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parts of the kingdom, the parliament appointed a committee to draw out of them all, such kind of remonstrance as would give his majesty an impartial representation of the deplorable state of the nation. The remonstrance" was presented to the king, December 1, 1641; and enumerates the grievances, oppressions, and unbounded acts of the prerogative, since his majesty's accession: among which were “The suspension, deprivation, excommunication, and degradation of laborious, learned, and pious ministers.The sharpness and severity of the high commission, assisted by the council-table, not much less grievous than the Romish inquisition. — The rigour of the bishops' courts in the country, whereby numbers of tradesmen have been impoverished, and driven to Holland and New England.— The advancement to ecclesiastical preferments, of those who were most officious in promoting superstition, and most virulent in railing against godliness and honesty.— The design of reconciling the church of England with that of Rome.—And the late canons and oath imposed upon the clergy, under the most grievous penalties.” But the king was displeased with the remonstrance; he published an answer to it, and issued his royal proclamation, requiring an exact conformity to the religion as by law established.: During the year 1642, the king and the parliament put themselves respectively in a posture of defence, and used those military precautions which soon led to all the horrors of a civil war, and deluged the land with blood. . Both parties published their declarations, in justification of their own cause. The king set up his standard at Nottingham, where about 2,000 came to him; and greatly augmented his forces out of Shropshire, Worcestershire, and other counties. The parliament raised a gallant army under the command of the Earl of Essex. o excellent divines became chaplains to the several regiments. Dr. Burgess and Mr. Marshall, to the general's own regiments; Mr. Obadiah Sedgwick, to Colonel Hollis's regiment; Dr. Downing, to Lord Roberts’; Mr. John Sedgwick, to the Earl of Stamford's; Dr. Spurstowe, to Mr. Hampden’s; Mr. Perkins, to Colonel Goodwin's; Mr. Moore, to Lord Wharton's; Mr. Adoniram Byfield, to Sir Henry Cholmley's; Mr. Nalto to Colonel Grantham's; Mr. Ashe, either to Lord Brook's or the Earl of Manchester's; and Mr. Morton, to Sir Arthur Hasilrigg's; with many more." The house of commons had already resolved, “That the Lord's day should be duly observed and sanctified; that all dancing and other sports, either before or after divine service, should be forborn and restrained ; that the preaching of God's word be promoted in all parts of the kingdom; and that ministers be encouraged in this work.”4. May 5, 1643, the parliament issued an order, “That the Book of Sports shall be burnt by the common hangman, in Cheapside and other public places,” which was done by direction of the sheriffs of London and Middlesex.; By an ordinance of both houses, it was appointed, “That no person shall henceforth on the Lord's day, use or be present at any wrestling, shooting, bowling, ringing of bells for pleasure, mask, wake, church-ale, games, dancing, sports, or other pastime, under the several penalties annexed.” An ordinance also passed for removing all monuments of superstition and idolatry, commanding all altars and tables of stone to be demolished, communion tables to be removed from the east end of the church, the rails to be removed, the chancel to be levelled, tapers, candlesticks, basons, &c. to be removed from the communion tables; and all crosses, crucifixes, and images, to be taken away and defaced. And by another, it was appointed, “That all copes, surplices, superstitious vestments, roods, fonts, and organs, be utterly defaced.” June 12, 1643, an ordinance passed both houses for calling the assembly of divines. This assembly was not a convocation according to the diocesan modal, nor was it called by the votes of ministers according to the presbyterian way; but the parliament chose all the members themselves, merely with a view to obtain their opinion and advice, in settling the government, liturgy, and doctrine of the church. Their debates were confined to such things as the parliament proposed. Some counties had two members, and some only one. But to appear impartial, and * Sylvester's Life of Baxter, part i. p. 42. + Nalson's Collec. vol. ii. p. 482. f An act of greater scorn, or greater insolency and disloyal impudence, says I)r. Heylin, was never offered to a sovereign and anointed Prince,
* The debates in parliament about the remonstrance lasted from three o'clock in the afternoon, till ten next morning, which occasioned Sir B. R. to say, “It was the verdict of a starved jury.” Oliver Cromwell told Lord Falkland, that if the remonstrance had been rejected, he would have sold all his estates next morning, and never have seen England any more.Whitlocke's Mem. p. 49.—Clarendon's Hist. vol. i. p. 246,247. i
f Rushworth's Collec. vol. v. p. 438—Nalson's Collec, vol. ii. p. 694.
# Rushworth's Collec. vol. v. p. 456.
than this severe usage of the Book of Sports.--Hist, of Pres. p. 465. $ Scobell's Collec. part i. p. 53, 69. | Ibid. p. 42.
give each party the liberty to speak, they chose many of the most learned episcopalians, as well as those of other deno
Lord Clarendon reproaches these pious and
learned divines, of whom a list is given below, by saying, “That some were infamous in their lives and conversation, and most of them of very mean parts, if not of scandalous ignorance, and of no other reputation than of malice to the church.” But Mr. Baxter, who knew them much better than his lordship, says, “They were men of eminent learning and godliness, ministerial abilities and fidelity. And the christian world, since the days of the apostles, has never had a synod of more excellent divines, than this synod, and the synod of Dort.” Many of the lords and commons were joined with the divines, to see that they did not go beyond their commission. The assembly presented to the parliament the confession of faith, the larger and shorter catechisms, the directory of public worship, and their humble advice concerning church government. The “Assembly's Annotations,” as it is commonly called, is unjustly ascribed to the assembly. The parliament employed the authors of that work, several of whom were members of this learned synod. The assembly first met July 1, 1643, in Henry the Seventh’s chapel, and continued to meet several years. Soon after the meeting of the assembly, a bond of union was agreed upon, entitled “A Solemn League and Covenant for Reformation, and Defence of Religion, the Honour and Happiness of the King, and the Peace and Safety of the three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland.” It was subscribed by both houses of parliament, the Scots commissioners, and the assembly of divines, in St. Margaret's church, Westminster; and afterwards required to be subscribed by all persons above the age of eighteen years. . In addition to the committees already mentioned, the parliament appointed country committees, in the different parts of the kingdom; and afterwards the committee of sequestrations. They were empowered to examine, and sequester, upon sufficient witness, such clergymen as were scandalous in their lives, ill-affected to the parliament, or fomenters of the unnatural war betwixt the king and parliament. Multitudes of the conformable clergy were cited before these committees, and such as were found guilty of notorious immorality, or an avowed hostility to the parliament, were deprived of their livings. Though it cannot be supposed in such times, that no innocent person unjustly suffered; yet, “many” says Fuller, “were cast out for their misdemeanours, and some of their offences were so foul, it is a shame to report them, crying to justice for punishment.”4 And, says Mr. Baxter, “in all the countries where he was “acquainted, six to one at least, if not many more, that “were sequestered by the committees, were by the oaths of “witnesses proved insufficient or scandalous, or especially “guilty of drunkenness and swearing. This I know,” says he, “will displease the party, but I am sure it is true.”f In the year 1644, Archbishop Laud was brought to trial by the two houses of parliament, and being found guilty of high treason, was beheaded on Tower-hill. He was a relate of imperious and bigotted principles, and rash and furious in his conduct, especially towards the puritans. His councils were high and arbitrary, tending to the ruin of the king and constitution. He obtained the ascendancy over his majesty's conscience and councils.; Though he was no papist, he was much inclined to the popish impositions and superstitious rites, and to meet the church of Rome half way. While it was Laud’s “chief object to maintain the outward splendour of the church, by daily increasing the number of pompous ceremonies and scan
* Many of the episcopal divines, several of whom were bishops, did
* William Twisse, D. D. Newbury,
William Greenhill, Stepney.
John Conant, D.D. Limington.
Edmund Staunton, D.D. Kingston.
Humphrey Hardwick. William Goad.
Peter Clark, A.M. Carnaby.
The Commissioners for Scotland were, Lord Maitland. Samuel Rutterford. Robert Baylie. Alexander Henderson. George Gillespie.
The Scribes were, Henry Roborough. John Wallis. Adoniram'Byfield. * Clarendon's Hist, vol. i. p. 415. + Sylvester's Life of Baxter, part i. p. 73.
f Algernon Earl of Northumb. John White, esq.
William Lord Wiscount Say and Sele. John Pym, esq.
Philip Lord Wharton. John Maynard, esq.
John Glyn, esq, recorder of London. Sir John Evelin, knt.
* Clarendon's Hist. vol. ii. p. 287. + Fuller's Church Hist. b. xi. p. 207. f Sylvester's Life of Baxter, part i. p. 74. § “Some of his majesty's ministers drove so fast,” says Welwood, “that it was no wonder both the wheels and chariot were broken. And it was owing in a great part to the indiscreet zeal of a mitred head, (meaning Laud) who had got an ascendant over his master's conscience and councils, that both the *onarchy and hierarchy owed afterwards their fall.”—Memoirs, p. 37.