INTRODUCTION. 93 dalous innovations, he made many fair approaches towards Rome, in point of doctrine."a Under his primacy the church of England evidently assumed a very popish appearance. And, according to Hume, the court of Rome itself entertained hopes of regaining its authority in this island ; and, in order to forward Laud's supposed good intentions, an offer was twice made him, in private, of a cardinal's hat, which he declined accepting. His answer was, as he observes himself, " that something dwelt within. him which would not suffer his compliance, till Rome was other than it is."+ The London ministers having presented a petition to parliament, for a settlement of the ecclesiastical discipline and government, according to the directory of public worship, they had the thanks of the house ; and a com- mittee was appointed to confer with the assembly, and to ascertainhow far tender consciencesmightbe borne with, con- sistent with the peace of the kingdom and the wordof God.t An ordinance soon passed to set aside the Rook of Common Prayer, and to establish the directory.§ The presbyterians nowgaining the ascendancy, discovered a strong propensity to grasp at the same arbitrary power, as that under which they had formerly and for a long time groaned. The parliament published two ordinances, one against the preaching of unordained ministers, the other against blas- phemy and heresy, both of which became the engines of oppression and persecution. The latter, says Mr. Neal, is one of the most shocking laws I have met with in restraint of religious liberty, and shews, that the governing presby- terians would have made a terrible use of their power, had they been supported by the sword of the civil magistrate. Several ministers of puritan principles, became sufferers by these ordinances. Mr. Clarkson having embraced the sentiments of the antipsadobaptists,was cast into prison, and required to recant, for the marvellous sin of dipping. Mr. Lamb, Mr. Denne, and Mr. Knollys, all of the samedenomi- nation, were apprehended and committed to prison. Mr. 5 May's Hist. of Parliaments, p. 22-23. t Prynne's Breviate of Laud, p. 18.-Hume's Hist of Eng. vol. vi. p. 509.-It is observed that a court lady, daughter of the Earl of Devonshire, having turned papist, was asked by Laud the reasons of her conversion. " It is chiefly," said she, "because I hate to travel in a crowd." The meaning of this expression being demanded, she replied, " I perceive your grace and many others are making haste to Rome ; and, therefore in order to prevent my being crowded, I have gone before you."-Ibid. p. 210. Whitiocke's Mem. p. 99. Seobell's Coll= part i. g. 76, 9T.