Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

INTRODUCTION. ei consequence. Many churches were for a considerable time without ministers, and not a few mechanics. and persons altogether unlearned were preferred, which brought muck reproach upon the protestant cause ; while others of the first rank for learning, piety and usefulness, were laid aside . in silence. There was, indeed, very little preaching through the whole country.. The Bishop of Bangor writes, during this year, " that he had only two preachers in all his diocese."+ Indeed' the bishops in general were'not insensible of the calamity ; but instead of opening the door a little wider, for the allowance of the more conscientious and zealous reformers, they admitted the meanest and most illiterate, who would come up to the terms of conformity.i: And even at this early period, there were many of the clergy, who, though preferred to benefices, could not conform, but refused to observe the public service, and to wear the holy garments ; at which the queen was exceedingly offended.§ Dr. Matthew Parker was this year consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury. In the year 1562, sat the famous convocation, when " The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion," much the same as those of King Edward, were drawn up and subscribed by all the members then sitting, and required to be sub- scribed by all the clergy in the kingdom. The convoca- tion proceeded next to consider the rites and ceremonies of the church, when Bishop Sandys presented apaper recona- mending the abolition of private baptism, and the crossing ofthe infant in the forehead, which, he said, was needless and ;eery superstitious.11 Another paper was, at the same time, presented to the house, with the following requests :- " That the psalms may be sung distinctly by the whole " congregation ; and that organs may be laid aside.-That " none may baptize but ministers; and that they may leave " off the sign of the cross.-That in the administration of " the sacrament, the posture of kneeling may be left indif- " ferent.-That the use of copes and surplices may be " taken away; so that all ministers in their ministry use a " grave, comely, and long garment, as they commonly do " in preaching.-That ministers be not compelled to wear such gowns and caps, as the enemies of Christ's gospel "'have chosen for the special array of their priesthood.- "That the words in the thirty-third article, concerning the . Biog. Britan. vol. v. p. 3297. Edit. 1747. + MS. Register, p. 886. Neal's Puritans, vol. i. p. 146. § Strype's Parker; p. 106. I Strype's Annals, vol. i. p. 297.