Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

INTRODUCTION. 5 curates and churchwardens in his diocese, to have it in the fashion of a table, decently covered."* This was very congenial to the wishes of many of the pious reformers, who, at this early period, publicly avowed their noncon- formity to the ecclesiastical establishment. Among the articles of the above visitation, the bishop inquired, " Whether any of the ariabaptists' sect, or others, use any unlawful or private conventicles, wherein they usedoctrine, or administration of sacraments, separating themselves from the rest of the church ? And whether any minister cloth refuse to use the common prayers, or minister the sacra- ments, in that order and form, as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer ? "s The disputes about conformity were carried into the pulpits ; and whilst some warmly preached against all innovations, others as warmly preached against all the superstitions and corruptions of the old. Romish church ; so that the court prohibited all preaching, except by persons licensed by the King or the Archbishop of Canterbury.t. In the convocation of 1552, forty-two Articles of Reli- gion were agreed upon by the bishops and clergy, to which subscription was required ofall ecclesiastical persons, who shouldofficiate or enjoy any benefice in the church. And all who should refuse, were to be excluded from all ecclesiastical preferment. This appears to be the first time that subscription to the articles was enjoined.§ Here the reformation under King Edward made a stand. During this king's reign, there were numerous debates about the habits, rites and ceremonies ; and many divines of great learning and piety, became zealous advocates for nonconformity. They excepted against the clerical vest- - ments, kneeling at the communion, godfathers and their promises and vows in baptism, the superstitious observance of Lent, the oath of canonical obedience, pluralities and nonresidence, with many other things of a similar descrip. fond! At this early period, there was a powerful and very , considerable party disaffected to the established liturgy.s Though the reformation had already made considerable progress, its chief promoters' ere concerned for its further advancement. They aimed at a more perfect work ; and Burnet's Mist. of Refor. vol. ii. p. 158. + Sparrow's Collection, p. 36. f Burnet's Hist. of Refor. vol. iii. p. 195, Sparrove's Collection, p. 39.-Strype's Ecd. Mem. vol. ii. p. 420. If MS. Remarks, p. 51. 4 Fuller's Church Mist. b. vii. p. 426.