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 Veneris, 5 die Aprilis.
Message from H. C. with a Bill.
Bill for Exportation of Corn.
Bill to nat. Prince George, and settle his Precedency.
Commissioners of the Great Seal, Bill:
Messages to H. C. with this Bill; and with Prince George's Nat. and Precedency Bill.
Savery alias Serle's Bill.
Coronation Oath, Bill.
Bill for uniting Protestants:
Protests against rejecting an Amendment to it.
"1. Because the Act itself being, as the Preamble sets forth, designed for the Peace of the State, the putting the Clergy into the Commission, with a total Exclusion of the Laity, lays this Humiliation on the Laity, as if the Clergy of the Church of England were alone Friends to the Peace of the State, and the Laity less able or less concerned to provide for it.
"2. Because, the Matters to be considered being barely of human Constitution, (videlicet,) the Liturgy and Ceremonies of the Church of England, which had their Establishment from King, Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, assembled in Parliament, there can be no Reason why the Commissioners for altering any Thing in that Civil Constitution should consist only of Men of One Sort of them; unless it be supposed that human Reason is to be quitted in this Affair, and the Inspiration of Spiritual Men to be alone depended on.
"3. Because though, upon Romish Principles, the Clergy may have a Title alone to meddle in Matters of Religion; yet with us they cannot, where the Church is acknowledged and defined to consist of Clergy and Laity; and so those Matters of Religion which fall under human Determination, being properly the Business of the Church, belong equally to both; for in what is of Divine Institution, neither Clergy nor Laity can make any Alteration at all.
"4. Because the pretending that Differences and Delays may arise by mixing Laymen with Ecclesiastics, to the frustrating the Design of the Commission, is vain and out of Doors; unless those that make Use of this Pretence suppose, that the Clergy Part of the Church have distinct Interests or Designs from the Lay Part of the same Church: And this will be a Reason, if good, why one or other of them should quit the House, for Fear of obstructing the Business of it.
"5. Because, the Commission being intended for the Satisfaction of Dissenters, it would be convenient that Laymen of different Ranks, nay perhaps of different Opinions too, should be mixed in it, the better to find Expedients for that End, rather than Clergymen alone of our Church, who are generally observed to have very much the same Way of Reasoning and Thinking.
"6. Because it is the most ready Way to facilitate the passing the Alterations into a Law, that Lay Lords and Commons should be joined in the Commission, who may be able to satisfy both Houses of the Reasons upon which they were made; and thereby remove all Fears and Jealousies ill Men may raise against the Clergy, of their endeavouring to keep up without Grounds a distinct Interest from that of the Laity, whom they so carefully exclude from being joined with them in Consultations of common Concernment, that they will not have those have any Part in the Deliberation who must have the greatest in Determining.
"7. Because such a restrained Commission lies liable to this great Objection, that it might be made Use of to elude repeated Promises, and the present general Expectation of Compliance with tender Consciences; when the providing for it is taken out of the ordinary Course of Parliament, to be put into the Hands of those alone who were latest in admitting any Need of it, and who may be thought the more unfit to be the sole Composers of our Differences, when they are looked upon by some as Parties.
"8. Lastly, Because, after all, this carries a dangerous Supposition with it, as if the Laity were not a Part of the Church, nor had any Power to meddle in Matters of Religion; a Supposition directly opposite to the Constitution both of Church and State, which will make all Alterations utterly impossible, unless the Clergy alone be allowed to have Power to make Laws in Matters of Religion; since what is established by Law cannot be taken away or changed but by Consent of Laymen in Parliament; the Clergy themselves having no Authority to meddle in this very Case, in which the Laity is excluded by this Vote, but what they derive from Lay Hands.
"Because it is contrary to Three Statutes made in the Reign of Henery the 8th, and one in Edw'd the 6th, which empowers Thirty-two Commissioners to alter the Canon and Ecclesiastical Laws, &c. whereof Sixteen to be of the Laity, and Sixteen of the Clergy.
Marq. de Halifax, Orator Procerum pro Tempore, declaravit præsens Parliamentum continuandum esse usque in diem Sabbati, videlicet, 6um diem instantis Aprilis, 1689, hora decima Aurora, Dominis sic decernentibus.