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few days after the commencement ved to impeach Laud as the author of the session, the commons passed and imposer of those canons, while an order that none should sit in their at the same time the Scotch comhouse but such as should receive missioners preferred their complaint the communion according to the against him as one of the “incenusage of the church of England. diaries” or authors of the war beAnd having observed a day of fast- tween the two kingdoms. ing, all the members on the next Meanwhile, the known determinaLord's day received the sacrament tion of the Parliament to enter upon in Westminster abbey at the hands some thorough ecclesiastical reform, of bishop Williams, dean of that had opened the door for the freest church. They felt that they were and boldest discussion, in the city entering on a great and serious bu. and throughout the country. The siness; and they chose to begin press having been emancipated from their work as religious men, and the strict censorship which Laud with such acts of solemn devotion had maintained over it, there was as in that age were deemed appro- immediately a running fire of pampriate to such a body.

phlets from all sorts of writers, for If we observe the manner and and against the established system. the successive stages of their pro. The good Bishop Hall, and those ceedings in relation to ecclesiastical five Puritan clergymen whose iniaffairs, we shall find additional rea. tials made up the word Smectym. sons for rejecting the idea that they nuus, were carrying on their memwere presbyterians. Among the orable controversy—a controversy proceedings of the first business day the more memorable, inasmuch as of the session, an arrangement was John Milton came to the aid of the made that on one day in each week Puritan divines, with a pamphlet the house should sit as a "grand written in the bitter temper of those committee for religion.” A few times, and in all that gorgeousness days afterward, this grand commit- of imagination and of diction, which tee named a sub-committee of forty, makes his ephemeral prose writings subsequently increased to eighty, hardly less interesting than his most “to inquire into the causes of the elaborate poems. But the discus. great scarcity of preaching minis- sion was not confined to the press. ters, and to consider of a way for The pulpits resounded with it. Eve. removing scandalous ministers, and ry place where intelligent men met putting others into their places. each other, was a place for inquiry The next thing done in relation to and debate on the great question of the church, was the adoption of a the day. It was in the expectation series of resolutions respecting the of such a discussion, that the Scotch obnoxious canons framed by the late commissioners, one of whom, Alexconvocation. It was unanimously ander Henderson, was a preacher, voted that the clergy in convocation the John Knox of his day-brought or synod had no power to make any with them in the capacity of chapenactments which should be binding lains, three of the ablest chamon laity or clergy without being rat-pions of Presbyterianism which their ified by act of Parliament; and it country could afford. One of these, was resolved, that the particular Robert Baillie, afterwards principal canons in question contained matters of the University of Glasgow, left contrary 10 the fundamental laws to posterity, in the shape of a voand statutes of the realm, to the luminous series of letters to bis rights of Parliament, and to the presbytery, to his wife, and to his property and liberty of the subject. friends, one of the liveliest descripImmediately afterward it was resol. tions now extant, of that age of

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revolution. In a letter to his wife, who had separated from the church dated Newcastle, November 5, 1640, of England, and who were theretwo days after the opening of the fore inclined towards congregationParliament, Baillie says, " At our alism, would give their aid in the presbytery, after sermon, both our effort to abolish the office of the noblemen and ministers in one voice bishops. On the 18th of Decemthought meet, that not only Mr. ber, the petition from the city of Alexander Henderson, but also Mr. London, praying for the abolition Robert Blair, Mr. George Gillespie, of the episcopal system, “root and and I, should all three, for divers branch,” and thence called the root ends, go to London : Mr. R. Blair, and branch petition, was presented to satisfy the minds of many in Eng. to Parliament; and Baillie, writing land, who love the way of New to his presbytery, the next day, England better than that of pres- says, “ Yesterday, a world of honest byteries used in our church ; I, for citizens in their best apparel, in a convincing of that prevalent fac. very modest way, went to the house tion, (Laud's party,) against which of commons, and sent in two alderI have written ; Mr. Gillespie, for men with their petition, subscribed, the crying down of the English as we hear, by fifteen thousand ceremonies, for which he has writ- hands, for removing episcopacy, the ten; and all four to preach by turns service-book, and other such scanto our commissioners.” In the first dals out of their church. It was letter after their arrival in London, well received.” He adds, that “sun

“On Thursday last [No. dry petitions of several shires, to vember 19] was here a fast. Mr. every one whereof some thousands Blair and I preached to our com- of hands are put, will be given in missioners at home ; for we had no against episcopacy." In another clothes for outgoing. [A predica- part of the same letter, he speaks ment somewhat like that in which of the convocation of the clergy Mr. Dickens found himself, on the which was then sitting twice a week, first Sabbath after his arrival in Bos- but doing nothing, for want of a ton.] Many ministers used greater commission from the king, empowliberty than ever here was heard of. ering it to transact business. He Episcopacy itself beginning to be says, “We hear there was some cried down, and a covenant cried thirty of them well minded for reup, and the liturgy to be scorned. moving of episcopacy, and many The town of London and a world more for paring of bishops' nails, of men, minds to present a petition, and arms too." "The less good which I have seen, for the abolition they intend, the better,” (so men of of bishops, deans, and all their ap- a thorough partisan spirit always purtenances.” Writing to the pres. reason,] * the more easily they will bytery, December 2, he says, " The be got overthrown.” And again courage of this people grows daily, he expresses his fears, “that the and the number not only of people separatists are like to be some help but of preachers, who are for root- to hold up the bishops through their ing out of Episcopacy. All are for impertinency.” In his Scotch presbringing them [bishops) very low; byterian acrimony, he knew not but who will not root them clean how to trust those who were so far away are not respected.” In the in advance of their age, as not to same letter he builds much on the believe in national churches. hope, that Lords Say and Brook, This may suffice to show, how, and some leading men in the house from the beginning of this Long of commons, who were known to Parliament, the expectations which have some sympathies with those men had of some thorough reform

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in church and state, occasioned free “ root and branch” petition, remainand bold discussion in all quarters.ed for some time on the table, no The odium which the great eccle. party being quite ready to begin siastical dignitaries had incurred, in the discussion. Meanwhile, another consequence of their dependence petition was in preparation, which on the king and their subserviency expressed the wishes of the body to his designs, created a popular of the Puritan clergy who had not prepossession against episcopacy it yet been expelled from the estab. self. The success of presbyterian- lishment. This, which was called ism in Scotland, created a prejudice the ministers' petition, was presentin favor of a system, which had ed to the house of commons on the there shown itself capable of the 23d of January, 1641, signed by most energetic and rapid achieve- seven hundred beneficed clergy. ments; and nothing was more nat- It asked distinctly not for ural, than to suppose that the same the abolition of episcopacy, but for system might be equally triumphant the reformation of certain corrupin England. The sudden popular. tions and abuses in the system as ity of the Scotch among the Eng. then existing. Appended to the pe. lish, and the adroit intermeddling tition was a schedule of the things of the commissioners from Scot- complained of in detail, filling, as land and their chaplains, gave a Baillie says, twenty sheets of paper. great impulse to the presbyterian Other petitions came in from all party. Yet, if Baxter's testimony parts of the country, some for epis. may be received—and what witness copacy, others against it. But, so can be more worthy of credit, es- far was presbyterianism, in the pecially on such a question ?—the Scotch sense of the word, from be. great body of the English Puritans ing the thing demanded by the rehad not made up their minds, long forming party, those who petitioned after this time, in favor of presbyte. against episcopacy had no other rianism, as preferable to some re- platform agreed upon among them. formed and primitive system of selves; and this notorious fact was episcopacy. Even the authors of forcibly objected against them in Smectymnuus, while they denied the counter petitions. that the superiority of bishops to Baillie appears to have been a other ministers was by any Divine watchful, but by no means a cool law, were at that time so far from observer of the progress of events. the Scotch temper, that they were His passionate Scotch prejudices of willing to petition Parliament, “ that ten led him to presume that what if episcopacy be retained in the was done for Puritanism, and was church, it may be reduced to its not done for the separatists, was of primitive simplicity.” Nay, the course designed to promote the iden. “ root and branch” petition itself, tical thing for which he and his col. was aimed rather against English leagues were so industriously laborepiscopacy in the concrete, than ing. He notices the ministers' pe. against episcopacy in the abstract; tition, while it was “ posting through -it spoke of “the government of the land for hands to make it stark,' archbishops, lord bishops, deans, and he says that by the time it reand archdeacons,” and its prayer turns, “a large remonstrance, by was, “ that the said government some dozen of hands out of the with all its dependencies, roots and whole number, will be ready, against branches, might be abolished,” and the bishops' corruptions in doctrine, that “the government according to discipline, life and all.” And flatGod's word” might be established. tered by the idea that his book

In Parliament, the London, or against Laud—a work which he re

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garded with the same amusing af. He charged the petitioners with malfection with which the good vicar ice; and as to the proposed reducof Wakefield regarded his own fa- tion of episcopacy by taking away mous treatise against deuterogamy- temporal power from the bishops, had “given good help” to the fra- he declared his determination not ming of that remonstrance, he thinks to consent that their votes in Parliathat when the remonstrance is pre- ment should be taken away ; for,” sented to Parliament, “ the root of said he, “ in all the times of my episcopacy will be assaulted with predecessors, since the conquest and the strongest blast it ever felt in before, they have enjoyed it as one England." He goes on to say that of the fundamental constitutions of “ the primate of Ireland”-arch- the kingdom.” This speech was bishop Usher, one of the greatest one of those many ill advised move. and best men of that age, whose ments on the part of the king, which views were as large and his feelings had no effect but to accelerate the as free and catholic as those of the approach of revolution. Baillie says illustrious Irish archbishop of our of it, “ This declaration will do no day—"and a great faction with him, evil. Many who inclined to keep will be for a limited good,” that is, bishops being put out of state and a “ reduced episcopacy,” an epis- brought low, while they see they copacy with small dioceses and with must continue lords of Parliament, out lord bishops; but he “trusts will join themselves more heartily they can not thrive in any of their to those who will essay to draw up designs." “ The far greatest part,

their roots.” On the next business he says, “ are for our discipline for day, the house of commons showed all the considerable parts of it; they how little they regarded the king's will draw up a model of their own, impertinent interference, by appointwith our advice, to be considered up- ing a time for taking into consider. on by commissioners of the church, ation the ministers' petition with the and others appointed by Parliament, remonstrance accompanying, and and (if God shall bless this land) the petition from the country for by these commissioners to be settled church reformation. The London in every congregation at this extraor- petition was afterward assigned to dinary time, till afterward the church be considered at the same time. being constitute, a general assembly The slowness of the proceedings may be called to perfect it.” How shows something like a reluctance far this scheming Scot misunder. to grapple with a subject in respect stood, at that time, the designs of to which none could foresee the rethose who swayed the Parliament, sult, and few perhaps were settled he himself was afterwards a witness. in opinion. On the 6th of Februa

On the same day on which the ry, Baillie says to his wife, “ About ministers' petition was presented to them (the bishops) we are all in perParliament, it so happened that the plexity. We trust God will put king summoned the two houses to them down, but the difficulty to get meet him at Whitehall, and deliver all the tapouns of their roots pulled ed them a speech or lecture on va- up, is yet insuperable by the arm of rious matters in their proceedings, man.

6. The ministers' remongiving them to understand what he strance these days by-gone hath would consent to, and what he would been read in the house by parts, for reject if enacted by them. Among it is long. They desire not an another things which he discoursed swer in haste, for fear their friends upon, was this subject of church re- in the house be not strong enough formation, respecting which so ma- to pull up that old oak, but many ny petitions had been presented. tears here are weekly sown for that Vol. I.

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end." “We pray, preach and print matter to be considered,—the secu. against them (the bishops] mostlar employments of the clergy ; the freely. Many a sore thrust get sole power of the bishops in eccleboth men and women thronging in siastical affairs, and particularly in to our sermons."

ordinations and church censures; On the 9th of February, after a and the large revenues of deans sharp debate, in which some who and chapters of cathedrals, with the afterward sided with the king insist- inconveniences attending the appli. ed that the root and branch petition cation of those revenues. Much should be cast out without a hear debate ensued. On the 10th of ing, all the petitions were referred March, it was resolved that the leto a large committee, who were "to gislative and judicial power of bishprepare heads out of these petitions ops in the house of

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is a great for the consideration of the house," hindrance to the discharge of their but were not to meddle with the spiritual function, prejudicial to the question about removing the office commonwealth, and fit to be taken of bishop ; " the house reserving to away by a bill. The next day, a itself the main point of episcopacy, similar resolution was adopted in reto take it into their consideration in gard to bishops or other clergymen due time." “ Before this commit- being justices of the peace or hav. tee, every other day,” says Baillie, ing judicial power in any secular “ some eight or ten of the remon- court, thus determining to sweep strants appear. Dr. Burgess [af. them out of the star chamber. terward one of the assessors or vice Eleven days later the same condem. presidents of the Westminster As. nation was voted against their being sembly] commonly is their mouth. employed as privy counselors, or We suspected him as too much in any temporal office. Such were episcopal, and wished he had not the results of consideration and dis. been of the number, but he has cussion on the first head reported such a hand among the ministry and by the committee. others, that it was not thought meet For more than a month after the to discard him; yet he has carried date of the last named resolution, himself so bravely that we repent both houses were chiefly occupied of our suspicions. The passages of with the trial and attainder of the the remonstrance that have yet been Earl of Strafford. Yet during that called for, he has cleared to the full period, the three resolutions concontentment of all the committee, cerning the secular employments of except Mr. Selden the avowed proc. the clergy were put into the form of tor for the bishops. How this mat. a bill, which was carried through its ter will go the Lord knows. All several stages in the house of comare for the erecting of a kind of mons, and was sent up to the lords presbytery, and for bringing down on the first of May. This most the bishops in all things spiritual and reasonable and moderate measure temporal, so low as can be with any of reform, the want of which secu. subsistence; but their utter aboli. larizes and dishonors the church of tion, which is the only aim of the England at this hour, was rejected most godly, [ah! Baillie, “the most in the house of lords. So much godly” are those that agree best hope was there, of any substantial with thee !) is the knot of the ques. improvement with the consent of tion; we must have it cut by the the court prelates and their party, axe of prayer."

The majority of the lords expressed After this protracted hearing of by resolution their willingness to the petitioners, the committee re- pass every part of the bill excepting ported to the house three heads of that part which was to take away

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