The Book of Common Prayer
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    A New History of
The Book of Common Prayer




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ESCAPING from the dismal period of rebellion, we pass on with the history of the Prayer Book to the year 1660, when the restoration of the monarchy brought freedom of conscience and worship to Churchmen. On the 1st of May letters from King Charles II., dated from Breda, were brought to the Houses of Lords and Commons, with a Declaration, in which the King ‘declared a liberty to tender consciences’ on the subject of religion, ‘and that no man shall be disquieted or called in question for differences of opinion in matters of religion which do not disturb the peace of the kingdom; and that we shall be ready to consent to such an Act of Parliament as, upon mature deliberation, shall be offered to us for granting that indulgence.’1 By a resolution of the Commons (May 8), the King was desired to make a speedy return to his Parliament, and on the same day was solemnly proclaimed: and on the 10th of May, on the occasion of a day of thanksgiving, the Common Prayer was read before the Lords.2

Restoration of the Prayer Book.

The King’s Declaration from Breda.

Meanwhile (May 4) a deputation from both Houses was sent to meet the King at the Hague. Reynolds, Calamy, Case, Manton, and some other eminent Presbyterian divines went also with an address, to which the King answered kindly; but, as in his previous ‘Declaration,’ referred to Parliament to determine what toleration was necessary for the repose of the kingdom. This answer, however, was not the object which had brought these divines to gain the King’s ear if possible, while he might be willing to listen to any terms of accommodation. In various private audiences they suggested that the Common Prayer had long been discontinued in England, that many of the people had never once heard it; and therefore it would be much wondered at if his Majesty, at his first landing, should revive the use of it in his own chapel: and therefore to prevent the people being shocked at such uncustomary. worship, they entreated him not to use it in form, and by rubrical directions; but only to order the reading some part of it with the intermixture of other good prayers.

Deputation of Nonconformists to theu King at the Hague,



suggesting that the Prayer Book should not be re-introduced ;

Finding no hope of abridging the King’s liberty of using the regular service, they then requested that the use of the surplice might be discontinued by the royal chaplains, because the sight of this habit would give great offence to the people. But they were plainly told by the King that he would not be restrained hirnself, when others had so much indulgence: that the surplice had always been reckoned a decent habit, and constantly worn in the Church of England: that he had all along retained the use of it in foreign parts: that though he might for the present tolerate a failure of solemnity in religious worship, yet he would never abet such irregularity by his own practice.3

Meanwhile the clergy of the Church had not been slow to take up their position again; they were graciously received by the King and with some necessary warnings as to discretion and moderation were recommended to make every effort by conference with the Presbyterians ‘to reduce them to such a temper as is consistent with the good of the Church.’4

and that the surplice should not be used.
These, however, were not the men to be easily put off from their purpose by the King or reconciled by the clergy. They used ‘their utmost endeavours to hinder the restitution’ of the Prayer Book. ‘In order whereunto divers Pamphlets were published against the Book of Common Prayer, the old objections mustered up with the addition of some new ones . . . to make the number swell.’5 They teased the King, after his return to England, with continual complaints, until he bade them submit their grievances and wishes in writing. Whereupon they embodied their notions upon Church matters in a long address.6 They assume that there was no difference between Churchmen and themselves ‘in the doctrinal truths of the reformed religion, and in the substantial parts of divine worship’ ; but only ‘in some various conceptions about the ancient form of Church government, and some particulars about Liturgy and ceremonies.’7 As to the differences concerning the Liturgy, they say:—

Presbyterian Objections.




Non-conformists’ address to the King.

1. ‘We are satisfied in our judgments concerning the lawfulness of a Liturgy, or form of Public Worship, provided that it be for the matter agreeable unto the Word of God, and fitly suited to the nature of the several ordinances and necessities of the Church; neither too tedious in the whole, nor composed of too short prayers, unmeet repetitions or responsals; not to be dissonant from the Liturgies of other reformed Churches; nor too rigorously imposed; nor the minister so confined thereunto, but that he may also make use of those gifts for prayer and exhortation which Christ hath given him for the service and edification of ‘the Church.’
Their ideal of a Liturgy.
2. ‘That inasmuch .as the Book of Common .Prayer hath in it many things that are justly offensive and need amendment, hath been long discontinued, and very many, both ministers and people, persons of pious, loyal, and peaceable minds, are therein greatly dissatisfied; whereupon, if it be again imposed, will inevitably follow sad divisions, and widening of the breaches which your Majesty is now endeavouring to heal: we do most humbly offer to your Majesty’s’ wisdom, that for preventing so great evil, and for settling the Church in unity and peace, some learned, godly, and moderate divines of both persuasions, indifferently chosen, may be employed to compile such a form as is before described, as much as may be in Scripture words; or at least to revise and effectually reform the old, together with an addition or insertion of some other varying forms in Scripture phrase, to be used at the minister’s choice; of which variety and liberty there be instances in the. Book of Common Prayer.’
They desire such a form to be composed;
3. Concerning ceremonies, they ask ‘that kneeling at the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and such holy-days as are but of human institution, may not be imposed upon such as do conscientiously scruple the observation of them; and that the use of the surplice, and cross in Baptism, and bowing at the name of Jesus rather than the name of Christ, or Immanuel, or other names whereby that divine Person, or either of the other divine Persons, is nominated, may be abolished;’ as well as other ceremonies such as ‘erecting altars, bowing towards them, and such like,’ which they complain had been illegally introduced and even imposed.8

and ceremonies to be abolished.

The nine surviving Bishops, in their reply to these proposals of the Presbyterians, pronounce the Offices in the Common Prayer wholly unexceptionable. They meet the request that it should not be ‘dissonant from the liturgies of other reformed churches’ by saying that ‘the nearer both their forms and ours come to the liturgy of the ancient Greek and Latin Churches, the less are they liable to the objections of the common enemy.’ They conceive the book cannot be too strictly imposed ; especially when ‘ministers are not denied the exercise of their gifts in praying before and after sermon, although such praying be but the continuance of a custom of no great antiquity and grown into common use by sufferance only without any other foundation from law or canons.’ However, they are contented to yield that the Liturgy may be ‘revised by such discreet persons as his Majesty shall think fit to employ therein.’ As for the ceremonies, they defend their imposition by law, not as essentials, but for edification; but they are of opinion that ‘the satisfaction of some private persons ought not to overrule the public peace and uniformity of the Church.’ They desire the continuance of kneeling at Communion and the observance of Saints’ days, but leave it to the King to judge with respect to the other three ceremonies mentioned how far liberty may be given to tender consciences. They repudiate innovations and the imposition of illegal ceremonies, but conclude by expressing a fear that, ‘if any abatements were made, it would only feed a distemper, and encourage unquiet people to further demands.’9 To this the Divines made a lengthy reply raising a number of new objections;10 but it was impossible to obtain any immediate and legal settlement of these differences between the Presbyterians and the Churchmen, who naturally looked for a restoration of their benefices and form of service. The Convention Parliament could not be allowed to meddle with this question if its members could be trusted, its acts would have no value from the illegal origin of the body from which they emanated. The method adopted to meet the present difficulty was the issue of a ‘Royal Declaration concerning Ecclesiastical Affairs’ (October 25, 1660). This was a very arbitrary but a very politic move: it had the sundry advantages of not resting at all for its authority upon the existing Parliament, without seeming to encroach upon its functions of allowing a greater measure of toleration than probably would be allowed by a final settlement of the matter by just authority, and hence of pacifying some of the Nonconformists; while nothing was finally settled, or granted, but the whole question was left open for discussion at a Conference which it promised between the discordant parties, and for the decision of a lawful, Parliament and Convocation. Accordingly, this Declaration allowed a great number of the demands of the Presbyterians, touching the observance of the Lord’s-day, the episcopal jurisdiction, the examination of those ‘who should be confirmed, a discretion as to the use certain ceremonies, such as kneeling at Communion, signing the cross in Baptism, bowing at the name of Jesus, the surplice, and the oath of canonical obedience: and, although wishing ministers to read those parts of the Prayer Book against which there could be no exception, yet promising that none should be punished or troubled for not using it, until it had been reviewed, and effectually reformed by a conference of an equal number of learned divines of both persuasions, and leaving the decision concerning the ceremonies ‘to the advice of a national synod.11

The reply of the Bishops.












The King’s Declaration concerning Ecclesiastical Affairs.




allowed many Presbyterian demands.

The result was a general expression of satisfaction on the part of the Presbyterians;12 and the attempt was made to gain some of them over to conformity by the offer of Church preferments.13 But although the Declaration, by a stretch of the royal prerogative, sheltered the dissenting ministers for the present from legal penalties, it did not satisfy all their scruples; for they did not look for the continuance of that amount of favour when a royalist Parliament should have determined their position.
On the King’s part there was no delay in forwarding the promised Conference. The warrant14 was issued on the 25th of March, 1661, appointing15 twelve of the Bishops, and the same number of Presbyterians, with nine other divines on each side as assistants, to supply the places of any that were unavoidably absent. The place of meeting was the Bishop of London’s lodgings in the Savoy Hospital, and the Commission was to continue in force during the ensuing four months. The course of deliberation was precisely stated: the Commissioners were empowered ‘to advise upon and review the Book of Common Prayer; comparing the same with the most ancient Liturgies which have been used in the Church in the primitive and purest times’; ‘to take: into serious and grave considerations the several directions, and rules, and forms of prayer in the said Book,’ and ‘the several objections and exceptions’ raised against it; ‘to make such reasonable and necessary alterations, corrections, and amendments therein as . . . should be agreed upon to be needful or expedient for the giving satisfaction to tender consciences,’ ‘but avoiding all unnecessary abbreviations of the forms and Liturgy wherewith the people are already acquainted, and have so long received in the Church of England.’

The Savoy conference.




Instructions to the Commissioners.

Although the period of the commission was limited to four months, yet the first meeting did not take place until the 15th of April. The Bishop of London then stated to the Presbyterian ministers, that, since they had requested the Conference for the purpose of making alterations in the Prayer Book, nothing could be done until they had delivered their exceptions in writing, together with the additional forms, and whatever alterations were desired. Accordingly, they met from day to day, and prepared a long series of exceptions16 and alteration’s; Baxter persuaded his colleagues ‘that they were bound to ask for everything that they thought desirable, without regard to the sentiments of their opponents.’17 These exceptions are especially interesting, as having been made against the Prayer Book when it had been brought so very nearly into its present state. We may consider that they include all the minute particulars with which fault could be found by men of learning, acuteness, and piety, whose writings were to be thenceforward the mine of Nonconformist divinity.18

The Savoy Conference opened April 15, 1661.


The Presbyterians are desired to present their Exceptions.

The Presbyterians proposed:
    1. ‘That all the prayers, and other materials of the Liturgy, may consist of nothing doubtful or questioned among pious, learned, and orthodox persons)

To this the Bishops answered:
The Church hath been careful to put nothing into the liturgy, but that which is. either evidently the word of God or what hath been generally received in the Catholic Church.’ The demand is unreasonable and impossible unless it be agreed who are to be called orthodox. ‘If by orthodox be meant those who adhere to scripture and the catholic consent of antiquity, we do not yet know that any part of our Liturgy hath been questioned by such.’

2. To consider that as our first reformers so composed the Liturgy as to win upon the Papists and to draw them into their Church-communion, by varying as little as they well could from the Romish forms before in use,’ so whether now we should not have our Liturgy so composed as to gain upon the judgments and affection of all those who in the substantials of the protestant religion are of the same persuasions with ourselves.’

3. To omit ‘the repetitions and responsals of the clerk and people, and the alternate reading of the Psalms and Hymns, which cause a confused murmur in the congregation’: ‘ the minister being appointed for the people in all Public Services appertaining to God; and the Holy Scriptures . . . intimating the people’s part in public prayer to be only with silence and reverence to attend thereunto, and to declare their consent in the close, by saying Amen.’

4. To change the Litany into one solemn prayer.19
    In reply to 3 and 4. ‘Alternate reading and repetitions and responsals are far better than a long tedious prayer,’ ‘as appears by the practice of ancient Christian churches.’ If the people may take part in Hopkins’ why not David’s psalms, or in a litany?

5. ‘That there may be nothing in the Liturgy which may seem to countenance the observation of Lent as a religious fast.’
    The religious observation of Lent was a custom of the Churches of God.’

6. To omit the religious observation of Saints’ days and their vigils.
    It is of ecclesiastical, not divine institution, but it is agreeable to the Scripture and ancient.

7. ‘That there may be no such imposition of the Liturgy, as that the exercise of’ the gift of prayer ‘be totally excluded in any part of Public Worship’ ; and that ‘it may be left to the discretion of the minister to omit part of it, as occasion shall require.’
    This makes the Liturgy void, and may bring more mischief than good.

8. That the new translation of the Bible should alone be used in the portions selected in the Prayer Book.

9. That nothing be read in the church for lessons but the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament.
    This comes ill from the advocates of preaching. ‘It is heartily to be wished that sermons were as good’ as the Apocrypha.

10. That no part of the Liturgy-need be read at the communion-table but when the Holy Supper is administered.
    Unreasonable, since all the primitive Church used it, and if we do not observe that golden rule of the venerable Council of Nice “Let ancient customs prevail til reason plainly requires the contrary," we shall give offence to sober Christians by a causeless departure from Catholic usage.

11. To use the word ‘Minister,’ and not’ Priest’ or ‘Curate,’ and ‘Lord’s-day’ , instead of ‘ Sunday.’
    Unreasonable, because there is a real distinction between Priest and Deacon. ‘Curate’ is unobjectionable, and Sunday’ is ancient.

12. To amend the version of metrical Psalms.

13. To alter obsolete words.

14. That no portion of the Old Testament, or of the Acts of the Apostles, be called ‘Epistles,’ and read as such.’

15. To reform the offices, where ‘the phrase is such as presumes all persons within the communion of the Church to be regenerated, converted, and in an actual state of grace; which, had ecclesiastical discipline bee truly and vigorously executed . . . ‘ might be better supposed, but . . . cannot now be rationally admitted.’
    The Bishops reply to this, The Church in her prayers useth no more offensive phrase than S. Paul uses, when he writes to the Corinthians, Galatians, and others, calling them in general the churches of God, sanctified in Christ Jesus, by vocation saints, amongst whom notwithstanding there were many who by their known sins (which the Apostle endeavoured to amend in them) were not properly such, yet he gives the denomination to the ‘whole from the greater part, to whom in charity it was due, and puts the rest in mind what they have by their baptism undertaken to be; and our prayers and the phrase of them surely supposes no more than that they are saints by calling, sanctified in Christ Jesus, by their baptism admitted into Christ’s congregation, and so to be reckoned members of that society, till either they shall separate themselves by wilful schism, or to be separated by legal excommunication, which they seem earnestly to desire, and so do we.

16. Instead of the short collects, to have one methodical and entire prayer composed out of many of them.

17. The present Liturgy seems defective in forms of praise and thanksgiving; in consisting very much of general expressions, such as ‘to have our prayers heard, to be kept from all evil, to do God’s will’: the Confession does not clearly express original sin, nor sufficiently enumerate actual sins with their aggravations’; and ‘there is no preparatory prayer . . . for assistance or acceptance.’ ‘The Catechism is defective as to many necessary doctrines’; (some even of the essentials of Christianity not mentioned except in the Creed, and: there not so explicit as ought to be in a Catechism.’
    The Bishops reply, There are many Thanksgivings, Te Deum, Benedictus, Magnificat, Benedicite, Glory be to God on high, Therefore with Angels and Archangels, Glory be to the Father, besides occasional Thanksgivings after the Litany, of the frequency whereof themselves elsewhere complain. The use of general expressions, as in confession of sin, is ‘the perfection of the Liturgy, the offices of which being intended for common and general services, would cease to be such by descending to particulars’; the general expressions objected to are almost the very terms of the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer. It is an evil Custom springing from false doctrine, to use expressions which may lead people to think that original sin is not forgiven in Holy Baptism: yet original sin is clearly acknowledged in confessing that the desires of our own hearts. render us miserable by following them, &c.

18. The Surplice, the Cross in Baptism, and Kneeling: at the Lord’s Supper, are brought forward as the usual instances of ceremonies, judged unwarrantable by sundry learned and pious men, and exposing many orthodox pious, and peaceable ministers to the displeasure of their rulers. They must be fountains of evil, unless all his Majesty’s subjects had the same subtility of judgment, to discern even to a ceremony how far the power of man extends in the things of God.
    Obedience is a duty to the Church’s laws of decency and order: each is in itself defensible, and may fairly be imposed.

General Exceptions to the Prayer Book.

The following exceptions were taken against particular parts of the Prayer Book :—
    They wish the first rubric as to the place of service to be expressed as in the Book of 1552; and the second rubric about vestments and ornaments to be omitted.
    The Bishops differ and refer to § 18 above.

The doxology to be always added to the Lord’s Prayer; and this prayer not to be so often used.

The Gloria Patri to be used only once in the Morning, and once in the Evening.

’Rubric. And to the end the people may the better hear, in such places where they do sing, there shall the Lessons be sung in a plain tune, after the manner of distinct reading: and likewise the Epistle and Gospel.’ We know no warrant why they should be sung in any place, and conceive that the distinct reading of them with an audible voice tends more to the edification of the Church.
    The Bishops reply, The rubric directs only such singing as is after the manner of distinct reading, and we never heard of any inconvenience thereby.20

To appoint some Psalm or Scripture hymn instead of the apocryphal Benedicite.

In the Litany they object to the expressions, deadly sin, sudden death, and all that travel.

In the collects; to omit the words ‘this day,’ in the collect for Christmas Day.

Some other collects were named, as having in them divers things that we judge fit to be altered’; some of which were altered, as were also others to which no objection was here raised.

Exceptions against particular parts of the Prayer Book.

In the Communion Service:—
    The first rubric had directed intending communicants to ‘signify their names to the Curate overnight, or else in the morning afore the beginning of morning Prayer, or immediately after.’ It was objected that this notice was not sufficient; and the rubric was altered to ‘at least some time the day before.’

They desire that the minister should have a full power to admit or repel communicants.

They object to kneeling during the reading of the Commandments, and also to the petition after each Commandment, preferring that the minister should conclude with a suitable prayer.

They desire preaching to be more strictly enjoined, and that ministers should not be bound to ‘Homilies hereafter to be set forth,’ as things which are as yet but future and not in being.

They object to the Offertory sentences, that two are apocryphal, and four of them more proper to draw out the people’s bounty to their ministers, than their charity to the poor; and to the Offertory itself, that collection for the poor may be better made at or a little before the departing of the communicants.

The Exhortation, which was appointed to be read ‘at certain times when the Curate shall see the people negligent to come to the Holy Communion,’ is objected to as unseasonable to be read at the Communion.

They object to the direction, ‘that no man should·come to the Holy Communion but with a full trust in·God’s mercy, and with a quiet conscience,’ as likely to discourage many from coming to the Sacrament, who lie under a doubting and troubled conscience.
    The Bishops reply, Certainly themselves cannot desire that men should come to the Holy Communion with a troubled conscience, and therefore have no reason to blame the Church for saying it is requisite that men come with a quiet conscience, and prescribing means for quieting thereof.

The General Confession in the name of the communicants was directed to be made ‘either by one of them, or else by one of the ministers, or by the priest himself’: they desire that this may be made by the minister only.

To the rubric, that the priest or bishop, in reading the Absolution, should ‘turn himself to the people,’ they say, ‘The minister turning himself to the people is most convenient throughout the whole ministration.’
    Not so: when he speaks to them’ it is convenient that he turn to them: when he speaks for them to God, it is fit that they should all turn another way, as the ancient church ever did.

As before in the collect for Christmas Day, the object to the word ‘this day’ in the proper Preface for that day and Whitsunday.

Of the Prayer ‘in the name of all them that shall receive the Communion,’ — ‘Grant that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious -blood,’ — they observe that these words seem to give a greater efficacy to the blood than to the body of Christ, and would have them altered thus-’that our sinful souls and bodies may be cleansed through his precious body and blood.’
    The Bishops in reply refer to the words of our Lord, This is my blood which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins,’ observing that he saith not so explicitly of the body.

Of the ‘Prayer at the Consecration,’ as they word it, they say, the manner of consecrating is not explicit enough, and the minister’s breaking of the bread is not so much as mentioned.

Of the manner of distributing the elements, and the words used, they desire that the words of our Saviour may be used as near as may be; and that the minister be not required to deliver the bread and wine into every communicant’s hand, and to repeat the words to each one: also that the kneeling may be left free.
    Administration to every particular communicant with the words in the singular number is most requisite, forsomuch as it is the propriety of Sacraments to make particular obsignation to each believer.

To the rubric, that ‘Every parishioner shall communicate at the least three times in the year,’ they say, Forasmuch as every parishioner is not duly qualified for the Lord’s Supper, and those habitually prepared are not at all times actually disposed, but many may be hindered by the providence of God, and some by the distemper of ·their spirits, we desire this rubric may be either wholly omitted, or thus altered: ‘Every minister shall be bound to administer the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper at least thrice a year, provided there be a due number of communicants manifesting their desires to receive.’ They also desire the Declaration, explanatory of kneeling, in the second Prayer Book ‘established by law as much as any other part’ to be again restored to its place: to which the Bishops reply, This rubric is not in the Liturgy of Queen Elizabeth, nor confirmed by law; nor is there any great need of restoring it, the world being now in more danger of profanation than of idolatry. Besides, the sense of it is declared sufficiently in the 28th Article of the Church of England.

Exceptions against the Communion Office.

The Baptismal Office, and those parts of the Prayer Book connected with it, furnished special matter for objection. The charitable conclusion of the Church, ‘that Christ will favourably accept every infant to baptism that is presented by the Church according to our present order,’ was opposed to the ministerial tyranny which the Puritan elders sought to exercise in the way of discipline and excommunication. Thus with regard to the subjects of baptism, they say, ‘There being divers learned, pious, and peaceable ministers, who not only judge it unlawful to baptize children whose parents both of them are atheists, infidels, heretics, or unbaptized, but also such whose parents are excommunicate persons, fornicators, or otherwise notorious and scandalous sinners; we desire they may not be obliged to baptize the children of such, until they have made due profession of their repentance,
    We think this to be very hard and uncharitable and giving too arbitrary a power to the minister.

Then, with regard to sponsors, they object that there is no mention of the parents; they deny the right of any others not appointed by the parents to speak for the children and ‘desire that it may be left free to parents whether they will have sureties to undertake for their children in baptism or no.’
    It is an erroneous doctrine, and the ground of many others, that children have no other right to baptism than their parents’ right. The Church’s primitive practice (S. Aug. Ep. 2321) forbids it to be left to the pleasure of the parents, whether there shall be other sureties or no.

Of the questions addressed to the sponsors they say, ‘We know not by what right the sureties do promise and answer in the name of the infant.’ ‘We desire that the two first interrogatories may be put to the parents to be answered in their own names, and the last propounded to the parents or pro-parents thus, “Will you have this child baptized into this faith?"
    If Guardians may contract for minors, why not Sponsors?

They wish the font to be conspicuous.
    It stands as it did in primitive times at or near the Church door to Signify that Baptism was the entrance into the Church mystical.

As to particular expressions in the service, they object to the notion of the sanctification of Jordan, or any other waters, to a sacramental use by Christ’s being baptized.
    If Jordan and all other waters be not so far sanctified by Christ as to be the matter if baptism, what authority have we to baptize? and sure His baptism was ‘dedicatio baptismi.’

The words, ‘may receive remission of sins by spiritual regeneration,’ they would have to be, ‘may be regenerated and receive the remission of sins.’
    Most proper for Baptism is our Spiritual regeneration, referring to S. John iii. ; Acts ii. 3, and the Nicene creed,

The words of thanksgiving, ‘that it hath pleased thee to regenerate this infant by thy Holy Spirit,’ to be otherwise expressed, since we cannot in faith say that every child that is baptized is regenerated by God’s Holy Spirit; at least it is a disputable point.
    Seeing that God’s sacraments have their effects, where the receiver doth not ‘ponere obicem,’ put any bar against them (which children. cannot do) we may say in faith of every child that is baptized, that it is regenerated by God’s Holy Spirit; and the denial of it tends to anabaptism, and the contempt of this holy sacrament, as nothing worthy, nor material whether it be administered to children or no.

Of Private Baptism they say, We desire that baptism may not be administered in a private place at any time, unless by a lawful minister, and in the presence of a competent number: that where it is evident that any child hath been so baptized, no part of the administration may be reiterated in public, under any limitations: and therefore we see no need of any Liturgy in that case.
    We think it fit that children should be baptized in private rather than not at all; and as to the service, nothing done in private is reiterated in public.

Exceptions against the Baptismal Office.

In the Catechism, they desire the opening questions. to be altered, but only, as it seems, for the temporary reason, because the far greater number of persons baptized within the last twenty years had no godfathers or godmothers at their baptism. The third answer they conceive might be more safely expressed thus: ‘Wherein I was visibly admitted into the number of the members of Christ, the children of God, and the heirs (rather than "inheritors") of the kingdom of heaven.’ To the answer, declaring our duty towards God, they would add at the end, ‘particularly on the Lord’s-day’; for the reason that otherwise there was nothing in all the answer referring to the Fourth Commandment. In the latter portion, upon the Sacraments, they would have the first answer to be, ‘Two only, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.’ Of the baptismal answers they say, We desire. that the entering infants into God’s covenant may be more warily expressed, and that the words may not seem to found their baptism upon a really actual faith and repentance of their own; and we desire that a promise may not be taken for a performance of such faith and repentance; and especially that it be not asserted that they perform these by the promise of their sureties; it being to the seed of believers that the covenant of God is made, and not (that we can find) to all that have such believing sureties, who are neither parents nor pro-parents of the child.22
    The effect of children’s baptism does not depend on the faith and repentance either of them or of their sponsors, but upon the ordinance and institution of Christ.

They approve, however, generally of this portion of the Catechism, that the doctrine of the Sacraments is much more fully and particularly delivered than the other parts, in short answers fitted to the memories of children: therefore they propose a more distinct and full application of the Creed, the Commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer: and to add ‘somewhat particularly concerning the nature of faith, repentance, the two covenants, justification, sanctification, adoption, and regeneration.’
    The catechism is designedly short.

Exceptions against the Catechism.

For Confirmation, they conceive that it is not a sufficient qualification that children be able memoriter to repeat the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, and to answer to some questions of this short Catechism; for it is often found that children are able to do this at four or five years old; and it crosses what is said in another rubric, ordaining that Confirmation should be ministered unto them that are of perfect age, that they being instructed in the Christian religion should openly profess their own faith, and promise to be obedient to the will of God; and therefore they desire that none may be confirmed but according to his Majesty’s Declaration (October 25, 1660) — ‘That Confirmation be rightly and solemnly performed, by the information and with the consent of the minister of the place.’
    The requirement is a minimum.

They object to the words of the rubric, declaring that ‘children being baptized have all things necessary for their salvation,’ as dangerous as to the misleading of the vulgar; although they charitably suppose the meaning of these words was only to exclude the necessity of any other sacraments to baptized infants.
    There is no danger in keeping the words, but only in wishing to expunge them.

They object also to the mention of a godfather or godmother, seeing no need of them either at baptism or confirmation.

The words of the ‘Prayer before the Imposition of Hands’ suppose that all the children who are brought to be confirmed, have the Spirit of Christ, and the forgiveness of all their sins; whereas a great number of children at that age, having committed many sins since their baptism, do show no evidence of serious repentance, or of any special saving grace; and therefore this Confirmation (if administered to such) would be a perilous and gross abuse. To which the Bishops reply, It supposeth, and that truly, that all children were at their baptism regenerate by water and the Holy Ghost, and had given unto them the forgiveness of all their sins; and it is charitably presumed that, notwithstanding the frailties and slips of their childhood, they have not totally lost what was in baptism conferred upon them; and therefore adds, ‘Strengthen them, we beseech thee, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost the Comforter, and daily increase in them thy manifold gifts of grace, &c. None that lives in open sin ought to be confirmed.

They also object that the Imposition of Hands by the Bishop seems to put a higher value upon Confirmation than upon Baptism or the Lord’s Supper.
    Confirmation is reserved to the Bishop as of old, and our church doth everywhere profess to conform to the Catholic usages of the primitive times, from which causelessly to depart argues rather love of contention than of peace: and on the contrary the most necessary ordinances are those least restricted.

They desire that the practice of the Apostles may not be alleged as a ground of this imposition of hands for the confirmation of children, and that imposition of hands may not be made a sign to certify children of God’s grace and favour towards them, because this seems to speak it a sacrament, on both points alleging Article XXV.
    It is the apostolic ordinance, and you misinterpret the Article.

They urge that Confirmation may not be made so necessary to the Holy Communion as that none should be admitted to it unless they be confirmed.
    There is no inconvenience, and you elsewhere desire this very thing.

Exceptions against Confirmation.

In the Marriage Service, they desire that the ring may be left indifferent: some other words to be used instead ‘worship’ and ‘depart,’ — which old word, they say, is Improperly used: the declaration in the name of the Trinity to be omitted, lest it should seem to favour those who count matrimony a sacrament; to omit the change of place and posture directed in the middle of the service: to alter or omit the words ‘consecrated the state of matrimony to such an excellent mystery,’ seeing the institution of marriage was before the Fall, and so before the promise of Christ; and also for that it seems to countenance the opinion of making matrimony a sacrament: and to omit the direction for Communion on the day of marriage.

Exceptions against the Marriage Service.

In the ‘Order for the Visitation of the Sick,’ they desire a greater liberty in the prayer as well as in the exhortation; and that the form of the Absolution be declarative and conditional, as ‘I pronounce thee absolved,’ instead of ‘I absolve thee,’ and ‘If thou dost truly repent and believe’; and that it may only be recommended to the minister to be used or omitted as he shall see occasion.
    The giving of absolution must not depend upon the minister’s pleasure, but on the sick man’s penitence. The form is closer to S. John xx. than the amendment.

Also, of the ‘Communion of the Sick,’ they propose that the minister be not enjoined to administer the sacrament to every sick person that shall desire it, but only as he shall judge expedient.
    He must not deny the viaticum to any who ‘humbly desire it’ being presumably penitent and prepared.

the Visitation of the Sick,
In the ‘Order for the Burial of the Dead,’ they desire the insertion of a rubric declaring that the prayers and exhortations are not for the benefit of the dead, but only for the instruction and comfort of the living; and that ministers may be allowed to perform the whole service in the church if they think fit, for the preventing of inconveniences which many times both ministers and people are exposed unto by standing in the open air. Also some expressions are objected to, that they cannot in truth be said of persons living and dying in open and notorious sin; that they may harden the wicked, and are inconsistent with the largest rational charity; and more than this, that they cannot be used with respect to those, persons who have not by their actual repentance given any ground for the hope of their blessed estate.
    It is better to be charitable and hope the best than rashly to condemn.

In the Churching they desired a change of place, a change of psalm, a penitential Versicle to be used in case of adultery or fornication, and the omission of the offering.
    The place is conspicuous and good and is suitable to her making an offering. In case of sin penance must be done first.

and Burial of the Dead.

The Bishops, after replying at length to these objections, ended by stating the following concessions, which they were willing to make in the way of alterations in the Prayer Book.23
    1. We are willing that all the Epistles and Gospels be used according to the last translation.
    2. That when anything is read for an Epistle which is not in the Epistles, the superscription shall be, ‘For the Epistle.’
    3. That the Psalms be collated with the former translation mentioned in the rubric, and printed according to it.
    4. That the words, ‘this day,’ both in the Collects and Prefaces, be used only upon the day itself; and for the following days it be said, ‘as about this time.’
    5. That a longer time be required for signification of the names of the communicants; and the words the rubric be changed into these, ‘at least some time the day before.’
    6. That the power of keeping scandalous sinners from the Communion may be expressed in the rubric, according to the 26th and 27th Canons; so the minister be obliged to give an account of the same immediately after to the Ordinary.
    7. That the whole Preface be prefixed to the Commandments.
    8. That the second Exhortation be read some Sunday or Holy Day before the celebration of the Communion, at the discretion of the minister.
    9. That the General Confession at the Communion be pronounced by one of the ministers, the people saying after him, all kneeling humbly upon their knees.
    10. That the manner of consecrating the elements may be made more explicit and express, and to that purpose these words be put into the rubric, , Then shall he put his hand upon the bread and break it’ ‘Then shall he put his hand unto the cup.’
    11. That if the font be so placed as the congregation cannot hear, it may be referred to the Ordinary to place it more conveniently.
    12. That those words, ‘Yes, they do perform those, &c.,’ may be altered thus, ‘Because they promise them both by their sureties.’
    13. That the words of the last rubric before the Catechism may be thus altered, ‘that children beinb baptized have all things necessary for their salvation and dying before they commit any actual sins, be undoubtedly saved, though they be not confirmed.’
    14. That to the rubric after Confirmation these words may be added, ‘or be ready and desirous to be confirmed.’
    15. That those words, ‘with my body I thee worship, may be altered thus, ‘with my body I thee honour.’
    16. That those words, ‘till death us depart,’ be thus altered, ‘till death us do part.’
    17. That the words, ‘sure and certain,’ may be left out.

Concessions of the Bishops.

Of these changes of phrases, or minute improvements of rubric, there is hardly one of any great importance. The Bishops, conscious of their own power and of the captiousness of the opposition, felt that they were not called upon by any plea of tender consciences to adopt alterations of which they did not recognize the clear necessity. They therefore took up a strong and unyielding position behind primitive custom and Catholic usage. They also knew that it was vain to assent to any real changes; for that, if they granted all the proposals of the Ministers, and altered all the ceremonies and phrases objected to, the Prayer Book would still be deemed an intolerable burden, so long as its use in any shape was to be constantly and vigorously enforced.24 The Puritans required the free exercise of the gift of prayer in every part of Public Worship, and contended that, whatever alterations might be made in the Book, it should be left to the discretion of the minister to omit any part of its appointed services.25

The true character of the conflict.

Besides making such alterations in the Prayer Book as should be, thought necessary, the King’s Warrant authorized the Commissioners to insert ‘some additional forms, in the Scripture phrase as near as might be, suited to the nature of the several parts of worship.’ Therefore when the Ministers delivered to the Bishop their paper of exceptions against the existing Prayer Book, they said that they had made a considerable progress in preparing new forms, and should (by God’s assistance) offer them to the reverend Commissioners with all convenient speed. This portion of their labours was undertaken by Richard Baxter. Whether he had ever any idea of composing forms of prayer, to inserted among the Collects of the Prayer Book, so that the same book might be used in Public Worship by Puritans and Churchmen, while each party retained their essential differences, is very doubtful. He thought amendment all but hopeless in a book of which the framework and the matter of the prayers had respect to primitive models; and, to express his own ideas of a befitting Christian worship, he composed an entirely new Directory of service, under the title of The Reformation of the Liturgy.26 This with some slight alterations was accepted by the Presbyterian Committee, and presented to the Bishops with A Petition for Peace,27 which was for the most part a lengthy repetition of the Puritan wail, which had been going on for a hundred years, against set forms of prayer and ceremonial. If the Prayer Book was to be tolerated by the Puritans, their new Liturgy must also be allowed, so that either of them might be used at the discretion of the minister; they also desired freedom from subscription, oaths, and ceremonies; and demanded that no ordination, whether absolute or conditional, should be required from any who had already been ordained by the parochial pastors.

Additional forms of prayer to be inserted in the Prayer Book.


Baxter composes ‘The Reformation of the Liturgy,’

with a Petition for Peace.





Baxter’s next work was to compile a lengthy rejoinder seriatim to the reply which the Bishops had fully and finally made to the series of Presbyterian objections, without any hope indeed of obtaining the concessions he desired, but rather to express the fulness of his indignation against the Bishops and the Prayer Book.28 After these vain disputes, only ten days remained of the time limited by the Royal Commission for the Conference. The Nonconformists then desired a personal discussion upon the subject of the paper which had been exchanged; and after two days’ debate it was agreed to. Bishop Cosin produced a paper, ‘as from a considerable person,’29 proposing that the complainers should distinguish between what they taxed as contrary to the Word of God in the Book of Common Prayer and what they opposed merely as inexpedient, and that reference should then be made to convocation to give a final decision: whereupon eight particulars30 were alleged as contrary to the Word of God. The last week was spent in a particular dispute31 between Dr. Pearson, Dr. Gunning, and Dr. Sparrow on one side against Dr. Bates, Dr. Jacomb, and Mr. Baxter on the other side, carrying on the disputation in writing and taking the particular instance of kneeling at the Communion.32 On the closing day a final Reply was given in by Baxter,33 but it was never answered and there was nothing to be gained by further discussion. And thus the last Conference ended on Monday the 24th of July, 1661, with the only result that could reasonably have been expected. The Presbyterians had an opportunity of showing their untractable spirit in the cavillings of Baxter, which annoyed some influential persons who were previously disposed to treat them tenderly. They showed also that their hostility to the Prayer Book was irreconcilable though it only rested on small reasons, on phrases misinterpreted, or on doctrines opposed to Catholic truth.34

Baxter’s Rejoinder to the Reply of the Bishops







Eight particulars in the Prayer Book alleged as sinful.

In the meanwhile, Convocation had assembled on the 8th of May, 1661.35 The first business was to prepare a Form of Prayer with Thanksgiving for the 20th of May, the anniversary of the King’s birth and restoration, and also an office for the Baptism of Adults, which was found necessary from the great neglect of religious ordinances during the Rebellion.36 Other steps were also taken towards the Revision of Canons and the drawing up of Visitation articles. But as yet nothing was done as regards the Prayer Book. In the House of Commons, on June 25, notice was first taken of the proceedings at the Conference; a Committee was appointed to make search for the original of King Edward’s Second Service book,37 ‘and to provide for an effectual conformity to the Liturgy of the Church for the time to come’; and a Bill for Uniformity passed the Commons (July 9), to which was annexed the Prayer Book of 160438: but in view of what was going forward in Convocation this was delayed until the following February in the House of Lords.

The second session of this royalist Parliament began November 20, and Convocation reassembled on the following day, when the King’s Letters were read, directing the revision of the Common Prayer, and a Committee of Bishops39 was appointed for the purpose. The business, however, had been foreseen, and the Committee seems to have at once reported that the preparations were already made, and that the whole House might proceed to the work of revision. On Saturday, November 23, a portion of the Book with the corrections of the Bishops was delivered to the prolocutor of the Lower House, and the remainder on the following Wednesday, when the first portion was returned from the Lower House, with a schedule of amendments there made. The whole work was speedily completed, and on the 20th of December, 1661, the Book of Common Prayer was adopted and subscribed by the Clergy of both Houses of Convocation, and of both provinces.40

Revision by Convocation.
On January 14, the House of Lords began the consideration of the Commons’ Act of Uniformity: on the 28th following the Commons urged the Lords to greater expedition, on the 20th the Bishops in Convocation discussed the Bill, and thenceforward the House of Lords stayed proceedings till the Revised Book should be brought in. This was done with a Royal Message on February 25.41 The book was not discussed or amended in either House, but read and annexed to the Act of Uniformity instead of the Book of 1604. The Act itself was much debated and amended and only passed the Lords on April 9; further amendments were made in the Commons.42 and then, after a Conference, accepted by the Lords, so that finally the Bill received the royal assent on the 19th of May, 1662.43 The Church’s book thus received the civil sanction, and the State thought good by an Act of Uniformity to enforce it and to affix penalties to the non-observance of it. But in doing so the greatest care was taken not to encroach upon the rights of the Church or her spiritual liberty.44
Action in Parliament
Great pains were taken with this revision; about 600 alterations of every kind were made: and Mr. Sancroft was appointed by Convocation (March 8) to superintend the printing of the Book, with Mr. Scattergood and Mr. Dillingham to correct the press.45 Certain printed copies having been examined and carefully corrected by Commissioners appointed for the purpose, were certified by them, and exemplified under the Great Seal: and one of these Sealed Books, annexed to a printed copy of the Act of Uniformity, was ordered to be obtained by the respective deans and chapters of every cathedral or collegiate church before the 25th of December; and a similar copy to be delivered into the respective Courts at Westminster, and into the Tower of London, to be preserved for ever among the records.46



The Sealed Books.


A copy of this Prayer Book is online

The following are the most important alterations introduced into the Prayer Book at this revision.47 The Preface was prefixed, and the original Preface (1549) followed as a chapter ‘Concerning the Service of the Church.’ The extracts from the Bible, except the Psalter, the Ten Commandments, and some portions in the Communion Service, were taken generally from the version of 1611. The Absolution at Mattins and Evensong was ordered to be pronounced by the Priest instead of the Minister. The ‘five prayers’ were printed at the end of the Order of Morning and Evening Service. In the Litany, the words ‘rebellion’ and ‘schism’ were’ added to the petition against ‘sedition.’ The words, ‘bishops, priests, and deacons,’ were substituted for ‘bishops, pastors, and ministers of the Church.’ Among the Occasional Prayers were introduced the two Ember prayers, the Prayer for the High Court of Parliament, the Prayer for all Conditions of Men, also the General Thanksgiving, and a Thanksgiving for the Restoration of Public Peace at Home. New Collects were appointed for the third Sunday in Advent, and for S. Stephen’s Day: a Collect, Epistle, and Gospel were provided for a sixth Sunday after the Epiphany: and a distinct Collect for Easter-even: in several places the word ‘church’ was used for ‘congregation.’ The Gospel for the Sunday after Christmas was shortened by the omission of the genealogy; as also those for the Sunday next before Easter, and for Good Friday, which had contained the Second Lesson for the day: an Epistle was provided for the day of the Purification: the Anthems for Easter Day were enlarged. In the Communion Service, the commemoration of the departed was added to the prayer for the Church Militant: the rubrics preceding this prayer were now altered on the lines of the Liturgy prepared for Scotland (1637), directing the presentation of the alms, and the placing of the bread and wine upon the Table, this latter being also taken from 1549. The first exhortation was inserted where it stands, giving warning of the Communion, instead of being read sometimes at the Communion. The rubric was added before the Prayer of Consecration, directing the priest so to order the bread and wine that he may with decency break the bread and take the cup. The rubrics were added prescribing the Manual Acts in consecration, the form of consecrating additional bread and wine, if needed, and the covering of the remainder of the consecrated elements with a fair linen cloth. The Order of the Council of 1552, respecting kneeling at Communion, which had been removed by Queen Elizabeth, was now replaced, but the words ‘corporal presence’ were substituted for ‘real and essential presence,’ and it thus became a defence of the doctrine of the Real Presence instead of a denial of it.

Summary of the alterations.

The Preface.


Morning and Evening Prayer.


Occasional Prayers.




Communion Office.












Some careful amendments were made in the Baptismal Offices: the inquiry as to obedience was added to the examination of sponsors; and the declaration, which had formed part of the Preface to the Confirmation Service, of the undoubted salvation of baptized infants dying before they commit actual sin, and a reference to the xxxth canon (1604) for the meaning of the sign of the cross, were placed at the end of the Office of Public Baptism. An Office for the Administration of Baptism to such as were of riper years was added. The Catechism was separated from the Order of Confirmation.
Baptismal Offices.

The first rubric explaining the end of Confirmation was now appointed to be read as the Preface to the Service, followed, in place of the catechism, by the inquiry of renewal and ratification of the baptismal vow. A form was now appointed for the publication of Banns of Marriage, and the particular ‘time of service’ to be ‘immediately before’ the Offertory Sentences. The Order following the last Blessing, ‘Then shall begin the Communion,’ was omitted; and the final rubric, that ‘the new married persons, the same day of their marriage, must receive the Holy Communion,’ was altered to a declaration that it is convenient so to do either then or at the first opportunity after their marriage.

In the Visitation of the Sick instead of a reference to ‘Peter’s wife’s mother, and the captain’s servant,’ the petition for the sanctification of sickness was inserted in the prayer before the Exhortation: and the words, ‘if he humbly and heartily desire it,’ were added to the rubric respecting absolution. The final benediction, and the occasional prayers, were now added. The form of service for the Communion of the Sick was more clearly directed to begin with the Proper Collect, Epistle, and Gospel, and then to pass to the part of the public office beginning with ‘Ye that do truly,’ &c. In the Order for Burial, the first rubric was added respecting persons unbaptized or excommunicate. The Psalms and Lesson were appointed to be read in the church, according to the rubric of 1549. The name of the deceased was omitted in the prayer at the grave. In the Churching Service new Psalms were appointed. The Commination was directed to be used on the first day of Lent.

Occasional Offices.
In the Ordinal a special Gospel was appointed at the Ordering of Deacons, and besides similar changes in the Ordering of Priests and the Consecration of Bishops and some transposition of the parts of the former, Cosin’s translation of Veni Creator was added, and the description of the office was inserted into the formula, Receive the Holy Ghost for the office and work of a Priest (Bishop) now committed, &c. Forms of Prayer were supplied to be used at Sea, and for the 30th of January, and the 20th of May, and the Service for the 5th of November was altered.48
The Ordinal.
Thus the Book remained the same Book of Common Prayer, as to all its distinctive features. The alterations fall under four general heads.49 (1) The language was made more smooth by verbal changes and slight transpositions; (2) some rubrics were made clearer for the direction of priests to whom the ‘customary manner’ of former years was unknown; (3) the selected portions of Scripture were taken from the best translation. (4) some new services were added, which had become necessary from the circumstances of the time: such as that for Adult Baptism, to meet the case of converts from Anabaptism at home, and from heathenism in the ‘Plantations’; and that for use at sea, to meet the requirements of the rapidly increasing trade and navy of the country. But while all this was done with scrupulous care, it seems that small regard was paid to the objections of the Puritans.50 The Bishops rejected them, as they explained in the new Preface, on the ground that they ‘were either of dangerous consequence (as secretly striking at some established Doctrine or laudable Practice of the Church of England or indeed of the whole Catholick Church of Christ), or else of no consequence at all, but utterly frivolous and vain.’ Thus all the main things to which they had objected-the use of the Apocrypha at certain times in the Daily Service, the form of the Litany, the expressions in the services for Baptism Marriage and Burial, the vestments, the kneeling at Communion, the cross at Baptism, the ring at Marriage, the Absolution for the sick, the declaration touching the salvation of baptized infants51 — these were all retained by Convocation; and not only so but they were confirmed by the act of the civil power,52 which, going a big step further, required conforming ministers not only to adopt the new arrangements, but to declare the unlawfulness of their past conduct, and to submit to episcopal ordination.53
Review of the Alterations.
Subsequent sessions of Convocation were concerned with the service for November 5 and with a Form of Consecration of Churches and Chapels: the former was finished, but the latter was allowed to drop.54 On April 26 the Upper House entrusted to Earles, Dean of Westminster, and Dr. Pearson the translation of the Prayer Book into Latin, but these both gave up the work before it was done, and at a later date the Latin Prayer Book was completed by other hands.55

Further Results.

Further action in Convocation.

In Scotland episcopacy was restored at the opening of 1661, and at the end of the year two Archbishops and two Bishops were consecrated at Westminster Abbey ‘according to the form of the Church of England, but without prejudice to the privileges of the Church of Scotland’.56 In the following year it was reported that the Scots had received the Bishops and the Book of Common Prayer with great expressions of joy, notwithstanding the efforts of factious men in England.57 But in fact the Prayer Book was not used and episcopacy went on without Liturgy till its disestablishment in 1689.58
In Scotland.
The Irish Convocation (August-November 1662) examined and unanimously approved the Prayer Book, which had been revised and settled by law in England ; but it was only after an interval of four years that its use was enjoined, under penalties, by the Irish Parliament in 1666.59
In Ireland.

The revised Prayer Book was at once translated into French by John Durel,60 and his version has been chiefly used ever since in the Channel Islands. The same writer also eventually completed the edition of the Latin Prayer Book which Convocation had originally taken in hand. This was not, however, till 1670. He profited by the previous translations, but took the Psalms and Scripture portions from the Sarum Breviary and Missal.61

In 1665 a Greek version was published by Dr. James Duport, the Greek Professor at Cambridge and Dean of Peterborough. This superseded Petley’s version published in 1638, and the Greek version in Whitaker’s bilingual book of 1569.62

The missionary development of the Anglican Communion has in later years rendered necessary the translation of the Prayer Book into many languages. The Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge has published alone all but one hundred versions in different languages, and has had a hand in a certain number of others, which have been printed in the Mission Field. The Prayer Book and Homily Society has also done something in this direction, and in America the Prayer Book has been printed in a number of Indian dialects by the American Board of Missions.

New Versions.

1 Gee and Hardy, Doc. CXIV.

2 Whitelocke, Memorials, p. 703.

3 Clarendon, History, XVI. 234.

4 Cardwell, Conferences, 247-249.

5 Preface to B.C.P. of 1661.

6 This was drawn up by Reynolds, Worth, and Calamy, and presented lo the King a few weeks after the Restoration, together with Archbishop Ussher’s Reduction of Episcopacy: Cardwell, Conferences, p. 252. See the substance of Ussher’s plan for episcopal government in Collier. Eccles. Hist. VIII. 871, and in Documents relating to the Act of Uniformity, 1662, p. 22 (London, 1862).

7 So the bishops noted in their reply: See below, p. 167.

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8 Cardwell , Conferences, pp. 252, 277 and ff.

9 Collier, Eccles. Hist. VIII. 873. The Answer is printed in full in Doc. relating to A. of U. 1662, no. VII.

10 Ibid. no. VIII.

11 Ibid. no. IX. (cp. Also X. and XI): or Cardwell, Conferences, p. 286; Doc. Ann, CXLIX. See also Collier, Eccles. Hist. VIII. 873, for the history of the document and the alterations made in it to meet the petition of the ministers.

12 See their address of gratitude, Doc. relating to A. of U. no. XII.

13 Dr. Cardwell (Conferences, p. 256) says that several of the Presbyterians, including Reynolds and Manton, accepted spiritual appointments, and recognized the authority of the Bishops. Reynolds, indeed, accepted the bishopric of Norwich, and was consecrated Jan. 6, 1661. But it appears that the other ministers refused the offered promotions. See Collier, Eccles. Hist. VIII. 876. Manton signed the doctrinal Articles, and was instituted by the Bishop of London to his rectory of S. Paul’s, Covent Garden, Jan. 16, 1661 : but he honestly refused the deanery of Rochester; and his conformity did not continue, when the Church service was re-settled after the Savoy Conference.

14 Cardwell, Conferences, p. 298. Doc. relating to A. of U. XIV. Collier, VIII. 876.

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15 The Episcopal Divines were:
   Accepted Frewen, archbishop of York.
   Gilbert Sheldon, bishop of London, Master of the Savoy.
   John Cosin, bishop of Durham.
   John Warner, bishop of Rochester.
   Henry King, bishop of Chichester.
   Humphrey Henchman, bishop of Sarum.
   George Morley, bishop of Worcester.
   Robert Sanderson, bishop of Lincoln.
   Benjamin Laney, bishop of Peterborough.
   Bryan Walton, bishop of Chester.
   Richard Sterne, bishop of Carlisle.
   John Gauden, bishop of Exeter.

With the following Coadjutors.
   Dr. Earles, dean of Westminster.
   Dr. Heylin.
   Dr. Hacket.
   Dr. Barwick.
   Dr. Gunning.
   Dr. Pearson.
   Dr. Pierce.
   Dr. Sparrow.
   Mr. Thorndike.


The Presbyterian Divines were:
   Edward Reynolds, bishop of Norwich.
   Dr. Tuckney, master of St. John’s College, Cambridge.
   Dr. Conant, Regius Professor of Divinity, Oxford.
   Dr. Spurstow.
   Dr. Wallis, Savilian Professor of Geometry, Oxford.
   Dr. Manton.
   Mr. Calamy.
   Mr. Baxter.
   Mr. Jackson.
   Mr. Case.
   Mr. Clarke.
   Mr. Newcomen.

   Dr. Horton.
   Dr. Jacomb.
   Dr. Bates.
   Dr. Cooper.
   Dr. Lightfoot.
   Dr. Collins.
   Mr. Woodbridge.
   Mr. Rawlinson,
   Mr. Drake.

16 A precursor of the numerous Presbyterian ‘exceptions’ appeared, probably from the Middleburgh press, In 1606, entitled, ‘A Survey of the Booke of Common Prayer, by way of 197 Queres, grounded upon 58 Places ministering just matter of question; with a view of London Ministers’ exceptions: all humbly propounded, that they may be syncerely answered, or els offences religiously removed,’ Hall, Reliq. Liturg. Vol. 1. Introd. p. xiv.

17 Cardwell, Conferences, p. 260.

18 The documents were printed in An accompt of all the proceedings of the Commissioners (1661). The ‘Exceptions against the Book of Common Prayer’ were preserved by Baxter, and published in a more accurate form in his own narrative of his life. The Answers of the Bishops are only known from the ‘Rejoinder,’ in which Baxter attempted to refute them. The limits of this work will not allow of more than an abstract of this paper. See Cardwell, Conferences, p. 262; and chap. VII. Documents, V., VI.; Collier, Eccles. Hist. VIII. 878 and ff.

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19 The Litany was disliked for the shortness of the petitions, as were also the Collects; and because the actual prayer is uttered by the people, which was thought ‘not to be so consonant to Scripture, which makes the minister the mouth of the people to God in prayer.’ The meaning of ‘one solemn prayer’ was exemplified by Baxter, who composed such a prayer in his ‘Reformation of the Liturgy.’ under the title of ‘The General Prayer’ (Reliq. Liturg. Vol. IV. pp. 36-43), and another form in the Appendix, entitled ‘A Larger Litany, or General Prayer: to be used at discretion’, (Ibid. pp. 142-157).
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20 The rubric was omitted, when the book was reviewed by Convocation.
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21 Epist. 98: S. Augustine, Opp. II. 394, (ed. Bened. Par. 1836), XXXIX. 235 (ed. Caillau, Paris, 1842).
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22 The answer here referred to had been expressed in 1604, ‘Yes; they do perform them by their sureties, who promise and vow them both in their names: which, when they come to age, themselves are bound to perform.’
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23 Cardwell, Conferences, p. 362.
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24 See the Answer of the Bishops on the head of Ceremonies. Cardwell, Conferences, p. 345.

25 Exceptions, § 7 above, p. 173. The Bishops had seen the results of the ‘exercise of the gift’ in its utmost freedom. They say of it in their reply (Cardwell, p. 341), ‘The mischiefs that come by idle, impertinent, ridiculous, sometimes seditious, impious, and blasphemous expressions, under pretence of the gift, to the dishonour of God and scorn of religion, being far greater than the pretended good of exercising the gift, it is fit that they who desire such liberty in public devotions should first give the Church security, that no private opinions should be put into their prayers, as is desired in the first proposal; and that nothing contrary to the faith should be uttered before God, or offered up to him in the church.’

26 ‘The work is described as the labour of little more than a fortnight — a suggestion, by no means incredible; for, spite of the praise bestowed on it by his biographer, that "few better Liturgies exist" (Orrne’s Life of Baxter, II. p. 420), a less desultory performance might have been expected from a mind so used to composition, and on an occasion so urgently calling for the exercise of wisdom and deliberation. The method he pursued in its composition was to follow the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments: but "my leisure," he owns, "was too short for the doing of it with that accurateness which a business of that nature doth require, or the consulting with men and authors. I could not have time to make use of any book save the Bible and my Concordance; comparing all with the Assembly’s Directory, and the Book of Common Prayer, and Hammond L’Estrange." (Reliquiæ Baxterianæ, II. p. 306.)’ See Hall Reliquiæ Liturgicæ, Introd, p. xlvii, The fourth volume of this work contains a reprint of Baxter’s Reformation of the Liturgy.

27 Documents relating to A. of U. no. XVII. Cardwell, Conferences, p. 261. See also Roger L’ Estrange’s scathing reply, The Relapsed Apostate, 1661.

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28 Doc. relating to A. of U. no. XVIII. See Cardwell, Conferences, p. 263, note.

29 Ibid. p. 265. Documents relating to A. of U. no. XIX.

30 They were these :—
   1. That no minister be admitted to baptize without the transient image of the cross.
   2. That no minister be permitted to exercise his office that dares not wear a surplice.
   3. That none be admitted to the Communion that dare not receive it kneeling.
   4. That ministers be forced to pronounce all baptized infants to be regenerate by the Holy Ghost, whether they be the children of Christians or not.
   5. That ministers be forced to deliver the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ unto the unfit, and that with personal application, putting it into their hands; and that such are forced to receive it, though against their own wills, in the conscience of their impenitency.
   6. That ministers be forced to absolve the unfit.
   7. That they are forced to give thanks for all whom they bury.
   8. That none may be a preacher that dare not subscribe that there is nothing in the Common Prayer Book, the Book of Ordination, and the Thirty-nine Articles, that is contrary to the Word of God.
   It must be added, that this paper was delivered by the three disputants in their own name only; for here they would not pretend to represent their party. Baxter desired to add two more points, but they were left out.

31 See the Petition to the King in Documents relating to A. of U. p. 381.

32 Ibid. nos. XX. and XXI. cp. Cardwell, Conferences, p. 364.
   The other chief point debated was the sense of Rom. xiv. 1-3; Collier VIII. 885, and see Doc. no. XX.

33 Documents relating to A. of U., no. XXII.

34 They ultimately admitted that while nothing must be imposed contrary to the Word of God, other and lawful commands should be obeyed: but their tender consciences judged the Church’s order unlawful and contrary to the Word of God. See Petition to the King at the close of the Conference, in Documents relating to A. of U. no. XXII.

35 There was at first some danger that Convocation might not be summoned, and all be left to the Conference. See a letter from Heylyn protesting against such a course, in Consequence of which it was abandoned, and Convocation summoned. Collier, VIII. 886.

36 Cardwell, Conferences, p. 370; Synodalia, ii. 641, 642.
   The Acts of the Convocation are given in full in Cardwell’s Synodalia, ii. 631 and ff.; cp. Parker’s Introduction, lxxxvii.

37 This had been referred to by the Presbyterians at the Conference, as containing matter which they wished to have replaced in the Prayer-Book: such as the first rubrics concerning vestments, &c., and the declaration about kneeling at the Communion. Cardwell, Conferences, p. 376.

38 Two prayers before the reading Psalms were to be omitted. They were unauthorized additions after the end of the Commination Service in the edition annexed, The temper of the House may be judged from the Speech of Lord Chancellor Hyde at the opening of Parliament. Collier, VIII. 888.

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39 Cosin, Bishop of Durham, Wren of Ely, Skinner of Oxford, Warner of Rochester, Henchman of Salisbury, Morley of Worcester, Sanderson of Lincoln, and Nicholson of Gloucester.

40 Cardwell , Conferences, p. 372. Synodalia, II. 660. The writ for summoning the Northern Convocation was directed (June 10) to Archbishop Frewen; and Nov. 30, a King’s Letter of Nov. 22 empowered this Synod to review the Common Prayer and Ordinal. Parker, Introduction, p. lxxxvi. The Bishops of the Northern province were already in London, and sitting in consultation with the Southern bishops. For convenience and despatch of business, the Lower House agreed to make proxies to transact in their names with the province of Canterbury obliging themselves to abide by their vote, under the forfeiture of all their goods and chattels. They did not, however, resign their activity in the matter, but sent up a paper of suggestions to their Upper House London; Parker, Introd. ccccxxxi. Joyce, English Synods, pp. 709 and ff.
   The MS. copy which was signed has been published in facsimile (1891): See Additional Note, p. 204.

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41 Printed with the Proceedings in Parliament in Documents relating to the A. of U. p. 414. Parker, p. cccclix.

42 When the Bill was returned with the revised Book, which it was well known had been amended in Convocation from a copy of 1636, the Commons ordered a close comparison of the Books of the two periods: and, April 16, they put the question, Whether they should reconsider the amendments of Convocation; they decided to receive them without discussion, on a division of 96 to 90; they then divided again on the question whether they had the power of reconsidering such corrections, and affirmed their own power to do so, had they so desired.

43 Gee and Hardy, Doc. CXVII. Documents relating to A. of U. XXIV.

44 See Additional Note, p. 204.

45 See the Acta in Synodalia or in Gibson’s Synodus Anglicanus.

46 Parker, Introduction, p. clx, A reprint of the ‘Sealed Book has been published by the Ecclesiastical History Society. For the MS. books, see Additional Note. p. 204.

47 See Cardwell, Conferences, p. 380; also ‘the Preface’ to the Book of Common Prayer, stating the general aim of the alterations.

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48 Cf. Joyce, English Synods, p. 716, note.

49 The Bishops’ classification of them in the Preface.

50 Some changes were made in order to avoid the appearance of favouring the Presbyterian form of Church-government: thus, ‘church,’ or ‘people,’ was substituted for ‘congregation,’ and ‘ministers in’ for ‘of the congregation’; ‘priests and deacons’ were especially named instead of ‘pastors and ministers.’
   The alterations were felt by them to be of no value. ‘It was proposed in their behalf in the House of Lords, that the existing Liturgy should be continued, and all the corrections made in Convocation should be abandoned.’ Cardwell, (quoting Clarendon’s Life, II. 128) Conferences, p. 388.

51 ‘This was one of the greatest grievances complained of by the Dissenters, being, as they said, a declaration that that is certain by God’s Word, which at best can only be proved as a probable deduction from it. Baxter maintained, "That of the forty sinful terms for a communion with the Church party, if thirty-nine were taken away, and only that rubric, concerning the salvation of infants dying shortly after their baptism, were continued, yet they could not conform." Long’s Vox Cleri, an. 1690, p. 18,’ in Cardwell, p. 383, note.

52 The Act of Uniformity required every beneficed person, before the Feast of S. Bartholomew, to read the Prayers according to the amended Book in his church or chapel and declare his unfeigned assent and consent to all things contained in it; and all succeeding beneficed persons, to do this within two months after possession of their benefices: Also every Ecclesiastical person, and every Tutor and Schoolmaster, to make a declaration of the illegality of taking arms against the King, and a promise of conformity to the Liturgy, and during the next twenty years a further declaration that the Solemn League and Couenant was an unlawful oath, and of no obligation. It deprived of their benefices all persons who were not in Holy Orders by episcopal ordination, unless they were so ordained Priest or Deacon before the Feast of S. Bartholomew. It provided for the toleration of aliens of the foreign Reformed Churches, allowed or to be allowed in England. The Morning and Evening Prayer, and all other prayers and service, might be used in Latin in the chapels of colleges, and in Convocations. All Lecturers and Preachers to be approved and licensed by the Archbishop, or Bishop of the Diocese: Common Prayer to be read before sermons, except at the public University sermon. The Bishops of Hereford, S. David’s, Asaph, Bangor, and Llandaff to take order for a true and exact translation of the Book into the British or Welsh tongue before May 1, 1665.

53 Cp. Hallam, Constitutional Hist. II. 459 (339), and note, p. 462 (341), on the number of those who were turned out of the benefices into which they had been intruded during the troubles. Skeats (Hist. of the Free Churches of England, p. 56) observes that 2,000 were ejected, ‘because the toleration which they had denied to others was now denied to them.’ Indeed Gouge, Manton, Calamy, &c., believed in 1648 ‘that toleration was a doctrine born of hell’.

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54 For the later history of such services, see Reeves’ introduction to Irish Form of Consecration of Churches, (S.P.C.K.) p. 7, and Bishop John Wordsworth, On the Rite of Consecration of Churches (Ch. Hist. Soc. Tract, LII).

55 See p. 202.

56 Calendar of State Papers, 1661, Nov. 30, and Dec. 7. Stephen, II. 340, 345.

57 Calendar, 1662, July 14. See, however, the report of a Church Session at Edinburgh, under the date Oct. 17, p. 520.

58 Stephen, II. 350.

59 The MS. Book of Common Prayer that was attached to the Irish Act of Uniformity has been printed by the Eccles. Hist. Society. See Stephens’s Introd., pp. Ixxxviii. and ff, and clxvi, and ff; and a sketch of the history of the Irish Prayer Book by Mr. Clay, in British Magazine (Dec. 1846), xxx, 601-629 ; Blunt, Annotated P. B. p. 710 (ed. 1884).

60 Chaplain of the French congregation in the Savoy Chapel, Dean of Windsor, and Canon of Durham. Among the State Papers is an Order by the King that John Durel’s French translation of the Prayer Book be used, as soon as printed, in all the parish churches of Jersey and Guernsey, &c., in the French congregation of the Savoy, and all others conformed to the Church of England with licence to him for the sole printing of the said translation. Calendar, 1662, act. 6, p. 508. The sanction of the Bishop’s Chaplain is dated April 6, 1663. Durel was the author of A View of the Government and Public Worship of God in the reformed Churches beyond the seas: wherein is shewed their Conformity and Agreement with the Church England, 1662: and S. Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ, adversus iniquas atque inverecundas schismaticorum criminationes, vindidiæ: 1669.

61 See Marshall’s Latin Prayer Book of Charles II. (Oxford, 1882) for both these. The Latin book went through seven editions between 1670 and 1703, but in 1713 another, but inferior, Latin version appeared, by Thomas Parsell, of Merchant Taylors’ School, and passed through several editions. His Psalms and Scriptures are taken from Castellio’s version. Besides the usual contents, and the Ordinal, the book has also Forma Precum in utraque domo Synodi, &c.; Formula Precum 2da die Septembris (for the Fire of London); and Forma Strumosas attrectandi. In 1785 a revised edition was published by Dr. E. Harwood. All these Latin Prayer Books have now been succeeded by Libri Precum Publicarum Ecciesiæ Anglicanæ Versio Latina, by Bright and Medd (1865), who have adopted the original phraseology wherever it can be traced, and have rendered the more recent portions into Latin of a similar character. Cp. Blunt, Annotated Prayer Book, p. 19 [p, 104, ed. 1884].

62 Marshall, l.c. pp. 42, 43, and see above, p. 124.

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The progress of the work of revision by the Bishops and Clergy1 is marked by four extant books. The first is a Prayer Book of 1619, now at Durham, which contains alterations and directions to the printer written in the hand of Cosin, and also at a later date, and to a less extent, in Sancroft’s hand. This was probably used in the earliest stages and anterior to the meeting of Convocation2 The second is a Prayer Book of 1634 now in the Bodleian Library, which Sancroft has used to make a fair copy of the preceding. The third is a Prayer Book of 1636 which was the official copy used by Convocation in making the revision.3 The fourth is the original MS. of the Book as revised and ‘fairly written’ out of ‘the book wherein the alterations were made’4; it was subscribed by Convocation on December 20, 1661.5 From these it is possible to trace in minute detail the process through which the Revision went.

When once presented to Parliament (February 25), together with a schedule of the changes made, the Book underwent no alteration except in some very small details.6 The House of Lord Committee on February 27, amended some clerical errors in the titles of four of the Psalms. and one of the Rubrics after Communion, But, having done this, and discussed the question whether alterations ought not to be referred back to Convocation, they resolved not to read the Book at all.7

On March 5 Convocation appointed a Committee of three Bishops with plenary power to act in their name with reference to the changes.8 The work of the House of Lords in Committee on the Bill was finished on March 10, and an agreement no doubt was made with the Bishops, though there is no record of it in the scanty and incomplete minutes. On the 13th and two following days the whole House considered and approved the Book, and returned thanks to Convocation for their pains therein. The Bill, however, did not pass till April 9, when it and the Book Annexed were sent to the Commons. There the schedule was perused, and the Book was carefully scrutinised by a Committee, but on April 16 the House agreed not to exercise its right of discussing the changes made by Convocation, and accepted them en bloc.9

The discovery of a fresh clerical error in the rubrics of Baptism raised a further difficulty; and in view of it the Bishops appointed Cosin to a vacant place on their existing Committee. Consequently when, after the Conference with the Commons, the error was mentioned in the Lords (May 8), Cosin, on behalf of the Committee of Bishops, corrected the word then and there.10

The care which the Parliament took not to encroach upon the Church’s province is again seen later on. It was proposed in the Commons on April 28, that there should be ‘a proviso for being uncovered and using reverent gesture at the time of divine service.’ But the matter being held proper for the Convocation, Ordered’ to invite the Lords to join in recommending to the Convocation ‘to take order for reverent and uniform gestures and demeanors to be enjoined at the time of divine service and preaching.’ To this the Lords agreed May 8, and recommended to the Convocation ‘to prepare some canon or rule for that purpose to be humbly presented unto his Majesty for his assent.’ In reply Convocation sent to Parliament a copy of the xviiith canon of 1603 in a somewhat amended form (May 10 and 12, 1662).


The Books used in the Revision.

1 Wren and Cosin were armed already with a series of proposals. Wren’s are printed in Jacobson, Fragmentary Illustrations of the B.C.P., 45-109. Cosin’s in Works, V. pp. 502-525. These seem to have been originally drawn up for the abortive revision in 1641, and afterwards to have been amplified. Tomlinson, pp. 185 and ff.

2 Tomlinson, p. 203.

3 Published with a collation of the two former in Parker’s Introduction to the Revisions: and also facsimiled at full length in 1871 for the Ritual Commission. (Griffiths 1871/1)

4 Journal of House of Lords, Ap. 10, in Parker’s Introduction, p. cccclxviii.

5 Published in facsimile in 1891 an printed verbatim et iiteratim with collations in 1892. (Griffiths 1891/1; 1892/2)

6 The theory that the Black rubric was inserted at the Council Bosrd after the assent of Convocation and before the book was sent to Parliamerit, is impossible. It rests only on a vague statement of Burnet, and it is categorically denied by the King’s own words. Selborne, Liturgy of the Church of England, pp. 57-69, disposes both of Mr. Parker’s and of Mr. Tomlinson’s theories as to changes made independently of Convocation.

7 Selborne, Liturgy, p. 60.

8 Acta in Cardwell, Synodalia, ii., 666. Parker, cccclxii.

9 See above, p. 195, note.

10 Parker, cccclxxxv, Selborne, p.62.

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