Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 11, 1660-1666. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Veneris, 9 die Novembris.
Queen of Bohemia returns Thanks for Her Present.
The Lord Chancellor signified to the House, "That he had received a Letter from the Queen of Bohemia, obliging him to return to their Lordships Thanks from Her, for the Present which She received from their Lordships."
Bill to confirm Marriages.
Their Lordships, or any Five; to meet in the Prince's Lodgings, on Monday next, at Three of the Clock in the Afternoon; and have Power to adjourn themselves, from Time to Time, as they shall see Cause.
L. Arrundell's Bill.
The Earl of Dorsett reported from the Committee, the Bill of the Lord Arrundell, as fit to pass, with some Alterations and (fn. 1) Amendments; which, being read Twice, were approved of; and ORDERED, That the said Bill be ingrossed, with those Amendments and Alterations.
Bill for mending the Streets and Highways.
The King's Declaration concerning Ecclesiastical Affairs.
The Lord Robertes took Notice of a Declaration of His Majesty concerning Ecclesiastical Affairs, published in Print in the Time of the Adjournment of the Parliament; and moved the same might be read: Which was accordingly done. (Here enter it.)
And their Lordships conceived this Declaration to be of so great Grace and Public Concernment, that it was ordered, that this House should wait upon the King in a Body, and return His Majesty Thanks for the same. And the Lord Chamberlain is appointed to attend His Majesty, and know His Pleasure both for the Time, and Place.
Report concerning the Congratulation of the Queen on Her Return.
The King's Declaration concerning Ecclesiastical Affairs.
(fn. 2) "His Majesty's Declaration to all His loving Subjects, of His Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales, concerning Ecclesiastical Affairs.
"How much the Peace of the State is concerned in the Peace of the Church, and how difficult a Thing it is to preserve Order and Government in Civil, whilst there is no Order or Government in Ecclesiastical Affairs, is evident to the World; and this little Part of the World, Our own Dominions, hath had so late Experience of it, that We may very well acquiesce in the Conclusion, without enlarging Ourself in Discourse upon it; it being a Subject We have had frequent Occasion to contemplate upon, and to lament, Abroad as well as at Home.
"In Our Letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons from Breda, We declared how much We desired the Advancement and Propagation of the Protestant Religion; that neither the Unkindness of those of the same Faith towards Us, nor the Civilities and Obligations from those of a contrary Profession (of both which We have had abundant Evidence), could in the least Degree startle Us, or make Us swerve from it; and that nothing can be proposed to manifest Our Zeal and Affection for it, to which We will not readily consent: And We said then, that We did hope in due Time Ourself to propose somewhat for the Propagation of it, that will satisfy the World that We have always made it both Our Care and Our Study, and have enough observed what is most like to bring Disadvantage to it. And the Truth is, We do think Ourself the more competent to propose, and with God's Assistance to determine, many Things now in Difference, from the Time We have spent, and the Experience We have had, in most of the Reformed Churches abroad, in France, in The Low Countries, and in Germany, where We have had frequent Conferences with the most learned Men, who have unanimously lamented the great Reproach the Protestant Religion undergoes from the Distempers and too notorious Schisms in Matters of Religion in England. And, as the most learned amongst them have always with great Submission and Reverence acknowledged and magnified the established Government of the Church of England, and the great Countenance and Shelter the Protestant Religion received from it before these unhappy Times; so many of them have with great Ingenuity and Sorrow confessed that they were too easily misled, by Misinformation and Prejudice, into some Disesteem of it, as if it had too much complied with the Church of Rome; whereas they now acknowledge it to be the best Fence God hath yet raised against Popery in the World; and We are persuaded they do with great Zeal wish it restored to its old Dignity and Veneration.
"When We were in Holland, We were attended by many grave and learned Ministers from hence, who were looked upon as the most able and principal Assertors of the Presbyterian Opinions; with whom We had as much Conference as the Multitude of Affairs which were then upon Us would permit Us to have; and, to Our great Satisfaction and Comfort, found them Persons full of Affection to Us, of Zeal for the Peace of the Church and State, and neither Enemies (as they have been given out to be) to Episcopacy or Liturgy; but modestly to desire such Alterations in either, as, without shaking Foundations, might best allay the present Distempers, which the Indisposition of the Time, and the Tenderness of some Mens Consciences, had contracted: For the better doing whereof, We did intend, upon Our First Arrival in this Kingdom, to call a Synod of Divines, as the most proper Expedient to provide a proper Remedy for all those Differences and Dissatisfactions which had or should arise in Matters of Religion; and in the mean Time We published, in Our Declaration from Breda, a Liberty to tender Consciences, and that no Man should be disquieted or called in Question for Differences of Opinion in Matter of Religion, which do not disturb the Peace of the Kingdom; and that We shall be ready to consent to such an Act of Parliament as, upon mature Deliliberation, shall be offered to Us, for the full granting that Indulgence.
"Whilst We continued in this Temper of Mind and Resolution, and have so far complied with the Persuasion of particular Persons, and the Distemper of the Time, as to be contented with the Exercise of Our Religion in Our own Chapel, according to the constant Practice and Laws established, without enjoining that Practice, and the Observation of those Laws, in the Churches of the Kingdom; in which We have undergone the Censure of many, as if We were without that Zeal for the Church which We ought to have, and which, by God's Grace, We shall always retain; We have found Ourself not so candidly dealt with as We have deserved; and that there are unquiet and restless Spirits, who, without abating any of their own Distemper, in Recompence of the Moderation they find in Us, continue their Bitterness against the Church, and endeavour to raise Jealousies of Us, and to lessen Our Reputation by their Reproaches, as if We were not true to the Professions We have made; and, in order thereunto, they have very unseasonably caused to be printed, published, and dispersed throughout the Kingdom, a Declaration heretofore printed in Our Name during the Time of Our being in Scotland, of which We shall say no more, than that the Circumstances by which We were enforced to sign that Declaration are enough known to the World; and that the worthiest and greatest Part of that Nation did even then detest and abhor the ill Usage of Us in that Particular, when the same Tyranny was exercised there, by the Power of a few ill Men, which at that Time had spread itself over this Kingdom: And therefore We had no Reason to expect that We should at this Season, when we are doing all We can to wipe out the Memory of all that hath been done amiss by other Men, and, We thank God, have wiped it out of Our own Remembrance, have been Ourself assaulted with those Reproaches, which We will likewise forget.
"Since the Printing this Declaration, several seditious Pamphlets and Queries have been published and scattered abroad, to infuse Dislike and Jealousies into the Hearts of the People, and of the Army; and some, who ought rather to have repented the former Mischief they have wrought than to have endeavoured to improve it, have had the Hardiness to publish, that the Doctrine of the Church, against which no Man with whom We have conferred hath excepted, ought to be reformed as well as the Discipline.
"This over-passionate and turbulent Way of Proceeding, and the Impatience We find in many for some speedy Determination in these Matters, whereby the Minds of Men may be composed, and the Peace of the Church established, hath prevailed with Us to invert the Method We had proposed to Ourself; and even in order to the better calling and composing of a Synod (which the present Jealousies will hardly agree upon), by the Assistance of God's blessed Spirit, which We daily invoke and supplicate, to give some Determination Ourself to the Matters in Difference, until such a Synod may be called, as may without Passion or Prejudice give Us such farther Assistance towards a perfect Union of Affections, as well as Submission to Authority, as is necessary. And We are the rather induced to take this upon Us, by finding, upon the full Conference We have had with the learned Men of several Persuasions, that the Mischiefs under which both the Church and State do at present suffer do not result from any formed Doctrine or Conclusion which either Party maintains or avows, but from the Passion and Appetite and Interest of particular Persons, who contract greater Prejudice to each other from those Affections, than would naturally rise from their Opinions; and those Distempers must be in some Degree allayed, before the Meeting in a Synod can be attended with better Success than their Meeting in other Places, and their Discourses in Pulpits, have hitherto been; and till all Thoughts of Victory are laid aside, the humble and necessary Thoughts for the Vindication of Truth cannot be enough entertained.
"We must, for the Honour of all those of either Persuasion with whom We have conferred, declare, that the Professions and Desires of all for the Advancement of Piety and true Godliness are the same; their Professions of Zeal for the Peace of the Church, the same; of Affection and Duty to Us, the same: They all approve Episcopacy; they all approve a set Form of Liturgy; and they all disapprove and dislike the Sin of Sacrilege, and the Alienation of the Revenue of the Church. And if, upon these excellent Foundations, in Submission to which there is such a Harmony of Affections, any Superstructures should be raised, to the shaking those Foundations, and to the contracting and lessening the blessed Gift of Charity, which is a vital Part of Christian Religion; We shall think Ourself very unfortunate, and even suspect that We are defective in that Administration of Government with which God hath intrusted Us.
"We need not prosess the high Affection and Esteem We have for the Church of England as it is established by Law; the Reverence to which hath supported Us, with God's Blessing, against many Temptations: Nor do we think that Reverence in the least Degree diminished by our Condescensions, not peremptorily to insist on some Particulars of Ceremony, which, however introduced by the Piety and Devotion and Order of former Times, may not be so agreeable to the present, but may even lessen that Piety and Devotion, for the Improvement whereof they might happily be first introduced, and consequently may well be dispensed with; and We hope this charitable Compliance of Ours will dispose the Minds of all Men to a chearful Submission to that Authority, the Preservation whereof is so necessary for the Unity and Peace of the Church; and that they will acknowledge the Support of the Episcopal Authority to be the best Support of Religion, by being the best Means to contain the Minds of Men within the Rules of Government. And they who would restrain the Exercise of that Holy Function within the Rules which were observed in the primitive Times, must remember and consider, that the Ecclesiastical Power being in those blessed Times always subordinate and subject to the Civil, it was likewise proportioned to such an Extent of Jurisdiction as was most agreeable to that. And as the Sanctity and Simplicity, and Resignation of that Age, did then refer many Things to the Bishops, which the Policy of succeeding Ages would not admit, at least did otherwise provide for; so it can be no Reproach to primitive Episcopacy, if, where there have been great Alterations in the Civil Government from what was then, there have been likewise some Difference and Alteration in the Ecclesiastical, the Essence and Foundation being still preserved. And upon this Ground, without taking upon Us to censure the Government of the Church in other Countries, where the Government of the State is different from what it is here, or enlarging Ourself upon the Reasons why, whilst there was an Imagination of erecting a Democratical Government here in the State, they should be willing to continue an Aristocratical Government in the Church, it shall suffice to say, that since, by the wonderful Blessing of God, the Hearts of this whole Nation are returned to an Obedience to Monarchic Government in the State, it must be very reasonable to support that Government in the Church which is established by Law, and with which the Monarchy hath flourished through so many Ages, and which is in Truth as ancient in this Island as the Christian Monarchy thereof; and which hath always in some Respects or Degrees been enlarged or restrained, as hath been thought most conducing to the Peace and Happiness of the Kingdom; and therefore We have not the least Doubt but that the present Bishops will think the present Concessions now made by us to allay the present Distempers very just and reasonable, and will very chearfully conform themselves thereunto.
"1. We do in the First Place declare Our Purpose and Resolution is, and shall be, to promote the Power of Godliness, to encourage the Exercises of Religion both Public and Private, and to take Care that the Lord's-day be applied to Holy Exercises, without unnecessary Divertisements; and that insufficient, negligent, and scandalous Ministers be not permitted in the Church; and that, as the present Bishops are known to be Men of great and (fn. 3) exemplary Piety in their Lives, which they have manifested in their notorious and unexampled Sufferings during these late Distempers; and of great and known Sufficiency of Learning; so We shall take special Care, by the Assistance of God, to prefer no Man to that Office and Charge, but Men of Learning, Virtue, and Piety, who may be themselves the best Examples to those who are to be governed by them; and We shall expect, and provide the best We can, that the Bishops be fre quent Preachers, and that they do very often preach themselves in some Church of their Diocese, except they be hindered by Sickness or other bodily Infirmities, or some other justisiable Occasion, which shall not be thought justifiable if it be frequent.
"2. Because the Dioceses, especially some of them, are thought to be of too large Extent; We will appoint such a Number of Suffragan Bishops in every Diocese, as shall be sufficient for the due Performance of their Work.
"3. No Bishop shall ordain, or exercise any Part of Jurisdiction which appertains to the Censures of the Church, without the Advice and Assistance of the Presbyters; and no Chancellors, Commissaries, or Officials, as such, shall exercise any Act of Spiritual Jurisdiction in these Cases; (videlicet,) Excommunication, Absolution, or wherein any of the Ministry are concerned, with Reference to their Pastoral Charge. However, Our Intent and Meaning is, to uphold and maintain the Profession of the Civil Law, so far and in such Matters as it hath been of Use and Practice within Our Kingdoms and Dominions; albeit as to Excommunication, Our Will and Pleasure is, that no Chancellor, Commissary, or Official, shall decree any Sentence of Excommunication or Absolution, or be Judges, in those Things wherein any of the Ministry are concerned, as is aforesaid; nor shall the Archdeacon exercise any Jurisdiction without the Advice and Assistance of Six Ministers of his Archdeaconry, whereof Three to be nominated by the Bishop, and Three by the Election of the major Part of the Presbyters within the Archdeaconry.
"4. To the End that the Deans and Chapters may be the better fitted to afford Counsel and Assistance to the Bishops, both in Ordination and the other Offices mentioned before; We will take Care that those Preferments be given to the most learned and pious Presbyters of the Diocese; and moreover, that an equal Number (to those of the Chapter) of the most learned, pious, and discreet Presbyters of the same Diocese, annually chosen by the major Vote of all the Presbyters of that Diocese present at such Elections, shall be always advising and assisting, together with those of the Chapter, in all Ordinations, and in every Part of Jurisdiction which appertains to the Censures of the Church, and, at all other solemn and important Actions, in the Exercise of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, wherein any of the Ministry are concerned: Provided, That at all such Meetings the Number of the Ministers so elected, and those present of the Chapter, shall be equal, and not exceed one the other; and that, to make the Numbers equal, the Juniors of the exceeding Number be withdrawn, that the most antient may take Place: Nor shall any Suffragan Bishop ordain, or exercise the forementioned Offices and Acts of Spiritual Jurisdiction, but with the Advice and Assistance of a sufficient Number of the most judicious and pious Presbyters annually chosen as aforesaid within his Precincts. And Our Will is, that the great Work of Ordination be constantly and solemnly performed, by the Bishop and his aforesaid Presbytery, at the Four set Times and Seasons appointed by the Church for that Purpose.
"5. We will take Care that Confirmation be rightly and solemnly performed, by the Information, and with the Consent, of the Minister of the Place; who shall admit none to the Lord's Supper, till they have made a credible Profession of their Faith, and promised Obedience to the Will of God, according as is expressed in the Considerations of the Rubric before the Catechism; and that all possible Diligence be used for the Instruction and Reformation of scandalous Offenders, whom the Minister shall not suffer to partake of the Lord's Table, until they have openly declared themselves to have truly repented and amended their former naughty Lives, as is partly expressed in the Rubric, and more fully in the Canons: Provided, there be Place for due Appeals to superior Powers. But, besides the Suffragans and their Presbytery, every Rural Dean (those Deans, as heretofore, to be nominated by the Bishop of the Diocese), together with Three or Four Ministers of that Deanery, chosen by the major Part of all the Ministers within the same, shall meet Once in every Month, to receive such Complaints as shall be presented to them by the Ministers or Churchwardens of the respective Parishes; and also to compose all such Differences betwixt Party and Party, as shall be referred unto them by Way of Arbitration, and to convince Offenders, and reform all such Things as they find amiss, by their pastoral Reproofs and Admonitions, if they may be so reformed: And such Matters as they cannot by this pastoral and persuasive Way compose and reform, are by them to be prepared for, and presented to, the Bishop; at which Meeting, any other Ministers of that Deanery may, if they please, be present and assist. Moreover, the Rural Dean and his Assistants are, in their respective Divisions, to see that the Children and younger Sort be carefully instructed, by the respective Ministers of every Parish, in the Grounds of Christian Religion, and be able to give a good Account of their Faith and Knowledge, and also of their Christian Conversation conformable thereunto, before they be confirmed by the Bishop, or admitted to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
"7. We are very glad to find that all with whom We have conferred do in their Judgements approve a Liturgy, or set Form of Public Worship, to be lawful; which, in Our Judgement, for the Preservation of Unity and Uniformity, We conceive to be very necessary; and though We do esteem the Liturgy of the Church of England, contained in the Book of Common Prayer, and by Law established, to be the best We have seen; and We believe that We have seen all that are extant and used in this Part of the World, and well know what Reverence most of the Reformed Churches, or at least the most learned Men in those Churches, have for it; yet, since We find some Exceptions made against several Things therein, We will appoint an equal Number of learned Divines of both Persuasions, to review the same, and to make such Alterations as shall be thought most necessary; and some additional Forms (in the Scripture Phrase, as near as may be), suited unto the Nature of the several Parts of Worship; and that it be left to the Minister's Choice, to use one or other at his Discretion. In the mean Time, and till this be done, although We do heartily wish and desire that the Ministers, in their several Churches, because they dislike some Clauses and Expressions, would not totally lay aside the Use of the Book of Common Prayer, but read those Parts against which there can be no Exception; which would be the best Instance of declining those Marks of Distinction which We so much labour and desire to remove; yet, in Compassion to divers of Our good Subjects who scruple the Use of it as now it is, Our Will and Pleasure is, that none be punished or troubled for not using it, until it be reviewed, and effectually reformed, as aforesaid.
"8. Lastly, concerning Ceremonies, which have administered so much Matter of Difference and Contention, and which have been introduced by the Wisdom and Authority of the Church, for Edification, and the Improvement of Piety, We shall say no more, but that We have the more Esteem of all, and Reverence for many of them, by having been present in many of those Churches where they are most abolished or discountenanced; and it cannot be doubted, but that, as the universal Church cannot introduce One Ceremony in the Worship of God that is contrary to God's Word expressed in the Scripture, so every National Church, with the Approbation and Consent of the Sovereign Power, may and hath always introduced such particular Ceremonies, as in that Conjuncture of Time are thought most proper for Edification, and the necessary Improvement of Piety and Devotion in the People, though the necessary Practice thereof cannot be deduced from Scripture; and that which before was and in itself is indifferent, ceases to be indifferent after it is once established by Law. And therefore Our present Consideration and Work is, to gratify the private Consciences of those who are grieved with the Use of some Ceremonies, by indulging to, and dispensing with, their omitting those Ceremonies; not utterly to abolish any which are established by Law (if any are practised contrary to Law, the same shall cease), which would be unjust, and of ill Example, and to impose upon the Conscience of some for the Satisfaction of the Conscience of others, which is otherwise provided for.
"As it could not be reasonable that Men should expect that We should Ourself decline, or enjoin others to do so, to receive the Blessed Sacrament upon Our Knees, which in our Conscience is the most humble, most devout, and most agreeable Posture for that holy Duty, because some other Men, upon Reasons best if not only known to themselves, choose rather to do it sitting or standing; We shall leave all Decisions and Determinations of that Kind, if they shall be thought necessary for a perfect and entire Unity and Uniformity throughout the Nation, to the Advice of a National Synod, which shall be duly called, after a little Time, and a mutual Conversation between Persons of different Persuasions, hath mollified those Distempers, abated those Sharpnesses, and extinguished those Jealousies, which make Men unfit for those Consultations; and, upon such Advice, We shall use Our best Endeavour that such Laws may be established as may best provide for the Peace of the Church and State: Provided, That none shall be denied the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, though they do not use the Gesture of Kneeling in the Act of Receiving.
"In the mean Time, out of Compassion and Compliance towards those who would forbear the Cross in Baptism, We are content that no Man shall be compelled to use the same, or suffer for not doing it: But if any Parent desire to have his Child christened according to the Form used, and the Minister will not use the Sign, it shall be lawful for that Parent to procure another Minister to do it; and if the proper Minister shall refuse to omit that Ceremony of the Cross, it shall be lawful for the Parent, who would not have his Child so baptized, to procure another Minister to do it, who will do it according to his Desire.
"For the Use of the Surplice, We are contented that all Men be left to their Liberty to do as they shall think fit, without suffering in the least Degree for wearing or not wearing it: Provided, That this Liberty do not extend to our Own Chapel, Cathedral or Collegiate Churches, or to any College in either of Our Universities, but that the several Statutes and Customs for the Use thereof in the said Places be there observed as formerly.
"And because some Men, otherwise pious and learned, say, they cannot conform unto the Subscription required by the Canon, nor take the Oath of Canonical Obedience; We are content, and it is Our Will and Pleasure (so they take the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy), that they shall receive Ordination, Institution, and Induction, and shall be permitted to exercise their Function, and to enjoy the Profits of their Livings, without the said Subscription, or Oath of Canonical Obedience; and moreover, that no Persons in the Universities shall, for the Want of such Subscription, be hindered in the taking of their Degrees. Lastly, that none be judged to forfeit his Presentation or Benefice, or be deprived of it, upon the Statute of the Thirteenth of Queen Elizabeth, Chapter the 12th, so he read and declare his Assent to all the Articles of Religion, which only concern the Confession of the true Christian Faith, and the Doctrine of the Sacraments comprized in the Book of Articles in the said Statute mentioned.
"In a Word, We do again renew what We have formerly said in Our Declaration from Breda, for the Liberty of tender Consciences, "That no Man shall be disquieted or called in Question for Differences of Opinion in Matters of Religion, which do not disturb the Peace of the Kingdom; and if any have been disturbed in that Kind since Our Arrival here, it hath not proceeded from any Direction of Ours.
"To conclude, and in this Place to explain what We mentioned before, and said in Our Letter to the House of Commons from Breda, "That We hoped in due Time Ourself to propose somewhat for the Propagation of the Protestant Religion, that will satisfy the World, that We have always made it both Our Care and Our Study, and have enough observed what is most like to bring Disadvantage to it:" We do conjure all Our loving Subjects to acquiesce in, and submit to, this Our Declaration concerning those Differences, which have so much disquieted the Nation at Home, and given such Offence to the Protestant Churches abroad, and brought such Reproach upon the Protestant Religion in general from the Enemies thereof, as if, upon obscure Notions of Faith and Fancy, it did admit the Practice of Christian Duties and Obedience to be discountenanced and suspended, and introduce a Licence in Opinions and Manners, to the Prejudice of the Christian Faith. And let us all endeavour, and emulate each other in those Endeavours, to countenance and advance the Protestant Religion Abroad, which will be best done by supporting the Dignity and Reverence due to the best Reformed Protestant Church at Home; and which, being once freed from the Calumnies and Reproaches it hath undergone from these late ill Times, will be the best Shelter for those Abroad, which will by that Countenance both be the better protected against their Enemies, and be the more easily induced to compose the Differences among themselves, which give their Enemies more Advantage against them. And We hope and expect that all Men will henceforward forbear to vent any such Doctrine in the Pulpit, or to endeavour to work in such Manner upon the Affections of the People, as may dispose them to an ill Opinion of Us and the Government, and to disturb the Peace of the Kingdom; which if all Men will in their several Vocations endeavour to preserve with the same Affection and Zeal We Ourself will do, all Our good Subjects will, by God's Blessing upon Us, enjoy as great a Measure of Felicity as this Nation hath ever done, and which We shall constantly labour to procure for them, as the greatest Blessing God can bestow upon Us in this World.
" (fn. 4) Read, in the House of Peers in Parliament, the 9th of Novemb. 1660.