, and supplicant for the Church of England, in behalf of many thousands, his distressed brethren, ministers of the gospel, and other good scholars, who were deprived of all public employment,” 1659. Abp. Usher went to the protector at the same time to intercede for them. Besides these, he published, with the same spirit of vindicating the doctrine of the Church of England, “A Discourse concerning public oaths, and the lawfulness of swearing in judicial proceedings, in order to answer the scruples of the Quakers," 1649.
In 1659, as soon as the first dawn of the restoration began to shew itself, the doctor printed “iegas dangua, Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ suspiria;” “ The tears, sighs, complaints, and prayers of the Church of England, setting forth her former constitution, compared with her present condition, also the visible causes and probable cures of her distemper," in four books, folio. The same year, upon the death of bishop Brownrigg in 1659, whose funeral sermon he preached and published, with his life, he succeeded him as preacher to the Temple; and upon the return of Charles II, he succeeded the same bishop in the see of Exeter, Nov. 1660, having been made king's chaplain before. The value of a bishopric was greatly enhanced at this time, by the long intermission that had happened in renewing the leases of their estates, during the abolition of episcopacy. In this view, the nomination to Exeter might be looked upon as a present from his majesty of 20,000l. since the bishop received that sum in fines on the renewal of leases.
But he did not sit down content here; thinking his services deserved something more. He had already published
his “ Anti-sacrilegus,” or, “A Defensative against the plausible or gilded poison of that nameless paper, supposed to be the plot of Cornelius Burges and his partners, which tempts the king's majesty by the offer of 500,000l. to make good by an act of parliament, to the purchasers of Bishops' Lands, &c. their illegal bargain for 99 years, 1660,” 4to: As also, his.Analysis, against the covenant in defence of the Hierarchy;" and his “ Anti-Baal-Berith, or, the binding of the covenant and all the covenanters to their good behaviour, &c. With an answer to that monstrous paradox of no sacrilege, no sin, to alienate church lands, without, and against all laws of God and man.” These were all printed before his promotion to the see of Exeter. His zeal continued to glow with equal ardour the two following years; in his “ Life of Hooker,” prefixed to an edition of Hooker's works, published by him in 1661; and, again, in his “ Pillar of Gratitude, humbly dedicated to the glory of God, the honour of his majesty, &c. for restoring Episcopacy,” in 1662. But, above all, he particularly pleaded his merit in respect to the “ Einw Baoihin." He applied to the earl of Clarendon, in a letter dated Dec. 28, 1661, with a petition to the king; in which having declared the advantages which had accrued to the crown by this service, he adds, that what was done like a king, should have a king-like retribution. In another letter to the duke of York, dated Jan. 17, the same year, he strongly urges the great service he had done, and importunately begs his royal highness to intercede for him with the king. Chancellor Hyde thought he had carried his. merit too far, with regard to the king's book : and, in a letter to him, dated March 13, 1661, writes thus: “ The particular you mention, has indeed been imparted to me as a secret : I am sorry I ever knew it; and when it ceases to be a secret, it will please none but Mr. Milton.”'
He adhered, however, closely to the court, and in compliance with the measures which were then pursued, drew up a declaration for liberty of conscience extending to papists, of which a few copies were printed off, though presently called in; he was about the same time employed to draw up another declaration of indulgence to the quakers, by an exemption from all oaths. He also wrote, “ Considerations touching the Liturgy of the Church of England, in reference to his Majesty's late Declaration, and in order to a happy union in church and state,” 1660.
He then obtained a removal to the see of Worcester, to which he was elected May 23, 1662. But with this promotion he was so far from being satisfied, that he looked upon it as an injury; he had, it seems, applied to the king for the rich bishopric of Winchester, and flattered himself with the hopes of a translation thither; and the regret and vexation at the disappointment is thought to have hastened his end, for he died on September 20, that year. After his death, his widow, being left with five children, in consideration of the short time he had enjoyed Worcester, and the charge of removing from Exeter, petitioned the king for the half year's profits of the last bishopric; but her petition was rejected as unreasonable, on account of his large revenues and profits at his first coming to Exeter.
As to his character, it is certain he was an ambitious man; which, as is usually the case, occasioned the moral part to be severely sifted; and in this respect the behaviour of his relict, though otherwise intended, was far from being of service to his memory. In a letter to one of her sons, after the bishop's death, she calls the E.xw Badirum, “ The Jewel;" said her husband had hoped to make a fortone by it; and that she had a letter of a very great man's, which would clear up that he wrote it. This assertion, as Clarendon had predicted, was eagerly espoused by the anti-royalists, in order to disparage Charles I. This, on the other hand, kindling the indignation of those who thought his majesty greatly injured, they took every opportunity to expose the dark side of the bishop's character; and represented him as an inconstant, ambiguous, and lukewarm man, covetous of preferment, hasty and impatient in the pursuit of it, and deeply tinctured with folly and vanity ; upon the whole, an unhappy blemish and reproach of the sacred order. Nor is bishop Kennet's censure less severe, though conveyed in a somewhat less intemperate language, when he tells us that Dr. Gauden was capable of underwork, and made himself a tool to the court, by the most sordid hopes of greater favour in it. This charge is supported by two instances, namely, his drawing up the two declarations already mentioned; one for liberty of conscience to the papists, the other for indulgence to the quakers in respect to taking an oath; the latter of which we have seen passed into an act of parliament, and the policy and justice of the former attested by a connivance to all loyal papists, or such as deny the
pope's power of dissolving their allegiance to their lawful sovereign, wbich was the express motive for making the declaration. The most candid character of him is that left us by Wood, who says, “ that he was esteemed by all who knew him, to be a very comely person, a man of vast parts, and one that had strangely improved himself by unwearied labour; and was particularly much resorted to for his most admirable and edifying way of preaching." It is certain, however, he had too luxuriant an imagination, which betrayed him into an Asiatic rankness of style; and thence, as bishop Burnet argues, that not be, but the king himself, was the true author of the Einw Badiran ; in which there is a nobleness and justness of thought, with a greatness of style that caused it be esteemed the best written book in the English language.
But Burnet had not the advantage of proofs which bave since been published, particularly in Clarendon's State Papers, vol. III. from which an opposite conclusion may be drawn. Those, however, who would examine this question in all its bearings, may be referred to Nichols's “ Literary Anecdotes" for the arguments against Gauden, and to Laing's “ History of Scotland,” for what can be alleged in favour of Gauden's being the real author of the “Icon.” Our own opinion is, that the matter may still be questioned, nor can we agree with Mr. Laing in presuming “ that no one will now venture to defend the authority of the Icon." We think there is a strong probability that it was composed from materials written by the king; and that Gauden, a man so ambitious and avaricious as to claim high rewards for all his services, was very likely to attribute the whole to himself. We agree, however, with Mr. Laing, that“ if ever a literary imposture were excusable, it was undoubtedly Gauden's, and had it appeared a week sooner, it might have preserved the king."
Soon after his death there came out, written by him, “ A Discourse of artificial Beauty in point of Conscience between two Ladies," 1662. This was followed by another tract, published together with some on the same subject, by Whitgift, Hooker, and Sanderson, under the title of “ Prophecies concerning the Return of Popery,”. 1663. These were aimed at the sectaries, who were said to be opening a door, at which popery would certainly enter; lastly, in 1681, there appeared in 12mo, “ The