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SHEL- declare, that we shall from time to time allow a sufficient Abp. Cant. number of places, as they shall be desired, in all parts of this
our kingdom, for the use of such as do not conform to the Church of England, to meet and assemble in, in order to their public worship and devotion; which places shall be open and free to all persons.
“ But to prevent such disorders and inconveniences as may happen by this our indulgence, if not duly regulated, and that they may be the better protected by the civil magistrate, our express will and pleasure is, that none of our subjects do presume to meet in any place until such places be allowed, and the teacher of that congregation be approved by us.
“ And lest any should apprehend, that this restriction should make our said allowance and approbation difficult to be obtained, we do farther declare, that this our indulgence, as to the allowance of the public places of worship, and approbation of the preachers, shall extend to all sorts of Nonconformists and Recusants, except the Recusants of the Roman Catholic religion, to whom we shall in no wise allow public places of Worship, but only indulge them their share in the
common exemption from the execution of the penal laws, and March 15, the exercise of their worship in their private houses only.
“And if, after this our clemency and indulgence, any of our subjects shall presume to abuse this liberty, and shall preach seditiously, or to the derogation of the doctrine, discipline, or government of the established Church, or shall meet in places not allowed by us; we do hereby give them warning, and declare, we will proceed against them with all imaginable severity: and we will let them see, we can be as severe to punish such offenders, when so justly provoked, as we are indulgent to truly tender consciences.
“Given at our court at Whitehall, this 15th day of
March, in the four-and-twentieth year of our reign.
Feb. 4, 1672-3.
The next session of parliament, the king, in his speech to both houses, acquainted them, he had granted an indulgence, and was resolved to stand by it. The lord chancellor Shaftsbury dilated upon what his majesty had delivered. It was in this speech that he applied that remarkable sentence, “Delenda
est Carthago," to the Hollanders : and endeavoured to prove a CHARLES competition for interest and trade, between England and the united provinces : and that the Dutch would always be enemies to his majesty's kingdoms, upon this principle.
The commons being apprehensive the dispensing power The commight make the scale too heavy on the crown side, remon- strating strated against it: and in their address acquainted his majesty, it is recalled. that “considering his declaration of indulgence, they found themselves bound in duty to inform him, that penal statutes in matters ecclesiastical, cannot be suspended but by act of parliament.” The king in his answer endeavoured to prevail with them to solicit no farther, but drop the motion. But the house not being satisfied with what his majesty had offered, repeated their application, and argued against the legality of dispensing to such compass and latitude. In short, they pressed the complaint with so much vigour, that his majesty found himself obliged to comply: and thus the indulgence was recalled, and taken off the file.
Soon after this address, the commons resolved, “nemine contradicente,” that “a bill be brought in for the ease of his majesty's subjects, who are Dissenters in matters of religion from the Church of England.” This bill passed the lower Feb. 14. house, but was thrown out by the lords.
To go back a little to the parliament at Edinburgh; where an act passed against unlawful ordinations. The statute ordains, “That no person or persons whatsoever presume to A Scotch
act of parappoint or ordain any person to the office and work of the
liament ministry, except those who have authority approved by the against un
lawful ordilaws of the kingdom for that effect; and that no person take nations. ordination from any but such as are thus lawfully authorized to give the same: declaring hereby all pretended ordinations of any persons since the year 1661, which have not been, or 897. hereafter shall not be according to the appointment of the law, to be null and invalid.” By the way, the reader may Charles 2. observe, John duke of Lauderdale was high commissioner of parl. 2 Scotland during the first, second, third and fourth sessions of cap. 9. this second parliament. Another statute in this session sets forth,
the 13th of August, 1670, an act had been made against conventicles : and that upon the 20th of the said month, in the year aforesaid, another act passed against separation, and
sess. 3. cap. 17.
withdrawing from the public meetings for divine worship.” Abp. Cant. These acts being only temporary provisions for three years,
(excepting his majesty should think fit to prolong the term,) " they are now continued three years forward, and as much longer as his majesty shall please to appoint.” It is likewise farther enacted, “that no outed minister, not licensed by his majesty's council, nor other person not authorized nor tolerated by the bishop of the diocese, presume to preach, expound Scripture, or pray in any meeting, excepting in their own houses, and to those of their own family:" but in the next clause the statute is explained to a sense of relaxation,
and gives leave for four persons to be present besides those of Charles 2. the family. parl. 2.
At Westminster, this session of parliament, the sacramental
test was enacted; it is entitled, “An Act to prevent dangers mental test which may happen from Popish Recusants." By this statute
all persons in office, civil or military, are obliged to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and to receive the sacrament of the Lord's supper, according to the usage of the Church of England, in some parish church, upon some Lord'sday. Such persons are likewise required to subscribe the following declaration :
“I, A. B., do declare that I do believe that there is not any transubstantiation in the sacrament of the Lord's supper, or in the elements of bread and wine, at or after the consecra
tion thereof by any person whatsoever." A.D. 1673.
The forfeiture of breaking through the act, besides a disability of prosecuting any suit, or acting in the capacity of
other subjects in several respects, is 5001. There are, how25 Charles 2. ever, some saving provisos which need not be mentioned.
Upon the passing this act, the duke of York, who was high admiral of England, and the lord-treasurer Clifford, laid down their places. This year a reconciling motion between the Church and Nonconformists was suggested by the earl of Orrery, who desired Baxter to draw up the terms. Baxter gave in proposals for this purpose, which being much the same with those offered by the Presbyterians at the Savoy conference, need not be repeated. The earl of Orrery, some time
after his receiving Baxter's proposals, returned them with Calamy's Bishop Morley's animadversions. In short, both sides keepter, p. 600. ing at the usual distance, the business came to nothing.
Life of Bax
When the next session of parliament drew near, bishop CHARLES Morley and bishop Ward are reported inclined to abatements, and taking the Nonconformists by the hand. Upon this encouragement it is probable Dr. Tillotson and Dr. Stillingfleet desired a meeting with Dr. Manton, and Dr. Bates with Pool and Baxter, in order to adjust an accommodation : and it was pretended there were several lords spiritual and temporal in the same sentiment. Baxter is said to have met only Tillotson and Stillingfleet at first. And here, after several schemes disliked, they fixed upon one they agreed to. This was communicated to the Nonconformists, and approved by them. But when the bishops perused the draught, they could by no means assent to the concessions. When the treaty broke off, Tillotson, in a letter to Baxter, acquainted him, “ that as circumstances stood, such an act (as it seems the Nonconformists moved for) could not pass in either house without the concurrence of a considerable part of the bishops, and his majesty's countenance, which at present he saw little reason to expect." The terms of union were little different from those above-mentioned to the earl of Orrery'.
Id. p. 605. The see of Worcester being void by the death of bishop August 29, Blandford, Dr. James Fleetwood, provost of King's-college in
1675. Cambridge, was promoted to that see. Not long after, bishop Henchman departing this life, the honourable Henry Comp- Promotions ton, D.D., son to the loyal and brave earl of Northampton, Church. was translated from Oxon to London : and
vacancy of the see of Oxon, the learned Dr. Fell, dean of Christchurch, was consecrated for that diocese. The next year, Anthony Sparrow, bishop of Exeter, was translated from thence to Norwich ; tand Dr. Thomas Lamplugh, dean of Nov. 12, Rochester, preferred to the bishopric of Exeter.
At the session of parliament the year following, an act passed “for confirming and perpetuating augmentations made An act for by ecclesiastical persons to small vicarages and curacies." perpetuating These augmentations, as the reader may remember, were tation of granted by the bishops and dignified clergy soon after the carages.
April 14, Restoration. It is provided, " that no future augmentations 1677. shall be confirmed by virtue of this act which shall exceed one moiety of the clear yearly value, above all reprizes, of the rec- cap. 2.
29 Charles 2.
1 Thus the best designs of union and pacification were continually demolished by the exclusiveness of party spirit on one side or the other.
29 Charles 2.
tory impropriate, out of which the same shall be granted or Abp. Cant. reserved.”
This sessions a bill passed both houses, and received the
royal assent, for “taking away the writ de hæretico combu* De Hære- rendo.” The making this statute is said to have been pro
moted by his royal highness the duke of York.
In November, this year, Sheldon, archbishop of Canterbury, by act of parliament. departed this life. He was descended from an ancient and
considerable family in Staffordshire. He received his education at Trinity-college, in Oxon, where he commenced doctor in divinity. He was made clerk of the closet to king Charles I., and elected warden of his own college. He was remarkably eminent for his loyalty, and lost his wardenship upon that score. And not to repeat what I have already related concerning him, his public benefactions were extraordinary. He built the theatre at Oxon, a fair library at Lambeth, and, in short, spent above threescore thousand pounds in encouragements of learning, and in bounties and legacies to pious and charitable uses.
He was succeeded by Dr. William Sancroft, dean of St. Paul's, a person well distinguished for his loyalty and learning, and unexceptionable through the rest of his character.
The next thing which occurs is “ Titus Oates's Narrative of rative of the Popish plot. a Plot carried on by the Jesuits, and other Roman Catholics,
against his majesty's life, the Protestant religion, and the
government of this kingdom.” This Oates had received orders 898.
in the Church of England, and officiated as a curate in Kent. He was afterwards reconciled to the Church of Rome, and entered in the college of St. Omers. And thus, as he reports, coming to a close correspondence with Jesuits and Priests, he was let into the design discovered by him. To confirm his testimony, he referred himself to letters and papers in the custody of Coleman, then secretary to the duke of York. These letters were afterwards seized and published. As to the contents, it is somewhat foreign to this work : but touching the main and blackest part of the plot, I shall give the reader the judgment of an author who seems by no means inclined to blanch or extenuate matters of this kind. 5. What superstructure," says he, "might have been afterwards built upon an unquestionable foundation, (meaning Coleman's letters,) and how far some of the witnesses of that plot might
1677-8. Oates's Nar