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WHIT- Scots against all outrages and indignities put upon her: GIFT, that she would recommend such a council to her son as Abp. Cant. were best disposed to keep fair with England: that she would endeavour to reconcile him to the noblemen lately fled into England, provided they made a humble submission, and queen Elizabeth would engage her honour to assist the crown, if they happened to go off from their duty: that she would not treat a marriage for her son, without pre-acquainting queen Elizabeth: and since she intended to do nothing without consulting her son, she desires he may be joined with her in this treaty for a firmer establishment. And as for the king of France, she did not doubt his coming in as a party, and that he would likewise engage the house of Lorrain in the same stipulation."
of the Scotch
She desired a speedy answer might be returned, and that her confinement might be somewhat enlarged for a further discovery of the queen's friendship.
Queen Elizabeth seemed extremely pleased with these terms, and it was thought, was not averse from releasing her royal prisoner, though a great many new dangers were suggested to fright her from this humanity. However, the accommodation went on, but when it was almost finished, the Presbyterian Scots appeared violently against it, and perplexed the matter. The refugee ministers made a hideous clamour in some of the pulpits in London. They cried out, that if the queen of Scots were set at liberty, her majesty of England's reign would be short: that if queen Mary were allowed to govern jointly with her son, both kingdoms were ruined and that there would be an end of the true religion in Britain, if Popery were indulged that princess, though only in her private family. Neither was the queen the only subject of their satire: they treated the young king with such extremity of language, that upon the Scotch ambassador's complaint, the bishop of London was commanded to silence all the Scotch about the city: and the same order was sent to the rest of the bishops. However, they carried on their designs another way, and endeavoured to scatter their sentiments amongst the English. Some of these July 184. Scotch preachers went to the Act in Oxford, where Gellybrand and his brethren entertained them with great
friendship and regard. And here a very remarkable question ELIZAwas put by the Scotch preachers, and some English of the same complexion: it was concerning the proceeding of the minister in his duty without the magistrate's assistance, or waiting for his approbation. The question seems to have been resolved for the independence of the Church. For this was the opinion of the Presbyterians, both Scotch and English. And if this doctrine had been guarded, made inoffensive to the state, and not run out to an "evangelium armatum," all had been well. But that these men moved in a wider compass, and had some dangerous enterprise in hand, may partly be collected from Gellybrand's letter to Field; his words are these:
"I have already entered into the matters whereof A combinawrite and dealt with three or four several colleges, concern- tised ing those among whom they live. I find that men are very Dissenters. dangerous in this point; generally favouring reformation, but when it cometh to the particular point, some have not yet considered of these things, for which others in the Church are so much troubled: others are afraid to testify any thing with their hands, lest it breed danger before the time." And after: "many favour the cause of reformation, but they are not ministers, but young students, of whom there is good hope, if it be not cut off by violent dealing before the time. As I hear by you, so I mean to go forwards, Bancroft's where there is any hope, and to learn the number and to certify you thereof."
Dangerous Positions, lib. 3. p. 74.
At the meeting of the parliament this winter, the Dis- Their nasenters held a national synod at London, pursuant to their at London. former resolution and synodical discipline. That this was Jan. 26, matter of fact, appears by three letters. The first from 1684. eleven Essex ministers to Field, in which they desire to be certified, whether the brethren "meant to be exercised in Feb. 2, prayer and fasting, and upon what day?" The second was 1584. from nine of those ministers to Field and Clerk, where they write thus: "We have elected two godly and faithful brethren, M. Wright and M. Gifford, to join with in that business." The third from Gellybrand to Field; in which 1584. he owns himself guilty of a great omission in these words: Touching my departure from that holy assembly without Idem,
WHIT leave, &c. I crave pardon both of you and them, &c., and Abp. Cant. thus commending this holy cause to the Lord himself, and your godly council to the president thereof, I take my leave." And that this party was not without friends in the house of Commons, appears by several bills, and other transactions in parliament.
A. D. 1584.
The houses met November the 23d. And on the 14th of of Discipline December three petitions in favour of the Dissenters were mored to be laid before the house by sir Thomas Lucy, sir Edward Dymmock, and Mr. Gates. What matter they contained but rejected, the reader will be informed in a larger address by and by.
read in the
house of Commons,
The same day Dr. Turner, a member of the Commons, put 593. the house in mind of a bill and book which he had formerly laid before them. It was drawn, he said, by certain godly and learned ministers, and tended, as he conceived, to the glory of God, her majesty's preservation, and the public benefit; and therefore prayed it might be read.
Now the book which Turner moved might pass the house, was "A Book of the Form of Common Prayers," &c. and contained the sum of the Dissenters' discipline. Their petition in behalf of it was this: "May it therefore please your majesty, &c. that it may be enacted, &c. that the book hereunto annexed, &c. entitled A Book of the Form of Common Prayers, Administration of Sacraments,' &c. and every thing therein contained, may be from henceforth authorised, put Positions, in use, and practised throughout all your majesty's dominions." From hence it appears these addressers, at least, saw the necessity of a stated form for Divine service, and did not think it fit to leave every minister to his extemporary effusions. But they did not keep firm to this resolution: for the general rule in their rubric is, that the minister shall Bancroft's either pray by the form there prescribed, or else as the Spirit of God shall move his heart, governing his devotion p. b. with respect to time and occasion.
D Ewrs' Journal
To return against this motion in the house for the "Dissenters' Form of Common Prayer," sir Francis Knolles, treasurer of the household, delivered himself in a few words: He was seconded by sir Christopher Hatton, vice-chamberlain this gentleman dilated upon the subject, and argued with so much force, that the house came to a resolve against
reading either the bill or the book. As to the book, it was the Presbyterian scheme for discipline already mentioned.
This month, at the instance of some of the council, the two archbishops and the bishop of Winchester received some ministers' objections against conformity, and returned them a sufficient solution. However, the earl of Leicester, being willing to afford the Dissenters the utmost advantage, and it may be imagining the cause had not been fully argued, desired the archbishop the controversy might be further debated at Lambeth. Whitgift agreed: the Dissenters A conference employed their best managers, and the conference lasted four at Lambeth hours. And now the earl of Leicester and the ministers of some of the bishops and state declared themselves surprised at the issue of the dis- the Dispute that they did not expect such clear principles, and such force of persuasion, on the archbishop's side, nor such trifling exceptions, and so weak an opposition from the other party. And thus, seeming fully satisfied with Whitgift's arguing, they promised to acquaint the queen how Archbishop matters passed: and, over and above, endeavoured to per- Whitgift's suade the Dissenters to conformity; but they did not hold Sir George Life, by long under this disposition.
On the 25th of February, sir Francis Knolles, treasurer of the household, made a report of the Lords' answer to the Commons' petition in favour of the Nonconformists. It is digested under sixteen articles. The title stands thus:
The humble Petition of the Commons of the lower House of
I. The first article mentions, that whereas it was enacted The Commons petiin the 13th of the present reign, that none should be made tion the a minister unless he was able to give an account of his Lords in favour of faith in Latin to the ordinary, pursuant to certain articles the Dispassed in a synod held in the year 1562, or unless the person to be ordained had a special talent for preaching : they desire their lordships to consider, whether provision should not be made, that those persons who have been since
wir orlained upon lower qualifications, should be suspended, unless they are acie to stand the test of the statute.
II. The second article is in a manner coincident with the first, and may be omitted.
III. The third article sets forth, that the form of ordination of priests, confirmed by act of parliament, directs that those who are taken into the ministry should be put in mind that they are pastors and watchmen. God's stewards and messengers; they desire therefore their lordships would consider for some good expedient, that none may be admitted to the ministry, but such as are sufficiently furnished for so high and solemn a function.
IV. Since it is appointed in the ordinal, that the bishops, with the priests then present, shall lay their hands upon every person ordained, without mentioning the number of 21 Hen & priests required to be present: and since by a statute made
in the reign of King Henry VIII, every bishop is obliged to have six chaplains at giving orders; the Commons therefore desire it may be considered, whether it is not convenient to make a provision, that no bishop shall ordain any minister of the word and sacraments, without the assistance of six ministers at least; and that none may be pitched on for such an assistance excepting such as have a fair character for life, learning, and residence; that they testify their joining with the bishop in this ceremony, by subscribing some instrument for that purpose. And, lastly, that the ordination be publicly performed, and not in any private house or chapel.
V. The fifth article petitions, that none may be ordained for the future, except those who have either a benefice with cure of souls, or the offer of being entertained as a preacher in some parish, or a graduate, fellow, or scholar of some university.
VI. That none be instituted, collated, or admitted to a curacy, without competent notice given to the parish where they are to officiate; that the people may have time to inquire into the regularity of the person: and in case they find any blemishes and failings, they may discover it to the ordinary.