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the King's determination, they each sent deputies to Scotland with loyal addresses stating their wishes. The Bishops desired no change. A small party of the extreme Puritans petitioned for the introduction of Presbyterianism into the Church of England. But a petition was sent by the great body of the Puritans, called the Millenary Petition, because it was said to represent a thousand of the clergy, though the signatures only numbered about 800. These petitioners did not object to the Episcopal constitution of the Church; they desired, “not a disorderly innovation, but a due and godly reformation.” Their petition comprised the following liturgical points :-(1) They objected to the Cross in Baptism ; (2) to the Interrogatories ministered to Infants ; (3) to Confirmation; (4) to Lay Baptism. (5) They desired that the wearing of a cap and surplice should be optional; (6) that Communion always be accompanied with a sermon; (7) that the words “priest” and “absolution” should be changed. (8) They objected to the ring in marriage; (9) to the longsomeness of the services. (10) They desired a regulation of Church hymns and music; (11) and that the Apocrypha should not be read in church. They pleaded also for a stricter church discipline in many particulars, both over ministers and people, and against all pluralities.
King James appointed the Hampton Court Conference, in which the Bishops on one side, and the Millenary Petitioners on the other side, should state their case, and the King himself would decide after hearing both sides. At the Conference, the Puritan divines did not confine themselves to the particulars of the petition, but omitted some and introduced other matter. The result was, that the Prayer-book was maintained in its integrity, and a few very slight rubrical alterations were made to remove the scruples of the Puritans,-viz., the Rubric before the absolution was enlarged by the addition of the words “or remission of sins" after absolution, to distinguish absolution from the mere act of releasing a penitent from Church censures. It is not a little notable, that sixty years afterwards, at the Savoy Conference, this addition was objected to by the Paritans as “not quite intelligible.” In the Service for the private Baptism of Infants, a Rubric which seemed to countenance lay baptism was altered to the form, “Then let the law. ful minister."
It is remarkable that so few and such trivial objections should have been alleged against the Prayer-book by a party which for half a century had been clamorous for liturgical and ceremonial revision. It is equally remarkable that the Prayer-book should have been accepted without alteration by the great body of divines at the accession of James I., when it is remembered how much the times and the men had changed during that half century. Lord Macaulay thus describes the contrast :-“More than half a century of undisturbed possession had given confidence to the Established Church. When nine-tenths of the nation had become heartily Protestant,when England was at peace with all the world, when there was no danger that Popery would be forced by foreign arms upon the nation,—when the last confessors, who had stood before Bonner, had passed away,-a change took place in the feelings of the Anglican clergy. Their hostility to the Roman Catholic doctrine and discipline was considerably mitigated. Their dislike to the Puritans, on the other hand, increased daily.". Yet, at such an era, by a sovereign brought up in Scottish Presbyterianism, and by such a class of divines, the Prayer-book of Edward VI., after a solemn review and scrutiny, was adopted as the standard of ritual and worship for the Church of England. The Hampton Court Conference seems for a time to have quelled all liturgical controversy. The High Church party had pledged themselves to abide by an unaltered Prayer-book, and the Puritans had sustained a severe check and discouragement of their hopes. Fuller writes quaintly :-"All the reign of King James was better for one to live under than to write of; consisting of a campaign of constant tranquillity, without any tumors of troubles to entertain posterity with.”
VIII. A new phase of Ritual controversy gradually arose in the Church, which, under Charles I., developed itself into the Laudian movement. This movement was the most disastrous from which the Church has ever suffered. It was a concurring cause of the ultimate suppression of Episcopacy by the arbitrary power of the Long Parliament. The origin of this new movement is generally traced to the exemplary Bishop L. Andrews, who was translated to the Bishopric of Winchester in 1618, when he renewed and decorated his private chapel with such ornaments as had been used in the celebration of the Mass. Bishop Andrews held the doctrine that the priest, in offering up the consecrated elements to God, makes a propitiatory sacrifice; and he was charged with introducing these ceremonial decorations as significant of this view of the Sacrament. His practice in another particular created alarm. He adopted a service for the consecration of churches, there being no prescribed service in our Church, which chiefly followed the Roman service, and was thought too pompous in processions and musical accompaniments, and in bowings to the Lord's Table.
Bishop Overall was contemporary with Bishop Andrews. He also maintained the doctrine of a sacerdotal act on the part of the priest consecrating the elements. He was guilty, ac
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cording to the testimony of his chaplain, Bishop Cosin, of an unjustifiable attempt to make the service suit this doctrine, by transposing the Prayer of Thanksgiving after all have communicated, to the position of a prayer of oblation immediately after the consecration and before the delivery of the elements.* Dr. Laud was made Bishop of St. David's in 1621, and was translated to Canterbury in 1634. At St. David's, he at once built and consecrated a chapel, and furnished it after the pattern of Bishop Andrews, and became a strenuous advocate for placing the Communion Tables, in all the churches in England, against the wall at the east end, and surrounding them with railings. This was in direct contradiction to the spirit of the Rubric, which allows the Table to stand “in the body of the church or in the chancel" at the time of celebration. Notwithstanding the greater respect and decency of this position of the Lord's Table, it gave countenance to the idea of a Christian “altar," and the term began from that period to be generally used instead of the Lord's Table.
It is difficult to understand, at the present day, the degree of irritation and alienation which this alteration occasioned. It brought the Ritualistic controversy into every parish church, and excited the parishioners against the parochial clergy. The obnoxious measure being enforced by the authority of the Archbishop and the Ecclesiastical Commission, drove the people to vent their indignation to Parliament. The Parliament had shown a disposition, some time before, at the commencement of Charles's reign, to interpose its mighty arm in matters of ecclesiastical discipline. It had summoned to its bar two royal chaplains, Montague and Mainwaring, for sermons, the one containing popish doctrine as it was thought, the other putting the King's prerogative too high. They fined these learned men heavily, and declared one of them incapable of -holding preferment. The Parliament of 1640 established a standing Committee of Religion. Sir Edward Dearing was an active member of this Committee, and a book has been lately published containing many of the Parliamentary papers and public documents of 1640. Among them are petitions to Parliament from parishes in the county of Kent, which Sir Edward represented, signed by large numbers of parishioners, some by the churchwardens alone, setting forth the grievances of refusing the Sacrament to communicants kneeling in their accustomed places at which it had always been delivered to them, and who, from scruples of conscience, could not come to the “altar” rails.
Various other assimilations of Protestant worship to Romish services were alleged against Archbishop Laud and his asso
* Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology, vol. v., p. 114.
ciates. But it must be remembered that he was assailed by a bitter enmity which could invent or exaggerate charges without scruple. One of the most temperate and reliable statements of the length to which the relapse in Ritualism towards Rome had proceeded under the countenance of Archbishop Laud, is given in contemporary historical documents preserved by Baxter and Fuller.
A Committee of the House of Lords was appointed in 1641, consisting of a large number of spiritual and temporal Peers, which was “authorized to call together divers bishops and divines to consult together for correcting of what was amiss, and to settle peace.” The chairman was Dean Williams of Westminster, afterwards Archbishop of York; and among the members were Archbishop Usher, Bishops Morton and Holdsworth, Drs. Sanderson and Prideaux, together with several of the Puritan divines, as Dr. Burgess, and Messrs. Marshall and Calamy. Here were collected some of the most learned and moderato men of all parties. It appears that the Committee met and debated for six days in the Jerusalem Chamber, but it was then dissolved on account of the violent measures introduced into the House of Commons for the suppression of Episcopacy. Both Baxter and Fuller give an account of their deliberations from authentic sources. The following particulars, as given in the words of Fuller, will indicate the remarkable parallel of the tendencies of that period and the present.
“First they took the innovations of doctrine into consideration, and here they complained that all the tenets of the Council of Trent had, by one or another, been preached and printed, abating only such points of State-popery against the King's supremacy, made treason by the Statute.
“Private confession by particular enumeration of sins, needful, necessitate medii, to salvation.”
“That the oblation (or as others, the consumption) of the elements in the Lord's Supper holdeth the nature of a true sacrifice.
“Prayers for the dead.
“Secondly, they enquired into greater canonical conformity and innovations in discipline — advancing candlesticks in parochial churches in the day time on the altars so called.
“Having a credentia or side table, as a chapel of ease for the mother altar, for divers uses in the Lord's Supper.
“Forbidding a direct prayer before sermon.”
The topics enumerated by Baxter, are more numerous than those of Fuller, from which the following are selected :
“Innovations in doctrine :
“Some have preached that works of penance are satisfactory before God.
"Some have maintained that the absolution which the Priest pronounceth is more than declaratory.
“Innovations in discipline :
“The turning of the holy Table altar-wise, and most commonly calling it an altar; bowing towards it, or towards the east, many times, with three congees, but usually in every motion, access, or recess, in the church.
“In compelling all communicants to come up before the rails, and there to receive.
“ In reading some part of the Morning Prayer at the holy table, when there is no Communion celebrated.
“By the minister's turning his back to the West, and his face to the East, when he pronounces the Creed, or reads prayers.”
It is impossible to cast the eye over these topics, alleged in 1641 as "innovations” in doctrine and discipline, without recognizing a remarkable analogy to the innovations in the Church of England within the last thirty years, which have called into existence the present Commission. It is true that many less important innovations were alleged in 1641, which have not been renewed at the present day; but many also are advanced in the present day which were not attempted in 1641. The analogy is broad and distinct enough to excite a just alarm at the probable result of these practices, if unchecked by law.
So intimately were these Ritualistic practices connected with the political troubles of those disastrous times, that Fuller states that many persons believed that if the Church had been quieted by the suppression of these “innovations,” England might have been saved from a revolution : as he quaintly expresses himself:
“Troiaque nunc stares, Priamique arx alta maneres. It might, under God, have been a means not only to have checked, but choked, our civil war in the infancy thereof."
IX. The history of King Charles's attempt to force the English Liturgy upon the Scotch nation, cannot be left without notice in this review. Both the King and Archbishop Laud wished the Scotch Church to receive the English Prayer-Book unaltered. But the Scotch Bishops were anxious to maintain the independence of their Church by making certain alterations. They were allowed to do this; but the ultimate sanction of the Scotch Prayer-Book was to rest with Archbishop Laud and two other English Bishops.* It was universally stated and believed in
* Bishop Kennet, in his History of directed and encouraged them to proEngland, (1633), states,_"While this ceed with such an air of authority, (the preparation of the Scotch Prayer and in such terms of prescribing, that Book) was in agitation, Archbishop even this was a pretence to carry on Laud, most truly zealous in the work the prejudice, that a Scotch liturgy of Uniformity, kept a constant corres. should be still dictated and imposed pondence with the Scotch bishops, and by England.”