Page images


pounding necessary, he has the liberty of that exercise: but CHARLES then it must not be done till the chapter or psalm is ended. And over and above, care must be taken, that neither preaching nor any ordinance may be straitened, or grow tedious.

For the prayer before sermon, the heads are struck out to a considerable length ; part of the prayer for the king was, to

save him from evil counsel :” likewise to pray for the conversion of the queen, and for a blessing upon the high court of parliament then in open rebellion.

For managing the sermon, these rules are delivered. The introduction to the text must be short and clear, drawn from the words, or context, or some parallel place of Scripture. In dividing the text, the minister is to regard the order of the 836. matter, more than that of the words. Not to burthen the memory of the audience with too many parts, nor perplex their understandings with logical language and terms of art. If any difficulty arises from Scripture, from the nature of the discourse, or the prejudice of the hearers, it will be requisite to disentangle the knot, to reconcile the seeming contradiction, and remove the grounds of mistake; otherwise the starting and answering unnecessary objections, is rather a hindrance to edification. It is sometimes requisite to give some notes of trial for the congregation to examine themselves upon, whether they have attained those graces, or performed those duties to which they are exhorted: whether they are guilty of the sin reproved, in danger of the judgments threatened, or qualified for the privilege and comfort held forth. The minister is to decline an unprofitable use of learned languages, uncommon phrases, affectation of cadences and words : and seldom to make any citations from any ecclesiastical or other human, writers, either ancient or modern. In the prayer

after sermon, some of the most useful heads thereof are to be turned into petitions, that what has been delivered may prove serviceable to the hearer.

The use of the Lord's Prayer is likewise recommended as a pattern and most comprehensive form of devotion.

As baptism is not unnecessarily to be delayed, so neither is it to be administered in any case by any private and unordained person ; neither is this sacrament to be administered any where but at church, in the face of the congregation. The child is to be offered to baptism by the father, or some



friend, in case of his necessary absence. And here the minister is to declare, that outward baptism is not so necessary as to bring the infant in danger of damnation through the want of it. At the receiving the Lord's supper, the table, being decently covered, is to be so placed that the communicants may sit about it; but the posture of the minister, or the order when he is to communicate himself, is not prescribed. Upon the Lord's-day, the intervals between public worship and the time after evening worship are to be spent in reading, meditation, repetition of sermons, catechizing their families, holy conferences, prayer for a blessing upon the public ordinances, singing psalms, visiting the sick, and relieving the poor.

The dead are to be buried without any prayers or religious ceremony. However, they had the moderation to allow the use of escutcheons, and such other distinctions, suitable to the condition of the deceased. Matrimony, visitation of the sick, fasting, and thanksgivings, have little particular and extraordinary in the appointment, excepting that the forms in most of

them are left to the minister's discretion. Jan. 30, The latter end of this month, commissioners were sent

from Oxford and the two houses at Westminster to endeavour an accommodation. The treaty opened at Uxbridge, in Middlesex. I shall only mention that part of it which relates to

religion. The king's instructions to his commissioners upon The king's this head are these : “And here ”—to speak in his majesty's instructions to his com- person and words—"the government of the Church will be the Uxbridge.

chief question, wherein two things are to be considered, — conscience, and policy. For the first, I must declare unto you,” says the king, “ that I cannot yield to the change of the government by bishops, not only because I fully concur with the most general opinion of Christians in all ages in episcopacy's being the best government, but likewise I hold myself particularly bound by the oath I took at my coronation not to alter the government of this Church from what I found it ; and, as for the Church's patrimony, I cannot suffer any diminution or alienation of it, it being, peradventure, sacrilege, and likewise contrary to my coronation oath. But whatsoever shall be offered for rectifying abuses, if any have crept in, or for the ease of tender consciences, (provided the foundation is not indamaged) I am contented to hear, and willing to return


missioners at


sect. 4.

a gracious answer. Touching the second,--that is, the point CHARLES of policy,—as it is the king's duty to protect the Church, so the Church is reciprocally bound to assist the king in the maintenance of his just authority. Upon this view, my predecessors have been always careful (especially since the Reformation) to keep the dependency of the clergy entirely upon the crown, without which it will scarcely sit fast on the king's head; therefore you must do nothing to change or lessen this natural dependency."

Bib. Regia, The day before the treaty began, one Love, a parliamentarian p. 338. divine, preached a scandalous and seditious sermon, reflecting tious sermon. upon his majesty's honour and the integrity of his intentions, telling the audience that those lords and others, sent thither by his majesty," came with hearts full of blood, and that there was as great distance between this treaty and peace as between heaven and hell,” with several other mutinous expressions for raising distrust and disaffection to his majesty. The king's commissioners complained of this usage, but received no other satisfaction than that Love's behaviour should be reported to the lords and commons at Westminster.

The demands of the commissioners sent from Westminster vol. 3. were these :


Hist. Coll.

P. 864.

commissioners, sent liament.

“ That a bill might be passed for abolishing and taking The propo

given away all archbishops, bishops, &c., pursuant to the proposition on by me sent to the king at Oxford, already mentioned.

“ That the ordinances concerning the calling and sitting of by the parthe assembly-divines be confirmed by act of parliament; that the Directory for public worship, and the propositions concerning Church-government, hereunto annexed, and passed by both houses, be enacted as a part of reformation of religion and uniformity.

“ That his majesty take the solemn league and covenant, id. and that an act of parliament be passed in both kingdoms for Dingdale's enjoining the taking it by all the subjects of the three king- &c; p. 737, doms.”




Their paper annexed explains the nature of their Churchgovernment, and moves for his majesty's assent, that it may be settled upon the plan proposed. The contents are as follows :


“ That the ordinary way of dividing Christians into distinct congregations, and most expedient for edification, is by the respective bounds of their dwellings.

“ That the minister and other Church-officers in each particular congregation shall join in the government of the Church

in such manner as shall be established by parliament. 837. “ That many particular congregations shall be under one

presbyterial government.

That the Church be governed by congregational, classical, and synodical assemblies, in such manner as shall be established by parliament.

“That synodical assemblies shall consist both of provincial and national assemblies.”

To shew how much inclined his majesty was for quieting the public distractions, he empowered his commissioners to make the following concessions :

6 We are willing,” say they, “that freedom be left to all king's com- persons, of what opinion soever, in matters of ceremony; and missioners. that all the penalties of the laws and customs which enjoin

these ceremonies be suspended.

Secondly, That the bishops shall exercise no act of jurisdiction or ordination without the consent and counsel of the presbyters, who shall be chosen by the clergy of each diocese, out of the learnedest and gravest ministers of that diocese.

Thirdly, That the bishop keep his constant residence in his diocese, except when he shall be required by his majesty to attend him on any occasion. And that if he be not hindered by the infirmities of old age or sickness, he shall preach every Sunday in some church within his diocese.

Fourthly, That the ordination of ministers shall be always in a public and solemn manner, and very strict rules observed concerning the sufficiency and other qualifications of those men who shall be received into holy orders ; and the bishop shall not receive any into holy orders without the approbation and consent of the presbyters, or the major part of them.

“ Fifthly, That competent maintenance and provision be established by act of parliament to such vicarages as belong to bishops, deans, and chapters, out of the impropriations, and according to the value of those impropriations of the several parishes.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


Sixthly, That for the time to come no man shall be capa- CHARLE ble of two parsonages or vicarages with cure of souls.

“ Seventhly, That towards the settling of public peace, 100,0001. shall be raised by act of parliament out of the estates of bishops, deans, and chapters, in such manner as shall be thought fit by the king and two houses of parliament, without the alienation of any of the said lands.

“ Eighthly, That the jurisdiction in causes testamentary, decimals and matrimonials, be settled in such manner as shall seem most convenient by the king and two houses of parliament; and likewise that one or more acts of parliament be passed for regulating visitations, and against immoderate fees in ecclesiastical courts, and the abuses by frivolous excommunications, and all other abuses in the exercise of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, in such manner as shall be agreed upon by his majesty and both houses of parliament.

Bibl. Regia, “ And if your lordships shall insist upon any other thing p. 339. which your lordships shall think necessary for reformation, Hist

. Coll

. we shall very willingly apply ourselves to the consideration part 3. thereof."

sect. 4.

P. 872.

The king's commissioners desired they might receive an answer in writing; and that for the better understanding each other, this method might be held through the whole treaty. This motion being contested for some time, it was resolved on both sides to hear the divines of either party. Dr. Steward, The divines

who assisted clerk of the closet, was one of the king's commissioners in

at the treaty. things relating to the Church. Mr. Alexander Henderson appeared with the same character for the parliament. Dr. Sheldon, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury; Dr. Lany, afterwards bishop of Ely; Dr. Fern, afterwards bishop of Chester; Dr. Potter, dean of Worcester; and Dr. Hammond ; all of them the king's chaplains, were sent by his majesty to assist in the dispute, and support Dr. Steward as occasion required. On the parliament side, besides the commissioner, Mr. Alexander Henderson, Mr. Marshall, and Mr. Vines, the first beneficed in Essex, and the other in Warwickshire, and Mr. Cheynel, formerly fellow of Merton College, in Oxon, appeared as auxiliaries. Henderson, instead of close reasoning, argued in a de

arguments clamatory manner. He endeavoured to shew the necessity of against



« PreviousContinue »