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day to hear what could be said on both sides, and came to the chancellor's house, October 22, attended by the dukes of Albemarle and Ormond, the earls of Manchester, Anglesea, and lord Hollis.
As the chancellor read over the declaration, each party were to allege their exceptions, and the king to determine. The chief debates were on the high power of the bishops, and the necessity of reordination. Bishop Morley and Dr. Gunning spoke most on one side; and Mr. Calamy and Baxter on the other*. Upon hearing the whole, his majesty delivered his judgment as to what he thought proper should stand in the declaration; and appointed bishop Morley and Henchman, Dr. Reynolds and Mr. Calamy, to express it in proper words; and if they disagreed, the earl of Anglesea and lord Hollis to decide.
At length the declaration, with such amendments as the king would admit, was published under the following title:
"His maiesty's declaration to all his loving subjects of his kingdom of England and dominion of Wales, concerning ecclesiastical affairs. Given at our court at Whitehall, October 25, 1660, in the twelfth year of our reign."
The declaration being long†, and to be met with in most of our historians, I shall give the reader only an abstract of it.
"In our letter from Breda we promised in due time to propose something to the world for the propagation of the Protestant religion; and we think ourself more competent to propose, and with God's assistance determine many things now in difference, from the experience we have had in most of the reformed churches abroad, where we have had frequent conferences with the most learned men, who have unanimously lamented the distempers and too notorious schisms in matters of religion in England.
"When we were in Holland we were attended by many grave and learned ministers from hence of the Presbyterian opinion,
Baxter's Life, part 2. p. 278.
+ This declaration was drawn up by lord-Chancellor Hyde: but many of the evasive clauses were suggested hy some of the king's more secret advisers. Secret History of the Court and Reign of Charles II. v. I. p. 93.—ED.
and to our great satisfaction we found them full of affection to us, no enemies to episcopacy or liturgy (as they have been reported to be), but modestly desiring such alterations as, without shattering foundations, might give ease to the tenderness of some men's consciences. For the doing of this we intended to have called a synod of divines, but observing the over-passionate and turbulent way of proceeding of some persons, and the impatience of others for a speedy determination of these matters, we have been prevailed with to invert the method we proposed, and to give some determination ourself to the matters in difference, till such a synod may be called as may, without passion or prejudice, give us such farther assistance towards a perfect union of affections, as well as submission to authority, as is necessary.
"We must, for the honour of all with whom we have conferred, declare, that the professions and desires of all for the advancement of piety and true godliness are the same; their professions of zeal for the peace of the church, and of affection and duty to us, the same; they all approve episcopacy and a liturgy, and disapprove of sacrilege, and the alienation of the revenues of the church *."
His majesty then declares his esteem and affection for the church of England, and that his esteem of it is not lessened by his condescending to dispense with some particular ceremonies, and then proceeds to his concessions.
1. "We declare our purpose and resolution is, and shall be, to promote the power of godliness, to encourage the public and private exercises of religion, to take care of the due observation of the Lord's day; and that insufficient, negligent, and scandalous ministers be not permitted in the church. We shall take care to prefer none to the episcopal office and charge but men of learning, virtue, and piety; and we shall provide the best we can, that the bishops be frequent preachers, and that they do often preach in some church or other of their diocess.
2. "Because some diocesses may be of too large extent, we will appoint such a number of suffragans as shall be sufficient for the due performance of their work.
3. "No bishop shall ordain or exercise any part of jurisdiction which appertains to the censures of the church, without advice and assistance of the presbyters. No chancellors, commissaries, or officials, shall excommunicate, absolve, or exercise, any act of spiritual jurisdiction, wherein any of the ministry are concerned with reference to their pastoral charge. Nor shall the archdeacon exercise any jurisdiction without the advice and assistance of six ministers of his archdeaconry; three to be nominated by the bishop, and three by the suffrage of the presbyters within the archdeaconry.
4. "We will take care, that the preferment of deans and chapComp. Hist. vol. 3. p. 246. Baxter's Life, part 2. p. 259. Kennet's Chron.
ters shall be given to the most learned and pious presbyters of the diocess, and that an equal number (to those of the chapter) of the most learned and pious presbyters of the same diocess, annually chosen by the major vote of all the presbyters of that diocess present at such elections, shall be always advising and assisting, together with those of the chapter, in all ordinations, at all church-censures, and other important acts of ecclesiastical jurisdiction wherein any of the ministry are concerned. Provided that at all such meetings, the number of ministers so elected, and those of the chapter present, be equal; and to make the numbers equal, the juniors of the exceeding number shall withdraw to make way for the more ancient. Nor shall any suffragan bishop ordain or exercise any jurisdiction, without the advice and assistance of a sufficient number of presbyters annually chosen as before. And our will is, that ordination be constantly and solemnly performed by the bishop and his aforesaid presbytery at the four set times appointed by the church for that purpose.
5. "Confirmation shall be rightly and solemnly performed, by the information and with the consent of the minister of the place, who shall admit none to the Lord's supper, till they have made a credible profession of their faith, and promised obedience to the will of God, according to the rubric before the catechism; and all diligence shall be used for the instruction and reformation of scandalous offenders, whom the minister shall not suffer to partake of the Lord's supper till they have openly declared their repentance, and resolutions of amendment; provided there be place for appeals to superior powers. Every rural dean (to be nominated by the bishop as heretofore) with three or four ministers of that deanery chosen by the major part of all the ministers within the same, shall meet once a month to receive complaints from the ministers or churchwardens of parishes, and to compose such differences as shall be referred to them for arbitration, and to reform such things as are amiss, by their pastoral reproofs and admonitions, and what they cannot reform are to be presented to the bishop. Moreover, the rural dean and his assistants are to take care of the catechising children and youth, and that they can give a good account of their faith before they are brought to the bishop to be confirmed.
6. "No bishop shall exercise any arbitrary power, or impose any thing upon his clergy or people, but according to the law of the land.
7. "We will appoint an equal number of divines of both persuasions to review the liturgy of the church of England, and to make such alterations as shall be thought necessary; and some additional forms in the Scripture phrase, as near as may be, suited to the nature of the several parts of worship, and that it be left to the minister's choice to use one or the other at his discretion. In the mean time, we desire that the ministers in their several churches will not wholly lay aside the use of the common
prayer, but will read those parts of it against which they have no exception; yet our will and pleasure is, that none be punished or troubled for not using it till it be reviewed and effectually reformed.
8. Lastly, "Concerning ceremonies, if any are practised contrary to law, the same shall cease. Every national church has a power to appoint ceremonies for its members, which, though before they were indifferent, yet cease to be so when established by law. We are therefore content to indulge tender consciences, so far as to dispense with their using such ceremonies as are an offence to them, but not to abolish them. We declare therefore, that none shall be compelled to receive the sacrament kneeling, nor to use the cross in baptism, nor to bow at the name of Jesus, nor to use the surplice, except in the royal chapel, and in cathedral and collegiate churches. Nor shall subscription, nor the oath of canonical obedience, be required at present, in order to ordination, institution, or induction, but only the taking the oaths of allegiance and supremacy; nor shall any lose their academical degrees, or forfeit a presentation, or be deprived of a benefice, for not declaring his assent to all the thirty-nine articles, provided he read and declare his assent to all the doctrinal articles, and to the sacraments. And we do again renew our declaration from Breda, that no man shall be disquieted or called in question for differences of opinion in matters of religion which do not disturb the peace of the kingdom.
His majesty concludes, "with conjuring all his loving subjects, to acquiesce and submit to this declaration, concerning the differences that have so much disquieted the nation at home, and given offence to the Protestant churches abroad."
Though this declaration did not satisfy all the ministers, yet the greatest numbers were content; but because it proceeded upon the plan of diocesan episcopacy which they had covenanted against, others were extremely uneasy; some ventured upon a second address to the king, in which they renew their requests for archbishop Usher's scheme of primitive episcopacy, as most agreeable to Scripture; most conducive to good discipline, and as that which would save the nation from the violation of a solemn league and covenant, which, whether it were lawfully imposed or no, they conceive now to be binding.
Concerning the preamble of his majesty's declaration they tender these requests:
1. "That as they are persuaded it is not in his majesty's thoughts to intimate that they are guilty of the offences therein mentioned, they hope it will be a motive to hasten the union.
2. "Though they detest sacrilege, yet they will not determine, whether in some cases of superfluities of revenues, and the necessity of the church, there may not be an alienation, which is no sacrilege.
3. "His majesty having acknowledged their moderation, they
still hope they may be received into the settlement, and continue their stations in the church.
4. "Since his majesty has declared, that the essence of episcopacy may be preserved, though the extent of the jurisdiction be altered, they hope his majesty will consent to such an alteration as may satisfy their consciences."
They then renew their requests for promoting of piety; of a religious and diligent ministry; of the requisites of church-communion; and for the observation of the sabbath. They complain, that parish-discipline is not sufficiently granted in his majesty's declaration, that inferior synods are passed by, and that the bishop is not episcopus præses, but episcopus princeps, endued with sole power of ordination and jurisdiction. They therefore pray again, that archbishop Usher's form of church-government may be established, at least in these three points *:
1. "That the pastors of parishes may be allowed to preach, catechise, and deny the communion of the church to the impenitent, scandalous, or such as do not make a credible profession of faith and obedience to the commands of Christ.
2. "That the pastors of each rural deanery may meet once a month, to receive presentments and appeals, to admonish offenders, and after due patience to proceed to excommunication.
3. "That a diocesan synod of the delegates of rural synods may be called as often as need requires; that the bishop may not ordain or exercise spiritual censures without the consent of the majority; and that neither chancellors, archdeacons, commissaries, nor officials, may pass censures purely spiritual; but for the exercise of civil government coercively by mulcts, or corporal penalties, by power derived from your majesty, as supreme over all persons and things ecclesiastical, we presume not at all to interpose."
"As to the Liturgy.
"They rejoice that his majesty has declared, that none should suffer for not using the common prayer and ceremonies; but then it grieves us (say they) to hear that it is given in charge to the judges at the assizes, to indict men upon the act of uniformity for not using the common prayer. That it is not only some obsolete words and phrases that are offensive, but that other things need amendment; therefore we pray, that none may be punished for not using the book, till it be reformed by the consent of the divines of both patties."
"They thank his majesty for his gracious concessions, but pray him to leave out of his declaration these words, 'that we do not believe the practice of the particular ceremonies excepted against unlawful,' because we are not all of that opinion; but we
* Hist. of the Noncon. p. 14. Baxter, part 2. p. 268.