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of our people, for our own sins, and the sins of the nation, are
counties of Cornwall and Devonshire took an oath, and entered into an association upon sundry articles, of which this was one, That if any minister shall refuse, or wilfully neglect, to observe the fast appointed by his majesty, or shall not read the service and
prayers appointed for that fast
, and being carried before a justice of peace shall not promise and protest for their future conformity, he shall be forth with secured, and his estates sequestered; the like course to be taken with such ministers as absent themselves that day, unless upon sickness, or other cause allowed by two justices of peace; and with those that will not read such books as shall be appointed to be read by his majesty ; and the constables are to certify their defaults to the next justice of the peace t. This was a new hardship upon clergy and people, for the parliament having enjoined the continuance of the fast on Wednesday, the royalists were obliged to an open separation, by changing it to Friday. Thus the devotions of the kingdom were divided, and Almighty God called into the quarrel on both sides.
The next thing the parliament undertook, was the removal of those monuments of superstition out of churches, &c. which had been voted down the last year, but without any considerable effect, because of the dissent of the house of lords. In the beginning of May, sir Robert Harlow, by order of the two houses, took down the crosses in Cheapside, Charing-cross, and St. Paul's cross t, which was a pulpit of wood covered with lead, in form of
• Husband's Collections, p. 353.
+ Rushworth, vol. 2. p. 381, 382. # The zeal shewed for pulling down the crosses gave occasion for the publication of a humourous piece, entitled “ A Dialogue betwixt the Cross in Cheap and Charing-cross, comforting each other, as fearing their fall in these uncertain times." It was also bantered in a pamphlet, with this title, “ New orders New, agreed upon by the parliament of Round-heads, confirmed by the brethren of the new separation, assembled at Roundheads - hall without Cripplegate, with the great discretion of master Long-breath, an upright, new inspired cobbler, speaker of the house. Avowed by Ananias Dulman, alias Prick Ears." Of the strain of this piece the following passage is a specimen : "that we have no crosses, for they are mere Popery, and tend to the confusion and opposition of Scripture : especially let the girls
apside-cross be a detestation unto you all, and let these streets a cross, and mounted on several steps of stone about the middle of St. Paul's churchyard, where the first reformers used to preach frequently to the people; and upon a farther representation of the assembly of divines, they passed the following ordinance,—“ That before the 1st of November all altars and tables of stone shall be utterly taken away and demolished; and all communion-tables removed from the east end of every church, chapel, or place of public worship, and be set in some other fit and convenient place or places of the body of the church or chapel ; and all rails whatsoever which have been erected near to, or before, or about, any altar or communion-table, in any of the said churches or chaples, shall before the said day be taken away, and the chancel-ground of every such church, or chapel, or other place of public prayer, which has been within these twenty years raised for any
altar or communion-table to stand upon, shall before the said day be laid down and levelled as it was before; and all tapers, candlesticks, and basins, shall before the said day be removed and taken away from the communion-table in every church, chapel, or place of public prayer, and not to be used again afterward. And all crucifixes, crosses, images, and pictures, of any one or more persons of the Trinity, or of the Virgin Mary; and all other images, and pictures of saints, or superstitious inscriptions in or upon any of the said churches, church-yards, or other places belonging to the said churches or church-yards, or in any other open place, shall, before the said 1st of November, be taken away and defaced by the proper officers that have the care of such churches. And it is farther ordained, that the walls, windows, grounds, and other places that shall be broken, impaired, or altered, by any the means aforesaid, shall be made up and repaired in good and sufficient manner, in all and every the said parish-churches, chapels, or places of public prayer belonging to the parish, by the churchwardens for the time being, and in any cathedral or collegiate church or chapel by the deans or sub-deans; and in the inns of court, by the benchers and readers of the same, at the cost and charge of all and every such person or persons, bodies politic, or corporations, to whom the charge of repair does usually belong, upon penalty of 4s. to the use of the poor, for the space of twenty days after such default ; and if default be made after December 1, the justice of peace of the county or city shall have power to perform it. Provided that this ordinance shall not extend to any image, picture, or coat of arms, in glass, stone, or otherwise, in any church, chapel, or church-yard, set up by, or engraven for a monument of, any king, prince, nobleman, or other dead person, which has not been commonly reputed or taken for a saint*.” that are called Crosses, as Red-Cross-Street, and White-Cross-Street, &c. be turned otherwise and called after the name of some of our own family, as Green, Spencer, &c. and call it rather Green-street, than Red-Cross-street, &c. That thus all profaneness being rooted and extirpated from our conventions, nothing but holiness may remain amongst us.” Dr. Grey, vol. 2. p. 80, 81, note.-Ed.
Husband's Collections, fol. 307.
This ordinance is of the same tenor with the bill against innovations, presented to the king at the treaty of Oxford, and does not much differ from queen Elizabeth's injunctions at the Reformation; there were some disorders and tumults in putting it in execution, and great neglect of repairs; but if the reader will look back to the superstitious decorations and ornaments of the cathedrals, mentioned in the former volume of this work, he will see there was some need of a reformation. December 14, the commissioners cleared the cathedral of Canterbury of all the images, and paintings in the windows. Heylin says, the rabble violated the monuments of the dead, spoiled the organs, took down the rails, &c. and affronted the statue of our blessed Saviour*. December 30, they removed the pictures, images, and crucifixes, in Henry VII.'s chapel ; and about Lady-day the paintings about the walls and windows were defaced, and the organs taken down in the presence of the committee of the house. The cathedral of St. Paul's was stripped about the same time, the candlesticks, crucifixes, and plate, being sold for the service of the war ; and within a few months most of the cathedrals throughout England underwent the same fate t. If the parliament, instead of leaving this work to the officers of every parish, had put it into the hands of some discreet persons, to give directions what might remain, and what was fit to be removed, all the mischiefs that have been complained of might have been prevented ; the monuments of the dead might have remained entire, and a great many fine paintings been preserved. Dr. Heylin charges the officers with sacrilege, and fixes the divine vengeance upon them as a terror to others, one of them being killed in pulling down the cross in Cheapside, and another banged soon after he had pulled down the rich cross in Abingdon. But without remarking on the doctor's prognostications, it might be very proper to remove these images and crosses, because of the superstitious resort of great numbers of people to them; though it ought to have been done in a peaceable
manner, without any damage to the truly venerable remains of antiquity.
The paper combat between the two parties at Oxford and London, was carried on with no less fury than the war itself; numberless pamphlets were scattered up and down the kingdom, big with disaffection and scandal against the two houses; to put a stop to which, the commons, by an order of March 6, 1642-3, had empowered the committee of examinations to search for printingpresses, in such places where they had cause to suspect they were employed against the parliament, and to break them in pieces, and destroy the materials. They were also to seize the pamphlets, and to commit the printer and vender to prison. But this order not
• Hist. Presbytery, p. 450.
+ Dr. Grey gives various examples of the rude violence and indiscriminate destrnction with which thie was done. His authorities are, bishop Hall, Heylin, Dugdale, and a
being effectual, another was published June 14, 1643, the amble to which sets forth, “ that the former orders of parliament to prevent the printing and dispersing scandalous pamphlets having been ineffectual, it is ordained, that no person or persons shall print any book or pamphlet without licence under the hands of such persons as shall be appointed by parliament, nor shall any book be reprinted without the licence and consent of the owner, and the printer to put his name to it; the company of stationers and the committee of examinations, are required to make strict inquiry after private presses, and to search all suspected shops and warehouses for unlicensed books and pamphlets, and to commit the offenders against this order to prison, to be punished as the parliament shall direct*.” The names of the licensers appointed by this ordinance were these :
For books of divinity.
The Rev. Mr. Charles Herle.
The Rev. Mr. Batchelor.
Mr. Serj. Rolls. Mr. Serj. Jermyn. For physic and surgery.-—The president and four censors of the college of physicians, for the time being.
For civil and canon law.—Sir Nath. Brent, or any three doctors of the civil law. For heraldry, titles of honour, and arms.—One of the three kings at arms.
For philosophy, history, poetry, morality, and arts.—Sir Nath. Brent, Mr. Langley, and Mr. Farnaby, schoolmasters of St. Paul's.
For small pamphlets, pictures, &c.—The clerk of the company of stationers for the time being; and
For mathematics, almanacks, and prognostications. The reader of, Greshamcollege for the time being.
But neither this nor any other regulation of the press, could restrain the Oxonians from dispersing their mercuries and diurnals over the whole kingdom, as long as the university was in the king's hands.
FROM THE CALLING THE ASSEMBLY OF DIVINES AT WEST
MINSTER TO THE OXFORD PARLIAMENT. It has been observed, that at the setting down of this parliament, the resolution of the leading members was to remove the grievances of the church as well as state, and for this purpose to address the king to call an assembly of divines to reform the
* Rushworth, vol. 5. p. 335.
liturgy and discipline. To forward this design the London ministers, in their petitions in the year 1641, prayed the houses to be mediators to his majesty for a free synod, and the commons accordingly mentioned it in their grand 'remonstrance of December 1, 1641. “We desire (say they) that there may be a general synod of the most grave, pious, learned, and judicious divines of this island, assisted with some from foreign parts professing the same religion with us, who may consider of all things necessary for the peace and good government of the church, and to represent the result of their consultations to be allowed and confirmed, and to receive the stamp of authority." In the treaty of Oxford a bill was presented to the same purpose and rejected : some time after Dr. Burges, at the head of the Puritan clergy, applied again to parliament, but the houses were unwilling to take this step without the king's concurrence, till they were reduced to the necessity of calling in the Scots, who insisted, that “there should be a uniformity of doctrine and discipline between the two nations." To make way for which the houses turned their bill into an ordinance, and convened the assembly by their own authority*.
The ordinance bears date June 12, 1643, and is the very same with the Oxford bill, except in the point of lay-assessors, and of restraining the assembly from exercising any jurisdiction or authority ecclesiastical whatsoever. It is entitled,
“An ordinance of the lords and commons in parliament, for the calling of an assembly of learned and godly divines, and others, to be consulted with by the parliament, for settling the government and liturgy of the church of England, and for vindicating and clearing of the doctrine of the said church, from false aspersions and interpretationst." The preamble sets forth,
“ That whereas amongst the infinite blessings of Almighty God upon
this nation, none is or can be more dear to us than the purity of our religion; and forasmuch as many things as yet remain in the discipline, liturgy, and government, of the church, which necessarily require a more perfect reformation. And whereas it has been declared and resolved, by the lords and commons assembled in parliament, that the present church-government by archbishops, bishops, their chancellors, commissaries, deans, deans and chapters, archdeacons, and other ecclesiastical officers depending on the hierarchy, is evil, and justly offensive and burdensome to the kingdom, and a great impediment to reformation, and growth of religion, and very prejudicial to the
It is a just remark of Mr. Palmer, that the assembly of divines at Westmin. ster, was not a convocation according to the diocesan way of government, nor was it called by the votes of the ministers according to the presbyterian way; but the parliament chose all the members themselves, merely with a view to have their opinion and advice for settling the government, liturgy, and doctrine, of the church of England. And they were confined in their debates to such things as the parliament proposed. Nonconformists' Memorial, vol. 1. introduction, p. 7.-Ed.
| Rushworth, vol. 2. part 3. or vol. 5. p. 337.