Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 4, 1644-1646. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Die Jovis, 5 Martii, 1645.
Resolved, &c. That Twenty Pounds be bestowed upon the Captain that brought the News of taking in CorseCastle; and Ten Pounds upon the Messenger that brought the News thereof: And that it be referred to the Committee of the West, to give Order for the Payment thereof accordingly.
Ordered, That Five Pounds be bestowed upon the Messenger that brought the News of beating off the Enemy from Abingdon: And that it be referred to the Committee of the Three Counties of Oxon, Bucks, and Berks, to give Order for the speedy Payment of this Five Pounds accordingly.
Ordered, That the House do take into Consideration the Business of the Great Seal of England, How and in whose Hands the same shall be intrusted, between the Hours of Ten and Twelve To-morrow Morning: And that Mr. Speaker do put the House in mind hereof.
Ordered, That an Ordinance be brought in To-morrow Morning, for raising a monthly Sum upon the County of Derby, for Payment of their Forces; with like Powers and Authorities as are contained in an Ordinance of the Six-and-twentieth of May 1645.
Ordered, That it be referred to the Committee of Lords and Commons for the Admiralty and Cinque-Ports, forthwith to give Order for a convenient Number of Shipping to attend the Western Coasts, for the better Securing of those Parts, and for preventing the Landing of any Foreign Forces there.
Upon Sir William Lewes his Report from the Committee of Lords and Commons for the Admiralty and Cinque-Ports, concerning some Commanders of Ships, whose Approbation was respited, till they were further considered of by the said Committee;
|Mr. Holles,||Tellers for the Yea:||71.|
|Sir Philip Stapleton,||With the Yea,|
|Mr. Nath. Fiennes,||Tellers for the Noe:||105.|
|Sir John Evelyn, Wiltes,||With the Noe,|
The Ordinance concerning Church-Government was put to the Question; and, upon the Question, passed; and ordered to be sent unto the Lords for their Concurrence: And that the Members of the whole House do accompany this Message to the Lords: And Mr. Holles is appointed to carry it to the Lords.
THE Lords and Commons, assembled in Parliament, being very sensible of the great Duty which lieth upon them to settle Matters concerning Religion, and the Worship of Almighty God; and having continually before their Eyes the Covenant which they have so solemnly taken for the Performance thereof, and the manifold Motives and Encouragements thereunto which are given them from God himself, by a special Hand of Providence pouring forth daily Mercies upon them; in Discharge of their Duty, and in pursuance of the said Covenant, and in Thankfulness to God for all his Mercies, having diligently applied themselves to that Work of his House; by his Grace and Assistance, they have made some Progress therein, notwithstanding the Exigency of other Affairs, accompanied oftentimes with great and imminent Dangers; and notwithstanding the great Difficulty of the Work itself, in divers respects, and particularly in the right jointing of what was to be settled with the Laws and Government of the Kingdom; the Want whereof hath caused much Trouble in this and other States: Yet, by the merciful Assistance of God, having removed the Book of Common-Prayer, with all its unnecessary and burdensome Ceremonies, and established the Directory in the room thereof; and having abolished the Prelatical Hierarchy by Archbishops, Bishops, and their Dependents; and, instead thereof, laid the Foundation of a Presbyterial Government in every Congregation, with Subordination to Classical, Provincial, and National Assemblies, and of them all to the Parliament; although it cannot be expected, that a present Rule, in every Particular, should be settled all at once; but that there will be need of Supplements and Additions, and haply also of Alterations in some Things, as Experience shall bring to Light the Necessity thereof; yet were the Fundamentals, and substantial Parts of that Government long since settled in Persons, by and over whom it was to be exercised; and the Nature, Extent, and respective Subordination of their Power was limited and defined: Only, concerning the Administration of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, How all such Persons as were guilty of notorious and scandalous Offences might be suspended from it, some Difficulty arising, not so much in the Matter itself, as in the Manner, How it should be done, and who should be the Judges of the Offence; the Lords and Commons having it always in their Purpose and Intention, and it being accordingly declared and resolved by them, That all Sorts of notorious scandalous Offenders should be suspended from the Sacrament; for the Preventing of an indefinite and unlimited Power in the Elderships, they held it fit, for the present, that the particular Cases of such scandalous Offences should be specified and enumerated; with express Declaration, That further Provision should be made, by Authority of Parliament, for such Cases as were left out of the said Enumeration: Which accordingly having since taken into their serious Consideration; and having had several Debates thereupon, as the Difficulty of the Matter required, which hath taken up much Time; for the avoiding, as far as possible may be, all arbitrary Power, and that all such Cases wherein Persons should be suspended from the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper might be brought to the Cognizance, and pass the Judgment of the Parliament, who were bound in Justice, as well to take care that none be injuriously detained from that Ordinance, as to give Power, whereby such may be kept away who are unfit to partake therein; and to the Intent also that a full and speedy Course may be settled to enable the several Elderships to suspend all such Offenders from the Lord's Supper, without having recourse to the Parliament itself from all Parts of the Kingdom upon every such emergent Case, which might prove troublesome and tedious, and give Liberty to such notorious and scandalous Offenders to communicate a long Space in the said Ordinance; and to the Intent likewise, that all such Cases coming first from the particular Elderships may, after they have passed the Judgment of Parliament, return again to all the several Elderships within the Kingdom, to proceed upon them, from time to time, in like manner as in the Cases enumerated: For the Ends and Purposes aforesaid; and also for Supply of some Defects in the former Ordinance and Directions of Parliament, concerning the Choice of Elders, and some other Matters;
I. Be it Ordained, That there be forthwith a Choice made of Elders throughout the Kingdom of England, and Dominion of Wales, in the respective Parish-Churches and Chapels, according to such Directions as have already passed both Houses, bearing Date August the Nineteenth 1645, and since that Time: And all Classes, and Parochial Congregations, are respectively hereby authorized and required, forthwith effectually to proceed therein accordingly.
II. That Notice of the Election of Parochial and Congregational Elders, and of the Time when it shall be, be given by the Minister, in the publick Assembly, the next Lord's Day but one before: And that, on that said Lord's Day, a Sermon be preached, preparatory to that weighty Business.
III. That such Elections shall be made by the Congregation, or the major Part of them, then assembled, being such as have taken the National Covenant, and are not Persons under Age, nor Servants that have no Families.
IV. That the Tryers of Elections of Elders shall have Power to receive, hear, and determine, all Exceptions brought in to them concerning undue Elections; and, to that End, to call before them all such Persons so elected, and accepting such Election; and to send for such Witnesses as shall be nominated unto them, by such Persons as shall bring in such Exceptions: And shall have Power to examine, upon Oath, both the Persons bringing in such Exceptions, and the said Witnesses, concerning any undue Proceedings in the Manner of the said Election, and concerning all Matters of Ignorance or Scandal objected against the Party elected, and expressed in any Ordinance of Parliament to be a sufficient Cause of Suspension from the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and of which any Eldership, by any Ordinance of Parliament, hath Cognizance and Jurisdiction, and that shall be proved to have been committed within one whole Year before the Exceptions exhibited: And that the Persons, against whom the Exceptions are taken, shall have like Liberty to produce Witnesses, to be examined in like manner on their Behalf.
VI. That, in case the Election of any Elder of a Congregation, upon just Proof and Examination, be found, by the Tryers appointed for that Purpose, to be unduly made; the said Tryers may order such Elder to be removed, and another to be chosen in his place.
XI. That the Classical Assemblies in each Province shall assemble themselves within One Month after they shall be constituted, and this Ordinance published; and shall thenceforth hold their Meetings monthly by Adjournment, or oftener, if need be, in such a certain Place, as shall be most convenient for the Ease of the People.
XIII. That all Persons, guilty of notorious and scandalous Offences, and more particularly all Renouncers of the true Protestant Religion, prosessed in the Church of England; and all Persons that shall, by Preaching or Writing, maintain any such Errors as do subvert any of those Articles, the Ignorance whereof do render any Person excluded from the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper; and all Persons that shall make any Images or Pictures of the Trinity, or of any Person thereof; and all Persons in whom Malice appears, and they refuse to be reconciled; and the same appearing upon just Proof; all such Persons may be suspended from the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
XIV. That, in every Province, Persons shall be chosen by the Houses of Parliament, that shall be Commissioners to judge of scandalous Offences (not enumerated in any Ordinance of Parliament) to them presented: And that the Eldership of that Congregation, where the said Offence was committed, shall, upon Examination and Proof of such scandalous Offence (in like manner as is to be done in the Offences enumerated), certify the same to the Commissioners, together with the Proof taken before them: And, before the said Certificate, the Party accused shall have Liberty to make such Defence as he shall think fit before the said Eldership, and also before the Commissioners, before any Certificate shall be made to the Parliament: And if the said Commissioners, after Examination of all Parties, shall determine the Offence, so presented and proved, to be scandalous, and the same shall certify to the Congregation; the Eldership thereof may suspend such Person from the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, in like manner as in Cases enumerated in any Ordinance of Parliament.
XV. That such Persons as shall be chosen for Commissioners to judge of notorious and scandalous Offences as aforesaid, shall be Men of good Understanding in Matters of Religion, sound in the Faith, prudent, discreet, grave, and of unblameable Conversation, and such as do usually receive the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, as Members of a Presbyterial Congregation.
XVI. That if any Person shall commit any scandalous Offence (not enumerated in any Ordinance of Parliament) upon the Day of the Administration of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, in the Face of the Congregation, after it is assembled; the Minister of that Congregation may forbear to administer the Sacrament to such a Person for that Time: And he shall, within Eight Days after, certify the said Offence and Forbearance unto the Commissioners aforesaid: And, upon Certificate so made, the said Commissioners shall proceed thereupon, as in other Cases not enumerated; and shall make Certificate of the Case or Cases, with their Opinions, to both Houses of Parliament, with all Speed: And, thereupon, the Parliament shall proceed to a final Determination of the Case; and send the same Determination thereof to the Parish where such Offence shall have been committed: And, as often as the like Case shall fall out in any Congregation, the Eldership thereof, having notice of such Determination, shall proceed thereupon, as in case of Offences enumerated in any Ordinance of Parliament.
XVII. That the said Commissioners (upon Notice given to them, or any Two of them, of any Case of Scandal befallen, whereof they ought to have Cognizance by virtue of any Ordinance of Parliament), shall assemble themselves in such certain Place, within that Province, as may be most convenient for the Ease of the People; and thereof shall give timely Notice to the Ministers of that Province, whereof they are Commissioners; and, being met, shall adjourn their Meeting, from time to time, for such time as the Case shall require.
XVIII. That the Eldership of each Congregation, or the major Part of them, as also the Classis of each Province, or major Part of them, and also the Provincial Commissioners, or major Part of them, after they shall be assembled, shall have Power, by Warrant under their Hands, in all Cases whereof they have Cognizance, by any Ordinance of Parliament, to convent before them all Persons, against whom any Complaint shall be brought by virtue of any such Ordinance; and all such Witnesses as shall be named, according to any such Ordinance, for the Discovery of the Truth of any such Complaint: And, in case any such Person shall refuse to appear, not being a Peer of this Realm, Member of he House of Commons, or Assistant of the House of Peers, or Officer of the House of Parliament, then, upon Complaint made to the next Justice of the Peace, the Party refusing shall be brought before him; and, in case of obstinate Persisting, shall be committed by the said Justice of Peace, till he submit to Order.
XIX. That if any Member of a Congregation shall, by virtue of any Ordinance of Parliament, for any Offence of Scandal, be suspended from the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper; and, being so suspended, shall offer himself to any other Congregation to receive the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper together with them; such Congregation, having notice of such Suspension, shall not, without Certificate from the Congregation whereof he is a Member, admit him unto the Sacrament.
XX. That any Minister of a Congregation may be suspended from giving or receiving, and any Elder from receiving the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, for the same Causes, and in the same Manner, and have like Benefits of Appeal, as any other Person may by any Ordinance of Parliament: And, after such Suspension of the Elder from the Sacrament, the Elder, so suspended, shall not execute that Office during his Suspension, until the Appeal be determined: And if, upon the Appeal, the Suspension appear to have been just, then another to be chosen in his place.
XXI. That, in all Cases of Appeal to the Classical, Provincial, or National Assembly, they shall have Power respectively to proceed thereupon by Examination of Witnesses, and otherwise, in such manner as the Congregational Eldership, from which the Appeal ariseth, are enabled to do by any Ordinance of Parliament; and shall certify such their Proceedings unto the said Eldership.
XXII. That, in case of such Suspension of any Minister, the Classis whereunto the said Congregation doth belong, shall appoint some fit Person or Persons for the Supply of that Place during such Suspension; and shall have Power to allow convenient Maintenance for that End, out of the Profits belonging to the Minister so suspended: And have hereby Power to sequester and employ the same for that Purpose.
XXIII. That, in all Cases of Suspension of any Person from the Sacrament, the Party suspended (upon Manifestation of his or her Repentance, before the Eldership by whom the Party was suspended) shall be admitted again unto the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper; and the Suspension thenceforth shall be void. Provided, That, if the said Commissioners, or any Two of them, shall not determine the Case so certified, as aforesaid, to them from the Eldership, within Six Weeks after the Certificate to them made; the Party is hereby injoined to forbear comeing to the Sacrament, until the Cause shall be determined, or until he give Satisfaction to the Eldership.