Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

18 INTRODUCTION. dead. By the queen's royal proclamation, the public worship of God remained some time without alteration. All preaching was prohibited ; and the peoplewere charged to hear only the epistles and gospels for the day, the test commandments, the litany; the Lord's prayer, and the creed, in English. No other prayers were to be read, nor other forms of worship to be observed, than those already appointed by law, till the meeting of parliament.+ The parliament being assembled, the two famous acts, entitled " The Act of Supremacy,"$ and " The Act of Uniformity of Common Prayer," were passed. The former gave rise to a new ecclesiastical court, called The Court of HIGH COMMISSION, which, by the exercise of its unlimited power and authority, became the engine of inconceivable oppression to multitudes of the queen's best subjects. The latter attempted, indeed, to establish a perfect uniformity in public worship, but it could never be effeeted.§ During the whole of this reign, many of the best divines and others, were dissatisfied with the Book of Common Prayer, andwith the rigorous imposition of it in divine worship. Some things contained in the book, they considered to be erroneous ; others superstitious ; and the greater part to be derived from the corrupt fountain of popery', and, there- fore, could not with a good conscience observe the, whole ; on which account, they were treated by the prelates with the utmost severity. The principal debate in the first par- liament of this queen's reign, was not whether popery or protestantism should be established ; but whether they should carry on the reformation, so happily begun in the days of King Edward, to a greater degree of .perfection, and abolish all the remains of superstition, idolatry, and It is observed, that when the exiles arid others came forwards in public, a certain gentleman made suit to the queen, in behalf of Matthew, Mark, , Luke and Jolts, who had loog been imprisoned in a Latin translation, that they also might be restored to liberty, and walk abroad as formerly in the English tongue. To this petition her majesty immediately replied, " That he should first know the minds of the prisoners, who perhaps desired no such liberty as he requested."-Heolin's Hist, of Ref°, p. 275. + Burnet's Hist. of Refor. vol. ii. p. 318.-Strype's Annals, vol. i. p. 41-44. 1. [bid. p. 69. § This act was designed to establish a perfect and universal conformity, among the laity, as well as the clergy. It required " all persons diligently and faithfully, having no -lawful or reasonable excuse, to resort to their . parish church, every Sunday and all holidays, on pain of punishment by the censures of the church, and also on pain of forfeiting twelve-pence for every such offence, to be levied by way of distress."-Burn'i Ecct. Low, vol. ii. p. 145. Edit: 1775.