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Ecclesiastical history of England : from the opening of the long parliament to the death of Oliver Cromwell (Volume 2) online

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they are bound to do, but that they
do more for His sake than of
bounden duty is required ; whereas
Christ saith plainly. When you
have done all those things that
are commanded you, say, we are
unprofitable servants, we have done
that which was our duty to do.


Of Christ alone without Si)t.

Christ in the truth of our
nature was made like unto us in
all things, sin only excepted, from
which He was clearly void both in

Appendix. 535

flesh and in His spirit. He came His flesh and in His spirit. He

to be a lamb without spot, who by came to be the lamb without spot,

sacrifice of Himself once made, who by sacrifice of Himself once

should take away the sins of the made, should take away the sins

world ; and sin (as St. John saith) of the world, and sin (as St. John

was not in Him. But all we the saith) was not in Him. But all we

rest ('although baptized, and born the i-est, although baptized and

again in Christ) yet off"end in many regenerate, yet offend in many

things ; and if we say we have no things, and if we say we have no

sin we deceive ourselves, and the sin, we deceive ourselves, and the

truth is not in us. truth is not in us.

Charles Herle, Prolocutor.
Henry Robrough, Scriba.
Adoniram Byfield, Scriba.

N.B. — The Assembly proceeded no further in the revisal." — Neal, iii.

IV.— Vol. I. 294.
Copy of the Solemn League and Covenant.

We Noblemen, Barons, Knights, Gentlemen, Citizens, Burgesses,
Ministers of the Gospel, and Commons of all sorts in the kingdoms of
England, Scotland, and Ireland, by the Providence of God living under
one King, and being of one reformed religion, having before our eyes
the glory of God, and the advancement of the kingdom of our Lord
and Saviour Jesus Christ, the honour and happiness of the King's
majesty and his posterity, and the true public liberty, safety, and peace
of the kingdoms, wherein every one's private condition is included, and
calling to mind the treacherous and bloody plots, conspiracies, attempts,
and practices of the enemies of God against the true religion and pro-
fessors thereof in all places, especially in these three kingdoms, ever
since the reformation of religion, and how much their rage, power, and
presumption are of late, and at this time increased and exercised,
whereof the deplorable estate of the Church and kingdom of Ireland,
the distressed estate of the Church and kingdom of Enr/land, and the
dangerous estate of the Church and kingdom of Scotland, are present and
public testimonies, we have (now at last) after other means of supplication,
remonstrance, protestations, and sufi'erings, for the preservation of our-
selves and our religion from utter ruin and destruction, according to the
commendable practice of these kingdoms in former times, and the ex-
ample of God's people in other nations, after mature deliberation,

536 The Church of the Civil Wars.

resolved and determined to enter into a mutual and solemn League and
Covenant, wherein we all subscribe, and each one of us for himself, with
our hands lifted up to the most high God, do swear : —

I. — That we shall sincerely, really, and constantly, thro' the grace
of God, endeavour in our several places and callings, the pre-
sen-ation of the reformed religion in the Church of Scotland, in
doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, against our
common enemies ; the reformation of religion in the kingdoms of
England and Ireland, in doctrine, worship, discipline, and
government, according to the Word of God, and the example of
the best reformed churches ; and we shall endeavour to bring the
Churches of God in the three kingdoms to the nearest con-
junction and uniformity in religion, confessing of faith, form of
Church government, Directory for worship and catechising, that
we, and our posterity after us, may, as brethren, live in faith
and love, and the Lord may delight to dwell in the midst of us.
IL — That we shall in like manner, without respect of persons,
endeavour the extirpation of Popery, Prelacy, (that is, Church-
government by Archbishops, Bishops, their Chancellors and Com-
missaries, Deans, Deans and Chapters, Archdeacons, and all other
ecclesiastical officers, depending on that hierarchy), superstition,
heresy, schism, profaneness, and whatsoever shall be found to be
contrary to sound doctrine and the power of godliness, lest we
partake in other men's sins, and thereby be in danger to receive
of their plagues, and that the Lord may be one, and His Name
one in the three kingdoms.
III. — We shall with the same sincerity, rcahty, and constancy,
in our several vocations, endeavour with our estates and lives
mutually to preserve the rights and privileges of the Parliaments,
and the liberties of the kingdoms, and to preserve and defend
the King's Majesty's person and authority, in the preservation
and defence of the true religion and liberties of the kingdoms,
that the world may bear witness with our consciences of our
loyalty, and that we have no thoughts or intentions to diminish
his Majesty's just power and greatness.
IV. —We shall also with all faithfulness endeavour the discovery
of all such as have been or shall be incendiaries, maligiiants,
or evil instruments, by hindering the reformation of religion,
dividing the King from his people, or one of the kingdoms from
another, or making any faction or parties amongst the people,
contrary to the League and Covenant, that they may be brought

Appendix. 537

to public trial, and receive condign punishment, as the degree of
their offences shall require or deserve, or the supreme judica-
tories of both kingdoms respectively, or others having power
from them for that effect, shall judge convenient.

V. — And whereas the happiness of a blessed peace between these
kingdoms, denied in former times to our progenitors, is by the
good providence of God granted unto us, and hath been lately
concluded and settled by both Parliaments, we shall each one
of us, according to our places and interest, endeavour that they
may remain conjoined in a firm peace and union to all posterity,
and that justice may be done upon the wilful opposers thereof in
manner expressed in the precedent articles.

VI. — We shall also, according to our places and callings, in this
common cause of religion, liberty, and peace of the kingdom,
assist and defend all those that enter into this League and
Covenant, in the maintaining and pursuing thereof, and shall
not suffer ourselves directly or indirectly, by whatsoever com-
bination, persuasion, or terror, to be divided and withdrawn
from this blessed union and conjunction, whether to make
defection to the contrary part, or give ourselves to a detestable
indifferency or neutrality in this cause, which so much concemeth
the glory of God, the good of the kingdoms, and the honour of
the King ; but shall all the days of our lives zealously and con-
stantly continue therein, against all opposition, and promote the
same according to our power against all lets and impediments
whatsoever ; and what we are not able ourselves to suppress or
overcome we shall reveal and make known, that it may be timely
prevented or removed ; all which we shall do as in the sight of God.
And because these kingdoms are guilty of many sins, and
provocations against God, and His Son Jesus Christ, as is too
manifest by our present distresses and dangers, the fruits thereof,
we profess and declare before God and the world our unfeigned
desire to be humbled for our sins, and for the sins of these
kingdoms, especially that we have not, as we ought, valued the
inestimable benefit of the Gospel, that we have not laboured for
the purity and power thereof, and that we have not endeavoured
to receive Christ in our hearts, nor to walk worthy of Him in
our lives, which are the causes of other sins and transgressions
so much aboundmg amongst us ; and our true and unfeigned
purpose, desire, and endeavour for ourselves, and all others under
our power and charge, both in public and in private, in all

538 The Church of the Civil Wars.

duties we owe to God and raan, to amend our lives, and each
one to go before another in the example of a real reformation,
that the Lord may turn away His wrath and heavy indignation,
and establish these Churches and kingdoms in truth and peace ;
and this covenant we make in the presence of Almighty God,
the searcher of all hearts, with a true intention to perform the
same, as we shall answer at that great day, when the secrets of
all hearts shall be disclosed, most humbly beseeching the Lord
to strengthen us by His Holy Spirit for this end, and to bless
our desires and proceedings with such success as may be a
deliverance and safety to His people, and encouragement to the
Christian Churches groaning under, or in danger of the yoke of
anti-Christian tyranny, to join in the same or like association
and Covenant, to the glory of God, the enlargement of the
kingdom of Jesus Christ, and the peace and tranquillity of
Christian kingdoms and commonwealths. — Faishuorlh y . 478.

V. — YoL. I. 329.
Respecting the Minutes of the Westminster Assembly.

The question has often been asked, "What became of the minutes of
the Assembly kept by the scribes ? " It has been said by some, they
were burnt in the fire of London ; by others, that they were destroyed
(1834) in the fire which burnt doA\Ti the House of Commons ("Hethering-
ton's Hist, of the Westminster Assembly," preface v.) Whether it be the
case that some MS. records of the proceedings were so consumed I have
no means of ascertaining. But certainly there exist in Dr. Williams'
library, minutes of the Assembly's business, in the handwriting of
Adoniram Byfield, one of the scribes. As so many incorrect accounts of
these MSS. have been given, I am glad to be able to present the fol-
lowing description of them, drawn up from the carefully-prepared but
unprinted catalogue of Dr. Williams' MSS. by Mr. Black, and from my
own examination of the papers. They consist of three volumes, and
contain minutes of the sessions of the Assembly of Divines from August
the 4th, 1643, to April the 24th, 1652, and what are, apparently, the
rough notes of proceedings, debates, and orders of the Assembly, taken
for the most part by Adoniram Byfield, one of the scribes.

On the fly-leaf of the first volume is a list of members, amongst
whom the sum of £100 had been distributed in sums of £5 each,
according to the decision of a Committee (Sept. 8th, 1643) " appointed
to dispose of the £100, allotted by the order of Parliament, to such

Appendix. 639

persons as they shall find to have most need thereof, for supply of their
present necessities." — Vol. i. 24.

This volume contains heads and particulars, in many cases very
brief, of speeches delivered in the Assembly, with the names of speakers
appended in the margin, as well as lists of resolutions passed, and
various other memoranda. The proceedings of sessions thus reported
extend from August the 4th, 1643, to April the nth, 1644.

The second volume embraces similar minutes from the 12th of April to
the 15th of August, 1644, with a list of members prefixed. Some of the
notes are written in shorthand by a difierent scribe ; but however unin-
telligible the shorthand may be, it is not much more so than Mr.
Byfield's longhand in some places.

Vol. iii. gives further minutes from November the i8th, 1644, to
March the 25th, 1652. The late ones are briefly, but more distinctly
recorded, in the handwriting of better scribes than Byfield.

-" The latest sessions relate almost exclusively to examinations for
ordinations for livings, in relation to which an original paper was found
loose in the book, now inserted in its proper place, where the name
occurs — viz : testimonial from R. Robinson in favour of Mr. Gilson,
M.A., and fellow of C.C.C., Oxon., 14th March, 1650-51."

Some of the papers in this volume are carelessly arranged, but they
contain only trivial memoranda. •

There are bound up in this volume Minutes of Provincial Assemblies
holden at Sion College, and elsewhere in London, from the 27th of
November, 1650, to the 9th of April, 1655.

" It does not appear when these volumes were deposited in this
library. They came most probably with Morrice's MSS."

Mention has often been made of there being in Dr. Williams' library
fourteen or fifteen small volumes of the Assembly's transactions, by Dr.
Thomas Goodwin. No manuscript notes by Goodwin can there be
found. The three volumes just described contain a number of distinct
thin MSS. bound up together. Do not they after all contain the fourteen
or fifteen small (thin?) MSS. incorrectly ascribed to Dr. Goodwin?

In the Advocate's library, Edinburgh, there are two volumes of manu-
script notes, by Gillespie, which — according to Dr. Hetherington, who
inspected them — " corroborate the printed accounts of Lightfoot and

VI. — Vol. I. 434.
Number of the Ejected Clergy.

The number of clergymen ejected during the Civil Wars and under
the Commonwealth is a question commonly discussed in a party spirit.

540 The Church of the Civil Wars.

The Churchman is anxious to swell the number, and the Nonconformist
labours to reduce it ; each thinking his ecclesiastical principles at stake
in the controversy. Yet it is curious that the former should not see,
that the more sequestrations there might be, the more open to censure
must have been the conduct of the clergy ; the more likely must be
the charges of immorality brought against them ; and the more com-
pletely must they have alienated from themselves the sjTnpathies of the
nation — otherwise how can we account for their being swept out of the
Church in such swarms ? For it is incredible that the enormous number
imagined by some could have been expelled on political or ecclesiastical
grounds alone, without any demerit on the score of irreligion or useless-
ness. It is equally curious that the Nonconformist should regard his own
cause as helped, and the opposite side as damaged, by making the
sequestrations under Puritan ascendancy appear to have been few ; for,
if few, then either the clergy of that age could not be so bad as they have
been represented, or the Puritans allowed clerg}Tnen to remain in the
Church notwithstanding their immorality. The interests of Church or of
dissent are really not at all involved in this enquiiy. Even if it were to
the interest of the one that the Puritans should be represented as bad as
possible, and to the interest of the other that they should be represented
as good as possible, still the proper subject of investigation would be
found, not in numerical statistics, but in the rules laid down to regulate
the sequestrations, and in the spirit of equity, or othermse, in which they
were carried out. Of those rules we have spoken already.

Walker hazards the statement, that if we add " such as u-oiild
have suffered had not death prevented," it would " in all probability
make the total nothing short of ten thousand. "i To pass over the
absurdity of including those uho miyht have suffered, but were pre-
vented by death, it is enough to remark that he entirely invalidates
his own calculations by candidly confessing that he possessed no satis-
factory data on which to proceed. He apologizes for the defectiveness
of his lists, and endeavours to give colour to his conjectures by quoting
broad royalist assertions, in which "thousands " are dealt with in the
loosest way : and a report is cited, that the party in power " destroyed
all the principal ministers throughout the kingdom, and of ten thousand
scarce left one thousand of the old clergy." If nine thousand were ejected,

* Sufferings of the Cler(iy,-pa.rt i. 199- ters on the catacombs are examples.

200. A curious instance of the tendency

The subject of martjrology strongly occurs in Donne's Sermons, i. 328.
tempts to exaggeration. Certain wri-

Appendix. 541

the question naturally occurs, what became of them all ? Making allow-
ance for mere curates, and for unusual mortality owing to hardship, and
for those who went abroad, and for those who, having betaken them-
selves to other means of livelihood, did not care to seek their old
cures, how came it about that so small a proportion re-entered the
Church upon the re-establishment of Episcopacy ? ^ If, on Walker's
reckoning, all survivors (with such exceptions as were just now indicated)
had been reinstated, then, to make room for them all, many more
ejectments, between the Restoration and Bartholomew's-day, must have
occurred than can be reconciled with the facts of history.

Nor do I see my way to the opposite extreme. It has been argued that
although two thousand episcopal clergymen might altogether first and
last suffer ejectment during the period, half were allowed to return
before its expiration. To establish the point that one half the ejected
Episcopalians were re-admitted by Presbyterians or Independents under
the Commonwealth, requires positive statistical evidence such as I
cannot discover.

General references to the preaching of malignant ministers may be
met with in Commonwealth tracts, but they ai'e not sufficient to decide
the matter.* Moreover, it must be remembered that if some individuals,
ejected during the wars, were replaced when the wars were over, others
who had escaped under the Presbyterians were turned out by the Inde-

Walker mentions White's assertion that 8,000 of the clergy " were
unworthy and scandalous, and deserved to be cast out ; " and the addi-
tion made to this by Mr. Stephens, that " he (White) and his com-
mittee have come little short of that number." Sir Henry Yelverton
too is quoted as saying: "If I mistake not there were 8,000 forsook
all for the Covenant." Walker afterwards insists on Dr. Gauden's
calculation of 6,000 or 7,000 pei'sons expelled. With respect to

' Baxter, and the Presbyterian ^ T^g Perfect Diurnal, July, 1646,

ministers at the Savoy, speak of "many states that it was complained of in

hundreds," " several hundreds," and the House of Commons, that seques-

" some hundreds." Hook, in a letter tered malignant ministers in London

in the State Paper Office (March 2nd, and other places were admitted to pul-

1663) says: Of the ejected Puritans, pits where they preached sedition,

they were " about 1,500 or 1,600 in the On March the ist, 1647, notice was

nation, besides as near as many before given the Earl of Chesterfield net to

upon the point of title." All this is in- entertain malignant preachers, nor use

determinate, and in Hook's statement the Book of Common Prayer. — Ibid.
there must be exaggeration.

542 The Church of the Civil Wars.

which Coleridge says: " I presume that no party ■will regard any
assertion of Gauden's as other than =0 — nay, nay, this is saying too
little. It is^ evidence in the same sense as debts are algebraically desig-
nated=capital. — ' Southey's Life of Wesley.'" This is too severe,
yet Gauden's testimony in the matter does not prove anything. The
reports quoted by Walker will appear to every impartial reader of
his "Sufferings" quite insufficient to sustain his conclusions. He
makes out a list of 1,339 names of the several persons mentioned in the
cathedrals, collegiate churches, chapels, and the two universities. He
also gives, without numbering, lists of some of the loyal and Episcopal
clergy of London and of the provinces. All these lists he acknowledges
are imperfect, and he admits that some names may be given more than
once, and that many of the cathedral clergy held parochial benefices.
Nothing can be determined on such grounds. It may be further stated
that he and Anthony Wood do not agree. Walker says that about 400
were ejected from Oxford (part ii. 139). Wood states that 334 (see
Neal, iii. 455) did not submit, but they were not immediately ex-
pelled. Walker, p. 138, represents Wood as meaning 334 at one
time, besides more at other times, but I cannot trace his references.

Now let us turn to data supplied from other sources.

Baillie, in his "Letters " (vol. ii. 224), August 28th, 1644, speaks
as if many churches were at the time unsupplied, for he says, that after all
which can be done by a pure ordination, and what more Scotland " can
afford of good youths for the ministry here, are provided ; it is thought
some thousands of churches must vaik (be vacant) for fault of men."

There is a tract in the " Harleian Miscel." (vii. 181), giving a total
list of 1 15 London clergy expelled. " In the ninety-seven parishes within
the walls, besides St. Paul's, outed eighty-five, and dead, sixteen." Out of
sixteen without the walls, fourteen expelled, two dead. Out of eleven out
parishes, nine expelled, two dead. Adjacent towns, besides those of the
Abbey Church and Islington, seven expelled, two dead. This list diflers
somewhat from "Walker's" (p. ii. 164 — 180). There is a list of
sequestrations in Essex (Add. MSS. Brit. Museum. 15,669, &c.),
amounting to 153, out of the 415 parishes in that county.

Withers, of Exeter — a Nonconformist — computed that in Sufiblk,
Norfolk, and Cambridge, out of 1,398 parishes, there were 253 seques-
trations, and in his own county of Devon, out of 394 parishes there were
139 ejected, thirty-nine were deducted for pluralities ("Neal," iii. 134).
Pluralists must be allowed for throughout the countiy, so also must
cathedral dignitaries and members of the universities, not holding
parochial benefices. But what was done in the Eastern counties,

Appendix. 643

where the Puritan party had gi-eat power, is no rule for judging of
what was done in other counties where the Puritan party had little

After repeatedly pondering what has been said on all sides, it appears
to me impossible to come to a definite conclusion ; but computing the
clergy at about ten thousand, and reckoning from the loose data just
given, I venture to suggest that perhaps about one fifth of the whole
might be ejected. I see no ground for believing that less than 2,000 or
more than 2,500 were expelled from the Establishment.

Vir.— Vol. II. 150.

Deaft of a Bill for revising the English Translation of the

Since the account given p. 150 was printed, the following document
in the State Paper Ofiice, {Domestic Interreg., Bundle 662, f. 12.,) has
been pointed out to me : —

"Whereas by the reverend, godly, and learned Dr. Hill, it was publicly
declared in his sermon before an honourable assembly, 1 and by himself
since that time published in print, that when the Bible had been trans-
lated by the translators appointed, the New Testament was looked over
by some Prelates (that he could name) to bring it to speak the prelatical
language, and he was informed by one that lived then, a great observer
of those times, fourteen places in the New Testament, whereof he instan-
ceth these in five or six places by them corrupted.

The like testimony of those Prelates so wronging that new and best
translation being given by some other ancient and godly preachers also,
who lived in those times.

And some appearance hereof may yet be seen in part of that very
copy of those translators.

And whereas in the original text of the Holy Scriptures there is so
great a depth, that only by degrees there is a progress of light towai-ds
the attaining of perfection of the knowledge in the bettering of the trans-
lation thereof ; and hence the most learned translators have found cause
again and again of reviving and still rectifying and amending within a
few years of what they themselves had translated and published. And

^ Spittle Sermon on Epli. iv. 15. — "Speaking the truth in love," p. 24-25.

544 The Church of the Commonwealth.

this hath been the commendable practice even of some Papists, i and of
sundry of the reformed religion.^

And it being now above forty years since our new translation was
finished,Mivers of the heads of colleges and many other learned persons
(that coming later have the advantage to stand as on the heads of the
fonner) in their public sermons (and in print also) have often held out to
their hearers and readers that the Hebrew or Greek may better be
rendered, as they mention, than as it is in our newest and best transla-
tion : some of the places seeming to be very material, and crying aloud
for the rectifying of them, if the truth be as it is so affirmed, and
published by them, and here in some MSS. presented to us.

And forasmuch as the translation by Mr. H. Ainsworth of Moses and
the Psalms, and Song of Solomon, is greatly commended by many of the

Online LibraryJohn StoughtonEcclesiastical history of England : from the opening of the long parliament to the death of Oliver Cromwell (Volume 2) → online text (page 43 of 46)