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CHAPTER IS. THE VISITATION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OTPORD. STATE OF
RELIGION AT THE END OF THE YEAR 156. SAD and deplorabe ras she cocon of the citesiy of Oxford
ko it ftiirto the basds of the per azer; the con segas and han's were goce to rin, ive of the perfecus deserted, and the rest in a very slattered coco Tbe pose ats bad been discontinued for some years, be schocis vere tuned into soagazines for the az's arcy, and the cibersed with cers and sobers, or is to #65-02: ta<TE FE Se De Druction for you. Bu bares the secí a univer: poverty.desoiation, ani pioder, tre sad zas of war, were :3 be ea in every curta : tzbunares Sere en goed op te poba DOCET. the plate Leired doua fie the lists arrice, asi :re cage is ruired in debes ehkn they were dit abie to santy: there were few beads of cages or As recanz, ecco se s tere streg prejuced agaisst the pari rent, Caring es wredbeir wis during the course of the war, in writing weeks Dercuries, sod satirical panpicts in with they aspersed the proceedings of the two houses, and treated their divides as the most icíamous ignorant, and bspoerteai traitors; Dor were their tempers in the least softened, though their lives and fortunes were in the hands of their adversaries. It was therefore though: Decessary to put the education of youth into such hands as te parimat could confide in, a power being reserved for that purpose in the articles of surrender.
But before they proceeded to estrer:es, the two buses, about the begizning of September 1646, appointed eren of their most popular divines to repair to Oxford, with authority to preach in ans pulpits of the university for six mooths, in order to soften the spiriis of the people *, and give them a better opinion of their cause, viz. the reverend Mr. Robert Harris. of Hanwell, Oxford shire: Mr. Edward Retsuits, afterward biscop of Norwich: Nr. Henry WISDNo. of Magdalen-conge; Mr. Francis Cheynel, Nr. Edward Corbet, of Mertoo-coi.cge: Mr. Henry Cornish, of New-lon, and Mr. Henry Larzier, of Pembroke-coliege: men of reputation and character , sober dvibes and popular preachers, though A. Wood, the Oxford historian, is pieased to say, - Their sermons were the contempt and sword of the university, because
• Saff. Cler. p. 125. + Dr. Grey would impened the truth of this ealeginum, and refers to Anthony Food to support his envious reiectwas on these men. The names and chara ters of Mr. Robert Harris. Dr. Reywita MF Cheynel, and Mr. Cerbet, wil again come before the reader in Mr. Neal's best volume and we would refer him to Dr. Calams Palmer's Nonconformist's Memorial, for biograpày.-50.
they were too long and had too little learning; because they prayed very coldly for the king, but were very earnest for a blessing upon the councils and arms of the parliament, and did not always conclude with the Lord's prayer; because they reflected on some of the heads of the university, calling them dumb dogs, having a form of religion without the power; and, because their manner of delivery was rather theatrical than serious : nevertheless, their auditories were crowded, though none of the heads of colleges or senior scholars attended."
The ministers were very diligent in the discharge of their trust, preaching twice every Lord's day; and that they might gain the affections of the people, set up a weekly conference every Thursday, in which they proposed to solve such objections as should be raised against their new confession of faith and discipline, and to answer any other important cases in divinity : the question or case was to be propounded the week before, that it might be well considered ; a moderator also was appointed to keep order, who began and concluded with a short prayer, and the whole was conducted with decency and gravity * But several of the scholars ridiculed their proceedings, and by way of contempt called their place of meeting, the scruple shop ; however, it was frequented by great numbers of people, some of whom were prevailed with to renounce the Oxford oath ; and others to take the solemn league and covenant. They met with some little disturbance from one Erbury, a turbulent Antinomian, and chaplain in the garrison ; but upon the whole, when the ministers returned to London, they declared, the citizens shewed them a great deal of respect, although the university poured all the contempt upon them imaginable, so that they apprehended themselves to have the same lot as Saint Paul bad at Athens, Acts xvii. 32, 34, “Some mocked them, others slighted them, but certain clave to them, and believed 7.*
There being no prospect of reforming the university by these methods, the two houses resolved to proceed upon a visitation, which they apprehended they might undertake without the king, by virtue of the fourteenth article of their recapitulation, which says that the chancellor, masters, and scholars, of the university, and all heads, governors, masters, fellows, and scholars, of the colleges, halls, bodies corporate, and societies, of the said university, and the public professors, readers, and orators, thereof, und all other persons belonging to the said university, shall and may, according to their statutes, charters, and customs, enjoy their ancient form of government, subordinate to the immediate autre rity and power of parliament, and that all the rights, prusisyo, franchises, lands, tenements, houses, rents, resetu«. ****, debts, goods, and chattels, &c. belonging w the band utestly, all led for them reseptively as aforesaid, free from
• Suff. Cler. p. 125. Minist, Accouat, p 5 † Minist. Account, p. 52.
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members, or officers, have committed any of the offences above mentioned, and the quality and condition of the offenders, that such farther proceedings may be had thereupon as the committee of lords and commons shall think fit. The visitors are farther empowered to examine and consider all such oaths as are enjoined by the statutes of the university, or any of the halls and colleges, as are not fit to be taken, and present their opinion to the committee above mentioned ; provided always, that if any of the masters, scholars, fellows, &c. shall find themselves aggrieved by any sentence given by the visitors, it shall be lawful for them to appeal to the committee of lords and commons, who are authorised finally to hear and determine every such case brought before them.”
Before the visitation could take place the vice-chancellor, Dr. Fell, summoned a convocation (June 1], wherein it was agreed not to submit to the parliament-visitors. A paper of reasons against the covenant", the negative oath, and the directory, drawn up chiefly by Dr. Sanderson, was also consented to, and ordered to be published to the world both in Latin and English, against the time the visitors were to come down, under the title of “ Reasons of the present judgment of the university of Oxford, concerning the solemn league and covenant, the negative oath, and the ordinances concerning discipline and worship, approved by general consent in a full convocation, June 1, 1647;" an abstract of which I shall now set before the reader t. To the Preface of the Covenant (transcribed under the
year 1643]. They declare, “ We cannot say the rage, power, and prescartion, of the enemies of God (in the sense there intended) are icreased. Nor that we have consented to any supplication ar remonstrance to the purposes therein expressed. We iu ut think the taking the covenant to be a lawful and probabie nens to preserve ourselves and our religion from ruín: jur ia believe it to be according to the commendable prices of the kingdoms, or the example of God's people in other mutis
To the CovenaNT IN GENERAL “We are of opinion, that a covenant cogir Tri Tuuntary contract, and not imposed. Now we cannot tumantir umsen to this covenant without betraying our Femmes sens not to be obliged to take any oath bet riut $ $i ir **
Dr. Sanderson methodized and put into tom - - - added what referred to reason and conscience Zouch, a civilian. But, on the whole, want use university, were concerned in this compass 22 don, afterward archbishop of Cantar par. Ir. Ing. ) Dr. Morley, afterward bishop of Wincheste. - p. 78, 79.- Ep. + Bp. Sanderson's Life, Appendiis. . VOL. II.
of parliament; and without acknowledging in the imposers a grwter power than has been challenged in former time, or can subsist with our former protestation. But if the covenant were me imprast, but only recommended, we apprehend the taking it to le incunsistent with our loralty to the king, especially since he has by praw lamation forbid it." ORKTOPS TO THE SEVERAL ARTICLES OF THE COVENANT.
To the first Article "We can swaar te pasure the region of another king
SW!, where we have vet Ezile understanding, which, ** for en we waiwaii, is much worse than our own in *** gunni, god a doctrine not at all haya mata are se far tending to supersti*1: 22 wms Tuant us that we should call
maria we should be bound to preserve