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-unless they should see a change in the conduct of the king. They proceeded in the first place to the subject of religion, declaring that the business of the kings of this earth should give place to the business of the King of Heaven. For doctrine and discipline, and all matters connected with the church, Charles had given the reins to Bishop Laud, who was not only resolved to introduce great and manifold changes, which certainly went to assimilate more and more the Anglican establishment to the Roman church, but also to tolerate no delay or dissent, to enforce conformity by imprisonment, the pillory, the hangman's whip and knife. Laud's creed was Arminianism in the widest sense. The Commons coupled the two things together, and complained of the rapid increase of Arminianism and Papistry, much resenting the fact, that of late not one Papist had been hanged for receiving orders in the Church of Rome. Mr. Pym proposed that the House should take a covenant for the maintenance of their religion and rights, which were both in danger; and he and other members inveighed loudly touching the late introducing of idolatrous ceremonies in the church by Cosens and others. As the sins of the land were deemed to be greater than its troubles, they ordered that a conference should be desired with the Lords about a petition to the king for the ordering of a general fast. The Lords granted the conference and joined in the petition, which was granted by the king, with a few remarks which greatly irritated the zealots. The king admitted the deplorable estate of the reformed churches abroad, which was made the chief ground for the petition; but he told parliament that certainly fighting would do those churches more good than fasting. "Though," continued he, "I do not wholly disallow the latter, yet I must tell you that this custom of fasting every session is but lately begun; and I confess I am not fully satisfied with the necessity of it at this time." A day or two after, the king sent a message to the Commons to tell them that they ought to settle the question of tonnage and poundage before they meddled more with religion; and the court party, now weak and timid, made some speeches in recommendation


of the message; but the Puritans only fell the more violently upon some of the bishops for introducing the new ceremonies. They again indignantly asserted that Popery and Arminianism were joining hands to produce a Romish hierarchy and a Spanish tyranny. On the 28th of January Secretary Coke delivered a second message from the king, telling the Commons that his majesty expected rather thanks than a remonstrance; that still he would not interrupt them, so that they trenched not on that which did not belong to them. But his majesty," added Coke, "still commands me to tell you that he expects precedency of tonnage and poundage." Dark rumours were abroad of the king's intention to dissolve parliament as soon as they should vote the tonnage and poundage for life, and "not soon to call another." Commons continued to occupy themselves with the subject of religion, and they drew up a brief resolution, stating that they held for truth the articles of religion as established by parliament in the reign of Elizabeth, and utterly rejected the sense of Jesuits and Arminians. On the 2nd of February, instead of their bill of tonnage and poundage, they presented to the king their "Apology for delaying that bill. They complained of his majesty's sending them two messages in three days, telling him that that manner of pressing the House was inconsistent with their orders and privileges. On the following day Secretary Coke assured the House, in his majesty's name, that he was misunderstood as to a command, which was not the meaning, but simply a desire on the king's part, for the sake of concord; that his majesty was as anxious as they were for the true faith, but must needs think it strange that this business of religion should be only a hindrance of his affairs. And, in the end, the king insisted on their passing the tonnage and poundage bill, telling them they must not think it strange, if he found them slack, that he should give them such further quickening as he might find cause. This message did Charles far more harm than good: the House stuck to their grievances, and went on debating about Popery and Arminianism. Mr. Kirton declared that the "too great

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bishops" (Laud and Neile) were the main and great roots of all those evils which were come upon them and their religion. "Let us inquire," added he, "what sort of men they have preferred in the church, and why?" Everybody knew that Mainwaring, and Sibthorp, and Cosens, and other men obnoxious for their Arminianism and their advocacy of an absolute monarchy,individuals condemned and sentenced by parliament,had been recently put upon the ladder of promotion; and the House now appointed a sub-committee to inquire into the pardons granted to those offenders, in scorn of their own justice.

In the course of the debates on this subject there rose to speak, for the first time, a sturdy, somewhat clownishlooking man, of about thirty years of age, with a slovenly coat and a neglected hat. His speech was thick and graceless, but there was an earnestness in his manner, a look of command about his person, that imposed respect, if not awe. It was Mr. Oliver Cromwell, the new member for Huntingdon. "I have heard," said Cromwell, "from one Dr. Beard, that Dr. Alablaster hath preached flat popery at St. Paul's Cross, and that the Bishop of Winchester (Dr. Neile) commanded him, as his diocesan, to preach nothing to the contrary. And Dr. Mainwaring, so justly censured for his sermons in this House, has been, by this bishop's means, preferred to a rich living. If these are steps to church preferment, what may we not expect?"

The result of the whole inquiry was, that the bishops and the court had in all cases taken the obnoxious preachers and their principles, both political and theolological, into special favour. The Commons, however, did not altogether lose sight of illegal taxation. They brought Acton, the sheriff of London who had seized the merchants' goods, on his knees to the bar of their House, and thence sent him to the Tower. They also brought to their bar some of the officers of customs, who declared that they had made the seizures by the king's warrant; and one of the officers said he had been sent for and commanded by the king to give them no further

answer. The Commons even brought the barons of the Exchequer to account; and those high functionaries declined justifying the legality of the measures which had been pursued.

On the 25th of February the sub-committee of religion presented a long and circumstantial report, under the title of "Heads of Articles agreed upon, and to be insisted on by the House." In this paper no quarter was shown to Laud and Arminianism. They complained especially of the publishing, by bishop's licence, of books in favour of Popery, and of the suppressing of books against Popery. They asked, among many other things, for the removal of candlesticks from the communion-table, which they said was now wickedly called a high altar; for the removal of pictures, lights, and images, and of praying towards the east, and crossing ad omnem motum et gestum. They complained of the bishops bringing men to question and trouble for not obeying their com mands in these respects; but they themselves called with Stentorian voices for the persecuting of the Papists and the exemplary punishment of all teachers, publishers, and maintainers of popish opinions. They required, moreover, that books like those of Montague and Mainwaring should be burnt; that some good order should be taken for licensing books hereafter; that bishoprics and other ecclesiastical preferments should be conferred by his majesty, with advice of his privy council, upon learned, pious, and orthodox men; that the bishops and clergymen thus chosen should reside upon their charge, and that some course might be taken in the present parliament for providing competent means for the maintenance of a godly, able minister in every parish of the kingdom.

In the face of this determined opposition, Charles rashly determined, at all hazards, to maintain Laud and the hierarchy. Immediately after the reading of the above articles, he sent to command both Houses to adjourn to Monday, the 2nd of March, notwithstanding the right which the Commons claimed to fix their own ad

* Rushworth.-Whitelock.-Parl. Hist.

journment. Thereupon the House adjourned; but, on the 2nd of March, Sir John Eliot stood up, and, after expressing his duty to the king, once more denounced Arminianism, and then fell with his whole weight upon the great Bishop of Winchester and his greater abettor "that is," continued Eliot," the Lord Treasurer Weston, in whose person all evil is concentrated, both for the innovation of religion and invasion of our liberties; he being now the great enemy of the commonwealth. I have traced him in all his actions, and I find him building on those grounds laid by his master, the great duke; he, secretly, is moving for this interruption; and, from this fear, they go about to break parliaments, lest parliaments should break them." Then the Speaker, Sir John Finch, delivered a message from the king, commanding him “to adjourn the House until Tuesday come seven-night following." Several members objected that this message was vexatious and irregular, and that it was not the office of their Speaker to deliver any such commands-for the adjournment of the House properly belonged to themselves. And then they said that, after they had settled a few things, they would satisfy his majesty. Sir John Eliot forthwith produced a remonstrance to the king against the illegal levying of tonnage and poundage, and against the lord treasurer, who "dismayed the merchants, drove out trade," &c. Eliot desired the Speaker to read this paper, but the Speaker said he could not, as the king had adjourned the House. It was then proposed that the remonstrance should be read by the clerk of the House, at the table, but the clerk also refused. And thereupon Eliot read it himself with much more effect than either of the officials could have produced. When Sir John had finished the reading, the Speaker refused to put it to the vote, saying, "he was commanded otherwise by the king." Mr. Selden then got up and said, "Mr. Speaker, if you will not put the question, which we command you, we must sit still; and so we shall never be able to do anything." The Speaker replied, that he had an express command from the king, so soon as he had delivered his message of adjournment, to rise. And thereupon he

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