« PoprzedniaDalej »
• day may not be profaned, nor the observation of other holidays strictly enjoined; that ministers may not be charged
to teach their people to bow at the name of Jesus; and that none but canonical scriptures be read in the church.
2. Concerning ministers. 6 That none may be admitted "but able men; that they be obliged to preach on the • Lord's day; that such as are not capable of preaching may
be removed or obliged to maintain preachers; that nonresidency be not permitted; that king Edward's statute • for the lawfulness of the marriage of the clergy be reviv.ed; and that ministers be not obliged to subscribe but ac'cording to law, to the Articles of Religion, and the King's 'supremacy only.
3. For church livings. “ That bishops leave their commendams; that impropriations annexed to bishoprics and colleges be given to preaching incumbents only, and that .lay-impropriations be charged with a sixth or seventh • part for the maintenance of a preacher.
4. For church discipline. “'İhat excommunication, and censures, be not in the name of lay-chancellors, &c.; that 6 men be not excommunicated for twelve-penny matters, nor without consent of their pastors; that register's places, 6 and others having jurisdiction, do not put them out to 'farm; thatsupdry popish canons be revised; that the length
of suits in ecclesiastical courts may be restrained ; that the oath ex officio be more sparingly used; and licences for marriages without banns be more sparingly granted.
“ These things, say they, we are able to shew not to be agreeable to the word of God, if it shall please your majesty to hear us, or by writing to be informed, or by conference among the learned to be resolved."
The king met with sundry other petitions of the like nature, from most of the counties he passed through ; but the beads of the two universities having taken offence at the millenary petition, for demising away the impropriations annexed to bishoprics and colleges, wbich (says Fuller) would cut off more than the nipples of the breasts of both universities in point of maintenance,* expressed their resentment different ways: those of Cambridge passed a grace, June 9th, 1603, -. That whosoever in the university
* Fuller's Church History, b. X. p. 23.
should openly oppose by word or writing, or any other way, the doctrine or discipline of the church of Eng• land established by law, or any part thereof, should be á suspended ipso facto from any degree already taken, and 'be disabled from taking any degree for the future.” Aboat the same time the university of Oxford published an answer to the ministers' petition, entitled, An answer of the vice-chancellor, doctors, proctors, and other heads of houses in the university of Oxford, to the petition of the ministers of the church of England, desiring reformation; dedicated to the king, with a preface to the archbishop, the chancellors of both universities, and the two secretaries of state.† The answer shews the high spirit of the university; it reproaches the ministers in very severe language for subscribing and then complaining; it reflects upon them as factious men, for affecting a parity in the church, and then falls severely on the Scots reformation, which his majesty had so publicly commended before he left that kingdom. It throws an odium upon the petitioners, as being for a limited monarchy, and for subjecting the titles of kings to the approbation of the people. It then goes on to vindicate all the grievances complained of, and concludes with beseeching his majesty not to suffer the peace of the state to be disturbed, by allowing these men to disturb its polity. “ Look upon the reformed churches · abroad, (say they) and wheresoever the desire of the pe
titioners takes place, how ill it suits with the state of i monarchy; does it become the supereminent authority and regal person of a king, to subject his sovereign pow. er to the overswaying and all commanding power of a presbytery? that his meek and humble clergy should • bave power to bind their king in chains, and their prince
in links of iron ? that is, to censure him, and, if they see 'cause, to proceed against him as a tyrant. That the supreme magistrate should only be à maintainer of their
proceedings, but not a commander in them; these are but • petty abridgments of the prerogative royal, while the king
submits his sceptre to the sceptre of Christ, and licks • the dust of the church's feet.” They then commend the
+ Life of Whitgift, p. 567.
present church government as the great support of the crown, and calculated to promote unlimited subjection ; and aver, “ That there are at this day more learned men in this land, in this one kingdom, than are to be found
among all the ministers of religion in France, Flanders, « Germany, Poland, Denmark, Geneva, Scotland, or (to
speak in a word) all Europe besides."* Such a vainglorious piece of self-applause is hardly to be met with. They must have a mean opinion of the king's acquaintance with the learned world, to use him in this manner, at a time, when, though there were some very considerable divines among ourselves, there were as many learned men in the foreign universities, as had been known since the reformation ; witness the Bezas, Scaligers, Casaubons, &c. whose works have transmitted their great names down to posterity.
And that the divines of Cambridge might not come behind their brethren of Oxford, the heads of that university wrote a letter of thanks to the Oxonians, for their answer to the petition, in which they “applaud and commend their • weighty arguments and threaten to battle the puritans
with numbers; for if Saul has his thousands, (say they) • David has his ten thousands. They acquaint them with their decree of June 9, and bid the poor pitiful puritans [homunciones miserrimi] answer their almost a thousand books in defence of the hierarchy, before they pretend to dispute before so learned and wise a king." $ A mean and pitiful triumph over honest and virtuous men, who aimed at nothing more than to bring the discipline of the church a little nearer the standard of scrip. ture!
But that his majesty might part with his old friends with some decency, and seem to answer the request of the petitioners,t he agreed to have a conference with the two
* Strype's Annals, vol. iv. p. 137. Dr. Warner, with reason and judgment, supposes that what determined James, more than any thing else, to appoint the Hampton Court conference, of which he would be the moderator, was, that he might give his new subjects a taste of his talents for disputation, of which he was always extremely fond and conceited.
Eccles. Hist. vol. i. p. 478. Ed.
parties at Hampton-Court,* for which purpose he published a proclamation from Wilton, Oct. 24th, 1603, Touching I meeting for the hearing, and for the determining things pretended to be amiss in the church. In which he declares, “ That he was already persuaded, that the consti. i tution of the church of England was agreeable to God's word, and near to the condition of the primitive church;
yet because he had received information, that some things in it were scandalous, and gave offence, he had appoint
ed a meeting to be had before himself and council, of di. óvers bishops and other learned men, at which consulta . tion he hoped to be better informed of the state of the i church, and whether there were any such enormities in it; in the mean time he commanded all his subjects not to publish any thing against the state ecclesiastical, or to 'gather subscriptions, or make supplications, being resolved 'to make it appear by their chastisement, how far such a manner of proceeding was displeasing to him, for he was determined to preserve the ecclesiastical state in such form as he found it established by the law, only to reform such abases as ke should find apparently proved. +
The archbishop and his brethren had been indefatigablet in possessing the king with the excellency of the English, hierarchy, as coming near the practice of the primitive church, and best suited to a monarchial government; they represented the puritans as turbulent and factious,inconsid. erable in oumber, and aiming at confusion both in church and state; and yet, after all, the old archbishop was doubtful of the event, for in one of his letters to Cecil, afterwards earl of Shrewsbury, he writes, “ Though our humorous 6 and contentious brethren bave made many petitions and ·motions, correspondent to their natures, yet to my com* fort tbey have not much prevailed. Your lordship, I am sure, does imagine, that I have not all this while • been idle, nor greatly quiet in mind; for who can promise himself rest among so many vipers ? $
The place of conference was the drawing-room, within the privy chamber at Hampton-Court; the disputants on * Life of Whitgift, b. iv. c. 31, p. 569. † Ib.
570. Life of Wbitgift, Append. b. iv. No. 43.
both sides were nominated by the king. For the church, there were nine bishops, and about as many dignitaries, viz.
Dr. Whitgift archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Bancroft bishop of London, Dr. Mathew bishop of Durham, Bilson bishop of Winchester, Babington bishop of Worcester, Rudd bishop of St. David's, Watson bishop of Chichester, Robirson bishop of Carlisle, and Dove bishop of Petersbo. rough;-Dr. Andrews dean of the Chapel, Overal dean of St. Paul's, Barlow dean of Chester, Bridges dean of Salisbury, Field dean of Gloucester, and King archdeacon of Nottingham; besides the deans of Worcester and Windsor.
For the puritans were only four ministers, Dr. John Raynolds, Dr. Thos. Sparks, professors of divinity in Oxford, Mr. Chadderton and Mr. Knewstubs of Cambridge. The divines of the church appeared in the habits of their respective distinctions ; but those for the puritans in fur gowns, like the Turkey merchants, or the professors in foreign universities. When the king conferred with the bishops he behaved with softness, and a great regard to their character ; but when the puritan ministers stood before him, instead of being moderator, he took upon him the place of respondent, and bore them down with his majestic frowns and threatenings, in the midst of a numerous crowd of courtiers, all the lords of the privy council being present; while the bishops stood by, and were little more than spectators of the triumph,
The account of this conference was published at large only by Dr. Barlow, who, being a party, (says Fuller* ) set a sharp edge on his own, and a blunt one on his adversaries' weapons. Dr. Sparks and Raynolds complained, that they were wronged by that relation ;t and Dr. Jackson declared, that Barlow himself repented upon his deathbed, of the injury he had done the puritan ministers in his relation of the Hampton-Court conference. Ø Mr. Strype has lately published a letter of the bishop of Durham to
* Church Hist. b. X. p. 21,
† Pierce, p. 153, 154. S“ The puritaps," Dr. Harris observes, “needed not to have com•plained so much as they have done of Barlow. If he has not represented their arguments in as just a light, nor related what was done by the ministers as advantageously as truth required), he has abundantly made it up to them by shewing, that the bishops, their adver,