Neal - Houston-Packer Collection BX9333 .N4 1754 v1

Chap. IV. The HISTORY of the PURITANS. I13 read in parliament was carried but with threediffenting voices; the popifh Elizabeth, prelates offering nothing in defence of their religion. 156r. By another ad, the pope's authority was abolifhed, and reading mats t lull was made punifhable ; for the firft offence, with lofs of goods ; for the fecond, bantthment ; and for the third, death. This was carrying mat- ters with a high hand ; for to judge men to death for matters of meer confcience, that don't affe& the government, is not to be jufti- lied. " To affirm that we are in the right, and others in the wrong (lays Collier's : " Mr. Collier) is foreign to the point ; for every one that fuffers for reli- 68. - " gion thinks hìmfelf in the right, and thereforeought not to be deftroyedP' 4 " for his fincerity, for the prejudices of education, or the want of better " underftanding, unlefs his opinions have mutiny and treafon in them, and (hake the foundations of civil fociety. Upon the breaking up of the parliament, a commif ion was dire&ed to Their Kirk Mr. Knox, lVillock, Spotifwood, and fome other divines, to draw up a dti r Aline. fcheme of difcipline for the church, which they did pretty much upon the Geneva plan, only admitting fuperintendents in the room of bithops, and rejeting impofition of hands in the ordination of minifters, becaufe that miracles were ceafed, which they apprehended to accompany that inftitution. Their words are thefe, "Other ceremonies than the publick Firft book of " approbation of the people, and declaration of the chief minifter, that diJciplini, " the perfon there prefented is appointed to ferve the church, we cannot P' 3r' " approve; for albeit the apoftles ufed inapotion of hands, yet feeing the miracle is ceafed, the ufingof the ceremony we judge not neceffary." They alto appointed to or 12 fuperintendents to plant and ercd kirks, and to appoint minifters in loch counties as fhould be committed to their care, where there were none already. But then they add, Thefe men mutt not live like idle bithops, but mutt preach themfelves twice or thrice a week, and vifit their diftriEts every three or four months, to in- fpe& the lives and behaviour of the parochial minifters, to redrefs griev- ances, or bring them before an affembly of the kirk. The fuperinten- dents were to be chofen, by the minifters and elders of the feveral pro- vinces; and to be deprived by them for mifbehaviour. The affemblies of the kirk weredivided into clafftcal, provincial, and national, in which laft, the dernier retort of all kirk jurifdi&ion was lodged. When this plan of difcipline was laid before the eftates, it was refer- red to further confideration, and had not a parliamentary fan&ion, as the reformers expeered. But after the recels of the parliament, feveral noble- men, barons, and chief gentlemen of the nation, met together at the inflance of Mr. Knox, and fìgned it, refolving to abide by the new dif cipline, till it fhould be confirmed or altered by parliament. From this time the old hierarchical government was difufed, and the kirk was go- VoL. I. Q vetoed