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might be preserved in purity, according to God's word; that good pastors might be planted in all churches to preach the same; that the church government might be sincerely ministered, according to God's word; and that the Book of Common Prayer might be fitted to more increase of piety. Concerning the first point, he requested that the Articles of the Church might be explained where obscure, and enlarged where defective. The purport of this was, that they might be made decidedly Calvinistic, for which end he would have had it asserted that the elect can never totally or finally fall from a state of grace, and would have inserted nine propositions, known by the name of the Lambeth Articles, because they had there been sanctioned by Archbishop Whitgift, for the purpose of terminating a controversy at Cambridge; but they had never been set forth by authority; on the contrary, they had displeased Elizabeth and Burleigh, who justly observed that such tenets charge God with cruelty, and might cause men to be desperate in their wickedness. Secondly, where the Articles said it is not lawful for any in the congregation to preach before he is lawfully called ; he wished something to be altered, because the words seemed to imply that one who was not of the congregation, might preach without such a call. And thirdly, he objected to an apparent contradiction, concerning confirmation, which in one place, he said, was allowed to be a depraved imitation of the Apostles, and in another, was grounded on their example.
Upon this, Bancroft, the Bishop of London, reminded the King of the ancient canon which declared that schismatics were not to be heard against Bishops; and of the decree of an ancient council, that no man should be admitted to speak against what he had formerly subscribed. He told the Puritan disputants they were beholden to the King's clemency, for allowing them, contrary to the statute, to speak thus freely against the Liturgy and discipline established. “Fain,” said he, “would I know the end you aim at; and whether you be not of Mr. Cartwright's mind, who affirmed that we ought in ceremonies to conform to the Turks rather than the Papists. I doubt you approve his position, because here appearing before his majesty in Turkey gowns, not in your scholastic habits.” This rebuke they well deserved; but James reproved the interruption. “My Lord
Bishop,” said he, “something in your passion I may excuse, and something I must mislike. I may excuse you thus far, that I think you have just cause to be moved, in respect that they traduce the well settled government, and also proceed in so indirect a course, contrary to their own pretence, and the intent of this meeting. I mislike your interruption of Dr. Reynolds, whom you should have suffered to have taken his liberty. ... Either let him proceed, or frame your answer to his motions already made, although some of them are very needless.”
Bancroft then replied to the observation upon falling from grace: there were many, he said, in those days, who neglected holiness of life, presuming on persisting in grace upon predestination : a desperate doctrine, contrary to good divinity, wherein we should reason rather by ascending than descending, ... from our obedience to God, and love of our neighbour, to our election. The King said he approved the words of the article, as consonant to those of the Apostle, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling;” and he desired that the question of predestination might be tenderly handled, lest on the one hand God's omnipotence be questioned, or on the other, a desperate presumption arreared by inferring the necessary certainty of persisting in grace.
The contradiction concerning confirmation, which Reynolds had imputed to the Articles, the King, upon examination, pronounced a mere cavil ; with regard to the rite itself, Bancroft observed that Dr. Reynolds and his party were vexed the use of it was not in their own hands, for every pastor to confirm in his own parish ; and this was admitted on their part. The Bishop of Winchester then asked Reynolds, with all his learning, to show him when confirmation was used in ancient times, by any other but Bishops ? and the King declared it was not his intention to take from them what they had so long enjoyed. “I approve,” said he," the calling and use of Bishops in the Church; and it is my aphorism, no Bishop no King.”
The next objection was, that the Articles, in saying the Bishop of Rome had no authority in this land, were not sufficient, unless it were added "nor ought to have any.” To this the King properly replied, “inasmuch as it said he hath not, it is plain enough that he ought not to have.” This frivolous objection led to what is termed some pleasant discourse between James and
the Lords about the Puritans, and Bancroft reminded the King of what Sully had said upon seeing the service of the English Church, that if the Reformed Churches of France had kept the same order, there would have been thousands of Protestants more. Reynolds now proposed it might be added to the Articles, that the intention of the minister is not of the essence of the Sacrament; a motion which the King said he utterly disliked, thinking it unfit to thrust into the Articles every position negative, which would swell the book into a volume as big as the Bible, and confound the reader. In this way, he said, one M. Craig in Scotland, with his multiplied detestations and abrenuntiations, had so perplexed and amazed simple people, that they fell back to popery, or remained in their former ignorance. If bound to this form, “ the confession of my faith must be in my Table-book, not in my head.” “Because you speak of intention,” he added, “I will apply it thus. If you come hither with a good intention to be informed, the whole work will sort to the better effect. But if your intention be to go as you came, (whatsoever shall be said,) it will prove the intention is very
material and essential to the end of the present action.”
I request, said Dr. Reynolds, that one uniform catechism may be made, and none other generally received. A request which the King pronounced very reasonable ; "yet so,” he added, “ that the catechism be made in the fewest and plainest terms, not like the many ignorant catechisms in Scotland, set forth by every one who was the son of a good man. And herein I would have two rules observed : first, that curious and deep questions be avoided in the fundamental instruction of a people; secondly, that there should not be so general a departure from the Papists, that every thing should be accounted an error wherein we agree with them.” Reynolds complained that the sabbath was profaned, and requested that the Bible might be new translated. The King assented to this, saying that no English translation was good, but that of Geneva was the worst; and he noticed the tendency of the marginal notes in that Bible, one of which allowed of disobedience to kings, and another censured King Asa, for only deposing his mother for idolatry, instead of killing her. But he added, “Surely if these were the greatest matters that grieved you, I need not have been troubled with such im
portunate complaints !” The next request of Reynolds was, that unlawful and seditious books might be suppressed, meaning those of the Romanists: he was answered that the Bishop of London had done what he could to suppress them; but that certain controversial ones between the Secular priests and the Jesuits, were permitted for the purpose of fomenting the division between them; and also because in those books the pretended title of Spain to this kingdom was confuted ; and it appeared in them by the testimony of the priests themselves, that the Papists, who were put to death in this country, suffered not for conscience only, but for treason.
Reynolds came now to his second general point, and desired that learned ministers might be planted in every parish. James replied that the Bishops were willing, but it could not immediately be done, the universities not affording them. “And yet,” said he, “they afford more learned men than the realm doth maintenance, which must be first provided. In the mean time, ignorant ministers, if young, and there be no hope of amendment, are to be removed ; if old, their death must be expected.” The Bishop of Winchester remarked, that lay patrons were a great cause of the evil which was complained of; for if the Bishop refused to admit the clerks whom they presented, he was presently served with a Quare impedit. Bancroft then knelt, and begged that as it was a time of moving petitions, he might move two or three to his majesty : and first he requested that there might be a praying ministry, it being now come to pass that men thought it was the only duty of ministers to spend their time in the pulpit. I like your motion exceeding well, replied the King, and dislike the hypocrisy of our times, who place all their religion in the ear, while prayer (so requisite and acceptable if duly performed) is accounted as the least part of religion. Bancroft's second motion was, that till learned men could be planted in every congregation, the homilies might be read; the King approved this also, especially where the living was not sufficient to maintain a learned preacher; and the Puritan divines expressed their assent. The Chancellor, Lord Ellesmere, objected to pluralities, saying, he wished some might have single coats, before others had doublets. Bancroft admitted the general principle, but said a doublet was necessary in cold weather. His. last mo
tion was, that pulpits might not be made pasquils, wherein every discontented fellow might traduce his superiors. “The pulpit is no place of personal reproof,” said the King. “Let them complain to me if injured; first to the Ordinary, from him to the Archbishop, from him to the Lords of the Council, and if in all these no remedy be found, then to myself.”
After this episode, Dr. Reynolds requested that subscription might not be exacted as heretofore ; "many good men,” he said, “ being unwilling to subscribe because the Apocrypha was enjoined to be read in the churches, although some chapters therein were repugnant to Scripture.” The King desired him to note those chapters and bring them to the primate, saying he would have none read in the church wherein any error was contained. A wretched cavil against subscription was next made, because in the Dominical Gospels it was twice set down, Jesus said to his disciples, where it appears by the original context that he spake to the Pharisees. “Let the word Disciples be omitted,” said the King, "and the words Jesus said be printed in a different letter.” Mr. Knewstubs now spake for the Puritans, and objected to the baptismal service. He instanced the cross in baptism, whereat, said he, the weak brethren are offended contrary to the counsel of the Apostle. “How long will such brethren be weak?” replied the King. “Are not forty-five years sufficient for them to grow strong in ? Besides, who pretends this weakness? We require not subscriptions of laicks and idiots, but of preachers and ministers, who are not still (I trow) to be fed with milk, being enabled to feed others. Some of them are strong enough, if not headstrong; conceiving themselves able to teach him who last spake for them, and all the Bishops of the land." The antiquity of the use of the cross as a significant sign was shown, and the power of the Church to institute such ceremonies was asserted; but Knewstubs observed, the greatest scruple was, how far the ordinance of the Church bindeth, without impeaching Christian liberty ?
This was coming to the point; and James, who had hitherto behaved with his characteristic good nature, warmly replied, “I will not argue that point with you, but answer as Kings in Parliament, Le Roy s'avisera. This is like M. John Black, a beardless boy, who told me the last conference in Scotland, that he