« PreviousContinue »
LAUD, Bishop Williams at first refused to acknowledge this archiepisAbp. Cant.
copal privilege, and pretended a papal exemption ; but the business being brought before the council-board, and the records of either side examined, this plea was found insufficient. This obstruction being got over, Brent, the vicar-general, went on with the visitation, and, pursuant to his articles, enjoined the churchwardens to remove the communion-table to the east end of the chancel, and enclose it with a decent rail. He gave them further in charge, that they were to return the names of the lecturers in their respective parishes; and whether those lecturers and the rest of the preaching clergy observed his majesty's instructions, published in the
1629. The bringing the communion-table into the chancel, which placing the situation had been long discontinued in several places, occacommunion
sioned a warm contest, both in this diocese and elsewhere. As to bishop Williams, he seems formerly to have been entirely in Laud's sentiment: for, in his own chapel at Bugden, the communion-table was placed at the east end, where the altar stood before. The table stood in the same posture in his cathedral of Lincoln, and in the collegiate church of Westminster, where he was dean. But now he changed his opinion in some measure, and gave orders for railing in the communiontable in the middle of the chancel, and not at the east end. And, to support his practice, he wrote two tracts upon the controversy : one entitled, “A Letter to the Vicar of Grantham ;” and the other called, “ Holy Table, Name and Thing."
Both these performances were answered by Dr. Heylin. The facto- And now, archbishop Laud had procured an order of council ries, fc. conform to for bringing the English factories and forces in Holland to a the English conformity with the Liturgy. It was the same in substance
with the “Considerations " laid before the board, already men
tioned. This order, gained the last winter, was executed this June, 1634.
And the number of the English merchants being considerable in Holland, and particularly at Delph, the archbishop wrote the following letter to the factory there :
“ After our hearty commendations, &c., we are commanded Land's leiter by his majesty to signify unto you, that this bearer, Mr. Beauat Delph. mont, chosen by joint consent of your company to be your
preacher at Delph, or where else you shall at any time reside,
is a man, learned, sober, and conformable to the doctrine and CHARLES discipline established in the Church of England, and that you are to receive him with all decent and courteous usage fitting his person and calling, and to allow him the usual ancient stipend, which Mr. Forbes lately, or any other before him, hath received. And further, we are to let you know that it is his majesty's express command, that both you, the deputy, and all and every other merchant that is or shall be residing in those parts beyond the seas, do conform themselves to the doctrine and discipline settled in the Church of England ; and that they frequent the Common Prayers, with all religious duty and reverence, at all times required, as well as they do sermons; and that out of your company you do yearly about Easter, as the canons prescribe, name two churchwardens, and two sidesmen, which may look to the orders of the Church, and give an account according to their office; and Mr. Beaumont himself 761* is hereby to take notice, that his majesty's express pleasure and command to him is, that he do punctually keep and observe all the orders of the Church of England, as they are prescribed in the canons and the rubrics of the Liturgy; and that, if any of your company shall show themselves refractory to this ordinance of his majesty, (which we hope will not be,) he is to certify the
such offender and his offence to the lord bishop of London for the time being, who is to take order and give remedy accordingly. And these letters you are to register and keep by you, that they which come after may understand what care his majesty hath taken for the well-ordering of your pany
in Church affairs. And you are likewise to deliver a copy of these letters to Mr. Beaumont, and to every successor of his respectively, that he and they may know what his majesty expects from them, and be the more inexcusable if they disobey. Thus, not doubting but that you will show yourselves very respectful to these his majesty's commands, we leave you to the grace of God, and rest your very loving friend,
- June 17, 1634.
The same directions, as to the main, were sent to the factory at Hamburgh, and all other places of trade, and plantations, where the English were settled : ambassadors' families
Cyprian. were likewise put under the same regulation for divine service. Inglic.
LAUD, But notwithstanding this order was generally received in Abp. Cant.
the four great divisions of the world, New England was someconformists what of an exception. The Dissenters, who transported them
selves thither, established their own fancy, and formed a Church England erect a Cal- this year upon Calvin's model.
As for the French and Dutch churches in England, they See Records, struggled for a spiritual independency; but at last finding the
discipline and worship of the Church pressed strongly upon them, they seemed to acquiesce; and complied so far as to publish the archbishop's injunction (already mentioned) in their assemblies, through this whole province. Neile, archbishop of York, held them to stricter terms, allowed no in
dulgence to those of the first descent, and denied them the use Cyprian. of any jurisdiction of their own establishment. Anglic.
This year Thomas Cooke, bachelor of divinity, fellow of Brazen Nose in Oxford, had, in a Latin sermon, exceeded the bounds prescribed in the king's injunctions, and run out upon the Quinquarticular controversy : for this misbehaviour he made a public recantation : and notwithstanding his discourse was bending toward the Puritan side of the question, he afterwards stood clear of that bias, and died a very orthodox mem
ber of the Church of England. Antiq. Uni- From the archbishop's report of the affairs of his province vers. Oxon. this year, I shall only observe his acquainting the king, that
in all the dioceses he had visited, the lamentable subsistence of the poor vicars was a general grievance: and which was a harder circumstance in this calamity, the vicars in great market towns, where the congregations were very numerous, had commonly the slenderest provision. By the rest of this annual account, it appears, the province stood much in the
same condition it was in the last year, and therefore I shall A.D. 1634-5. omit the recital: only thus much may be observed, that con
formity came forward, and the Church gained ground upon the Hist. of the Puritan party. Troubles, &c. of Abp.
To proceed, the metropolitical visitation was continued from year to year, till the whole province was gone through. The vicar-general Brent having given the charge, and allowed the church-wardens time for returning their certificates, left the further management to their respective bishops. And here the placing the communion-table at the east end of the chancel was not every where understood; particularly, this visitation
article was not carried without contest in the dioceses of CHARLES
I. Lichfield and London : Pierce, bishop of Bath and Wells, had better success. To make this alteration pass smoothly, he endeavoured to convince his people of the reasonableness of it. He suggested “it was ordered by queen Elizabeth's injunc- A.D. 1635. tions, that the communion table should stand in the place of the altar; that there ought to be some difference between Ancient placing the Lord's table in the church, and that of a common trieved in table for eating in our own houses : that it was not decent the the cathedral people should sit above God's table, or above his minister the and elsepriest, when he consecrates: that by this situation of the communion table at the east end, the chancel would be enlarged, and more room left for the communicants. That the priest officiating upon an ascent would be seen and heard to more advantage, than if the table stood upon a level in the middle : that it was highly proper the parochial churches should conform to the custom of their respective cathedrals. And lastly, that being fenced with a rail in this situation, would be the only way to secure it from profanation and common business.”
And thus by convincing their understandings, before he commanded their practice, he reconciled a great part of his diocese to this commendable usage.
The archbishop went on to the regulation of cathedrals, for a precedent to the rest. And here in one half of the sees, want of force and full direction in the statutes occasioned confusion. Of the twenty-six sees in England and Wales, thirteen are founded in secular canons; and of these I have given a recital in the former part of this work. These Churches of the old foundation, as they are called, were well furnished with statutes, and excepting Hereford, wanted no assistance this way: the other moiety standing originally on Different monastic orders, being dissolved by king Henry VIII., were in the cathenew founded with a dean and chapter of secular priests. druls of old Under this last division, the churches of Canterbury, Win-foundations. chester, Ely, Worcester, Rochester, Norwich, and the four new bishoprics of Oxford, Peterborough, Gloucester, and Bristol, together with those of Durham, Carlisle, and Chester, in the other province, are to be reckoned. For each of these cathedrals of the new foundation, a body of statutes was drawn, but neither carried to a full length, nor confirmed in the forms of law. The measures of conduct lying thus un
LAUD, certain, occasioned frequent clashes between the dean and Abp. Cant.
prebendaries; the deans pretending to a more arbitrary government than the chapters were willing to acknowledge. The perfecting these regulations, and bringing the cathedrals to a better harmony, was projected by the archbishop: and in all likelihood he had gone through with this worthy undertaking, had he not been disabled by the public disturbances.
However, he made something of an essay, and lost no time 762* while the season lasted : and to recommend his method, he of statutes began his reformation with his own cathedral at Canterbury; provided for and here he found things in a tolerable order: the table was at Canter- placed at the east end of the choir, and bowing used towards bury.
it, by the appointment of the dean and chapter. This decency and devotion being thus far settled, he advanced another step, and ordered new ornaments of plate and hangings for the furniture of the altar; and to keep things from relapsing into negligence and disuse, he drew a new body of statutes for the cathedral, and got them confirmed under the broad seal. By one article in these statutes, the deans, prebendaries, and officers, were obliged by oath to worship God, by bowing towards the altar at their coming in, and going out of the choir. Resembling regulations were made this year by the vicar-general, at Winchester and Chichester; where directions were given to provide four copes, to rail in the communion table, to place it in the altar situation, to bow towards it, and contantly read the epistles and gospels at it. The statutes of Hereford being imperfect, he threw them into a new form, and sent them down fortified with the broad seal. “By this regulation the prebendaries were bound to officiate on Sundays and holy-days in their copes : to stand up at the creeds, gospel, and doxologies: to bow at the name of Jesus, and towards the altar, and not suffer any person to be covered in the church; and that the prayer before their sermons should be made pursuant to the fifty-fifth canon.” By these appointments we may collect how far this cathedral had warped towards Puritanism, and gone off from the rules of the Church. This reformation was carried through other dioceses: and thus by degrees, religion appeared more venerable, and the cathedrals were recovered to their ancient splendour and solemnity.
After all, the archbishop was not singular in placing the communion-table, and worshipping towards the altar: for Da