Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

2. Or at least, that Epifcopal Aristocracy hath a fairer Pretention, and may

Jay' a juster Title and Claim to a divine Institution than any of the other Forms of Church-Government can do ; all which yet do pretend thereunto, viz, that of the Papal Monarchy, that of the Presbyterian Democracy, and that of the Independents by particular Congregations, or gathered Churches. II. But we are assured by the undoubted Testimony of antient Records and later Histories, that this Form of Government hath been continued with such an universal, uninterrupted, unquestioned Succession in all the Churches of God, and in all Kingdoms that have been called Christian, throughout the whole World' for fifteen hundred Years together; that there never was in all that Time any considerable Opposition made there against. That of Arius was the greatest, wherein yet there was little of Consideration, beside these two Things: that it grew at the first but out of Discontent; and gained him at the last but the Reputation of an Heretique. From which Antiquity and Continuance, we have just Cause to fear, that to endeavour the Extirpation thereof, 1. Would give such Advantage to the Papists, who usually object against us, and our Religion, the Contempt of Antiquity, and the Love of Novelty ; that we should not be able to wipe off the Aspersion. 2. Would so diminish the just Authority due to the consentient Judgement and Practise of the universal Church (the best Interpreter of Scripture in Things not clearly expreft ; for Lex currit cum praxi :) that without it we should be at a Loffe in fundry Points both of Faith and Manners, at this Day firmly believed and securely practised by us; when by the Socinians, Anabaptifts, and other Sectaries we should be called upon for our Proofs. As namely, sundry Orthodoxal Explications concerning the Trinity and Co-equality of the Persons in the God-head, against the Arians and other Heretiques; the Number, Use and Efficacy of Sacraments; the Baptising of Infants ; national Churches; the Observation of the Lord's Day; and even of the Canon of Scripture it felf. Thirdly, in Respect of our felves; we are not satisfied how it can stand with the Principles of Justice, Ingenuity, and Humanity, to require the Extirpation of Episcopal Government (unleffe it had been first clearly demonstrated to be unlawfull) to be sincerely and really endeavoured, by us, 1. Who have all of us, who have taken any Degree, by subscribing the 39 Articles, testified our Approbation of that Government: one of those (k) Articles affirming the very Book containing the Form of their Conjetration to contain in it nothing contrary to the Word of God. 27-Who have most of us, (viz. as many as have entred into the Ministery) received Orders from their Hands: whom we should very ill require for laying their Hands upon us, if we should now lay to our Hand, to root them up, and cannot tell for what. 7

Who have fundry of us," since the Beginning of this Parliament, fub- Scribed our Names to Petitions exhibited or intended to be exhibited to che

7111) 1 (k) Art. 36. W.1129.1 web s barn har

: 7011)'!!,)

3.

1

High Court, for the Continuance of that Government. Which as we then did sincerely and really, fo we should with like Sincerity and Reality, ftill (not having met with any Thing fince to shew. us our Errour) be ready to do the same again, if we had the fame Hopes we then hads of the Reception of such Petitions.

to 10 4:

Who hold some of us our Lively hood, either in whole or in Part, by! those Titles of Deans, Deans and Chapters, &c, mentioned in the Articles Ik.. being Members of some Collegiate or Cathedrall Churches. And our Memories will not readilie serve us with any Example in this kind since) the World began; wherein any State or Profession of Men, thoughcon..., victed (as we are not) of a Crime that might deserve Deprivation, were's required to bind themselves by Oath, sincerely and really to endeavour the rooting out of that (in it self not unlawfull) together wherewith they muft also root out themselves, their Estates and Livelyhoods. 5. Especially it being usual in most of the said Churches, that such Persons as are admitted Members thereof, have a personal Oath administred unto : them, to maintain the Honour, Immunities, Liberties, and Profits of the same ; and whilft they live to seek the Good, and not to do any Thing to the Hurt, Hindrance, or Prejudice thereof; or in other Words to the like Effect. Fourthly, in Refpe&t of the Church of England: we are not satisfied how we can fwear to endeavour the Extirpation of the established Government, no Neceflitie or just Cause for so doing, either offering it felf, or being offered to our Understandings. s. Since all Change of Government unavoidably bringeth with it, besides those that are present and evident, sundry other Inconveniencies, which no Wit of Man can poffibly foresee to provide against, till lace Experience discover them: We cannot be sure, that the Evils which may ensue upon the Change of this Government, (which hath been of so-long Continuance in this Kingdom, is so deeply rooted in the Lawes thereof, and hath so near a Conjunction with, and so strong an Influence upon the Civill State and Government, as that the Change thereof must infer the Necesity of a great Alteration to be made in the other also) may not be greater than the supposed Evils whatsoever they are, which by this Change are fought 10 be remedied. For there are not yet any come to our Knowledge of that desperate Nature, as not to be capable of other Remedy, than the ptter Excirpation of the whole Goyernment it felf.

ana () 2. Whereas the House of Commons have (1) remonstrated, that is was far from their Purpose, or Degre, to abolish the Church Government, but rathers

Tingkil) bov19991* (!)- give Advantage to this Malignant Reformation of the Government and Lit Party to traduce our Proceedings : They turgy of the Church; and to take away infuse into the People that we mean to nothing in the one or in the other, but abolith all Church Government - Remonk what thall be evil, and justly offensive, or 15.Dec. 1641. Exact. Collett. pag. 19. at least unneceffary and burtherfome. Det The Lords and Commons. do declare, dar. g. April 1642. Exa&t. Coll. p. 135. That they intend a due and necessary innocí

that

[ocr errors]

that all the Members of the Church of England Mould be regulated by such Rules of Order end Discipline as are established by Parliament, and that it

was Malignancy ta infuse into the People that they had any other Meaning : * We are loth by consenting to the second Article to become guilty of such

Infupon, as may bring us within the Compass and Danger of the fourth 1. Article of this Covenant. 3. Since it hath been declared by fundry (m) Acts of Parliament, That the

boly Church of England was founded in the State of Prelecy within the Realm la

of England: We dare not by endeavouring the Extirpation of Prelacy, ftrike at the very Foundation, and thereby (as much as in us liech) cooperate towards the Ruine of this famous Church ; which in all Conscience and Duty we are bound with out utmost lawful Power to uphold. Laftly, In Refpeet of our Obligations to bis Majesty by our Duty and Oathes : we are not satisfied how we can swear to endeavour the Extirpation of the Church-Government by Law established, without Forfeiture of those Obligations. 1. Having in the Oath of Supremacy acknowledged the King to be the oncly fupream Governour in all Ecclefiaftical Causes, and over all Ecclefiaftical Perfons ; and having bound our selves both in that Oath, and by our Proteftation, To maintain the King's Honour, Estate, Jurisdictions, and all manner of Rights: it is clear to our Understandings, that we cannot without Difloyalty and Injury to Him, and double Perjury to our selves, take upon us without his Consent to make any Alteration in the Ecclefiasticall Lawes or Government, much lesse to endeavour the Extirpation thereof : Unlesse > the Imposers of this Covenant had a Power and Meaning (which they have

openly (n) disclaimed) to absolve us of that Obedience, which under God Jiwe owe unto His Majesty, whom they know to be intrusted with the Ec

clesiastical Law. 2. We cannot sincerely and really endeavour the Extirpation of this Go3... Vernment, without a sincere Defire and real Endeavour, chat His Majekty * would grant His Royal Affent to fuch Extirpation. Which we are so far 2) from defiting and endeavouring, that we hold it our bounden Dury by our

daily Prayers to beg at the Hands of Almighty God, that he would not as for our Sios suffer the King to do an Act fo prejudicial to his Honour and -f1. Conscience, as to consent to the Rooting out of that Eftate, which by so girrmany Branches of bis (0) Coronation Oath, he hath in such a solemn Man

(m) Statute of Carlile, 25 E. I. 're- granteď to the Clergy by the glorious King cited 25 E. HI.

8. Edward. And that he will grant and Yfny They infuse into the People, that preserve unto the Bishops, and to the

we mean to leave every Man to his own Churches committed to their Charge, all Fancy-abfolving him of that Obedience Canonical Priviledges and due Law and

which he owes under God unto His Ma- Justice; and that he will protect and dejefty, whom we know to be intrufted with fend them as every good King in his Kingthe Ecclefiaftical Law, as well as with the dom ought to be Protector and Defender Temporal. Exact Gollett. ubi fup. p. 19. . of the Bishops and the Churches under

(0) That he will grant, keeps and con- their Government. Vide Exart Collect. p. firm the Laws, Customs, and Franchises 290, 291.

[ocr errors]

ner sworn, by the Adistance of God, to his power to maintain and preserve.

3917 3. By the Lawes of this Land (P) the Collation of Bishopricks and (9) Deana

ries ; the (r) Fruits and Profits of their Lands and Revenues during their Vacancies ; the (s) first Fruits and yearly Tentbs out of all Ecclefiaftical Promotions; and sundry other Priviledges, Profits, and Emoluments, arising out of the State Ecclesiastical, are established in the Crown, and are a considerable Part of the Revenues thereof; which, by the Extirpation of Prelacy, as it is in the Article expounded, or by subsequent Practice evidenced, will be severed and cut off from the Crown, to the great Prejudice and Damage thereof, Whereunto, as we ought not in common Reason, and in order to our Allegiance as Subjects, yield our Consent ; so having sworn expresy to maintain the King's Honour and Estate, and to our Power to affist and defend all Jurisdictions, &c. belonging to His Highness, or united and annexed to the Imperial Crown of the Realm, we cannot without manifeft Perjury (as we conceive) consent thereunto, 4. The Government of this Realm being confessedly an Empire or (1) Monarchy, and that of a most excellent Temper

' and Constitution; we underftand not how it can become us to desire or endeavour the Extirpation of that Government in the Church, which we conceive to be incomparably of all other the most agreeable, and no way prejudiciall to the State of fo well a constituted Monarchy. In so much as King James would often fay, what his long Experience had taught him, No Bipop, no King. Which Aphorism, though we find in fundry Pamphlets of late Years to have been exploded with much Confidence and Scorn; yet we must professe to have met with very little in the Proceedings of the late Times, to weaken our Belief of it. And we hope we shall be the less blamed for our Unwillingness to have any actual Concurrence in the Extirpation of Episcopall Government : feeing of such Extirpation there is no other Use imaginable, but either the Alienation of their Revenues and Inheritances, (which how it can be fevered from Sacriledge and Injustice we leave others to find out) or to make Way for the introducing of some other Form of Church Government: which whatsoever it shall be, will (as we think) prove either destructive of, and inconsistent with Monarchiall Government, or at least. wife more prejudicial to the peaceable, orderly, and effectual Exercise thereof, than with a well-regulated Episcopacy can possibly be,

(1) See Stat. 25. Hen. VIII. 20. 1. Histories and Chronicles it is manifeftly Ed. VI. 2.

declared and exprefled, that this Realm (9) See Stat, 39. Eliz. 8.

of England is an Empire, and fo hath been (r) Stat. 14. Ed. III. 4, &* 5. & 17., accepted in the World, governed by one Ed. II. 14

psi Supream Head and King, having the Dig() Stat. 26. Hen. VIII. 3. & 1, Eliz.4. nity, and royall Eftate of the Imperial

(1) Supremam poteftatem & merum im- Crown of the same. Stat. 24. H. VIII. 12. perium apud nos habet Rex. Cambd. See also 1. Elizab. 3. Whereas by sundry divers old authentick

SECT.

H н

[ocr errors]

Sect. V. Of the other parts of the Government. Aving inlisted the more upon the two first Articles, that concern Religion

and the Church, and wherein our felves have a more proper Concerniment: We shall need to infift the less upon those that follow, contenting our selves with a few (the most obvious) of those many great, and (as we conceive) just Exceptions, that lye there against. :, I. In the third Article, we are not satisfied that our Endeavour to preserve and defend the King's Majesties Person and Authority is so limited, as there it is, by that Addition : In the Preservation and Defence of the true Religion, and Liberties of the Kingdom. Forasmuch as 1. No such Limitation of our Duty in that Behalf is to be found, either in the Oathes of Supremacy and Allegiance, (which no Papist would refuse to take with such a Limitation) nor in the Protestation, nor in the Word of God. 2. Our Endeavour to preserve the Rights and Priviledges of Parliaments, and Liberties of the Kingdomes, is required to be sworn of us in the same Article without the like or any other Limitation added thereunto.

Such Limitation leaveth the Duty of the Subject at so much Looseneffe, and the Safety of the King at so great Uncertainty,; that whenfoever the People shall have a Mind to withdraw their Obedience, they cannot want a Pretence, from the same, for so doing. 4. After we should, by the very last Thing we did (viz. swearing with such a Limitation) have made our felves guilty of an actual and real Diminution (as we conceive) of his Majestie's just Power and Greatnesse : the Obrestation would seem very unseasonable (at the least) with the same Breath to call the World to bear Witnefse with our Consciences, that we had no Thoughts or Intentions to diminish the same. 5. The swearing with such a Limitation is a Testimony of the Subjects : Loyalty (to our seeming) of a very strange Nature : which, (the Principles

of their several Religions salved) the Conscience of a moft resolute Papist or Sectary may securely swallow, and the Conscience of a good Protestant cannot but ftrein at. II. In the fourth Article, 1. We desire iç may be considered, whether the imposing of the Covenant in this Article do not lay a Necessity upon the Son, of accusing his own Father, and pursuing him to Destruction, in Case he should be an Incendiary, Malignant, or other evill Instrument, such as in the Article is described. A Course, which we conceive to be contrary to Religion, Nature and Humanity. 2. Whether the swearing according to this Article, doth not rather open a ready Way to Children that are sick of the Father, Husbands that are weary of their Wives, &c. by appealing fuch, as stand between them and their Defires, of Malignancy, the better to effectuate their unlawful Intentions and Designes.

« ПредишнаНапред »