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Monk marched from Scotland, came to London, and admitted CHARLES the secluded members. The next turn was the dissolution of the Long Parliament: a council of state was formed, and a new set of lords and commons met at Westminster.
These lords and gentlemen recollected themselves to purpose, returned to their duty, and invited the king to the government. Lord ClaHe was now at the Hague, and honourably received by the rendon's States of Holland. Here his majesty published a declaration : Rebellion, I shall transcribe one paragraph of this instrument, relating to the Church: the words are these :
Hist, of the
“ And because the passions and uncharitableness of the The king's times have produced several opinions in religion, by which men at Breda are engaged in parties and animosities against each other ; touching which, when they shall hereafter unite in a freedom of conver- conscience. sation, will be composed, or better understood; we do declare a liberty to tender consciences, and that no man shall be disquieted, or called in question, for differences of opinion in matters of religion, which do not disturb the peace of the kingdom; and that we shall be ready to consent to such an act of parliament, as, upon mature deliberation, shall be offered to us, for the full granting that indulgence.”
The Restoration being concerted, the lords and commons The Pres
byterian sent a committee to wait upon the king at the Hague. The
divines wait peers sent six, and the lower house twelve, of their body: the upon the city likewise dispatched fourteen persons of their corporation Hugue, and for the same purpose. About eight or ten of the Presbyterian audience. divines went in company with these commissioners. Reynolds, Calamy, Case, Manton, and some other eminent persons of that party, were pitched on for this affair. They chose to appear by themselves, and make a distinct representation : the business of chaplains, they knew, was commonly misconstrued, and taken at disadvantage : for this reason they were unwilling to be mistaken for persons of that character. This conduct shows them men of sense and spirit, and that they understood the world. Having agreed upon this manner of address, they requested an hour, and at their public audience made large professions of duty, and magnified the affections of themselves and their friends. They had always,” they said, pursuant to the obligation of the covenant, wished his dress
the king's majesty very well; and upon the late opportunity which God
had put into their hands, had reminded the people of their duty, and awakened them to loyalty: and they presumed his majesty might have heard these applications of theirs were not without considerable success. They thank God for his constancy to the Protestant religion, and declared themselves no enemies to moderate episcopacy: they only desired that such things might not be pressed upon them in God's worship, which even, in the judgment of those who used them, were owned to be matters indifferent, and that others stood off from them as altogether unlawful."
The king, receiving them kindly, said, “ he had heard of their good behaviour ; that he had no intention to impose hard conditions, and embarrass their consciences that he had referred the settling all differences of the nature they mentioned, to the wisdom of the parliament : and that the two houses were the best judges what indulgence and toleration was necessary for the repose of the kingdom."
These divines being willing to discourse with the king farther upon this subject, desired several private audiences, which were granted. And now they took the freedom to suggest, that the Common Prayer had long been discontinued in England : that many of the people had never once heard it; and therefore it would be much wondered at if his majesty, at his first landing, should revive the use of it in his own chapel: and, therefore, to prevent the people's being shocked at such uncustomary worship, they entreated him not to use it in form, and by rubrical directions ; but only to order the reading some part of it with the intermixture of other good prayers.
The king replied, with somewhat of resentment, “ that since he gave them their liberty, he should by no means resign his own; that he had always used that form of service : that he thought it the best in the world; and that he had never discontinued it in places, where it was more disliked, than he hoped it was by them: that when he came into England, he would not make any strict inquiry how they officiated in other Churches; though he did not question he should find the Liturgy regularly received in many places : but, let that be as it would, he was resolved not to suffer any other public devotion in his own chapel."
These addressers despairing to carry this point, importuned his majesty, “ That the use of the surplice might be discontinued by his chaplains, because the sight of this habit would
give great offence to the people.” But this request made no CHARLES impression. The king told them plainly, "he would not be restrained himself, when others had so much indulgence: that the surplice had been always reckoned a decent habit, and constantly worn in the Church of England, till these late ill times; and that he had all along retained the use of it in foreign parts; that though he thought himself obliged for the present to connive at disorder, and tolerate a failure of solemnity and decorum in religious worship, yet he would never abet any such irregularity by his own practice, nor discountenance the ancient and laudable customs of the Church in which he was bred."
This firmness in his majesty was no small disappointment to these divines : they expected to have found him more compliant with their schemes. However, they declined giving him any more trouble upon this head, hoping to meet with a more favourable opportunity in England.
The king having been eight or ten days splendidly enter- May 26. tained by the States, went on board the English fleet, arrived restored at Dover, and was received by the kingdom with all imaginable marks of duty and inclination'.
At this happy return, the Church recovered with the crown; though this ground was not gained without some contest with the Dissenting party. Neither is this struggle much surprising, if we consider, that for fourteen or fifteen years last past, the hierarchy had been broken, the Liturgy laid aside, and a new form, both as to worship and government, publicly prevailed. The Presbyterians had several circumstances of advantage to support their hopes. Possession of the chair, the inclination of no small numbers of the people, the countenance of great men, and the king's declaration at Breda, gave this party no uncomfortable prospect. To keep them somewhat sanguine in their expectations, Dr. Reynolds, Dr. Spurstow, Dr. Wallis, Dr. Bates, Dr. Manton, Mr. Calamy, Mr. Ask, Mr. Baxter, Mr. Case, and two or three more, were made the king's chaplains in ordinary ; though none of them ever preached before his majesty, excepting Calamy, Reynolds, Baxter, Spurstow, and Woodbridge; and none of these but
1 The English preference for monarchy was more than ever confirmed by the horrible disasters of the rebellion, for all the experiments of the democratic party had signally disappointed them, even by their own confession.
Some of the once. However, this appearing in the chapel made their Presbyterian ministers access to his majesty the more easy. To
pursue their interest the king and therefore, they waited on his majesty soon after the Restoradiscourse tion, being introduced by the earl of Manchester. In their upon the sub-address, “ They recommended the uniting the kingdom in ject of
matters of religion: that if his majesty would please to congovernment tribute his assistance, nothing could be more promising than and ceremo
the present juncture: they intreated that the terms of union might include nothing but necessary things: that the true exercise of Church discipline might be allowed: that those ministers who were most serviceable for this branch of the function might not be laid aside, nor unworthy unqualified men put upon the people.”
The king declared himself much pleased with their reconciling temper, and resolved to do his part for promoting what was suggested: but told them withal, “ That this agreement could not be expected without something of cession and abatement on both sides : that if the issue did not answer, it should not be his fault, but their own: that he was resolved to leave no proper methods unattempted, for procuring a harmony, and drawing the distant persuasions to a good understanding. To this end he desired them to lay some proposals before him touching Church government. That this main difference being once settled, other matters would be easily accommodated.” And here his majesty ordered them to set down the full length of their concessions. They told the king they were but a small number, and had no commission from their brethren to declare themselves upon this head. They desired therefore they might have leave to acquaint their brethren in the country with his majesty's commands, and receive their sentiments upon this argument.” The king replied, method would be dilatory, and make too much noise : that therefore he had rather the proposals should come from themselves; and that for fuller information, they might communicate this affair with their friends in the city.” To this their answer was : They were in no condition either to speak for, or oblige other people: and therefore what they offered his majesty could only be taken for their own sense.” The king let them know, "they should be construed no otherwise, and that he did not design to convene a synod or assembly of the other party, but only make use of a few for adjusting this
matter.” Upon this, these divines begged the king, “that when CHARLES they laid their concessions before him, his majesty would order their brethren of the Church of England might deliver in a Calamy's paper of the utmost they could yield: that when the relaxa- Baxter. tions of both sides were compared, the success might the better be conjectured.” The king, thinking this reasonable, promised their request.
About three weeks after, the proposals were agreed: the Their propaper was mostly drawn by Calamy and Reynolds. It begins accommodawith four preliminary requests ; “ That serious godliness might episcopal be countenanced; a learned and pious minister in each parish party. encouraged ; that a personal public owning the baptismal covenant might precede an admission to the Lord's table; and that the Lord's day might be strictly sanctified.” After this general introduction, they proceed to particulars. And here they offer, as they pretend, “to allow the true primitive presidency in the Church, with a due mixture of presbyters, That this scheme was necessary to avoid the corruptions, partiality, and tyranny incident to the administration of a single person.” The things which they chiefly blamed in the English hierarchy, were ; “ The great extent of the bishops' diocese; their deputing commissaries, chancellors, and officials to act in their stead; their assuming the sole power of ordination and jurisdiction ; and acting so arbitrarily in visitation articles.” Besides this, they objected, their bringing in new ceremonies, and suspending ministers at pleasure: for reforming these evils, as they called them, they proposed that bishop Usher’s notion of episcopal government might be received as the ground-work of an accommodation. This primate's scheme is couched under the four following propositions.
I. Usher would have it, “ That in every parish the rector, Primate or the incumbent pastor, together with the churchwarden
plan for and sidemen, may every week take notice of such as live episcopal
government. scandalously in the congregation; who are to receive such
872. several admonitions and reproofs, as the quality of their offence shall deserve ; and if by this means they cannot be reclaimed, they may be presented unto the next monthly synod, and in the mean time, be debarred by the pastor from access unto the Lord's table.
“II. Whereas, by a statute in the 26th of Henry VIII,