« ZurückWeiter »
poured out a number of blessings upon such as had any hand in framing and building that sacred and beautiful edifice, and on such as had given, or should hereafter give to it, any chalices, plate, ornaments, or utensils. At every benediction, he in like manner bowed towards the east, and cried, “ Let all the people say, Amen."
The sermon followed ; after which the bishop consecrated and administered the sacrament in the following manner.
As he approached the communion table, he made many lowly reverences; and coming up to that part of the table where the bread and wine lay, he bowed seven times. After the reading of many prayers, he approached the sacramental elements, and gently lifted up the corner of the napkin in which the bread was placed. When he beheld the bread, he suddenly let fall the napkin, flew back a step or two, bowed three several times towards the bread; then he drew nigh again, opened the napkin, and bowed as before.
Next he laid his hand on the cup, which had a cover upon it, and was filled with wine. He let go the cup, fell back, and bowed thrice towards it. He approached again; and lifting up the cover, peeped into the cup. Seeing the wine, he let fall the cover, started back, and bowed as before. Then he received the sacrament; and gave it to others.
others. And many prayers being said, the solemnity of the consecration ended. The walls, and floor, and roof of the fabric were then supposed to be sufficiently holy. *
Orders were given, and rigorously insisted on, that the communion table should be removed from the middle of the area where it hitherto stood in all churches, except in cathedrals. It was placed at the east end, railed in, and denominated an 66 altar;" as the clergyman who officiated received commonly the appellation of " priest.” It is not easy to imagine the discontents excited by this innovation, and the suspicions which it
gave rise to.
The kneeling at the altar, and the using of copes, a species of embroidered vestment, in administering the sacrament, were also known to be great objects of scandal, as being Popish practices ; but the opposition rather increased than abated the zeal of the prelate for the introduction of these habits and ceremonies.
* Rushworth, vol. ii. p. 76, 77. Welwood, p. 275. Franklyn,
+ Rushworth, vol ii. p. 207. Whitlocke, p. 24.
All kinds of ornament, especially pictures, were necessary for supporting that mechanical devotion which was purposed to be raised in this model of religion : but as these had been so much employed by the church of Rome, and had given rise to so much superstition, or what the Puritans called idolatry, it was impossible to introduce them into English churches without exciting general murmurs and complaints. But Laud, possessed of present authority, persisted in his purpose, and made several attempts towards acquiring these ornaments. Some of the pictures introduced by him were also found, upon inquiry, to be the very same that might be met with in the mass-book. The crucifix too, that eternal consolation of all pious Catholics, and terror to all sound Protestants, was not forgotten on this occasion.*
It was much remarked, that Sherfield, the recorder of Salisbury, was' tried in the star, chamber, for having broken, contrary to the bishop of Salisbury's express injunctions, a painted window of St. Edmond's church in that city. He boasted that he had destroyed these monuments of idolatry: but for this effort of his zeal, he was fined five hundred pounds, removed from his office, condemned to make a public acknowledgment, and be bound to his good behavior.
Not only such of the clergy as neglected to observe every ceremony were suspended and deprived by the high commission court: oaths were, by, many of the bishops, imposed on the churchwardens; and they were sworn to inform against any one who acted contrary to the ecclesiastical canons. Such a measure, though practised during the reign of Elizabeth, gave much offence, as resembling too nearly the practice of the Romish inquisition
To show the greater alienation from the churches reformed after the Presbyterian model, Laud advised that the discipline and worship of the church should be imposed on the English regiments and trading companies abroad. All foreigners of the Dutch and Walloon congregations were commanded to attend the established church; and indulgence was granted 10 none after the children of the first denizens. Il Scudamore, too, the king's ambassador at Paris, had orders to withdraw
* Rushworth, vol. ii. p. 272, 273.
† Rushworth, vol. ii. p. 152. State Trials, vol. v. p. 46. Frar's lyn, p. 410, 411, 412. I Rushworth, vol. ii. p. 186. .
Rushworth, vol. č. p. 249. Franklyn, p. 451.
himself from the communion of the Hugonots. Even men of sense were apt to blame this conduct, not only because it gave offence in England, but because, in foreign countries, it lost the crown the advantage of being considered as the head and support of the reformation.*
On pretence of pacifying disputes, orders were issued from the council, forbidding on both sides all preaching and printing with regard to the controverted points of predestination and free will. But it was complained of, and probably with reason, that the impartiality was altogether confined to the orders, and that the execution of them was only meant against the Calvinists.
In return for Charles's indulgence towards the church, Laud and his followers took care to magnify, on every occasion, the regal authority, and to treat with the utmost disdain or detestation all Puritanical pretensions to a free and independent constitution. But while these prelates were so liberal in raising the crown at the expense of public liberty, they made no scruple of encroaching, themselves, on the royal rights the most incontestable, in order to exalt the hierarchy, and procure to their own order dominion and independence. All the doctrines which the Romish church had borrowed from some of the fathers, and which freed the spiritual from subordination to the civil power, were now adopted by the church of England, and interwoven with her political and religious tenets. A divine and apostolical charter was insisted on, preferably to a legal and parliamentary one.f The sacerdotal character was magnified as sacred and indefeasible : all right to spiritual authority, or even to private judgment in spiritual subjects, was refused to profane laymen: ecclesiastical courts were held by the bishops in their own name, without any notice taken of the king's authority : and Charles, though extremely jealous of every claim in popular assemblies, seemed rather to encourage than repress those encroachments of his clergy. Having felt many sensible inconveniencies from the independent spirit of parliaments, he attached himself entirely to those who professed a devoted obedience to his crown and person ; nor did he foresee, that the ecclesiastical power which he exalted, not admitting of any precise boundary, might in time become more dangerous to public peace, and no less fatal to royal preroga. tive, than the other.
State Papers collected by the earl of Clarendon, p. 338. † Whitlocke, p. 22.
So early as the coronation, Laud was the person, according to general opinion, that introduced a novelty which, though overlooked by Charles, made a deep impression on many of the bystanders. After the usual ceremonies, these words were recited to the king : “Stand and hold fast, from henceforth, the place to which you have been heir by the succession of your forefathers, being now delivered to you by the authority of Almighty God, and by the hands of us and all the bishops and servants' of God. And, as you see the clergy to come nearer the altar than others, so remember that, in all places convenient, you give them greater honor ; that the Mediator of God and man may establish you on the kingly throne, to be a mediator betwixt the clergy and the laity; and that you may reign forever with Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords." *
The principles which exalted prerogative, were not entertained by the king merely as soft and agreeable to his royal ears; they were also put in practice during the time that he ruled without parliaments. Though frugal and regular in his expense, he wanted money for the support of government; and he levied it, either by the revival of obsolete laws, or by violations, some more open, some more disguised, of the priv. ileges of the nation. Though humane and gentle in his temper, he gave way to a few severities in the star chamber and high commission, which seemed necessary in order to support the present mode of administration, and repress the rising spirit of liberty throughout the kingdom. Under these two heads may be reduced all the remarkable transactions of this reign during some years; for, in peaceable and prosperous times, where a neutrality in foreign affairs is observed, scarcely any thing is remarkable, but what is in some degree blamed or blamable."And, lest the hope of relief or protection from parliament might encourage opposition, Charles issued a proclamation, in which he declared, " That whereas, for several ill ends, the calling again of a parliament is divulged; though his majesty has shown, by frequent meetings with his people, his love to the use of parliaments : yet the late abuse having for the present driven him unwillingly out of that course ; he will account it presumption for any one to prescribe to him any time for the calling of that assembly.”This was
* Franklyn, p. 114. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 201.
generally construed as a declaration, that during this reign no more parliaments were intended to be summoned. * And every measure of the king's confirmed a suspicion so disagreeable to the generality of the people.
Tonnage and poundage continued to be levied by the royai authority alone. The former additional impositions were still exacted. Even new impositions were laid on several kinds of merchandise.t
The custom-house officers received orders from the council to enter into any house, warehouse, or cellar ; to search any trunk or chest; and to break any bulk whatever; in default of the payment of customs.
In order to exercise the militia, and to keep them in good order, each county, by an edict of the council, was assessed in a certain sum, for maintaining a muster-master, appointed for that services
Compositions were openly made with recusants, and the Popish religion became a regular part of the revenue. This was all the persecution which it underwent during the reign of Charles.
A commission was granted for compounding with such as were possessed of crown lands upon defective titles"; and on this pretence some money was exacted from the people.fl
There was a law of Edward II.,** that whoever was possessed of twenty pounds a year in land, should be obliged, when summoned, to appear and to receive the order of knighthood. Twenty pounds at that time, partly by the change of denomination, partly by that in the value of money, were equivalent to two hundred in the seventeenth century; and it seemed just that the king should not strictly insist on the letter of the law, and oblige people of so small revenue to accept of that expensive honor. Edward VI, *t and Queen Elizabeth, #1 who had both of them made use of this expedient for raising money, had summoned only those who were possessed of forty pounds a year and upwards to receive knighthood, or compound for their neglect; and Charles imitated their
§ Rush. vol. ij. p. 10.
Clarendon, vol. i. p. 4. May, p. 14. * Rush. vol. ii. p. 8. May, p. 16. * Rush. vol. ii.
9. | Rush. vol. i. p, 11, 12, 13, 247. | Rush. vol. i. p. 49. ++ Rymer, tom. xv. p. 124. 11 Rymer, tom. xv. p. 493, 504. VOL, V.
** Statutum de militibus