Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 7, 1651-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Friday, the 11th of February, 1652.
ORDERED, That the Business of the Northern Officers be taken up on Thursday Sevennight.
Thanks to Salwey.
Mr. Speaker, according to former Order, did give Thanks of the Parliament to Major Salwey, one of the Commissioners for the Admiralty and Navy, for his great Service in managing the Affairs of the Navy.
The Question being put, That the Bill for Relief of the Poor, be now read;
The House was divided.
The Yeas went forth.
|Sir John Danvers,||Tellers for the Yeas:||26.|
|Mr. Solicitor,||With the Yeas:|
|Sir Arthure Heselrig,||Tellers for the Noes:||35.|
|Colonel Lister,||With the Noes:|
So it passed with the Negative.
Resolved, That the Council of State do take Order, that the Votes of Parliament touching the Fast be sent down speedily to the Sheriffs of the several Counties, to be dispersed to the Ministers of the several Places within the several Counties.
Propagating the Gospel.
Mr. Scott reports from the Committee appointed to receive Proposals for the Propagation of the Gospel, several Proposals tendered unto that Committee; whereof the first was, with some Variation, made by the Committee, upon Debate had with the Proposers, and Ten others, in terminis, as they were presented by the Proposers; save only in the Tenth Proposal, next after the Word "Gospel," these Words were thought fit to be added by the Committee; viz. "and other Religious Exercises there;" and in the Close of it these Words, "Provided that this Liberty be not understood, to exempt Persons profanely, or otherwise wickedly, employed in the Time of the said Exercises."
And the Proposals, thus reported, were in these Words:
1. That Persons of Godliness and Gifts, of the Universities, and others, though not ordained, may be admitted to preach the Gospel, and receive the publick Maintenance, being approved when they are called thereunto.
2. That no Person shall be admitted to Trial and Approbation, unless he bring a Testimonial of his Piety and Soundness in the Faith, under the Hands of Six godly Ministers and Christians, gathered together for that End and Purpose, unto whom he is personally known; of which Number, Two at the least, to be Ministers.
3. That a certain Number of Persons, Ministers, and others of Eminency, and known Ability and Godliness, be appointed to sit in every County to examine, judge, and approve all such Persons, as, being called to preach the Gospel, have received Testimonials as above; and, in case there shall not be found a competent Number of such Persons in the same County, that others of One or more neighbour Counties be joined to them.
4. That Care be taken for removing the Residue of Ministers, who are ignorant, scandalous, Non-Residents, or Disturbers of the publick Peace; and likewise of all Schoolmasters, who shall be found Popish, scandalous, or disaffected to the Government of this Commonwealth.
5. That, to this End, a Number of Persons, Ministers, and others of eminent Piety, Zeal, Faithfulness, Ability, and Prudence, be appointed by Authority of Parliament, to go through the Nation, to inquire after, examine, judge of, and eject all such Persons as shall be found unfit for the Ministry, or teaching Schools, being such as above are described.
6. That, for the expediting this Work, these Persons may be assigned in several Companies, or Committees, to the Six Circuits of the Nation, to reside in each of the Counties, for such a convenient Space of Time as shall be requisite, until the Work be done; calling to their Assistance, in their respective Circuits, such godly and able Persons, Ministers, and others, in each of the Counties where they shall then reside, to assist them in this Work, as they shall think fit: That these Persons, so sent and commissionated, may be impowered, before they shall depart out of each County, to return, and to represent, to the Parliament, the Names of fit and sufficient Persons, Ministers, and others, to be appointed Approvers of such as shall be called to preach the Gospel in such Counties; and that, in the mean time, the Persons so commissionated as aforesaid, shall have Power, while they reside in each County, to examine, judge, and approve of such Persons, as, having a Call to preach the Gospel in such County, shall upon such Testimonial, as aforesaid, offer themselves to such Examination.
7. That it be proposed, that the Parliament be pleased to take some speedy and effectual Course, either by impowering the Persons in the several Counties, to Le appointed for Trial and Approbation of such Persons as shall be called to preach the Gospel there, or in such other way as they shall think fit, for the uniting and dividing of Parishes in the several Counties and Cities within this Commonwealth, in reference to the preaching the Gospel there, saving the Civil Rights and Privileges of each Parish.
8. That the Ministers, so sent forth and established, be enjoined and required to attend the solemn Worship of God, in Prayer, Reading, and Preaching the Word, Catechising, expounding the Scriptures; and, as Occasion shall require, visiting the Sick, and instructing from House to House; residing amongst the People to whom they are sent, and using all Care and Diligence, by all Ways and Means, to win Souls unto Christ.
9. That, as it is desired, That no Persons be required to receive the Sacraments, further than their Light shall lead them unto, so no Person sent forth to preach, and already placed, or which shall be placed, in any Parish within this Nation, be compelled to administer the Sacraments to any but such as he shall approve of, as fit for the same.
10. That a Law may be provided, That all Persons whatsoever, within this Nation, be required to attend unto the publick Preaching of the Gospel, and other religious Exercises there every Lord's Day, in Places commonly allowed, and usually called Churches, except such Persons as, through Scruple of Conscience, do abstain from those Assemblies; provided that this Liberty be not understood to exempt Persons profanely, or otherwise wickedly, employed in the Time of the said Exercises.
11. That whereas divers Persons are not satisfied to come to the Publick Places of hearing the Word upon this Account, That those Places were dedicated and consecrated; that the Parliament will be pleased to declare, That such Places are made use of, and continued, only for the better Conveniency of Persons meeting together for the publick Worship of God, and upon no other Consideration.
He also acquaints the House, that there were some other Proposals in the same Paper, which were resolved at the Committee not be reported.
Resolved, That the Remainder of that Paper of Proposals be reported to the House.
Which were accordingly reported; and were as followeth:
12. That all Persons dissenting to the Doctrine and Way of Worship, owned by the State, or consenting thereunto, and yet not having the Advantage or Opportunity of some of the Publick Meeting-Places, commonly called Churches, be required to meet (if they have any constant Meeting) in Places publickly known, and to give Notice unto some Magistrate of such their Place of ordinary Meetings.
13. That this honourable Committee be desired to propose to the Parliament, That such who do not receive, but oppose, those Principles of Christian Religion, without the Acknowlegement whereof the Scriptures do clearly and plainly affirm, that Salvation is not to be obtained (as those formerly complained of by the Ministers), may not be suffered to preach or promulgate any thing in Opposition unto such Principles.
And further, That the Parliament be humbly desired to take some speedy and effectual Course for the utter suppressing of that abominable Cheat of Judicial Astrology; whereby the Minds of Multitudes are corrupted, and turned aside, from Dependency upon the Providence of God, to put their Trust in the Lyes of Men, and Delusions of Satan.
February 18th, 1651.
We, whose Names are subscribed, do, with others, humbly desire, That these Proposals be presented to the Right honourable Parliament.
Resolved, That on this Day Fortnight the House do take into Consideration what Duty lies on the Magistrate for the Propagation of the Gospel; and by what Means he ought to proceed in it.
The House, according to former Order, adjourned itself to Tuesday Morning next, Eight of Clock.