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rian discipline; but there were some friends of episcopacy; four non-conformists turned dissenters, i. e. independents; and five Scotch commissioners *. In their debates, much deference was paid to the opinions of Lightfoot and Selden, the one a moderate Presbyterian, the other an Eras. tian. Usher was nominated, but, with the whole episcopalian party, either did not appear, or withdrew. on the taking of the covenant. Although the King iforbade this meeting by proclamation, sixty-nine assembled,' July 1, in the Jerusalem chamber; the fittest place, as it was called, for the re-building of Sion. To each member was granted four shillings a day; while the vacancies were recruited by: divines, superadded by the Parliament. On withdrawing, the royalists assigned, as their reasons for absence, that the assembly had not been convoked by the King, which was necessary to a council; that it was forbidden by royal proclamation; that being not chosen by the clergy, its members were not representatives ; that the meeting seemed designed to supersede the convocation ; that the puritanical clergy and laity regarded them as spies ; and that they would not remain to be out-voted, and employed to countenance the proceedings of men assembled to pull down what they would not uphold.
III. The Assembly opened their proceedings * The convocation of this mixed assemblage was not unaptly denominated—the ploughing with an ox and an ass.
with a professed attempt to alter the Thirty-nine Articles to a Calvinistic form; (they were not then considered as Calvinistic;) guarding nevertheless against the Antinomian errors of Crisp, Eaton, and Saltınarsh. More than two months were spent in debating on the first fifteen ; which terminated only in two slight and immaterial changes in the ninth and eleventh' articles *. At length, the Scottish commissioners arriving, ridiculed. and set aside this milk and water revision, while they insisted on subscription to the covenant as a preliininary measure.
IV. This instrument, for the preservation of religion in Scotland, as to doctrine, worship, discipline, and governinent, and its reformation in England and Ireland, so as to bring the three kingdoms to the nearest possible conjunction, a measure to be effected by the extirpation of Popery and prelacy, was accordingly agreed to by the Commons in parliament, Sept. 25, 1643. The same day it was read to the divines in St. Margaret's, Westminster, every one lifting up his hand to heaven in token of the most solemn assent. On the 15th of October it was subscribed by
* In the ninth, the words-ors together with Adam's sin inputed," were inserted; and “ very far gone," was changed into “ wholly deprived of." The addition to the eleventh article consisted in the words' Notwithstanding God doth not forgive them that go on still in their wickedness." Such is Mr. Neale's account.-Appendix to vol. ii. ii
the Lords, after a sermon (Nehem. X. 29) on entering into a CURSE-All persons above eighteen years of age were then ordered to accept the covenant: by imposing which as a test (with penalties for not signing a contract, the validity of which implies consent), the Parliament evinced that they who clamour the loudest for liberty of conscience, are the most prompt to infringe it when they are established in power *.
V. When we consider that the covenant militated against the oath of supremacy, which declared the King to be spiritual head in church matters ; against the laws of the land which es. tablished prelacy; against the oath of canonical obedience; and against the consent of the King, who forbade it by proclamation in October ;we shall not wonder at its being refused by a large body of the clergy. This sharpened and increased the persecution of malignant pastors, which had for some time been carried on by the two committees for religion, and for scandalous ministers. False and frivolous accusations were now preferred against the clergy, by witnesses no lon
* In Scotland, the goods of those who refused the covenant were seized, and their persons apprehended." Such," says the Puritan Historian in a rapture of admiration, " such was the unbounded zeal of that people.”
It was remarked that the covenant contained 666 words, the pumber of the beast in the Apocalypse, Rev. xiii, 18.
ger put upon their oath ; and the calumnies of mean persons and enemies to the church condemned a pastor in opposition to the general praise of his parishioners *. Indeed the necessity for any witnesses was now in great measure superseded; since a man was condemned by simple refusal to accept the test. All recusants were summarily removed from their benefices: Fuller states that the veins of the English church were by this measure emptied of much good blood; and Lord Clarendon affirms that all the learned and orthodox clergy were ejected: but Mr. Baxter, “ who was much better acquainted with these things,” maintains that only the insufficient and scandalous ministers were cast outfe. Now ainong these insufficient and scandalous ministers, were Usher, Juxon, Hall, and Moreton. Fuller the historian had left his lectureship in the Savoy, and fled to the royal quarters some time before. The whole number ejected is admitted by Neale to have been 1600; hut Walker's Index numbers 2400. In London alone, 115. ministers were re. moved ; and by the purgation of Cambridge, 195 graduates were deposed from their benefices and expelled the university. To the sum amassed by sequestering the estates of these outcasts, the Parliament, by a grasp of abominable iniquity, added two-thirds of
* Clarendon-Fuller-Walker's Sufferings.
# It is but justice to Mr. Baxter to state, that he prevented the covenant from being subscribed in Worcestershire.
the estates of all Papists. To the wife and children of each ejected minister, one fifth part of the revenues of his benefice was decreed : but, owing to the rapacity of the new incumbents, and the delicate consciences of many farmers, pious .souls ! who now began seriously to think that the payment of tythes was unlawful-even this scanty pittance was grudged and ill-paid. *Among so large a number of deprived ministers, it is not to be questioned that some were 'but little creditable to their sacred profession. Of the faults of these, advantage was taken, to justify the general spoliation, and a book appeared, with the title of the first century, recording the delin. quencies of 100 sequestered divines. . Charles was solicited to sanction a counter-publication, which should blazon the vicious lives of the parliamen- tary ministers; but with great judgment he sup-pressed the project, declaring that recrimination is not self-acquittal, and that such reciprocal exposures would scandalize both parties in the eyes of their common enemies the Papists. .. VI. In the mean time, a furious ordinance was passed by the two houses, against Popery, pictures, altars, fonts, crosses, images, copes, surplices, and organs. In executing this direction, a brutal ferocity was manifested; and “ the beauty of cathedrals was somewhat defaced," as the historian without prejudice expresses himself. i Now let us see how this, somewhat defaced, VOL. II.