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for religious exercises, are prohibited; and none are permitted CHARLES to preach in public, or in families, or teach any public school, or be tutors to children of persons of quality, without a licence from the ordinary of the diocese.
And to mention another provision in this session, all persons in public trust or office, are obliged to sign the following declaration:
Id. act 4.
“I, A. B., do sincerely affirm and declare, that I judge it unlawful to subjects, upon pretence of reformation, or other pretence whatsoever, to enter into leagues and covenants, or take up arms against the king, or those commissionated by him: and that all these gatherings, convocations, petitions, protestations, and erecting and keeping of council tables, that were used in the beginning, and for carrying on of the late troubles, were unlawful and seditious. And particularly, that these oaths, whereof the one was commonly called the national covenant (as it was sworn and explained in the year one thousand six hundred and thirty eight, and thereafter) and the other entitled a solemn league and covenant, were, and are in themselves unlawful oaths, and were taken by, and imposed upon the subjects of this kingdom, against the fundamental laws and liberties of the same. And that there lieth no obligation upon me, or any of the subjects, from the said oaths, or either of them, to endeavour any change or alteration of the government either in Church or State, as it is now established by the laws of the kingdom."
Id. act 5.
Before I take leave, I must observe, that the act for reviving the right of patronages seized by the Presbyterians passed this Id. act. 3. session.
To return to England : at the opening of the parliament at Lord-chanWestminster, the lord-chancellor Hyde harangued with great speech
cellor Hyde's vehemence against the Dissenting preachers. He tells the against the lords and commons, they were “ the great physicians of the preachers. kingdom ;” and then, applying this character, he suggests, “there is a sort of your patients that I must recommend to your utmost vigilance, utmost severity, and to no part of your lenity and indulgence ; those who are so far from valuing your prescriptions, that they look not upon you as their physicians, but their patients; those who, instead of repenting of anything
JUXON, they have done amiss, repeat every day the same crimes, for Abp. Cant.
the oblivion whereof the act of indemnity was provided. These are the seditious preachers, who cannot be contented to be excused from their full obedience to some laws established, without reproaching and inveighing against those laws how established soever ; who tell their auditories, that the apostle meant, when he bade them 'stand to their liberties,' that they should stand to their arms; and who, by repeating the very expressions, and teaching the very doctrine they set on foot in the year 1640, sufficiently declare that they have no mind that twenty years should put an end to the miseries we have undergone. What good Christian can think, without horror, of these ministers of the Gospel, who by their function should be messengers of peace, and are in their practices the only trumpets of war and incendiaries towards rebellion ?--And, if the person and place can aggravate the offence, as no doubt it does before God and men, methinks the preaching rebellion and treason out of the pulpit should be as much worse than the advancing it in the market, as poisoning a man at a communion would be worse than killing him at a tavern.
And, after having gone on with great force and severity of language, he concludes thus: “If you do not provide for the thorough quenching these firebrands, king, lords, and commons shall be their meanest subjects, and the whole kingdom kindled into one general flame.”
The rhetoric and interest of this great minister might pos
sibly make an impression upon both houses, and occasion the ...D. 1662. passing the Act for Uniformity in the condition it now stands.
This bill received the royal assent May the 19th, when his majesty prorogued the parliament to the 18th of February.
This act, being prefixed to the Book of Common Prayer and
lying open to general view, I shall be short in the recital of the The Act for contents. By this statute, “all and singular ministers are Uniformily. bound to use the morning prayer, evening prayer, and all other
common prayer, in such order and form as is mentioned in the book ; and that every parson, vicar, or minister, shall, before the feast of St. Bartholomew, 1662, after the reading of the said book, declare his unfeigned assent and consent to the use of all things in the said book, in these words :
" I, A. B., do here, declare my unfeigned assent and consent
to all and everything contained and prescribed in and by the CHARLES book entitled, The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church of England : together with the Psalter, or Psalms of David, pointed as they are to be sung or said in Churches ; and the form or manner of making, ordaining, and consecrating of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.''
The penalty for refusing was deprivation. Farther, all ministers and schoolmasters are bound, at their admission to their promotion or employment, before the feast of St. Bartholomew above-mentioned, to subscribe the declaration following :
“ I, A. B., do declare, that it is not lawful, upon any pretence whatsoever, to take arms against the king; and that I do abhor the traitorous position of taking arms by his authority against his person, or against those that are commissioned by him ; and that I will conform to the Liturgy of the Church of England as it is now by law established. And I do declare, that I do hold there lies no obligation upon me or on any other person, from the oath commonly called the “Solemn League and Covenant, to endeavour any change or alteration of government, either in Church or State ; and that the same was in itself an unlawful oath, and imposed upon the subjects of this realm against the known laws and liberties of this kingdom.”
This declaration, excepting the clause for conformity to the Church of England, had already been couched in the form of an oath in the beginning of this session, and required of all magistrates and officers in corporations; and, a year forwards, 13 Charles 2. the subscribing the declaration was enjoined all vestrymen in cities or towns corporate.
The militia act passed this session : being farther explanatory of the constitution upon this head, I shall transcribe part of it. The statute begins thus :
15 Charles 2.
“Forasmuch as, within all his majesty's realms and dominions, the sole supreme government, command, and disposition of the militia, and of all forces by sea and land, and of all
JUXON, forts and places of strength, is, and by the law of England Abp. Cant.
ever was, the undoubted right of his majesty and his royal predecessors, kings and queens of England; and that both or either of the houses of parliament, cannot nor ought to pretend to the same, nor can nor lawfully may raise or levy any
war, offensive or defensive, against his majesty, his heirs, or 13 Charles 2. lawful successors," &c.
13 & 14 Charles 2.
889. These statutes are remarkably extensive and determining ;
they point particularly against all evasion and reserve: the force of language could not, one would think, secure the crown better, nor bar resistance more effectually than this provision:
To proceed a little farther with the Statute for Uniformity, by which it is enacted, “ that no person shall be capable of any benefice, or presume to consecrate and administer the sacrament of the Lord's supper, before he be ordained priest by episcopal ordination, upon pain to forfeit for every offence the sum of an hundred pounds."
And, which is the last branch I shall mention, it is provided that none“ be received as a lecturer, or permitted to preach
any sermon or lecture in any church or chapel, unless approved and licensed by the archbishop or bishop, and shall read the Thirty-nine Articles of religion, with a declaration of an unfeigned assent to the same.”
This act pressed hard upon the principles of the PresbyteAbout two rian ministers, and though the grounds for non-compliance thousand of
were not the same to every individual person, yet about two conforming
thousand of them lost their preferments upon scrupling some ejected.
parts of the statute. Now if these divines would have subscribed the declaration, owned the diocesan for head of their communion, taken orders from the bishops, forbore opposition to the established Church, and not perpetuated their singularities by ordaining others : provided they would have advanced thus far, a question may be asked whether they might not have been dispensed with for their nonconformity in other matters, and suffered to enjoy their livings? Whether these terms were offered and refused before the bill passed, is more than I can discover. But had the Church and govern
ment relaxed to these conditions, I find it would have been Calamy's Life of Bax- short of satisfaction to the most moderate Nonconformists. ter, p. 497.
However, to say nothing more, the misfortune of their per
suasion cannot be remembered without regret: those who quit CHARLES their interest are certainly in earnest, and deserve a charitable construction : mistakes in religion are to be tenderly used, and conscience ought to be pitied when it cannot be relieved'.
" I shall quote Rapin's observations on this Act of Conformity :
“St. Bartholomew's-day being come, on which the Act of Uniformity was to take place, two thousand Presbyterian ministers chose rather to quit their livings, than submit to the conditions of this act. It was expected that a division would have happened amongst them, and that a great number of them would have chose rather to conform to the Church of England than see themselves reduced to beggary. It was not, therefore, without extreme surprise that they were all seen to stand out-not so much as one suffering himself to be tempted?. As this is a considerable event of this reign, it will not be improper to inquire into the causes of this rigour against the Presbyterians : I say the Presbyterians, because it was not the other sects that the Church of England most dreaded.
“). It cannot be denied, that the high churchmen, who prevailed in the parliament, acted in a spirit of revenge. But this revenge should not appear very strange, considering the persecution, and, at last, the entire destruction, brought upon the Episcopal Church by the Presbyterians, if honour had not been wounded, nor any promise made to the Presbyterians. The Church of England was the national Church, which had flourished from the Reformation to the time of the war between Charles I. and the parliament, when the Presbyterians entirely subverted it. It was, therefore, but just to restore it to its former condition. But it was injustice to violate the promise made to the Presbyterians, especially as they had greatly contributed to the king's restoration, and, withal, to that of the very Church, which persecuted them after being re-established by tbeir assistance.
“2. But revenge was not the sole cause of the present rigour exercised against the Presbyterians. The desire of self-preservation was no less concerned. Experience of what had passed, taught the Church of England, that if the Presbyterians should ever find an opportunity like that which they once had, they would not fail to improve it. They were always irreconcileable enemies, though, in the present juncture, they were unable to do any hurt, and obliged to sue for mercy. It was, therefore, undoubtedly, the interest of the Church of England, to use all possible precautions to hinder the increase of a party.already too powerful, and which, probably, would never cease contending for the superiority.
“3. We have seen what were the notions of this parliament, and of High Church, concerning the royal prerogative, and to what height it was carried. The Presbyterians, as well as the other sects, were known to follow quite contrary maxims, and if they were not entirely republicans, at least they endeavoured to reduce the royal power within very narrow bounds, as appeared in the resolutions and conduct of the parliament of 1640. But while the Church of England had no suspicion of the king's religion, and believed him a zealous member, it was her interest to support and extend the prerogative, and consequently to disable the Presbyterians from prosecuting their maxims.
“4. The Church of England's interest required that she should improve so favourable an opportunity, which, perhaps, might never return. It was seen how greedy the king was of money, to throw it away with the greatest profusion, and that he could not be without the assistance of his parliament; and the Church had the good fortune to have a parliament consisting of her most zealous members, and disposed to sacrifice to the king a little of the nation's treasure, provided the king would, in his turn, make them a sacrifice of the Presbyterians. Though he was not suspected to be a Papist, it could
2 Kennet's Register, p. 747, &c. Baxter's Life. Burnet.