« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
deal bot with too few but the unruly. And it is for want of this laying the foundation well at first, that professors themselves are so ignorant as most are, and that so many, especially of the younger fort, do swallow down almost any error that is offered them, and follow any feet of dividers that will entice them, so it be but done with earnestness and plausibility. For alas, though, by the grace of God, their hearts may be changed in an hour, (whenever they understand but the essentials of the faith) yet their understandings must have time and diligence to furnish them with such knowledge as muf stablish them, and fortify them against deceit. Upon these and many the like considerations, we should intreat all christian families to take more pains in this necessary work, and to get better acquainted with the fubftance of christianity. And to that end (taking along some moving treatises to awake the heart) I know not what work should be fitter for their use, than that compiled by the assembly at Westminster: a fynod of as godly, judicious divines, (notwithstanding all the bitter words which they have received from discontented and self-conceited men) I verily think, as ever England saw. Tho' they had the unhappiness to be employed in calamitous times, when the noise of wars did stop men's ears, and the licentiousness of wars did set every wanton tongue and pen at liberty to reproach them; and the prosecution and event of those wars, did exasperate partial discontented men, to dishonour themselves by seeking to dishonour them: I dare say, if in the days of old, when councils were in power and account, they had had but such a council of bifhops, as this of presbyters was, the fame of it for learning and holiness, and all ministerial abilities, would with very great honour have been transmitted to posterity.
I do therefore desire, that all masters of families would first study well this work themselves; and then teach it their children and servants, according to their several capacities. And, if they once understand thefe grounds of religion, they will be able to read other books more underftandingly, and hear fermons more profitably, and confer more judiciously, and hold fast the doctrine of Christ more firmly, than ever you are like to do by any other course. First let them read and learn the Shorter Catechism, and next the Larger, and lastly, read the Confession of Faith.
Thus far he; whose name I shall conceal (though the excellency of the matter, and present stile, will easily discover him) because I have published it without his privity and consent, though, I hope, not against his liking and approbation, I shall add no more, but that I am
An ordinance of the lords and commons assembled in parliament, for the cal
ling of an asembly of learned and godly divines, and others, to be consulted with by the parliament, for the settling of the government and liturgy of the church of England; and for vindicating and clearing of the doctrine of the said church from false afperfions and interpretations. June 12. 1643.
Hereas, amongst the infinite bleffings of Almighty God upon this na
tion, none is nor can be more dear unto us than the purity of our religion; and for that, as yet, many things remain in the liturgy, discipline and goverment of the church, which do necessarily require a further and more perfect reformation, than as yet hath been attained: And whereas it hath been declared and resolved by the lords and commons assembled in parliament, that the present church-government by archbishops, their chancellors, comisfars, deans, deaps and chapters, archdeacons, and other ecclesiastical officérs, depending upon the hierarchy, is evil and justly offensive and burdenfome to the kingdom, a great impediment to reformation and growth of religion, and very prejudicial to the state and government of this kingdom; and therefore they are resolved, that the same shall be taken away, and that , such a goverment shall be settled in the church, as may be most agreeable to God's holy word, and most apt to procure and preserve the peace of the church at home, and nearer agreement with the church of Scotland, and other reformed churches abroad: And for the better effecting hereof, and for the vindicating and clearing of the doctrine of the church of England from all false calumnies and aspersions ; it is thought fit and necessary to call an alsembly of learned godly and judicious divines, who, together with some members of both the houses of parliament, are to consult and advise of such matters and things, touching the premisses, as shall be proposed unto them by both or either of the houses of parliament, and to give their advice and counsel therein to both, or either of the said houses, when, and as often as they shall be thereunto required. Be it therefore ordained, by the lords and commons in this present parliament assembled, that all and every the persons hereafter in this present ordinance named, that is to say,
And such other person or persons as shall be nominated and appointed by both houses of parliament, or so many of them as shall not be letted by fickness, or other necessary impediment, shall meet and assemble, and are hereby required and injoined ypon summons ligned by the clerks of both houses of parliament, left at their respective dwellings, to meet and allemble them
felves at Westminster, in the chapel called king Henry the Viith's chapel, on the first day of July, in the year of our Lord, one thousand fix hundred and forty three; and after the first meeting, being at least the number of forty, fhall from time to time fit, and be removed from place to place, and alfo, that the said assembly shall be dissolved in such manner, as by both houses of parliament shall be directed: and the said persons, or so many of them as shall be fo assembled, or fit, shall have power and authority, and are hereby likewise injoined from time to time, during this present parliament, or until further order be taken by both the said houses, to confer and treat among themselves, of such matters and things, touching and concerning the liturgy, discipline and government of the church of England, for the vindicating and clearing of the doctrine of the fame, from all false afperfions and misconstructions, as shall be proposed unto them by both or either of the said houses of parliament, and no other; and deliver their opinion, advices of, or touching the matters aforesaid, as shall be most agreeable to the word of God, to both or either of the houses, from time to time, in such manner and fort, as by both or either of the said houses of parliament, fhall be required; and the same not to divulge by printing, writing, or otherwise, without the consent of both, or either house of parliament. And be it further ordained, by the authority aforesaid, that William Twiffe doctor in divinity shall fit in the chair, as prolocutor of the said assembly; and if he happen to die, or be letted by fickness, or other necessary impediment, then such other person to be appointed in his place, as shall be agreed on by the said houses of parliament: And in case any difference in opinions shall happen amongst the said persons fo assembled, touching any the matters that shall be proposed to them as foresaid, that then they shall represent the same, together with the reasons thereof, to both or either the said houses respectively, to the end such further direction may be given therein, as shall be requisite to that behalf. And be it further ordained by the authority aforesaid, That for the charges and expences of the said divines, and every one of them, in attending the said service, there shall be allowed every one of them that shall so attend, during the time of their faid attendance, and for ten days before, and ten days after, the sum of four fhillings for every day, at the charges of the commonwealth, at such time, and in such manner, as by both houses of parliament shall be appointed. And be it further ordained, That all, and every the faid divines, so, as aforesaid, required and injoined to meet and assemble, shall be freed and acquitted of, and from every offence, forfeiture, penalty, loss or damage, which shall or may ensue or grow by reason of any non-residence, or absence of them, or any of them, from his, or their, or any of their church, churchor cures, for or in respect of their faid attendance upon the faid service; any.
law or statute of non-residence, or other law or statute injoining their atten dance upon their respective ministries, or charges, to the contrary thereof, notwithstanding. And if any of the persons above-named shall happen to die before the said assembly shall be dissolved by order of both houses of parliament, then such other person or persons, shall be nominated and placed in the room and stead of such person or persons so dying, as by both the said houses shall be thought fit, and agreed upon; and every such person or persons, so to be named, shall have the like power and authority, freedom and acquittal to all intents and purposes, and also all such wages and allowances for the said service, during the time of his or their attendance, as to any other of the faid persons in this ordinance, is by this ordinance limited and appointed. Provided always, that this ordinance, or any thing therein contained, shall not give unto the perSons aforesaid, or any of them, nor shall they in this assembly assume to exercise, any jurisdiction, power or authority ecclesiastical whatsoever, or any other power than is herein particularly expressed,
Assembly at EDINBURGH, August 19, 1643. Sesl. 14. Commission of the General Assembly to some Ministers and Ruling
Elders, for repairing to the Kingdom of England. THE
HE General Affembly of the Church of Scotland finding it neces
sary to lend some Godly and Learned of this Kirk to the Kingdom of England, to the Effect under-written; Therefore gives full Power and Commifiion to Mr. Alexander Henderson, Mr. Robert Douglas, Mr. Samuel Rutherfoord, Mr. Robert Baily, and Mr. George Gillespie, Minifters, John Earl of Callils, John Lord Maitland, and Sir Archibald Johnfton of Waristoun, Elders, or any Three of them, whereof two shall be Ministers, to repair to the Kingdom of England, and there to deliver the Declaration sent unto the Parliament of England, and the Letter sent unto the Affembly of Divines now fitting in that Kingdom; and to propone, consult, treat and conclude with that Allembly, or any Commissioners deputed by them, or any Committees or Commissioners deputed by the Houscs of Parliament, in all Matters which may further the Union of this Iland in one Form of Kirk-government, one Confeffion of Faith, one Catechism, one Directory for the Worship of God, according to the Instructions which they have received from the Assembly, or shall receive from Time to Time hereafter from the Commiflioners of the Assembly, deputed for that Effect: With Power also to them to convey to his Majesty the humble Answer fent from this Assembly to his Majelly's Letter, by such occasion as they shall think convenient; and such like, to deliver the Afscinbly's Answer to the Letter fent from some well-affected Brethren of the Ministry, there; and generally authorizes them to do all Things,
which may further the fo-much desired Union, and nearest Conjunction of the Two Churches of Scotland and England, conform to their instructions aforesaid. Many of the Persons who were called by the foresaid Ordinance of the
Lords and Commons, (in that broken State of the Church) to attend the Affembly, appeared not; whereupon the whole Work lay on the Hands of the Persons hereafter mentioned.
The Promise and Vow taken by every Member admitted to fit in the
A. B. do seriously Promise and Vow, in the Presence of Almighty
GOD, That in this Affembly, whereof I am a Member, I will maintain nothing in Point of Doctrine, but what I believe to be most agreeable to the Word of GOD; nor in Point of Discipline, but what
make moft for God's Glory, and the Peace and Good of this Church,
A LIST of the DIVINES who met in the Assembly at Westminster.
R. William Twisle of New- George Walker, B. Đ
D ? bury, Prolocutor
Edmond Calamy, B.D. of AlderDr. Cornelius Burges of Waterford manbury John White of Dorchester, Affeffors · Dr. Lazarus Seaman of London Dr. William Gouge of Blackfriers Jofeph Caryl of Lincoln's Inn London
Dr. Henry Wilkinson Senior of Robert Harris of Hanwell, B. D. Waderston Thomas Gattaker of Rotherhithe, Richard Vines of Calcot B. D.
Nicolas Proffet of Marlburrough Oliver Bowles of Sutton, B. D. Stephen Marshal, B. D. of FinchEdward Reynolds of Bramston ingfield Jeremiah Whitaker of Streton Dr. Jothua Hoyle late of Dublin Ir. Anthony Tuckney of Boston Thomas Wilson of Otham John Arrowimith of Lynne Thomas Hodges of Kensington Simeon Athe of St. Brides
Thomas Bailie of Mildenhal, B.D. Philip Nye of Kimbolton
Francis Taylor of Yalding Jeremiah Burroughs of Stepney Thomas Young of Stownmarket John Lightfoot of Ashley
Thomas Valentine, B.D. of ChalStanley Gower of Brampton Bryan font St. Giles Richard Heyrick of Manchester William Greenhill of Stepney Thomas Case of London
Edward Pele of Compton Dr. Thomas Temple of Battery John Green of Pencomb George Gipps of Ayleiton
Andrew Pern of Wilby Thomas Carter
Samuel de la Place Dr. Humphrey Chambers of Cla. John de la March verstoun
John Dury Thomas Micklethwait of Cherry- Philip Delme burton
Sidrach Simpson of London Jolin Guibon of Waltham
John Langly of Westuderly Christopher Tesdal of Uphusborne Richard Clayton of Showers Henry Philps
Arthur Sallaway of Seaverne toak