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Other ecclesiastics besides Laud fell under the Impaehanimadversion of the commons, and were ordered Wren, to be impeached,—as Wren, bishop of Ely; Pierce, cozenl" bishop of Bath and Wells; and Dr. Cozens. The two first were informed against for many high crimes and misdemeanours,—practising and enforcing superstition and idolatry, and persecuting all who did not join in their innovations. They were therefore ordered to give bail for L. 10,000 to stand trial*. Cozens was charged with a variety of articles to the following effect: he removed the communion-table from its old situation in the body of the church, and placed it in the east end altar-wise,—an alteration on which he expended L.200 of the public money entrusted to him: He restored, and got gloriously painted, images which had been defaced by the commission under Elizabeth: He officiated at the sacrament with his back to the people, according to the popish practice; had boys with tapers, and all the bows of the Romish superstition, used in the sacrifice of the mass; had a consecrated knife, which he would not permit to be defiled to profane uses, for cutting the communion bread; had declared that the reformers, when they took away the mass, took away all good order, and instead of a reformed, made a deformed religion: He had so pertinaciously insisted upon the people bowing to the altar, &c. that when some ladies omitted the cere
* Id. p. 191, 2Uh December. Cobbet's Pari. Hist. vol. ii. p. 682,
mony, he called them whores, jades, and pagans, and quitting his place, laid violent hands on them, in the face of the congregation, and rent their clothes: He had converted several prayers in the liturgy into hymns, to be sung to the organ, and had neglected psalms: One Candlemas day, he had lighted up three hundred wax candles in honour of our lady, threescore of which he had placed on and about the altar: Before his marriage, he had worn a white satin cope, which he laid aside when he took a wife: He had denied the royal supremacy, having declared, that the king had no more power over the churcli than the boy who rubbed his horse's heels; and had aggravated all these superstitions, and the denial of the supremacy, by the most cruel persecution—particularly against Smart, a prebend, and likewise against one of the canons *.
* Old Pari. Hist. vol. ix. p. 193. Cobbet's Do. vol. ii. p. 725. Rush. vol. iv. p. 208. See his case in Howel's State Trials, vol. iv. As Cozens was appointed chaplain to the royal family abroad during the life of Charles, it is clear that he (Charles) meant to make no concession to the popular wish, though it appears by his Letters that he adhered to Episcopacy from political motives alone. Clar. State Papers, vol. ii. A petition was presented against Dr. Layfield, and the facts are said by the report of the committee to be fully proved. It sets forth, that he had placed the communion-table altar-wise, and raised ten rails, with ten several images upon those rails, to be set at the altar; that he bowed three times, 1*/, At his going to the rails; idly, Within the rails; Sdly, At the table; and so in the return. But that after the images were taken down, he bowed only twice,—at the rails and the table,—" which is an argument that he bowed before to the images." That he caused J. H. S. to be set in gold letters upon the table, and forty places besides: and said to the people, " Heretofore, we saw Christ by faith; but now with our fleshly eyes we sec him in
Episcopacy had, at the Reformation, been de-Petition clared to be a human institution, under the appoint* lS^TM ment, as well as controul, of the throne; but the&cwhole endeavour of the government lately, had been to make the hierarchy appear a divine institution, independent of civil authority; and this doctrine, as it inflamed a party on religious grounds, raised a powerful addition to it even from amongst those who neither were puritans nor inimical to the court. These, perceiving the principle on which the prelates and their supporters advanced the pretension, naturally opposed it, as destructive both of civil and religious liberty; and the cruel tyranny of the bishops, with the new ceremonies which they so intolerantly enforced, incalculably augmented the number of such as desired the abolition of episcopacy. Had it been the policy of government to make some concessions to the popular wish, or had it even abstained from innovation, the hierarchy would, in all probability, have run no hazard; but when men saw no security for their faith in the establishment, and found it necessary to make a vigorous opposition, they naturally became hostile to an institution which,
the sacrament." That he charged the people with sacrilege for taking down the images: That he caused one Boulton to be excommunicated for not coming up to the rails, and refused to read his absolution," &c. *' That he said they are black toads, spotted toads, and venomous toads, like Jack Straw and Watt Tyler, that speak against the ceremonies of the church; and that they were in the state of damnation." "He tells them, they must confess their sins, he is their parson, and they ought to do as he advises them; the sin is his, not theirs," &c. Journ. S5th November, 1640.
by wantonly attacking all the principles on which was supposed to be founded its right to exist, destroyed its own title to the general esteem. Not content with the degree of power enjoyed by their immediate predecessors, they would lead back the people to the old superstition, that with it they might enjoy all the consequence attached to it; forgetting that, by the very attempt, they, in the mean time, irrecoverably lost the authority over the public mind, which their spiritual function would otherwise have commanded. Hampden and his coadjutors were firmly attached to the Christian faith in its purity, and, therefore, on religious grounds, opposed these innovations; but, had they been really patriotic freethinkers, they could have followed no other course. They were bound to assert the rights of their fellow-subjects, whose consciences were illegally forced; as good citizens, they were called in duty to raise their voices against the attempt to make a religion of the imagination, and by such arts to enlist the external senses on the side of the priesthood and of arbitrary power. When, therefore, a petition from the city of London, signed by 15,000 citizens, was presented to the lower house by Alderman Pennington, it did not meet with an unfavourable reception, and was followed by others *. The commons themselves entered into resolutions against the temporal power of the bishops, and the clergy's
* Old Pari. Hist. vol. ix. p. 114. Cob. vol. ii. p. 673. Whiteloclcc, p. 39. Clar. vol. i. p. 903.
enjoying civil offices; but they as yet proceeded no farther; except that they appointed a committee to inquire into the lives of the clergy, who were grievously complained of. Petitions from parishes poured in against many of the cloth, and various scandalous vices were imputed to some of them: superstitious innovations were charged against very many. That they received hard justice is likely; but, on the other hand, it cannot be denied, that though there were amongst them many individuals of great learning and worth, yet, that the majority, in their zeal for the advancement of their order, in their cupidity for civil offices, their scrambling and mean truckling for place, as well as in their pitiful arrogance on unexpected power, had alike forgotten the duties and dispositions of Christian pastors and of good citizens. Indeed, it is alleged, that many men of loose lives were appointed to livings for the purpose of affronting the Puritans, and, considering how decent conduct was ridiculed and hated by the ruling party, it is not unlikely*. Whitelocke tells us, too, that " the House of Commons made an order (and Sir Robert Harlow, the executioner of it,) to take away all scandalous pictures, crosses, and figures, within churches and without; and the zealous knight took down the cross in
* iviay, p. 81. The manner in which Mr. Hume speaks on this subject is singular: He justifies the innovations, and particularly the reading of the king's orders for the Book of Sports, because " the established government ooth in church and state had strictly enjoined them;" but though the king ordered it, it was directly against law.