« PreviousContinue »
2. That the grievous and heinous pollution of the Lord's CHARLES supper, by those that are grossly ignorant and notoriously profane, may be henceforth with all Christian care and due circumspection prevented.
“ 3. That the bold venting of corrupt doctrines directly contrary to the sacred law of God and religious humiliation for sin, which open a wide door to all libertinism and disobedience to God and man, may be speedily suppressed everywhere ; and that in such manner as may give hope that the Church may
be no more infected with them.
“4. That the profanation of any part of the Lord's-day, and the days of solemn fasting, by buying, selling, working, sporting, travelling, or neglecting of God's ordinances, may be remedied by appointing special officers in every place, for the due execution of all good laws and ordinances against the
“5 5. That there may be a thorough and speedy proceeding against blind guides and scandalous ministers, by whose wickedness people either lack or loathe the ordinances of the Lord, and thousands of souls perish ; and the removal of the ark from among us is (to the trembling of our hearts) evidently threatened. And that your wisdoms would find out some way to admit into the ministry such godly and hopeful men as have prepared themselves, and are willing thereunto, without which there will suddenly be such a scarcity of able and faithful ministers, that it will be to little purpose to cast out such as are unable, idle, or scandalous.
“ 6. That the laws may be quickened against swearing and drunkenness, with which the land is filled and defiled, and under which it mourneth.
“7. That some severe course be taken against fornication, adultery, and incest, which do greatly abound, especially of late, by reason of impunity.
“8. That all monuments of idolatry and superstition, but more especially the whole body and practice of popery, may be totally abolished.
9. That justice may be executed on all delinquents, according to your religious vow and protestation to that purpose.
“ 10. That all possible means may be used for the speedy relief and release of our miserable and extremely distressed
LAUD, brethren who are prisoners in Oxford, York, and elsewhere, Abp. Cant.
whose heavy sufferings cry aloud in the ears of our God; and it would lie very heavy upon the kingdom should they miscarry, suffering, as they do, for the cause of God.
“ That so God, who is now by the sword avenging the quarrel of his covenant, beholding your integrity and zeal, may turn from the fierceness of his wrath, hear our prayers, go
forth with our armies, perfect the work of reformation, forgive Rushworth's our sins, and settle truth and peace throughout the kingdom.
“ And your petitioners shall ever pray, &c."
part 3. p. 344.
This petition was well approved ; a public fast was ordered upon Friday following; and both houses agreed to take the other particulars into speedy consideration.
To proceed : amongst other calumnies upon the king, the rebels misrepresented his religion, and reported him inclined to popery. This, they knew, would prove a significant aspersion, and disincline the people to his service. His majesty, therefore, to undeceive his subjects in this particular, made a solemn declaration of his belief: for, being ready to receive the holy eucharist from the hands of the lord primate Usher, he rose from his knees, and, giving the archbishop a sign for a short pause, spoke these words :
« My LORD, The king's “I espy here many resolved Protestants, who may declare protestation at Christ's to the world the resolution I do now make. I have, to the church in Oxford.
utmost of my power, prepared my soul to become a worthy receiver: and may I so receive comfort by the blessed sacrament, as I do intend the establishment of the true, reformed, Protestant religion, as it stood in its beauty, in the happy
days of queen Elizabeth, without any connivance at popery. Id. p. 346. I bless God, that in the midst of these public distractions, I
have still liberty to communicate : and may this sacrament be iny damnation, if my heart do not join with my lips in this protestation."
That this purgation was no more than seasonable, may, to mention nothing farther, be collected from a pamphlet lately published by one Saltmarsh, a Puritan minister, where, amongst
other directions, he advises to “cherish the war, under pre- CHARLES tence of combating popery: for that this was the surest means to engage the people.” His other two suggestions mentioned Saltınarsh's by Whitlock, were, First, That all means should be used to keep the king and his people from a sudden union. Secondly, If the king would not grant their demands, then to root him out and the royal line, and transfer the crown upon somebody else.” This desperate advice was read in the house of com- Whitlock's
p. 68. The successes of the king's arms struck such a terror in the revolters, that the leading members were preparing to retire beyond sea. Had the earl of Newcastle, instead of sitting down before Hull, marched into the associated counties; and had the king at the same time omitted the siege of Gloucester, and made for London, the war in all likelihood had been at an end. But the two houses gaining time by the misconduct of the Royalists, applied to the Scots. The Presbyterian part of that nation promised the English their assistance, upon condition of their taking the covenant. They had already been trying to pass this solemn iniquity upon the English: for the last summer, when they found the revolt broke out with strength, and likely to do business, they sent a form of their Kirk-government to the parliament at Westminster. This was to be the plan the English were to work by. It was re- August 4, commended to the establishment by the Scotch assembly: and soon after followed with a declaration “ of their affections to the Reformation in Church and State ; letting them know that they expected England would now exert herself, and extirpate the prelatical hierarchy; offering their assistance at the same time, to make the undertaking more practicable and easy." August 26,
The articles of confederacy being agreed between the Husband's English and Scotch revolters, both houses, with the assembly .
Exact Coll. of divines and Scotch commissioners, met in St. Margaret's, The solemn Westminster. At this solemnity, one White, a minister of covenant the assembly, prayed an hour for preparing them to take the offered by covenant. After this, Nye, another famous preacher, mounts and taken by the pulpit, and makes some remarks upon this engagement ; revolters. endeavours to justify it from Scripture precedents, and shows the benefits the Church has received from such combinations.
This discourse was seconded by Henderson, one of the Scotch commissioners, who dilated upon the advantages their
LAUD, nation had received from covenants of this kind; and then Abp. Cant.
proceeded to set forth how much the king was governed by ill Sept. A.D. 1643. counsel, and that the states of Scotland had resolved to assist
the parliament of England. When Henderson had done, Nye read the covenant in the pulpit, and all the audience held up their hands as a mark of their assent. And the covenant being engrossed in parliament, the lords and commons subscribed it
in their respective houses: it was likewise signed by the Whitlock's assembly of divines, and the Scotch commissioners. The tenor Memorials, p. 70.
of this covenant shall be postponed to the year 1647: at which time the reasons of the university of Oxford against it, shall be annexed. In the mean time, I shall only observe, that the king, looking on it as a dangerous confederacy against the Church and State, published a proclamation, forbidding all his subjects either to tender, or take this seditious and treasonable covenant, as they will answer the contrary at their utmost
peril. But this proclamation, dated the 9th of October, came Res; part 1. out somewhat too late. For not only the lords and commons
at Westminster, but the city of London, and the army quartered there, had already gone through this rebellious test.
The Scotch, over and above passing their covenant upon the English, had several other encouraging conditions : for instance, the Scotch commissioners were taken into a share of the administration : Gillespy, Henderson, &c. with an equal number of their ruling elders, sat at Westminster, with the assembly-divines. Besides this, an hundred thousand pounds was advanced to them to forward their expedition. Upon this encouragement, the covenanting Scots entered England with a great army, and reinforced the rebellion : but this was not done till the latter end of the year.
In the mean time the commons at Westminster passed an order, that the assembly divines should be moved to write to the reformed Churches of Zealand and Holland, and to the Protestants in France, Switzerland, &c. to inform them “of
the great artifices and disguises of his majesty's agents in these November, parts,” and of the true state of their affairs. The Scotch comA. D. 1643. missioners, and the committee of the lords, were likewise
desired to join the commons and the assembly for settling this business.
Pursuant to this order, they drew up a letter, the greatest part of which shall be translated.
part 3. p. 391.
Right reverend and dearly beloved in our Lord Jesus CHARLES
A letter of “We, the assembly of divines and others, convened by the the assembly authority of both houses of the parliament of England, with sent to the the commissioners sent from the general assembly of the Protestant Church of Scotland, salute you heartily in the Lord.
France, fc. “ We doubt not but the lamentable reports of the miseries under which the Church and kingdom of England lies bleeding and ready to be swallowed up, (the cup which the righteous Lord has given us to drink,) have reached you long since. And it is probable the same instruments of Satan and Antichrist have endeavoured to represent us as black as it is possible to you : it is their method to carry on their interest by calumny and lying, to disguise their bloody designs with specious pretences ; to reproach our contest for a more thorough reformation, and bestow hard language on the just defence of our lives and liberties against violence and cruelty. And we sometimes doubt whether we have not been wanting to our own innocency and your satisfaction in being thus long silent. 827. But pardon us, dear brethren, if this cup of trembling wherewith our spirits have been filled to amazement, and our struggling with extreme difficulties, have prevented us from doing this part of our duty. And now be pleased to give us leave to discharge a little of our grief by communicating our condition. For now we shall give you a narrative of the ravage and desolation carried on by an Antichristian faction, who have all along made it their business to check the Reformation and cherish popery ; and have now prevailed against us to that degree, that if the Lord, whose judgments are unsearchable, and whose mercies are infinite, does not speedily interpose for our rescue, we must be utterly undone.
“ How instrumental this treacherous and bloody generation has been in harassing other reformed churches, in ruining the palatinate, and in the loss of Rochelle; and how by counterfeit embassies and treaties for their relief, they have underhand supported a contrary interest, and made things worse than they found them, are so fully known and so sensibly felt by some of yourselves, that we need not say any thing of them. And to make their aversion to you still more demonstrable, abundance of these men have refused to own any of you for a