« PreviousContinue »
universities jure metropolitico, in the presence of the lord arch- CHARLES bishop of Canterbury, being also chancellor of the university of Oxon, and of the earl of Holland, chancellor of the university of Cambridge, and of persons sent and authorized by each of the said universities, and of the counsel of all the said parties.
“ In the first place, it was of all sides acknowledged to be the undoubted right of the crown to visit the said universities, whensoever his majesty pleaseth; and it was on all parts confessed, that the archbishop, in right of his metropolitical church of Canterbury, hath power to visit his whole province, in which the said universities are situate, and are under the same power, unless they could show privilege and exemption : which they then offered to show, but were not such as did or could give satisfaction. And his majesty, upon full hearing of the proofs on both sides, and great consideration had of them, declared that by no papal bull they could be exempted ; and likewise, that by none of their charters they were exempted. And, lastly, the omission of the archbishops to visit since the visitations showed unto his majesty, could no way, in this case, be a prescription to bar the right of the metropolitical see. But it appeared unto his majesty, for and in affirmance of the right of the archbishop, that actually both the universities had been visited by three of his predecessors jure metropolitico, and not by any legatine power; and that the metropolitical right coming in question, upon the resistance of the university of Oxon to be visited by the archbishop, it was upon great advice and full hearing of both parties adjudged for the archbishop, by his majesty's predecessor, king Richard II.; and afterwards, upon a like re-hearing and re-examination, adjudged and affirmed by king Henry IV.; and both of their judgments, upon a third and full re-examination, established by act of parliament, 13 Hen. IV., now showed by the archbishop under the great seal of king Henry IV.
And the archbishop produced before his majesty the original renunciation of all privileges from any pope, by the university of Cambridge, under the hands of heads of houses there. Upon which right, so clearly appearing both by practice and resolution of the kings and parliament, his majesty, with the advice of his
Judgment council, declared and adjudged the right of visiting both the given for universities as universities, and the chancellors, scholars, their king and servants, and others, enjoying the privilege of the said univer
LAUD, sities, to belong to the archbishop and metropolitical church of Abp. Cant. Canterbury, by themselves or commissaries, and that they shall
be from time to time obedient thereunto; whereupon the archbishop made an humble motion to his majesty, first for himself, that he would be graciously pleased that he might have this sentence drawn up by advice of his majesty's learned council, and put under the broad seal, to settle all differences that might hereafter arise ; then, on the behalf of both the universities, that, though they were to be visited by the archbishop and his successors, yet that they should not be visited by the bishop of the diocese or the archdeacon, but should perpetually remain free and exempt from the visitation and jurisdiction of the bishop and archdeacon of the places where they are. But then, since it was declared his right to visit metropolitice, and that it was not limited by law how often he might visit, therefore (notwithstanding the late custom of visitation semel in vita tantum) he might visit the universities by himself or his commissaries as often as any great emergent cause should move him thereunto; provided that neither the said archbishop nor any of his successors (after his first visitation) shall visit on such emergent cause, unless the said cause be first made known to his majesty and his successors, and approved by him or them. All which was graciously granted by his majesty, and so settled.
“And lastly: whereas it was alleged, that the chancellors of either university were, and are like to be, persons of great honour and eminency, and therefore it might be inconvenient that they should be called to such visitations, it was declared by his majesty that such inconvenience would easily be helped, for that in course of law the chancellor would be allowed to appear by his proxy.
6. Exr. Ed. NICHOLAS."
This decision fortified the archbishop's character, and made him more regarded in both universities : even in Cambridge, where his authority was less, his measures for conformity were better pursued; the communion-tables in the university-church and several college-chapels were railed in; the ornaments were richer, and the worship more solemn, than formerly. In Oxford, where Laud was chancellor, he met with no difficulty: here his motions were smooth and strong, and everything
answered to inclination. I have already just mentioned the CHARLES archbishop's drawing a body of statutes for this university. He found the old regulations grown unserviceable, partly by the alterations in religion, and partly upon the score of long disuse. Besides, they wanted consistency in the sense, and order in the digestion. To remedy this obscurity and confusion, the bishop directed their being reviewed, cleared of contradiction, and thrown into a new form. When this was done, and the draft received in convocation, he got them confirmed under the broad seal. For this favour the university returned him thanks June 23. in a Latin letter very handsomely penned.
Abp. Laud, To proceed: the reading the king's declaration about lawful &c, vol. 2. sports stuck with many of the clergy: their meaning, it is Statutes of likely, might be fair, but they were not sufficiently enlightened sity of Oxon to master their scruples. Their being prosecuted in the con- and consistories and High Commission, for their refusal, brought the firmed under government and bishops under no kind representation. Now, seal. to clear the Church and State from imputations of rigour, the bishops made a sort of defence for the crown and themselves, and alleged the reasons for enjoining the clergy the reading this declaration.
First, In justification of the king, they argued that the The bishops' orders of a prince, when not evidently repugnant to the Holy enjoining the Scriptures, or the law of nature, (I think it might be added, kimais decla
ration or the laws of the realm,) are precisely to be obeyed.
sports. Secondly, That a possible and remote inconvenience, resulting from compliance, is not a sufficient discharge. For every good subject ought to suppose, that his prince, with the assistance of his council, is in a better condition to foresee disadvantage, and guard against ill consequences, than himself.
Thirdly, By disobeying our prince, where the command is lawful, we run ourselves upon a certain sin ; but this is ruinous obstinacy, and ought not to be ventured on for preventing inconveniences. Thus far the apology for the crown, if we may
call it so.
In defence of themselves, the bishops alleged, that they received an order from the king for publishing the declaration in their parish churches. Now who could the bishop lay their commands upon, for this purpose, excepting the clergy? And whereas it was objected, no penalty was laid upon the refusers: to this it was answered, some penalty, though not expressed, was evidently implied; for that otherwise the order would be pre
LAUD, carious, and given to no purpose. And, lastly, it was urged, Abp. Cant. that there was nothing in the declaration, that was plainly
contrary either to the word of God, the canons of the Church, the laws of the land, or the practice of the reformed in other countries. That if some men's scruples suggested otherwise public regards, and the interest of society, would oblige them to acquiese. That if it was lawful for private persons to indulge their doubts, and suspend their obedience, the functions of government would be lamentably embarrassed. And they urged further, that a sheriff, by his office, is bound to publish his majesty's proclamations, though it were for the apprehending his own father, or though it contained matter unserviceable to the public. That a priest may, without wrong to his conscience, pronounce an excommunication legally put into his hands, notwithstanding he is convinced the party is unjustly excommunicated. That when the emperor Mauritius made an order that no soldier should be admitted into any monastery; and enjoined the publication of this edict upon Gregory the Great: the pope, upon the score of his being the emperor's subject, dispersed the order through his jurisdiction, notwithstanding he believed it an unlawful command. But then, it must be observed, that at the same time, when this pope pub
lished the order in duty to his prince, he remonstrated to the Mag. matter, and openly declared the unlawfulness of it. Lastly, epist. 61.
St. Austin, in his book against Faustus, the Manichee, gives Cap. 75.
a resolution which seems to fit the case, that a Christian soldier, under a Heathen prince, may lawfully pursue his profession, and obey his superior officers, though he has no clear proofs of the justice of the war, or the serviceableness of the orders received. These reasons, though not without their effect, fell short of giving general satisfaction '.
The king, as has been observed, designed to introduce the English Liturgy in Scotland : to recommend it to that nation, the daily reading of it was ordered in the chapel at Holyroodhouse. But Ballantine, bishop of Dumblain, proceeding neg
ligently in this affair, Laud thought it necessary to provide The Scotch another better disposed. And thus, when the see of Aberdeen Liturgy drawn up in
fell void, he got him translated thither, and procured his preferments for Dr. Weederburn, a Scotchman by birth, but bred and beneficed in England : this new dean pursued the
1 An exceedingly strong declaration in favour of the royal prerogative, and the obedience due to it by ecclesiastical and civil powers.
king's instructions, and might probably have succeeded, if CHARLES the rest of the Scotch bishops had fallen in with him. But these prelates moving for a distinct Liturgy, upon the reasons abovementioned, his majesty commanded the archbishop of Canterbury to assist them: Laud deferred concerning himself in this affair, in hopes of prevailing with them to drop their motion, and acquiesce in the English book. But perceiving them fixed in their resolution, he contributed his assistance: to bring him forward, he was strongly solicited by letters brought him by Maxwell, bishop of Ross, and signed by the archbishops of St. Andrew's and Glasgow; by the bishops of Murray, Dumblain, and Brechin. The scheme of this performance being first struck out, and filled up in Scotland, and from thence transmitted to the court, his majesty referred the Reviewed by review to the archbishop of Canterbury, the lord-treasurer
bishop of Juxon, bishop of London, and Wrenn, bishop of Norwich: but Juxon having his hands full of his own business, the bishop of matter rested with the other two. Upon the perusal of the book, they perceived that Weederburn had worked by some directions given him at London, and gone mostly upon the model and form of the English service. There was likewise a paper sent up, containing some alterations to be inserted, provided they were approved by his majesty. To mention How far it some of them : it was proposed, “ That the Magnificat, and is different the rest of the Hymns, together with the Epistles and Gospels, English should be printed according to the last translation in the reign Prayer. of king James : and that this might be done pursuant to such 768. directions as they had received for printing the Psalms of David in the last translation. That for the better singing of those Psalms to the organ, a colon should be made in the middle of every verse, as it stands in the English. That every prayer, or office, through the whole Communion, should be named in the rubric before it, that the parts of the service might be better distinguished to the congregation. That the Invitation, Confession, Absolution, Sentences, Prefaces, and Doxology, should be set in the same order they stand in the English Liturgy: and that the prayer of Humble Access to the holy table might stand immediately before receiving." These suggestions for alterations were passed by the archbishop and bishop Wrenn, and afterwards signed by his majesty.
Further, Weederburn acquainted the archbishop with some