Neal - Houston-Packer Collection BX9333 .N4 1754 v1

158 7heHISTORY of the PURITANS. Chap. IV, Queen Thirdly, They complained of the exorbitant power and' jurifdidion of Elizabeth, the bifhops and their chancellors in their fpiritual courts, as derived from the canon law of the pope, and not from the word of God, or the ftatute law of the land. They complain'd of their fining, irnprifoning, depriv- ing, and putting men to exceffive charges for (mall offences ; and that the higheft cenfures, fuch as excommunication and abfolution, were in thehands of laymen, and not in the fpiritual officers of the church. Fourthly, They lamented the want of a godly difcipline, and were uneafy at the protnifcuous and general accefs of all perlons to the Lord's table. The church being defcribed in her articles as a congregation offaithful perfons, they thought it necefiary, that a power fhould be lodged fome- where, to enquire into the qualificationsof fuch as defired to be of her communion. Fifthly, Though they did not difpute the lawfulnefs of fit forms of prayer, provided a due liberty was allowed for prayers of their own com- pofure, before and after fermon ; yet they "difliked fome things in the pub- lick liturgy, eftablifhed by law; as the frequent repetition of the Lord's prayer;' the interruption of the prayers, by the frequent refponfes of the people, which in Tome places feem to be little better than vain repeti- tions, and are praëtifed in no other proteftant church in the world. They excepted to fome paffages in the offices of marriage and burial, &c. which they very unwillingly complied with; as in the office of marriage, With my body I thee worfhip ; and in the office of burial, Inforeand certain hope of the refzirreolion to eternal lifè, to be pronounced over the worft of men, unlefs in a very few excepted cafes. Sixthly, They"difliked the reading of the apocryphal books in the church, while force parts of canonical fcripture, were omitted ; and though they did not difaprove the homilies, they thought that no man ought to be ordained a minifter in the church, who was incapable of preaching and expounding the fcriptures. One of their great complaints therefore, throughout the courfe of this reign was, that there were fo many dumb miniflers, plurals, and non-refdents ; and that prefentations to benefices were in the hands of the queen, bithops, or lay-patrons, when they ought to arife from the eledion of the people. Seventhly, They difapproved of the obfervation of fundry of the church féliivals or holidays, as having no foundation in fcripture, or primitive an- tiquity, We have no example, fay they, in the Old or New Te`iament, of any days appointed in commemoration of faints ; To obferve the fall in Lent M.S. p. rig. ofFriday and Saturday, &c. is unlawful and fuperftitious ; as alfa buying and filling on the Lord's day. Eighthly, They difallowed of the cathedral mode ofworfhip; of tinging their prayers, and of the antiphon, or chanting of the plalms by turns, which