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From the death of Archbishop PARKER to the death of
DR. Edmund Grindal, archbishop of York, succeeded Parker in the see of Canterbury, and was confirmed Feb. 15, 1575–6. He was a divine of moderate principles, and moved no faster in courses of severity against the puritans than his superiors obliged him, being a friend to their preaching and prophesyings. Sandys was translated from London to York, and Aylmer was advanced to the see of London. This last was one of the exiles, and had been a favorer of puritanism ; for in his book against Knox, entitled, An Harbor for faithful subjects, he declaims against the wealth and splendor of the bishops, and speaks with vehemence against their lordly dignities and civil authority. In the convocation of 1562, when the question about the habits was debated, he withdrew, and would not be concerned in the affair; but upon his advancement to the episcopal order he became a new convert, and a cruel persecutor of the puritans. He was a little man, of a quick spirit, and of no extraordinary character.
The parliament being now sitting, a bill was brought into the House of Lords, to mulct such as did not come to church and receive the sacrament, with the payment of certain sums of money; but it was thought proper to drop it for the present,
The convocation was busy in framing articles touching the admitting able and fit persons to the ministry, and establishing good order in the church.* Thirteen of them were published with the Queen's licence, though they bad not the broad seal ; but the other two, For marrying at all times of the year, and for private baptism by a lawful minister, in cases of necessity, her majesty would not countenance. One of the articles makes void ali licences for preaching, dated
Strype's Life of Grindal, p. 194.
before the 8th of Feb. 1575, but provides, That such as should be thought meet for that office should be re-admitted without difficulty or charge. This had been practised once and again in Parker's time, and was now renewed, that by disqualifying the whole body of the clergy, they might clear the church of all the non-conformists at once; and if all the bishops had been equally severe in renewing their licences, the church would have been destitute of all preaching; for the body of the conforming clergy were so ignorant and illiterate, that many who had cure of souls were incapable of preaching, or even of reading to the edification of the hearers; being obliged by law only to read the service, and administer the sacrament in person once in half a year, on forfeiture of five pounds to the poor. The non-conformist ministers, under the character of curates or lecturers, supplied the defects of these idle drones, for a small recompence from the incumbent, and the voluntary contribution of the parish ; and by their warm and affectionate preaching gained the hearts of the people: They resided upon their curacies, and went from house to house visiting their parishioners, and instructing their children; they also inspected their lives and manners, and, according to the apostolical direction, reproved, rebuked, and eahorted them, with all long-suffering and doctrine, as long as they could keep their licences. Thus most of the puritan ministers remained as yet within the church, and their followers attended upon the word and sacraments in such places where there were sober and orthodox preachers. But still they continued their associations and private assemblies, for recovering the discipline of the church to a more primitive standard: This was a grievance to the Queen and court bishops, who were determined against all innovations of this kind. Strange! That men should confess in their public service every first day of Lent, That there was a godly discipline in the primitive church; that this discipline is not eacercised at present in the church of England, but that it is much to be wished that it were restored; and yet never attempt to restore it, but set themselves with violence and oppression to crush all endeavors that way! For the reader will observe, that this was one chief occasion of the
sufferings of the puritans in the following part of this reign.
Some of the ministers of Northampton and Warwick. shire, in one of their associated meetings, agreed upon certain rules of discipline in their several parishes ; but as soon as they began to practise them, the court took the alarm, and sent letters to the new archbishop to suppress them.* His grace accordingly sent to the bishops of those dioceses, to see things reduced to their former channel ; and if need were, to send for assistance from himself or the ecclesiastical commissioners : Accordingly Mr. Paget and Mr. Oxenbridge, the two heads of the association, were taken into custody and sent up to London.
Sometime after there was another assembly at Mr. Knewstub's church, at Cockfield in Suffolk, where 60 clergymen of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire, met together to confer of the common prayer book, and come to some agreement as to what might be tolerated, and what was neces. sary to be refused. They consulted also about apparel, holidays, fastings, injunctions, &c.f From thence they adjourned to Cambridge, at the time of the next commencement, and from thence to London, where they hoped to be concealed by the general resort of the people to parliament: In these assemblies they came to the following conclusions, which were drawn up in an elegant Latin stile by. Mr. Cartwright and Travers, and given to the ministers for their direction in their several parishes.
Concerning Ministers. “LET no man, though he be an university man, of• fer himself to the ministry ; nor let any man take upon • him an uncertain and vague ministry, though it be offered 6 unto him.
“ But such as are called by some church, let them impart it to the classis or conference, of which they are members, 6 or to some greater church assemblies; and if the called be • approved, let them be commended by letters to the bishop, that they may be ordained ministers by him.
* Life of Grindal, p. 215.
+ Fuller, b. ix. P, 135.
6 Those ceremonies in the book of common prayer, which being taken from popery are in controversy, ought to be 6omitted, if it may be done without danger of being put
from the ministry ; but if there be imminent danger of beSing deprived, then let the matter be communicated to the 6 classis in which that church is, to be determined by them.
“ If subscription to the articles and book of common prayer shall be again urged, it is thought that the book of articles may be subscribed, according to the Stat. 13 E.
liz. that is, To such only as contain the sum of the christian •faith and the doctrine of the sacraments. But neither the
common prayer book, nor the rest of the articles, may be " allowed ; no, though a man should be deprived of his ministry for refusing it.
Concerning Churchwardens. “ It seems that churchwardens, and collectors for the * poor, may be thus turned into elders and deacons.
“Let the church have warning of the time of election, 6 and of the ordinance of the realm, fifteen days before. · hand ; but especially of Christ's ordinance, touching ap6 pointing of watchmen and overseers in his church, who are to take care that no offence or scandal arise in the • church; and if any such happen, that it be duly abolish. ed."
Of Collectors for the poor, or Deacons. 6 Touching deacons of both sorts, viz. men and women, * the church shall be admonished what is required by the apostle; and that they are not to choose men of custom or course, or for their riches, but for their faith, zeal and integrity; and that the church is to pray in the mean time,
to be so directed, that they may choose them that are 6 meet.
6 Let the names of those that are thus chosen, be pub• lished the next Lord's day, and after that, their duties to the church, and the church's duty towards them; then let them be received into their office with the general prayers of the whole church."
Of Classes. 6. The brethren are to be requested to ordain a distribu: * tion of all churches, according to the rules set down in * the synodical discipline, touching classical, provincial, comitial, and assemblies for the whole kingdom.
« The classes are to be required to keep acts of memorable matters, and to deliver them to the comitial assembly, and from thence to the provincial assembly.
66 They are to deal earnestly with patrons, to present fit « men whensoever any church falls void in their classis.
“ The comitial assemblies are to be admonished to make collections for the relief of the poor, and of scholars, but especially for the relief of such ministers as are deprived for not subscribing the articles tendered by the bishops ;
also for the relief of Scots ministers, and others ; and for 6 other profitable and necessary uses.
“ Provincial synods must continually foresee in due time • to appoint the keeping of their next provincial synods; and
for the sending of chosen persons with certain instructions (to the national synod, to be holden whensoever the parlia
ment for the kingdom shall be called, at some certain time every year.”
The design of these conclusions was to introduce a refor. mation into the church without a separation. The chief debate in their assemblies was, How far this or the other conclusion might consist with the peace of the church, and be moulded into a consistency with episcopacy. They ordained no ministers; and though they maintained the choice of the people to be the essential call to the pastoral charge, yet most of them admitted of ordination and induction by the bishop only, as the officer appointed by law, that the minister might be enabled to demand his legal dues from the parish.
In the room of that pacific prelate Parkhurst, bishop of Norwich, the Queen nominated Dr. Freke, a divine of a quite different spirit, who in his primary visitation made sad havoc among the puritan ministers. Among others that were suspended in that diocese, were, Mr. John More, Mr. Richard Crick, Mr. George Leeds, Mr. Thomas Roberts, and Mr. Richard Dowe, all ministers in or near the city of NorVol. I.