Neal - Houston-Packer Collection BX9333 .N4 1754 v1

102 The HISTORY of the PURITANS. Chap. IV, Queen The major part of the vifitors were laymen, any two of them were El ?559th, impowered to examine into the true [late of all churches; to fufpend or tJ r deprive fuch clergymen as were unworthy, and to put others in their Proceedings places ; to proceed againft the obftinate by imprifonment, church cen- of the vifit- fures, or any other legal methods. They were to referve penfions for ars. fuch as quitted their benefices by refignation ; to examine into the con. H. Ref. .dition of all that were imprifoned on the account of religion, and to dif- P4 0 Ql. , charge them; and to rettore all to their benefices who had been unlaw= fully deprived in the late times. This was the firft high commifiîon, that was ifiàed about Midfurnmer 1559. It gave offence to many, that the queen fhould authorife lay-vi- fitors to proceed by ecclefsaftical centones; but this was no more than is frequently done by lay -chancellors, in the ecclefiaftical courts. It was much more unjuftifiable for the commifiioners to go beyond the cenfures of the church, by fines, imprifonments, and inquifitory oaths, to the ruin of force hundreds of families, without the authority of that fta- tute which gave them being, or any other. Mr. Strype affures us, that the vifitors took effeélual care to have all the infiruments and utenfils ofidolatry and fuperftition demolifhed, and deftroy- edout of the churches, where God's pure fervice was to be performed ; fuch as roods, i. e. images of Chrift upon the crois, with Mary and yahn (landing by; alto images of tutelary faints of the churches that were de- :tlt t. Ref. dicated to them, popifh books, altars, and the like. But it does not ap- Vol. III. pear, that either the ad or 23d articles of injunctions impowered them ab- p' 9°' folutely to remove all images out of the churches; the queen herfelf was as yet undetermined in that matter. Bithop yew/ in his letter to Peter Martyr, Feb. q.. t 56o. Pays, there was to be a conference about the law- fulnefs of images in churches the day following, between Parker and Cox, who were for them, and himfelf and Grindal, who were againft Pierce's them ; and if they prevail (lays he) I will be no longer a bifhop. How- P nd. p. 38 ever it is certain, that the vifitors commanded the prebendaries and arch- Strype't e1 nats, Vol. I. deacon of London, to fee that the cathedral church of St. Paul's be purg- p. 1.75- ed and freed from all and fingular images, idols, and altars ; and in the place of the altars to provide a decent table, for the ordinary celebration of the Lord's fupper ; and accordingly the roods and high altar were taken away. The populace was on the fide of the reformation, having been pro- voked with the cruelties of the late times: Great numbers attended the commifl'ioners, and brought into Cheapfide, Paul's churchyard, andSmith- field, the roads and crucifixes that were pulled down, and in forne places the veftments of the prietls, copes, furplices, altar-cloths, books, banners, fépulchres, and burnt them to afhes, as it were, to make atonement for the