In this year Henry Sacheverell delivered his famous sermons, and Defoe wrote several tracts about them and attacked the preacher in his Review.
When Charles offered an alternative scheme (1679) for limiting the powers of a Catholic sovereign, Sacheverell made a great speech in which he pointed out the insufficiency of the king's terms for securing the object desired by the Whigs.
Barillon mentions Sacheverell among the Whig leaders who accepted bribes from Louis XIV., but the evidence against him is not conclusive.
This resolution was the forerunner of the Test Act, in the preparation of which Sacheverell took an active part, and which caused the break up of the cabal.
When Titus Oates began his pretended revelations in 1678 Sacheverell was among those who most firmly believed in the existence of a Popish plot.
Addison, another Wiltshire lad, entered at the same college two years earlier, but was also elected a demy in 1689; he inscribed to Sacheverell in 1694 his account of the greatest English poets.
In 1677 he carried an address to the king calling upon him to conclude an alliance with the United Provinces against Louis XIV., and when the Speaker adjourned the House by Charles's order Sacheverell made an eloquent protest, asserting the right of the House itself to decide the question of its adjournment.
That he had arranged the treaties demanded by the Commons; but Sacheverell boldly questioned the king's good faith, and warned the Commons that they were being deceived.