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of the terms in the declaration, except Dr. Reynolds who declared when he accepted the bishopric of Norwich, that he did it upon the terms laid down in the declaration, and not as episcopacy stood before in England; and that he would no longer hold or exercise it than he could do it on those terms.
In the declaration, dated October 25, 1660, the king expresses the highest opinion of the Presbyterian ministers, as persons full of affection to him, of zeal for the peace of church and state, and neither enemies of episcopacy nor liturgy; but modestly desiring such alterations in both, as without shaking foundations, might best allay the present distempers, which the indisposition of times, and the tenderness of some men's consciences had contracted. At the same time assuring them of his resolution to grant them all the indulgence they required, promising that they should exercise their functions, and enjoy the profits of their livings, without being obliged to those oaths and subscriptions to which they objected. Upon this an address of thanks was drawn up, signed by many of the ministers in and about London; which was graciously received,
But after all, this declaration had no effect, save only a year's suspension of the law that afterwards took place. At à distance in the country, some men were so violent, that they indicted ministers at the assizes and sessions, notwithstanding the declaration, taking it for no suspension of the law; though upon application to the king and lord chan. cellor, they were generally released. But as to the matter of church-government, none of the concessions in the declaration were put in execution. However, a commission was at length granted to certain persons nominated, to meet for the purpose of reviewing the liturgy. The commissioners on one side were, the Archbishop of York, the Bishops of London, Durham, Rochester, Chichester, Surum, Worcester, Lincoln, Peterborough, Chester, Carlisle, and Exeter. Those on the other side, Dr. Reynolds, Dr. Tuckney, Dr. Conant, Dr. Spurstow, Dr. Wallis, Dr. Man. ton, Mr. Calamy, Mr. Baxter, Mr. Jackson, Mr. Case, Mr. Clark, Mr. Newcomen. The assistants on one side were, Dr. Earle, Dr. Heylin, Dr. Hacket, Dr. Barwick, Dr. Gunning, Dr. Pearson, Dr. Pierre, Dr. Sparrow, and Mr. Thorndike; and on the other side, Dr. Horton, Dr. Jacomb, Dr. Bates, Mr. Rawlinson, Mr. Cooper, Dr. Lightfoot, Dr. Collins, Mr, Woodbridge, and Dr. Drake.
The Savoy was appointed as the place of meeting. When they were met, the bishop of London told the ministers, “ That they, and not the bishops, had sought the confer
ence, being desirous of alterations in the liturgy; and " that therefore there was nothing to be done, till they had
brought in all they had to say against it in writing, and “ all the additions which they desired.” The ininisters moved for an amicable Conference, according to the commission, as more likely to answer the great end ; but the bishop of London insisted upon it, “That nothing should “ be done till all exceptions, alterations, and additions
were brought in at once.” After some debate, it was agreed, 66 That they should bring all their exceptions at
one time, and all their additions at another time." They accordingly drew up their exceptions, and offered them to the bishops. They proposed, that the liturgy might have nothing left in it doubtful, or questioned amongst pious, learned, and orthodox persons; and particularly mentioned a variety of alterations, which the reader will easily judge of, from the reasons they afterwards gave for their nonconformity. (See Sect. V.) Mr. Baxter drew up the additions, or new forms, (for those who might scruple to use the old) stiled, The Reformed Liturgy*; which the ministers generally approved, as indeed it was undertaken at their
request. During the interval, the convocation was chosen, which was politicly deferred till now; for had it been called when the king came in, the inferior clergy would have been against the diocesans. But now the diocesan party wholly carried it in the choice. The election was in London, May 2, 1661. Mr. Calamy and Mr. Baxter were chosen by a majority of three voices. But the bishop of London, having the power of chusing two out of four, or four out of six, who are chosen by the ministers in a certain circuit, was so kind as to excuse them by pitching on others; and so the city of London had no clerk in the
convocation. May the 4th, the paper of exceptions was given in at a meeting with the bishops. May the 7th, there was a meeting at Sion College, of the ministers of London, for the choice of a president and assistants for the next year. Some of the Presbyterians, upon a pettish scruple absenting themselves, the diocesan party carried it, and got the possession and rule of the college. May the 8th, the new parliament and convocation sat, constituted of men devoted to the diocesan interest. May the 22d, by order of parliament, the national vow and covenant was burnt by the common hangman.
* That the world might judge of this performance, Dr. Calamy has preserved a copy of it at the end of Mr. Baxter's life.
A petition was, by the consent of the ministers, drawn up and presented to the bishops, at the same time with the reformed liturgy; in which they, with great humility and earnestness, desired them to abate their impositions, in order to the peace of the church; pathetically urged many arguments to induce them to a compliance; and begged only that they would “grant them the freedom which “ Christ and his apostles left unto the churches."
The bishops, after some delay, sent them a paper of reasonings against their exceptions, without any abatements or alterations at all, worth naming; an answer to which was also drawn up. At last, the commission being within ten days of expiring, the ministers sent to the bishops to desire some personal conference upon the subject of the papers, which was yielded to; and at the meeting the answer to their last paper was delivered them. The ministers earnestly pressed them to spend the little time remaining in such pacifying conference as tended to the ends mentioned in the king's declaration and commission. There is reason to think, that the generality of the bishops and doctors who were present at these meetings, did not read the Reformed Liturgy, or the jeply of the ministers to their reasons against the exceptions they had given in. So that it seems, before they knew what was in thein, they resolved to reject the papers of the ministers, right or wrong *. When they came to debates, the ministers desired the bishops to animadvert on the alterations of the liturgy, and declare what they allowed or disallowed in them. But they would not be prevailed upon to debate that matter, or give their opinions about those papers. It
Dr. Allen, of Huntingdonshire, clerk in this convocation, earnestly laboured with the bishop of London, that they might so reform the liturgy, that no sober mau might make exception; but was desired to forbear, as what should be, was concluded on.-Conformist's Plea for Nonconf. p.31. So very nice and exact were the high party, that they would not yield so much as to forhear the lessons of the Apocrypha : insomuch, that after a long tug at the convocation-house about that matter, a good doctor came out at last with great joy, " that they bad carried it for Bell and the Dragon."
was then moved, That they would go over the particulars excepted against, and declare what alterations they could yield to. But they told them, “They had nothing to say
upon that head, till the necessity of an alteration in ge“ neral was proved, which it had not as yet been; they “ would yield to all that was proved necessary, but looked upon none as necessary.
." The ministers urged them again and again with the words of the king's declaration and commission; and observed, “ It was strange, that when “ the king had so long and publicly determined upon the “ end, and called them to consult about the means, they “ should at least presume to contradict him, and deter“ mine the end itself unnecessary, and consequently no means necessary:
: and that therefore all their meetings “ had been but trifling.” They replied, “ they must prove “ alterations necessary :” The ministers answered, they
were necessary to peace and unity, which without them “ would not be attained :" To which they would by no means yield. This was to draw on a dispute, before the end of which, the time of the commission was likely to expire. To this therefore the ministers objected. But nothing else would be yielded to, and so a dispute was agreed upon, to argue the necessity of altering the liturgy.
After two days debate about the order of the disputation, Dr. Pearson alone undertook to dispute on the side of the bishops, when the ministers had discharged the opponent's province; which was accepted. Three of a party were chosen on each side to manage the dispute. The bi. shops chose Dr. Pearson, Dr. Gunning, and Dr. Sparrow : the ministers chose Dr. Bates, Dr. Jacomb, and Mr. Barter: and they met to dispute accordingly. But there were so many speakers, and so many interruptions, and so many personal reflections, that it was to very little purpose. At length, bishop Cosins produced a paper, as from a considerable person, containing a method to end the controversy; which was, “ to put the complainers upon distinguishing “ between the things they charged as sinful, and those “ which they opposed as inexpedient only.” The three disputants on the ministers side, were desired to draw up an answer to it against the next morning ; which they did, and charged eight things as flatly sinful, and contrary, to the word of God, viz. That no minister be admitted to " baptize without using the sign of the cross :-or officiate without the surplice.-That none be admitted to the " Lord's Supper, without receiving it kneeling," &c. &c. After a great deal of loose discourse, they came at length to the dispute, which was managed in writing : the sole argument was, “the sinfulness of enjoining ministers to deny
the communion to all that dare not kneel.” The ministers proved their assertion thus . That it was denying the sacrament to those whom the Holy Ghost commands us to receive; urging Rom. xiv. 1-3. “ Him that is weak “ in the faith receive you, but not to doubtful disputation, " &c.” The episcopal divines answered, “ That that text
was not to the purpose, because it speaks of things “ lawful and not commanded; whereas the debate was “ about things lawful, and also commanded; and, withal, “ because the receiving there inentioned, is not to be “ understood of immediately receiving persons to the
holy communion.” The Presbyterian disputants replied: “The text forbids any such commands of things “ lawful, as are not consistent with receiving and for
bearing; and that it must necessarily take in receiving persons to the Lord's Supper, because it requires the
receiving men to that church-communion in the ge“ neral, of which the sacrament is a most eminent part, " &c." But when Dr. Gunning had read certain citations and authorities for the other side, Bishop Cosins, the moderator, put the question, “ All you that think Dr. Gunning “ has proved that Rom. xiv. speaketh not of receiving “ the sacrament, say Aye.” Upon which there was a general cry Aye, aye, among the hearers of the episcopal party, of whom there were many in the hall, whereas the Presbyterians had but two or three.
At length the episcopal divines became opponents upon the sane question, and argued thus: “ That command, “ which enjoins only an act in itself lawful, is not sinful.” This Mr. Baxter denied. They then added; “ That com“ mand, which enjoins an act in itself lawful, and no “ other act or circumstance unlawful, is not sinful.” This also Mr. Baxter denied: as he did some other propositions of theirs. At length, finding themselves embarrassed, the dispute broke off with noise and confusion, and high reflections upon Mr. Baxter's cloudy imagination, and his perplexed, scholastic, and metaphysical manner of distinguishing; and Bishop Saunderson being in the chair, pronounced that Gunning had the better of the argument, Bishop Morley asserted in print, that Mr. Baxter's asser