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• and finally, to utter those things for their prayers in the congregation, to which no conscientious man can say AMEN. And thereupon he gives commandment to all ministers in their parish-churches, to keep and use the said Book of CommonPrayer, in all the acts and offices of God's public worship, according to the laws made in that behalf; and that the said Di. rectory should in no sort be admitted, received, or used; the said pretended ordinances, or any thing contained in them to the contrary notwithstanding. But his Majesty sped no better by his proclamation, than the two Doctors did before by their learned arguments. For if he had found little or no obedience to his proclamations when he was strong, and in the head of a victorious and successful army, he was not to expect it in a low condition, when his affairs were ruinated and reduced to nothing.
On this subject the biographer of John Goodwin obser; es: “ This renowned Parliament, while professing to execrate the persecuting spirit of the prelates, whose property they had seized, in their Ordinance for putting the Directory in execution not only prohibited the use of the Book of Common Prayer in all places of public worship; but also subjected those who should use it in their families or in secret, to the penalty of five pounds for the first offence, of ten pounds for the second, and, for the third, to one whole year's imprisonment, without bail or mainprize.
thereof are the Romish Catholics (so styling themselves) on the one hand, whose tenents are inconsistent with the truth of religion, professed and protested by the Church of England (whence we are called 'PROTESTANTS), and the Anabaptists and Separatists and sectaries on the other band, whose tenents are full of schism and inconsistent with monarchy: For the regulating of either, there needs no other co-ercion than the due execution of the laws already established by Parliament.
“ If any attempt be made to alter the discipline of our church, although it be not an essential part of our religion, yet it is so necessary not to be rashly altered, as the very substance of religion will be interessed in it: Therefore I desire you, before any attempt be made of an innovation by your meals, or by any intercession to your master, that you will first read over and his Ma: jesty call to mind that wise and weighty proclamation, which himself
penned and caused to be published in the first year of his reign, and is prefixed in print before the Book of Common Prayer (of that impression), in which you will find so prudent, so weighty reasons, not to hearken to innovations, as will fully satisfy you that it is dangerous to give the least ear to such innovators, but it is desperate to be inisled by them. But to settle your judgment, mark but the admonition of the wisest of men, King Solomon, (Prov. xxvii, 21,) My son, fear God and the king', and meddle not with those who are given to change."-Sir Francis Bacon's Letter of Advice to the Duke of Buckingham, when he became Favourite to King James.
* In reference to this interdict the following anecdote is told in Parr's Life of Archbishop Usher, page 75. “Cromwell, being now highly enraged against the loyal party, for their indefatigable though unsuccessful endeavours for his majesty's restoration to his throne, after he had shewed himself very implacable and severe to the cavalier gentry, (as they then called them,) began now to discharge part of his rage upon the orthodox clergy, forbidding them, under great penalties, to teach schools, or to perform any part of their ministerial function : whereupon some of the most considerable Episcopal clergy, in and about London, desired my lord Primate, that he would use his
In the year 1656, these severities were much increased by Cromwell's Declaration, * in which the sequestered or ejected clergy were incapacitated under severe penalties, from teaching school, living in private families as chaplains or domestic tutors, preaching in any public place or at any private meeting, administering Baptism or the Lord's Supper, marrying any persons, and from using the Book of Common Prayer,t &c. In Bishop Fell's most
interest with Cromwell, (since they heard he pretended a great respect for him,) that, as he granted liberty of conscience to almost all sorts of religions, so the Episcopal divines might have the same freedom of serving God in their private congregations, (since they were not permitted the public churches, according to the Liturgy of the Church of England and that neither the ministers, nor those that frequented that service, might be any more hindered, or disturbed by his soldiers. So according to their desires, he went and used his utmost endeavours with Cromwell for the taking off this restraint, which was at last promised (though with some difficulty), that they should not be molested, provided they meddled not with any matters relating to his Government. But when the Lord Primate went to him a secoud time, to get this promise ratified and put into writing, he found hiin under bis chirurgeon's hands, who was dressing a great boil which be had on his breast. So Cromwell prayed the Lord Primate to sit down a little ; and that, when he was dressed, he would speak with him. Whilst this was a-doing, Cromwell said to the Lord Primate, If this core (pointing to the buil) were once out, I should quickly be well. To whom the good Bishop replied, I doubt the core lies deeper. There is a core at the heart that must be taken out, or else it will not be well.- Ah ! replied he, seeming unconcerned, so there is indeed, and sighed. But when the Lord Primate began to speak to him concerning the business he came about, be answered him to this effect : that he had since better considered it, having advised with his Council about it, and that they thought it not safe for him to grant liberty of conscience to those sort of men, who are restless and implacable enemies to him and his Government; and so he took his leave of him, though with good words and outward civility. The Lord Primate seeing it was in vain to urge it any farther, said little more to him, but returned to his lodgings very much troubled and concerned that his endeavours had met with no better success ; when he was in his chamber, he said to some of his relations and myself that came to see him, “This false man hath broken his word with me, and refuses
to perform what he promised ; well, he will have little cause to glory in his wickedness, for he will not continue long : The King will return; though I shall not live to see it, you may. The government both in church and state is in confusion: The Papists are advancing their projects, and making such advantages as will hardly be prevented.
t “ Nov. 27, 1655. This day came forth the Protector's edict or proclamation, probibiting all ministers of the church of England from preaching or teaching any schools, in which he imitated the Apostate Julian.
“ Dec. 25, 1655. There was no more notice taken of Christmas-day in churches. I went to London, where Dr. Wild preached the funeral sermon of preaching ; this being the last day after which Cromwell's proclamatiou was to take place, that none of the Church of England should dare either to preach or administer sacraments, teach school, &c. on pain of imprisonment or exile. So this was the mournfullest day that in my life I had seen, or the Church of England herself since the Reformation ; to the great rejoicing of both Papist and Presbyter. So pathetic was his discourse, that it drew many tears from the auditory. Myself, wife, and some of our family, received the communiou. God make më thankful, who hath hitherto provided for us the food of our souls as well as bodies! The Lord Jesus pity our distressed church and bring back the captivity of Zion.”—EVELYN's Diury.
It is added in a subsequent note : “ The text was 2 Cor. xiii, 9, [' For we are glad, when we are weak and ye are strong : And this also we wish, even your perfection.'] That, however persecution dealt with the ministers of
edifying Life of Dr. Hammond, it is said : “ The interdict of Jan. 1655, disabled the loyal suffering clergy from doing any ministerial act; which he resented with the highest passion; not only upon the general account of God's more immediate displeasure to the nation legible therein, but (what he had much less reason to do) in reference to his own particular; he looking on this dispensation of Providence as God's pronouncing him unworthy to do him service, 'the reproaching? (to use his own words) ' his former unprofitableness, by casting him out as straw to the dunghill. Nor should any consideration that terminated on himself have persuaded him at all to regard that tyrannous injunction, had not charity to the family where he was, made him content to admit of an expedient that secured all real duties, whilst he for some short time forbore that attendance on the altar which was the very joy of his life. And now, though his physicians had earnestly forbidden his accustomed fastings, and his own weaknesses gave forcible suffrages to their advice, yet he resumed his rigours, esteeming this calamity such a one as admitted no exception, which should not be outlived, but that it became men to be martyrs too, and deprecate even in death.*
God's word, they were still to pray for the flock and wish their perfection, as it was [the duty of] the flock to pray for and assist their pastors, by the example of St. Paul.”
«i Aug. 3, 1656. I went to London to receive the blessed sacrament, the first time the Church of England was reduced to a chamber and conventicle, -sosharp was the persecution ! The parish churches were filled with secta', ries of all sorts, blasphemous and ignorant mechanics usurping the pulpits every where. Dr. Wild (formerly chaplain to Archbishop Laud) preached in a private house in Fleet-street, where we had a great meetivg of zealous christians who were generally much more devout and religious than in our greatest prosperity.” Ibid.
* Dr. Hain mond was indeed “ one of the warmest defenders of his church" and a very warm oppugner of Popery, (notwithstanding Mr. Orme's unjust insinuations to the contrary,) as the following most eloquent extract from one of his sermons, preached before the Court at Oxford, in 1645, will testify:
“ Have the Romanists' marks of the church so convinced us that we must presently forsake our Saviour, because we see him in danger of crucifying, tear our gospels and run out with horror as the 26th of Matthew,— the multitude came with swords and staves for to take hiin? Was the cause of God worth the charge and pains of killing men formerly, and is it not worth the patience and constancy of sufferiug. now ? Is there any condition in the world so hugely desireable, as that of suffering for or with Christ? Behold, we count them bappy that suffer, was gospel in St. James bis days. The state of suffering is a state of bliss, 1 may add, a superior degree of a glorified state, a more than loaylenia, [equality with the angels,) a diguity above that orb that the angels move in. For, they, for want of bodies, are deprived of the honour of suffering ; all that they aspire to is but to be our seconds, our assistants in this combat: Only Christ and we have the enclosure of that vast preferment. And if there be any need to heigbten it yet farther, Is there any prize more worthy that masculine valour, than that venerable sacred name, : JERUSALEM THE MOTHER OF US all,' that brought us forth unto Christ, begot us to all our hope of bliss; and now, for no other crime but that, is a struggling under the pangs and agonies of a bitter combat with the ingratefullest children under heaven ;-THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND I mean, which whosoever
soon as we come to
“ While he thus earnestly implored the aids of heaven, and exhorted unto present duty, he omitted not a third expedient, by securing a succession to the church, thereby to preserve its future being. And this he did, not only in reference to the superior order of episcopacy,* (which it has pleased God now to
bath learning and temper enough to understand, knows to be the brightest image of primitive purity, the most perfect conjuncture of the most ancient and most holy faith that for these twelve hundred years any man ever had the honour of defending or suffering for. And should the provocations of an ungracious people, the not valuing or pot walking worthy of the treasures here reserved, the rude continued iniquities of our holy things, tempt God to deliver it up, as he did once his ark to the Philistines, his Christ to the Pharisees and the soldiers, the zeal of the one, and the fury of the other; yet sure this would not be the confuting of what now I say, it would not,
i must hope, be an argument of God's renouncing that ark and that Christ, which he did thus deliver.
* The following extract of a letter from the celebrated M. Claude, to Bishop Stillingfleet conveys “ the opinion of the generality of the French Churches concerning Episcopacy;" and when it is considered, that this opinion proceeds from a Presbyterian pastor, it will appear to be exceedingly liberal:
“We are so very far from believing, that a man cannot live with a good conscience under your discipline and under your Episcopal government, that in our ordinary practice we make no difficulty, either to bestow our chairs, or to commit ihe care of our flocks, to ministers received and ordained by my Lords the Bishops; as might be justified by a great number enough of examples both old and new : Wherefore our churches have always looked upon and considered yours, not only as a sister, but as an elder sister, for which we ought to have a kindness accompanied with respect and veneration, and for which we do present most ardent prayers unto God without ceasing: We do not enter into the comparison of your order with that under which we live. We know that there is not, neither can there be any amongst men, which, by reason of our natural corruption, is not subject to inconveniencies. Ours has hers, as well as yours; and the one and the other without doubt have their advantages and disadvantages in divers respects; alternis vincunt, et vincuntur. It is enough for us to know, that the same Divine Providence, which, by an indispensable necessity and by the conjuncture of affairs, did at the beginning of the Reformation put our churches under that of the Presbytery, has put yours under that of the Episcopacy; and as we are assured that you do not despise our simplicity, so neither ought we to oppose ourselves against your pre-eminence. So that, my Lord, we utterly disapprove and see with grief certain extreams whereinto some of the one side and of the other do cast themselves; the one looking upon Episcopacy as an order so absolutely necessary, that without it there can be no ecclesiastical society, lawful vocation, or hope of salvation; and the other looking upon it with indignation as a relique of Antichristianism. These are equally heats and excesses, which do not come from him that calls us, and which do offend against the laws of wisdom and charity.
“ For what concerns those which amongst you they call Presbyterians, as I am persuaded that they have light, and wisdom, and zeal, so I could wish with all my heart, that they would observe more moderation in the scandal they believe they have heretofore received from the Episcopal order, and that they would distinguish the persons from the ministry. The persons that possess the places have not only their faults, but it may happen too sometimes that the most holy and most eminent places may be possessed by wicked men ; and in that case reason and piety do equally require that we sbould not confound the ministry with the minister. At present, that God by his grace has taken away this scandal from before their eyes, and made them see piety, zeal, and constancy, for the preservation of religion in the persons of the Bishops,- I hope that this will not a little contribute to the sweetening of their spirits. Besides, I could wish that they would be
secure by another more gracious method of his favour, and even miraculous goodness,) but also in the inferior attendance on the altar; the latter of which as it was an enterprize suiting well
pleased to consider that if there be some uupleasant inconveniencies in the Episcopal government, as I do not doubt but there are, there are too some very unpleasant ones in the Presbyterian, as I have said already. No order whose execution is in the hands of men, is exempt from them; an equality has its faults and excesses to be feared, as well as a superiority. Therefore it is not the most safe and wise way to leap from the one to the other, nor to hazard the making a general concussion, upon the hopes of being better, though one should be in authority and power to do it. Christian prudence, justice, and charity do not permit us to proceed to such daring and dangerous extreams, for a single difference of government. It is most safe and wise to endeavour to provide some kind of temper to avoid, or to lessen, as much as may be, the inconveniencies that are feared, and not have recourse to violent remedies."
The celebrated author of the Interest of England, in the Matter of Religion, Unfolded, makes the following enquiry : “ Is there any thing in the nature of Prelacy that frames the mind to obedience and loyalty ? or is there anything in Presbytery, that inclines to rebellion and disobedience?”
To these interrogatories the zealous author of INTEREST MISTAKEN replies thus :
“ OBSERVATION.-Truly I think there is, Prelacy holds a better proportion in the scale of order, as a more regular subordination of duties and relations. Nature and providence do not move by leaps, but by insensible ard soft degrees, which give stability and beauty to the universe. Is not the world composed of disagreements, hot and cold, heavy and light?-And yet we see those oppositions are, by the means of middle and conciliating mixtures, wrought into a compliance. It is the same case in subject and superior. Higher and lower, betwixt top and bottom, are but as several links of one providential chain, where every individual, by virtue of this mutual dependency, contributes to the peace and benefit of the whole. Some are below me, and this sweetens the ihought that I am below others : By which libration are prevented those distempers which arise either from the affectation of more power or the shame of baving none at all. As these degrees of mean and noble are, beyond doubt, of absolute necessity to political concord, so possibly the closer the remove, the better yet as to the point of social expedience; provided that the distances be such as to avoid confusion, and to preserve distinct offices and powers from interfering. Nor is this gradual method only suited to human interest, as being most accommodate to public quiet and to defend the sacredness of majesty from popular distempers ; but it is the very rule which God bimself imposes upon the whole creation : making of the same lump one vessel to honour and another to dishonour: (Rom. ix, 21.) Subjecting, by the law of his own will, this to that ; that, to what is next above it; both, to a further power : all, to Himself. And here we rest, as at the Fountain of authority. From God, kings reign ; they appoint theirfsubstitutes ; and so on, to inferior delegations. ALL POWERS DERIVE FROM A Divine ORIGINAL.
“ This orderly gradation, which we find in Prelacy, must needs heget a reverence to authority; the hierarchy itself depending upon a principle of obedience, whereas our Utopian Presbytery advances itself upon a level of confusion. It is a kind of negative faction, united to dissolve a laudable and settled frame of government, that they may afterward set up they know not what. We may have learnt thus much from late and sad experience : let him that would know more of it, read the Survey of Pretended Holy Discipline. I think it would be hard to shew one eminent Presbyterian, that stickles not for an aristocracy in the state as well as in the church ; and he that said, No Bishop no King', gave a shrewd judgment; not as implying a prince's absolute dependence upon bishops; but, in effect, the King's authority is wounded through the church; the reformation of what is amiss belonging to the ruler not to the people. Yet I do not condemn all presbyters, not justify all prelates."