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LAUD, and be incapable to have, receive, use, or execute any of the Abp. Cant. said offices, places, powers, authorities, and things aforesaid.


Collect. of

17 Charles 1.
cap. 28.

Εἰκὼν Βασιλ. p. 263.


reports of


"And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that all acts from and after the said fifteenth of February, which shall be done or executed by any archbishop or bishop, or other person whatsoever in holy orders, and all and every suffrage or voice, given or delivered by them, or any of them; or other thing done by them, or any of them, contrary to the purport and true meaning of this present act, shall be utterly void to all intents, constructions, and purposes."

That there is nothing of cogency in this preamble, either as to reasoning or fact, is sufficiently evident from what has been observed upon this head in the foregoing part of this history. But the king giving way to unreasonable demands, encouraged the party to farther importunities, disserved his character, and weakened his interest. His majesty was afterwards sensible it was a wrong step, and repented his compliance; as appears by a passage in one of his prayers. "Was it," says he, "through ignorance that I suffered innocent blood to be spilled, through a false pretended justice? or that I permitted a wrong way of worship to be set up in Scotland? or injured the bishops in England?" From hence the inference is, that the injury done to the bishops in England, lay little less heavy upon the king's conscience, than the other two remarkable instances of human frailty 1.

At this time, when libels and calumny had free course, there the bishops' was great clamouring against the bishops' conduct. They mismanage- were charged with laying aside the use of confirmation: that they had wholly neglected the duty of preaching, under pretence of being more at leisure for the governing part of their function: and that even in this they managed to insignificancy, and transferred their jurisdiction upon their chancellors, and under officers. That none of them used to sit in their consistories for hearing complaints, or doing justice either to clergy or laity but turned over the people to registers, proctors, and apparitors, who drew their money from them against equity and law, and used them almost at discretion. That few or none of them made their visitations in person: thus the


1 That Charles was the author of the "Eikon Basilike" is still asserted by respectable writers; but the majority of critics deny the supposition.


greatest part of the clergy and the bishops were strangers to CHARLES each other; that this was a discouragement to godly and painful ministers, and countenanced those who were irregular. That few of them living in their episcopal cities, the poor were disappointed of the relief, and the better sort of the hospitality, they had reason to expect; and that by this absence Divine service was hurried, and ill-performed in the cathedrals, for want of the bishop's presence and inspection. That instead of giving orders at the mother-church, they made use of the chapels of their private houses, or some obscure country churches; not requiring the assistance of their deans and chapters upon such solemn occasions, as they ought to do: that they exerted the censures of deprivation and degradation in too monarchical and arbitrary a manner; not calling in the deans and chapters for any share in the administration: and that, by this absolute method of governing, they had made those capitular bodies in a manner useless. And lastly, since they did nothing upon the matter but receive their rents, indulge their ease, consult their grandeur, and lord it over the rest of their brethren, the best way was to discharge their function, and turn their estates to more serviceable uses.

This was the substance of what was objected by some secular men of condition, and industriously spread among the common people. That a great part of this charge was swelled beyond truth, need not be questioned: but, supposing the whole had been matter of fact, the inference was quite wrong; for there is no reason an office should suffer for personal miscarriage: that corporations should be dissolved, and apostolical institutions set aside for the faults of particular men. To turn people out of their estates without proving them guilty of any legal forfeiture, and merely because they do not spend them as religion directs, would make wild work: this reasoning, if urged home, I say, would carry to unintelligible justice, and make a strange revolution in the fortune of the laity.



As the hierarchy had a great many enemies, so there were some friends who stood in the breach, and endeavoured to re- tracts pubpel the attack. Besides archbishop Usher, already mentioned, lished for and against the bishop of Exeter appeared in print for the cause. This episcopacy. prelate presented an humble remonstrance to the parliament in behalf of the liturgy and episcopacy. His tract was quickly undertaken by a book, entitled "The Original of Liturgy and Episcopacy discussed." This answer, furnished by a club of


LAUD, five Presbyterian ministers, had "Smectymnuus 1" standing for Abp. Cant, the author: this word taking in the initial letters of the Christian and sirnames of the five ministers. Their answer received a vindication from the bishop, to which "Smectymnuus" published a rejoinder. During this combat, while the bishops and the faction were drawing their pens upon each other, sir Thomas Ashton, knight and baronet, printed a discourse in two parts: the first was entitled, "A Survey of the Inconveniences of the Presbyterian Discipline, and the inconsistencies thereof with the Constitution of this State." His second

The vacant sees filled.

part is called, "The Original Institution, Succession, and Jurisdiction of the Ancient and Venerable Order of Bishops." This performance was quickly supported by "The History of Episcopacy," under the name of Theophilus Churchman: and to mention some other tracts upon the same argument, though a little distant in time. The next year Dr. Taylor's "Episcopacy Asserted," and the "Aeriomastix" of John Theyer, appeared in print. To which may be added several petitions to the king and parliament: but of this more afterwards.

Before we take leave of this year, it may not be improper to mention the vacancies which happened in several sees. For instance; Neile, archbishop of York, died some few days before the meeting of this parliament: Montague, of Norwich; Bancroft, of Oxford; Davenant, of Salisbury; Potter, of Carlisle and Thornborough, of Worcester; survived Neile but a few months. These sees were filled by preferring Williams, as has been observed, to the archbishopric of York; Winnif, dean of St. Paul's, was made bishop of Lincoln; Duppa was translated from Chichester to Salisbury; and King, dean of Rochester, was promoted to the see of Chichester; Hall, bishop of Exeter, to Norwich; and Brownrig, master of Catherine-hall, in Cambridge, to Exeter; Skinner, of Bristol, was removed to Oxon; and Westfield, archdeacon of St. Alban's, promoted to Bristol; the bishopric of Carlisle was given in commendam to the primate of Ireland, during the commotions in that kingdom; and the see of Worcester was filled with Prideaux. These divines were all of them persons of learning and distinction, and stood well in the opinion of the generality. After this, there were no more changes until the

1 The word "Smectymnuus" is formed from the initial letters of the following names: Stephen Marshall, Edmund Calamy, Thomas Young, Matthew Newcomen, and William Spurstow.-Vide Symmons's Life of Milton.


abolition of episcopacy by an ordinance of the two houses in CHARLES the year 1646. There were no more changes, I say, excepting that Frewen, dean of Gloucester, and president of St. Mary Magdalen-college, in Oxon, was consecrated bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, upon the death of Wright, in the beginning of the year 1644; and Howell, prebendary of Windsor, was promoted to the bishopric of Bristol, upon the death of Westfield, before the end of the same year.

where he

nineteen pro

The king, forced by tumults from Whitehall, went into A.D. 1642. The king Yorkshire, and prepared for defence. During his stay in this retires into country the remarkable nineteen propositions were sent him Yorkshire, by the two houses: eight of these propositions relating to receives the the Church, desired "that his majesty would be pleased to positions. consent to such a reformation of the Church government and liturgy as both houses of parliament should advise; and that for this purpose they intended to consult with divines, as was expressed in their declaration." It was likewise desired "that his majesty would contribute his best assistance for raising a sufficient maintenance for preaching ministers throughout the kingdom; and that he would be pleased to give his consent to laws for taking away innovations, and superstitions, and pluralities, and against scandalous ministers."

Exact Coll.

p. 309.
His majes-
ty's answer

For satisfaction to this demand, the king repeated his answer to their remonstrance, already mentioned; and after this, put them in mind of part of his message sent them on the 14th of to the eight February, when he passed the bill for taking away the bishops' propositions. votes in parliament. The passage was this: "that his majesty had observed great and different troubles to arise in the hearts of his people concerning the liturgy and government of the Church; and that therefore he was willing to refer the whole consideration to the wisdom of his parliament, which he desired them to enter into speedily, that the present distractions about the same might be composed; that he desired not to be pressed to any single act on his part, till the whole was so digested and settled by both houses, that he might clearly see what was fit to be left, as well as what was fit to be taken away."

To this his majesty adds, "that he had the better hopes of a good issue, to the general satisfaction of his people; because they seemed, in their proposition, to desire only a reformation, and not a destruction of the present discipline and liturgy;




LAUD, though for a year and a half last past, nothing less than a
Abp. Cant.
total suppression of the ecclesiastical establishment had been
preached in the conventicles throughout the kingdom." His
majesty continues, "he should most cheerfully give his assist-
ance for settling a sufficient maintenance on preaching minis-
ters in such a manner as might be most for the encouragement
of piety and learning: as to the bills and consultation they
mentioned, he knew nothing of the matter of the one, nor the
manner of the other, excepting by common fame, to which he
gave little credit; and wished his subjects believed reports no
faster than himself. Having therefore received nothing cer-
tain on these heads, he could return no answer."

Cyprian. Anglic. p. 505.

It has been already hinted that not a few petitions were Petitions in presented from several counties to the king and both houses, behalf of episcopacy in behalf of the Church establishment: some belong to the

and the Common


last, and some to the present year. To begin with the county
of Rutland; where, in their petition to the high and honour-
able court of parliament, they argue in defence of episcopacy.
To mention some of their considerations, as they call them :-

in behalf of

the Church.

The petition
"We consider," say they, "whether there can be a Church
of Rutland or not without bishops: this very important question is main-
tained in the negative by apostolical men, by primitive martyrs,
and by the greatest part of Christendom; and that those few
of a different opinion are most certainly not infallible. Since,
therefore, so great a majority of Christendom, both with
respect to time and place, declare for the necessity of episco-
pacy, it is much safest to retain that government, for fear we
separate from the Church, the pillar and ground of truth.”

The petition observes


"Secondly, That no ordination was ever performed without a bishop; and if any presbyter gave imposition of hands for this purpose, unless in conjunction with the bishop, he was reckoned an usurper by public and unquestionable authority." From hence their inference is, "that without bishops there can be no presbyters, and by consequence no absolution, no consecration of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and that it is impossible to give an equivalent for these defects by any compensation whatsoever.

"Thirdly. Imposition of hands has never been the custom for presbyters or priests, upon bishops. From hence the dis

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