|The Book of Common Prayer
THE PRAYER BOOK IN THE REIGN OF CHARLES II. [A.D. 1660-1662.]
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:—
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:
To this the Bishops answered:
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
5. ‘That there may be nothing in the Liturgy which may seem to countenance
the observation of Lent as a religious fast.’
6. To omit the religious observation of Saints’ days and their vigils.
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.’
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.
10. That no part of the Liturgy-need be read at the communion-table
but when the Holy Supper is administered.
11. To use the word ‘Minister,’ and not’ Priest’ or ‘Curate,’ and ‘Lord’s-day’
, instead of ‘ Sunday.’
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.’
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.’
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.
|General Exceptions to the Prayer Book.
The following exceptions were
taken against particular parts of the Prayer Book :—
The doxology to be always added to the Lord’s Prayer; and this prayer not to be so often used.
’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.
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:—
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.
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 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.’
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.’
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.
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
|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,
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.’
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
They wish the font to be conspicuous.
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.
The words, ‘may receive remission of sins by spiritual regeneration,’
they would have to be, ‘may be regenerated and receive the remission
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.
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.
|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
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.’
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.’
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.
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
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.
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.
|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
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.
|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
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.
|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
|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.
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.
Morning and Evening Prayer.
|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.
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.
|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
|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 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
|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
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.
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.
Return to text
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,
|Return to text
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.
|Return to text
|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).
|Return to text
|20 The rubric was omitted, when
the book was reviewed by Convocation.
|Return to text
|21 Epist. 98: S. Augustine, Opp. II. 394, (ed. Bened. Par. 1836), XXXIX. 235 (ed. Caillau, Paris, 1842).
|Return to text
|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.’
|Return to text
|23 Cardwell, Conferences, p.
|Return to text
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.
|Return to text
29 Ibid. p. 265. Documents relating to A. of U. no. XIX.
30 They were these :—
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.
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,
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.
|Return to text
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.
|Return to text
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.
|Return to text
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.’
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’.
|Return to text
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.
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.
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THE WORK OF REVISION.
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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