« السابقةمتابعة »
tical appointment * ; that there is no mention of the observation of Christmas in the first or second age of Christianity; that the kirk of Scotland never observed it since the Reformation, except during the short reign of the bishops, and do not regard it at this day. Some of the most learned divines among the Presbyterians, as well as Independents, were in this sentiment. Mr. Edmund Calamy, in his sermon before the house of lords on this day, has these expressions : “This day is commonly called Christmas-day, a day that has heretofore been much abused to superstition and profaneness. It is not easy to say, whether the superstition has been greater, or the profaneness. I have known some that have preferred Christmas-day before the Lord's day ; some that would be sure to receive the sacrament on Christmas-day, though they did not receive all the year after. Some thought, though they did not play at cards all the year long, yet they must play at Christmas, thereby, it seems, to keep in memory the birth of Christ. This, and much more, hath been the profanation of this feast ; and truly, I think the superstition and profaneness of this day are so rooted into it, that there is no way to reform it, but by dealing with it as Hezekiah did with the brazen serpent. This year, God, by his providence, has buried this feast in a fast, and I hope it will never rise again. You have set out, right honourable, a strict order for keeping of it, and you are here this day to observe your own order, and I hope you will do it strictly. The necessities of the times are great, never more need of prayer and fasting. The Lord give us grace to be humbled in this day of humiliation, for all our own and England's sins, and especially for the old superstition and profaneness of this feast."
About Midsummer this year died doctor Thomas Westfield bishop of Bristol, born in the isle of Ely 1573, educated in Jesuscollege, Cambridge, and afterward rector of Hornsey, and of St. Bartholomew the Great, London, and archdeacon of St. Albans. In the year 1641, he was advanced to the see of Bristol, which he accepted, though he had refused it, as is said, twenty-five years before t. He was a gentlemen of great modesty, a good preacher, an excellent orator. The parliament had such an esteem for him, that they named him one of the assembly of divines, and he had the goodness to appear among them for some time. Upon the bishop's complaint, that the profits of his bishoprick were detained, the committee ordered them to be restored, and gave him a pass to go to Bristol to receive them, wherein they style him a person of great learning and merit. He died in possession of his bishoprick, June 25, 1644, aged seventy-one, and composed his own epitaph, one line of which was,
Senio et moerore confectus.
• Dr. Grey says, that the observation of Christmas was appointed by statute 5 and 6 Edward VI. c. 3.-Ed.
† Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, p. 3.
Episcoporum infimus, peccatorum primus.
The least of bishops, the greatest of sinners. Dr. Calibute Downing was born of an ancient family in Gloucestershire, about 1616; he was educated in Oriel-college, Oxford, and at length became vicar of Hackney near London, by the procurement of archbishop Laud; which is very strange, if, as Mr. Wood says, he always looked awry on the church. In his sermon before the Artillery-company, September 1, 1640, he maintained, that for the defence of religion and reformation of the church, it was lawful to take up arms against the king, if it could be obtained no other way. For this he was forced to abscond till the beginning of the present parliament. He was afterward chaplain in the earl of Essex's army, and a member of the assembly of divines ; but died before he was forty years of age, having the character of a pious man, a warm preacher, and very zealous in the interest of his country.
ABSTRACT OF THE TRIAL OF ARCHBISHOP LAUD, AND OF THE
TREATY OF UXBRIDGE.
Next day, after the establishment of the Directory, Dr. William Laud, archbishop of Canterbury, received sentence of death. He had been a prisoner in the Tower almost three years, upon an impeachment of high treason by the house of commons, without once petitioning for a trial, or so much as putting in his answer to the articles; however, as soon as the parliament had united with the Scots, it was resolved to gratify that nation by bringing him to the bar ; accordingly, serjeant Wild was sent up to the house of lords, October 23, with tеn additional articles of high treason, and other crimes and misdemeanours ; and to pray, that his grace might be brought to a speedy trial. We have already recited the fourteen original articles under the The additional ones were to the following purpose :
1. “ That the archbishop had endeavoured to destroy the use of parliaments, and to introduce an arbitrary government.
2. “ That for ten years before the present parliament, he had endeavoured to advance the council-table, the canons of the church, and the king's prerogative, above law.
3. “ That he had stopped writs of prohibition to stay proceedings in the ecclesiastical courts, when the same ought to have been granted.
4. “ That he had caused sir John Corbet to be committed to the Fleet for six months, only for causing the petition of right to be read at the sessions.
6. “ That judgment having been given in the court of King'sbench against Mr. Burley, a clergyman of a bad character, for nonresidence, he had caused the judgment to be stayed, saying he would never suffer judgment to pass upon any clergyman by nihil dicit.
6. “ That large sums of money having been contributed for buying in impropriations, the archbishop had caused the feoffments to be overthrown into his majesty's exchequer, and by that means suppressed the design.
7. “ That he had harboured and relieved divers Popish priests, contrary to law.
8. “That he had said at Westminster there must be a blow given to the church, such as had not been given, before it could be brought to conformity, declaring thereby his intention to alter the true Protestant religion established in it.
9. “ That after the dissolution of the last parliament, he had caused a convocation to be held, in which sundry canons were made contrary to the rights and privileges of parliament, and an illegal oath imposed upon the clergy, with certain penalties, commonly known by the et cætera oath.
10. “ That upon the abrupt dissolving of the short parliament 1640, he had told the king, he was now absolved from all rules of government, and at liberty to make use of extraordinary methods for supply
I omit the charge of the Scots commissioners, because the archbishop pleaded the act of oblivion.
The lords ordered the archbishop to deliver in his answer in writing to the above-mentioned articles in three weeks, which he did, taking no notice of the original ones t: The trial was put off from time to time, at the request of the prisoner, till September 16, when the archbishop appearing at the bar, and having kneeled some time, was ordered to stand, and one of the managers for the commons moved the lords, that their articles of impeachment, with the archbishop's answer, might be read; but when the clerk of the house had read the articles, there was no answer to the original ones. Upon which serjeant Maynard rose up and observed, “ how unjust the archbishop's complaints of his long imprisonment, and of the delay of his hearing, must be, when in all this time he had not put in his answer to their original articles, though he had long since counsel assigned him for that purpose.
That it would be absurd in them to proceed on the additional articles, when there was no issue joined on the original ones; he therefore prayed, that the archbishop might forth with put in his answer to all their articles, and then they should be ready to confirm their charge whenever their lordships should appoint."
The archbishop says, the lords looked hard one upon another, as if they would ask where the mistake was, he himself saying
• Prynne's Complete History of the Trial of Archbishop Laud, p. 38.
nothing, but that his answer had not been called for *. His grace would have embarrassed them farther, by desiring them to hear his counsel, whether the articles were certain and particular enough to receive an answer. He moved likewise, that if he must put in a new answer, his former might be taken off the file; and that they would please to distinguish which articles were treason, and which misdemeanour. But the lords rejected all his motions, and ordered him to put in his peremptory answer to the original articles of the commons by the 22d instant, which he did accordingly, to this effect :
“ As to the 13th article, concerning the troubles in Scotland, and all actions, attempts, assistance, counsel, or device, relating thereto, this defendant pleadeth the late act of oblivion, he being none of the persons excepted by the said act, nor are any of the offences charged upon this defendant excepted by the said act.
“ And as to all the other articles, both original and additional, this defendant, saving to himself all advantages of exception to the said articles, humbly saith, that he is not guilty of all or any the matters, by the said articles charged, in such manner and form as the same are by the said articles charged against him.”
The trial was deferred all the month of February, as the archbishop insinuates, because Mr. Prynne was not ready with his witnesses. When it came on, lord Grey of Werk, speaker of the house of lords, was appointed president; but the archbishop complains, that there were seldom more than sixteen or eighteen peers at a time. The managers for the commons were, Mr. Serjeant Wild, and Mr. Maynard, Mr. Brown, Mr. Nicolas, and Mr. Hill, whom the archbishop calls consul bibulus, because he said nothing ; their solicitor was Mr. Prynne, the archbishop's grand enemy. His grace's counsel were, Mr. Hern, Mr. Hales, Mr. Chute, Mr. Gerard; and his solicitor was his own secretary, Mr. Dell. The trial was depending almost five months, in which time the archbishop was heard twenty days, with as much liberty and freedom of speech as could be reasonably desired. When he complained of the seizure of his papers, the lords ordered him a copy of all such as were necessary for his defence; and when he acquainted them, that by reason of the sequestration of his estate, he was incapable of feeing his counsel, they moved the committee of sequestrations in his favour, who ordered him 2001. His counsel had free access to him at all times, and stood by to advise him during the whole of his trial.
The method of proceeding was this; the archbishop had three or four days' notice of the day of his appearance, and of the articles they designed to proceed on; he was brought to the bar about ten in the morning, and the managers were till one making good their charge; the house then adjourned till four, when the archbishop made his defence, after which one of the managers
Wharton's History of Archbishop Laud's Troubles, p. 214, 215.
replied, and the archbishop returned to the Tower between seven and eight of the clock in the evening.
It is unhappy that this remarkable trial, which contains the chief heads of controversy between the Puritans and the hierarchy, was not published by order of the house of peers, that the world might have seen the arguments on both sides in their full strength. Mr. Prynne, by order of the house of commons, has given us their evidence to that branch of the charge which relates to religion, and the archbishop has left behind him his own defence on every day's hearing, mixed with keen and satirical reflections on his adversaries ; but these being detached performances, I have endeavoured to reduce the most material passages into a proper method, without confining myself to the exact order of time in which the articles were debated.
All the articles may be reduced to these three general heads.
First, “ That the archbishop had traitorously attempted and endeavoured to subvert the rights of parliament, and to exalt the king's power above law.
Secondly, “That he had traitorously endeavoured to subvert the fundamental temporal laws and government of the realm of England, and to introduce an arbitrary government against law and the liberties of the subject.
Thirdly, " That he had traitorously endeavoured, and practised, to alter and subvert God's true religion by law established in this realm, and instead thereof to set up Popish superstition and idolatry, and to reconcile us to the church of Rome.”
The trial began March 12, 1643–4, when Mr. Serjeant Wild, one of the managers of the house of commons, opened the impeachment with a smart speech, in which he stated and aggravated the several crimes charged upon the archbishop, and concluded with comparing him to Naaman the Syrian, who was a great man, but a leper.
The archbishop, in his reply, endeavours to wipe off the aspersions that were cast upon him, in a laboured speech which he held in his hand. He says, “ It was no less than a torment to him to appear in that place, and plead for himself on that occasion, because he was not only a Christian but a clergyman, and by God's grace advanced to the greatest place this church affords. He blessed God that he was neither ashamed to live, nor afraid to die; that he had been as strict an observer of the laws of his country, both in public and private, as any man whatsoever; and as for religion, that he had been a steady member of the church of England as established by law, which he had endeavoured to reduce to decency, uniformity, and beauty, in the outward face of it; but he had been as far from attempting any alterations in favour of Popery, as when his mother first bore him into the world : and letnothing be spoken but truth (says he) and I do here challenge whatsoever is between heaven and hell, that can be said against me in point of my VOL. II.