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word priest were kept back; it was only pleaded that the distinction from a deacon was needful. The treating the audience as in a state of grace was after the example of St. Paul in the Epistles. The right of the Church to decree ceremonies was maintained; but the Bishops offered fourteen concessions, chiefly changes of words become obsolete.
These did not satisfy them, and Baxter drew up a very long reply, which was only given in ten days before the four months were up.
There followed a viva voce argument between the two parties. The Bishops held to it that there was no need for altering the Prayerbook, unless some defect in it was proved, and none had been made clear to them.
Eight points were then handed in as objections, but the whole argument resolved itself into the debate whether a command to observe a custom, not in itself unlawful, can be sinful; and this discussion lasted out the allotted term. This dispute was like a circulating decimal, incapable of coming to an end, and thus the four months closed in the midst of it; and all that could be done was to report to the King that, though all were agreed in wishing for union, the parties were divided as to the means.
Parliament meantime was sitting, and a very Cavalier Parliament it was, with not above fifty or sixty Presbyterians in it, and the greater number of the gentlemen who composed it, sore with the remembrance of wrongs and injuries suffered from their adversaries. They were afraid that the Prayer-book should be watered down to please the Presbyterians; and therefore in July, before the Savoy Conference was ended, an order was brought in and passed on the 25th of July, 1661, that, ' A Committee be appointed to view the several laws for confirming the Liturgy of the Church of England, and to make search whether the original book of the Liturgy annexed to the Act, passed in the 5th and 6th years of King Edward VI., be still extant, and to provide for an effectual conformity to the Liturgy of the Church for the time to come.'
This Committee recommended a few amendments, which were made, and on the 9th of July, the Bill of Uniformity, as it was called, was passed by a large majority and sent up to the Lords; but the Lords wished the matter to wait, knowing that the King intended to have the Book revised by Convocation, so that they deferred the consideration of the Bill until Parliament had been prorogued on the 30th of November.
Convocation had of course been sitting and arranging the thanksgiving service for the anniversary of the King's Restoration on the 29th of May. In October, came the King's letters directing them to revise the Prayer-book, and it was decided that the Convocations of the two provinces should both appoint delegates to meet at the house of the Bishop of Ely for the purpose.
The Bishops were eight in number: Wren of Ely, Skinner of Oxford, Warner of Rochester, Henchman of Salisbury, Morley of Worcester, Sanderson of Lincoln, Nicholson of Glocester, Cosin of Durham, the last not least, either in dignity or in liturgical learning, for in both he stood pre-eminent. He had been friend and librarian to the two great Bishops, Andrewes and Overall, and his own chaplain and assistant was William Sancroft, by-and-by to become greatly noted in the history of the Church. Bishop Cosin had brought a folio copy of the Prayer-book at 1619, as it stood after the revision of James I., and in the margin he had made notes of all the alterations he desired. This was copied out by Sancroft, but the original is still preserved in the library of the cathedral at Durham. Most of his emendations were adopted, but not all, and it is impossible to specify them, since the entire number was nearly 600, generally only single words, directions in a rubric, or the place of a prayer. It was the last touch given to the actual services of prayer, and it was all in the Catholic, not the Puritan direction, though some changes which the Bishops would have wished for were omitted, out of the desire not to put stumbling-blocks in the way of the ignorant or disaffected.
On the 20th of December, the work was finished, agreed on by the Bishops, and sent to the Lower House. It was in 540 pages, and was attached to the Act of Uniformity. It is still preserved in the library of the House of Lords.
It then was sent to the King, who kept it waiting for several weeks, when Parliament, having again assembled, a message was sent from the Commons to the Lords to beg that the Bill of Uniformity might be considered. The Lords answered that they could not take it in hand without the proposed Prayer-book, and the Earl of Dorset complained, on February 12th, 1661, of the delay, when the Bishop of London promised that it should soon be brought forward. Thus urged, a Privy Council was summoned, at which five of the Bishops were present, and the alterations were inspected, probably in a very different manner from that in which Charles's theological grandfather had indulged, and a recommendation of it was duly signed by him and sent down to the House of Peers, sealed with the Great Seal on the 17th of March, 1662. There was no examination of it in the Lords; but when the Commons received it, they compared it with the former one, though having no debate upon it-only, so entirely was the House transformed, that they requested that Convocation would enjoin the use of reverent gestures in the service, and require that the ring, the surplice and baptismal cross should be always used. So entire was the victory for which Laud bad died.
It is this Bill that binds every consecrated Church to the observance of the ritual of the Book of Common Prayer and no other, leaving no opening for individual omissions nor additions, and this has continued to be the rule of the Church ever since, only of late years slightly relaxed by permission to shorten matins and evensong on occasion.
The Puritan party were far from being gratified at the changes, though some had been made in deference to them, such as the insertion of the words militant here on earth,' because they thought that otherwise the prayer might be taken to include the dead; but they objected to the introduction of a few more holy days, such as that of St. Barnabas, which, by some inadvertence, had been omitted from the calendar of 1562, though the collect held its place. They naturally disliked the services of fasting and humiliation on the 30th of January, and of thanksgiving on the 29th of May. Indeed, while the loyal put on mourning, went to church and fasted rigorously on the anniversary of King Charles the Martyr's death, and two new churches were actually dedicated in his name as. Our own, our royal Saint,' the Puritans made a point of dining on a calf's head in derision.
Another objection was to the prayer for the High Court of Parliament, because of the terming the King ‘most religious.' In truth, this was an older prayer, apparently composed by Archbishop Laud in the time of James I., and the epithet originally meant according to rule, but it had drifted further and further from its old sense, and had so entirely come to be viewed as synonymous with pious, that there were unseemly jests on its being applied to Charles II., and it was thought to be from adulation, whereas the fact no doubt was that it could not have been altered without disrespect to the King, and a slur on the words of Laud, whom the Bishops regarded as a martyr.
The Earl of Northumberland presented a petition on behalf of the old Prayer-book, but without effect. The only alterations made in the House of Lords were that the incumbents of all parishes were required to have received Episcopal Ordination, and to abjure the Solemn League and Covenant, though if ejected, a fifth of the tithes were assigned for their maintenance, and the King was given a dispensing power for their retention, but the period at which they must choose between obedience to the Prayer-book or resignation of their benefices was shortened. The Commons had fixed at Michaelmas Day, which would have given the half year's tithe to the outgoing minister, the Lords advanced it to St. Bartholomew's. When the Bill was sent down again to the Commons, they refused both the allowance of fifths, and likewise the dispensing power, though, in a measure, it was allowed to the Ordinary; but they agreed with the Lords in requiring the Covenant to be denounced as an unlawful oath, and that there should be a declaration that, on no ground whatever, might arms be taken up against the King. Thus, on the 19th of May, 1662, the Act of Uniformity was passed, and received the assent of the King. It was, of course, the preservation of the Church of England, and the requirements therein were as absolutely necessary and stringent as the purification by Ezra after the restoration of the Jews; but like those, it fell very hard upon those who had transgressed. The Presbyterian ministry, who occupied livings otherwise vacant, had only three months to consider what was to be done, and from some unavoidable delay in the printing, did not see the new Prayerbook till three weeks before the critical day.
Those who had been rightly ordained before the Rebellion were safe, provided they would conform, and denounce the Covenant; but those who had only been ordained by Presbyters could only continue on condition of receiving true Orders from the Bishops. Some could not endure the doctrine, others, while accepting the theology, stumbled at the ceremonies, and others held their Presbyterian Orders as a sacred thing, which could not be disregarded without sacrilege. There was much consultation and correspondence ; Barter, the chief leader among them, was for resignation, even of his lectureship, and so was Calamy. Many made up their minds that the sacrifice must be made for conscience' sake.
On the 17th of August these men preached farewell sermons to their flocks, and their pulpits were left vacant on what was known in their party as Black Bartholomew's Day. The number thus ejected is differently stated at 1800 and 2000, but these were the most zealous and uncompromising. The Bishops and patrons were not rigid in general. Some had time given them to prepare for full ordination; and in other cases, where the patron was a Puritan, the residence of the minister in the parsonage was permitted, a curate being employed to read prayers. There were bitter partings and much distress, but 80 far the needful changes, though sad, were wrought with fair consideration for the inevitable suffering they caused. Of course there were extreme cases. Sometimes a devoted Churchman and earnest pastor took the place of a rude, ignorant declaimer, while in the next parish a deeply-learned, pious, and diligent minister might be superseded by a careless priest, a mere boon companion or flatterer of the squire, incapable of preaching, and heedless of the flock. But there were many more middle cases; and in general the clergy of the Restoration were of a higher type than their predecessors, and the general spirit of the country was in their favour, feeling the Liturgy like an anchor after all the tossings of fanaticism. Of the ejected ministers, some became chaplains or tutors to Puritan families, and some kept school. Those who could conscientiously do so attended the Church services; and those who were grieved at neglect, or, as they considered, false doctrine on the part of the clergy, privately instructed and worshipped with such of their people as were attached to them.
The King intended this Act to be accepted in Scotland, for he had no feeling so strong as resentment against the Covenanters, who had begun the war, had turned the scale in England, betrayed his father, and what perhaps he felt most keenly of all, made him spend the most dismally uncomfortable year of his life.
The first step had been the Assembly of the Estates of Parliament,
on the first day of 1661, when the Regalia, dug up from their hidingplace in Kinnef Church, were produced and carried in state ; and then, in the spirit of reaction, an Act Rescissory was passed, cancelling everything that had been done in the Scottish Parliament since 1640. This had left the field clear, and as soon as the Act of Uniformity had been passed, several nobles, and the two ministers, Sharp and Douglas, were summoned to London to confer with the King.
Whether Sharp was honestly convinced, or whether he yielded out of ambition, none can tell; but the nobles soon saw how the land lay. A Privy Council was held, in which it was resolved to restore Episcopacy in Scotland, with only one dissentient voice, that of the Earl of Lauderdale, who, with the sagacity of the Maitlands, knew that such a matter was more easily said than done. The English people connected the Bishops' book with the good old times,' before the days of war and confusion ; the Scots only viewed them as a badge of English oppression, and the first step towards Popery.
Lauderdale himself, on coming out from the Council, met Sharp walking with the Earl of Stirling, and thus announced what had passed : 'Mr. Sharp, Bishops you are to have in Scotland. You are to be Archbishop of St. Andrews; but whoever shall be the man, I will smite him under the fifth rib.'
Sharp was commissioned to persuade his colleague Douglas to accept preferment, and this acceptance was thought probable, as he listened willingly to the Episcopal ministers, and communicated with them. His answer was, however: ‘Brother, I render his Majesty a thousand thanks ; but I have dipt so far in oaths, and in the concerns of the late troubles, and particularly in my sermon before the King at his coronation; and being now turned aged and infirm, I want strength to sustain the weight of the office, and the difficulties I should have to encounter. But if you can comply, who are young, and not under the same engagements, I neither can nor will blame you.'
All the old Scottish Bishops were dead except Sysderf of Galloway, who was too old to officiate; so that a mandate was issued by the Bishops of London and Winchester to consecrate four Scottish clergy, Sharp, Fairfowl, Hamilton, and Leighton to the sees of St. Andrews, Glasgow, Galloway, and Dumblane. These were first raised to the priesthood and then duly consecrated by these two, with the assistance of other prelates; and on their return they filled up the other ten sees, Montrose's chaplain, Wishart being placed at Edinburgh, and Sydserf translated to the Orkneys. The incomes of all these dioceses together did not amount to that of Winchester. Nothing as yet was said about the liturgy, and things remained as in the latter days of James, so that there was no surplice, no kneeling at the Holy Communion, no crossing after Baptism, and Calamy exclaimed, “What would our brethren in Scotland be at, or what would they have? Would to Heaven we had had these offers.?
No Episcopal Ordination was enforced on the existing ministers as