Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 7, 1644. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Mercurii, 23 die Julii.
Answer from the H. C.
Sir Edward Leech and Mr. Page return with this (fn. 1) Answer from the House of Commons:
That they do take Notice of the Day of hearing the Cause of the Earl of Stamford, &c. and have appointed some of their Members to manage the Business: That they have appointed their Committee for Mr. Griffith's Business to meet this Afternoon.
Committees to meet about Ld. Savill's Business.
Moudie's Goods in Holy Island to be restored.
Message to the H. C. about the following Particulars.
Declaration against the blasphemous Book.
Preachers, at the Thanksgiving, thanked.
Ordered, That Mr. Obadiah Sedgwicke and Mr. Warde have hereby Thanks returned them, for their Pains in preaching Yesterday at the Abbey Church, being the Day of Thanksgiving for the good Success of Sir Tho. Fairefax' Army in the West; and that they be desired to print their (fn. 2) Sermons.
Ordinance for a Collection for the Sufferers by Fire at Leighton Buzzard.
Upon reading the Petition of the Inhabitants of Laython Buzzard, in the County of Bedford; desiring, "They may have Liberty to collect the Charity of well-disposed People, for to repair their great Losses received by a late Fire:"
Committee to consider of the Paper concerning Church Government.
Any Three, to meet To- (fn. 3) morrow Morning, at Eight of the Clock.
Countess of Peterborough's Assesment.
Message from the H. C. with Ordinances, &c. and for a Conference about the Instructions for the Commissioners going to Scotland.
3. An Ordinance for adding the Names of Persons to the Committees for raising the Twenty Thousand (fn. 4) Pounds, for keeping in the King's Garrisons.
That this House agrees to the Ordinance concerning the Ten Thousand Pounds; and to that concerning Major Le Hunt: That this House will give a present Conference, in the Painted Chamber, as is desired: To all the rest of the Particulars of this Message, their Lordships will send an Answer by Messengers of their own.
Answer from the H. C.
Order for 10,000l. for the Forces in the Northern Association.
"It is this Day Ordained, by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, That Ten Thousand Pounds, with Interest, after the Rate of Eight Pounds per Cent. shall be paid in Course, out of the Receipts of the Excise or new Impost, by Ordinance of the 11th of September, 1643, videlicet, Five Thousand Pounds for Payment of the Forces which were late under the Command of the Lord Fairefax, now upon the reducing of them; and Five Thousand Pounds more for the Payment and Service of those Forces that are to be raised and maintained by the late Ordinance for the Northern Association; and the Commissioners of Excise or new Impost are hereby authorized and required to pay the said Sum of Ten Thousand Pounds, with Interest, accordingly, unto Colonel William White, or unto such Person or Persons as shall have Order from him under his Hand and Seal to receive the same, or any Part thereof; and the Receipt of the said Colonel William White, or any other Person or Persons by his Order under his Hand and Seal as aforesaid, of all or any Part of the said Ten Thousand Pounds, with Interest, shall be unto the said Commissioners, and every of them, a sufficient Discharge in that Behalf."
Declaration against the blasphemous Book, intituled, Comfort for Believers, &c. by Archer.
"As it hath pleased the Honourable Houses of Parliament, out of their pious Care for preserving Religion pure from the Leaven of pernicious and blasphemous Doctrine, to order the burning of this most scandalous Book; so have they further appointed us, to declare the Abominableness thereof unto the People: And we doubt not but every good Christian, as soon as he shall hear the Scope and Contents of it, will, together with us, detest the horrid Blasphemy therein asserted; and acknowledge the godly Zeal, Wisdom, and Justice, of Authority, in commanding it, as an execrable Thing, to be taken away, that it may not remain amongst us, to provoke God's Wrath, and to produce such perilous and pernicious Fruits, whereby the Souls of many may be corrupted, to their everlasting Destruction.
"For whereas that most vile and blasphemous Assertion, whereby God is avowed to be the Author of Sin, hath hitherto, by the general Consent of Christian Teachers and Writers, both ancient and modern, and these as well Papists as Protestants, been not disclaimed only, but even detested and abhorred; yet, in this Book, it is not closely intimated, or occasionally hinted, or inconsiderately and through Inadvertency stumbled upon, but openly, and in express Terms, and in a very foul Manner, propounded, maintained, and purposely at large prosecuted; to wit,
1. Page 37.
2. Page 36.
3. Page 37.
4. Page 38, 39.
5. Page 39.
6. Page 48.
7. Page 48.
8. Page 52.
"8. That no Course is so full to remove or prevent sinful or pernicious Troubles for Sin, as this looking on God the Author of it, and the Good which He brings about by it; which, because it is rarely done by Believers, and indeed hardly known, he therefore professeth to have enlarged himself upon it. In these and many other like Terms hath he set forth this blasphemous Doctrine.
9. Page 36, 37.
"And further, 9ly, he condemneth our Orthodox Writers, for that they have only granted, That God is willing Sin should be, and that He permits it, and orders Circumstances about its Production, and overrules it, and hath an Hand in, and is the Author of, the Physical or Moral Act in and with which Sin is; saying, That they have herein erred on the other Hand, and made Sin more of the Creature and itself, and less from God, than it is.
10. Page 4.
"Besides, the main Scope of the Book is, to perswade Men, 10, not to be oppressed or perplexed in Heart by any Thing whatsoever befalls them, either in Sin or Affliction; as if our Saviour, when He saith, Let not our Hearts be troubled (for that is the Ground upon which he builds), had intended to dehort His Disciples from being troubled for their Sins.
"Very great is both the Danger and Scandal which would from so detestable a Position as this arise, if it should be suffered without Controul to be published and dispersed abroad; especially in such a Time as this, when, on the One Hand, Multitudes make Use of the specious Name of Liberty for a Cloak of Naughtiness, and of admitting and professing many perverse and corrupt Opinions, exceeding injurious to the Gospel of Christ, and to the Power of Godliness; and, on the other Hand, many watch for our Halting, and glory in nothing more against us than in those Advantages which the Weakness and Instability of such as are carried about with every Wind of Doctrine, and are not settled and rooted in the Truth, doth most unhappily minister unto them, to the unspeakable Prejudice of the Church of Christ, and obstructing that blessed Reformation which is by all good Men so earnestly desired.
"Exceeding dangerous it is unto the Souls of Men, both as a Means to instill into them blasphemous and impure Conceits of the Majesty of our most Holy God, as also by a working them to a slighting or disregarding of Sin, and consequently letting loose the Reins to all corrupt and licentious Living (for by how much the less the Trouble is after Sin committed, by so much the greater usually is the Boldness in committing of it).
"And the Scandal hence arising is every whit as great, both in regard of the Offence which is thereby given unto the Reformed Churches, who, in the Public Confessions, make Satan and Man himself the only Causes and Authors of Sin; and some of them do, in those their Confessions, by Name, damn this wicked Position; and also, in regard of the great Advantage which it giveth to our common Adversaries the Papists, who have hitherto only calumniously charged the Doctrine of the Reformed Churches with so odious a Crime (in the mean Time confessing that we do in Words deny as well as they themselves); whereas now, should this Book be tolerated, they might justly insult over us, and publish to the World, That now, in the Church of England, it was openly and impunely maintained, That God is the Author of Sin; than which there is not any One Point whereby they labour in their Sermons and Popular Orations to cast a (fn. 5) greater Odium (though most injuriously) upon the Reformed Churches.
"And albeit the Person named to be the Author of this Book hath been of good Estimation for Learning and Piety; yet since, if any so deeply wounded the Honour and Truth of God, we ought not at all to be by any such Consideration withheld from declaring our just Detestation of so odious a Book; for if any Man, yea, if an Angel from Heaven, preach any Thing contrary to the Gospel of Christ, the Apostle is not afraid to pronounce him accursed: And indeed it is a very dangerous Thing (and so much the more dangerous by how much the more ordinary and usual) to take up new and corrupt Opinions upon Trust only, on this Inducement, a Persuasion which we have of the Sanctity of those Persons who are the Authors of them; for we ought to try the Spirits, whether they be of God; and to search the Scriptures, whether the Things taught us be so or no; and, having tried all Things, to hold fast that which is good; and upon no Pretence whatsoever to depart from the Form of sound Words in the Scriptures delivered unto us; or, for the Reverence or Estimation of any Man's Person, to entertain any such Opinions as do, in the very Words of them, asperse the Honour and Holiness of God, and are by all the Churches of Christ rejected; and therefore most justly hath Authority appointed Execution in this Manner to be done upon this Book.