Page images

but done with earnefitness and plausibility. For alas, tho" by the grace of God, their hearts may be changed in an hour, (whenever they understand, but the effentials of the taith) yet their understandings must have time and diligence to furnith them with such knowledge as muft ftablish them, and fortify them against deceit. Upon these and many the like confiderations, we should iatreat 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 fome moving treatise to awake the heart) I know not what work should be fitter for their use than that compiled by the assembly at Westminister ; a fynod of as godly, judicious divines, (aotwithstanding all the bitter words which they have received from discontented and self-conceited men) I verily think, as ever England faw. The they had the unhappinels to be employed in calamitous times, when the noise of wars did stop men's ears, and the licentiousness of wärs did fet every wanton tongue and pen at liberty to reproach them; and the profecution and event of thofe wars, did exasperate partial discur[cated men, to dishonour themselves by feeking to dithonour them

if in the days of old, when councils were in power and account, they bad bad but such a council of bithops, as this of prelbyters was, the fame of it for learning and holiness, and all ministerial 2bilities, would with very great honour have been transmitted to po Sterity.

I do therefore defire, that all masters of families would first study well this work themselves; and then teach it their children and fervants, according to their several capacities. And, if they once underhand these grounds of religion, they will be able to read other books more understandingly, 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 Confeffion of Faith,

Thus far he, whofe name Ifhall conceal (though the excellency of the matter, and prefeat file, will eafily discover him) becaufe I have published it without his privity and consent, though, I hope, not agaigst his liking and approbation. I thall add do more, but that I am

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

An ordinance of the Lords and Commons assembled in parliament, for the

calling of an assembly 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 falle afperfions and inters pretations. June 12. 1643.

WHereas, among the infinite bleslings of Almighty God upon this

nation, none is, or can be more dear uoto us than the purity of our religion ; and for that, as yet, many things remain in the liturgy, discipline and goveroment of the church, which do pecessarily 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 commoos allembled in parliament, that the prefent church government by archbishops, their chancellors, commillars, deans, deads and chapters, archdeacons, and other ecclesiastical officers, depending upon the hierarchy, is evil and juftly offensive and burdensome to the kingdom, a great impediment to reformation and growth of religion, and very prejudicial to the itate and government of this kingdom; and therefore they are resolved, that the fame (hall be taken away, and that fuch a goveroment 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 affecting hereof, and for the vindicating and clearing of the doctrine of the church of England from all false calumnics and afperfions; it is thought fit and necessary to call an assembly of learned godly and judicious divines, who, together with some members of both the houses of parliament, are to confult 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 counfel therein to both, or either of the faid 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 perfoos hereafter in this prefent ordinance Damed, that is to fiy,-* And fuch other person or persons as shall be nominated and ap. pointed by both houses of parliament, or so many of them as shall not be letted by sickness, or other necessary impediment, hall meet and assemble, and are hereby required and injoined upon fummons


Signed by the clerks of both houses of parliament, left at their respective dwellings, to meet and assemble themselves at Westminster, in the chapel called king Henry the VIIth's chapel, on the firft day of July, in the year of our Lord, one thovsand fix hundred and forty three, and after the first meeting, being at least the number of forty, shall from time to time fit, and be removed from place to place, and also, ther the said assembly shall be dissolved in such manner, as by both houses of parliament shall be directed : and the said persoas, or so many of them as fhall be lo 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 coofer and treat among themselves, of such matters and things, touching and concerning the liturgy, discipline and government of the church of England, for the vindicaring 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 faid houses of parliament, and no other; and deliver their opinion, advices of, or touching the matters aforesaid, as shall be molt agreeable to the word of God, to both or either of the houses, from time to tiine, in such manner and fort, as by both or either of the said houses of parliament, Ihall be required; and the fame not to divulge by priatiog, writing or other, wife, without the consent of both, or either houses of parliament. And be it further ordained, by the authority aforesaid, that William Twilfe doctor in divinity fhall fit in the chair, as prolocutor of the said affembly; and if he happen to die, or be letted by fickness, or on ther necessary impediment, then such other person to be appoioted in his place, as thall be agreed on by the said houses of parliament : And in cafe any difference in opinions shall happen amongst the said persons fo assembled, couching any the matters that shall be proposed to them as aforesaid, that then they shall represent the fame, together with the reasons thereof, to both or either the said houfes respectively, to the ead fuch further direction may be given therein, as fhall be requifite to that behalf, And be it further ordained by the authority forefaid, That for the charges and expence of the faid divides, and every one of them, in attending the said service, there shall be allowed excry one of them thar fhall so attend, duriog the time of their faid attendance, and for ten days before, and ten days after, the sum of four-Chillings for every day, at the charges of the common-wealth, 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 said divines, so as aforesaid, required and injoined to meet and are semble, 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 agy of their church; churches or cures, for or in respect of their faid attendance upon the said service; any


law or fatate of non-residence, or other law or statute injoining their attendance upon their respective ministers, or charges, to the contrary thereof, potwithstanding. And if any of the persons above oamed shall happen to die before the said assembly shall be diffolved 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 perfons fo dying, as by both the faid houles shall be thought fit, and agreed upon; and every such person or perfons, so to be named, lhall have the like power and authority, freedom and acquittal to all inteuts and purpofes, and also all fuch wages and allowancce for the said far. vice, 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 ordidance, or any thing therein coorained, shall not give unto the persons aforesaid, or any of them, por fhall they in this affembly assume to exercise any jurisdiction, power or authority ecclefiaftical whatsoever, or any other power than is hercin particularly expressed.

[ocr errors]

Affembly at EDINBURGH, August 19, 1543. Sef. 14.


Commission of the General Assembly to some Ministers and Ruling Elders,

for repairing to the Kingdom of England.
*HE General Affembly of the Church of Scotland finding it necessary

to send fome Godly and Learned of this Kirk to the Kingdom of England, to the Effect under-written; Therefore gives full Power and Gommiffion to Mt, Alexander Henderson, Mr. Robert Douglas, Mr. Samuel Rutherfoord, Mr. Robert Bailie, and Mr. George Gillespie, Ministers, John Earl of Gaikus, Joha Lord Maitlaud, and Sir Archibaldt Johnson of Waristoup, Elders, or any three of them, whereof two halb be Ministers, to repair to the Kingdom of England, and there to deliver the Declaration sent unto the Parliament of England, and the Letter fent unto the Affembly of Divines now fitting in that Kingdom; and to propone, consult, treat and conclude with that Assembly, or any Commifñoners deputed by them, or any Committees or Commissioners depnted by the Houses of Parliament, in all Matters wbicia may further the Union of this island 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 Afembly, or halt receive from time to Time liereafter from the Commisioners of the Assembly, deputed for that Efe&t: With Power állo eo then to convey to his majesty the humble Answer sent from this Affembly to his Majesty's Letter, by such occasion as they shall think convenient; and such like, to deliver the Assembly's Apswer to the Lecter sent from some welt affected Bree thren of the Ministry there; and generally authorizes them to do all Things, which may further the la much delired Union, and deareft Con


[ocr errors]

junction of the Two Churches of Scotland and England, conform to the Inltructions aforefaid.

Many of the Persons who were called by the forefaid Ordinance of the

Lords and Commons, (in that broken State of the Church) to attend the Asembly, appeared not ; w:ereupon the whole Work lay on the Hands of the Perfuns hereafter mentioned.

The Promise and Vow taken by every Member admitted

to fit in the Assembly.

JA, B. do serioufy Promise and Vow, in the Presence of Almighty GOD,

That in this Assembly, whereof I am a member, I will maintain nothing in Poiot of Doctrine, but what I believe to be molt agreeable to the Word of GOD; nor in Point of Discipline, but what may make most 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 Twisse of Newbury, John Guibon of Waltham

Christopher Tesdal of Uphusborne
Dr. Cornelius Burges of Waterford Henry Philps
John White of Dorchester, Affeffors George Walker, B. D.
De, William Gonge of Blackfriers Edmond Calamy, B. D. of Alder-

manbury Roben Harris of Hanwell, B. D. Dr. Lazarus Seaman of London Thomas Gattaker of Cotherhithe, Joseph Caryl of Lincoln's-Ion B. D.

Dr. Henry Wilkinson Senior of WaOliver Bowles of Sutton, B. D. derston Edward Reynolds of Bramston Richard Vines of Calcot Jeremiah Whitaker of Streton Nicolas Proffer of Marlburrough Dr. Anthony Tuckney of Boston Stephen Marshal, B. D. of Finching, Jolin Arrowsmith of Lynne

field Simeon ame of St. Brides

Dr. Joshua Hoyle late of Dublin Philip Nye of Kimbolton

Thomas Wilson of (thain Jeremiah Burroughs of Stepney Thomas Hodges of Kensington John Lightfoor of Ashley

Thomas Bailie of Milden hall, B. D. Stanley Gower of Brampton Bryan Francis Taylor of Yalding Richard Heyrick of Manchester Thomas Young of Stownmarket Thonjas Case of London

Thomas Valentine, B. D. of Chal. Dt. Thomas Temple of Battery font St. Giles George of Gipps Ayleston

William Greenhill of Stepney Thomas Carter

Edward Pele of Compton Dr. Hamphrey Chambers of Clarer- ' John Green of Pencomb

Andrew Pern of Wilby Thomas Micklethwait of Cherry: Samuel de la Place. burton

Joha de la March


ftoon **

« PreviousContinue »