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These two speeches, though in many parts more ingenious than solid, left a strong impression upon the Commons. Yet as a popular outcry. had been made, complaining that ministers possessed no, power of excluding unworthy communicants from the sacred table, an ordinance, not wholly abolishing but regulating the power of excommunication, was passed October 1645. By allowing an appeal upwards from the presbytery to the classes, to the synod, to the national assembly, and finally to the Parliament, it in fact stripped the church of the power of the keys * ; ; ;

With this decree the high Presbyterians were

fling of thoughtlessness, ignorance, or presumption, with a solemn mystery ;, that arguments from analogy are always to be distrusted; and that here, a limb cut off for the sake of the body, has no relation to a member excluded for his own sake, and with a view to his restoration....

That a bishop, or at least a person to whom episcopal power is delegated, is the proper judge in matters of excommunication, is proved by Potter, ch. 85, 8:8; Whitgift's Defence, Tract 18; and Field of the Church, b. i. c. 15.-- See the preliminary chapter to this volume. ...

* Other clauses expressed an equal jealousy of the presby, teries. Capital offences were reserved for the cognizance of the civil magistrate; who might certify the commitment of an offender to the presbytery; after which these possessed a power of suspending him. The elderships were not to have authority in matters of property. Secrets of confession were not to be used as evidence in law: and a standing committee of members of Parliament, being, also members of the Assembly, were appointed to take other offences into consideration.

dissatisfied. They declaimed both from the press and pulpit against the ultimate appeal to Parlia? ment, as striking at the root of the true Presby terian discipline. But the Parliament, in which Erastians, Independents, and moderate Presbyterians prevailed, instead of indulging this designto render the church independent on the state, added new power to the latter by interposing between themselves and the national assembly an intermediate tribunal of appeal, which consisted of commissioners whom Parliament should delegate in each province; and to whom in most cases the? minister was to be compelled to certify any suspension.

1646. These edicts, in which mention is made of classes and synods, were issued several months prior to any such distributions of the national clergy. At length, in March 1646, an ordinance was finally passed for regulating each parish by a presbytery, composed of the minister and ruling elders. These parochial presbyteries were to be formed into classes : 'and each class was to depute representatives to the provincial assembly; which in its turn should contribute by delegation to the forming of the national council*. Thus was Prešo byterianism made the established religion of England; although, as an appeal was open from all these tribunals to the Parliament, it was settled

** From this rule the domestic chapels of the King and Lorde were 'exempt,+111:{" ;a :? bisa sir;:*

THE CIVIL WAR TO [17th Cent. on Erastian principles. This rule, however, was never completely established. According to Mr. Eachard, the Presbyterians never saw their dear presbytery fully settled in any part of England: but Mr. Baxter - look where it comes again” Mr. Baxter, who'was much better acquainted with the fact, affirms that there was a provincial assembly both in London and Lancashire..

With this half-measure all parties were dissatis-, fied. The Assembly divines, the Scots and English commissioners, and the high Presbyterians, raised their united voices against the discipline as imperfect. The Independents and Episcopalians were excluded from toleration ; and the people at large were exasperated by finding a Presbyterian hierarchy established in every parish, and assuming a civil as well as ecclesiastical supremacy over, consciences *.

** An ordinance was passed for abolishing the names and offices of bishops, and applying their revenues to the payment of the public debt. Thus the Presbyterian sharks were disappointed. They however indemnified themselves by evading the act for granting to the wife and children of every sequestered minister, the fifth part of the value of his benefice. If these were children who had lost their mother, ihey refused the subsistence, as the case came not within the letter of the ordinance. Equally pharisaical were they when there, was a wife with one child; as if one child could live on nothing any more than several. The bishops were no stripped even of those pittances which they had hitherto enjoyed as salaries : insomuch that, in the following year, Prideaux Bishop of Worcester, being requested by Charles to be present at the treaty

XIV. 1646. At this juncture, the royal cause having become desperate, Charles had thrown himself into the hands of the Scotch army:at New ark, May 5, 1646. Petitions against the mutilated Presbyterian government recently established, were presented to the Parliament by the Westminster divines, and by the Gerieral Assembly of Scotland. Determined not to resign the ecclesiastical supremacy, yet fearful of offending the Scots, who had a powerful army in the north, and possessed so rich a prize as royalty, the Commons, in order to gain time till they should see whether it were practicable to accommodate matters with the King, proposed to the Assembly a string of queries relative to the jus divinum of church-government, in the hope of dividing, or at least, for some time employing that body of aspiring ecclesiastics. Agreeably to their design, in the committee appointed by the divines, the Erastians first created a division, then debated the question for the space of three months, and at length withdrew themselves, as the Independents had done at the first. The report, which was only the resolution of a few high Presbyterians, asserted that Jesus Christ has appointed a church-government distinct from the power of the civil magistrate*.

of the Isle of Wight, had not money sufficient to pay his expenses ; and on that account did not attend. * From this report Lightfoot alone dissented.Colman

Nothing can parallel the folly displayed by the Parliamentrát this important crisis. : Now was the time for their securing themselves, by making terms with his Majesty, or of coming to some agreement with the Independents, whom they knew to be so powerful in their own army. But by their wild obstinacy in rejecting the just and moderate claims of toleration preferred by, that body, and in maintaining the uniformity of the covenant, they prepared their own destruction *.

was now dead. - In the mean time the city divines had taken up the argument, and published their Divine Right of the Press bytery: but the Parliament brought them to moderation. ** See end of this chapter, 11. While the question of toleration was pending between the Presbyterians and Congregationalists, the city divines, wise heads ! petitioned the Assembly from Sion College, against the great Diana of the Independents. This petition was seconded by an imperious demand from Scotland, that there should be no toleration of sectaries, and no liberty of conscience. Such were the sentiments at that time openly avowed, that, according to one writer, to grant men the indulgence of serving God according to their consciences, was to have cast out one devil in order to admit seven worse, In the mean time the royalists stirred up counter-petitioners for liberty in the city and parliamentary army, with the view of dividing the friends of the opposite cause. Taking advantage of these differences, the „King too, at the same time, made overtures to Goodwyn and Nye; but these congregationalists put a stop to the correspondence.

Either they were determined republicans, which is an improbable supposition ; or distrusted the royal word, which bas been affirmed; or sought to carry their point by obtaining

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