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LAUD, and religion of the country. And here, to prevent misconAbp. Cant.
struction, the archbishop declared he did not pretend to draw a parallel between these saints and himself, nor affirm an equality in the cases : but that these holy men being misreported, and struck at, there was some resemblance in the comparison.
The next thing I shall mention is his clearing the king of being popishly affected. “ A calumny," saith the archbishop, “ hath passed upon his majesty, as if he designed to bring in popery ; but, on my conscience, (of which I shall give God a very present account,) I know him to be as free from this charge as any man living; and I hold him to be as sound a Protestant (according to the religion by law established) as any man in this kingdom; and that he will venture his life as far and as freely for it; and I think I do, or should, know both his affection to religion, and his grounds for it, as fully as any man in England."
From hence he proceeds to complain“ of the riotous behaviour of the populace in the city, and of their clamouring for justice at the parliament-house ; that this was the way to draw the guilt of blood upon their heads, and, it may be, a judgment upon the city ; that this mutinous disorder was unchecked by the magistracy; that engaging the people was the method
taken in the martyrdoms of St. Stephen and St. James, and Acts vi. & the apprehending St. Peter.” And here he endeavours to
affect them with the danger of such sanguinary courses, and Psal. ix. 12. cites very awakening texts to this purpose.
He 6 laments the calamitous condition of the Church of For further proof of this England ; that she is become like an oak cleft in pieces with point, if it was needful,
wedges made out of her own body; that iniquity and profane
ness stalks under the pretence of godliness ; that the substance bishop, in his will, desires of religion is lost; and that the Church, which stood firm against his executor, the Jesuits' attack, is terribly battered by her own party." book against For his own belief, he declares himself of the communion of Fisher, the Jesuit, may the Church of England, established by law; and, notwithinto eating a standing the unreasonable clamours raised against him, has all that foreign- along lived in that persuasion. better judge As to the charge of high treason, he protests his innocency, of his religion.
and declares his abhorrence of the crime: “that, though this Hist. of his protestation was rejected at the lords' bar, he hopes it may be &c p. 457. admitted upon the scaffold, and that people will have the charity
Jer. xxvi. 15.
not to think him a dissembler at the point of death. And CHARLES whereas he had been accused as an enemy to parliaments, he professes his regard for this part of the constitution; and that he conceived them a happy circumstance in the government. He does not deny his disliking the management of some parliaments, and thinks his exception well founded: for “corruptio optimi est pessima,'—the best things, by misapplication and abuse, become the worst. Thus, the parliament being the highest court, from which there is no appeal, when this last resort is misinformed or misgoverned, it is turned to the most fatal grievance : for, in such cases, the subject is left without remedy.”
After this speech, the archbishop made a very pious and affecting prayer, and then moved towards the block; and, finding the passage crowded with people, he desired them to make way, and give him “
room to die.” While he was preparing himself for the executioner, one sir John Clotworthyremarkable for his share in the rebellion--gave him a very illnatured interruption. He asked him what text of Scripture was most comfortable to a dying man? The archbishop answered,
Cupio dissolvi, et esse cum Christo.” Sir John, going on in his barbarity, told him, “there must be an assurance to found that desire upon.” The archbishop returned, “that assurance was to be found within, and that expression could not reach it.” Clotworthy, pressing farther, said, “it is founded upon a word, though ; and that word would be known.” Laud replied to this effect :
66 that it was the Word of God concerning Christ, and his dying for us. And, finding this gentleman might prove farther troublesome, he turned to the executioner, and, kneeling down, had his head, after a short prayer, severed at a blow.”
Besides what has already occurred touching his character, it part 3. may be observed, he was of a lively and penetrating genius, of Cyprian. a sociable temper, and inoffensively pleasant upon occasion. If Anglic
. we consider his function, he had passed through almost all the His chaemployments of a churchman: and, how much he was a master tinued. in his profession, is sufficiently evident from his book against Fisher. He was a person of unblemished integrity. Money was no part of his inclination : for, notwithstanding the largeness of his revenues, his fortune was almost exhausted by his benefactions to Oxon and Reading. His piety was no less
LAUD, exemplary and distinguished: he was constant at his chapel A bp. Cant.
and private devotions. His warm loyalty and zeal for uniformity brought him to his end. And, though he was far from warping towards popery, rightly understood, it is possible he might believe a good settlement capable of improvement; that some part of the Reformation might be burnished, and brought to a more beautiful and primitive state. That this was his opinion, may be collected from the preference he seems to have given the Scottish Liturgy, and from his wishing the foreign
reformed Churches might be like the Church of England, “and Hist. of the as much better as God should please to make them.” &c. of Abp.
To proceed: the earl of Clarendon describes his temper someLaud,
what sudden, and says that his passion was too soon kindled; that he failed in a plausible application, neglected address, and believed bare honesty and vigorous pursuit sufficient to carry him through. Notwithstanding this abatement, the noble historian treats his memory with great regard at taking leave. He reports him a person of eminent learning and piety ; that
he behaved himself with great Christian courage and mag835. nanimity on the scaffold ; and that his good qualities were
obtained by a very few, and the greatest of his infirmities
common even to the best of men.” The archbishop died in Hist. of the the seventy-second year of his age. Amongst his public beneRebellion, factions, besides those already mentioned, may be reckoned his
annexing commendams to the small bishoprics of Bristol, Peterborough, St. Asaph, Chester, and Oxford. He procured a charter for Oxford, to confirm their ancient privileges, and enlarge them to an equal extent with those granted to the university of Cambridge. He settled two hundred pounds per annum upon a hospital at Reading, in Berkshire. By the way, the archbishop was born in this town, where his father was a clothier, of good substance and esteem; his mother was Lucy Webb, sister to sir William Webb, lord mayor of London. To go on with his benefactions : he founded an Arabic lecture in Oxford, and settled the impropriation of Cuddesden on that bishopric. He procured a new charter and a body of statutes for the college of Dublin. The
rest of his benefactions shall be omitted. And, besides what Hist. of the Troubles,
was finished this way, he had several other things in project. &c. of
Amongst the rest, he resolved to find out a way and provide a Archbishop Laud, p. 68. fund for the augmentation of poor vicarages, and for settling
the tithes of London between the clergy and city. He was CHARLES buried in Barking church, near the Tower, with the office appointed by the Liturgy. This was somewhat extraordinary, considering the same day the lords agreed to the archbishop's attainder they passed an ordinance that the Book of Common Prayer should be laid aside, and the Directory used instead of Rushworth's it. This Directory, drawn by the assembly of divines, was part 3. transmitted in parts to the parliament, where, after a debate in p. 839. both houses, it was confirmed, with some small alterations. The ordinance sets forth,
“ That the lords and commons assembled in parliament, An ordi
nance for taking into serious consideration the manifold inconveniences
setting aside that have arisen by the book of Common Prayer in this king- the Common dom, and resolving according to their covenant, to reform establishing religion according to the word of God, and the example of the
rectory. best reformed churches; have consulted with the reverend, pious, and learned divines, called together for that purpose; and do judge it necessary that the said book of Common Prayer be abolished, and the Directory for the public worship of God, herein after mentioned, be observed in all the churches within this kingdom.”
After this they pretend to repeal the statutes by which the Common Prayer stood established. In the preface to their Directory they take notice, “ It is evident from Jong and sad experience that the Liturgy, notwithstanding all the pains and religious intentions of the compilers, has proved offensive both to many of the godly at home, and the reformed abroad : that injoining the reading all the prayers, heightened the grievance. That the number and quality of the ceremonies, made them unprofitable and burthensome: that they have occasioned much mischief; disquieted the consciences of many godly ministers and people; deprived them of the ordinances of God, which they could not enjoy without conformity ; thrown them out of their function and subsistence, and ruined their families. That the prelates and their faction have put too great a value upon it, as if God was to be worshipped no other way but in the service book; that in consequence of this opinion, the preaching of the word was much hindered and depreciated.
“ That the Papists made their advantage this way, boasted that the Common Prayer came up to a compliance with a great part of their service; and by this means were not a little confirmed in their superstitions.
“ That the Liturgy has given great encouragement to an idle and unedifying ministry; who choose rather to acquiesce in forms made to their hands, than to exert themselves in exercising the gift of prayer; a gift, with which our Saviour Christ furnishes all those called by him to that office.
“For these, and many other resembling considerations, they have agreed to set aside the Common Prayer, not out of any affectation of novelty, not with any intention to disparage our first reformers, of whom they make honourable mention, but that they may, in some measure, answer the gracious providence of God, which now calls upon them for farther reformation: that they may satisfy their own consciences, and come up to the expectation of other reformed churches : that they may make many of the godly among themselves easy, and give some public testimony of their endeavours for uniformity in divine worship, pursuant to what they had promised in their solemn league and covenant."
And here the reader may observe, that this Directory of theirs gives only general rules, prescribes in minutes, and points out the heads for worship and pastoral function: $0 that, in short, the ministers were left to a great deal of discretionary latitude in filling up the lines, and beating out the form. To mention somewhat briefly the particulars. The Directory forbids all salutations and civil ceremony in churches: this is a commendable regulation : for the Church is the presence: and therefore, according to the custom in princes? courts, no signs of submission or regard should be paid to any but the sovereign. The reading the Scriptures in the congregation is declared part of the pastoral office: however, those who design themselves for this calling, may read the word, and exercise their talent in preaching, provided they are allowed by the presbytery. All the canonical books of the Old and New Testament (but none of the Apocrypha) are to be publicly read in the vulgar tongue: and for this purpose the best allowed translation is to be used: but which that is, they do not tell us. How large a portion is to be read at once, is left to the minister. When the minister judges ex