Diary of Thomas Burton Esq: Volume 4, March - April 1659. Originally published by H Colburn, London, 1828.
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Saturday, April 2, 1659. (fn. 1)
Mr. Grove reported from the Committee to whom it was referred to prepare a Declaration of the grounds and reasons for setting apart a day of fasting and public humiliation, the draught of a Declaration setting forth the grounds and reasons thereof. (fn. 2)
Yeas 104. Mr. Bishop and — (fn. 3), Tellers.
Sir Henry Vane. I doubt this fast will not answer your ends; therefore I am against the fast, upon, the grounds propounded. It will be but an hypocritical fast. We have been but beating the bush all this while; but making essays as to recognizing the Chief Magistrate. This imposition upon consciences is, I fear, the setting up of that which you always. cried out against, and disowned for your cause. I would know what the settlement is.
Mr. Onslow. This is but to amuse us, where no fear is. We know whose work it is. There is not a word of coercion in the Declaration. (fn. 4) I wish we could have seen some instance. I hope those that speak against the thing, will be more unanimous in keeping the day. The objection being so general, I can only give a general answer, that there is no such thing. If I had heard of particulars, I should have answered them. I know no reproach that it deserves.
Colonel Briscoe. I am at present against this programme; but not for the reasons offered. The business is good; and the better, the more expedition it ought to have; but you have not agreed about the manner of transacting. It will ask you a great deal of time.
Lord Marquis Argyle. It is a maxim in the Church of Scotland, that ministers shall not meddle in civil affairs. The Constitution of Scotland is against requiring the minister to read the Declaration. If he cause it to be read, as Mr. Swin. fen moved, it is all one.
Mr. Broughton. Qui per alium, per se, fecit. You will have some men that haply will not be so active in reading this, as too many things that we have passed. Finis operis, finis operantis. I leave it to you to judge by what impulse they brought it in. (fn. 5) Peace ought mainly to be aimed at. Impose it not, but leave it to their discretions. Twenty times I beseech you, be tender, and do not impose upon gracious spirits. I know what it is to have peace with God.
Major-general Kelsey. If it pass as it does, it will dissatisfy the ministers of Scotland; They allow no fast that passes originally from the Chief Magistrate. They own no thing of imposition from the Magistrate. Never was a fast kept in Scotland since the Union. If it go, as thus worded, I question how agreeable it will be to the three nations.
Mr. Godfrey. To make a minister a publisher of laws, is to make him a civil officer. The minister's commission is to "go teach all nations." (fn. 6) To clap any more upon him, is to lay a weight upon him, and expose him to snares.
Colonel Birch. That gentleman has most reason to know the grounds of the Covenant. (fn. 7) I am content to satisfy all parlies. Instead of "require," I would have "recommend."
Lord Marquis Argyle. I should be glad that this question might be a healing question among us. The end of the Covenant is that we may be one, according to the word of God, and the best reformed churches.
I believe the reading the Declaration will not be much scrupled, so long as the matter pleases. If it be left free, it will prove a loose business. Put in constables, churchwardens, and other officers.
Mr. Neville. I would not have the Church of Scotland imposed upon, and I desire the like favour for England. Some private congregations would be torn in pieces with wild horses, rather than read this Declaration.
Sir James Mac Dowel. If the word "require" be suitable for England, it will be so for Scotland. If they scruple not the thing, there will be no falling out about the word. I would, to satisfy all, have the word "recommend." I wish all the ministers of the three nations were of one mind.
Major Beake. You have a magisterial coercion. Words safer are not suitable to you. These words have been in former Declarations for Scotland, and no complaint has been made. The words have not been impeached. I would have the word "require" stand.
It was an ill wipe to Mr. Grove who brought in the Declaration; but was a base thing, in that Sir Henry Vane was also of that Committee, (fn. 8) and might as well have looked to that clause to be inserted.
Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper. This is a matter of that consequence, that it ought not to be passed by without your notification. (fn. 9)