Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

INTRODUCTION. 95 more than a certain number of miles from his own house.. Therefore, Mr. Vines, Mr. Blake, and many other puritan ministers, for refusing to subscribe, were turned out of their livings. The terms of conformity were now less rigid than at any time since the commencement of the civil wars. The oppressive statutes of the parliament were relaxed or not acted upon, the covenant was laid aside, and no other civil qualification required of ministers, besides the engagement. Though the episcopal divines were forbidden to read the liturgy in form, they might frame their prayers as near it as they pleased ; and upon this principle, many of them complied with the government. Numerous episcopal assemblies were connived at, where the liturgy was read, till they were found plotting against the government : nor would they have been denied an open toleration, if they would have given security for their peaceable behaviour, and not meddled with the affairs of, government+ Cromwell and his friends, indeed, gave it out, that they could not understand what right the magistrate had to use compulsion in matters of religion. They thought that all men ought to 'be left to the dictates of their own consciences, and that the civil magistrate could not, interpose in any religious concerns, without ensnaring himself in the guilt of persecution.t Dr. George Bates, an eminent royalist, andan avowed enemy to Cromwell, observes, " That the protector indulged the useof the commonprayer in families, and in private conventicles ; and it cannot be denied, that churchmen had a great deal more favour and indulgence than under the parliament ; which would never have been interrupted, had they not insulted the protector, and , forfeited their liberty by their seditious practices and plotting's against his person and government",§ December 16, 1653, Oliver Cromwell was installed LORD PROTECTOR of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, when an INSTRUMENT OF GOVERNMENT was adopted and subscribed. The thirty-seventh article ob, serves, '4 that all who profess faith in Godby Jesus Christ, shall be protected in their religion." 11 The parliament afterwards voted, that all should be tolerated, or indulged, who professed the fundamentals of-christianity ; and certain * Sylvester's Lifeof Baxter, part i. p. 64. 1' Neal's Puritans, vol. iv. p. 61. Sylvester's Life of Baxter, part ii. p. 193. § Neal's Puritans, vol. iv. p. 102. Wbitlocke's Mem. p. 542-558.