« PreviousContinue »
LAUD, without voting (to which last restraint they consented themAbp. Cant. selves), while the time for making their answer was debating?
Secondly, What time they should be allowed for making their defence ?
Fuller's Ch. Hist. book 11.
The first question was carried for them in the affirmative. And as to the second, they had time given them to the 10th of November for putting in their answer. The bishops made choice of Warner, bishop of Rochester, to solicit in the cause. This prelate retained sergeant Jermin and Mr. Chuite for counsel; Jermin refused to plead without a warrant from the house of commons. The bishops thinking the demand unreasonable, this lawyer was laid by ; but Chuite was more just and generous : for being asked by the temporal lords whether he would plead for the bishops, he replied, “ Yes, as long as he had a tongue to plead with.” This gentleman soon after drew up a demurrer in behalf of the bishops to prove what they had done in the late convocation could not amount to a præmunire.
This defence was shewed to archbishop Williams, and comThe prose- mended for an impregnable performance. In short, the them dropt. strength of the plea was probably the reason the prosecution
slept, and that the bishops heard no more of the impeachment.
The king was now at Edinburgh, and made a very unfortunate affair of his journey. At the parliament now sitting
there, he signed several acts extremely prejudicial to the pre806.
rogative ; but these being somewhat foreign to this history, The king shall be mostly unmentioned. However, it may not be improScotland, per to observe, that what was expected would have been parand proves unfortunate doned in an act of oblivion, was couched in a form of justificaduct.
tion of the Covenanters' misbehaviour: for instance, their first tumults and erecting their tables in opposition to the government; their suppressing the justice court and the session, and the acts and orders of their tables, are declared to be the effects of their duty to his majesty, and according to the law of the land. And thus all those loyal persons who had opposed these mutineers in defence of the government, and stood authorized by his majesty's commissions, were made criminals. These royalists were the only persons excepted from pardon, and barred the benefit of the indemnity.
And as to the Church, the seditious acts of that assembly which had expelled the bishops and the canonical clergy, dis
in his con
owned their spiritual governors being members of their body, CHARLES and affirmed a power in themselves to stretch the censures of the Church
crown, were declared “ to be lawful, and according to the constitution of the kingdom : that the government of the Church by archbishops and bishops was repugnant to the word of God : that the prelates were enemies to the propagation of the true reformed Protestant religion ; and that for this reason their order was to be suppressed, and their lands given to the king, his heirs and successors.
The slender remains of the Church's patrimony being vested Hist, of the in the crown, the king gave it all away to the Covenanting Vol.c. par: 1. party. In short, his majesty, by abandoning his friends, and Bishop caressing his enemies, not only sunk his interest in that king- Memoirs. dom, but gave great encouragement to the faction in England. The enemies of the Church now concluded their business in a good condition. And since the king had signed an act in Scotland that the Church government by archbishops and bishops was against the word of God, they did not question bringing him to the same compliance in his Westminster parliament'.
To mention somewhat of their courage and expedition in this affair ; and here I am to acquaint the reader, that about half a year since, the lords, to stop the irregular zeal of some over-forward people, published an order, “that divine service an order of should be performed as it is appointed by the statutes of this the lords realm ; and that all such as shall disturb that commendable novating in
religion. order shall be severely punished according to law; and that the parsons, vicars, and curates in their respective parishes, shall forbear introducing any rites or ceremonies that may give offence, otherwise than those which are established by the laws of the land." This order was made upon the 16th of January last ; and upon the 9th of September, the day upon which they adjourned, it was resolved upon the question, that the above-said order should be printed and published. The lords desired the concurrence of the commons; but the lower house, thinking the strict execution of the laws unseasonable, voted their dissent to both the orders, and published a short decla- Rushworth 's ration, in which they gave the kingdom an expectation of making a considerable reformation in matters of religion.
To be somewhat more full upon this matter; the commons " King Charles I. will probably seem to some of the readers of Collier an illustration of a common proverb, “ Quem Deus vult perdere, prius dementit,"
The commons' declaration
in the ceremonies.
LAUD, had lately revived the debate touching innovations in the Abp. Cant.
Church, and passed several votes against them. The lords at the same time repeated their declaration for the observation of the Common Prayer, without omission or alteration. These votes, which looked like clashing, occasioned a conference between both houses ; at which the commons desired their lordships to consent to the following declaration. To this the lords returned no answer; and which further disgusted the commons, they resolved upon the question, that their order above-mentioned, on the 16th of January, should be printed
and published. A.D. 1641. The commons' declaration, to which they desired the con
currence of the upper house, was as follows :
“ Whereas divers innovations in or about the worship of concerning innovations God have been lately practised in this kingdom, by enjoining
some things and prohibiting others, without warrant of law, to the great grievance and discontent of his majesty's subjects: for the suppression of such innovations, and for preservation of public peace, it is this day ordered, by the commons in pare liament assembled, that the churchwardens in every parishchurch and chapel respectively do forthwith remove the communion-table from the east end of the church, chapel, or chancel, into some other convenient place; and that they take away the rails and level the chancels as heretofore they were before the late innovations.
- That all crucifixes, scandalous pictures of any one or more persons of the Trinity, and all images of the Virgin Mary, shall be taken away and abolished ; and that all tapers, candlesticks, and basons, be removed from the communion-table.
“ That all corporal bowing at the name Jesus, or towards the east end of the church, chapel, or chancel, or towards the communion-table, be henceforth forborne.
66 That the orders aforesaid be observed in all the several cathedral churches of this kingdom, and all the collegiate churches or chapels in the two universities, or any other part of the kingdom ; and in the Temple-church, and the chapels of the other inns of court, by the deans of the said cathedral churches, by the vice-chancellor of the said universities, and by the heads and governors of the several colleges and halls aforesaid, and by the benchers and readers in the said inns of court respectively.
“ That the Lord's-day shall be duly observed and sanctified: CHARLES all dancing or other sports, either before or after divine service, be forborne and restrained ; and that the preaching of God's word be permitted in the afternoon in the several churches and chapels of this kingdom, and that ministers and preachers be encouraged thereunto.
" That the vice-chancellors of the universities, heads and governors of colleges, all parsons, vicars, churchwardens, do make certificates of the performance of these orders: and if the same shall not be observed in any of the places beforementioned, upon complaint thereof made to the two next justices of peace, mayor, or head officers of cities or towns corporate; it is ordered, that the said justices, mayor, or other head officer respectively, shall examine the truth of all such complaints, and certify by whose default the same are committed : all which certificates are to be delivered in parliament before the 30th of October next, 1641."
Thus the usages of antiquity, the orders of the bishops, the canons of the Church are superseded, and the clergy enjoined obedience to this extraordinary declaration : one would almost have thought so peremptory a decision must have come from the apostolic synod at Jerusalem, or, at least, from one of the four general councils. But this, after all, was no more than an order of the lay-commons, and that without consulting the convocation, without the concurrence of either lords or sovereign. In short, these secular gentlemen interposing thus in the government of the Church, serves only to sap the foundation, and sink the credit of religion; gives libertines a handle to disbelieve Christianity, and look upon the creed as a trick of state policy. However, Pym, the chairman of the committee, sent down the declaration into the country after the recess, enjoined the reading it on the parochial clergy, and executed the order with more than patriarchal authority.
The design of throwing the bishops out of the house of lords going on, notwithstanding the late disappointment, it was thought fit to batter their reputation, and try to make them look little in common esteem. To this purpose the lord The Irishops' Brook published a pamphlet against the bishops, represented misreported them as persons meanly born, and by their way of study alto-by the lord gether unqualified for barons in parliament. This pretended
LAUD, disadvantage of birth being no better than downright calumny,
Williams, archbishop of York, Morton, bishop of Durham,
able education at Oxford and Gray’s-inn. And as for the rest 807. of the order, they were most of them either extracted from
clergymen or lay gentry: it is plain, therefore, lord Brook's
Another argument the temporal lords were contriving, to
place of those to whom our ancestors ever allowed it.” Ch. Hist.
The bishops' interest giving way in the upper house, the commons resolved to push the opportunity : for this purpose Mr. Pym, at a conference with the lords, made the following speech :
“ The parliament, the fountain of justice, ought to be pre-
will add not only lustre, reputation, and honour, but authority,
“ Therefore the knights, citizens, and burgesses, of the
First, That those thirteen bishops which stand accused