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Before we leave this famous conference at the Savoy, it will not be amiss to remark the behaviour of the commissioners on both sides, some of whom seldom or never appeared, as, Dr. King bishop of Chichester, Dr. Heylin, Barwick, and Earle* ; Sheldon bishop of London came but seldom, though he, with Henchman and Morley, had the chief management of affairst; others who were present, but did not much concern themselves in the debate, as, Dr. Frewen archbishop of York; Lucy of St. David's; Warner of Rochester; Saunderson of Lincoln; Laney of Peterborough; Walton of Chester; Sterne of Carlisle ; Dr. Hacket and Dr. Sparrow. On the side of the Presbyterians, Dr. Horton never appeared, nor Dr. Drake, because of a misnomer in the commission; Dr. Lightfoot, Tuckney, and Mr. Woodbridge, were present only once or twice.
Among the bishops, Dr. Morley was the chief speaker; his manner was vehement, and he was against all abatements. He frequently interrupted Mr. Baxterf; and when Dr. Bates said, “ Pray, my lord, give him leave to speak,” he could not obtain it.
Bishop Cosins was there constantly, and though he was inclined to moderate measures, said some very severe things. When the ministers prayed the bishops to have some compassion on their brethren, and not cast such great numbers unnecessarily out of the ministry, he replied, “What, do you threaten us with numbers ? For my part, I think the king would do well to make you name them all.” Again, when the ministers complained, that after so many years' calamity the bishops would not yield to that which their predecessors offered them before the war, bishop Cosins replied, “ Do you threaten us then with a new war? It is time for the king to look to you.'
Bishop Gauden often took part with the Presbyterian divines, and was the only moderator among the bishops, except bishop Reynolds, who spoke much the first day for abatements and moderation; but afterward, sitting among the bishops, he only spoke now and then a qualifying word, though he was heartily grieved for the fruitless issue of the conference.
Of the disputants, it is said, Dr. Pearson, afterward bishop of Chester, disputed accurately, soberly, and calmly. The Presbyterian ministers had a great regard for him, and believed, that if he had been an umpire in the controversy his concessions would have greatly relieved them.
Dr. Gunning was the most forward speaker, and stuck at nothing. Bishop Burnet says 8, that all the arts of sophistry were used by him in as confident a manner as if they had been sound reasoning ; that he was unweariedly active to very little purpose, and being very fond of the Popish rituals and ceremonies, he was very much set upon reconciling the church of England to Rome. Baxter's Life, part 2. p. 307.
+ Kennet's Chronicle, p. 507. I Baxter's Life, part 2. p. 363.
♡ Page 263, 264,
On the side of the Presbyterians, Dr. Bates and Manton behaved with great modesty: the most active disputant was Mr. Baxter, who had a very metaphysical head and fertile invention, and was one of the most ready men of his time for an argument, but too eager and tenacious of his own opinions. Next to him was Mr. Calamy, who had a great interest among the Presbyterian ministers in city and country, and for his age and gravity was respected as their father.
Among the auditors, Mr. Baxter observes *, there was with the bishops a crowd of young divines who behaved indecently; but mentions only two or three scholars and laymen, who, as auditors, came in with the Presbyterians, as Mr. Miles, Mr. Tillotson, &c.
This Mr. Tillotson was afterward the most reverend and learned archbishop of Canterbury, one of the most celebrated divines and preachers of the age. We shall have frequent occasion to mention him hereafter, and therefore, I shall give a short account of him in this place. He was born in Yorkshire 1630, and received bis first education among the Puritans; and though he bad freer notions, he still stuck to the strictness of life to which he was bred, and retained a just value and a due tenderness for men of that persuasion. He was admitted student of Clare-hall in Cambridge, under the tuition of Mr. David Clarkson, in the year 1647. He was bachelor of arts 1650, and within the compass of a year was elected fellow. He had then a sweetness of temper which he retained as long as he lived ; and in those early years was respected as a person of very great parts and prudencet. In the year 1661, he continued a Nonconformist, and has a sermon in the morning exercises on Matt. vii. 12. He appeared with the Presbyterians at the Savoy disputation; and though he conformed upon the act of uniformity in 1662, he was always inclined to the Puritans, never fond of the ceremonies of the church, but would dispense sometimes with those who could not conscientiously submit to them. He owned the dissenters had some plausible objections against the common-prayer; and, in the opinion of some, persuaded men rather to bear with the church, than be zealous for it. In the year 1663, he was preferred to the rectory of Keddington in Suffolk, vacant by the nonsubscription of Mr. Samuel Fairclough. Next year he was chosen preacher to Lincoln's-inn, and lecturer of St. Lawrence's church in London, where his excellent sermons, delivered in a most graceful manner, drew the attention of great numbers of the quality, and most of the divines and gentlemen in the city. In 1669, he was made canon of Christ church in Canterbury; and in 1672, dean of that church, and residentiary: but rose no higher till the revolution of king William and queen Mary, when he was first made clerk of the closet, and then advanced at once to the archbishopric of Canterbury, in the room of Dr. Sancroft a nonjuror. He was a divine of moderate principles to the last, and always disposed to promote a toleration, and if possible a comprehension of the dissenters within the church. Upon the whole, lie was a second Cranmer, and one of the most valuable prelates that this, or it may be any other, church ever produced.
* Baxter's Life, p. 337.
+ Athen. Oxon. p. 968.
Various censures were passed within doors upon the Savoy conference; the Independents were disgusted, because none of them were consulted, though it does not appear to me what concern they could have in it, their views being only to a toleration, not a comprehension. Some blamed their brethren for yielding too much, and others thought they might have yielded more; but when they saw the fruitless end of the treaty, and the papers that were published, most of them were satisfied.-Bishop Burnet says*, the conference did rather hurt than good, it heightened the sharpness which was already on people's minds to such a degree, that it needed no addition to raise it higher.—Mr. Robinson sayst, “ It was notorious that the business of the episcopal party was not to consult the interest of religion, but to cover a political design, which was too bad to appear at first; nor did they mean to heal the church's wounds, so much as to revenge their own.
When they knew what the Presbyterians scrupled, they said, now they knew their minds they would have matters so fixed that not one of that sort should be able to keep his living. They did not desire, but rather fear, their compliance.” Nay, $0 unacceptable was the publishing the papers relating to the conference, that bishop Saunderson and some of his brethren cautioned their clergy against reading them. From this time the Presbyterians were out of the question, and the settlement of the church referred entirely to the convocation and parliament.
It had been debated in council, whether there should be a convocation while the conference at the Savoy was depending; but at the intercession of Dr. Heylin and others, the court was prevailed with to consent that there should; and such care was taken in the choice of members, as bishop Burnet observes, that every thing went among them as was directed by bishop Sheldon and Morley. If a convocation had been holden with the conventionparliament, the majority would have been against the hierarchy; but it is not to be wondered they were otherwise now, when some hundreds of the Presbyterian clergy, who were in possession of sequestered livings, had been dispossessed; and the necessity of ordination by a bishop being urged upon those who had been ordained by presbyters only, great numbers were denied their votes in elections. Nevertheless, the Presbyterian interest carried it in London for Mr. Baxter and Calamy by three voices; but the bishop of London, having a power of choosing two out of four, or four out of six, within a certain circuit, left them both out; by
* Page 265.
† Answer to Bennet, of Liturgies, p. 382.
which means the city of London had no clerks in the convocation. The author of the Conformists' Plea*
os that to frame a convocation to their mind great care and pains were used to keep out, and to get men in, by very undue proceedings; and that protestations were made against all incumbents not ordained by bishops.
The Savoy conference having ended without success, the king sent a letter to the convocation, November 20, commanding them to review the Book of Common Prayer, and make such additions and amendmentst as they thought necessary,
Letters to the same purpose were sent to the archbishop of York, to be communicated to the clergy of his province, who for the greater expedition sent proxies with procuratorial letters to those of Canterbury, and obliged themselves to abide by their votes under forfeiture of their goods and chattels.
“ It is inconceivable, says Dr. Nichols, what difficulties the bishops had to contend with, about making these alterations; they were not only to conquer their own former resentments, and the unreasonable demands of Presbyterians, but they had the court to deal with, who pushed them on to all acts of severity 1.” Whereas on the contrary, the tide was strong on their side, the bishops pushed on the court, who were willing to give them the reins, that when the breach was made as wide as possible, a door might be opened for the toleration of Papists. The review of the Common Prayer-book engaged the convocation a whole month; and on the 20th of December it was signed, and approved by all the members of both houses.
The alterations were these ,
1. The rubric for singing of lessons ||, &c. was omitted, the distinct reading of them being thought more proper.
2. Several collects for Sundays and holy-days complained of, were omitted, and others substituted in their room.
• Page 35.
+ It was required, “ that all proposed alterations should be exhibited and presented for his majesty's farther allowance and confirmation :" this was accordingly done. He was finally to pronounce on the propriety and truth of the pro. posed alterations. All the debates, investigations, and decisions, of the clergy and bishops, had no efficacy without the sanction of the king. They might be mis. taken : but he could not. There is an absurdity in ascribing infallibility to any human being, necessarily liable to imperfect views, to prejudices, and to error. ** But, if possible, the absurdity is greater in attributing it to the sceptred rather than to the mitred sovereign. The former is not educated to a religious profession; and his time, from the moment he fills the throne, that is, from the moment he becomes infallible, must be constantly employed in civil concerns : but yet, as the head of the church, to him all truth is known; to him all appeals from the ecclesiastical courts must be inade." A Treatise on Heresy, p. 73, 74.- Ep. Kennet's Chron. p. 574.
§ Ibid. p. 585. || The rubric in king James's Review directed also the two lessons to be distinctly read, but added; “To the end the people may better hear, in such places where they do sing, there shall the lessons be sung in a plain tune, after the manner of distinct reading, and likewise the epistle and gospel." Grey's Examination, p. 308.-Ed.
3. Communicants at the Lord's supper were enjoined to signify their names to the curate some time the day before.
4. The preface to the ten commandments was restored*. 5. The exhortations to the holy communion were amended.
6. The general confession in the communion-office was appointed to be read by one of the ministers.
7. In the office for Christmas-day the words “this day" were changed for “ as at this time."
8. In the prayer of consecration the priest is directed to break the bread.
9. The rubric for explaining the reason of kneeling at the sacrament was restored.
10. Private baptism is not to be administered but by a lawful minister.
11. The answer to the question in the catechism, “Why then are children baptized ?" is thus amended, “ Because they promise them both by their sureties; which promise, when they come to age, themselves are bound to perform.”
12. In the last rubric before the catechism these words are expunged, “ And that no man shall think that any detriment shall come to children by deferring of their confirmation,” &c.
13. It is appointed that the curate of every parish shall either bring or send in writing, with his hand subscribed thereunto, the names of all such persons within his parish, as he shall think fit to be presented to the bishop to be confirmed.
14. The rubric after confirmation was thus softened; “ None shall be admitted to the communion till such time as he be confirmed, or be ready and desirous to be confirmed."
15. In the form of matrimony, instead of, “ till death us depart,” it is, “ till death us do part."
16. In the rubrics after the form of matrimony, it is thus altered. “ After which, if there be no sermon declaring the duties of man and wife, the minister shall read as followeth :". and instead of the second rubric, it is advised to be convenient, that the new-married persons should receive the communion at the time of marriage, or at the first opportunity afterward.
17. In the order for visitation of the sick it is thus amended: 66 Here the sick person shall be moved to make special confession of his sins, if he feel his conscience troubled with any weighty matter; after which the priest shall absolve him, if he humbly and heartily desire it, after this sort."
18. In the communion for the sick the minister is not enjoined to administer the sacrament to every sick person that shall desire it, but only as he shall judge expedient.
“ So indeed says bishop Kennet (remarks Dr. Grey); but they are both mistaken. The commandments were not in king Edward's first liturgy, but in king Edward's 1552, and in the Reviews of queen Elizabeth and king James." Grey's Examination, p. 309. Ed.