Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 14, 1685-1691. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Sabbati, 23 die Martii.
Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales præsentes fuerunt:
M. de Halyfax Speaker pro Tempore.
Bill for abrogating the Oaths, and appointing new ones:
Hodie 3a vice lecta est Billa, "An Act for the abrogating of the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, and appointing other Oaths."
Before the putting of the Question, a small necessary Clause was added at the Table.
A Rider offered.
A Member of the House offered a Clause, to be added, as a Rider, to this Bill; which was read, as follows:
"And to the End no Person may be induced to take the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper upon any other Account than in Obedience to the Holy Institution thereof by our Blessed Lord and Saviour, which, nevertheless with the taking of the Oaths (hereby abrogated), is appointed to be received, to enable any Person to bear any Office or Employment of Trust, by an Act of King Charles the Second, intituled, "An Act for preventing Dangers which may happen from Popish Recusants:" It is therefore hereby Provided, and further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for any Person or Persons taking the said Oaths, and making the Declaration, by the last recited Act appointed, to be capable of, and to use and exercise, any Office, Employment, or Place of Trust, or receive any Pay, Salary, Fee, or Wages from His Majesty, that within One Year next before, or within One Year next after, his Admission, or Entrance thereunto, or of his having such Pay, Salary, Fee, or Wages, hath received, or shall receive, the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the Usage of the Church of England, or, not according to the Usage of the Church of England, in any Protestant Congregation, although such Person shall not receive the said Sacrament at such Times, and in such Manner, as is appointed by the said Act made in the 25th Year of King Charles the Second; and such Person who hath received, or shall receive, the said Sacrament as is hereby mentioned, shall not incur any Penalty whatsoever for not receiving the Lord's Supper according to the said recited Act made in the 25th Year of King Charles the Second, any Thing contained in the said Act to the contrary thereof in any Wife notwithstanding, so as a Certificate be delivered of the said Person's having received the said Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, under the Hands of the Minister, and Two other credible Persons Members of such Protestant Congregation where such Person received the said Sacrament; and that Proof shall be made of the Truth thereof by Two credible Witnesses at the least upon Oath; which Certificate, so proved, shall be enquired of, and put upon Record in His Majesty's Court of Chancery or King's Bench, or at the Quarter Sessions for the County or Place where he shall reside."
And the Question being put, "Whether this Rider in Parchment, now brought in, shall be made Part of this Bill?"
It was Resolved in the Negative.
Protest against rejecting it.
Leave was given to such Lords as will, to enter their Dissents; and these Lords do enter their Dissents, in the Reasons following:
"1. Because it gives great Part of the Protestant Freemen of England Reason to complain of Inequality and hard Usage, when they are excluded from public Employments by a Law; and also because it deprives the King and Kingdom of divers Men fit and capable to serve the Public in several Stations, and that for a meet Scruple of Conscience, which can by no Means render them suspected, much less dissaffected to the Government.
"2. Because His Majesty, as the common and indulgent Father of His People, having expressed an earnest Desire of Liberty for tender Consciences to His Protestant Subjects; and my Lords the Bishops having divers of them, on several Occasions, prosessed an Inclination to, and owned the Reasonableness of, such a Christian Temper; we apprehend, it will raise Suspicions in Men's Minds, of something different from the Case of Religion or the Public, or a Design to heal our Breaches, when they find that, by confining Secular Employments to Ecclesiastical Conformity, those are shut out from Civil Affairs whose Doctrine and Worship may be tolerated by Authority of Parliament; there being a Bill before us, by Order of the House, to that Purpose; especially when, without this exclusive Rigour, the Church is secured in all her Privileges and Preferments, nobody being hereby let into them, who is not strictly conformable.
"3. Because to set Marks of Distinction and Humiliation on any Sort of Men who have not rendered themselves justly suspected to the Government, as it is at all Times to be avoided by the Makers of just and equitable Laws, so may it be particularly of ill Effect to the Reformed Interest at Home and Abroad in this present Conjuncture; which stands in Need of the united Hands and Hearts of all Protestants, against the open Attempts and secret Endeavours of a restless Party, and a potent Neighbour, who is more zealous than Rome itself to plant Popery in these Kingdoms, and labours with his utmost Force to settle his Tyranny upon the Ruins of the Reformation all through Europe.
"4. Because it turns the Edge of a Law (we know not by what Fate) upon Protestants and Friends to the Government, which was intended against Papists, to exclude them from Places of Trust, as Men avowedly dangerous to our Religion and Government. And thus the Taking the Sacrament, which was enjoined only as a Means to discover Papists, is now made a distinguishing Duty amongst Protestants to weaken the Whole, by casting off a Part of them'.
"5. Because Mysteries of Religion and Divine Worship are of Divine Original, and of a Nature so wholly distant from the Secular Affairs of Politic Society, that they cannot be applied to those Ends; and therefore the Church, by the Law of the Gosspel as well as common Prudence, ought to take Care not to offend either tender Consciences within itself, or give Offence to those without, by mixing their Sacred Mysteries with Secular Interests.
"6. Because we cannot see how it can consist with the Law of God, common Equity, or the Right of any free-born Subject, that any one be punished without a Crime. If it be a Crime not to take the Sacrament according to the Usage of the Church of England, every one ought to be punished for it; which nobody affirms. If it be no Crime, those who are capable and judged fit for Employment by the King, ought not to be punished with a Law of Exclusion for not doing that which it is no Crime to forbear.
"If it be urged still as an effectual Test to discover and keep out Papists, the taking the Sacrament in those Protestant Congregations where they are Members and known will be at least as effectual to that Purpose.
The Question being put, "Whether this Bill shall pass?"
It was Resolved in the Affirmative.
Message to H. C. with the Bill.
A Message was sent to the House of Commons, by Sir Miles Cooke and Mr. Metwin:
To let them know, that this House hath passed a Bill, intituled, "An Act for the abrogating of the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, and appointing other Oaths;" and to desire their Concurrence thereunto.
Message from thence, that they agree to the Bill for reviving Proceedings at Law.
A Message was brought from the House of Commons, by Sir John Holt and others:
Who returned the Bill for reviving of Actions and Process lately depending at Westminster, and discontinued by the not holding of Hillary Terme; and for supplying other Defects relating to Proceedings at Law; which being sent down with some Amendments, the Commons do agree to those Amendments.
Roper versus Roper.
This Day being appointed to hear the Counsel of Edward Roper, upon his Petition and Appeal against an Order made against him in the Court of Chancery, at the Suit of Anne Roper; who was also heard, by her Counsel, at this Bar:
The House did adjourn the giving a Determination in this Cause until Wednesday next, at Ten of the Clock in the Forenoon.
Letter from Archb. of Cant.
The Speaker acquainted the House with a Letter which he had received from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Which Letter being read;
It is ORDERED, That the Debate of this Letter is adjourned to Monday next.
Lords Leave to be absent.
ORDERED, That the Duke of Somerset hath Leave to go out of Town, for a little Time.
ORDERED, That the Earl of Kingston hath Leave to go out of Town, for a little Time.
Marq. de Halyfax, Orator Procerum pro Tempore, declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Lunæ, videlicet, 25um diem instantis Martii, 1688/9, hora decima Aurora, Dominis sic decernentibus.