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given them, that they became the most industrious of citizens, as they had been the best disciplined of soldiers; and if a baker, a mason, or a waggoner, attracted notice by his diligence and sobriety, it was generally found that he was one of Oliver's old soldiers.*
Charles had now obtained from this famous parliament all that was immediately necessary, and as, according to the constitution, none of its acts were valid except by the confirmation of a regular parliament, he dissolved it (December 29th), knowing that he could better accomplish his remaining objects with another assembly, elected by the people under their present feelings of enthusiastic affection for the throne. A few days after the dissolution, the Fifth-monarchy men, under their old leader, Thomas Venner, the wine cooper, made another mad attempt to establish a Millenarian kingdom. They failed as formerly, but the tumult was made the excuse for closing the conventicles of the Quakers, Anabaptists, and other sectaries.
REACTIONARY MEASURES OF THE FIRST
5. The Clarendon ministry. The administration which had concurred with the Presbyterian parliament in bringing about the political restoration, was composed of men of different parties and of opposite principles, but the three chief ministers, Clarendon the chancellor, Southampton the lord treasurer, and Ormond the lord steward and lord lieutenant of Ireland, were zealous Anglicans, who attributed to the Presbyterian doctrines all the disorders of the revolution. With them were associated Lord Culpeper the master of the rolls, and Secretary Nicholas, also zealous Royalists, who had shared in the King's exile; then came Monk, created Duke of Albemarle, Montague, Earl of Sandwich, and others; and lastly, some illustrious deserters from the revolutionary cause, Ashley Cooper, Denzil Holles, and the Earl of Manchester. According to a very remarkable custom which had silently established itself during the reign of Charles I., if not earlier, Clarendon selected from this council, those men on whose confidence he could rely, and under the name of a committee of foreign affairs, formed them into a cabinet council, or a cabinet junto, for the purpose of debating and deciding, without formed. the knowledge of the rest, all questions concerning the state. This was contrary to the original constitution of the monarchy, which provided that the King should govern by a privy council * Macaulay, I., 160.
composed of peers and great officers of the state, who should be bound by an oath of secrecy and fidelity, and should be consulted on all matters of weight, whether as to domestic or exterior policy, and should debate them in the presence of the sovereign. After the cabinet had decided upon the measures to be adopted, it submitted them to the assent and deliberation of the whole council; that body whom the law recognised as the sworn and notorious counsellors of the sovereign. The fourth clause in the Act of Settlement (12 & 13 William III.) did away with this cabinet council; and it is but just to say, that Clarendon was always opposed to it, though at the Restoration, when it was necessary to have men of different views in office, a secret council of confidential ministers, all agreeing on general questions of church and state, was essential.*
6. Temper of the new parliament, as shown by its first acts. The new parliament assembled on the 8th of May, 1661, and was decidedly Royalist in its character. The return to the ancient order of things, to the May-poles, the Christmas ale, the delirium. old English games on the village green, the playhouses and the strolling actors, had had an immense influence upon the elections; the asceticism of the Puritans was remembered, while their zeal for liberty, their purity of life, their earnest religion, were all forgotten or despised, and everywhere almost, the gay and profligate Cavalier was elected, so that when the session opened, only about fifty or sixty members were found in opposition to the court. Still the chancellor did not neglect to secure a constant majority in favour of the government, by communicating the wishes of the cabinet to a few leading men, each of whom instructed his friends how to vote on every measure that was brought forward.+
The parliament soon displayed its temper. It voted that the Solemn League and Covenant, and the chief acts and oaths of the Commonwealth against the Stuarts, should be burnt by the common hangman; that all the members should receive the sacrament, according to the rites of the Church of England, on a certain day; and that all the royal prerogatives with regard to the army, the negative voice in the legislation, and the inviolability of the King's person, should be restored. They also declared that there was no legislative power, in either of the houses, without the King; and that neither house could pretend to the command of the army, nor could lawfully levy war offensive, or defensive, against his majesty. They restored the bishops to their seats, and remembering the tumultuous assemblies of 1641, Act against which had prevented the prelates from attending in parliament, enacted tumultuous that no petition should be presented by more than ten persons; and that petitions. no one should procure above twenty persons to consent or set their hands to any petition for alteration of matters established by law, in church or state, unless
* See Hallam, II., 347; Lingard, XI., 193. + Lingard, XI., 212.
with the previous order of three justices of the county, or the major part of the grand jury.* Severe restrictions were imposed upon the press for some time; and the Act of Indemnity would not have been confirmed, had not Clarendon's sense of honour prevailed upon them to let it pass (May, 1661).
Thus far the new parliament only repaired the breaches which had been made in the constitution; but in their subsequent measures they revenged themselves upon the crushed and degraded Presbyterians and Independents, by excluding them from their civil rights. The government of the cities and boroughs throughout the kingdom was chiefly in the hands of the Presbyterians, and to dispossess them of these strongholds, the Corporation Act (13 Charles II.) was enacted (December 20th, 1661).
Mingling the political and religious principles of coercion, it enjoined all magistrates and persons bearing offices of trust in corporations, to Corporation swear that they believed it unlawful, on any pretence whatever, to Act. take arms against the King, and that they abhorred the traitorous position of bearing arms, by his authority, against his person, or against those that are commissioned by him. They were also to renounce all obligation arising out of the oath called the Solemn League and Covenant, and in case of refusal, to be immediately removed from office. All future magistrates were to take the oaths, and to have received the sacrament within one year before their election, according to the rites of the English Church.t
7. The Savoy Conference. There existed now no doubt in the minds of the Presbyterians, that it was the object of Charles's government to ruin them entirely. The Corporation Act broke their power in the state; the Act of Uniformity about to be enacted would drive them from the church. The intimate connexion, whether by birth or education, which existed Royalist between the gentry and the Episcopal clergy, did not for the allow this corrupt parliament to hesitate for an instant between the ancient establishment and one composed of men whose eloquence was chiefly directed to the common people. In Clarendon's eyes, the latter were base, mean, and ignorant "fellows;" but the people revered them, and when they were deprived of their spiritual teachers, and a new set of ministers was thrust upon them, who had little sympathy with their religious or political convictions, the consequence was, that the indifference of the higher classes to all earnest principles gradually spread through the whole community; for the clergy were more intent upon preaching the doctrine of passive obedience than desirous of setting forth the great truths of Christianity, so as to separate the common people from the contagion of the horrible profligacy of the court. Charles himself said, after his licentious fashion, that Presbyterianism was "not a religion for gentlemen," and the
*Hallam, II., 27. + Ibid, II., 27-28.
results of the Savoy Conference which was now held, showed that the Anglican divines were ready to endorse his opinion, and gratify his desires.
Proceedings of the
The meetings of this assembly were to continue four months, from the 25th of March, 1662; the ostensible object being the union of the two great religious parties, by a revision of the Prayer Book. Twenty-one Anglican divines were met by as many Presbyterians; Sheldon, bishop of London, in whose lodgings in the Savoy they met, presiding. The Presbyterians proposed that bishops should not govern their dioceses by single authority, but should, according to Usher's model, act with the counsel and concurrence of the presbyters in matters of ordination and jurisdiction. They objected to the many responses by the people, and desired that all might be made one continued prayer. They desired that no lessons should be taken from the Apocrypha; that the daily psalms should be taken from the new translation. They objected to many parts of the office for baptism, especially those which implied the inward regeneration of all who were baptized; to kneeling at the sacrament, the use of the surplice, the cross in baptism, godfathers acting as sponsors, and the numerous holidays. After offering so many objections, Baxter, who headed the Presbyterians, considering his colleagues were bound to offer a new liturgy as more explanatory of their views, wrote a new "Reformed Liturgy," which was indignantly rejected by the other party without examination. At length the controversy was narrowed to this question: "Is it lawful to determine the certain use of things indifferent in the worship of God?" Baxter and Gunning, afterwards Bishop of Ely, were the chief disputants; but after a long and fretful altercation neither party was convinced, and the conference broke up in anger, each party more exasperated and more irreconcileable than before (July 25th).
This was the conclusion which had been expected and desired Its results. by the court, and Charles had already summoned the convocation to undertake the task which had failed in the hands of the conference (May). Several of the bishops protested against any alteration; but they were overruled, and a few changes were made in the Liturgy, with no desire of conciliating the scruples of the objectors, but rather of irritating and mocking their prejudices. Thus the collect for the parliament was introduced, in which Charles II. was the first English sovereign who was styled "our most religious king;" new holidays were added; the lessons from the Apocrypha were increased, and the services for the day of "King Charles the Martyr," and the 29th of May, the date of his majesty's birth and happy restoration, were inserted. Other alterations were made; but they were of no great importance as regarded the controversy.
8. The Act of Uniformity. The new liturgy, in its approved form, after being sanctioned by the King, was sent to the House of Lords, and then followed the Act of Uniformity, May 10th, 1662, by which it was enacted that the revised Book of Common Prayer and of the Ordination of Ministers, and no other, should be used in all places of public worship; and that all beneficed clergymen should read the service from it within a given time, and at the close, profess in a set form of words, their "unfeigned assent and
consent to everything contained and prescribed in it," on pain of being deprived of their livings. That all the beneficed clergy, fellows of colleges and schoolmasters, and even private tutors, should subscribe a renunciation of the Covenant, and a declaration of the unlawfulness of taking up arms against the sovereign under any pretence. And that no person should administer the sacraments, or hold ecclesiastical preferment, who had not received Episcopal ordination.
The first of these clauses, as well as that which extended the subscription to schoolmasters, was objected to by the Lords, but the Commons resolutely opposed all amendments, and when the day of St. Bartholomew came (August 24th, 1662), and the time allowed for subscription had expired, the act was rigorously enforced. This day had been chosen in order to deprive the ejected incumbents of a whole year's revenues, because the tithes were not due till Michaelmas; for when a motion to make some allowance was proposed, it was lost by 94 to 87.* On Ejection of the fatal day, therefore, more than two thousand clergy- conformists. men were deprived of their livings, without any provision for their future support; which was not the treatment which the Episcopal clergy received at the hands of the Presbyterians, in 1643; for they had one-fifth of the incomes of the new incumbents allotted to them.
9. The declaration of indulgence. While Charles thus left the Protestant dissenters to the tender mercies of the churchmen, he was meditating the relaxation of the penalties upon the Roman Catholics, to whose fidelity and active support, his family owed so much. It is morally certain that he had, during his exile, imbibed a persuasion that, if any scheme of Christianity Charles and were true, it was that of the Roman Church. He and his brother his brother were both suspected; and when the present Catholics. parliament made it penal to say he was a papist, or popishly inclined, the suspicions increased. Charles knew that Clarendon would not tolerate popery, and the parliament was still more opposed to it. He, therefore, had recourse to a more subtle policy; to persuade the Nonconformists that, as they were suffering under the same law as the Romanists, they must act in concert, for the common benefit of toleration; and he promised, at their request, to suspend the Act of Uniformity for three months. The bishops, however, opposed his purpose, and he gave it up; but he published a declaration, in favour of liberty of conscience, so as to redeem, he said, the promises contained in the Declaration from Breda. When the Commons met, in February (1663), they denied that he was bound by this declaration, and they intimated that he possessed no power to suspend, or dispense with, the laws.
* Burnet's Own Times, I., 185; Southey's Hist. of the Church; Hallam, II., 38.