THE Rights, Powers, and Priviledges, OF AN English Convocation, STATED and VINDICATED.

IN ANSWER TO A Late Book of Dr. Wake's, Entituled, The Authority of Christian Princes over their Ecclesiastical Synods asserted, &c. AND TO Several Other PIECES.

And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the House of my Friends.

Zech. XIII. 6.

Eâ Tempestate facies Ecclesiae foeda & admodùm turpis erat: non enim, sicut priùs, ab Externis, sed à Propriis vastabatur.

Ruffin. Eccles. Hist. L. 1. c. 21.

LONDON: Printed for Tho. Bennet at the Half-Moon in St. Paul's Church-yard, 1700.


BEtween three and four Years ago came out A Letter to a Convocation-Man, concerning the Rights, Powers, and Priviledges of that Body; which, together with the Replys that were made to it by Dr. Wake, and some Other Writers, led the Au­thor of these Papers to consider the Point in Debate with a Particular Care and Application. He con­fesses he came to Dr. W's Book, with expectations of finding there whatever was necessary to set this matter in a clear Light; The Bulk of the Work, the Appearance of Learning it carried, and the Great Authority by which it endeavored to recom­mend it self, All seem'd to promise Exactness. But upon perusing it, to his Surprize, he found, that it was a Shallow, Empty performance; writ­ten, without any Knowledge of our Constitution, a­ny Skill in the Particular subject of Debate; upon such Principles as are destructive of all our Civil, as well as Ecclesiastical Libertys; and with such Aspersions on the Clergy, both Dead, and Living, as were no less injurious to the Body than his Do­ctrine.

The Love I bear to Truth, to my Church, and Country, soon gave me Resolution of stating this matter anew, and of taking off the slight Colors under which Dr. W. had disguis'd it: if at least, I were not prevented by some Abler Hand, parti­cularly [Page] by the Author of that Letter which first gave rise to this Debate; and who, it was expected, would have appear'd once more upon it, and freed what he had advanc'd from all Exceptions. This, and some other Accidents were the Cause that the fol­lowing Papers, though prepar'd early, saw the Light no sooner; and have indeed been deferr'd so long, till it is now grown absolutely necessary to say something in Defence of the Churches Rights, or to sit down contentedly under the Loss of them. For by this time Dr. W's Book, Weak as it is, has yet, by not being oppos'd, gotten strength, and made its way into the good Opinion of many who wish not ill to the Order. A Learned Adversary in­deed has taken him to Task upon the General Prin­ciples of Church-Discipline and Government: but in the Domestick Part of the Dispute, which relates to our Own Laws and Usages, nothing has been said. For which reason, even from well meaning Men, we every day hear this Language, ‘If the Dr. has indeed misrepresented the Constitution, why does not some body set it right again? If▪ he has given up the Libertys and Priviledges of his Church, how comes the Body to be silent? They understand their Own Rights sure, and will not suffer themselves to be writ out of'em: we must believe therefore, that they have 'em not, if no body thinks fit to claim them.’ This indeed is the Natural Construction, which People must, and do make of our silence; and his Principles therefore must either quickly be disprov'd, or prevail. Nay upon these Principles, a suitable Practise may soon establish it self; and as Some New Customs first made way for his Doctrine, so the Doctrine it self may make way for Others; which when once taken up, will be difficultly laid down: for it is [Page] much easier to preserve a Constitution, than to retreive it.

Already, since he wrote, it has so hapned, that, upon the Calling of a New Parliament, the Writ for the Province of York has been dropp'd; thro' Forgetfulness, no doubt: however, for the same reason, it may so happen again, when another Par­liament is call'd, that the Writ for the Province of Canterbury shall be forgotten too. And if it should withall be forgotten to be Claim'd, as well as Is­su'd, We should then be in the same case with our Neighbours of the Church of Ireland; among whom, as I am inform'd, Convocation-Writs are now grown out of Date; two New Parliaments having been successively summon'd, without them.

And by the same Degrees that the Convocations of the Establisht Church have declin'd in both these Countrys, those of our Brethren of the Separation have begun to revive. The Summer after Dr. W's Book came out, a General Meeting of the Dissen­ting Ministers was appointed here in London, as appears by the Date of the Newbury-Letter, prin­ted in the Appendix Numb. 11.: and it is not long ago, since the Irish Nonconformists met publickly at Dublin, and printed a Sermon preach'd at the Opening of their Synod; tho' I think the Establisht Clergy there have never been Synodically conven'd, since the Revolution. And how affairs stand in Scotland, with relation to these matters, the Reader, if he desires Information, may in the 25th. Page of the following Papers, find it.

Nor is it to be forgotten, that since this New Do­ctrine came abroad, a New Definition of Convocations has obtain'd; which we are now told, are only Occasional Assemblys, for such Purposes as the King shall direct Nicolson Hist. Lib. Vol. 3. p. 200.. And even the New State [Page] of England-Man has upon it varied his Phrase: for his last Edition says, that they are to meet now and then, in Time of Parliament Meige. N. S. of E. part. 3d. p. 64..’ It may seem not Material to observe any thing that falls from such a Pen: but it shews how Common Opi­nion runs, as much as if a Wiser Author had said it.

It was High time therefore to assert a Right, which was so far endanger'd. And this, unequal as I may be to the Task, yet rather than it should remain undone, I have resolv'd to do: not led so much by Inclination to studys of this kind, as push­ed on by an Hearty concern for the Interests of Re­ligion, and of my Order (as far as the Latter of these is subservient to the Former), and by an Ea­ger Desire of doing somewhat towards supporting the Good Old Constitution I live under: which Dr. W. has, both in Church, and State, done his best to undermine. His Blow indeed is directly levell'd at the Rights and Libertys of the Church only; but it glances often on those of the State, and wounds them sore, as far as His Arm was capable of put­ting strength into it: The Argument of his Book throughout turns upon such Maxims and Grounds, as equally affect Both of them. And because I am not willing to say any thing against him without good Proof, I shall here give the Reader a short Tast of his Principles, to prepare him for the larger Entertainment that follows.

P. 84. He proposes this Question, ‘Whether the Prince should be allow'd a Power to alter, or improve, what a Synod has defin'd, to add to, or take from it?—and thus he resolves it— Sure I am, that this Princes have done; and so I think they have Authority to do. For since the Legislative Power is lodg'd in their hands, so that they may make what [Page] Laws or Constitutions they think fit for the Church, as well as the State: since a Synod in matters relating to Discipline is but a kind of Council to them, in Ecclesiasti­cal Affairs; whose Advice having taken, they may still act as they think fit: seeing, lastly, a Canon, drawn up by a Synod, is but as it were Matter prepar'd for the Royal Stamp; the last forming of which, as well as enforcing whereof must be left to the Princes Iudgment: I cannot see why the Supreme Magistrate, who confessedly has a Power to confirm, or reject their Decrees, may not also make such other Use of them as he pleases; and correct, improve, or otherwise alter their Resolutions, according to his Own Liking, before he gives his Autho­ty to them P. 85..’ He is speaking here, I confess, of the Power of the Prince, at large, without pointing his words particularly on England: but since he asserts this Power to every Prince, and does not except Ours, it is manifest he means him as much as if he had particularly mention'd him. And this he himself is not shy of owning: for be­fore the End of this Chapter, he in plain terms tells us, that ‘by Our Own Constitution, the King of England has all that Power over Our Convo­cation, that ever any Christian Prince had over his Synods P. 98..’ And goes on afterwards P. 136. to shew, that H. the VIII. did this very thing in 1536; correcting, and amending with his Own Hand, the Articles of Religion then drawn up, before they were publish'd. He does not indeed expresly Iustify this Act of H. the VIII; but which is all one, he mentions it, without a word to shew that he disapprov'd it.

I will be bold to say, that were this single Do­ctrine [Page] true, the Late King might have gone a great way toward subverting our Religion, without break­ing in upon the Constitution, or doing any thing Il­legal. He might have assembled the Clergy, and commanded their Iudgment upon such and such Points, and then alter'd their Resolutions to his Own Liking; and so have set up Rank Popery under the Countenance of a Prote­stant Convocation. Especially if he had call'd this other Principle of Dr. W's into his Aid— ‘Some of our Princes (he says) have not only prescrib'd to our Convocations what they should go about, but have actually drawn up before hand what they thought Convenient to have established; and have requir'd them to approve of it, without submitting it to their Iudgments, whether they approv'd of it or not [P. 110.].’ Which Fact also he gives us as a Right, without insi­nuating the least Dislike of it. And a very Con­venient Right it is for Princes, that meditate New Schemes of Church Government. Twelve Years ago, enforc'd by the Pen of a Parker, or a Cart­wright, it might have done great Service: it would have helpt on all the Pious Designs then upon the Anvil; and if the Asserter of it had not been a Bishop, to be sure it would have made him one. Can such Doctrines ever be Serviceable (I say not Grateful) to This Government, which would have ruin'd our Establish'd Religion, under the Former?

But his Conclusions are not worse than his way of coming at them; which is, in this, and in eve­ry case, first by shewing what has been practis'd by the Emperors, and other Absolute Princes, and by asserting the same Power to belong to Our King, as a King; not by vertue of the particular Laws and Usages of this Realm, but by the [Page] Right of Sovereignty in general See Ap­peal p. 111.112., upon which he expresly owns himself to found the Au­thority of our Princes in Matters Ecclesiastical See Ap­peal p. 111.112.; and says therefore (as we have heard) that they have the same Power over Our Convocations that ever any Christian Prince had over his Synods: And accordingly makes it the whole Business of his second Chapter (that is, of a Fourth part of his Book) to set out the Powers exercis'd by Ab­solute Princes, and particularly by the Roman Emperors, over their Synods, in order to warrant the Use of like Powers here at home. I know not how this Doctrine may relish now: but in the 7th. Mr. Nicholson (See Hist. Libr. part 3. p. 177.) accor­ding to his Exactness in Dates, places this 3io Iacobi, whereas the Book it self was not set out till two Years afterwards; as, if he had seen any Edition of it, he might from the Date of the Preface have known. But he unluckily met with a false Print to this purpose, in the Posthumous part of Spelman's Glossary (in Voce, Tenura) and he is always an Implicit Transcriber. Year of King James the I. (as high as Prero­gative then ran) it did not, I am sure, go down well with the Parliament: for then Dr. Cowel's Interpreter was censur'd by the Two Houses, as asserting several Points to the overthrow and de­struction of Parliaments, ond of the Fundamental Laws and Go­vernment of the Kingdom. And One of the Articles charg'd upon him to this purpose by the Com­mons, in their Complaint to the Lords, was (as Mr. Petyt Miscell. Parl. p. 66. says out of the Journal) this that follows.

4thly, The Doctor draws his Arguments from the Imperial Laws of the Roman Em­perors, an argument which may be urg'd with as great reason, and with as great Authority for the reduction of the State of the Cler­gy of England to the Polity and Laws in the Time of those Emperors; as al­so to make the Laws and Customs of Rome, and [Page] Constantinople to be binding and obligatory to the Citys of London and York.

The issue of which Complaint was, that the Au­thor, for these his Outlandish Politicks, was taken into Custody, and his Book condemn'd to the Flames: Nor could the Dedication of it to his then Grace of Canterbury save it; who did not think himself concern'd to countenance whatever Doctrine any Indiscreet Writer should take the Liberty to as­cribe to him.

He that thinks a Prince Absolute in Spirituals, thinks him, no doubt, as Absolute in Temporals, and will, when a Proper time shall come, not stick to say so. Dr. W. has given some significant Hints that way in the words already produc'd from him: for what else can he mean by the Legislative Powers being lodg'd in the Princes hands, so that he may make what Laws he pleases, for the Church as well as the State; if we consider him to speak, as he does, of the Prince, exclusively to the Three Estates of the Realm? And when he adds therefore, a few Lines afterwards, that a Canon is only matter prepar'd for the Royal Stamp, we are not at a loss to know, what fur­ther he aims at: This is doctrine, that at a Con­venient Season, will serve as well for Acts of Parliament, as Canons. Let us hear some more of it.

One great Position of Dr. W. is, that the Con­vocation cannot move a step, but as they are di­rected by the King, or debate of any thing but just what he impowers them to consider. And thus far he is safe in his Assertion, for un [...]itting As­semblys may be insulted at pleasure. But when he tells us further, that the Parliament it self is as much directed by the King in the [Page] main part of their Debates as the Con­vocation is P. 289., the Comparison begins to be saw­cy, and may prove Dangerous. He would seem to qualify it indeed by saying, that the Parliament are as much, though not as necessarily di­rected: but this does not much soften the Expres­sion; for still it leaves the Parliament as much (though not as necessarily) Slaves in the Point of Freedom of Debate, as Convocations are said to be; and is, I dare say, such an Instance of Free Speech as was never yet practis'd towards a Parliament.

Another of his Maxims is, that ‘whenever a Synod meets, the King may give Direction for the Choice of the Persons that are to compose it, that so he may be satisfy'd, that they are such whose Piety and Temper has fitted them to serve the Church, and in whose Prudence and Conduct he himself may safely confide P. 42..’ And then, by vertue of his General Rule, [that gives to Our Princes all that Power which ever any Christian Prince had over their Synods] he brings it home to us, and says, that the Choice of the Persons composing our Convocation is thus deter­min'd by the King's Writ P. 103.: which implys, that his Writ might determin the Choice otherwise, that he might order more, or fewer to be sent up; or New ones to be return'd in the Room of those whose Temper he shall not approve of, and whose Prudence and Conduct he cannot safely confide in. And if he can deal thus with our Convoca­tion-Writs and Members; what hinders but he that may deal thus also with those of Parliament? for his Writs alike determin the Choice, as to Both these Meetings; and then there's an End of our Constitution, whenever a Prince arises that has any Ill Designs upon it.

[Page]The laying aside of Convocations is thus justi­fy'd by Dr. W. in divers parts of his Book Pp. 107.227, 250. &c., that the Great and almost Onely Use that has been made of them, was to raise Money; and that Use therefore being now out of Doors, there is no need of regularly assembling them. Let us apply this to Parliaments, and suppose, that the King's Reve­nue was so setled, and the Publick Debts so far discharged, that there was no occasion for them to sit for the giving of Money; would there be no occasion therefore for their sitting at all, in order to assist the Crown with their Counsels, or to redress Grievances? This is unavoidably the Consequence of Dr. Wake's way of arguing; and he seems not to be asham'd of it: for p. 207. he thus accounts for the Rise and Birth of Parlia­ments, as now setled: ‘They were to meet, he says, when requir'd, and that as often as the Prince wanted Money, or expected a Supply from them.’ Can a Man talk at this rate, and pretend to be an Englishman? Or can true Eng­lishmen stand by, and hear him talk thus, without resenting the Indignity?

The Clergy therefore are not the only Persons concern'd in this Dispute, the Laiety too have their share in it. For besides that, if Slavery be once establisht in the Church, it will quickly spread it self into the State, Dr. Wake's Principles, we see, are such as have an Immediate Tendency to­ward subverting Liberty in General; and would, if pursu'd through their just Consequences, give the Prerogative as high an Ascendant over Par­liaments, as Convocations. And when such things are said therefore, not the Men of the Church on­ly, but every Freeborn subject of England ought to take the Alarm; for their Birthright is endan­ger'd.

[Page]The very best Construction that has been put upon Dr. W's Attempt by Candid Readers is, that it was an Endeavor to advance the Prerogative of the Prince in Church-matters as high, and to de­press the Interest of the Subject Spiritual as low as ever he could, with any Colour of Truth. But surely this it self is no very creditable account of it. Those Casuists that have taken pains to in­struct men, how near they may possibly come to a sin without actually sinning, have not been rec­kon'd the honestest part of their Profession. And those Divines, who read Lessons to Princes, how to strain their Ecclesiastical Power to the utmost without exceeding it, and oppress their Clergy le­gally, are not surely the best Men of their Order. They are Church-Empsons, and Dudleys; and usually find the fate of such Wretched Instruments, to be detested by the One side, and at last abandon­ed by the Other.

Were all that Dr. W. says strictly true and justi­fiable, yet whether the laboring the point so hear­tily as he does, and shewing himself so willing to prove the Church to have no Rights and Privi­ledges, be a very Decent Part in a Clergyman, I leave his Friends to consider. The World, I fear, is so ill natur'd as to believe that seldom any Man is over busy in lessening the Publick Interests of that Body to which he belongs, who does not hope to find his Private Account in it. But when all a Man advances is not only ill design'd, but ill­grounded, and his Principles are as False as they are Scandalous (as I have evidently prov'd his to be) there are no Names, and Censures too bad to be bestowed on such Writers, and their Writings.

[Page]Will it be said, in his Excuse, that he wrote his Book in the Dark, without a Competent Skill in the subject of it? and that his Mistakes there­fore are the Effects of Pure Ignorance? allowing it; how came he then to write at all in a Matter that he was not (and could not but know, that he was not) Master of? How came he to express himself so peremptorily in such Tender Points, wherein the Great Priviledges of his Church, and the Chief Interests of his Order are concern'd? Was there less of Wisdom, or Honesty in endea­voring to write down these, without being sure that he had good grounds for it?

In truth, though the best thing that can be said for Dr. W. is, that he wrote at this rate, because he knew no better; yet I fear, that even this it self cannot be justly pleaded. For as little as he knows of these matters, he seems to have known yet more than he was willing to own; and enough to have kept him from engaging on that side of the Question he has done, if some very Powerful Mo­tive had not come in to determin him. Those lit­tle shifting Equivocal Forms of Speech he is so full of, th [...]se savings and softnings he throws in eve­ry where, shew, that the Thistles he was mum­bling did not pass easily; and that he had not only no Assurance that he was in the Right, but a Shrewd Guess that he was in the Wrong; and laid in matter therefore for Evasion against he should have need of it. So that whenever he thinks fit to make a Reply, I question not but this will be one main part of it, ‘That He, Good Man, is much mis­understood, and his Opinions ill represented; which are, at the bottom, and taken together, very Innocent and Blameless: since whatever he has said that may sound harsh, in any one part [Page] of his Book, he has unsaid again, explain'd, and qualify'd in another.’ I will not deny him to have, in several Instances, a Right to this Plea, such an one as it is: But He who makes use of it does, in effect, own, that he had taken upon him­self the hard Task of maintaining a Point, which yet he saw was not defensible; and that his Con­science star'd him in the Face, every step that he took: nevertheless, being in, he was resolv'd to go through with it. And if this Excuse will be of any service to him, by my Consent he shall be allow'd it.

Could we excuse his III Principles, yet what shall we say to those Injurious Reflections that ac­company them? Those Slights, and Reproaches, he so Liberally casts on his Order, when it has the Ill Luck to come in his way? Many Actions of the Old Popish Clergy ly open enough in Consci­ence to censure: but he is sure always to give the Worst and most Invidious turns to them. He never distinguishes between the Men, and their Popery; but censures them in the gross, and in such a Manner sometimes as to leave the Reader in doubt, whether the Function it self were not in fault.

The Clergy of his Own Time are dealt with yet worse by him. That part of them, which desire a Convocation (that is, by his Leave, the far Greater part of them) are so represented by him, as if they were Irregular in their Lives, Violent in their Tempers, and Factious in their Principles That Little, Noy­sy, Turbu­lent Party, that now set themselves up as Iudges amongst us Ap. p. 119. Some Hot Men, for ought she knows her Enemies. Ib. p. 119. What shall we say of the Conversation and Examples of some of those who wait at the Altar?—Pride and Peevishness, Hatred and Evil Will, Divisions and Discontents prevail among those who should teach and correct others: and instead of improving a Spirit of Piety and Pu­rity, &c. we mind little else but our several Interests and Quarrels and Contentions with one another, &c. Authority, &c. p. 333. Some there are of those that wait at the Altar, much fitter to be cast out of the Church, than to Officiate in it. Pref. p. 8. Men, notorious for their Irregularitys, — who have scandalously departed from the Rules of their Holy Profession. Ibid. By these means the Busy Tempers of some Forward Men may be re­strained.—But they are such Men and such Tempers, that make these Restrictions necessary. And their Unwillingness to submit to them, shews but the more clearly how fitting it is that Princes should have all that Power, to prevent them from doing both Themselves and the Church a Mischief. p. 43. It is probable, had not the Prince had this Ty upon us, we should be­fore this time— in all appearance have expos'd both Our selves and the Church for a Prey to the Common Enemy, p. 271. I am fully perswaded, that nothing at this day preserves us from Ruin and Desolation, but that we have not Power of our selves to do the Church a Mischief. Ap. p. 211. A new sort of Disciplinarians are risen up from within our selves, who seem to comply with the Government of the Church much upon the same account that others do with that of the State; not out of Con­science to their Duty, or any Love they have for it: but because it is the Establish'd Church, and they cannot keep their Preferments without it. They hate our Constitution, and revile all such as stand up in Good Earnest for it: but for all that, they resolve to hold fast to it; and go on still to Subscribe and Rail. App. Ep. Ded.: and the Government is, in the ve­ry last words of his Book, excited to take Venge­ance [Page] upon them, as Men embark'd in a Separate Interest, and averse to all the Methods of suppor­ting it The only way to deal with with some Men is to treat them as they De­serve; and to let them know, that those are unworthy of the Protection of the Government, who are Embark'd in an Interest different from it, and Refuse to contribute to the Necessities of it. Authority, &c. p. 355.. In a word, so Contumelious is his way of treating them, that had he not inform'd us who he was in his Title Page, we should have guess'd him rather to have been of the Cabal against Priests and Priestcraft, than One of the Order.

[Page]And this he has done at a time, when Religion is struck at every day, through the sides of its Ministers, and he could not but know that such Reflections, from such a Pen, would be greedily entertain'd, and ill employ'd. Can a Man pre­tend to Principles, and act at this rate? The ve­ry Swiss, that fight for pay, will not march against their Own Country; but whenever it is attack'd, go home and defend it.

Must we believe that the Friends of Convoca­tions have been represented under the same Co­lours to his Majesty that they are to the Reader? as Enemies to his Government, Hot, Immoral; considerable neither for their Merit, Interest, nor Number? If so indeed, we have here an Easy ac­count of the Distinguishing steps that have of late Years been taken. But sure they who talk at this rate, do not believe themselves. Hot, Busy men would not have sat still, and cool thus long under the Want of what they so earnestly desir'd; would not have waited the Good Pleasure of their Su­periors, with so much submission and silence, in a Point of such tender Concern to them; but have taken other kind of steps than any that have been yet made use of towards obtaining it. Were a Convocation the Desire of a small Despicable Party only, and not of the Generality of the Clergy, how come such Assemblys to be laid aside, where a few Men, though never so furious, would make no figure, nor be able to disturb measures?

And as to the Charge of Immorality, it runs high indeed; but 'tis to be hop'd that it is ground­less. For were there so many Men of scandalous Lives among the Clergy, sure the Fathers of the Church, who have the Inspection of their Man­ners, would ere this time have made Publick Ex­amples [Page] of several of them. I cannot think that their Lordships have been so far wanting in their Duty to God and the Church, as not to have let the Laws loose upon such Offenders, if they knew them. And till they do so, this Censure of Dr. Wakes must pass for a Scandalous Reflection both on their Lordships and his Brethren.

But this is the Ordinary Cry of Designing Wri­ters, who from hence raise to themselves a Chara­cter of Impartiality, of a singular Integrity, and Courage. Their Own Vertues also shine to advan­tage upon such a Comparison: and withal they in­timate by it, how fit they are to be advanced to a Post, wherein they may correct such Enormitys. And when that happens, it will make some A­mends, or Excuse for their not effectually doing the Duty of their station, if to their Complaints about the Lives of Churchmen they add others con­cerning the Church it self, and say that even her Canons and Constitutions want reforming.

Dr. Wake seems to have hinted His Opinion in the case already, where he says, that ‘the Church of England has a Peculiar Veneration for the Discipline and Doctrine of the Primitive Church, beyond most Churches in the World Pref. p. 4..’ Beyond most Churches! why, what Churches in the world have more, or so much? where are they planted? what are their Names? Is it the Scotch, the French, or the Dutch Church, he means? is it a Church, with Bishops, or without them? Let him speak out, and tell us the Church that has (a truer, or even) so true a Regard for the Doctrine and Discipline of the Primitive Church, as the Church of England has: and then we shall know, by what Model she is to be reform­ed, and withall be let perhaps into the secret [Page] Reason of the Present Disuse of Convocations. Grotius, though a Forreigner, would have taught him better Language: Nullibi atque in Angl [...] (says he) tantus honor piae defertur Antiquita­ti Ep. 2.. Should not an English Divine speak of our Constitution with at least as much respect as a Dutch Layman?

The Liberty Dr. W. has taken in his Censures, is, considering his Present Rank in the Church, a little too early; nor will the Pattern, he follows in it, justify him. My Lord of Sarum indeed may freely have tax'd the Vices of the Clergy, even in Books where he was defending the Orders of the Church of England, or the Truth of the Christi­an Religion: His High Station is his Warrant for whatever he has done of this kind lately, and a Bar to all manner of Reply. And his Former Re­prehensions, should they have been somewhat too Free, are capable of this Excuse; that being a Stranger, he might not then have throughly ac­quainted himself with the state of our Church, or the Characters of its Members: And if he saw faults in them, it was not to be expected that he should conceal them with the same Tenderness, as if he had had his Birth and Breeding amongst them. But Dr. Wake is neither Above those he re­proves, nor has drawn a different Air from them; He was Baptiz'd and Educated in Our Communion, and receiv'd his first Impressions of Men and Things in an University, a Place that has not been thought apt to instill into its Mem­bers a Disesteem of their Holy Mother, or a love of blackening and betraying their Brethren. Me­thinks Men, who talk so much of Moderation and Temper, would do well to shew it, in allow­ing [Page] a Common share of those Good Qualitys to some of their Neighbours, who can be contented well enough without Titles; but are however ve­ry loth to be stript of their Good Names. The Comfort of such Good Men, whom his General and Undistinguishing Censures have thus aspers'd, must be, to say to themselves, as St. Cyprian once did; Neque nobis Ignominia est pati à fratribus quae passus est Christus, nec illis Gloria est fa­cere quae fecerit Judas.

It was the Abhorrence I had of this Unworthy Treatment which the Reputation and Rights of the Order have found from Dr. W. and of the Slavish Tendency of his Principles, in respect both to Church and State, that gave me Resolu­tions of exposing the Weakness and Insincerity of his Attempt, and of doing Right to Truth, and an Injur'd Constitution.

He has modestly wish'd this Argument a Bet­ter Hand, and a Better Head Pref. p. VI. than his Own. How far in these respects I am fitted for the Service, I cannot say: However One Quality there is, un­mention'd by Him, but no less requisite than ei­ther of these; a Better Heart, I mean; and that, I am sure, I have brought along with me to the Work: and should there be further Occasion for it, I trust, that it will not fail me. The Dr. I do not doubt (considering on which side he wrote) thought himself as secure in his Defyance as a Crown-Champion at a Coronation; and that No body would have been hardy enough to take up the Gaunt let he threw down. Something of this kind seems to have been in his Thoughts, when he said, that the Gentleman he attacks, had written in such a manner, as would not, he suppos'd, at [Page] all encourage any one to stand up in defence of him Ib. p. 1.. But in this, as well as in a Thousand Other things, he finds his Mistake. There are, he sees, Those, who will not desert Truth when it grows out of fashion; and have Courage enough to espouse a Good Cause; though Great Names, and Great Interests are made use of to discoun­tenance it. Not that the Author of these Papers is concern'd any ways to vindicate the Manner of that Gentleman's Writing, whom the Doctor en­gages; it is his Argument only that he undertakes to defend: in which he thinks him to have dealt both Skilfully and Honestly, professes himself freely to be of his Opinion, has reasserted it here in this Book, and will, by the Divine Assistance, go on to maintain it.

He matters not what Dirt may be thrown at him on this account; he expects to traduc'd by little Officious Pens (and by Dr. Wake's, the least of them) as Disaffected, and Undutyful. But as he is satisfy'd of the Uprightness of his Intentions, and knows how full his Heart is of Duty and Respect toward Those, whose Chara­cters ought always to be, and shall ever be Sa­cred with him; so he thinks he has taken a very proper way of expressing it in what follows; where, it seems to him, that he pleads for his Majesty's Honor, and my Lord Archbishop's Interest more effectually than they can pretend to do who differ from him. It is certainly for the Honor of the Crown to be attended always with the Great Coun­cil-Spiritual of the Realm, as well as Temporal; and my Lords Grace of Canterbury is never so Con­siderable, as when he is at the Head of the Cler­gy of his Province. The Author is perswaded [Page] that he cannot make a more wellcome Present to good Governors, either in Church or State, than by affording them a True Account of the Wants and Rights of such as are entrusted to their Care; and an Opportunity, by that means, of exerting their Power to the Good Ends for which it was design'd. And They who shall represent him as Disaffected, on this account, do not sure consider what a kind of Compliment they make to Those for whose Interests they pretend to be so warmly concern'd.

Disaffection to the Government, as the Charge is commonly manag'd, is a Word only, made use of by those that are in favor to keep others out; it is a Reproach taken up on purpose to justify premeditated Designs of oppressing Men: For so the Soldier said, that the Countryman whist­led Treason, when he had resolved to plunder him.

For my part, I am not shy of Owning to Dr. Wake my naked Thoughts on this Head; and he may make what Use he thinks fit of them. If then, to be a True Lover of England, its Mo­narchy, and Episcopacy; if, to have the Utmost Esteem for the Heroick Qualitys and Matchless Merits of our Prince, and to think no Instance of Respect and Duty that Subjects can pay him, too great, while they take care to preserve their Own Rights and Priviledges; if to preferr the True Interests of the Protestant Religion, and the Preservation of our Civil Libertys, to all other Considerations, and for these (among o­ther) Ends to pray heartily for the Continuance of our Present Government, both in Church and State; if these be Instances and Marks of Dis­affection, [Page] then the Author of these Papers must own himself disaffected, and not otherwise.

No, the Imputation is more justly to be laid at Their Door, who are for such New Methods and Practises, as naturally tend to alienate the Hearts and Affections of Subjects, and make Go­vernments uneasy; who blast great Numbers of Good Men with Ill Names, and endeavour to make them (what they are not) disaffected, by so representing, and using them, as if they were: And at the same time that they would have others thought Unwilling to serve the Crown, take care effectually to disable themselves from serving it, by forfeiting all the Credit and Interest they have among their Brethren.

For what can the Clergy think of such Men as bend all their Wit and Skill to dress up Schemes for suppressing their Parliamentary Assemblys? and even their Summons? for rendring their Body, as such, Useless to the State, and by con­sequence Contemptible? in a word, for introdu­cing the Portuguese Model of Church Govern­ment; by which, a late Author tells us Account of the Court of Portugal p. 22., the at­tendance of the Lower Orders is excus'd, and their Bishops, with the Assistance of the Pope, act for them, and conclude them? Can any Member of the Church, that has his Eyes open, think such Men Friends to it? or so treat them, and speak of them, as if they were?

How is it to be expected that this Management should work on the Inferior Clergy? What else can it produce in them but Distrusts, Uneasines­ses, Complaints, and Endeavors of Righting them­selves [Page] as they are able? The Projectors of such Schemes may fancy them proper Methods of lay­ing Mens Passions asleep, but will in the End find, that they are the sure Ways of raising them. Nothing will by this Means be Effectually laid asleep, but the Churches Parliamentary Meetings; and it is well if the Dose given them be not so strong, as to make them sleep their Last.

Does it at all soften the severity of this Usage, to tell the Clergy, That it is really for their true Interest and Service, if they would but under­stand it? That they are a Number of Men, too Warm, Indiscreet, and Unpractis'd in Business, to be sa [...]ely trusted together? and were they indul­ged the Liberty they claim, would soon ruin themselves by the use of it? These are Dr. W's Thoughts upon the matter; and are they not de­cent ones? This is not only oppressing, but in­sulting Men; the Reason given for the Usage is more provoking than the Usage it self.

If, under a Sense of these Injurys, I have not so temper'd my Pen every where, but that an Hard Word may now and then have escap'd me, I need no Excuse for it. Dr. Wake's way of Dealing would, I am sure, have justify'd much rougher Returns than any I have made him. But what ever of this kind the Reader meets with, he may assure himself that it sprung not from a­ny the least mixture of Private Prejudice, or Resentment. For I have no Quarrel with Dr. Wake but on a Publick Account. On the contra­ry, the Good Services he did against Popery en­clin'd me always to wish well to him, and to e­steem him: Or, had I wished him ill, yet I would never have taken this way of expressing it: for [Page] Petavius Petavius Croio res­ponsurum se negat, ideò quod novit Annua augeri semper Ministris contra quos scribitur. Grot. Epist, 1742. has taught me long ago, that to write against some Men, is the Way only to have their Pensions doubled. And the Experience of later Times than his has shew'd, that it is possible to write a Man out of Reputation, into Prefer­ment.

Much less can I be suppected to have engag'd in this Design, out of Interest. The way to That, is not, by appearing in behalf of Coun­cils; which (as Johannes Major Johannes Major (c. XVIII. Comment. in Evang. Matth. Versùs finem) aït—Nemini mirum videri debere quod Plures Papam esse supra Concilium, quam contrà Concilium su­pra Papam esse doceant; cum Papa det Dignitates & Beneficia Ecclesi­astica, Concilium verò det nihil—Richer. de Conciliis. well obser­ved) meet but seldom, and have no Dignitys to dispose of.

No, it is neither from these, nor any such Low Inducements as these, that I have enter'd on this Work: but from a Desire only of Perpe­tuating to the Church the Use of her Parliamen­tary Assemblies, and of that Free Debate, which is inseparable from such Assemblys: Both which Rights were in great Danger of being lost by Popular Misapprehensions, and a Discontinu­ance.

In the management of this Argument I have chiefly had an Eye to what Dr. Wake has ad­vanc'd; without neglecting however what has been offer'd on the same side from Other Pens, parti­cularly by the Author of the Letter to a Member of Parliament: One, who, to do him right, saw [Page] where the stress of the Dispute lay, and endea­vour'd here and there to write up to it, though, for want of fit Materials, he was not able. He has however in a Page or two of his Pamphlet said more for the Cause, than Doctor Wake has done throughout his Mighty Performance; which is really nothing more than a Series of Long, Flat, Impertinent Accounts, attended with sui­table Reflections; but without One wise Word spoken, or True stroke struck in behalf of his point, from the beginning of the Book to the End of it. And were it not therefore on some Other Accounts, besides the mere Merit of the Work, it would have deserv'd no Answer but what the Fryar in one of our Historys gave, in a Cer­tain Contest with his Prior. —Et Frater Sa­lomon de Ripple ad Monitiones dicti Prioris, re­spondit, sic dicendo, And Old English word for Tri [...]es. Trufeles! Trufeles! Trufeles! Thorn. c. 2064. If Doctor Wake then has (as he says) receiv'd great Satisfaction from his Re­searches Pre [...]. p. 3, he must needs be (what I had not thought him) very Easy to be satisfied: for I do not find, that his Researches have operated thus strongly on any body besides. Some Readers indeed have acquiesc'd in them, till they were better inform'd; and for want of that Informa­tion, have at length been inclin'd to think fa­vourably of them: But Who they are, so near to Doctor Wake in their Make of Mind, as to be compleatly, or at all satisfy'd with them, I am yet to learn. And even as to him himself, whatever he may pretend, I dare say, a good part of his satisfaction is still to come.

There is a Third Gentleman Mr. Ni­ch [...]lson., who in a late Book of his has taken upon him to be a kind of [Page] Umpire in this Controversy. By what secret Motive he was invited to Undertake this Office, he best knows; sure I am that it was not out of any Peculiar Skill or Ability he had to discharge it. Since he has gone out of his way to mix in a dispute that did not belong to him, he must excuse me if I have not gone out of mine, to avoid seeing his Mistakes; which I have taken notice of no otherwise than as the Course of my Reflections, and the Particular Matter I was upon, led me to observe them: And even at this Rate, the Crop of Errors was plentiful.

My Lord of Sarum too is a Name, that the Reader will find often mention'd in these Pa­pers, on the account of some Historical Mi­stakes; in which if I shall seem to have acted too free a part, I must desire the Reader to re­member, how his Lordship justifiys himself for observing a slight Fault in Mr. Selden, ‘This, says he, I do not take notice of, out of any Vanity, or Humor of censuring so great a Man: my design is only to let Ingenious Persons see, that they are not to take things on trust ea­sily, no not from the greatest Authors Hist. Ref. Vol. 1. p. 264..’ I desire to have the Benefit of this Excuse: especially since few or none of his Lordships Oversights, marked by me, are of less moment than That of Mr. Selden's, observ'd by his Lord­ship; and some of them are of very great Con­sequence. Whereever I have dissented from his Lordship, I have done it, I hope, with Good Manners; and I have taken care every where to produce my Vouchers.

If in Reply to so many Writers I have drawn this Answer out to a great length, at the same [Page] time that I blame Dr. Wakes Tediousness, I hope I have more to say for my self than He had. Were I concern'd with Him alone, it would have been but the just Return of a Book for a Book; whereas He answered a Pamphlet in a Volumn.

In the several parts of this Work, I have en­deavor'd to carry my Enquirys as far, and tread as surely as I well could with that Leysure, and those Opportunitys I was master of. I wish the desire of being Exact and Full in my Accounts, has not spread a Dryness sometimes over them, which may disgust Readers not us'd to Disquisi­tions of this Nature. But I could with far less Trouble have made them more Entertaining.

If after all my Care, some Mistakes have crept in (as I doubt not but there have) the Reader will consider, that I am striking out Paths hither­to untrodden, without Light, or Guide to direct me. Dr. Wake indeed pretended to cut a Passage through this Wood; but upon Tryal found it too full of Thorns and Bryars, to be clear'd by his Hand: and therefore went about; leaving the direct Way it self as Intricate and Entangled as he found it.

As to what I have produc'd from Registers, I did not always on this occasion, consult the Ori­ginals themselves, for Reasons obvious to the Rea­der; but was forc'd in several Instances to depend upon Collections, taken some time ago: in which however there will, I hope, be very little reason to tax my want of Exactness.

The Copys of the Rolls of Parliament I us'd, were such as had gone through the Hands of Men very Skillful and Curious this way: Nevertheless a false Membrane, or even Year, may possibly [Page] have slipt either into Their Transcripts, [...] Mine: for which (if it should so have hapned) I do here beforehand desire the Readers Excuse. But wherever I cite the Abridgement of Records, I profess to go no further than That, and am not answerable therefore for the Mistakes of it.

I have nothing further to tell the Reader, but that the Register of Henry de Estre, the Prior of Canterbury, which I so often appeal to in what follows, is a Manuscript in the Hands of my Lord Bishop of Norwich; and that I have us'd the two last London Editions of M. Paris, in compo­sing these Papers, without saying, when I refer to the One, and when to the Other.


PAage 5. l. 25. dele to. p. 12. l. 5. for They r. The Rural Clergy [...] p. 26. l. 17. for Holy r. Hally. p. 27. l. 28. for that meeting r. such meetings as that. p. 39. l. 25. for milibus r. militibus. p. 45. l. 5. for or r. and. p. 47. l. 23. for repugnant r. repugnant' in Marg. l. 13. add. Abr. of Rec. p. 48. l. 27. after all, put a Comma. p. 54. l. 29. for 5th. r. 7th. p. 56. l. 11. for Extraor­dinary r. Occasional. l. 34. for ceased altogether r. grew into Disuse. p. 70. l. 4. for quoque r. quoquo. p. 92. l. 30. dele s [...]on. p. 125. l. 11. for Lambert r. Lambard. p. 127. l. 24. for Labbeé r. Labbe. p. 167. l. 29. r. Antenicene. p. 170. l. 14. for New r. View. p. 231. In Marg. for N. XV. r. N. XIV (a). and so again p. 232. p. 235. In Marg. for N. XVI. r. N. XIV (b). p. 244. l. 19. for alwayes r. sometimes. l. 22. for alwayes r. often. p. 245. l. 13. dele besides. p. 257. l. 26. dele just now mention'd. p. 276. l. 3. after us, add whether. p. 282. In Marg. dele Malmsbury, &c. p. 284. for consider r. conclude. p. 298. for Monarchici r. Monachici. p. 330. l. 3. for Henry r. Hervey. p. 342. l. 11. for 1391. r. 1421. p. 345. In Marg. for n. 19. r. n. 29. to 50. E. 3. n. add 198. ll. 25, 26. dele. Prov. Cant. p. 346. dele. ll. 21.22. p. 347. l. 6. for at length transcribe r. transcribe at length. p. 348. l. 4. for 50. E. 3. r. 51. E. 3. In Marg. for n. 18. r. n. 24. p. 352. l. 19. for Council learned in the Law r. Attorny General. p. 356. l. 4. for gratify r. qualify. p. 376. l. 17. for Cranmer's r. Parkers. p. 413. l. 8. for as r. has. p. 457. l. 24. for owning r. owing.


CHAP. I. THE Clergies Right to Frequent Synods, by the Canons and Practice of the Univer­sal Church, admitted and approv'd in this Realm.
Pag. 4.
Chap. II. Their Legal Right of holding these Assemblies concurrently with every New Parliament.
p. 28.
Chap. III. Their Right, when met, to Treat, Resolve, and Act in all Instances, and to all Degrees, under that of Enacting a Canon; without Qualifying themselves for it, by a Royal License. The sense of the 25▪ Hen. 8. c. 19. care­fully inquir'd into.
p. 78.
Chap. IV. Some General Reflections on Dr. Wake's Way of managing this Controversie; which set aside so much of his Book as is Imma­terial and Foreign to the Point in Hand.
p. 118.
Chap. V. An Answer to some Objections made to the Clergies Right of meeting with every New Parliament: where the Rise, Nature, and Force of the Clause Praemunientes in the Bishops [...]Writ, and of the Convocation-Writ, that goes out with the Summons for the Parliament, are fully consider'd.
p. 212.
Chap. VI. Dr. Wake's Distinction between a Right of being Summon'd, and a Right of Meeting and Sitting, Examin'd: together with a Reply to his Objection drawn from the Convoca­tion having now left off to give Subsidies.
p. 263.
Chap. VII. An Answer to what is objected from their being now no Member of Parliament: [Page] and an Occasion taken from thence to deduce an Account of the Lower Clergies Interest in the Great Councils of the Realm, through the several Periods of Time, from the Earliest Saxon Ages, downwards.
p. 273.
Chap. VIII. The Second Point [of the Clergies Right of Treating, &c. without a License] streng­then'd against the Exceptions that are made to it, from Parallel Instances of a Like Restraint practis'd towards Other Bodies, from the Perpe­tual Practice of Convocations since the 25 H. 8. from the Opinion of Dr. Cousins, and the Reso­lution of the Judges 8vo. Jacobi, &c.
p. 356.
Chap. IX. Some Instances of Dr. Wake's Extra­ordinary Skill in the Subject of Debate.

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  • A Compleat History of the Canon and Writers of the Books of the Old and New Testament, by Way of Dissertation: with useful Remarks on that Subject. In Two Volumes. By L. E. Du Pin, Doctor of the Sorbonne, and Regius Professor of Philosophy in Paris. Done into English from the French Original.
  • An Account of the Court of Portugal, under the Reign of the Present King Don Pedro the Second, with some Dis­courses on the Interests of Portugal, with Regard to other Sovereigns: Containing a Relation of the most Consider­able Transactions that have pass'd of late between that Court, and those of Rome, Spain, France, Vienna, Eng­land, &c.
  • Campania Foelix: Or, a Discourse of the Benefits and Improvements of Husbandry; Containing Directions for all manner of Tillage, Pasturage, and Plantation; as also for the making of Cyder and Perry; with some Conside­rations (1.) upon the Justices of the Peace and Inferior Officers, (2.) on Inns and Alehouses, (3.) on Servants and Labourers, (4.) on the Poor. To which are added Two Essays, (1.) of a Country-House, (2.) of the Fuel of London.

THE Rights, Powers and Priviledges, OF AN English Convocation STATED and VINDICATED.

THE Little Book which gave occasion to Dr. Wake's Vo­luminous Answer, proposed to Consider, First, What Need there was of a Con­vocation; and then, What were the Rights of the Clergy of the Church of England in rela­tion to it: Presuming, I suppose, that a Claim of Right could never come so decently from Subjects to their Prince, as after shewing, that they were under a Necessity of making that Claim. Dr. Wake, who is a great Master of Method, has thought fit to change the Or­der of the Questions; and to enquire first in­to [Page 2] the matter of Right, before he allows the Point of Expedience to be Debated. I shall be forc'd to dissent from this Gentleman so of­ten in very concerning Points hereafter, that I will not give my self the trouble of disputing a Trifle with him here; and shall therefore take the Method He has Prescribed me. I am so fully satisfied of the Truth and Reasonable­ness of what I contend for, that I care not at which end of the Argument I begin.

The Two great Convocation-Rights chiefly insisted on in that Paper, and endeavoured to be set aside by Dr. Wake in his Answer to it, are these:

  • I. A Right of Meeting and Sitting in Con­vocation as often as a New Parliament Meets and Sits.
  • II. A Right of Treating and Deliberating about such Affairs as lie within their proper Sphere, and of coming to fit Resolutions upon them, without being necessitated antecedently to Qualify themselves for such Acts and Debates by a License under the Broad Seal of England.

Indeed these Rights of the Clergy do, at present, lie under some Disadvantage; both, because they have not, of late years, been duly Claimed and Exercised; and because Some even of the Clergy themselves have freely given them up, and publickly owned and maintained the Church to be at the Abso­lute Mercy of the Crown in these Particulars. But, whatever Prepossessions Men may be un­der on this account; yet, if the Cause may be [Page 3] allowed a fair Hearing, I doubt not but in the following Papers clearly to prove, That the Church's Rights are, in both these Instances, plain and indisputable; and that therefore, whatever Concessions some of her Unwary or Designing Members may have made to her Prejudice, they must be accounted for on some other Bottom, beside that of the mere force of Truth; and how silent soever She her self may have been in the Vindication of these Rights, yet the reason of that silence was not, because she had nothing to say.


THE Way in which I intend to proceed, is, First, To State and Confirm the Two Points in Question, shewing upon each of them, wherein the Right claim'd seems to consist, and what I take to be the chief Evidences and Proofs upon which it is founded. After this I shall con­sider the Exceptions of all sorts that have been taken to this Claim by Dr. Wake, or any other Writer, who has appeared on the same side; particularly by the Author of the Letter to a Member of Parliament.

Upon the first of the Two Points, in order to give our selves a clear Account, What the present Right is, it will be requisite to step back a little, and enquire, What the former Usage has been; What the Custom of this particular Church and Realm in relation to such Assemblies; And what also the general Practice of the Church of God in all Ages.

A Convocation, or Provincial Synod, (for so we now use the Word) may be considered, either Simply in it self, or as Attendant on a Parliament. I shall take these Two several Views of it; and the first of them in this pre­sent Chapter.

That such Assemblies have been held fre­quently from the very beginning of Christia­nity, and under Heathen Emperors, appears abundantly from Eusebius L. 5. c. 23, 24., St. Cyprian Ubique., and De Jejun c. 13. Tertullian. They were necessary for deciding the Differences that might happen between [Page 5] one Diocese and another, or between those of the same Diocese, if they could not be compo­sed at home; for the maintenance of sound Doctrine, and wholsome Discipline, and for the promoting of the general good of Chri­stianity.

The Authoritative part of these Meetings was compos'd of the Bishops and Presbyters, who sat; Conc. Eliberit. in Proaem. Greg. L. 4. Ep. 44. 4. Conc. Tolet. Capit. 3. Cypr. Ep. 1. Graviter commo­ti sumus Ego & Collegae mei qui praesentes aderant, & Compresby­teri nostri qui nobis assidebant. the Bishops (in a Semi-circle) formost, and the Pres­byters behind them; before whom the Deacons and the People stood, being little more than Witnesses of what pass'd at the Synod.

The Presbytery were in every City, a neces­sary standing Council to their respective Bi­shops; (whose Power in the Church was much like that of a King in one of our mix'd Mo­narchies:) and together with their Bishops therefore they met in a Diocesan Synod, upon all great Causes; and without their Advice and Consent, nothing of Importance was, or could be determin'd. This was the settl'd Rule of the Primitive Church, and was kept up to here in England, when it had declin'd almost every where else; as the Constitutions of Egbert Can. 44, 45, 46, 47, apud Spel­man. Conc. T. 1. p. 258. Arch-Bishop of York, made in the middle of the Eighth Century, declare. And some Re­mains of this Ancient Discipline are yet visible in those Capitular Bodies planted in our Cathe­dral Churches; who, as they were Originally intended to be a Select Presbytery to the Bishop for all the Affairs of his Diocese; so have they still a Restraint upon his Authority in several Cases, by the known Customs of this Church, and Laws of the Realm.

[Page 6]Some of their Presbyters the Bishops were oblig'd to carry along with 'em to the Council of the Province; and there, I say, they Sat, Deli­berated, and Voted upon all Matters that came before the Assembly. Indeed to General Coun­cils, the Inferior Clergy came not ordinarily in their Own Right; but as the Proxy's only of absent Bishops: which was necessary to hin­der those Meetings from being too numerous, and to prevent Confusion. However, even the Bishops that were present in General Coun­cils, were deputed thither by Provincial Sy­nods; See the Emperor's Letter to St. Cyril. Conc. Ephes. Part I. as also The Epistle of Capre­olus Bishop of Carthage, excusing himself for sending no Bishops, because the War, which had broke out in those parts, hindred him from calling [...] Provincial Synod, from whence they were to be deputed. Ib. pars 2. Act. 1. and brought along with them the Re­solution and Consent, of the several Churches from which they came: and the Presbyters therefore, having Voices in those lesser Synods, their Consent was also in the Definitions of the Greater presum'd, and included.

In one of these Provincial Synods, held in the Second or Third Century, was that, which is since call'd the 37th Apostolick Canon fram'd; which orders, that there shall be two of these Assemblies yearly, one in Spring, and the other in Autumn. The same thing (with some small variety, as to the exact time of Meeting) was by the Great Council of Nice decreed more solemnly; Can. 5. and their Decree enforc'd by the Council of Antioch Can. 20. first, and then by the Fourth General Council at Chalcedon. Can. 19. Afterwards by reason of the diffi­culty of convening in times of War and Con­fusion, these Synods were order'd to meet but [Page 7] once a Year, by the Sixth Can. 8. and Seventh Ge­neral Councils Can. 6. in the East, and this Order was renewed here in the West, by the Fourth great Lateran Council, held under Innocent III. at the beginning of the Thirteenth Century. Can. 6. And thus the general Law of the Church stood in succeeding times; as to Us at least: For the Decree of the Council of Basil, Sess. 15. which made these Meetings Triennial, was not, I think, received here in England.

The Rule set by these General Councils All of [...]em (but [...]hat at Anti­och) repu­ted such. was prescrib'd also by the Roman Law, Justinian. Nov. 123. c. 10.137. c. 4. recei­ved into the Capitulars of Charles the Great in Germany, Lib. 1. Tit. 13. and provided for very early by spe­cial Canons in the Churches of Spain and France, 3. Conc. Tolet. c. 18. Conc. Regiens. c. 7. 1. Conc. Araus. c. 29. 2. Conc. Aurel. c. 2. 2. Conc. Turon. c. 1. and of those lesser Kingdoms that arose out of the Ruines of the Roman Em­pire; and particularly here in England, by a Canon of the Council of Herudford, Beda▪ I. 4. c. 5. Placuit convenire nos juxta morem Ca­nonum Venerabilium. held Anno 673 under Theodore Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, and which took care not only to establish the Practice for the future, but also to affirm the ancient Usage; it being at the very entrance of the Acts of it, expresly said to assemble in Vertue of the Old Canons, as it was held also much about the Time, that those Old Ca­nons prescrib'd. Sept. 24.

The Lateran Canon, that reviv'd the use of Yearly Provincial Assemblies, was in force here (as Iohn de Athon tells us Proaem. Othob.) tho' not so well observed, he says, as it ought to have been, for a Reason too reflecting to be [Page 8] Qualia Concilia Provincia­lia singu­lis annis celebrari ponitur sub prae­cepto: quod non est ergo negligen­dum—Sed hodiè de facto praetermittitur, quia fortè Lucrum Bursale Praelatis non acquiritur; sed potiùs tùnc Expensae apponuntur. He gives I find, the same free Reason in another place, for the neglect of some Provincial Constitutions. De facto perrarò servantur, quando servando Constitutionem Bursae Praelatorum vacuarentur. Sed aliae Constitutiones; quae Praelatis Bursales sunt, satis memoriae commen­dantur, & exequuntur ad unguem. Ad Constit. de Hab. Cler. Englished. This must be understood of the time when Athon wrote, which was somewhat above an hundred Years after For Pitts's Account, which has been taken all along upon trust, (viz. that he Flourished in 1290) must be a mistake; since Athon was made Prebend of Lincoln in 1329, and died in 1350, as I find by unquestionable Authorities.; when in France also it was grown into neglect; as appears by Durandus's Complaint De modo Conc. Gen. cel. Rubr. 11.: But at first, no doubt, both here and elsewhere it was more strictly kept: and to it we owe that Body of Provincial Constitutions which we have; the earliest of 'em, those of Stephen Langton, bearing Date 1222, a few Years after that Lateran Council.

Innocent III. in his Rescript to the Archbi­shop of Sens Decr. Greg. 3.10.10. Ec­clesiarum Cathedra­lium Ca­pitula per Procura­tores suos admitti­debent ad Tracta­tum in Concilio Provinc [...]a­li., directs, that the Proctors of Ca­thedral Chapters should be summon'd to these Provincial Synods: From whence alone, with­out further enquiry, we might be satisfi'd, that the Priors of Cathedral Churches, Deans, and Archdeacons, those Praelati Inferiores, had been ad­mitted before; as indeed the Capitular Clergy, and even the Rural Presbyters had been; tho' the Practice might be now discontinu'd. For, 700 Years before the Date of this Rescript, in a Spanish Council at Taragone An. 517. Epistolae tales à Metropolitanis sunt dirigendae, ut non solùm de C [...]thedralibus Ec­clesiis Presbyteros, verùm etiam de Diaecesanis ad Concilium trahant. c. 13., we find it par­ticularly provided, that the Bishops should bring along with them to these Synods, Pres­byters [Page 9] from their Cathedral Churches, and from the other Churches of their Dioceses.

And in the account of a Domestick Council of our own, not full an hundred Years Elder than the Lateran, the Persons summon'd to it are thus reckon'd up by the Saxon Chronicle Regis Consilio & Veniâ misit Wil­lielmus Ar­chiep. Cantuarae­byrig per Totam Anglorum Terram, & jussit Episcopos, & Abbates, & Archi­diaconos; cunctos item Priores, Monachos, & Canonicos, qui essent in omnibus Cellis intra Anglorum Terram: omnes denique quorum Curae Religio erat commissa interesse Londini ad Festum Michaelis, ut ibi colloquerentur de omnibus Negotiis ad Deum pertinentibus, &c. Chron. Sax. ad ann. 1129. The Saxon is, Ealle tha thet Cristendome ha [...]don to begemen, & to locen., Bishops, Abbots, Archdeacons; all the Priors, Monks, and Canons, who were in all the Religi­ous Houses of England: Finally, All that had the care of Religion committed to them, i. e. I sup­pose the Parochial Presbyters.

The Decree of Innocent was so well obey'd in France, that in a National Council, which met there about Ten Years afterwards Anno 1226. Vi­de M. Par. ad ann. p. 329. where he has these Observable Words. De­dit Lega­tus in do­lo Procu­ratoribus Capitulorum Licentiam ad propria revertendi, retentis tantum Archi­episcopis, Episcopis, & Abbatibus, & simplicibus Praelatis. Unde non im­merito timuerunt, ne procuratâ eorum absentiâ qui majoris Pruden­tiae erant & Experientiae, & prae Multitudine potentiores ad contradi­cendum, aliquid statueretur in praejudicium, &c., the Proctors of Chapters were Numerous and Reso­lute enough to quash an oppressive Demand there made by the Legat, and to rescue the Li­berties of the Gallican Church, for that time, from Papal Encroachments. In England the way was, for the Dean, or Prior, to bring up Instruments of Proxy to the Synod, which en­abled him to act for his Chapter, or Convent Priores Installati tam sub Conventûs [...]ui, vel Capituli, quam suo nomine Literas Procuratorias deferentes. M. Par. ad ann. 1237. p. 446. Priores Majores cum Literis suorum subditorum Procuratoriis. An. Burt. ad ann. 1258. p. 389. [Page 10] in the same manner as the Archdeacons Archi­diaconi cum Lite­ris Procu­ratoriis factis ex parte Cle­ricorum qui sub­sunt eis­dem-Ann. Burt. ad ann. 1257. p. 382. vide etiam pp. 373, 374, 355. & M. Par. p. 920. also were impower'd to represent, and conclude the Diocesan Clergy; who were, in those Days, when Synods were frequent, willing enough to be excus'd the Expence and Trouble of At­tendance. And this method was often practis'd throughout Henry III. his Reign, till the Coun­cil of Reading in the Seventh Year of Edward I. order'd Item praecipimus, ut—veniant duo Electi ad minùs à Clero Epis­copatuum singulorum, qui auctoritatem habeant una nobiscum tracta­re de his quae Ecclesiae communi utilitati expediunt Anglicanae, etiamsi de Conturbatione aliquâ vel Expensis oporteat fieri mentionem. In Cap. de Exeq. Epise. ad Finem Lynwood. p. 25., that the Clergy of the Diocese should appear by two Proctors of their own; which I suppose has ever since been constantly pra­ctised.

Thus have much the same Persons been sum­mon'd all along, as now: But to what Ends, and with what Authorities they came, may be que­stion'd. The Canonists, who never fail to de­press the Bishops for the Service of the Pope, would make them some amends, in giving them as extravagant an Authority over their Inferiors. Lynwood therefore, in his Gloss up­on that part of a Constitution of Archbishop Arundel, where mention is made of their Con­curring to it Const. [...]inaliter. p. 300., is trying how little he can make of them. The Words of the Constitu­tion are these. [Ad supplicationem igitur Procu­ratorum totius Cleri nostri Cant. Prov. de Consensu & Assensu oranium Consratrum & Suffraganeorum nostrorum & aliorum Praelatorum, in hâc Cleri Con­vocatione praesentium, & Procuratorum absenti­um, [Page 11] &c. Statuimus & Ordinamus.] And his Comment upon them runs thus, Aliorum Prae­latorum, sc. Abbatum, Decanorum, & Archidiaco­norum: Praesentium, non dicit, Vocatorum: quia ad Provinciale Concilium non sunt Vocandi, ex ne­cessitate, nisi Episcopi. Si tamen alii veniant, Ad­mittendi sunt: imò vocandi sunt, quando de eorum Factis agitur, vel quia eorum Consilium est necessa­rium. Now here one cannot but observe, how small an occasion he takes for this strange Doct­rine. For Praesentium in the Text, belongs as well to the Superior as the Inferior Prelates; and gave no room to him therefore thus to re­fine upon it. And then, when he has deliver­ed it as his Opinion, Non alii sunt vocandi, &c. he is afterwards forc'd to retract it; Imò vocandi sunt. This indeed he would fain qualifie, with a quando de eorum factis agitur; but is immediate­ly oblig'd to add, vel quia eorum Concilium est ne­cessarium. So that, at last, the Inferior Pre­lates are allow'd by him to be Necessary Coun­cellors in the Assembly; and to have not only Opportunity of Petitioning, but also Power of Advising: which however is not so much as the Text it self allows them; expressing the Assent and Consent of both sort of Prelates jointly, without any manner of Distinction.

And tho' the Chief Business of the Proctors of Chapters and Dioceses was, to Petition for the Redress of Grievances; under which they chiefly groan'd: yet that they came from the very beginning, with larger Powers, appears from the Constitution of Reading lately cited Qui Autorita­tem habe­ant unà Nobiscum tractare de hiis quae Ecclesae. &c., and from the Ancient Forms of the Archbi­shop's Summonitory Letters, which ran, ad tractandum unà Nobiscum, exactly as that Con­stitution [Page 12] prescribes: An Instance of which I have seen, in an Old Register, as high as the 18 E. 1. that is, Eleven Years after the Coun­cil of Reading was held.

Nay, even at such times, when they had no distinct Proctors of their own to represent them; but sent up only Procuratorial Instruments by their Archdeacons (as the Custom was in the preceding Reign) yet still the Synodical Con­stitutions ran in their Name, and express'd their Consent and Approbation. Thus in the Council of Merton 42 H. 3. the Constitutions there made are said to have pass'd, de Unanimi Assensu & Consilio Praelatorum Religiosorum, & totius Cleri Ecclesiae (Addita­menta ad M. Par. p. 204.) and in the Close of them yet more plainly. Archiepiscopi & Episcopi de Consensu & Approbatione Inferiorum Praelatorum, Capitulorum Cathedralium, & Conventualium, nec non Universitatis totius Cleri Angliae haec praedicta communiter & con­corditer providerunt. Ib. p. 209. See also Ann. Burt. p. 389.As also Constit. Provinc. ad [...]inem Lynwood p. 15. where they are by mi­stake, plac'd at the Year 1261 instead of 1258. Lynwood has inserted some of them in his Provincial; and there in his Gloss upon the Pre­face to them, tells us, that by Inferior Prelates, are to be understood Ab­bots, Priors, Deans, and Archdeacons: (p. 314.) and the Universitas Cleri therefore must signifie the Lower Secular Clergy of the several Dioceses.

Nor was this any late Priviledge, but what was always understood to belong to their Cha­racter, even in the Saxon times; when mere Presbyters, we find, subscrib'd frequently to Councils, and sometimes in great Numbers: Witness the Synod of Cloveshoe in 803 Apud Spelm. Conc. Vol. 1. p. 325., the Subscriptions of which Mr. Wharton, (a dili­gent Examiner of these kind of things) thought Authentick Ista non inanem Veritatis speciem prae se ferunt, & prae aliis omnibus fidem meruerunt, De Episcopis Londinens. p. 23. beyond Exception: And there [Page 13] we find besides Twenty Six Abbots, near For­ty simple Presbyters, Rank'd regularly under their several Bishops according to the Dioce­ses from whence they came: And with them, some few of a Lower Order; who were admit­ted also, it seems, to these Synodical Debates, according to the moderate and gentle Form of Church-Polity which obtain'd in those Times. And in the Preface therefore to the Canons of an Elder Synod An. 747. held at the same place, we meet with these remarkable words: Sacri Ordinis Praesules, cum plurimis Sacerdotibus Domini, & minoribus quoque Ecclesiastici Gradûs Dignitatibus, ad Locum Synodalem, cum venerabili Archiepiscopo Cudberto convenerunt, & de Unitate Ecclesiae, & Concordiâ Pacis tractandâ, confirmandâque pariter Consederunt. Spelm. Conc. T. 1. p. 245. E Codice, ut inquit, vetustissi­mè MS.

Nor had the Inferior Clergy less Interest in the Convocations, even of Arundel's imme­diate Successor (and Lynwood's Patron) Arch­bishop Chichley; who in his Letters Mandatory to the Bishop of London, says, Regiis & Regni Incolarum hortatibus excitati, Confratrumque nostro­rum & Cleri Provinciae nostrae ducti consiliis, quin­imo & nostri Provincialis Concilii Robore ac De­creto suffulti, de expresso consensu Confratrum nostro­rum & Cleri antedicti, Volumus, Statuimus, & P. 69. Praecipimus. In another, De Fratrum nostrorum & Cleri in eadem Convocatione praesentium Volunta­tibus, Consilio. & P 70. Assensu. In a Third, De no­strorum Fratrum ac Cleri Provinciae Consilio & As­sensu P. 72.: In a Fourth, De Venerabilium Confra­trum nostrorum aliorúmque Praelatorum, & Cleri Provinciae Consensu pariter & Ibid. Assensu. And lastly, Nuper in Concilio nostro Provinciali celebrato [...]oram Nobis, Vobis, Caeteris Confratibus & Coepis­copis [Page 14] nostris depositum fuit per Clerum nostrae Provin­ciae & graviter qu [...]relat [...]m quod, &c. Quare ex parte Cleri praedicti fuimus cum Instantiâ non modicâ requisiti, quatenùs hos Casus & Articulos Authori­tate dicti Concilii publicè proponi & exponi debere decernere dignaremur. Nos idcircò ex Assensu vestro & aliorum Confratrum Coepiscoporum & Suffraganeo­rum nostrorum exponendos fore decrevimus prout etiam decernimus in P. 73. praesenti. This last Form agreeing exactly with those of the Acts of Parliament of the same date; where, Our Lord the King, by the Advice and Assent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and at the special Instance and Request of the Commons, Ordains and Establishes.

Thus did the practice of Lynwood's own time, and the Style of those Constitutions, some of which probably he himself Penn'd, over-rule the Assertion of his Gloss. But he seems to have been led into it, as other Cano­nists might be, by his knowing no more of Provincial Councils, than what was to be found in his Gratian (whom he there Cites in Dist. 18.) where Bishops only are mentioned. And from thence he might be induced to think, that the latter practice was from Condescenti­ion, and that even Pope Innocent's Decree was an Abridgment of the Episcopal Right, and to be Interpreted as strictly as possible. Whereas the Writings and Usage of the Primitive Church, and even the Elder Records of our Own, would have informed him, That this was no new Concession to the Presbyters, but an Affirmance only of their Original Right; as Gerson, and others of that Age knew very well, who therefore stile them Hierarchae Mi­nores; [Page 15] and as Lynwood himself might have re­flected, where he observes, That in our Church-Constitutions the Word Praelati was applied often to some of the lowest, even of the Lower Clergy, the Presbyteri Plebani, or Rectors of Rural Parishes De Sacr. iter. vel non. c. Ig­norantia. v. Praelati De Foro Competenti c. Circumspecte. v. Item si Praelatus.. I have made the best Excuse that I can for him; for I am not willing to believe, that the Dedication of his Book had any Influence upon the Doctrine of it; or that he studiously fell into such Opinions, as he knew would be grateful Above; though I must needs say, That he has decided in this Case more like a Dean of the Arches, than a Prolocutor of the Lower House of Convoca­tion, which he sometimes was Tit. de Decimis. c. quoni­am. v. Pro­vinciam. speaking of something done in a Convocation held under Chichley, he adds — Me tunc existen [...]e Prolocutore ipsius Cleri.: And per­haps One, that had less regard for his Chara­cter than I have, would be ready to suspect, that he might by this time have his Eye upon the Bishoprick of St. David's.

But our Bishops themselves have been more just to the Rights and Interests of the Inferior Clergy, allowing them not only a Consultive, but a Decisive Vote also in Synods, and that deriv'd from Primitive Practice; for thus I find it laid down in a Paper Sign'd by Four of them, under Henry the Eighth's Reign; ‘In all the Ancient Councils of the Church in Matters of Faith, and Interpretation of Scripture, no Man made Definitive Subscri­ption, but Bishops and Priests; forasmuch as [Page 16] the Declaration of the Word of God per­taineth unto Hist of the Ref. Vol. I. p. 174. them.’ A Testimony, that, being given by those of the Higher Order in the Church in behalf of the Powers and Pri­viledges of the Lower, must be allowed Con­siderable.

In the course therefore of our Provincial Synods, the Inferior Clergy's Consent was ex­pected, and not that of the Suffragans only. But still, as we may observe, the Archbishop alone is said to Decree and Ordain; which is a stile of Authority peculiar to him Here, and beyond what belonged Originally to his Cha­racter. Indeed by the ancient Rules of the Church, the Metropolitan's Consent was ne­nessary to make the Ordinance, and He had the [...]: But the Stile and Power of the Archbishop of this Province might in this re­spect run higher, because he challenged to be looked upon as something more than a simple Quasi velitis (says Peckam in a Letter to the Bishop of Lon­don) Jura Cantuariensis Ec­clesiae — ad Simplices Metro­politani Limites Coarctare. Whart. App. ad Hist. de Ep. Lond. p. 270. Metropo­litan, and had the Title of a Legat Born; and in virtue of that Character he might take upon him to Decree and Or­dain, as the Pope did in Fo­reign Councils, and as the King here at home used to do i [...] our el­der Statutes. And as these, at the end of every Session of Parliament, were used to be Enacted by the King; so the Provincial Constitutions were published on the last Day of the Synod, by the Archbishop. He also, some time afterwards, enjoyning the Bishop of London, and by him, as Dean of the Episcopal College, the other Bishops, to see them Pro­mulged [Page 17] and Executed; as Acts of Parliament were ordered to be Proclaimed, by the Comes at first, and since by his Vicar-General the Sheriff.

This was the manner of holding Councils, and making Canons; neither was it necessary to have the King's, or Pope's leave, to hold the one; nor was their Authority requisite for Decreeing the other. The Clergy were only to take care that they did not exceed their Li­mits, either in the Matter or Manner of their Decrees, and that their Constitutions were such, as would not be Revoked and Annulled by either of those Supreme Powers.

The Metropolitans were by the Canons (and by the Roman Law Nov. 123. c. 10. where it had force) Oblig'd to call those Synods Yearly. Neither was Leave to be ask'd for their Summoning such Assembl [...]es then, any more than there is now for a Bishop's Convening his Clergy and Church-Officers to a Visitation: Not because those Canons were above the Law of our Country; but because they were received into it, and made a part of the Constitutions and Usages of the Kingdom.

'Tis true the Archbishop called them some­times at the King's Instance, signified to him by a Royal Writ: Yet even then, not in Vir­tue of [...] Writ, but by his Own Authority; By which also (whether called at the King's Instance, or not) he always Dissolved them; And of this we have a very remarkable proof in the last Convocation under Henry the IVth Hen. IV. Writ for the Calling it, bears date, Jan. 19. 1412. It met [...]n the 6th of March. He Died on the 20th, but the Convocation sat on to the 10th of May; when it was Dissolved.; [Page 18] which, though Meeting at his Writ, was yet so little thought to be held in Virtue of it, that it Sat for near Two Months under his Successor, Henry the Vth, without a Disso­lution.

Till Archbishop Chichley's time, Convocati­ons were frequently held, even while Parlia­ments were sitting, without any other Writ from the King but what was contained in the Bishops Summons, with the Clause Prae­munientes. After the 8. of H. VI. the Clergy, if they met by the King's Letter, had the benefit of the Act of Parliament of that Year; and therefore, I suppose, usually de [...]i­red it to gain the Parliamentary Protection; not, as Fuller idly Conjectures Ch Hist. Book 5. p. 290. and Dr. Wake from him p. 230., to avoid a Praemunire.

When they met, Mr. Ni­colson (Eng. Hist. Lib. part 3. p. 196.) says, They were Inhi­bited in their very Writs of Summons from De­creeing any thing to the Prejudice of the King or his Realms: And for this, he refers us to Dugdale's Summons in the Reigns of E. 1. and E. 2. where there is not a word to this purpose; nor can there be; for Dugdale has no Writs for Convocations, but only for the Parliament. When the next Edition of his Work comes out, he will be pleased to tell us, from whence he drew this curious Remark. I have seen many Con­vocation Writs, but never, that I remember, one with a Prohibition in the Belly of it. Writs were often sent to them by the King, Forbidding them to at­tempt any thing against his Crown and Digni­ty; and these Prohibitions are allowed to have been Tacit Permissions of such Assemblies, pro­vided they kept within their Bounds Bishop Stillingfleet's, Duties and Rights of the Parochial Cler­gy, p. 371.. And so indeed they certainly were, for otherwise it had been as easy for the King to forbid their Meeting and Sitting, as their Acting in such [Page 19] and such Instances; which yet he appears very rarely to have done; and to have been yet more rarely Obeyed when he attempted it The Old­est Instance insisted on, is a Prohibition of Geofry Fitz-Peter, Lord Iustitiary to Hubert Arch­bishop of Canterbury: But how it was obeyed, the Annals of Lanercost [in Bib. Cott. Claud. D. 7.] declare, Hub. Arch. Cant. celebravit Concil. contra Prohibitionem Gaufridi, &c. in quo Concilio Archiepis­copus Subscripta promulgavit Decreta, (Ann. 1200.) The Oldest Writ produced is, 9 Joh. Ann. 1208. See it in Pryn. 3. Tom. Eccl. Jurisd. p. 10. Whether comply'd with, or not; I do not find: But suppose it was, for it Issued out upon a Complaint of the whole Parliament. A Third Instance I find in the 41 H. 3. Rot. Cl. M. 6. dors. when the Convocation was for­bid▪ meeting at London, because the King had at that very time Summoned all the Members of it, that owed him Service, to Attend his Army in Wales. [See the Writ, Pryn. Ibid. Vol. II. p. 890.] But though this Prohibition was so reasonable, yet it was not Obeyed. On the contrary, when Archbishop Boniface, at the Opening it, proposed this Question to them, among others; Item, Cùm Dominus Rex Prohibuerit Praelatis Ecclesiae sub forisfacturâ omnium terrarum suarum quas de eo tenent, ne venirent ad hujusmodi Convocationem Auctoritate Domini Ar­chiepiscopi factam; an liceat, & deceat, & expediat tractare in hujus­modi Convocatione de Negotiis Ecclesiae, vel potiùs (quod absit) Prohibitioni Regiae parere, &c. [Ann. Burt. p. 383.] it was carried, that they should proceed notwithstanding: and so they did, as appears by the Roll of Grievances then drawn up, and presented (M. Par. Addit. p. 199.) But afterwards in the 20 E. 2. the Archbishop having called a Convoca­tion to meet at London in Quind. Mich. and the King a Great Council, at the same time, at Sarum; a Writ went out to the Archbishop in this Form, Vos rogamus ex affectu, Vobis nihilominùs in fide & dilecti­one quibus nobis te [...]emini firmiter injungentes; and upon this he Prorogued the Convocation for a Fortnight..

When therefore Archbishop Stratford An. 1341. held a Provincial Council on purpose to oppose some Arbitrary Proceedings of Edward the IIId. (who pretended, by the Advice of his Great Council only, to Revoke what had been Enact­ed in Parliament) we find not that the King forbad the Assembly, but only their Treating and Agreeing of such things as were to the hurt of his Prerogative Royal; Prohibitions of [Page 20] this kind were sent to every Bishop of the Province, (Tested on the same day with the Writ of Revocation to the Sheriff, which is Printed very unbecomingly, I think, with our Statutes) and one of these Forms, for the Honour of that Archbishop, and the relation it has to the Point we are upon, I shall present the Reader with in the Appendix See Numb. I..

The King had also his Proctors Pat. 37. H. 3. m. 19. apud Pryn. Eccl. Ju­risd. T. 2. p. 807., or Commis­sioners, sometimes in these Meetings, who Pro­posed, Protested, and Appealed on his behalf; but they were ever Men in Holy Orders. His great Lay Lords, and Ministers indeed, carried frequently his Commands thither, but none staid there 21. H. 3. Concilio jam incae­pto, missi sunt ex parte Do­mini Re­gis, Comes Lincoln. Johannes, & Johannes Filius Galfridi, & Will. de Rale Canonicus S. Pauli, ut dicto Legato ex part [...] Regis & Regni inhiberent, ne ibi contra Regīam Coronam & Dignitatem aliquid Statuere attentaret. Et remansit ibi, ut hoc observaretur, Will. de Rale, indutus Cappâ Canonicali, & Supellicio, aliis recedentibus. M. Par. p. 378, to Act for him, but Clergy­men only: Though sometimes the King him­self has vouchsafed to Appear and Sit in Con­vocation; as in Arundel's In Conv. habitâ 23 Jul. 1408. in Causâ Unionis. Register, Henry the IVth is once remembred to have done.

In these Assemblies, the Gravamina Cleri, or Articuli Reformationis were constantly expected from the Lower House; and ran so high some­times as to propose Reformanda per Dominum Pa­pam, per Archiepiscopum & Suffraganeos, per Con­vocationem, per Parliamentum: And Solicitors were Appointed to prosecute such Reformati­ons in Parliament. These the Organum Vocis suae, their Prolocutor, or Referendarius exhibited in a Schedule: and their Petitions had answers [Page 21] as those of the Commons were used to have from the King anciently. Harpsfield, and An­tiquitates Britannicae, afford us many Instances of this Kind; but the Manuscript Acts of those Synods more; and this is one of them, Inter alia propositum fuit à Clero, ut Episcopi dignentur Canones executioni mandare. Imprimis, de Professi­onibus vestris, quòd legantur coram vobis ad minùs bis in Anno. 2. De Visitationibus. 3. De Resi­dentiâ & Regimine Episcoporum. 4. De Regimine, Gestu, & Vestitu Familiarium vostrorum: Which Instance is not given so much for the Articles, as for the Answer to them; Omnia ista sunt [...]romissa, statuta, ac concessa: & fiet Executio [...]er quemlibet, ad quem pertinet, prout respondebit [...]oram Deo, & proximo Concilio Provinciali Regist. Arundel.. And [...]n that very Convocation which submitted to H. the VIII. the Lower House, as dispirited as they were, took heart to complain to the Up­per of the Practice of some Bishops, in those [...]ays, who took Bonds of Resignation of all the Clerks they preferred in their Dioceses, in [...]rder, as they said, to oblige them to Resi­ [...]ence Item pe­tunt, quod Praesenta­ti ad Ec­clesiasti­cum Be­neficium non ar­ [...]entur per Dioecesanos Scripto aliquo Obligatorio aut Poenâ Tempo­ [...]li ad Residentiam — Acta Conv. incaeptae Nov. 5. 1529. in [...]ess. 91.. The End was very good, but the Means was thought unjustifiable; and the Cler­ [...]y in Convocation therefore thought it worth [...]eir while to endeavour a Redress; though I [...]nd not whether they effected it, or what An­swer was return'd.

But among all their Grievances I have never [...]bserv [...]d the want of Convocations mention'd [...] one of them. The Clergy indeed complain [Page 22] some times of their being called together too often, and kept sitting too long, and beg a Dismission; and the Archbishop excuses him­self frequently on that Head in his very Let­ter of Summons. But I have seen no Intima­tion any where that they wanted an opportu­nity of Meeting; which is a certain sign that they never wanted one: never I believe from Anselm's days (who by the favour of H. the Ist. reviv'd those Meetings, that had been suppres­sed by W. the IId. Concili­um non permisit [Rufus] celebrari in Regno suo ex quo Rex factus est jam per 13 An­nos, says Anselm to Pope Paschal, L. 3. Ep. 46. And what the Conse­quence of this Intermission was, the Synod which met at the beginning of H. I. declares, — Multis verò annis Synodali Culturâ cessante, viciorum vepribus succrescentibus, Christianae Religionis Fervor in Anglia nimis refrixerat. Eadmer. p. 67.) down to the very times that we live in.

No more than this needs be said to furnish the Reader with an Account of Provincial Synods, and their Rights, as allowed and practised in this Realm: Such an Account, I mean, as is necessary to set the General part of this Dispute in a true Light, and to lead the way to matter which is more Pertinent and Particular; and which I shall go on to suggest, after I have added a Reflection or two that arise from what has been already delivered.

It is plain that the Power lodged in the Me­tropolitan of calling together such Members of his Province, is likewise accompanied with a Right in those of his Province to be so called; and that the Vis Praecepti, of which Atho speaks In Pro­aem. Othob., lies as well upon the Superior, as on his Inferiors: The Bishops, for Instance, ha­ving [Page 23] as much Right by the Canon Law to de­mand such a Meeting for the Good of the Church, as the Metropolitan has Authority to Assemble it; and the Obligation running re­ciprocally, though the Power does not. It is indeed not so much a Power, as a Trust that is lodged in him; and for which therefore by the Ancient Canons of the Church 7. Gen. Conc. Can. 6. [...], Canoni­cis poenis Subjicia­tur. and by the Imperial Law Nov. 123. c. 10▪ he was made accountable. 'Tis in this case, as in that of our great Lay Conventions, the Assembling of which is not only part of the Prince's Prerogative, but of the Subjects Right; and matter of Duty as well to those who Call, as those who are Cal­led to them; and would oblige therefore, though there were no positive Law that fixed the times of such Meetings.

Indeed Either of these Assemblies, in State, or Church, may sometimes have been intermitted for emergent Reasons, and such as the Members themselves that compos'd 'em might be presumed willing to allow; yet those Intermissions must not be supposed to take away the Right of meet­ing, except they are withal suppos'd to take away the Right of Convening. So that the Provincial Inferiors may well demand to be Assembled, as soon as those Reasons Impedient shall cease; and much more, when stronger Reasons shall arise on the other side, such as would justify the Clergy's desire of an extraordinary Conventi­on, if they had not an ordinary one to claim.

And among many other Reasons which may occasionally move Inferiors to claim the Re­continuance of these Meetings, this may be one, That their Right begins to be questioned by the Discontinuance; especially if the Su­perior [Page 24] shall take care to assert his Own, at the same time that he sets aside Theirs; and Com­manding them to Come, shall yet not suffer them to Assemble in Form; nor let them, in­stead of being a Convocation Legally to con­fer together, and to frame their Requests to their Lordships, the King, or Parliament, be so much as a Congregation, once to say their Prayers together, and hear a Sermon.

Now as it is manifest that this Right of As­sembling is Attested by the usage of our Church, and founded upon the Canon Law; so may it be remembred, that it is no Papal Grant, but derived from very ancient Christi­an Practice, established by the great Council of Nice, and other succeeding General Coun­cils, and adopted particularly into the Body of the Canons of Most (I might say, All) Chri­stian Nations. The Disuse, indeed, and Suppression of Synods, has been frequent­ly charged upon the Arbitrary Proceedings of the Papacy; but no Primate need fear lest he should be thought to take too much of the Legatus Natus upon him, if he pleases to con­vene them.

For so far are the Clergy of England from being Unreasonable or Singular in their Desire of such Meetings, that there is no part of the Reformed Church beside, that does not duly hold them. They are constantly kept up in the United Provinces; and even in France they were never denied the Protestants by this King, as long as the use of their Religion was allowed them: These Assemblies having been always esteemed by all Christians as the best and most proper means for the Preservation of [Page 25] Unity, and suppression of Errors and Disor­ders in the Church of God.

To draw nearer home; what we plead for has been allow'd the present Scotch Kirk; nay, and something more than we plead for. I hope it will not be thought foreign to my Subject, if I stop to give some short account of it. Their Assembly has sat often since the Revolution, and done business, with a witness: if a thorough purging of Churches, and Universities; if ex­ercising their Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction over the whole Kingdom (as well over those who renounc'd their Government, as those who own'd it) be, doing Business. If to Excom­municate, Suspend, and Deprive at Pleasure; if to be Patrons General of all the Livings of the Kingdom, and to Induct, as well as to E­ject what Persons they thought fit; if by an Act of theirs (for so the Style runs) to appoint National Fasts, and to settle General Rules for Church-Discipline and Government, without so much as asking leave of the Civil Power, be doing Business, then, I say, the Scotch As­sembly have within these ten years last past effe­ctually done it. They have acted up to the ut­most Extent of their pretended Divine Char­ter of Priviledges, and have scarce been with­stood in any one Branch of it: for tho' the King's Commissioner has sat with them, yet has he not been allow'd either to interpose in their Debates, or to have a Negative upon their Resolutions; no nor so much as to con­firm them. And when he pretended to adjourn or dissolve the Synod, they protested against it; and appointed a New Meeting by their own, without any regard to His Authority: [Page 26] and in the Intervals of their Sessions they have had a standing Committee of their Members, who have been, as it were, a Perpetual Assem­bly. These are the High Favours and Indul­gences, that have with a Liberal Hand been bestow'd on our Neighbours in Scotland; to the utter Abolishment almost of the Civil Magi­strates Supremacy in Church-Affairs. Shall they who deny the Prince his Due, have more than their Due allow'd them? and shall not those have so much as their Due, who allow him every thing that either the Law of God, or the Law of the Land allows him? Shall not the modest Claim of an Episcopal Church, which professes all due Subjection to the State, put in for as fair an Hearing, as the Unreasonable Pretensions of an Holy Kirk, that acknowledges no Superior but Christ Iesus?

Nor have those of the Presbyterial and Con­gregational way been less indulg'd here at home: for that They too have their Convocation in as Regular and Full, tho' not in so open a man­ner as the Members of the Church of England desire to have, appears from that Circular Sum­mons, which about Eighteen Months ago was issu'd out, and casually came into an Hand that it did not belong to. The World has al­ready had a sight of it: however it may not be amiss once more to Print it in these Pa­pers See the Append. N. II..

Nay the Priviledge we claim is not deny'd to any the most Wild and Extravagant Sect a­mong us: even Quakers themselves have their Annual Meetings for Ecclesiastical Affairs; and are known to have, and allow'd to hold them. Shall Schism and Enthusiasm (to say no worse) [Page 27] have the free Liberty of these Consults, for the Propagation of their Interests? and shall an Apostolick and Establish'd Church want it? God forbid!

In Popish Countries indeed these Synods are discountenanc'd, and out of use; notwith­standing the late Decree of the Council of Trent, which orders that they shall be Celebra­ted once at least in three years. But this De­cree stands in the Acts of that Council to no other purpose, than as it is a Testimony of the sense that even that Corrupt Body of Men had of the necessity of these Assemblies; for the force of it vanished almost as soon as it was made: The Undersharers in Spiritual Domini­on secretly agreeing to lay it asleep; and his Holiness (who alone can awaken it) con­niving at their Neglect; because the less such Meetings as these obtain in the Church, the greater recourse will there be to his Chair, and his Empire will be the more Absolute.

In France, particularly, though this Decree has been Authorized by the Edict of Blois, and by several others, yet have there not been any Provincial Synods held in virtue of it for above these Threescore and Ten Years last past; that is, ever since the Council of An. 1624. Bourdeaux; unless we should call that Meeting of a few Prelates the other Day, to Condemn the Archbishop of Cambray's Book, a Provincial Council: And, if I mistake not, they called themselves so; by the same Figure, as my Lords the Bishops, who are of the Commission for Ecclesiastical Preferment, may be stiled a Convocation.

[Page 28]But true Protestants, and true Englishmen will like this Fashion the worse for being of Popish and French Extraction; and for coming from a Country, where both Civil and Ecclesiastical Liberty have expir'd long ago: As they are not any where observ'd to live long after one another.


THus does our Right to these Assemblies stand by the Law Ecclesiastical: Which Law has been consider'd by it self, for the clearer Evidence of the Argument, and not in any opposition to the Temporal Government: It not following from hence that such Assem­blies should be held, contrary to the Will of the Sovereign Power; but that the Sovereign Christian Power should be desired to permit, or rather to encourage them: If in this Re­quest we were not already prevented by the Law of the Land, which not only allows, but commands them; as will appear, if, as hi­therto I have enquir'd only into the Rights of a Synod of the Province of Canterbury at large, so I go on now to consider it as Attendant upon a Parliament of England. For so the matter at present stands, and has stood for 400 Years and upwards; to speak at the lowest: Tho' in the Elder Ages it plainly enough appears, that the Clergy came at once from both Pro­vinces, and joined Nationally with the Lay Assembly.

That this was the usage of the Saxon Reigns is acknowledg'd from the remaining Monu­ments [Page 29] of those Times: But what the Order of these National Assemblies was, is not, as I see, yet clearly discover'd. As therefore the most knowing and exact of our Antiquaries have thought it proper, for the better understand­ing of our Saxon Government, to go over in­to Germany, and consult the Laws and Man­ners of those Places from whence we came; so possibly we might not be much out of our way in this Argument, if we looked into France, and enquir'd how the Franks there govern'd themselves; those Fellow-Germans, and near Neighbours of our Ancestors; and who had much about the same time possessed themselves of Gaul, as these had of this part of Britain; especially if we consider the times of Charles the Great, that Renown'd and Mighty Mo­narch; whose Example, had it vary'd from the Common Original Practice, would yet proba­bly have been imitated by our Lesser Kings.

And here we may content our selves with what the judicious De Marca reports to us of this matter in his Excellent Work De Concordiâ Sacerdotii & Imperii L.VI. c. 24, 25.: That in King Pepin's time, when the Kingdom began to recover it self from the Disorders it suffer'd before, it was re­solv'd that two National Ecclesiastical Synods should be held every Year; the One in March in the King's presence, and where-ever he should appoint; the other in October, at the Place where the Bishops, in their former Meet­ing should agree upon. That whereas this last was a pure Ecclesiastical Council, the other was a Royal One, to which the Great Men of the Kingdom resorted from all Parts of it, to take their Resolutions for the succeeding Year: [Page 30] As there was also towards the Winter, another Royal, but Privy Council, consisting only of the Great Ministers, and such others as the King thought fit to call; in which Matters, were prepared, and digested into Heads, to be proposed to the Greater Assembly in the Spring.

This General Convocation of the Spiritualty and Laity, which was after by Pepin's Son, Charles the Great, appointed to meet on the first of May, was call'd indifferently Conventus, Fla­citum, Concilium, Synodus, or Colloquium; and in Latter Times, Parliamentum, which word also is still retained. In it the Clergy and Laity deli­berated sometimes together, and sometimes apart, according as the nature of the Business to be treated of was; whether purely Secular, Ecclesiastical, or mixt. When they were apart, as well as when together, the Great Persons; Earls, &c. were distinguish'd from those of a lower Degree; sitting by themselves, and on Honourable Seats. These too manag'd the De­bates, and formed the Conclusions: the Com­moners assenting, and sometimes speaking; but so, as rather to signifie their Opinion, than give a Vote. This we may suppose to have been the Method also on the Spiritual side: And so Hincmar (out of Adalbardas Cousin and Coun­cellor to this Charles) expresses it. Ad Pro­ceres pro Institutio­ne Ca [...]o­lom Regis. c. 29. Generalias (says he) Universorum tam Clericorum quam Laico­rum conveniebat: Seniores [that is, the Magnates, whether Counts or Bishops] propter Consilium ordi­nandum; Minores [that is, the Lesser Barons, and Inferior, but qualified Clergy] propter idem suscipi­endum, & interdum pariter tractandum; & non ex Potestate, sed ex proprio mentis intellectu vel senten­tiâ confirmandum. And after all, what was re­solv'd [Page 31] on, in this Great Assembly, was present­ed to the Emperor: And what he in his Wis­dom approv'd, was to be observ'd by all c. 34..

Much after the same manner, I suppose, were the mixt Meetings of our Saxon Kings held. They were call'd by the same Name; be­ing styl'd Synodi Which the Learn­ed Mr. Ni­cholson, with all his Saxon knowledge, seems not to have consider'd, where he asserts the Meeting at Twiford, in which St. Cuth­bert was chosen Bi­shop, to have been no Sy­nod, but a Parlia­ment. [See his Notes on Northumberland, in the Engl. Cambden p. 859.] An Instance, which shews how fit he is for that Office he has taken upon him­self of being an Umpire in this Controversy., and Concilia; tho' Secular Persons join'd, and Secular Affairs were trans­acted in them. They were compos'd of the same Persons: For there sat the Bishops, Counts, &c. and there attended the Lesser Thanes, and their Equals LL. Athelst. §. 71. Missae Presbyteri & Saecularis Thani Jusjurandum in Anglorum Lege computatur aeque carum. LL. H. 1. c. 64., the Priests, &c. the Spiritual and Temporal part of the Convention consult­ing together, or asunder See Council of Cloveshoe Ann. 747. where tho' King Ethelbald his Princes and Dukes were present, yet are the Canons said to be made by the Clergy alone; who went aside for that purpose. Spelm. Conc. I. 1. p. 245. And the same thing is observed in the Glossary, concerning the Laws of Athelstan, in voce Parliamentum. as they saw occasi­on. They were conven'd, in like manner, twice a Year, by a Law of King Alfred's Mirror c. 1. Sect. 3. and one of those Meetings was fix'd (if not in his time, yet afterwards) to the Calends of May, LL. Edv. c. 35. Debent Populi omnes & Gentes Universae singu­lis annis Convenire, scil. in capite Calendarum Maii. as it was in Germany: And to this all the Proceres reg­ni & Milites, & Liberi Homines universi totius reg­ni Britanniae LL. Edv. eod. cap. [Vide & Spelm. in Gemotum.] and in such a full Folcmote as this Earl Godwin was Out-law'd in the Confessors time: For so is Knighton's account of it. Edwardus in Parliamento pleno God winum cum Filiis suis exlegavit. X. Script. p. 2331. There was another Full Folcmote, which was a County Court only. resorted, and it was stil'd Plenus Folcmote, and distinguish'd from the other Folcmote [Page 32] where only the Episcopi, Principes, & Comites were present, which was the foundation of that diffe­rence that appears afterwards in our Records, between a Great Council and a Parliament; (or Full Parliament, as it is often Emphatically cal­led) the one being a Select Convention of the Nobles and Great Men, the other a Gene­ral Assembly of all the States of the Realm: And both the latter and elder Practice among us, as well as the Institution of Pepin and Charles the Great, were originally derived from the more ancient Usages of the Barbarous Germans, which Tacitus, in a well known pas­sage thus describes; De Minoribus Rebus Princi­pes consultant, de Majoribus Omnes, and adds, Ita tamen ut ea quoque quorum penes Plebem Arbitrium est, apud Principes praetractentur De Situ Moribus & Popu­lis Ger­maniae.: which is ex­actly the same account that Hincmar has given us of the Custom, as it stood revived Seven hundred years afterwards.

The Members also of our Saxon Councils were alike distinguished into such as had right of Suffrage and Subscription, and such as were present chiefly in order to Thus a Charter of K. Ina is passed, Consentientbus omnibus Britanniae Regibus, Archiepiscopis, Epis­copis, Ducibus atque Abbatibus. And they Subscribed and Confirmed it, Cum Praesentiâ Populationis. Monast. Vol. 1. p. 14, 15. And so his Laws were made, Exhortatione & Doctrinâ Episcoporum & Seniorum Sapientum. And in Magna Frequentiâ Servorum Dei. i. e. of Inferior Churchmen. Jorval p. 761. And in relation both to the Lower Clergy and Laity, that Passage in one of Ingulphus's Charters is very observable, Fidelium Infinitâ Multitudi­ne, qui omnes Regium Chirographum Laudaverunt; Dignita [...]s [...]erò sua nomina Subscripserunt. p. 17. I cannot bring my self to think that these and such like Phrases, signify only a Rabble, or mixt Multitude that resorted to such Meetings as these of their own Accord; but must, till I am better inform'd, [...] that some Order and Method was observed in Convening them. Approve. And [Page 33] some Footsteps there are of this Difference still visible in the several Writs to the Lords, and for the Commoners; the one running, Quòd intersi­tis cum Praelatis & Magnatibus — tractaturi, ve­strúmque Concilium impensuri; The other Order­ing them to be sent, Ad faciendum & consentien­dum hiis quae tunc ibidem de Communi Concilio con­tigerit ordinari de Negotiis antedictis: as the Infe­rior Clergy's Summons also was antiently word­ed; tho since the Compleat Separation of the two Bodies it has ran, ad consentiendum only.

And the same Distinction doubtless there was between their Manner of Attending those great Councils, which was such, as shew'd re­gard and distance; and is even now kept up to a Degree, when the Commons come to the Bar of the House of Lords at the Open­ing and Dismission of the Parliament, and on other solemn occasions. And so did the Inferior Clergy too; and that sometimes, even after their Separation, as the Rolls of Rot. Par. 2. H. 4. n. 14. Parliament, when produced in their proper place, will shew.

To all which I shall add one Remark made on these Saxon Meetings by Mr. Selden, which will bring what has been said of them nearer home to our present purpose. He observes Notae in Eadme­rum. p. 167. LL. Ed­gari Polit. c. 5., That the Shire-Gemots, or Sheriffs Turns, were not only ordered by the Old Saxon Laws LL. Ed. Conf. c. 35. to be held Twice a Year, as Provincial Councils were by the Canons; but punctually at the same Time also that those Councils were to be Summoned (i. e. after Easter and Michaelmas) as the Thirty fifth Chapter of Magna Charta shews. And this he supposes to have been practised on the State side, in compliance with [Page 34] the Rules of the Church; That the Bishop and the Earl (or his Sheriff) might have an Op­portunity of sitting together in Court, accord­ing to the mixt Policy of those times. This does not exactly square; because the Canons related to a Synod of the Province, whereas this was only a County Meeting: However I thankfully accept the Hint, and desire thus to improve it, — That the Two General Folc­motes, (not the Particular Shiremots) were adjusted to the Canonical Times of Assem­bling. For one of these we find, was to be held constantly at the beginning of May Vide Spelm. in Gemotum., that is, immediately after the Easter Turn was over (for at the same Time both could not be held, since the same Persons were obliged to Attend both) and therefore the other, we may presume, if it Met that Year, was held at the like Distance from the Michaelmas Turn. These County-Courts being Preparative to the National Assembly; either as to the Causes that were first to be Tried there, and then fi­nally determined here According to that Law of Ca­nutus (Part 2. §. 18.) which allowed the Plantiff an immediate Appeal to the King, if the Shire-Gemot delayed his Remedy above Four Court Days.; or (if the Antiquaries would give me leave to say so) for the Return of Members. How­ever that may be, certain it is, that in after-times, the Quindena Paschae, and Quinde­na Michaëlis, were Customary Periods of As­sembling the Parliament; and are so often mentioned as such by our Histories, as to give us good ground to believe, they might spring from the old Saxon Usage, as That did from Ecclesiastical Practice.

[Page 35]Thus our Church Then held her Synods concurrently with the Lay-Councils; not in­deed according to the strict Letter of the Ca­nons (for both Provinces Assembled together) but so however, as to satisfy the Intent of them, and to prevent other Synods, that were purely Provincial, from Assembling so often as they should, and would otherwise have done. And this therefore may be added to the Rea­sons that the most Learned De Marca has given L. VI. c. 5. for the Intermission of those Meetings here in the West; notwithstanding the frequent De­crees of the Church for their Continuance or Revival.

The Norman Revolution made no change in this respect: for though the Conqueror is known to have divided the Court of the Bishop and Earl, who before mix'd Jurisdictions; yet he continued still to Assemble the Clergy Nationally with the Laity, here as in Nor­mandy Vide Orderic. Vital. ad an. 1080. p. 552. ad an. 1095. p. 722. Where also it is said, Ab­bates totius Provinciae cum Clero & parte Procerum affuerunt.; and united them more closely than before by his new Tenure of Knight-Service, which oblig'd all Persons that held of the Crown, whether Spiritual or Temporal, equally to Attend his Great Coun­cils. And to These therefore were Summon­ed, not the Bishops, and great Abbots alone, but many others also of the Lower, and even of the Undignified Clergy; who, as Dooms­day Book shews, held Lands of the King in every Shire 4711. Knight's Fees were Vested in Parochial Churches, says the Author of Eulogi­um.; and to be sure therefore were present, together with the other Crown-Te­nants, even in the Conqueror's Curiae, held acourse at the Three great Festivals; and ap­pear'd [Page 36] no doubt in greater Numbers, at his more full and general Assemblies of all the States of the Realm. At such only, Church-Affairs seem to have been Transacted; not at his Ordinary Curiae, (though some of the Clergy of all Ranks might be present there:) unless when these Curiae, and those great Councils were co-incident, and the latter Summoned to meet extraordinarily at the same time that the former met acourse. As the Case was in that mixt Convention at Win­chester, where Stigand was Deprived; and in another at Gloucester, where several Bishops were made.

How long exactly the Saxon Manner of Mix'd Councils continued, is not easy to say. However that for several Reigns after the Conquest it obtained, is certain; and it is probable, that the Disuse of it might begin toward the middle of H. II. when the Clergy, we are told, Disjoined them­selves from the Laity Post Turonense Concilium (which was in 1163. about the Time of the Council of Clarendon) cum Omnibus penè in Rebus Clerus se a Populo disjunxisset. Antiqu. Britann. p. 131. in every respect, and set up to be Independent; being en­couraged in this Attempt by the Pope (whose Power was then very great) and by the Success which they had in their struggle with the Crown about the Affair of Archbishop Becket, and the Articles of Clarendon.

And this Division of the Spiritualty from the Temporalty, which began in H. the IIds. time, took Root under his Successors, and was settled more and more by the Absence of Richard the First in the Holy Land, by King Iohn's weak, and H. the IIIds. troubled Reign.

[Page 37]Now therefore the Clergy seem to have de­clin'd Obedience to the Lay-Summons; ex­cept such of them only as were oblig'd to at­tend the Great Councils of the Realm by their Offices, or their Tenures; so that in the Sixth of King Iohn, when the King had a mind to have all the Abbots and Priors present in Parlia­ment, he was forced to Cite them by the se­veral Bishops of the Dioceses Cl. 6. Jo. M. 3. dors., and not by an immediate Summons. And in 49 H. 3. when every Abbot had his Distinct Writ, they are said to have been Voluntariè summoniti Pat. 26. E. 3. PS. 1. M. 22. in Pryn's Reg. of Par. Writ. Vol. 1. p. 142., i. e. by their own Consent; not as of Right, or as owing the Crown any such Service.

To this Recess a way had been before open­ed by the Dispute between the Two Metropo­litans, Thurstan Archbishop of York, refusing that Subjection to the See of Canterbury, which had been paid to it by his Predecessors from Lan­franks time; when in a great Council (held first at Winchester, and then at Windsor) it was solemnly determined, That the Archbishop of York, and his Clergy, should attend the Arch­bishop of Canterbury's Conciliary Meetings and Summons Diceto de Archi. Cant. p. 685.. But this Rule was broke in upon in less than Fifty Years after it was settled; and the See of York, by the favour of the Pope made Independent. And now therefore, the Archbishop of Canterbury's Authority being confined to his own Province, and the Interest of the Crown in calling the Body of the Clergy together, afterwards lessening apace; the Affairs of the Church came at length to be transacted in Two separate Provincial Sy­nods, and the Clergy seldome to Assemble Na­tionally, but at the Command of a Legate; who [Page 38] often called them together in H. the IIId's Reign; and that (to bring the Observation nearer to my Subject) at the very time of Parliament: And sometimes I find, that both the Regal and Legantine Authority joined in Convening them. Compare M. Par. p. 915. with the Ann. of Burt. p. 355.

But their ordinary way of attending the Parliament, was not in one National Council, but in two separate Assemblies of the Province, as is manifest from the Constitution of Reading formerly Cited; where Two Proctors are ap­pointed to be sent from every Diocese, to ap­pear in proximâ Congregatione nostrâ tempore Par­liamenti proximi Constit. Provinc. p. 25.. Here we see the Provincial Synods of the Clergy (for the Council of Reading was such) are spoken of in the 7th Year of E. I. (when this Council was held) as Meeting acourse together with the Parlia­ment. And we may be sure therefore, that the Custom was of Elder date; though when it arose canot be precisely determined.

But this Wise and High-spirited Prince, finding the Clergy thus divided from the Laity, and from one another, hard to be dealt with, resolved to restore the old Practice, and to bring them Nationally to Parliament; which he did, by inserting into the Bishop's Writ that Clause which begins with the word Pre­munientes, and Summoning by the means of it, all the Secular Clergy under Bishops, either in Person, or by their Proxy's; as also those Religious, who were so far Secular as to be Chapters to the Bishops, and placed in the Heads of the several Dioceses; such as the Priors and Convents of Canterbury, Winchester, Wor­cester, &c. were. The Mere Religious, as pro­fessing [Page 39] to be out of the World, had the Privi­lege also of being left out of those Summons; the Crown contenting it self to direct particu­lar Writs to all the great Abbots and Priors, whether holding by Barony or not; without commanding the Attendance of their Convents.

The Numbers of the Lower Clergy Cited by the Archbishop to his Parliamentary Con­vocations had born some proportion all along to those of the Lower Laity called at the same time to Parliaments For this Reason the Constituti­on of Read­ing ap­pointed two Proctors for every Diocese. And a Mandate of Peck­am in 1290. (See his Register) Cited out of every Dio­cese, Duos vel tres Procuratores, when the Commons Writ of the same Year ra [...], Duos vel tres de discretioribus milibus. Brady Introd. p. 149.; and the Premunitory Summons therefore, when first practised by this King, still carried on the Parallel. By it some were ordered to appear for the Diocese (the County Christian) and some for the Cathedral Clergy of those Cities that sent Members to Parliament. And as the Welch Shires return'd but one Knight apiece When this began I know not; for many Years after the Commons were Summoned as they are now, I find the Community of Wales appearing in Parliament, as those of Scotland sometimes did, by a certain Number re­turn'd for the Whole., so their several Dioceses were to appear by a single Proctor So I gather from the Usage of those Assemblies which were purely Ecclesi­astical. To one of which (An. 1302.) the English Clergy were Summoned by Two, and the Welch by One Proctor apiece. Registr. Winchel [...]ey. fol. 147.. And beside all these, the Archdeacons M. Par. ad Ann. 1247. p. 719. and Deans Idem p. 240. ad 15. Joh. having been long before called to the Great Councils of the Realm, were not omitted now, but com­prised in the same Writ of Summons.

[Page 40]Nor were their Numbers only in some mea­sure proportionable, but the Powers also with which they came, Originally the very same; so that their first Writs of Summons ran equal­ly, ad Tractandum, Ordinan­dum, & Faciendum 22. E. 1. in Registro Henr. Prioris. 23. E. 1. apud Dugdal. Sum­mon.; and when the one Summoned ad Ordinandum only Registr. Hen. Pr. Fol. 69. Dugd. Summ. p. 13., or ad Fa­ciendum & Consentiendum 17. E. 2. Dugd. p. 92. Pryn. Reg. Parl. Wr. Vol. 2. p. 77. 5 E. 3. Dugd. p. 163. Pryn. Ibid. p. 86, &c., so did the other: The Minute Alterations of these Forms taking place in both Writs at once, in various Instances; and the Procuratoria, which were fram'd upon those Writs for the Lower Clergy, answering almost in Terms the Re­turns that were made for the Pryn R. P. W. 4. Vol. p. 436. Laity. To omit other Correspondencies which might be observed, if these were not sufficient, to shew, That the Clergy brought to Parliament by the Premunientes, were to all intents and purposes, what they were long afterwards in the Rolls of Parliament called, The Commons Spiritual of the Realm.

This Clause, how much soever to the real Interest and Advantage of the Lower Clergy, was yet thought a Burthen by them, and an inroad upon their Priviledges; and they tried all ways therefore of withstanding or declining it; but in vain: for the Genius of that mighty Monarch, who was not us'd to be baffled in any Attempt, carried it against all their Oppo­sition. And the Ground he had thus gained upon them, he kept throughout all his Reign; as appears by the Records of the last Parlia­ment (but the First, whose Proxy Roll is [Page 41] preserved) which Ryley has Printed at l [...]gth in his Placita Parliamentaria P. 321.. There the Proxy's are enter'd of every Bishop Abbot, Prior, Dean, and Archdeacon, that did not Personally appear in Parliament, as also of the Clergy of every Chapter and Diocese.

But a weak Prince, and a disorderly Go­vernment succeeding, they laid hold of that favourable Opportunity to resume their pre­tences to Exemption. The wise Maxim was now forgotten by which they governed them­selves, and made their stand against the Pope in Henry the Third's Reign [Regnum & Sacer­dotium nullatenùs sint divisa An. Burt. P. 307.]: A Maxim, that never hurt the Clergy when they stuck to it, as it has never prosper'd with them when they departed from it; nor, I believe, ever will. They liked not the Premunientes at first, and the severe Taxes they had smarted under ever since it went out, made them like it still worse; and had quite alter'd their Mind and their Measures: So that now they thought, their Interest and Safety lay in Uniting as closely with the Pope, and Dividing as far as they could from the Laity. The Archbishop, no doubt, favouring this Opinion, with a pro­spect of sharing the Pope's Power over them; and under the Pretence that it would be more for the Honour of him and his Clergy to be still by Them­selves in Two Assemblies of Convocation, answerable in some proportion to the Two Houses of Parliament; according to Bishop Ravis's just and impartial In his Reasons for a Reunion presented to Q. Eliz. Hist. Ref. Part 2. Coll. of Records, n. 18. Observation. The Separation therefore was resolved on; attempted in Edward the First's, advanc'd very far in Edward the Second's, and fully settled in Edward the Third's Reign.

[Page 42]Even under the former of these Princes, though the Clergy obeyed the Parliamentary Summons duly, yet were they backward to answer the Ends of it, unless they might do it in their own Manner; and therefore referred themselves more than once to a Fuller Assem­bly of the Province, to be gathered by the Archbishop; where they knew they should be join'd by All the Religious, and by Their help be enabled either better to put off the Burthen that might be laid upon them, or bet­ter to bear it.

His easy Successor was prevailed with yet further, to mix Authorities, and to take the Archbishop's Power along with him in Con­vening them; so that under him the way was often, when the Bishop's Writ with the Clause Premunientes went out, to send Two other Writs to the Two Metropolitans, directing them to cite Those [and Those Only] of their Province by a general Mandate, which were Summon'd severally by the Bishops Writs. But because this, though a great Con­descention of the Crown, was still an Hard­ship upon the Archbishop, out of whose Pro­vince the Parliament was held, who could not regularly bring his Subjects to any place not within his Jurisdiction; and because it was known to be more agreeable to the Rules of the Church, and found to be more conducive to the Peace of the State In re­spect to the Controversy about the Supreme Bearing of the Archiepiscopal Crosses; which never rag'd so high, as when the Archbishops met one another at the Head of the Clergy of their Provinces., that the Clergy of each Province should Assemble apart; there­fore [Page 43] this Accommodation afterwards took place; That the Premunientes should still Sum­mon them from the King to meet Parliamen­tarily, but that sufficient Obedience should be understood to be paid to it, if the Clergy met Provincially, though not at the same Place, yet about the same Time, and to the same Pur­pose, to be ready to hear what should be Pro­posed from the King; to give their Advice when ask'd, and their Consent when requisite; to offer their Aids, and their Petitions; and, in short, to answer the necessary Affairs of the King and Kingdom.

Not that the Clause Premunientes now grew useless and insignificant: for still the Bishop (who executed the Royal Writs upon the Cler­gy of the Diocese, as the Sheriff did upon the Laity of the County) when he received his Summons to Parliament, transmitted it to those of the Lower Clergy concern'd; and they still made their returns to it: Such of them as were not to Attend in Person, for­mally Impowering their Proctors to Appear and Consent for them in Parliament, according to the Tenor of the Bishops Writ; though those Proctors sat afterwards and acted in Con­vocation. An instance of such a Procuratorium for the Parliament, I have seen as low as 1507. and another of an execution of the Premunien­tes by the Bishop; yet lower in the Reign of Edward the Sixth; though Returns had then Ceas'd, or at least were not Enter'd. Thus the Forms were kept up, and by that means the King's Right of Summoning the Clergy asserted and owned: And, so the State-ends of Summoning them were also answered, they [Page 44] were left to do it in an Ecclesiastical way; and to attend the Parliament and the Business of it, not in One Body, as they were called, but in Two Provincial Assemblies. This they did at first by the Connivance of the Crown, rather than any express Allowance; the Archbishop of his own accord sending out a Provincial Cita­tion concurrently with the Bishops Writs of Summons; which Method obtaining, and these Meetings of the Province being tacitly accepted in lieu of the Clergy's resort to Par­liament; it grew necessary for the King to employ his Authority also in Convening them; for otherwise it had been at the Archbishop's Discretion, whether he would have any such Meetings or not; and so the Crown might have lost the Clergy's Assistance in Parliament. This gave birth to the custom of issuing out Two Convocation-Writs, when a New Parlia­ment was to be Chosen; which though set on foot before, yet settled not into a Rule till some Years after Edward the Third was in the Throne; and then it was practised as duly and regularly, and in much the same manner as it is at this day: Take one Instance (and that not the Earliest which might be given) instead of many.

In the Parliament Roll of his Eighteenth Year we read, That ‘it had been agreed for the urgent Affairs of the Kingdom, to hold a Parliament at Westminster [on the Monday after the Octaves of Trinity] and that the Archbishop should call a Convocati­on of the Prelates and others of the Clergy of his Province, to the Church of St. Paul's, London, on the Morrow of Trinity, for the [Page 45] Dispatch of the said Affairs. To which Convocation none of the greater Prelates came on the said Morrow of Trinity, or in the Eight days ensuing, except the Arch­bishop, [or Two or Three other Bishops there named] as the King was given to un­derstand; at which he much marvelled: As also that the Great Men were not come to the Parliament upon the Day to which they were Summoned: — And he charged the Archbishop therefore to do what be­longed to him, in relation to those of the Clergy of his Province, who came not to the said Convocation, nor Obeyed his Mandate: And the King would do what belonged to himself, in relation to such as came not to Parliament, nor Obeyed his Commands. Rot. Par. 18. E. 3. n. 1.

If we supply this Record with the Writs extant on the Back of the Roll, it will appear that the Clergy were Summoned here just as they are now, by the Archbishop, at the King's Order, or Letter of Request, as it was then deemed and Even by the Crown it self; for in the 25 E. 3. a Writ to the Archbishop of York, in the Close Roll of that Year recites, that the Archbishop of Canterbury had called his Clergy in Quindenâ Paschae, ad Rogatum Nostrum. stiled; though it ran, as now, Ro­gando Mandamus, and though the peremptory Time and Place of the Clergy's Assem­bling were prefixed by it: and we see therefore that Pu­nishment is Ordered in the Roll for their disobeying the Archbishop's Mandate; but not a word of their not comply­ing with the King's Summons. But this was only the Language of Popery, by which they kept up their pretences to Exemption; and [Page 46] the Clergy were indulged in the Form, so the Thing were but effectually done; which was, to have them Meet together with the Parliament, and for the Dispatch of the same urgent Affairs of the Kingdom Pur treter, Parler, & or­deigner ce que soit miet, af­faire pur l' esploit des dit bu­soignes — Are the Words of the Roll; and one of these words is that from whence the Name of Parliament is derived.; for which the Parliament Met. And this was no new Practice, but a Method now Settled and Customary; of which, va­rious Precedent Instances might, if they were needful, be given; but it is a short and sufficient Proof of it, that the Words of the the King's Writ to the Archbishop run, More solito convocari faciatis.

We shall find also, that the Archbishop of York had a Writ for That Province, as the Archbishop of Canterbury had for This; only he was to Convene his Clergy about a Fortnight Later, than the other Province met Province of Canterbury met on the Morrow of Trinity, i. e. May 31. Easter falling that Year on April 4. That of York the Wednesday after St. Barnabas, i. e. June 16.. And in this the way then taken varied a little from Modern Practice, which has made those Two Meet­ings perfectly Coincident. But the ancient Usage was, for the Clergy of Canterbury to As­semble first, in order to set the President, which it was expected that the other Province should almost implicitly follow: and with reason; since, if the Two Provinces had continued to attend the Parliament in One Body, as they did of Old, the York Clergy would have had no Negative upon the Parliamentary Grants of the Clergy; being a very unproportioned part of the Assembly. When therefore they de­sired [Page 47] to Meet and grant Separately, the Crown had reason to expect, that what the greater Province did, should be a Rule to the less, or otherwise not to have consented to their Sepa­ration. Very early in the Rolls therefore this Passage occurs, ‘That the Archbishop of Canterbury, and other Nobles [the King's Commissioners in his absence] should re­quire the Archbishop of York to contribute for the Defence of the North, as They [i. e. I suppose, as the Archbishop of Canterbury and his Clergy] had done 13 E. 3. n. 18..’ And even in Church Acts, as well as State Aids, what had passed the one, was held to be a kind of Law to the other; so that in 1463 we find the Con­vocation of York adopting at once all the Con­stitutions made by that of Canterbury, and as yet not receiv'd Memo­rand. quòd Prae­lati & Clerus in Convocatione 1463. Concedunt Unanimiter, quòd Effectus Constitutionum Provincialium Cantuar. Prov. ante haec tempora tent. & habit. Constitutionibus Prov. Ebor. nullo modo repugnant, seu prejudicial & non aliter nec alio modo admittantur. Et quòd hu­jusmodi Constitutiones Prov. Cant. & Effectus earundem, ut praefer­tur, inter Constitutiones Provinciae Ebor. prout indiget, & decet in serantur, & cum eisdem de caetero servandae incorporentur, & pro Jure observentur. Registrum Bothe. Arch. Ebor. f. 143.; a Practice that I doubt not was often in elder times repeated, and we know is still continu'd.

And as the time of the Convocation of Can­terbury's assembling was, in this and in most o­other Ancient Instances different from that of her Sister Province; so was it, we see, dif­ferent also from that of Parliament. Here it preceded, Seven Days. but generally it followed the Par­liament a Week or two; on purpose, as I ap­prehend, that the Bishops and Parliamentary [Page 48] Abbots might be at leisure to attend both those Meetings. And this was the usual Di­stance throughout Edward the Third, and Ri­chard the Second's Reigns, till Henry the Fourth began to enlarge it; in and after whose time the Clergy held their Assemblies during, and near the Sessions of Parliament, but not tho­roughly concurrent with them; the Archbi­shop it seems, affecting Independency, and the King, who above all things desir'd to stand well with the Clergy, favouring him and them in that respect; and giving way to their being call'd later, or dismiss'd sooner than the Laity, as having been already answer'd in his Demands, at that, or some other Sy­nod of the Province, call'd out of Parliament-time: Such Assemblies being frequent in those days, and transacting all Affairs that belong'd even to Parliamentary Convocations.

But this was only an Interruption of the Old Practice for a time, not a through alteration of it: for about the Entrance of the last Age, when the Prerogative began to recover the Ground it had lost to the Church, we find these Meet­ings of the Clergy and Laity more closely u­nited; the Dates of Henry the Eighth's Con­vocation being all one, or a few days before, or after, (if not altogether the same with) those of his Parliaments: And from 1 Edw. 6. to this Reign the Clergy have, I think, met al­ways and parted within a day of the Parlia­ment; the day it self on which the Parlia­ment sat and rose, being not judg'd so proper for this purpose, because the Bishops were then to attend the House of Lords. But since the late Revolution, the Business of these Two [Page 49] Meetings not interfering, the same day has serv'd to open both of 'em; or rather to open the one, and shut up the other. There have been no Deviations from this Rule that I know of, except in a Legatin Synod or two; (which are no Presidents) and once in the Convocation of 1640: but that Experiment succeeded too ill to be ever try'd a Second Time.

The Clergy therefore, tho' by a Mistake in their Politicks separated from the Parlia­ment, yet continu'd still to attend it, in Two Provincial Assemblies, or Convocations: which, as they met for the same Purpose, and had the same Reasons of State inserted into their Writs of Summons, as the Parliament had; so did they (to manifest yet more their Origin and Ally­ance) keep closely up to the Forms, and Rules, and Manner of Sitting, and Acting, practis'd in Parliament. I cannot do right to my Subject, without pointing out several Particulars, where­in this Conformity was preserv'd; and I shall not therefore, I hope, be misinterpreted in doing it.

The Two Houses of Parliament sat together Originally; and so therefore did the Two Houses of Convocation: of which, to omit o­ther Proofs, I shall mention that only which may be drawn from the Inferior Clergy's being sent as Delegates from the Bishops to represent, and act for 'em in Convocation: an Usage, which tho' practis'd long after the Greater Prelates divided from the Less, yet must, in all Probability, have had its Rise, when they were together; as the like Custom also in Parliament had: whither the Lords Spiritual and Temporal being us'd to send [Page 50] Commoners to Vote for them, while the States were together, continu'd the Practice also, long after they were asunder; as appears, on the Spiritual Side, by Numerous Instruments of Proxy, yet remaining in the Bishops Registers; and, on the Temporal, by some Probable In­ferences of Mr. Elsyng Cap. 5. p. 126.; tho' Direct Proofs of it are, together with the Proxy Rolls, lost One I find, in the 5 H. 5. where Th. de la Warre, a Baron gives Letters of Proxy to two Commoners; and those (which is very particular) of the Clergy: but his case was particular for his Ba­rony descended to him after he was in Orders; and he is styl'd therefore con­stantly Magister, and not Dom. de la Warre in his Summons to Parliament.

As the Commons in Process of Time with­drew from the Peers, so did the Inferior Cler­gy from the Bishops and Abbats: Each having their Prolocutor in ordinary (the very Word, that is us'd every where in the Latin Rolls And sometimes in the En­glish Iour­nals. See Sir Sy­monds d'Ewe [...], p. 15. & p. 328, &c. for the Speaker) and not withdrawing only from the Great Lords upon occasion, for Liberty of Debate, and in order the better to agree, up­on their Petitions, and Opinions, as I presume they always did even in the Old mixt Assem­blies; but meeting together, at the very first in a Distinct Body, and joyning with the Up­per House only on Great Occasions.

The Prolocutor was so chosen, as the Speaker, by the Body, whose Mouth he was; so pre­sented to the Archbishop, and confirm'd by him, as the other was by the King. His Office was much the same on either side; He mode­rated their Debates, kept them to Order, and attended the Lords sometimes with the sense of the House; and at the Entrance of his Office, disabled himself in form; several [Page 51] Instances of which occur in the latter Acts of Convocation Act. MS. Conv. 1541 Sess. 2. & 1554. Sess. 3. & 1562. ad Ian. 16..

Bills of Money, and Grievances, (but espe­cially the latter) began usually in the Lower House, here, as well as there; had alike seve­ral Readings; and were Enacted at the Petiti­on of that House, as Statutes antiently were: and the Successive Variations in the Enacting Forms of our Statutes were observ'd and tran­scrib'd generally into the Clergy's Constitutions.

Their Subsidies were often given Conditi­onally, and with Appropriating Clauses; and Indentures drawn upon those Conditions, be­tween the Archbishop and the King, if the Grant was to the Crown; or between the Archbishop and the Prolocutor of the Lower House Scriptu­tura In­dentata— inter Re­verendissi­mum Tho—ex unâ parte, & Mag. Dogett Prolocutorem Cleri—& e­undem Clerum ex alterâ testatur quòd dictus Clerus—concessit dicto Reverendissimo Patri Caritativum Subsidium—Registrum Wottonian. ad fin. And so the Commons granted, per quandam Indenturam Sigillo Pro­locutoris Sigillatam., if to the Archbishop; just as the Way was in the Grants of the Commons.

In Matters of Jurisdiction the Upper House gave Sentence, the Lower House prosecuted, as was usual in Parliament: for which reason the Act of H. 8. 24 H. 8. c. 12. which in all Causes relating to the King or his Successors, allow'd an Ap­peal to Convocation, mention'd the Bishops, Ab­bats and Priors of the Upper House only, be­cause They only were Judges.

But over their Own Members both Houses of Convocation had Power, in like manner as those of Parliament; which they exercis'd, ei­ther [Page 52] joyntly, or apart; by Mulcts See an Instance An 1462. in Anth. Harmar. p. 32., and Confinements If you will not give place (quoth the Prolocutor to Archdeacon Philpot; being Commission'd, I suppose, so to speak, by the House) I will send you to Pri­son. This is not, quoth Philpot, according to your Promise▪ &c. not denying the House's Power, but the Justice only of exerting it in his Case. Fox. sometimes: but chiefly, by inflicting Ecclesiastical Censures; by Excom­municating See Instance of Bishop Cheyney, Excommunicated for departing the Convocation without Leave. Hist. of the Troubl. and Try. of Laud. p. 82., Suspending See Bancroft's Register, fol. 138, 139. for an Instance of a Dean, an Archdeacon, and a Proctor suspended, for deserting the Synod—Mandatis nostris licitis vel Prolocutoris dictae Convocationis minimè obtempe­rantes,— As the Archbishop's Sentence of Suspension runs., Depri­ving See an Instance of Bishop Goodman, Sentenc'd to be depriv'd by the Convoc. of 1640. for refusing to subscribe the Canons. Heyl. Life of Laud. Pag. 446..

My Lord of Sarum has suggested Hist. Ref. Vol. 1. p. 130. another Branch of this Parallel; that as none were of the Lower House of Parliament, but such as came thither by Election, and all that had Personal Summons, sat Above; so the Lower House of Convocation was compos'd of those who were deputed thither from others, and the Upper of such as sat in their own Right. But this Conjecture contradicting not only the Records of the Convocations in Henry the Eighth's Reign (to which my Lord applys it) but all the Elder Accounts of our Synods in the Archbishop's Registers; where the Deans, and Archdeacons are said always, as now, to sit together with the Proctors of the Clergy; I am sorry, that I cannot fall in with it: the rather, because it would give me an opportu­nity of adorning these Rude Collections with something drawn from his Lordship's Exacter [Page 53] Works, and of making him my Publick Ac­knowledgments for it.

His Lordship would perhaps have omitted this Guess, had he consider'd, that the Provin­cial Assemblies of the Clergy were (as I have shewn) in lieu of that Parliamentary Atten­dance which the Crown challeng'd by the Premunientes; and their Session therefore in Two Houses was adapted to the Parliamentary Summons: so that between Them and the Laiety the Parallel in this respect ran, that, as all of the Laiety who were Summon'd singly Singilla­tim and in Gene­rali, are the words of Art us'd to distin­guish these Two sorts of Sum­mons in K. John's Charter. by the King, sat in Parliament as Peers, and all who were Summon'd generally by the She­riff, as Commoners; so in the Convocation, all of the Clergy, who had been call'd imme­diately, and by Name to Parliament, belong'd to the Bishop's house; but such as were us'd to be cited at second Hand only, and Mediante Episcopo (as Deans, Cathedral-Priors These for a long time after the Distinction of the two Houses of Convocation, sat in the Lower House; but afterwards with the other Priors and Abbats in the Upper., Arch­deacons, and the Proctors of the Clergy) sat apart by themselves.

That which led his Lordship into this Opi­nion was it seems a Passage in Ioscelin Ad Ann. 1532., where a Question About the Unlaw­fulness of the King's first Mar­riage. is said to have been carried for the Crown by 216 in the Upper House; (i. e. by the whole Upper House, for there were none against it) whereas in the Lower, 23. on­ly were present, and but 14. of those for it. Which Disparity of Numbers his Lord­ship is at a loss how to account for other­wise than by the Supposition laid down. But [Page 54] since that is plainly Erroneous, I may, I hope, without Presumption, endeavour to solve the Difficulty [...]nother way. His Lordship knows very well, that the Bishops with those Abbats and Priors, who were of some consideration, amounted to several Hundreds in Number; out of which there is no doubt but 216 might be got to do the King's Business; especially at that Critical Juncture, when the General Dis­solution of Monasteries was threat­ned, and already in part begun For in June before this Convocation sat, the King procur'd a Bull from the Pope to suppress several. Hist. Ref. 1. Vol. p. 121. and the Regulars had no way to escape the Storm which they saw gathering, but by complying with the King's Demands, tho' never so unreasonable: Whereas the Inferior Secu­lars having no such Fears, and lying generally out of the Reach either of the Awe or Bribes of a Court, were as backward to give their helping hand in this case as the Religious were forward; and but 14. therefore of the Lower House could be prevail'd with to lend the King a Vote. This perhaps may be no improbab [...]e Solution of the Difficulty, if after all it [...]e not a Numeral Mistake of the Transcriber, or Printer; such as I find sometimes in that Work (I mean in the Hanover Edition of it, which alone I have): for instance, the C [...]n­vocation in 1536, is said to meet Nonis Iulii, instead of Nono [die] Iulii: for it met not on the 5th. but the 9th. of Iuly, as the Writ still extant shews.

But enough of this:—I return to those Marks of Resemblance which were between the Parliament and Convocation long after they separated; and by which, as by some [Page 55] common Ensigns of Honour, the One of these may be plainly discern'd to be of the same Fa­mily and Descent, as it were, with the O­ther.

The Instruments impowering the Proctors of the Clergy to act for the several Dioceses were drawn up, I have said, in the same Form almost with those for the Knights of Shires. I add, that they had equally Wages from those they represented: and those Wages were laid on the Diocese with the same Distinction that the Others were on the County; all such as came Personally to Parliament, either as Coun­cellors, or Assistants, being excus'd from con­tributing to em: not to descend to yet minu­ter Differences, which were still on both sides alike observed

And which is very Material, the Proctors enjoying these Expences, are in the Writs and Records of that time expresly said to be entitled to 'em, on the account of their Service in Parliament: tho', strictly speaking, they sat not in Parliament; but only, as they do now; in a Convocation held concurrently with it. Of which I will stop to give the Reader here two very significant Instances: the One is, of a Discharge which the Abbat of Leicester obtain'd from Personal Attendance on the Parliament, on condition, as the Pa­tent speaks, Quod dictus Abbas & successores sui in Procuratores ad hujusmodi Parliamenta & Concilia per Clerum mittendos consentiant, &, ut moris est, expensis contribuant eorundem Pat. 26. E. 3. par. 1. M. 22. See it in Selden's Tit. of Hon. par. 2. c. 5. p. 607.. The other is, of a Writ in Fitz-herbert Nat. Prev. §. 141., forbidding the Arch­deacon to compell the King's Clerks in Chan­cery attending his Parliaments, tho' Benefic'd [Page 56] in the Diocese, ad contribuendum ratione benefici­orum suorum Expensis Procuratorum qui ad dictum Parliamentum pro Clero dictae Dioeces. venerunt, seu aliorum Procuratorum, quos ad alia Parliamenta, &c. per nos nunc tenenda venire continget. This Writ issu'd by Authority of Parliament; for it re­cites an Ordinance, made to this purpose in a Parliament held 4 R. 2. Not 4 E. 3. as the Printed Writ in Fitzh. implys; for no Parliament met at Northampton in the 4th. Year of his Reign. and is founded upon it.

And that the Levy of these Expences conti­nu'd throughout the succeeding Reigns, to the very time of the Reformation, I have seen a good Proof, in a certain Bishop's Mandate Anno 1543., for collecting a Peny in the Pound to this pur­pose: which, it says, De laudabili legitiméque praescriptâ Consuetudine—in qualibet Convocatione hujusmodi contribui solebat, & solet, & ex aequitate, consideratis praemissis, debet. How long after­wards they were paid, or when first disconti­nu'd, I know not; but suppose, that the Dis­use of them, as to the Deputed Clergy, might come on by much the same steps, and about the same time that it did in the House of Com­mons.

In one thing however the Clergy Delegates differ'd from those of the Laity; that the first, tho' Proxys themselves, could, upon occasion, appoint other Proxys in their stead, if their Instruments ran, Cum potestate substituendi alium Procuratorem, as they often anciently did And some­times of late: for 1 E. 6. One of the Pro­ctors for the Clergy of Hereford appointed Two others in his room. [See Sy­nodalia.] And in his last Year the Procuratorium for the Dean and Chap­ter of Paul's had that Clause in it: for so it stands enter'd in Bishop Ridley's Register. Fol. 294.. [Page 57] Whereas I find no Instance, that this was ever practis'd among the Commons: The reason of which I conceive to be, that the Clergy were to attend the Call, not only of the King in his Parliaments, but of the Pope, and the Archbishop also in their several Synods; and having therefore a Greater Burthen in this respect than the Laity, were indulged also a Greater Liberty.

Further, the Members of Convocation had not only Parliamentary Wages, but Parliamen­tary Priviledges too; and those, I question not, from their first Separation: tho' we find, that they were solemnly setled upon them, long afterward, in the 8 H. 6. But that Act might be made, as well to affirm the Old Priviledges, which, after the Clergy had been dismembred so long, might begin to be disputed; as to add the New, which had accru'd, since the Sepa­ration: and withal to confer them both, not only on Parliamentary Convocations, but on Convocations in general, whenever meeting at the King's Summons.

Nor was the Separation so compleat, but that the Inferior Clergy joyn'd Occasionally with the Laity, and attended the King together with the States of Parliament; either at the first Opening, or Dissolution of it, or at other solemn times, when the King came to the House of Lords, and something was to be done en plein Parlement, i. e. in a Full Assembly of the Clergy and Laity, as that Expression some­times in the Elder Rolls seems to imply 6 E. 3. n. 9. Something is said to be agreed, per touz en plein Parle­ment; and those are thus reck­oned up be­fore in the same Number,—Les Prelats, Countes, Baronns, & touz les autres Somons a mesme le Parlement: which includes the Inferior Cler­gy, for They were Summon'd this time by the Premunientes. See Dugd. p. [...]67▪. That [Page 58] they appear'd antiently in Parliament, the first day of its Session, the Roll of the first Parlia­ment held 6 E. 3. is a clear Proof: where, after Sir Ieffery le Scroop, had in the King's Presence; declard the Causes of calling it, it is said, that the Bishops, and Proctors of the Clergy, went apart to Si alerent mesmes les Pre­latz & les Procurators de la Clergie per eux mesmes, a con­seiler de choses susdites.— consult by themselves. That they came thither also on other Solemn Occasions, during the Sessi­on, the following Passage im­plies; where, upon the King's declaring the Bishop of Norwich's Pardon from the Throne, it is said, that ‘the Archbishop, with his Bre­thren, the Abbats, and Priors, and the Cler­gy, there assembled Ft la [...] il­loneques esteant [...]—(Rot. Parl. 2 H. 4. n. 14.) By which, whether the Convocation-Clergy be meant, cannot, I think, well bear a Doubt; it being very improbable, that those few Inferior Clerks, who were of the King's Counsel, or otherwise call'd up to the House of Lords, s [...]ould be only intended., most humbly kneel­ing, thank'd his Majesty for his Royal Grace and Goodness.’ Which I mention the rather, because the Abridgement of the Rolls P. 405. takes no notice of any but Bishops, on this occasion.

But these are rare Instances: we have oft­ner Accounts of the Lower House of Convo­cation joyning with that of Parliament, (not indeed in one Assembly, but however) in the same Parliamentary Requests; and there are ma­ny Instances, by which it appears, that they were in such Requests, and on other Occasions, still reputed, and call'd a part of the Communi­ty of the Realm. Witness that Petition in Par­liament to Hen. the 4th. which begins, The Commons of your Realm, as well Spiritual as Tem­poral [Page 59] Supplien [...] humblement les Communes de vostre Roialme, si bien Espirituelz come Tempo­relz. Rot. Parl. 7, & 8. Hen. 4. n. 128. most humbly pray. And here agen the Abridgment is remarkably silent. And this Style I can trace as low as the 35 H. 8. a Proclamation of which year recites, that, ‘The Nobles and Com­mons bothe Spyrytuall and Temporall assembled in our Court of Parliamente have upon Goode Law­full and Vertuous Groundes, and for the Publique Weale of this our Realme, by oone hole Assente graunted, and annexed, knytte and unyed to the Crowne Imperyall of the same the Tytle, Dignitye, and Style of Supreme Heede in Erthe ymmediate­lye under Godd of the Churche of England.’

The Proclamation is in Bonner's Register Fol. 42., which tho' my Lord of Sarum perused, yet, it seems, he overlook'd this Paper, and the Pas­sage I have mention'd from it: I must believe so, because it is upon so Material a Point, and express'd in so Extraordinary a Manner, that, had his Lordship observ'd it, he would, me­thinks, have given his Readers notice of it.

Many years therefore after the Clergy had submitted, they are, by their Supreme Head himself own'd, to be the Commons Spiritual of Parliament. And when therefore in the O [...]d Rolls we find 'em not expresly mention'd as such, we must believe, that they lay hid often under the General Denomination of Commons; as the Case plainly was in the Petition just now produc'd, which is enter'd in the Rolls among the Petitions of the Commons, tho' the Clergy joyn'd in it; and as it probably was in that menti­on'd by Mr. Elsyng (pag. 275. but with false Numbers) where the Archbishops, Bishops, Earls, Barons, Et autres Gens de la Cominaltie [Page 60] d'Engleterre, pray that they may let out to Farm the Wasts of Mannors held of the King in capite, without his License,—which being the Case of many Inferior Clergy-men, who held such Mannors of the Crown, it is to be suppos'd that they also joyn'd in the Petition, and are under the [Autres Gens de la Cominaltie] included. But more express to this purpose is the Statute of the Clergy, 18 E. 3. which recites I take the words of it from Ra­stal, with the more assurance, because Pryn says he has compar'd the Print with the Record, and that they agree. Abridg. of Rec. p. 44., That the Prelates, Great Men, and Commons, had advis'd and aided the King—and afterwards—the Great Men aforesaid grant so and so—and the said Prelates and Procurators of the Clergy grant so and so: whereas there is no Previous Mention of the Procurators of the Clergy, but under the Title of Commons.

To these many other Records might be added, which mention the Convocation-Clergy as of the Parliament, and in it: But, that I may not load the Reader, a few of these taken from the Beginning, the Middle, and the End of that Period, we are considering, shall suffice. The rest will find as proper a place in another part of these Collections: and thither therefore I shall refer the Reader for an account of them.

In the 10 E. 3. a Writ issu'd to the Archbi­shop of York, reciting, that the Clergy of Can­terbury-Province had given the King a Tenth in Parliamento nostro Westminster, and exciting Him and his Clergy to follow their Example Cl. 10 E. 3. m. 36. dors..

The like Recitals are to be met with often in latter Writs, as particularly in 43 E. 3. Cl. m. 6. [Page 61] Dors. which begins, Rex Archo. Cant. salutem. Qualiter negotia nostra tam Nos & Statum Regni nostri quam necessariam defensionem ejusdem concer­nentia ac onera nobis per hoc incumbentia Vobis & Aliis in ultimo Parliamento nostro existen­tibus plenius exposuimus vos non latet. Ad quorum onerum supportationem absque adjutorio fidelium no­strorum non sufficimus, sicut scitis; propter quod ali­quod subsidium congruum in supportationem tan­torum onerum à Vobis & Aliis de Clero Dioece­seos & Provinciae vestrarum in dicto Parlia­mento tunc existentibus nobis concedi petivimus, &c. And the same Passage in Terms recurs in another Letter of the same kind to the Arch­bishop two years afterwards, Cl. 45 E. 3. m. 35. Dors.

The Great Deed of Entail in the 8 Hen. 4. by which the Crown was setled on his Heirs male, and which was witness'd by the Great Men, and by Sir I. Typtot the Speaker, in behalf of the whole Body of the Commons, recites, Quòd in Parliamento nostro apud Westminster, 7o. Die Iulii Anno Regni nostri 7o. per nos de con­sensu & avisamento omnium Praelatorum Magnatum & Procerum ac Cleri & Communitatis regni nostri Angliae fuerit Statutum & Ordinatum.—And proceeds to make void what had been so or­dain'd in these Memorable words, Nos igitur— ad instantem Petitionem eorundem Praelatorum Mag­natum Procerum, Cleri & Communitatis supradictae, & de eorum omnium & singulorum Voluntate & Assensu expressis, nec non nostrâ & praesentis Par­liamenti nostri auctoritate Statutum & Ordinatio­nem praedictam cassamus & adnullamus—Nec non ad eorundem Praelatorum Magnatum, Procerum, Cleri, & Communitatis praedictae Petitionem & Rogatum, [Page 62] ac de E [...]rum Consensu concordi & auctoritate, &c.

And this too Pryn has abridg'd See Abr. of Records, p. 454. in his way, without taking notice of these Passages, which are so Material and Instructive. The Original Record with all its appendant Seals intire, (tho' the Deed it self be cancel'd) is preserv'd still in the Cottonian Library Inter Chartas in Pyxide Galba.; and affords a ma­nifest Proof of the Interest which the Con­vocation Clergy at that time had in Parliament: for it would be ridiculous to imagin that by Clergy in this Instrument, thus plac'd between the Lords and Lay-Commons, any other than the Convocation-Clergy are intended.

For near 140 years afterwards, the Lan­guage I find continu'd the same in the Bishops Mandates to their Archdeacons for the Colle­ction of Subsidies: for thus speaks one of Bon­ner's In Re­gistro., Cum Praelati & Clerus Prov. Cant. in Parliamento hujus regni Angliae nuperrimè apud Westminster tento, & celebrato quoddam Subsidi­um sub certis modo & formâ tunc expressis Illustrissi­mo, &c. Ex nonnullis rationabilibus causis dederint & concesserint, &c. Oct. 10. 1543.

And if I should beyond all this affirm, that the Convocation attended the Parliament, as One of the Three States of the Realm, I should say no more than the Rolls have in express Terms said before me; where the King is mention'd as calling Tres Status Regni ad Palatium suum Westm. viz. Praelatos & Clerum, Nobiles, & Mag­nates, nec non Communitates dicti regni Rot Parl. 9 H. 5. n. 15.. And when more than Three States are menti­on'd (as in the Antient Piece of the Manner of Holding Parliaments) the Inferior Clergy is still reckon'd as one of them. Judge Thirnyng there­fore thus addresses himself to Richard the IId, at his Deposition See the Roll of Parliam. Printed at the End of X. Script. p. 2760..

[Page 63]SIRE It is wele knowe to zowe that there was a Parlement Somond of all the States of the Reaume for to be at Westmyn­stre, &c. bycause of the whiche Sommons all the States of t [...]is Lond were there gadyr'd, the whiche States hole made thes same persones that ben comen here to zowe nowe her Procuratours and gafen him full au­ctorite and Power and charged him for to say the wordes that we shall say to zowe in her name, and on thair behalve; that is to wytten the Byshop of Seint Assa for Ersbishoppes and Bi­shoppes; the Abbot of Gla [...]enbury for Ab­bots and Priours, and all other Men of Holy Chirche, Seculers, and Rewelers, the Erle of Gloucestre for Dukes and Erles, the Lord of Berkeley for Barones and Ba­nerettes, Sir Thomas Irpyngham Cham­berleyn for all the Bachilers and Commons of this Lond be south, Sire Thomas Grey for all the Bachilers and Commons by North, and my Felawe Iohn Markham and Me to come with him for All this States; and so Sire these wordes and the doying that we sall say to zowe is not onlych our wordes bot the wordes and doyings of all the States of this Lond, &c.

I desire not to be misunderstood in the Re­cital of these Testimonies: I have no other Aim in 'em than barely to shew, that the In­ferior [Page 64] Clergy, tho' meeting and consulting a­part from the Parliament, yet were still reck­on'd to belong to it, and to be (in some sense, and to some Purposes) a Member of it; and together with the Prelates of the Upper House to compose (not indeed one of the Three E­states of Parliament, but however) an Estate of the Realm, assembling joyntly with the Parlia­ment, and oblig'd by the Rules of our Consti­tution to attend always upon it. If my Proofs may be allow'd to reach thus far, (and I have no manner of Mistrust but that they will) I give up willingly whatever beyond this they may seem to imply; which neither my Argu­ment, nor my Inclination any ways leads me to maintain. It is so far from being in my In­tention, that it is not in my Wishes, to set up a Plea for any of those Old Priviledges and Preheminences of the Clergy, which are long since Dead, and Buried; and which, I think, ought never to be reviv'd, even for the sake o [...] the Clergy themselves, who have thriven best always under a Competency of Power, and Moderate Pretences. The Present Rights they stand plainly possess'd of by Law, are sufficient to render them useful Members of the Common­wealth, within their Proper Spheres, and that these Rights may be well understood, and se­cur'd, is the great and only design of these Pa­pers. To that end I have vouch'd the Prece­dent Passages from the Records of Parliament and Convocation: not to set up any vain Pre­tence, to the utmost of that Parliamentary In­terest, which the Clergy sometime had; but to secure only what remains of it to them, by shewing, that their Separation from Parlia­ment, [Page 65] did not cut them off from all manner of Relation to it; but that still, after that, their Convocations, though held at a distance from the Parliament, were, in their own nature, as well as in the Acceptance of the Crown, and in the Eye of the Law, Parliamentary Assemblies.

These Parliamentary Meetings of the Cler­gy were at first Congregationes, or Convocationes Cleri; but not therefore Concilia Provincialia: Which were Extraordinary Assemblies for Church Business only; for the restoring laps'd Discipline, and reforming Ecclesiastical Abuses: whereas the Others were originally held for Civil Purposes alone, and the Com­mon Affairs of the State. And when Arch­bishop Stratford therefore called a Council of his Province By a Writ dated 10 Kal. Aug. 1341. which begins thus—Quam­vis sit Sacris Canonibus Consti­tutum quod Metropolitani, Ar­chiepiscopi, & Primates annis singulis Legitimo Impedimento cessante, pro Excessibus corri­gendis, & Moribus reforman­dis, debeant Provinciale Con­cilium celebrare., the Preamble of his Letters Summonitory owns, both the Obligation he was under by the Canons of Assembling them Yearly, and his having omitted to do it for Eight Years last past; though, doubtless, he had often in that time Convened the Clergy of his Province to Parliament. However this Distinction held not very long; the Business of Provincial Councils being in tract of time done in the ordinary Congregations of the Clergy; and these and those being promiscuously stiled Con­vocations: Till at last Provincial Councils, properly so called, ceased altogether; and Par­liamentary Convocations came into their room: The Frequency and fix'd Certainty of which, [Page 66] gave the Clergy a Regular Opportunity of do­ing all that for which the other Synods did but occasionally serve. And when Warham therefore in 1509. did by his Own Authority call a Synod for the Redress of Abuses, and Re­formation of Manners, his Mandate warn'd it to meet a few days after the Parlia­ment Parliament Met, Jan. 21. Convocation, Jan. 26. See Man­date in Bishop Burnet's Collection of Records, Vol. I. p. 6., and stiled it, not a Pro­vincial Council, but a Convocation of the Clergy: And this Word therefore afterwards in the Submission-Act (as I understand it) was applied strictly to signify, the Clergy's Parliamentary Meetings: For otherwise, it could with no co­lour of Truth have been affirmed, as it is, there, That the Convocation had always been Assem­bled by the King's Writ; unless both the Sub­mitters and Enacters had by the Word Convoca­tion understood the Consults of the Clergy in time of Parliament: which, in some sense, were held always by the King's Writ, that is, by the Premunitory Clause in the Bishops Summons: and, let me add, are so held still; as good Lawyers own Bagshaw in his Ar­gument a­bout the Canons., and Bishop Ravis, in his Paper of Reasons to Queen Elizabeth § 5., af­firms; and the whole Lower House did to the same Queen upon occasion solemnly declare, Witness their Remonstrance in 1558; to justi­fy the Freedom of which, they in the Pream­ble of it suggest the several Authorities by which they Assemble. The Instrument is Printed in Fuller Ch. Hist. IX Book. p. 55., but with the Omission of some words, which in that part of it, which we have occasion to mention may be thus sup­plied, — Nos Cantuariens. Provinciae Inferior [&] Secundarius Clerus in ano (Deo sic dispo­nente, [Page 67] ac Serenissimae Dominae nostrae Reginae [Ius­su] Decani & Capituli Cantuariensis Mandato, Brevi Parliamenti, ac Monitione Ecclesiasticâ sic exigente) convenientes, partium nostrarum esse ex­istimavimus, &c.

And this Opinion also that Parliament was of, which Voted the Canons of 1640. Illegal, chiefly on this head, because they were made in an Assembly, which, though it met by the Parliament Writ, yet Sate and Acted after the Parliament was determined. Nor were they contradicted in it by the Famous Judgment given under the Hands of his Majesty's Coun­sel, and other Honourable Persons Learned in the Law, if the Words of that Judgment be well considered, which are these; ‘The Convocation being called by the King's Writ under the Great Seal, doth continue, until it be dissolved by Writ, or Commission under the Great Seal, notwithstanding the Parliament be dissolved.’ (Troub. Try. Laud. p. 80.) Which is all very true; and yet it may be true too, that such a Writ, or Commission ought of course, to issue from the Crown, up­on the Dissolution of the Parliament. But this Point is not touch'd upon in the Judge­ment given, and seems to have been purposely declined: For otherwise, it had been a clearer and fuller Determination of the Matter in Question, if they had said, That the King might by his Prerogative keep a Convocation sitting as long as he pleased, notwithstanding the Dissolution of that Parliament, with which it was called.

I will not say, That the Parliament of 1660. were certainly of the same mind, though [Page 68] it is probable they were; and that this was One, if not the Chief Reason, why in the Act 13 Car. II. c. 12. Restoring Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction they so particularly, and by Name, excepted those Canons from a Parliamentary Confirmation.

However that may be, sure we are, That the Convocation of the Clergy have (as has been said already) for above 150 Years in every Instance (except that of Forty, and the Synods Legatin) Met and Rose within a day of the Parliament. And if Custom there­fore be the Law of Convocations, as it is of Par­liaments (and we have Dr. Wake's Word for it, that it is Pp. 105, [...]98.) then is it Law, that the Con­vocation should meet Only, and Always in time of Parliament. The Learned Mr. Cambden knew no better, whose Words are, Synodus quae Convocatio Cleri dicitur, & semper simul cum Parliamento habetur Britan­nia in Cap. de Tribu­nalibus.. Thus stood Britannia Then; though a late Paultry Compiler of the New State of England will have it, that it is an Assembly which now and then Meets, and that in time of Parliament Miege's New State of Eng­land. Part. III. p. 64.: Thanks to Dr. Wake for furnishing him with the occasion for such a Definition! which I trust however that the Doctor and all his Friends, shall not, in the Event, be able to prove a True One; not even by that only Argument which can ever possibly prove it so, Future practice.

The very Warrant to the Keeper of the Great Seal for issuing out Writs for a Parlia­ment, is a standing Testimony against these new Notions: It ran thus in Iames the First's time, and I suppose, runs so still: ‘Whereas we are resolved to have a Parliament at, &c. These are to Will and Require you forth­with [Page 69] upon Receipt hereof, to Issue forth our Writs of Summons to all the Peers of our Kingdom; and also all other Usual Writs for the Electing of such Knights, Citizens, and Burg [...]sses, as are to Serve therein; and with­all to Issue out all Usual Writs for the Sum­moning of the Clergy of both Provinces in their Houses of Convocation. And this shall be your Warrant so to do H [...]c [...]er's Life of Bi­shop Willi­ams, p. 173..’ So that the Writs for the Convocation are, it seems, as Usual as those for the Commons; and the One Assembly therefore is as Customary as the Other.

My Lord of Sarum seems to have had no other thoughts, where, in the Entrance of his History of our Reformed Synods, (for such every History of our Reformation is, or should be) he lays it down, That with the Writs for a Parlia­ment there went out always a Summons to the Two Archbishops for calling a Convocation of their Pro­vinces Hist. Ref. I. Vol. p. 20.: Always, i, e. long before the times of H. VIII. of which his Lordship is Writing. I doubt not but his Lordship's Meaning then was, That these Writs went out to Purpose, and had their due and full Effect: for the Distinction, which some State-Logicians since have Coin'd Dr. W. p. 106, 107, 14 [...], 141., between a Right of being Sum­moned, and a Right of M [...]ing in Virtue of that Summons, was not then Invented. But I presume too far in venturing to guess at his Lordship's Thoughts, when his Words are such as may indifferently serve either Hypothesis, and can therefore, I must confess, be a good Authority for neither. Let us have Recourse therefore to Those who are more determined in their Expressions.

[Page 70]Archbishop Cranmer in that Speech by which he opened the first Convocation under E. 6. affirms it to be MS. Acta Synodi in­coeptae, Nov. 5. An. 1547., De more regni Angliae, primo quoque anno regni cujuslibet Regis citare Parliamen­tum, nec non & Convocare Synodum Episcoporum & Cleri; sicque fieri in praesenti de Mandato Regis. He speaks of a Custom only in the First Year of every Reign, because That was the Present Case: whereas Cardinal Pool at a Synod held in the latter end of Queen Mary, en­larges the Assertion, and says, Act. MS. Syn. coeptae, Ian. 21. 1557. Quòd cum de antiquo more Rex Angliae ob aliquot arduas Causas Praelatos hujus Regni ad Concilium sive Parliamen­tum suum adesse jubet propter Regis Securitatem & Regni Statum — Concilia & Auxilia sua imp [...]n­suros: Ita Archiepiscopus Cantuariensis Episcopos suos Suffraganeos, Praelatos, &c. ad Sacrum Concilium evocare assolet, de iisdem Causis tractaturos, & auxilia sua consimili modo daturos.

And to the same purpose the Good Martyr, Archdeacon Philpott, a Member of Convoca­tion, and well skill'd in the Rights of it: He, in his Supplication to the King, Queen, and Parliament, complains, ‘That where there was by the Queen's Highness a Parliament called, and after the Old Custom a Convoca­tion of the Clergy Fox. Vol. III. p. 587..’ Nor did those Lords of the Council, who disputed other Points with him, deny this; but agreed in Terms, ‘That the Convocation-House was called by One Writ of Summons of the Parliament, of an Old Ibid. p. 552. Custom. I lay no great weight upon their Opinion, because it was casually given, and by Persons, who, though of the King's Privy Council, yet might, perhaps, be as Ill inform'd of these Matters as Meaner [Page 71] Men: For a Seat at that Honourable Board does not necessarily imply a thorough knowledge of this part of our Constitution. I mention their Opinion, only to meet with Dr. Wake, who has produced it on the other side with as much Gravity and Deference, as if it were a Reso­lution of the Twelve Judges Assembled P. 251.. He had been Reading, I suppose, in that Notable Book of the Law, The Attorney's Academy, where he found it thus formally vouch'd P. 221.: And he thought he might safely Write after so Worthy a Pattern.

To make amends for this slight Authority, I shall produce another of somewhat more force; even the Judgment of a whole Synod in Queen Mary's time, who introduce their Petition about the Confirmation of Abby Lands to the Patentees, with this Preamble; 1.2. P. & M. c. 8. Nos Episcopi & Clerus Cant. Prov. in hâc Synodo, more nostro solito, dum Regni Parliamentum ce­lebratur, congregati — Where we see they lay claim to an Old Immemorial Custom, not only of being Called, by the King's Writ, to­gether with every Parliament, but of Meeting also upon that Call, by the same Custom. For unluckily it happens (to spoil Dr. Wake's New Scheme) that they place the Usage, in their being more solito Congregati; not Convocati, or Summoniti; as the Word should have been, to make Their Assertion consistent with His. But alas! they knew nothing of this new Doctrine, and their Expressions therefore are not so con­trived as to favour it. They were then Assem­bled in a Synod, and Acting as a Synod, when they drew up this Petition▪ And 'tis of a Cu­stom therefore of so Assembling and Acting [Page 72] that they speak; and not of being only Summoned. Nor was this the Sense of the Clergy alone, but of an Whole Parliament too, which recited this Petition Verbatim in a Statute; and by that means set their Seal, as it were, to the Truth of the Suggestion con­tained in it.

It would be needless after this to argue from the Old Parliamentary Practice of appointing Convocation-days Elsyng. p. 112. upon which the Temporal Lords Adjourned, that the Parliament-Prelates might be at Liberty to Consult with the Infe­rior Clergy: Of this Custom we have an Ac­count, as high as the first Years of H. VIII. i. e. as high as we have any Iournals of Par­liament.

To as little purpose would it be to urge the Decision of the Committee of Both Houses, 21 H. VIII. Moor. Rep. p. 781.; and of the House of Com­mons, 10. Mariae Hist. Ref. II. Vol. p. 252, 3.; that a Clergyman could not be Chosen into that House, They de­termined also, That a Layman could not be of the Convocation: But in That, Practice is against them. For the Chancellor of York, though a Layman, is Now, and has been long, a Member of that Convocation: And whether Lamb and Heath (who are Mentioned as of the Convocation in 1640.) were not Mere Civilians, I leave to be consider'd. Heyl. Life of Laud. p. 438. Because he was Represented in another House: Which implies, I think, that that other House was to sit concur­rently with the Parliament; or else I see not what force there is in the Reason given.

Much less will it, perhaps, after what I have said, be thought Material to observe, that 24 H. VIII. c. 12. in Matters touching the Crown allows an Appeal within Fifteen days, to the Upper House of Convocation, then be­ing, [Page 73] or next insuing: which supposes this Assem­bly to Meet often, and to have its Regular and Stated Returns; as the Parliament has.

These, though good Presumptions of the Truth I contend for, yet arise not up to the fulness of several of those Proofs which I have before suggested: And because they may ad­mit a Cavil therefore, I hint them only, with­out dwelling upon them. The Evidence al­ready given is sufficient to clear the Practice, as it stood 150 Years ago, and had then stood, Time out of mind. And that it has not altered since, is too well known to need a Proof: There being no Instance to be given, I believe, from the time of the Reformation down to that of our late Revolution, wherein a New Parliament has sate, for any time, without a Convocation to attend it: Nor any one Author of Note, I verily think, to be produced, throughout that Period, who has given it as his Opinion, that the Former of these Meetings might by the Law of the Realm be held without the Latter. Dr. Wake is for ought I can find, the very first Writer that has ever Taught this Doctrine; with how much Truth or Probability, the Reader by this time begins to judge, and will, in the Course of these Papers more clearly see: Wherein I hope to set the Clergy's Right to such Con­current Meetings in so full and clear a Light, that as no One ever denied it before Dr. Wake, so neither shall any Man of tolerable Skill, or Honesty ever Dispute it after him.

I have been large upon this Head, and I fear, by reason of the variety of the Matter, somewhat confus'd: It may be proper there­fore, [Page 74] here at the close of it, to recollect the several Branches of the Proof there advanc'd: They stand in this Order.

That, as far back as we have any Memoirs of the Civil or Ecclesiastical Affairs of this King­dom, it appears that the Clergy and Laity Met together in the great Councils of the Realm: That this they did, in the Saxon times, and for some Reigns after the Conquest, Nationally; joining closely with the Laity in Civil Debates, and taking Their Sanction along with them in all Ecclesiastical Acts and Ordinances: That they divided afterwards from the Laity, and from one another; and attended the Parlia­ment not in One Body, but in Two Provincial Synods, held under their several Archbishops: That, though it does not clearly appear, when this Practice first had its Rise, yet sure we are, that it is between 4 and 500 years old, and has for so long at least, regularly obtain'd; excepting only the Interruption that was given to it by the Premunitory Clause, inserted into the Bishops Writs; which once again warn'd, and brought the Clergy Nationally to Parlia­ment: That a strict Compliance with this Clause was at first exacted by the Crown, and paid by the Clergy; but that they soon found ways of being released from the Rigor of it, and prevail'd upon the King to accept of their former manner of Assembling with the Parlia­ment in Two Provincial Synods, in lieu of that Closer Attendance which the Premunientes challenged; the Forms however being still kept up, by which the King's Right of Sum­moning them immediately to Parliament was declar'd all along, and their Obligation to [Page 75] obey his Summons in the way it prescribed, was duly acknowledged: That these Provin­cial Assemblies, though held apart from the Parliament, yet belong'd to it; Met by the Parliamentary, no less than the Provincial Writ; and were State-Meetings, as well as Church-Synods: In them Parliamentary Mat­ters were Transacted, and Parliamentary Forms and Methods observed; the Members of them were Entitled to Parliamentary Wages, and enjoyed Parliamentary Priviledges: That the Inferior Clergy, though divided in Place from the Lower Laity, yet join'd with them often in the same Acts and Petitions, and were still esteem'd and called the Commons Spiritual of the Realm; and what They and the Prelates in Convocation did, was long after the Separa­tion spoken of in our Records, as done in Parliament: That these Parliamentary Conven­tions of the Clergy were held at first near the time at which the Laity met; afterwards with a Latitude: But that This Irregularity was Re­formed before the Reformation of Religion; and their Meeting and Departing fixed, with­in a Day of the Assembling and Dismission of the Parliament; and that this Custom has now for above an Age and Half continued: That for so long therefore (not to say how much longer) the Convocation has been a word of Art, which signifies a Meeting of the Clergy in time of Parliament: That such Meetings have by All that understood our Constitution been held Necessary; Dr. Wake being the First Writer, that has ever asserted them to be Pre­carious, and put it in the Prince's, or the Arch­bishop's Power, whether they will have such Assemblies, or no.

[Page 76]The Result of All is This, That, if some Hundred Years Custom can make a Law, then may we, without Offence, affirm it to be Law, that the Convocation should Sit with every New Parliament: If the True Notion of a Convocation be, That it is an Assembly of the Clergy always attending the Parliament, then is it no Presumption to say, That we have the same Law for the Sitting of a Con­vocation, as we have for that of a Parliament. And by this Law the Clergy (as was said be­fore in relation to the Canons of the Church) are not only under a Duty to attend, but have also a Right to meet; so that, as their Writs for Assembling concurrently with a Parlia­ment, are not mere Letters of Grace and Compliment, but to be emitted ex debito Iusti­tiae, and whether the Government has any thing to propose to them or no; so likewise are their Assemblies at such times to be held by the same Law, notwithstanding it may be pretended that there is no Occasion for them. For although their Consent may not be neces­sary, nor their Advice seem wanting; yet, as they are bound to wait, if Either shall be ask'd; So may the Clergy themselves have some Informations and Remembrances to of­fer, and some Petitions to make concerning such things, as they may be supposed to take more particular notice of, or wherein they may be more peculiarly concern'd. And this Liberty and Opportunity of representing what they may think necessary, is to be esteemed by them as their great Parliamentary Privi­ledge; not to be Wav'd, like the Others, for the better course of common Justice; [Page 77] but to be Asserted and Confirmed for the Good of the whole Kingdom.

Such a Liberty therefore and Opportunity is not only provided for by Canons, but se­cur'd, I say, by the Law: Both by the Law of Custom, which is the Law of Parliaments; and by Express Statute: an Act of Edward the Third appointing a Parliament, and con­sequently Thus the Answerer of the Nine Reasons of the House of Com­mons against Bishops Votes in Par­liament Argued; alledging, That the Bishops were by the Triennial Act obliged necessarily to attend the Convocation once in Three Years: And the Examination of that Answer (40. 1641.) Print­ed by Order of a Committee of the House, grants the Allegation. p. 16, 17. a Convocation to be held just within the Ca­nonical distance, Yearly; and the present Law enjoyn­ing, That it shall be frequent­ly held, and once at least in Three Years: Held, I say, and not only Called; for that is the Right we speak of: A Right, that has been all along own'd by constant Practice; or, if perchance not exerci­sed at some Particular time, through Forget­fulness, or Distraction (to allow the utmost, and more perhaps, than can be proved); yet never Purposely, and, if I may so speak, Re­gularly Neglected till Now.


HItherto we have considered only the First of the Two Points proposed, the Cler­gy's Right of Meeting and Sitting in Convo­cation, as often as a New Parliament Sits: We will now address our Selves to the Second, which asserts their Right (when Met) of Treat­ing and Deliberating about such Affairs as lie within their proper Sphere, and of coming to fit Resolutions upon them, without being necessitated antecedently to qualify themselves for such Acts and Debates by a License under the Broad Seal of England.

That this is the Original Right of all Provin­cial Synods, incident to their nature, as such, claim'd and practised by them in all Ages of the Church, and in all Christian Countries, and in our own particularly, from the time that we have any account of our Synods, till towards the beginning of the Reformation, is so certain, as to need no Proof; and Dr. Wake therefore is never more like himself (that is, never more Absurd) than when he would insinuate the contrary P. 48, 288.. The only Question is, how far the Statute 25 H. VIII. has restrained this Right, and made a License from the Crown necessary? It being there En­acted, ‘That the Clergy, ne any of them should from thenceforth presume to attempt alledge, claim, or put in ure any Constitu­tions, or Ordinances, Provincial or Syno­dal, or any other Canons; nor should En­act, Promulge, or Execute any such Ca­nons, Constitutions, or Ordinances Pro­vincial, [Page 79] by what Name or Names they may be called, in their Convocations in times coming; unless the same Clergy may have the King's most Royal Assent and License to Make, Promulge, and Execute the same.’

Now that the Clergy are not by this Clause ty'd up altogether from acting Synodically, is allowed generally by Those who desire most to abridge their Powers. It cannot with any shew of Reason be pretended, that the Con­vocation, however under a Restraint by this Act, is become such a Lifeless Body, as to have neither Sense nor Motion, till Animated by a second Royal Command: Unquestiona­bly, and according to common Opinion and Practice, they have, even since this Statute, in vertue of the Writ by which they Meet, a Liberty of Addressing, as they shall see cause either with Thanks, or Requests, or other proper Representations — But it is pre­sum'd also, that they may go a great deal fur­ther, and that there is nothing in the Clause recited which hinders them even from Devising and Framing the Draught of a Canon; so it be done only in a Preparatory Way, and with Submission to the Royal Enacting Authority. This is what has been laid down in a late Trea­tise Letter to a Convoca­tion-Man., briefly indeed, but convincingly; and with so much force of Reason, as yet has re­ceived no Reply: The Answerers of that Piece having slid over this part of it, where the Act is Explained, with a Seeming Neglect, but with a Real Distrust of their being able to say any thing to the purpose against what is there advanc'd. When they come to this [Page 80] Point, as important as it is, they dispatch it always in hast: Even Dr. Wake can allow it but a flight mention or two, in a Work, where he finds room amply enough to discuss every thing that is not Material. But he did well to tread lightly over the Ground, which, if he had stood never so little upon it, would have gone near to have sunk under him. To make this Point yet more manifest, and not to leave the least pretence for a Cavil, I shall here resume the Proof of it; bespeaking the Candor of those Gentlemen, whose studies particularly lie this way, if, (as the general Fate is of those that Write out of their Pro­fession,) I express my self now and then a little improperly. So the Thing I aim at be but clearly made out, though my Manner of do­ing it be not strictly according to Art, it will not concern me. I shall consider first the Oc­casion of the Act, and then the Act it self; and by a short account of the One lead the Reader into the true Sense and Meaning of the Other. Henry the VIIIth enraged both at the Pope and Cardinal Wolsey for their Delusions in the Affair of the Divorce, resolved with the Ruin of the Cardinal to lessen the Papal Authority. And for the better effecting this Design, which could not well be accomplished, without striking a Terror into Those who were then but too much the Pope's Vassals, the Clergy; especially the Monks and Friars; he involved them All in a Premunire for submitting to Wol­sey's Legatine Character, unauthorised by the Crown; not for Procuring, or making Use of Provisional Bulls, as Dr. Wake, in his usual Kindness to the Memory of the Clergy, and [Page 81] according to his deep Skill in English History has represented it P. 248.: Nor yet merely for Ap­pearing and Making Suit in his Courts, as a Greater Author Bishop Burnet's Hist. of Ref. Vol. I. p. 106., (but in this Conjecture no less Unhappy) than He, seems to take it; for then All the Clergy could not have been concluded under the Penalty, for All had not Su'd there. But that which made the whole Body at once Obnoxious was, their obeying his Mandates Rigida enim Pro­visionum Jura (says Josceline upon this occasion) non modò eos puniunt qui Romanas Lega­tiones sine Regis Licentia suscipiunt, sed qui iis parent. Ant. Brit. Eccles. in Warhamo. p. 325., and appearing in his Synods Legantine; which the Clergy had often, and lately An. 1527. done.

The Cardinal had been a Favourite beyond Example; the Sole, and Uncontroul'd Mini­ster of his Prince: He was at that time Lord Chancellor by the King's Commission, and had been made Legat with his Privity, and at his Special Instance, as Bishop Gardiner informs us In a Letter to the Prote­ctour. Fox Vol. II. p. 2. col. 1.. What he did in one Capacity, as well as in the other, was presum'd to be done by the King's Appointment; and whoever had opposed him, had certainly been crush'd by the Royal Power. The Subject neither durst, nor thought it necessary to enquire, whether He had a License from the Great Seal, who had himself the keeping it. However their Obedience to his Unlicens'd Authority was Criminal even to the Loss of Liberty and Estate: And could they in any case have vouch'd the King's Command for their Obey­ing it, the Command would have been said to [Page 82] have been against Law, and no Warrant. Thus both the Clergy and Laity were unawares at the King's Mercy, and the Clergy not admit­ted to pardon Gratis (as the Laity afterwards were); but forc'd to ransome themselves by a good Round Sum 100000 l. for the Pro­vince of Canterbu­ry, and 18840 l. 10 d. for that of York; which was laid, as all other Convoca­tion-Grants were, proportionably on the whole Clergy; as appears from the Assessments to be seen still in the Bishops Registers; particularly in that of Hereford, An. 1531. And I wonder therefore that my Lord of Sarum should say, That he had not been able to discover whether the Inferior Clergy paid their Proportion of this Tax, or not (Vol. I. p. 115.) and agen, That the Prelates had a great Mind to draw 'em in to bare a share of the Burthen, Ib. p. 114. [He speaks of the Time, after the Con­vocation which made the Grant, was up.] For this was both Needless and Impracticable: Needless, because the Lower Clergy had already drawn themselves in, by consenting to the Grant in Convocation; and Impracti­cable, because if they had not, there was no way left of drawing 'em in afterwards. for those times, and by an Acknowledgment in Convocation, that the King was Supreme Head, together with the Submission, and Petition recited in the Preamble of the Act we are discoursing of.

There the Clergy first knowledge [and the Parliament add, according to the Truth] that the Convocation is, always hath been, and ought to be Assembled by the King's Writ. Which Acknowledgment however is not according to Truth, unless understood of Parliamentary Con­vocations; that is, of those which were sum­moned as well by the Praemunientes, as by the Archbishop's Mandate: And to Those therefore it must be restrain'd. And they had reason to Own and Avow this particularly, be­cause the Cardinal had taken upon him to Con­vene Legantine Synods by his own Authority frequently during his Ministry; and parti­cularly [Page] [Page] [Page 83] Once, (not long before his Fall, and the Time of this Submission) on Nov. 27. 1527. As I ga­ther from a Printed Sermon of Longland's said to be Preached on that Day and Year, Coram Celeberri­mo Conventu tùm Archiepiscoporum cùm Episcoporum caeteraeque multitudinis in Occidentalis Coenobii Sanctuario juxta Londinum. Though this Title, I confess, is somewhat Dubious.: And that Practice of his therefore might be oppos'd by this Declaration which prefaces the Submission.

In the Submission, which follows, the Clergy promise in Verbo Sacerdotii, that they will never from henceforth presume to Attempt, Alledge, Claim, or put in Ure; Or Enact, Promulge, or Execute any New Canons, Constitutions, Ordinance Provin­cial, or other, or by whatsoever other name they shall be called in the Convocation; unless the King's most Royal Assent and License may to them be had to Make, Promulge, and Execute the same: And that his Majesty do give his most Royal Assent and Authority in that behalf.

Now here are Two several Things distinctly promised in Two Different Branches of the same Sentence, divided from Each other by the Particle, Or; They will not Attempt, Al­ledge, Claim, or put in Ure, that is one part of their promise; Or Enact, Promulge, or Execute, that is another. The First of these respects Canons, as already made (whether by a Fo­reign, or Domestick Authority); the Second, as to be made, here at Home: The Former part of their Assurance is given in their Private and Ministerial Capacity, in relation to the Pro­ceedings in the Spiritual Courts; the Latter in their Publick and Legislative Capacity, as they were Members of Convocation. In their [Page 84] Private Capacity, as they might be either Judges, or Litigants, they promise, not to Attempt, Alledge, Claim, or put in Ure [i. e. not to be any ways Instrumental in acknowledging, or promoting the force of] any Canons made without the Royal Assent; such as the whole Text of the Foreign Canon Law, and all our Own Provincial and Legantine Constitutions were: In their Publick Capacity, they promise further, not to Enact, Promulge, or Execute any such Canons for the Future, unless they may have the same Royal License for it. But here is no promise couch'd in any of these words, that they will not debate about the matter, or form the Draught of a Canon, without such a License: None of the Words (Enact, Pro­mulge, or Execute] which alone relate to their Proceedings in Convocation, including any such Promise; and the only word which can be pretended to imply it, the word [Attempt] being determinnd by its Situation to signify much the same thing as Alledge, Claim, or put in Ure; and restraining the Persons promising on­ly as they might Act in their Private or Mini­sterial Capacity, that is, out of Convocation.

To Attempt a Canon therefore must signify to put it upon tryal, or prove the force of it; and is a word of Art borrowed from the Civilians: However we need not go so far for an account of it; the very Act we are upon affording us an undeniable Instance of its being thus used: as will appear, if we consider the Petition of the Clergy which follows this Promise, and the Enacting Words in the Body of the Statute, which answer to that Petition.

[Page 85]The Petition relates altogether to Canons already made, many of which were solely from the Pope, and many more from the Archbi­shop, without the Royal Assent; and the Clergy pray therefore that These may be Re­viewed, and their Authority Suspended, du­ring that Review. Accordingly the Authority of all the Old Canons was suspended; or ra­ther Abrogated by this Act, as appears plainly from the Proviso Which Dr. Wake in his pre­tended Recital of the Act, [N. 4. of his Appendix] has suppressed, very disingenuously; considering of how great Significancy this Pro­viso is, to lead us into the true Sense of the Word Attempt in the Body of the Act., at the End of it, for their being in force, till such a Review, and from the Express words of a Later Act, 37 H. 8. c. 17. Which says, That All the Decrees, Ordinances, and Con­stitutions [of the whole Canon Law] by a Statute made in the 25th of your most noble Reign be utterly abolish'd, frustrate, and of none effect.: And this Abrogati­on of the Old Canons was performed purely by those Words in the Enacting part of the Statute, that they shall not from henceforth At­tempt, Alledge, Claim, or put in Ure: All which words therefore the Parliament used Evidently of Canons already made; and must, for that reason, have understood the word At­tempt, in the very sense that I have given it, for putting a thing upon Tryal, or proving the force of it.

No Restraint therefore is laid upon the Clergy in their Legislative Capacity, by the word, Attempt in their Promise: How far the following Words of it, [that they will not Enact, Promulge, or Execute any new Canons — unless the King's most Royal Assent and License may to them be had to Make, Promulge, and Execute the same] may be supposed to restrain them in [Page 86] that respect, is to be the subject of our next Enquiry. The word, Make, here in the Con­dition of the Promise must have the same Sense as the word Enact in the Promise it self, to which it plainly answers and refers: They will not Enact, Promulge, or Execute any New Ca­nons; unless they may have the King's Assent to Make [i. e. to Enact] Promulge, and Execute the same. This is what the Phrase it self in Propriety of Speech im­plies: For to Make a Canon, is the same as, Canonem Condere, to constitute it, and give it force: And so, Testamentum Condere, [to make a Will] signifies not merely to prepare the Draught of it; but to make it with the Legal Forms, and Circumstances requi­site; that is, to Sign, Seal, and Publish it. But (which puts this matter quite out of dispute) the Word is in this very sense employed in Two several places of the Act it self, and can there be strain'd to no other: For in the Entrance of the se­cond Clause there is mention of such Ca­nons, Constitutions, Ordinances as heretofore have been made by the Clergy of this Realm; and in the Last Proviso, of Canons already made, which be not contrariant to the Laws. Canons heretofore made, and Canons already made, must, I think, be such, as have been solemnly passed and Enacted, and not mere Draughts of 'em, lying ready to be pass'd: And to make a Canon therefore, does, in the sense of the Statute, signify to Enact it, and not merely to draw it up, and to form it.

[Page 87]And this Way of Explaining the Act by it self, in the Use of the Present Phrase, is, I conceive, much more Authentick and Proper, than that which the Author of a Letter to a Member of Parliament P. 26. makes use of, who wisely sends us to Tully, and to Mr. Hooker for an account of it. Were not this Gen­tleman of the Law driven to very hard shifts, he would never go to a Classick Author, or a Book of Divinity for the Sense of an Act of Parliament.

To clear this Point yet further (if there were any Room for it, or any Need of it) I might appeal to the several Forms of Submissi­on which preceded this, that the Act recites, and were agreed to by the Clergy, but not accepted by the King; Copies of which, written in the very Hand of the time, are still preserved: And in every One of them, but the First, their Promise stands formal­ly divided, in the same manner as I also have distinguished it, into Two several Branch­es or Articles;See Ap­pendix, N. III. One relating to Church Laws that had been (as they there speak) already made, the Other to such as were to be made here­after. And of these last much the same words are there used, as in the Form recited by the Statute; They promising, That they will from thenceforth forbear to Enact, Promulge, or put in Execution, any such Constitution or Ordinance, to be by them made in time coming, unless his Highness by his Royal Assent shall License them to Make, Promulge, and Execute such Constitutions; and the same so made shall approve by his Highnes­ses Authority. But as to the Former Article about Canons already made, none of their first [Page 88] Submissions were, it seems, thought full enough; and they were obliged therefore to draw up a New one, wherein they promised not to Attempt, Alledge, Claim, on put in Ure the Ecclesiastical Laws then in force; but so long only, as till the King, by his Commissio­ners, should have reviewed, digested, appro­ved, and Authorised them. It has happened odly enough, that Those Forms of Submission, that were not accepted, are still in being; whereas That which past, has, for ought I can find, perish'd Unless preserv'd in my Lord Longvil's Library, in the Printed Catalogue of which I find this Ti­tle, Instrumentum super Sub­missione Cleri coràm Domino Rege quoad celebrationem Con­ciliorum Provincialium. Vol. XII. f. 63. & Lib. XXV. f. 141. But I have not had the Opportuni­ty of examining this Paper.: For the Recital of it in the Act of Parliament is not (as I con­ceive). Literal, but Imper­fect, and somewhat Confu­sed; mixing together all those Terms, which the Cler­gy us'd in relation either to Canons made, or to be made; and which, in all their other Forms of Submission, stand apart, and in Di­stinct Clauses: for it is not conceivable, that their Last Form of Submission, in which they were call'd upon to explain themselves yet fur­ther than they had done, should be less Me­thodical and Distinct Archbi­shop Laud says (out of the MSS Acts) that it was divided into Three Articles, which were Proposed and Voted severally, (Try▪ and Troub. p. 82.) And if so, the Recital of the Submission in that Act cannot be Literal: For there is no Distinction of Articles in it. than any of the For­mer.

The Words then of the Clergy's Submission, which are in the Preamble of the Act, and have hitherto been the Subject of our enquiry, [Page 89] plainly amount to no more than this; Ei­ther, (10) that they will not, as Private Persons look upon, or make Use of any Ca­nons as obliging, but such only as, upon a Re­view, shall have the stamp of Royal Authority given to them: Or (2dly) that in their Publick Capacity, they will not Enact or Publish any such Canons for the future, without the same Royal Assent and Approbation.

And that this was all their Promise meant, is no new Opinion, but the sense of Archbishop Parker, who understood these things as well as any Man: He in Antiqu. Eccles. Britann. (A Book compos'd under his Direction) gives this account of it, Totus in Synodo Clerus in Verbo Sacerdotii fidem dedit, ne [...]llas deinceps in Synodo fer­rent Ecclesiasticas Leges, nisi & Synodus Authori­tate Regid Congregat [...], & Constitutiones in Synodo Publicatae eâdem Authoritate Ratae essent P. 326.. And in this Exposition he is constant; for agen in ano­ther place he thus expresses himself, Postquam Clerus in Verbo Sacerdotii Henrico Regi promifissent, fi [...]e Authoritate Regid in Synodo se nihil Decretu­ros P. 339.. With this agrees my Lord Herbert's Ab­stract of the Submission, by which, he says, they promis'd his Majesty, that they would not Make or Alledge any New Canons, without his Highness's Assent, and License Life of H. 8. p. 399.. And agen, more clearly, they promis'd for the future to make no Constitution, nor execute any without the King's Leave Ibid. p. 349.. i. e. to make no New ones, and to Execute, or Alledge, neither New nor Old ones. To the same Pur­pose, my Lord of Sarum; They promis'd in Verbo Sacerdotii, that they would never Make nor Exe­cute any New Canons or Constitutions, without the Royal Assent to them Vol. 1. p. 147.; and before this, p. 113. [Page 90] of the same Volume, They promised for the future not to Make nor Execute any Constitution without the King's License. None of these Writers, it is clear, thought the Clergy restrain'd by their Submission from any Debates, or Resolutions, which were previous to the Establishing a Ca­non; for otherwise they would not, in their ac­counts of it, have omitted this Particular, which was above all others to be taken notice of: And none of 'em therefore, we may be sure, took the work Make in any other sense than to En­act; or thought the word Attempt applicable to any but the Old Unauthoriz'd Canons.

And the Judgment of these Persons is the more to be depended on, because the First of 'em liv'd at the time of the Submission▪ and must be well acquainted with the sense then given of it; the Second was a Lay-man, and one who was thought to have but little regard for the Priesthood; and the Third, tho' of the Clergy, yet is observ'd throughout his Works, where­ever the Interest of the Order is concern'd, to be under no degree of Partiality towards them.

More Authorities of this kind might be given, if either these were not sufficient, or the stress of the Point lay upon the way of wording the Submission; which it does not, but on the Terms us'd in that part of the Statute, where the Sub­mission is Enacted; and this we now come to consider.

For after the Submission and Petition of the Clergy are thus recited in the Statute, it pro­ceeds to Enact, that ‘They, ne any of them from henceforth shall presume to attempt, alledge, claim, or put in Ure any Constitu­tions, [Page 91] or Ordinances Provincial, or Synodals, or any other Canons: Nor shall Enact, Pro­mulge, or Execute any such Canons, Con­stitutions, or Ordinances Provincial, by whatsoever name or names they may be call'd in their Convocations in Times coming, un­less they may have the King's most Royal Assent and License to Make, Promulge, and Execute the same.’

Now whatever Ambiguity there may seem to be in the words Attempt, and Make, as they lye in the Recital of the Submission, yet here in the Body of the Statute it self it is perfectly clear'd. For

1. The words [Attempt, Alledge, Claim, and put in Ure] are here manifestly divided from those [Enact, Promulge and Execute] and make a Distinct Member of the Period, having Substan­tives of their own, [Constitutions, Ordinances, &c.] which they govern, and in which their signifi­cation is determin'd.

2. These words are plainly us'd to Enact the Petition of the Clergy, which prays a Suspensi­on of the Force of the Old Canons; and by these words, and these alone (as I have shewn) the force of those Canons is suspended: and therefore to attempt, as well as to alledge, claim, and put in ure must be understood of Canons, as already made; and not of Canons, as [in fieri, or] making. And if so, then

3. The Exception afterwards made, [Unless the said Clergy may have the King's most Royal As­sent and License to Make, Promulge, and Execute] can no ways refer to their Attempting, Alledg­ing, Claiming, or putting in Ure: for a License to be had in order to make Canons, cannot possibly affect words that are us'd only of Ca­nons already made. And therefore,

[Page 92]4. That Exception belongs purely to the words immediately foregoing, by which they are forbid to Enact, Promulge, or Execute: Two of the words of this Prohibition [Promulge, and Exe­cute] being repeated in the Exception annex'd; and the Third [Enact] being express'd by Make, a word of the same force and value.

Whatever sense then the Submission (made in those difficult Times, and under so great a Ter­ror The Gen­tleman that pub­lish'd, Some Thoughts on a Convocation, insults the Learned Mr. Hill on this head, who had represented the Convocation which submitted, as then under the Las [...] of a Premunire. But this (says he) is a Great Blunder; for the Premunire was off at least three years before, and releas'd by Act of Parliament in the 22 H. 8. the Convocation-Act being not till the 25th. (p. 8.) It seems, this Gentleman knows not (what one would have thought every body knew) that the Clergy made their Submission s [...]e years before it was Enacted by Parliament, and that Then the Premunire hung over them: yet, as unacquainted as he is with things of this nature, ventures at Ran­dome to bestow his Rude Language on the suppos'd Mistake of another Man. Under so great a Degree of Ignorance, a little more Modesty had become him. My Lord of Sarum's Expressions, I suppose, misled him, which (in the Year 1534.) are, ‘As the Parliament was going on with th [...]se good Laws, there came a Submission from the Clergy then sitting in Convocation, to be pass'd in Parliament, (p. 147.) But this is one of those Nods that Great Men in Long Works are subject to: for his Lordship p. 113. of that Work seems to have soon known that the Submission was made by the Convo­cation in 1531 & 2, however he came to forget it here, and to place the Rise of it two Years lower. But whether his Lordship were aware of this, or not, it is certain the Submission was so much Older than the Act; as ap­pears by the Iournal of the Convocation that fram'd it still remaining; tho' his Lordship (Ib. p. 147.) complains that it is lost; and excuses himself on [...]his account for not being able to inform his Readers, what Opposition it met with from the Clergy, e'er it pass'd. I have seen the Iournal of that Synod, it is not so Large indeed as those Records of Convocation which Heylin saw, (Reformat. justified, Sect. 2.) and wherein, he says, the whole Debate with all the Traverses and Emergent Difficulties which appear'd therein are specify'd at large: However, it is particular enough to shew with what Difficulty, and by what steps the Clergy were drawn into a Com­plyance, and how Threatning Messages were sent 'em by the King before they could be brought to it: And I have already, from another Manuscript, pro­mis'd the Reader the several Forms of Submission which they drew up, one after another; but could not get accepted. There is no Reason therefore to complain of want of Light in this case; for perhaps there is scarce any one thing done in any of H. the 8th's Convocations, of which we have a clearer and fuller account than of the Opposition which the Court-Form of Submission met with from the Clergy, before they came up to it. From the Inferior Clergy, I mean: for it does not appear that the Prelates were so very hard to be dealt with. On the contrary, it is said in the Acts, that but one Bishop [and not one Abbot or Prior] disagreed to it: but of the Lower Clergy 18, or 19 Voted against it to the very last; and 7. or 8. referr'd, that is, Voted neither against it, nor for it. See Troub. & Try. of La [...]d. p. 82.) may be drawn to import by the Ambi­guous Relation of the word Attempt, as it now stands there; yet the Parliament, it is plain, would take it, and accordingly Enacted it, in [Page 93] no other sense than I have given of it; distinctly severing it, in the Body of the Act, from all those words that have any respect to the Making of a Ca­non, and confining it to that Branch of the Sen­tence, which suspends all the Old Canons alrea­dy made. Then comes the other Branch, which prescribes the Method of making new ones; and forbids the Clergy to Enact, Promulge, or Exe­cute any without the King's Assent: leaving them in the mean time to their Old Methods of Proposing and Deliberating; and reducing their Power only to the same Level with that of Par­liaments: over which they had before great and sensible advantages; in as much as they En­acted Canons by their own Authority, without the Royal Concurrence, and in Synods often­times, which met without a Royal Summons.

This, I question not, is the true and genuine Exposition of the Act; and this being the very Hinge on which the Second Article of the Dis­pute turns, I thought my self oblig'd to consider it with a very particular care, and to secure it, if possible, against all Exceptions. I hope, I have done so; and that the Reader is, by this [Page 94] time fully satisfy'd, that no Restraint is laid by it upon any Convocational Act of the Clergy, previous to the passing a Canon; but that they have still as much Liberty to Treat, Debate, and Con­clude (so they do not Enact, Promulge, and Exe­cute) since this Statute, as ever they had before it. Sure I am, that it has been thus understood all along by those who may be presum'd to be best acquainted with its meaning; such as Poul­ton, and Rastal were: The one, in his Abridge­ment, puts this Title before the Act, "That the Clergy in their Convocations shall Enact no Constitu­tions without the King's Assent: The other, in his Repertory, at the End of the Statutes, makes this to be the Purport of it, That the Clergy in their Convocations shall Enact nothing unless they have the King's Assent and License: Neither of 'em were aware, it seems, that their Liberty of De­bate was cut off by it.

My Lord Herbert took it just as they did, for his short Summary of it is, that in Convocations nothing shall be Promulg'd and Executed without the King's Leave P. 399..

Mr. Fox was of the same mind; for thus he abridges it, That the Clergy shall not hereafter pre­sume to assemble in their Convocation, without the King's Writ, or to Enact or Execute Constitutions without his Royal Assent Vol. 2. p. 330..

Bishop Godwyn does not differ in his account of it, which is, In praedicto porrò Parliamento de­cretum est de abrogand [...] Synodi Authoritate in Cano­nibus Ecclesiasticis condendis, nisi quatenus Rex eos ratos habuisset Annal. ad Ann. 1534..

Francis Mason, the Eminent Defender of our Orders, represents it after the very same man­ner in a small Piece of his about the Authority of [Page 95] the Church in making Canons and Constitutions con­cerning things Indifferent: There he says, It is En­acted by the Authority of Parliament, that the Con­vocation shall be assembled always by vertue of the King's Writ, and that their Canons shall not be put in Execution unless they be approv'd by the Royal As­sent P. 15..

Nor had the Enemies of the Church any other Opinion in this matter than its Friends: wit­ness what the same Author in his Great Work mentions, as the sense of the whole Body of the Puritans: Ostendunt Puritani, sub sinem sui Examinis, Canones prorsus nullos vigere aut valere in Angliâ, qui Regio Calculo ac Sigillo non sunt muniti Fitz-Si­mon apud Masonum de Minist. Angl. p. 21..

And thus speaks one of them, in a Treatise of Oaths exacted by Ordinaries, &c. and He no in­considerable Writer: It is Enacted, he says, and Provided, that no Constitutions or Ordinances should be made, or put in Execution within this Realm, until, &c. P. 54.

Nay thus speaks Mr. Bagshaw himself in his famous Argument concerning the Canons; where we may be sure he says nothing more to the ad­vantage of the Clergy than he needs must; and yet he represents the Act to be only, that to the making of Canons there must be the King's Royal As­sent P. 12.. And when he is to produce the words of the Statute, by which the Clergy have power to make Canons, he says they are; That they shall not En­act, Promulge, or Execute any Canons or Consti­tutions, &c. unless they may have the King's most Royal Assent to Make, Promulge, and Execute the same Ibid.. But as to Attempting, Alledging, Claim­ing, and putting in Ure, he never dreamt that These were in the Act apply'd, or were appli­cable to this purpose; and therefore does not mention them.

[Page 96]Intruth he was a Lawyer, and a Man of Skill in his Profession, and so knew very well, that in the Omission of these words, as having no re­ference to the Clergy's Power of making Ca­nons, he only trac'd the steps of the King's Com­missions to the Convocation [...] in 1603, and 1640. One of these is Printed at length in the P. 285, 290. Bibli­otheca Regia; and there, All of the 25 H. 8. which relates to the Clergy's Power in Making Canons is inserted at large; and (which is very remarkable) those words [Attempt, Alledge, Claim, and put in Ure] are not recited: A sure sign, that the Attorney-Generals of those times ( [...] those Times had Attorney-Generals, that had both Skill, and Will enough to carry the King's Prerogative as high as it would bear) did not think, that they could colourably be made use of to this purpose; or that the Clergy were de­barr'd by this Act from attempting New Canons, to be made hereafter, but such Old ones only as had been long ago pass'd and publish'd. Dr. Wake therefore is Disingenuous in the Highest Degree, where Append. Num. V. p. 371. he pretends to Print this very Commis­sion; and when he comes to the Act of Parlia­ment, which it recites, does not transcribe the Act as it is there recited (which is in part only) but refers us to his Extract of it, Num. IV. and assures us, that it is recited in the Commission, as in the Extract, Verbatim; tho' the most Ma­terial words in his Extract, and such as would be most Conclusive upon the Clergy's Convo­cational Acts and Debates, if they really be­long'd to 'em, are, as I have shewn, designedly omitted in that Recital. Such poor shifts is he forc'd to, to maintain a Bad Cause; which how­ever, even by these Ill Arts, cannot be maintain'd.

[Page 97]The Proof drawn from these Commissions is farther confirm'd by a Proclamation of K. Charles the First in Iune 1644 See it Biblioth. Reg. pag. 331., which forbids the Assembly of Divines to Meet and Act, upon these, and these Accounts only; ‘Because by the Laws of the Kingdom; no Synod or Convo­cation of the Clergy ought to be called and assembled within this Realm, but by Autho­rity of the King's Writ; and no Constituti­on, or Ordinance Provincial, or Synodal, or any other Canons may be Made, Enacted, Promulg'd, or Executed, [it says not Attempted, Alledg'd, Claim'd, or pu [...] in Ure; which were words known to belong to Canons already made] ‘Unless with the King's Royal Assent and License first obtain'd: upon pain of eve­ry one of the Clergy's doing contrary, and being thereof convict, to suffer Imprison­ment, and make Fine at the King's Will, as by the Statute of the 25 H. 8. declaring and enacting the same it doth and may ap­pear.’

Let me add to all these the Authority of the Convocation it self, which set out the Institu­tion of a Christian Man a few years after they had submitted. In the Dedication of that Book the Prelates address the King after this manner, ‘Without your Majesty's Power and License, we acknowledg and confess that we have none Authority either to assem­ble together for any pretence or purpose, or to publish any thing that might by us be agreed on, or compil'd. Which words evidently im­ply a power of agreeing upon, and compiling, (tho' they deny that of publishing) any Determinati­on, or Doctrine.

[Page 98]It were endless after this to argue from the silence of the Authors of those times; for then I must vouch All of them. Only the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum, being a Book of Great Note, which was drawn up by Commissioners appointed by the King, and where no Occa­sion is neglected of setting out, and magnify­ing the Royal Power; it may be worth our while to observe, that there is not however in all that Book, as far as I can find, one Expres­sion, that implies the Composers of it to have thought, that the Clergy's Synodical Debates lay under any Restraint from the Crown; which is a very strong Presumption that they did not think the Clergy to lye under any.

The Reader will forgive me for laying toge­ther this Great Heap of Authorities, if he ei­ther considers, of how great Importance it is to my Cause, that the sense I have given of the Act should be fully clear'd; or how neces­sary Dr. Wake has made such a Collection, by affirming, that this sense of it was never allow [...]d of, or, for ought he knows so much as heard of, (I repeat his very words) till the Gentleman against whom he writes enlighten'd the world with it. P. 289. The Accounts I have given do, I hope, both suffi­ciently expose the Rashness and Vanity of this Assertion, and also sufficiently prove the Truth and Justness of that Exposition. To return to it therefore—

The Statute (as far as it relates to the Power of the Clergy in Convocation) plainly implies no more than that Canons should not from thenceforth pass, and become Obligatory, with­out the King's Leave and Authority given in that behalf; without his Le [...]ve, which was re­quisite [Page 99] to their Passing, and his Authority, which was afterwards to ratifie, and give 'em force. And to understand the words of the Law other­wise is, as has appear'd, to understand them a­gainst all Propriety, and the Rules of Con­struction; and which is still more unreasona­ble, to do this in Materiâ minùs favorabili, and where Ordinary Liberty is abridg'd; and last­ly, which is intolerable, where so grievous a Penalty as that of a Praemunire is to follow.

The 25 of H. 8. then has not in the least al­ter'd the Law of Convocations, in relation to any of the Powers or Priviledges of the Inferior Clergy: They can still freely Consult, and De­bate, Petition, or Represent, propose the Matter or Form of New Canons, and consi­der about the Inforcing or Abrogating old ones; in a word, act in all Instances, and to all Degrees, as they could before the passing of that Statute. Indeed my Lord Archbishop's hands are ty'd by it; for he cannot now call a Con­vocation without the King's Writ, which be­fore this Act he might, and in Elder Times frequently did: He cannot now Enact and Constitute any thing by his own Authority, as in Imitation of the Papal Power in Coun­cils, and of the Royal Power in Parliaments, it was usual for him to do: He must, before he passes any Act of the Two Houses, have the King's Assent to it; and after it is pass'd, there must be the King's License also to Pro­mulge and Execute it. In these several Re­spects the Metropolitan's Authority is consider­ably lessen'd by this Act; the Exercise of which is now chiefly seen in Moderating the De­bates of the Synod, and giving his Vote last upon [Page 100] any Question propos'd there; as Dr. Cousins (Dean of the Arches to his Grace that then was) does in his Tables express it Ejus est moderari Synodum, & ultimò Suffragi­um ferre. Tab. 3.. But the Powers and Priviledges of All the other Members of Con­vocation continue whole and entire to 'em, notwithstanding this Statute; and were so un­derstood to continue for a long time after it pass'd: the Methods of proceeding in Convo­cation continuing the same for near Three­score and ten years after the Act, as they had been before it; the Clergy going on still to propose, deliberate, and resolve as they had been us'd to do, without Qualifying them­selves for it by any Precedent License under the Broad Seal; the King, the Parliament, and People of the Realm allowing 'em so to do, without opposing this Method as Illegal, questioning it in the least, or calling 'em to an account for it. Indeed the Doubtful Wording of the Act might possibly give the Clergy some Alarm at first, and put them under Apprehen­sions that their Liberty of Debate was abridg'd by it; or at least that it might be constru'd so to be by Those who in those Distressing Times were willing enough to take any Advantage of them. But their Scruples (if they had any) clear'd up in a little time, and their Fears va­nish'd; and they afterwards fell to business with the same freedom, and under as little Restraint (for ought appears to the contrary) as any of their Predecessors had done before the Act of Submission. And thus the matter stood till the very End of Queen Elizabeth's Reign: there being no Instance, I believe, to be given of a Formal Commission to Treat and Debate, Older than the Convocation of 1603, [Page 101] in the first of King Iames; which shall here­after be accounted for.

In the mean time, we will suppose the ut­most, that can by the severest Interpretation of the Act, be pretended; that the Clergy are by it cut off from forming the Draught of a Canon, or even deliberating about one, with­out being particularly impower'd to that pur­pose; yet are they still in several Inferior In­stances of Acting left perfectly free. It is not to be doubted but that, notwithstanding the Act, they may by an Humble Representation lay before my Lords the Bishops, the King, or his Great Council, any Growing Inconveni­cies and Disorders in the Church, any Dan­gerous Errors that may happen to arise and spread in their time, any Outragious Excess of Vice and Impiety which they shall observe to prevail: and having made their Representati­ons, they may venture to add their Requests for the Prevention or Suppression of such Dis­orders, Vices, and Errors; and even to point out the Methods of doing it. If they cannot move a step towards framing New Canons, yet at least they may interpose in behalf of the Old ones, and pray, that they may be vigor­ously Executed, and duly observ'd. In a word, whatever Hardships or Grievances they may lye under from their Ecclesiastical or Civil Superiors (as 'tis possible for 'em to suffer from either) they have in Convocation a Right, and an Opportunity to declare 'em. These Com­plaints it was heretofore their Custom to put up together with their Subsidies; and coming in such good Company therefore, they were for the most part favourably heard. Now they [Page 102] have left off to Tax themselves, they must no longer draw Occasions of Relief, from the Wants of the Crown, but from the Goodness and Justice of Him that wears it. It will be for the Honour of a Reign, founded in the Liber­ties of the People, and secur'd by maintaining 'em, to suffer All Bodies of Men to enjoy their Rights, tho' they give nothing for it: Nor will it be any Reflection upon our most Excellent Prince, if the World shall see, that the Advice of so considerable a part of his Subjects as the Clergy are, may be welcome to him, even without their Subsidies.

It is the Opinion of some Men, that that Mystery of Iniquity, Popery, is now at work, and carrying on among us in a very dangerous manner; and it is their Fear, lest that which could never succeed, when it appear'd bare­fac'd, should prevail by making secret and un­perceiv'd Advances upon us; whether their Fears are just, or no, I shall not determine: but would it not be fit that the Clergy should be left to their wonted Liberty of Assembling; that upon any such dangerous conjuncture, they might join their Councels, Endeavours, and Requests, to give a stop to the Growing Mischief? and by a Due Representation of the Danger groun­ded on the sure Accounts that shall be brought to the Convocation by the several Members of it resorting thither from All parts of the King­dom, excite the Civil Magistrate into a De­gree of Care and Concern proportionable to the Danger?

But should the Clergy have no Representa­tions, no Complaints to make to the King and Parliament, yet They themselves may be com­plain'd [Page 103] of to either: and it is fit they should be ready to give answer to such Complaints. All other Bodies and Communities of Men, if any thing be mov'd in Parliament to their Preju­dice, can immediately Assemble and Confer together, and lay before their Superiors the Consequences of it, as far as their Particular Interests are concern'd: The Clergy alone have no such Liberty or Opportunity, if their Parliamentary Assemblies are not observ'd; and are in this respect therefore in a worse condition than the Pettiest Company or Cor­poration in the Kingdom.

'Tis true, my Lords the Bishops are at hand always, to interpose in their behalf: but as they are no standing Committee of Convoca­tion, upon whom the Care of the Clergy's In­terest in Parliament has at any time been de­volv'd; so neither is it proper, that it should be altogether lodg'd in their Hands; which are too full of other Business, to be able alone to discharge this to the best Advantage. As quick-sighted as their Lordships may be to dis­cern, and as Fatherly a Concern as they may have to remedy the Grievances of the Inferior Clergy; yet it is not to be expected, that they should either understand 'em so well, or repre­sent 'em so fully, or interpose so heartily for their Redress, as those who feel 'em. Mens In­terests have been ever best taken care of by such as were most immediately concern'd in 'em. Their Lordships, doubtless, want no Zeal for the Good of the Church, and of eve­ry the smallest Member of it. But in Men of their Age and Experience such Zeal is ever temper'd with great Caution, and manag'd [Page 104] with nice Regards to the Probability of Suc­cess, and to the Passions, and Prejudices, and Various Interests of Men. Now these Re­straints might, it is hop'd, in some measure be taken off, and their Lordships encourag'd into a Reasonable Prospect of succeeding in any Proposal they had to offer on our Behalf, if they were back'd in it by the Joint Advice and Endeavours of the Clergy of the Province as­sembled. And as their Caution in Interpo­sing would in this case it is likely be less, so would their Interposition it self perhaps be of somewhat greater Weight and Influence; espe­cially in Times, when their Lordships Actions may lye under any Prejudices, and their Cha­racters be misunderstood. At such Seasons, they will have enough to do, to support and promote their Own Interests; and will not be able (however willing they may be) to stand in the Breach, and be a Screen to their In­feriors.

Besides, their Lordships Good Offices are confin'd to the Upper House, nor can They take notice of any Parliamentary Matter, till it comes regularly before 'em there: whereas the Clergy, as well as all other Bodies of Men, ought to have the Priviledge of an Early Ad­dress to the House of Commons, where so many Bills of Importance begin, that nothing may pass there to their Disadvantage, without be­ing oppos'd, or understood; since That it self would be a Misfortune to 'em, tho' they were sure to have it quash'd elswhere.

The Bishops Interest, Authority, Eloquence, [...], sufficient to plead the Churches [...] and secure her Interests in the House [Page 105] of Lords; where all the Noble Members are under so favourable a Disposition towards Her, that they would certainly do Her Justice, tho' they were sollicited by less Powerful Advo­cates: However, the Commons Spiritual think it very Proper and Reasonable, that they should in these cases have a Recourse to the Commons Temporal; whose Interests in the State running parallel with Theirs in the Church, and being nearly link [...]d with them, seem mightily to en­courage such an Application; and to make it a Point of Prudence, as well as Duty, in the Clergy to practise it, where it may be had.

The Commons have a considerable Interest in the Lesser Clergy, by reason of their Patronage; They are their Protectors, and Guardians ap­pointed by Law in relation to one part of their Maintenance; and will be extremely tender therefore of all their other Civil or Ecclesiasti­cal Rights, and careful to cover them from any Attempts that shall be made upon their Priviledges: That so they may be in Heart, and at Hand always, to stand up with them in behalf of Liberty, when it shall be attack'd, and to resist a Growing Tyranny either in Church or State, as it may happen. For Ar­bitrary Government is a Spreading and Con­tagious Thing; and when once it is set up any where, there is no knowing where it will end.

My Lords the Bishops therefore must excuse us, if, as great a Reverence as we bear to their Characters, and as high an Esteem as we have of their Personal Qualifications, their Inte­grity, Capacity, Courage; yet we think it fit, that other Helps should be call'd in (since [Page 106] All Helps are but little enough) to support the sinking Interests of Religion, and the Clergy; and judge the Great Concerns of the Church no where so secure, as, where the Wisdom of our Constitution has lodg'd 'em, in the Hands of a Convocation of the Province. We know the Enemies of the Church sleep not, tho' the Watch­men sleep too often — are the words of one, once an Active Presbyter of this Church, now a Vigilant Prelate Dr. Bur­net's Fast-Sermon be­fore the House of Commons. Anno 1681. p. 25. We cannot, God be thank­ed, apply 'em to the Present Bench of Bishops; and would not, if we could, unless in a Case of the Utmost Necessity; because nothing less than that would justifie such a freedom in Meaner Authors. However Times may come, that will deserve such Language; but when, if the Provincial Assemblies of the Church be, together with its Watchmen, laid asleep, it will be too late to use it.

The Right Reverend Author of that Dis­course (who should understand the Frame of our Church well, having written the History of it) observes, that it is happily Constituted be­tween the Extremes of Ecclesiastical Tyranny on the one Hand, and Enthusiastical Principles on the other Hand Ibid p. 9.. It is so; and the Happiness of this Constitution, in relation to one of these Ex­tremes, lyes in the Interest which the Lower Clergy have in Convocation; where they are associated with their Lordships in the Care and Government of the Church: Whereas out of Convocation, they are not, I think, advis'd with; and have little else to do, but to observe Orders: The Diocesan Synods of our Church being not for Counsel now, but for the Exercise of the Episcopal Authority. [Page 107] This Happy Frame therefore should by all means be kept up; and the rather, because it suits very happily with that of the State, and with the Constitution of Parliaments. And it is highly expedient for every Church and State, that the Ecclesiastical Polity should be adapted to the Civil, as nearly as is consistent with the Original Plan of Church-Govern­ment; which, in our Case, there will be no danger of departing from, by a Compliance with the State-Modell: For I am sure, and am ready, when ever I am call'd upon, parti­cularly to prove, that the more our Church shall resemble the State, in her Temper and Manner of Government, the nearer still will she approach to Primitive Practice; and the nearer she comes up to Both these, the more likely will she be to Endure and Flourish.

What the same Eminent Pen has said on this Occasion, I willingly subscribe to; That‘as in Civil Government, a Prince govern­ing by Law, and having high Prerogatives, by which he may do all the Good he has a mind to, which yet he cannot abuse to act against the Law, and who is oblig'd often to consult with his People in what relates to common safety; by whose Assistance he must be enabled to put in Execution the Good Things he designs; is certainly the best Expedient for preventing the Two Ex­tremes in Civil Society, Confusion and Slavery: So a Bishop that shall have the Chief Inspection over those whom he is to Ordain, and over the Labours of those already plac'd; whom he shall direct and assist in every thing; and who governs him­self [Page 108] by the Rules of the Primitive Church, and by the Advice of his Brethren, is the likeliest Instrument both for propagating, and pre­serving the Christian Religion Pref. to the Hist. of the Regal..’ I add, and for the keeping up of this Particular Church in some Degree of Repute and Au­thority; which have ever been best secur'd to it, when her Prime Pastors have met their Clergy often in Synod, and by their Advice and Assistance manag'd the Great Affairs of it.

But if that be thought too much, and sound too high for the Lower Orders to pretend to; who must be contented rather to be the Sub­jects of Ecclesiastical Government, than any Sharers in it; yet even Subjects themselves may Petition, and make known whatever Grie­vances, or Requests they have to offer, with­out Encroachment on any of their Superiors. And that the Liberty of such Addresses and Representations is still left to the Convocation, (to the Lower House alone, or to Both joynt­ly) I have fully shew'd: The Statute of Sub­mission, even under the most Rigorous Inter­pretation of it, being scarce pretended to a­bridge their Priviledges in this respect. And because Practice in this kind is the best Proof, I shall here add a few Instances of it.

In the Convocation of 1542 (33 Hen. 8.) the Acts say, that at the passing of the Subsidy, Clerus exposuit 4. Petitiones [to the Upper House, who when they presented the Subsidy, were to acquaint the King with them] 1. De Legi­bus Ecclesiasticis condendis. 2. De Conjugiis factis in Bethlehem abolendis. 3. De veneundis— Bene­ficiis. 4. De Decimis solvendis. Act. MSS. Sess. 20.

[Page 109]The Two Petitions in the first Convocati­on of E. 6. (See 'em in Bishop Burnet's Hist. Vol. 1. p. 118.) Collect. of Records, whatever force they may have to prove a License neces­sary on other Occasions (which shall hereafter be fully consider'd) do yet certainly prove it not necessary in order to Petition.

There are many Requests of the Clergy in Convocation to Queen Elizabeth.

One Anno 1580, in behalf of the Archbishop, then out of favour, that she would be pleas'd to restore him. Fuller. IX. Book, p. 121.

Another Anno 1587, about the Act said to be intended against Pluralities. Full. Ibid. pag. 191.

A third to the same purpose, in some other Convocation of her Reign; which being yet unprinted, I shall insert in the Appendix Numb. IV.. It is a Paper very Remarkable both for the weigh­tiness of the Matter, and closeness of the Ex­pression; and for the spirit and freedom with which it is drawn: which however I propose not as a Pattern; but as a Great Argument of that Liberty they thought remaining to them.

A fourth from the Lower to the Upper House of Convocation, to be presented in their Name to the Queen for the Pardon of Lapses and Irregularities. 'Tis in a Cotton MS. Cleop. F. 2. f. 123. and from thence I shall Transcribe it.See App. Num. V.

A fifth against the Encroachments of Chan­cellors upon Archdeacons. Ibid. p. 264.

A sixth praying many Regulations in very weighty matters. Ibid.

[Page 110]There is also extant in Fuller IX. Book, p. 55. See the Preface to it, p. 66. of this Book. a Remonstrance, of the Clergy of the Lower House, being a Declaration of their Judgments, made indeed in the very beginning of Queen Elizabeth, when this Statute was not yet revived, and about Popish Tenets; but which may, I pre­sume, be safely imitated for the Assertion of truly Catholick Doctrines.

Anno 1606, A Petition from the Lower House of Convocation to King Iames, a­gainst Prohibitions. This too the Reader will find with the others in the Appendix Numb. VI..

Nay, even the Assembly of Divines it self, tho' it was more strictly ty'd up by the Ordi­nance of Parliament See it Rushw. 3. part, Vol. 2. p. 328., than ever any Convoca­tion was by their Commission (for there were Negative words in that Ordinance, which im­power'd 'em to Treat and Confer of such Matters and Things as should be propos'd to 'em, and no other) yet did not think themselves restrain'd from Petitioning, and proposing seve­ral Heads of Reformation to the Parliament. See 'em, Ibid. p. 344.

The Clergy in Convocation were not us'd only to be Petitioners themselves, they were also some times address'd to in the same way by others; either by their Brethren of the E­stablisht Clergy, or by those of the Separa­tion.

Of the former I have seen an Instance in Manuscript, being a Petition from the London-Ministers See Cat. MSS. in Bibl. Bodl. n. 8494.. The Direction of it is, To the Re­verend Fathers in God the Lords Bishops, and the Rest of the Convocation. It is said in the Manuscript, [Page 111] to have been read and committed, Febr. 10. 1580.

Of the Latter several Mentions, and Ac­counts remain, tho' the Petitions themselves be lost. For Example,

In Queen Elizabeth's time those who were then call'd the Puritans, Petition'd the Convo­cation, as appears from a Passage in one of their Books, thus quoted by Bishop Bancroft Dang. Posit. L. 4. c. 4. p. 140., We have sought, say they, to advance the Cause of God by Humble Suit to the Parliament, by Supplica­tion to your Convocation-house, &c.

And whether it be this, or some other Peti­tion of theirs that is refer'd to in a Manuscript Justification See Cat. MSS. in Bibl. Bodl. n. 1987. of the Mille-manus Petition to King Iames, I cannot tell; but these words occur in it, — We have often and in many Treatises declar'd, [our Objections against the Liturgy] at large, and namely in a Petition, which Four Godly, Grave, and Learned Preachers offer'd in our Names to the Convocation-house.

A yet greater Liberty than any I have men­tion'd was taken by the Clergy in that Long Address [miscalled by Fuller P. 208. the Protestation] which the Lower House offered to Henry the Eighth himself, after the passing of the Sta­tute; or in that other very long one to the Upper House in Queen Mary's time Hist. Ref. part 2. B. 2. Coll. n. 16.. In the first we have an Instance of very Free Con­vocational Representations, and of yet freer Pe­titions in the Latter; for it attempts not only Canons, but Acts of Parliament; and particu­larly prays Art. 10., that the Statute of which we have been speaking, may be repealed.

[Page 112]But the Clergy no more stand in need of these Instances, than they would joyn in these Designs and Petitions. The Statute of Submissi­on is none of their Grievances, nor do they ask, or wish a Repeal of it: They desire only that it may not have an Unnatural and Illegal Construction put upon it; and that they may be bound up no otherwise by it, than the Sub­mitters themselves were. They know indeed, that the Reflection which a Right Reverend Member of theirs once made upon this Statute was, That ‘the Extreme of raising the Eccle­siastical Power too high in the Times of Po­pery, had now produced another of depres­sing it too much: So seldom is the Coun­terpoize so justly Ballanced, that Extremes are reduced to a well-tempered MediocrityBishop Burnet's Hist. Vol. 2. pp. 49, 50..’ But as they are not sure that this is his Lord­ship's present Opinion, so they are certain it is none of Theirs: for they think their Power as Great as it need to be, if it be not made less than it really is. Had they lived indeed in Henry the Eighth's time, they should not per­haps have humoured his Imperious Temper so far, as to have made that mean Submission, or tamely to have given up any one Legal Privi­ledge, which belonged to the Body, and was not inconsistent with the Good of their Coun­try. But since it was made, and Enacted, they know how, like Good Englishmen, and Good Subjects, chearfully to obey it. Only they can never submit to such a sense of the Sub­mission as was never intended, nor throughout that Age, wherein it was made, ever practised. This would be a much meaner part in them, than the first Act was in their Ancestors: [Page 113] whose Religion was all Submission and Slave­ry; and it is no wonder therefore that the Fetters prepar'd for them sat so easily upon them. But in a Protestant Clergy, the profess'd Assertors of the Just Freedoms and Rights of Mankind in Religious affairs, and who have been more than once Instrumental in shaking off Yokes of every kind from the Necks of Englishmen, such Illegal Complyances would be inexcusable. In short, they have, and they own that they have, great reason to be content with the Priviledges which the Law has clear­ly marked out to them; and the Great Petition they have to offer is, that they may be per­mitted to enjoy them. If their Predecessors were struck with a Panick Fear, at the very sound of a Premunire, in a Reign when the Laity too trembled at the Noise of Thunder from Above; yet their Present Successors may not be e'er the less Dutiful, tho' they are not quite so much frighted: as having the happi­ness to live in a Time when the Priviledges and Rights of the English Subject are more clearly understood, and much better secured.

Upon the whole then it appears,

That the Clergy Commoners have all along had an undoubted Right of being frequently assembled, and particularly by the Law of England, as often as a New Parliament is call'd.

That being assembled, they had antiently a Right of framing Canons, and doing several Synodical Acts (not inconsistent with the Law of their Country) without expecting the Prince's Leave for entring on such Debates, or making such Decrees.

[Page 114]That the 25 H. 8. c. 19. has not in the least infringed this Right, as far as the Lower Clergy are concerned in it.

That the Limitations there made to the Ex­ercise of it chiefly concern the Archbishop of either Province, who is now restrain'd, as from calling a Convocation without the King's Writ, so from Passing or Ratifying any Canon without the Royal License, and from Pro­mulging the same by his Own Authority.

That the Inferior Clergy are no otherwise concerned, than to take care that they give their Consent to no Canon fram'd by them­selves, or sent from the Upper House, other­wise than with Submission to the Royal Plea­sure; if the King's License and Assent be not before obtained.

That they are left therefore intirely at their Liberty to Confer and Deliberate even about New Canons; and also to Devise, Frame, and Offer them to the Upper House; if with a Protestation annexed, that they are neither intended nor desir'd to be enacted without the King's License.

Much more, that there remains to 'em a Li­berty of Petitioning, either that Old Canons may be executed, or New Ones made accord­ing to Law, and to such Purposes as the Peti­tioners shall suggest; or of representing their Humble Opinions concerning the Affairs of the Church, and of Religion; and, if need be, beseeching a Redress, at least in General Terms.

This, I take it, is their Undoubted Privi­ledge, and would be used by them on Great Occasions, with the same Prudence and Tem­per [Page 115] that their Predecessors are known to have practised; who, when they met without In­terruption, were so cautious of giving no un­necessary Trouble either to Church or State, that they were more complained of, in some Reigns, for sitting still, than for stirring.

By this time the Reader sees, that the Rea­son given for the Clergy's not Meeting, be­cause, when met, and formed into a Body, they can do nothing, is a strange one. For, sup­posing 'em to be tyed up never so strictly in their Decre [...]ing Capacity, yet surely it does not follow, that they can do nothing, because they cannot Make or Attempt a Canon. Is it nothing to speak the sense of the whole Clergy of the Kingdom in matters proper for them to intermeddle in? is it nothing to Petition, Ad­vise, Address, Represent; to give their Judg­ment, where it may be desired, or their Cen­sure where it may be needful? Is it nothing, with a Dutiful and Discreet Zeal to suggest the fittest Methods of securing the Christian Faith, of preventing the Revival of Old He­resies and Errors, and the Growth of New Ones? Is it nothing to do that, which ancient­ly, when Bills began by Petition, was the Great Priviledge of one Great Part of the Legisla­ture, the House of Commons? I had thought that, while they had this at least (tho' they should have no more than this) to do, they had not nothing to do; but rather a very Great and Necessary Work. And whether such Ap­plications are necessary, should, I suppose, be left to the Convocation it self, to determine; tho' others afterwards may either second, or reject these Applications; who may in these [Page 116] Cases have the Power of Judging, but not of Prejudging the Actions of a Lawful Assembly: much less have they the Power of precon­demning the very Being of such an Assembly, because they foresee not what may be done in it.

In truth, whatever may be pretended of the Convocations being able to do nothing, yet their not being allowed to Meet is a shrewd sign, that they can, when met, do something; and that they of the Clergy, who oppose their Meeting, are themselves of that Opinion: for were their Mouths really shut, and their Hands ty'd to that Degree they are represented to be, there could certainly be no Inconvenience in trusting such an Harmless Body of Men toge­ther, nor would it be worth while to break through Antient and Received Practice in or­der to prevent their Assembling.

The Innovation made in these matters has begun within these Ten Years last past. For tho' it has been usual to adjourn Convocations, a few days after they had met and sat, when there was little or no business to do; yet it was never till this time known that a Convo­cation was adjourned before it sat; that is in­deed, before it was a Convocation. This New Practise (which Dr. Wake, in my Opinion, by as New Law justifies) we know the Date of; and have reason therefore to obviate it, while it is New; and to take some care that it may not in a little time be able to plead a Quiet Prescription.

The Clergy betray their Priviledges, if they lye still under the Publication of such Oppres­sive Schemes, without as Open a Disavowal of [Page 117] them, and without expressing their Detestati­on of the Meanness of the Publisher. They deserve to be used as ill as their Open Adver­saries, or their False Friends would have them used, if they can suffer their most Valuable Right to be thus torn from 'em, in Print, with­out the least struggle for it. The Virgin in the Law of God was judg'd consenting to the Rape, who did not cry out, when Help was near, and was order'd therefore to be stoned together with her Ravisher. To prevent such an Imputation upon the Church, and the sad Consequences of it, her True Sons, were they as Rash as they are represented to be, would e'er this have shewed themselves against this New Advocate, in a more Open Manner, and in somewhat Greater Numbers than they have hitherto done; and might perhaps, for that End (could they no otherwise be heard) have interposed a Subscribed Protestation from their whole Body. But if this way of gathering scattered Hands would seem disorderly, and unsuitable to their Characters, and prove dan­gerous, it may be, to the Persons engaging in it; the more reason still have they to esteem and assert the Priviledge of being Legally as­sembled, and put into such a condition, as to be able duly and safely to make their just Com­plaints, and represent their Grievances.


HAving largely shewed what the Two Great Convocation-Rights are, which I proposed to Treat of, and withal offered the several Chief Evidences and Proofs on which I build 'em; my Method laid down leads me in the next place to consider the Exceptions of all sorts which have been made to this Claim, by some Late Writers, pretending to answer the Letter to a Convocation Man; particularly by the Au­thor of a Letter to a Member of Parliament, and by Dr. Wake, in his Book intitled, The Autho­rity of Christian Princes over their Ecclesiastical Synods asserted, &c. This Book being written by a Person of some Station in the Church, and, as is pretended, under the Cover of a Great Authority, deserves to be examined with a more than ordinary care; which according­ly I have resolved to bestow upon it. Dr. Wake indeed has a Peculiar Talent at enlarging on a Controversie; the shortest Point, when it comes under his Fruitful Pen, immediately improves into a Volume. I shall not so far follow his Example, as to trace all he has said▪ step by step, and Page by Page; and take eve­ry Opportunity that he has given me of lay­ing open his misapplied Reading, and mistaken Reasonings: That would be an Endless Task, which I have no leisure for, neither does the Cause require it, nor would the Reader bear it. I shall endeavour therefore, as much as I am able, to shorten this Debate; and in order to it, shall first of all make some General Refle­ctions upon his way of managing it: wherein I shall shew, how very little there is in his Te­dious [Page 119] Work, that really concerns the Point dis­puted; and how much of it is written against no body, and for no End in the World, that I can see, but the Pleasure of Emptying his Common-Place-Book. I may very aptly apply to him, what Bishop Andrews said of a much Greater Adversary: Etsi nobis lis nulla de Regiâ in Ecclesiasticis Potestate—tamen exorari non potest Tortus quin in Campum exeat istius Controversiae; &, ubi quaestio nobis nulla de eâ re, ostendat tamen nobis Testes minimè necessarios. Explicare scilicet voluit Opes suas, & ostendere quae habebat in Ad­versariis suis. Habebat autem ad hanc rem nonnulla, si incidisset alicubi: Iam quia non incidit, occasio­nem arripit non valdè idoneam ea quoquo modo profe­rendi. Vult enim Lectorem videre quàm Cupressum pingat eleganter Tortura Torti, p. 169,. I shall not, I hope, be thought impertinent in displaying these Imper­tinences of his; which I shall do in as narrow a compass, and under as few Heads of Obser­vation, as the variety of the matter will ad­mit of. And

I. I observe, that Dr. Wake has put himself to a great deal of needless pains to prove a Point, which he might, if he pleased, have taken for granted; that every Christian Prince, and Ours in particular, has an Ecclesiastical Supremacy; and that the Clergy are not, by a Divine Right intitled to transact Church-af­fairs in Synods, as they please, and as often as they please, without any regard to the Civil Christian Power that they live under. Many of those numerous Instances he has produced of Princes intermedling with Church-matters, here at home, or abroad, are designed only to assert this Great Truth: which however is a [Page 120] Point that he needed not to have laboured so heartily, because no Church of England man ever denied it: not the Man he writes against, I am sure; who says only (and what he says I shall not fear to say after him) that ‘the Ci­vil and Spiritual Powers are distinct in their End and Nature,Lett. to a Conv. Man, pp. 17, 18. and therefore ought to be so in their Exercise too. The One relates to the Peace, Order, Health, and Prospe­rity of the Man in this Life, as a Sociable Creature; the other concerns his Eternal State, and his Thoughts, Words, and Actions preparative thereto: The first is common to all Societies, whether Pagan, or Christian; the Latter can rightly be exercised among Christians only; and among them, not as inclosed within any Civil State or Commu­nity, but as Members of a Spiritual Society, of which Iesus Christ is the Head; who has also given out Laws, and appointed a stand­ing Succession of Officers under himself for the Government of this Society. And these Ministers of his did actually govern it by these Powers committed to them from him, for near 300 years before any Government was Christian. From whence, says he, it follows, that such Spiritual Iurisdiction can­not be in its nature necessarily dependent on the Temporal: for then it could never have been lawfully exercised, till Kings, States, and Potentates became Christian.’ And agen in another place, — ‘This Power having been claimed and exercised by the Apostles and their Successors, without any Regard, nay in Opposition to the Heathen Tempo­ral Authority, is therefore, we say, not ne­cessarily [Page 121] in its own nature dependent on such Au­thority P. 19, 20..’ Than which Reasoning nothing certainly can be more just; nor could that Wri­ter have expressed himself with more Caution and Guard upon so nice an Occasion. Dr. Wake seems here to have apprehended him, as if he had affirm'd, that Princes have nothing to do in Church-matters; the Management of which lyes without their Sphere, and no ways depends on Their Authority. But no Man living could have struck this sense out of his words, that was not either very Blind, or very willing, for some small End or other, to misunderstand him. Cannot this mighty Controvertist distinguish between Denying the Exercise of Ecclesiastical Power to be necessarily dependent on the Temporal, and affirming it to be necessarily independent upon it? Does he not see a difference between saying, that the Church may subsist without the State, and that the State has nothing to do in the Go­vernment of the Church? If he does not, he ought to forbear tampering in Disputes of this kind, till his Judgment is better, and his Head clearer. But if, seeing this difference, he yet resolved to take no notice of it; either be­cause he had made Collections some time of his Life about the Supremacy, and was resol­ved to take this Opportunity of giving himself the Credit of them; or because he saw it would be of use to him, to have the Writer he appears against represented under as Invidi­ous Colours, and his Opinions loaded with as much weight as was possible: if this were the Case, it must be allowed him, that there was some little Art, tho', I think, no very great share of Honesty in his Management.

[Page 122]'Tis true, the Letter to a Convocation-man, im­mediately after the last words I transcribed from it, adds, ‘And if we should say further, that this Society has an Inherent and Unal­terable Right to the Exercise of this Pow­er; it would be no more than what every Sect or Party among us claims, and practi­ses, &c. But Dr. Wake could not with any colour lay hold of this Passage as asserting the Independency of the Church on the State: for, besides that it is only a way of arguing drawn from other Mens Principles; it is a few Lines afterwards expresly retracted, and quali­fyed: ‘But this, says he, is what at the pre­sent we neither do, nor need say.’ Notwith­standing which Dr. Wake is resolved that this he shall say, and maintain; and supposing it therefore to be his avow'd Opinion, draws down all his strength, and sets his Quotations in Array against it. From Fathers and Coun­cils, from Antient and Modern Writers, our Own and Foreign Historians he learnedly proves, that the Church-power in a Christian Commonwealth is to be exercised in Subordi­nation to the State; that Princes have of right all along called Councels and dissolved them, have hindred the Execution of some Ecclesi­astical Canons which were prejudicial to their Kingdom, and given the Civil Sanction to others—and a great deal more of this kind they have and may do; and must be allowed therefore a Supremacy in Ecclesiastical Affairs, and over Ecclesiastical Persons. And what if they be? Is there a Line in that Book he op­poses, but what will stand good, notwithstand­ing all this were made out never so irrefraga­bly? [Page 123] This is bringing the Great Engines of Battery against a Place, which he might have marched directly into without Opposition [...] Enemy having never undertaken to defend [...] Qui operosè probant, &c. (says Grotius or some such sly Dealers in this very Controversy) stultum sibi fingunt Adversarium, de quo facilè tri­umphent De Imp. Summar. Pot. circa Sacra.. Dr. Wake, with great Modesty ad­vises his Learned Adversary, Not to increase the Necessary Bulk of their Dispute by alledging passages out of the Antient Fathers, to prove that which nei­ther of 'em make any doubt of Appeal. Pref. p. XXI.. Had he given this Advice first to Himself, and taken it, his Huge Performance had shrunk away into a few Pages, and been as inconsiderable for its Bulk, as it is for the Importance of the matter contained in it.

II. A second Instance, wherein Dr. Wake has spent his Learned Pains to no purpose, is in the Tedious Account he has given us of the Power exercised by Princes, in relation to General Councils, and the Greater Church-Assem­blies. These Researches (as he calls 'em) might well have been spar'd, upon a double account; both because the matter of 'em lyes not very deep, and can be no News to any Man that has but once touched on this Controversy Veteramenta omnia, detri­ta jam & repetita millies, says Bishop Andrews, (Tort. Tort. p. 173.) of some of those very Instan­ces, which 90 Years ago, it seems, were grown stale; tho Dr. Wake produces 'em now with such Pomp and Pleasure.; and be­cause his Reading of this kind, tho' never so hard to come at, yet is nothing to the purpose. For the Dispute turns on Provincial Synods on­ly, and the Rights which the Church lays claim to in relation to Them: and it is no Proof, or Disproof of these Rights to [Page 124] shew, what the Practice of Princes has been in convening and presiding over General Councils, which are Meetings of another Nature, and Original, and subject to quite different Laws and Usages.

By Provincial Councils the Church was go­vern'd, and in such Councils all the Great Af­fairs of it were transacted for some hundreds of Years before the Empire became Christian; whereas General Councils owe their very Being to the Civil Power, without the Express Allow­ance and Encouragement of which, after Christianity had once spread it self wide, they never did, or could assemble.

The Times when Provincial Synods were to meet, the Persons that were to compose them, and preside in them, the Causes that were to come before them, and the manner of deciding those Causes, and of enforcing Obe­dience to their Decisions by Spiritual Cen­sures, &c. these were all things fully agreed on and determin'd by the Rules of the Church, while it subsisted independently of the State: and when Constantine therefore by embracing the Faith became its Protector, he only con­firm'd those Antient Usages to the Church, which she was in possession of; He left the Practice of the Church just as he found it: only what was before an Ecclesiastical Rule, he made a Civil Right, and a Law of the Em­pire.

Not so, as to General Councils; the Church had no Custom, no Prescription to plead, in relation to Them; they were Then first to be set up by the Civil Power, framed, and [Page 125] moulded L. M. P. Proves a Convoca­tion not to be in­cident to a Nation­al Church, by a passage in the Preface to Aelfricus's Canons; where he finds it said, that the Christian Church for the first 300 years had no Convocation, p. 46. Can one imagin it possible for a Man to be in the Dark to that Degree, as not to know, that this was meant of General Coun­cils? But his Skill in Ecclesiastical History, it seems, goes no further than Lambert.: and no wonder therefore if the Method of their Meeting and Acting was regu­lated, in some of its chief Circumstances, by that Power which gave Birth and Establishment to them.

The First of these Assemblies that ever sat, provided by a Canon for the continuance of Provincial Synods upon the Foot they had al­ways stood: and this Canon was reinforced by several succeeding General Councils, was ratified by the several Emperors, in whose Times these Councils were held, and inserted at last into the Code of the Imperial Laws: and from thenceforth the Synod of every Pro­vince was as Legal an Assembly as the Senate it self; had a right, at stated Times, to be Sum­moned as duly, and to act within its proper Sphere as freely, as any Civil Convention whatever.

But General Councils, even after they were set up, were not by any Law thus provided for; they were in their nature, and Instituti­on Occasional Meetings, which had no fixed time allotted to them; but were to be called toge­ther in Extraordinary Cases only, and when the Pressing Exigences of the Church re­quired them: And no Bishop Then pretending to an Authority over All the Rest, even on that account it fell acourse to the Emperors share to Convene them.

[Page 126]The Assembling of so many Men of Rank and Character from so many Quarters of the Empire was a Power that could safely be lodg'd in no Hands but his that rul'd it: He was to be Judge, when such a vast Confluence was fit to be allow'd, and how far it consisted with the Peace of the State; at what Place and Time the Session should be opened, and how long it should continue. He by his Officers provided for the safe Conduct of the Fathers going to the Council, and returning from it; at his Expence they had Reception and Enter­tainment on the way, and under the Security of his Protection they met and consulted. The Debates of such a Numerous Assembly must have been very disorderly and tumultuous, unless conducted by a Rule; which no single Bishop had a Right to prescribe to the rest, and which could not therefore come so properly from any one as from Him that Summon'd them. And that this Rule might be sure to be observ'd, it was requisite, that the Emperour should have a Place in their Assembly, should preside over, and moderate their Debates, ei­ther in Person, or by his Deputies, as he saw occasion. After the Fathers had come to Reso­lutions, and framed their Canons, it was of vast Importance to 'em to have the Secular Power ratifie what they had agreed on. They could Authoritatively declare, what was the General Sense of the Church on such and such Articles; but to procure that these Decisions should be generally received and obeyed in all Christian Countries, could no ways be so effe­ctually brought about as by Civil Sanctions and Penalties.

[Page 127]On all these accounts, and many more, it was highly reasonable, and just, nay necessary almost, that the Imperial Power should exert it self in Appointing the Meetings, and Go­verning the Debates, and Confirming the Acts of General Councils. But was there the same Reason and Necessity for its interposing as par­ticularly in Provincial Synods also, which were Ordinary Meetings, of perpetual and standing Use in the Church, not Numerous, or Composed of Equals, but of Persons living at no Great Distance from one another, and all Subordinate to one Ecclesiastical Superior? Dr. Wake knows in his Conscience, that these Circumstances make a Wide Difference be­tween them: and if so, why does he amuse us with Large Accounts of what Emperors have done, and been allowed to do, in rela­tion to those Great and Extraordinary Meet­ings, the Custom of which makes neither for nor against the Rule that was to be observed in these Ordinary Stated ones? To what pur­pose was it for him nauseously to transcribe Labbée for fifty Pages together upon a Common­place, which has been so often and so thorough­ly exhausted by the Writers of the Last Age; and which besides is of no manner of use to­wards determining the present Dispute? Does he think to cover the want of proper and ap­posite matter by such loose and General Refle­ctions as these? Does he hope to make his Readers lose sight of the Point they are in quest of, in that Mist of Impertinent Quota­tions, with which he surrounds 'em?

The Learned Mr. Hill had rightly observed, that what Dr. Wake produces P. 10. from Socrates Hist. Eccl. Praef. l. iv. [Page 128] about the Emperor's interposing in the Greatest Councils, was of no weight in the present Ar­gument; where we are enquiring, what the Usage and Rights of the Church are, not in the Greater, but Lesser Synods; which go by quite another Rule, and are much more ex­empt from the Interposition of the Civil Au­thority. Dr. Wake makes a Scornful mention of this Distinction in the Preface to his Ap­peal P. xxi., without vouchsafing to give any Reply to it: which was discreetly done, for it would not admit of any. The Distinction is just and well applyed; and had it been considered by Dr. Wake, when he wrote, must have prevailed with him to withdraw above half the History that his first Chapter is filled with, and have made that part of his Work look no more Learned, than it really is.

Socrates might well say, that the Greatest Sy­nods were held always at the Emperor's Dire­ction; but he knew the Lesser were not, and therefore omitted the mention of them. And the same Caution is observed in one of our XXXIX. Articles Art. 21.; where it is affirmed in­deed, that General Councils may not be ga­ther'd [upon any Occasion, in any Circum­stances] without the Commandment and Will of Princes:’ But of Provincial Councils nothing is said. However the Churches Caution in Wording her Decision is not greater than Dr. Wake's in citing it, who has, thoughout his first Book, made, as I remember, but one slight and General mention P. 10. of this Article, without pro­ducing the words of it; which he knew would go near to suggest a Distinction, that it was not to his purpose to have observed.

[Page 129]Indeed the Canons of 1640 seem, and on­ly seem, to go further; for in truth they do not.Art. 1. They affirm, that the Power of calling both National and Provincial Councils is the true Right of all Christian Kings within their own Realms and Territories; but say not, that this is the Right of Kings alone, so that no other Person or Per­sons can in any Circumstances whatever claim or use it: on the contrary, they plainly teach, that where the Prince is not Christian, the Prelates of the Church may rightfully use this Power; so it be with Submission to the Civil Penalties and Punishments that may attend 'em on that account! and they intimate the Case to be the same under a Christian Persecuting Prince, tho' it was not so Decent openly to express it. The Canon and the Article there­fore are perfectly consistent, and both are drawn up with that Moderation, and Guard, as to give the Prince what is His Due, and yet not to deprive the Church of what may be Hers; but to leave the way open to the Exer­cise of the same Power that she claimed and practised, before Princes came in to the Faith, if there should ever be the fame Occasion for it; which I hope there never will.

And this Canon too was not, it seems, thought worthy to accompany Dr. Wake's Other Collections; where Foreign and far fetched Authorities take up his Pen so much, that he had not room to consider what had been said here at Home upon the Subject; no, not in a Work written on purpose to clear and to assert the Doctrine of the Church of Eng­land. But we are not to wonder at it: for the same Happy Talent of Mind, which makes a [Page 130] Man abound in what is Trivial, makes him Defective also in what is Material.

All that Dr. Wake can say for his way of arguing is, that he has in it traced the Steps of some of our Greatest Writers, who treating of the Supremacy, derive the Proofs of it from the same Sources he has done, and frequently give Instances of the Powers exercised by Princes over the Greatest and most General Assemblies; as appears from that Collection of Authorities which he has made in his Appeal. But this will not justifie him: for those Wri­ters, whose Pattern he pretends to follow, had to do with such Adversaries as quite shut out the Civil Power from interposing in Church-matters: Most of'em being engag'd either a­gainst the professed Defenders of the Papacy, [as Iewel, Bilson, Nowell, Mason, &c.] or a­gainst those of the Rigid Presbyterial way [as Whitgift, Hooker, Bancroft, Bramhall, &c. were] In Opposition to these therefore it was proper to shew, how far the Practice of the first Chri­stian Emperors was consistent with such Prin­ciples. And whether their Instances to this purpose were taken from the Greater or Lesser Church-meetings, from Provincial or General Councils, it was all one to the point in hand, and made equally against Those whose Do­ctrine they were to disprove. Not so in Dr. Wake's Case, who, when he wrote his First Book, had no such Adversary to deal with; but One who argued altogether upon the Bot­tom of a Civil Right, and drew his Plea pure­ly from our Domestick Constitution, and the approved Laws and Usages of the Realm. When Dr. Wake therefore by the Authorities [Page 131] produced in his Last Piece would excuse the Doctrine laid down in his former, he deals un­fairly with us: for those Authorities justifie only that part of his Doctrine which was fo­reign to the Argument; they being Declara­tions chiefly of the General Rights and Inte­rests of Supreme Christian Powers in Ecclesia­stical Affairs; without entring into the Various Restrictions of that Right, which the Spiritu­al Subjects may in several Places be intitled to by the Concessions of Princes and States, and by their particular Priviledges and Immunities; and without considering nicely, Where that Supremacy may in different respects be said to be lodg'd; and Who therefore must be taken in as Sharers in several Acts and Branches of it. Which Considerations nevertheless are necessa­ry to determine the just Extents of our Princes Rights in this Case, and the Measure of our Obedience; as will hereafter, in Due Place, more clearly appear.

In these Opinions our Old Writers had an Eye to the Act, and Oath of Supremacy; to main­tain which was the business of that Age, in which they wrote: and their words therefore must be un­derstood, as that Oath is drawn up, Negatively, not Positively; that is, as denying the Usurpations in Ecclesiastical Matters, that have been made, or attempted, from without, upon the Crown of England, not as setling the exact Boundaries and Limits of that Supremacy within, in rela­tion either to those who are to govern, or those who are to be governed by it: which is a Controversie, that there has hitherto been but little said of, and indeed but little Occasion to consider; and which could not therefore be [Page 132] setled and determined by such Writers, as lived and died before it was started.

Dr. Wake's Cloud of Witnesses therefore, which he produces in his Appeal, are very properly such; for they serve only to darken and con­found the Point we are in pursuit of, not at all to clear it. They are such a Nubes Testium as we had in the Late Reign for Transubstantia­tion [and other Romish Articles] where the Old Fathers were vouched by whole-sale for a Do­ctrine, that came not upon the Stage, till they were gone off it. And much the same Usage have the Fathers of our own Church had from the Pen of this Appellant; who has cited 'em, if pertinently, to Points that per­haps they never heard of, and to purposes that to be sure they never dreamt of; and to which had those Excellent Persons foreseen that their words would have been stretched, they would certainly have renounced such Consequences, or rather have prevented 'em, by expressing themselves more warily. They were to plead for the Supremacy of Princes against Those who were for allowing them no manner of Interest in Church-matters: and what wonder is it, if in the warmth of this Dispute they should, as the Fate is in All Controver­sies, have sometimes a little over-thought or over-expressed themselves, and have laid down such Positions, as, tho' of sound Sense, when opposed to the Principles of those against whom they contended; yet when applyed in other Cases and Circumstances (then out of their Thoughts, and the Debate) might need some little softning? Their Great Concern was to secure the Royal Prerogative; and [Page 133] when that was done, they thought their own Rights and Priviledges would be secure under the Shadow of it. These they were then in a full Uninterrupted Possession of, without apprehensions that a Time might come, when they should be put to prove their Title to 'em; and when that Power, which they so warmly, and with reason, pleaded for, should be turn'd upon them, and made use of against the Main­tainers of it. Much less did they suspect, that ever any pretended Son of the Church of England would amass together all the Highest Assertions of the Regal Supremacy, scattered up and down in their Writings, in order to furnish out a Plea for suppressing the Liberties of that Church; and on purpose to prove, that Convocations were (what the Letter to a Member of Parliament sawcily says, P. 26. Bishops are) the Creatures of the Crown; which there­fore as it created, so it may annihilate at its pleasure. Such kind of Books indeed were written Twelve Years ago, by some False Members of our Communion, to make way for those Ill Designs that were then on foot, but to the Eternal Infamy of the Writers of them; who thought to find their particular account in the General Ruin of that Church and Constitution to which they belonged; but were, God be thanked, every way de­feated in Their Expectations. There is not, 'tis true, so much Hazard now, as there was then, in exalting the Regal Power; when we live under a Prince, who is too Just and too Clear sighted, to be flattered into a Misuse of his Authority. However, no Thanks are due for this to the Flatterers, who have markt out [Page 134] the Arbitrary Scheme; and it is no fault of theirs, if it be not afterwards followed.

My Indignation at such Unworthy and Mean Attempts has carried me away into Considerations, not so proper for this place, and led me a little from a strict pursuit of my Argument. I left it, where I was shewing, how weak Dr. Wake's way of reasoning is, from the Powers exercised by Princes over the Greatest Synods, to their interposing equally in the Less. He himself seems to be sensible of it; and therefore, to prevent this Long Chapter of his being One Entire Impertinence, has sprink­led up and down in it a few Instances of the Authority of Princes over their Provincial Sy­nods: which being the only Instances there, that any ways affect our Argument, I shall not think much to consider 'em. And in order to it, I observe,

III. That in those Few Historical Facts, which seem apposite and proper, he either manifestly mistakes National, for Provincial Sy­nods; or Extraordinary Assemblies, for Ordi­nary and stated ones; or conceals some Cir­cumstances relating to the Story of those Meetings, which when known, give an Easie Account how the Royal Power came so parti­cularly to interpose in 'em. Several of the Synods which he calls Provincial, were un­doubtedly not so: Others, which were, yet were called by Princes upon Extraordinary E­mergences, and do no ways prejudice the Right which the Church then had of assembling or­dinarily at set times, without a Lay Summons. For wh [...]n Princes admitted the Canon of the [Page 135] Nicene Council to take place in their King­doms, and allowed the Synods of every Pro­vince to meet twice a Year in vertue of it, they did not by that preclude themselves from calling those Synods together at other times, when the Circumstances of the Church or State should require them. They parted with no Power that they had to Convene such As­semblies, but only gave a Liberty to the Cler­gy of the Province to meet at appointed Times, whether they had a Royal Command for it, or no.

Besides, had Dr. Wake intended a fair state of this Point, he would have set aside all those Instances of Provincial Councils Sum­moned by Princes, where those Princes ex­erted their Power, only to make Metropolitans, who were remiss, do their Duty, and obey the Canons: or, where they interposed only to revive the Use of such Meetings, which had been under a long Discontinuance in their Kingdoms; and when they had done so, lest them afterwards to their Ordinary Course. In these Cases, whatever the Prince did, he did in behalf of the Churches Rights, and his Act ought not therefore to be alledged, and cannot fairly be construed to their prejudice. Nay, in the most Ordinary and Regular Assemblies of the Province, should any mention be made in their Acts of their Meeting by the Civil Authority; yet it ought to be considered, whe­ther at the same Time, and in the same Acts their Right of meeting by the Canons also be not claimed. For if it be, the Exercise of the Regal Power in such Instances is no Bar to those Liberties of the Church, which are at [Page 136] the same time expresly asserted and maintained. Kings may order their Bishops to meet, when those Bishops would have met, tho' unordered: and all therefore that such Bishops, when met, could do, to secure their Ecclesiastical Right of Meeting, was to mention it together with the Royal Precept: and this we may presume 'em purposely to have done, to prevent those Pre­cedents being drawn into Consequence, and under a Prudent Foresight of the Ill Uses that might be made of them by such Betrayers of the Church-Rights as our Author, in Future Ages. These Circumstances should have been considered by him; and, where they take place in any of the Instances of Provincial Councils he alledges, acknowledged. But it was not agreeable either to his Design, or his Temper, to enquire into matters thus carefully, or to state 'em thus candidly and fairly. It was enough, if upon a Superficial View of the Acts of Provincial Synods, or those that passed for such, he found at the Entrance of any of 'em a mention of the Royal Power: This he knew would have the Look of a Proof; and, whether it had more than that, he knew not, and cared not, and hoped other People would not give themselves the Trouble to enquire. To come to Particulars.

The First Instance he has produced of the Authority of Princes over Provincial Synods, is this: When Theodoret (says he) began to be busie in calling the Bishops together, Theodosius not only laid a Prohibition upon him; but confined him to Cyrus, his own little See, as a Punishment for what he had done before. P. 18. I question whe­ther Dr. Wake ever gave himself the Trouble [Page 137] of reading those three Epistles Epist. 79, 80, 81., which he cites on this occasion, tho' not with right Numbers. For there he would have found, that Theodoret, when thus prohibited by the Emperor, was at Antioch, where he had no more Authority to call the Bishops together, than at Rome, or Constantinople. He had been called up thither from his Little See, to reside with Iohn the Patriarch; and whatever of this kind he did therefore, he did by his Order, and as his Substitute. But Theodosius finding the Peace of the East hazarded by these Assem­blies, and the Nestorian Heresie favoured by them, sent an Order to Theodoret, upon whose Advice the Patriarch acted, to retire to his own Diocese, and live there. This is the true account of that matter, which how it makes for or against any Point in Dispute be­tween Dr. Wake and his Adversaries, is to me hard to apprehend.

The next Provincial Synod he mentions is that of Agatha, called by Caesarius Bishop of Arles; but not (says the Dr.) till he had obtain'd the Consent of Alaric the Goth for it; and it is expresly noted that it was held by his Allowance P. 20.. What if it were? was it not a mighty favour that thirty five Catholick Bishops (for so many were present Vide Conc. Meld. c 73) should be allowed to meet under an Arian Prince; tho' the Rules of the Church were on their side? and was not this favour fit to be acknowledged in their Acts? especially, since at the same time they took care to assert their Ecclesiastical Right to such Meet­ings, and to ordain Can. 71. that for the future, in obedience to the Canons, Provincial Synods should be held yearly. The Permission of the [Page 138] Prince would be sufficiently accounted for this way, had this Synod been both Ordinary, and Provincial; but it was really neither: not Or­dinary, for it was called after a long Intermis­sion of Councils in those parts, to restore the Decayed Discipline of the Church; not Pro­vincial, for De Marca has observed L.VI. c. 17. §. 1. that no less than five Metropolitans, and the Proxy of a sixth, subscribe to it. But the Doctor found it styled Provincial in the Tomes of the Coun­cils, and he look'd no further.

Such another Provincial Council is the very next he insists on Ibid. p. 20., that of Epaon: it was com­posed of the Bishops of Two Distinct Provin­ces, those of Vienne, under their Archbishop, Avitus, and of Lyons, under Viventiolus; as the Subscriptions, if he had not been too much in hast, would have informed him.

Among the Spanish Councils, he meets with Two that were Provincial, the Synods of Narbonne, and Saragosa: and of both these, he tells us, it is said, that they met according to the Order of Recaredus.Pag. 23. But by his favour, this is said of neither. In that of Narbonne, they af­firm Concilia Sanctorum Pa­trum vel Decreta observare cum timore Dei cupientes, Nos in Urbe Narbonî, secundum quod Sancta Synodus per ordi­nationem Gloriosissimi nostri Recaredi Regis in urbe Toleta­nâ finivit—in unum conve­nimus. themselves to meet in vertue of the Antient Ca­nons, and of the Decree of the third Council of Toledo, which met by Recaredus's or­der. In that of Saragosa, they own themselves indeed to meet by the Permission, but not by the Order of Recaredus: and this Permission might be, and probably was no more than what was contained in the Canon of that Council of Toledo, which had [Page 139] revived the use of Provincial Synods in Spain, but just before; and the Acts of which Recare­dus had confirmed.

In Gallicia he finds the Second Synod of Braga (which was Provincial) to have assembled at the Command of Arianirus P. 23.. It did so: but it must be considered, that no Synod had been held in those parts for many years before Diu est (says the Metropoli­tan in his Speech by which he opened it) Sanctissimi Fratres quòd secundum Instituta Vene­rabilium Canonum & Decreta Catholicae & Apostolicae Dis­ciplinae, desiderabamus Sacer­dotalem inter nos fieri debere Conventum: quia non solùm Ecclesiasticis Regulis & Ordi­nibus opportunum est, sed sta­bilem etiam semper efficit Cha­ritatis Fraternae Concordiam, dum congregati simul in no­mine domini Sacerdotes ea in­ter se salutiferâ collatione re­quirunt, quae secundum dire­ctionem Apostolicam Unitatem Spiritûs in Vinculo Pacis ob­tineant.. He re­stored the Catholick Faith, and the Use of Councils; both which were lost in that Country by a Long Successi­on of Arian Princes (as both of 'em are usually lost toge­ther.) And to this End he ordered his Bishops to meet, which could be no otherwise than Provincially; for his whole Kingdom was then under one Metropolitan. Is it any wonder, that after so long an Intermission, the first Provincial Synod that met, should gratefully own that Princes favour, by whom they were allowed and encouraged to assemble? which yet they do, in such a manner, as to declare also, that by the Canons of the Church, they had a Right to meet, and that their being debarred of that Right was a Violence upon 'em.

The Council of Lugo afterwards (which sat in 569, or thereabouts; not, as Dr. Wake says P. 23., in 607; mistaking grosly the Spanish Aera, for the Year of our Lord) professes it self to have met at the Command of Theodimi­rus; [Page 140] but it was upon an Extraordinary Occa­sion, the Erecting the See of Lugo into an Archbishoprick; in which the Civil Power was nearly interested, and to which it was requi­site therefore that it should concur. But after that was over, the Two Metropolitans of Braga, and Lugo, Convened their Provincial Synods apart, according to the Canons, and without the King's Order, as far as appears; and needed his Command only to unite these Two Synods into One National Assembly.

As to the Seven Burgundian Synods, whose Acts, he says, avow the Authority by which they met P. 24.; tho' he would insinuate, yet he does not directly affirm any of them to have been Provincial; and I shall not therefore stay to prove that they were not so. That Five of them were not, is certain; and that the Two Others were, if not more than Provincial, yet at least Extraordinary, it will be time enough to prove, when he has told us, which he gives up, and which he insists on.

But Pag. 35. he professes to speak only of the Power of Princes over their Lesser Synods; let us see by what Instances he chooses to make it good. He tells us, that ‘when Wolfolendus Bishop of Bourges Summoned a Provincial Council according to the Canons, yet ha­ving neglected to consult the King's Plea­sure in it, we find Sigebert, for that reason alone, forbad his Bishops to go to it.’

This Story indeed would be something to his purpose, were it rightly represented; but nothing can be more insincere than his man­ner of telling it. For the proof of this I ap­peal to the account which De Marca has given [Page 141] us of this matter, L. VI. c. 19. Sect. 5. there he informs us, that Bourges of which Wolfolendus was Archbishop, was in Clovis's Realm, Neu­stria; not in Sigebert's, Austrasia; which was all out of the Province of Bourges: That He nevertheless, at the Desire of the Austrasian Bishops, designed to come with his Suffragans out of his own Province, into some City of Austrasia, to have a Meeting there with the Bishops of that Kingdom; and pretended to do this, by vertue of some Antient Canons, without so much as consulting Sigebert in it; who for this reason resolved, as he justly might, to oppose him. We see here, that this Synod was not Provincial, but the Meet­ing of an Archbishop and his Suffragans of one Kingdom with the Bishops of another; and this appointed to be in the Territories of a Prince, where that Archbishop had no Jurisdi­ction, and without so much as acquainting him with it. What wonder if Sigebert made use of his Royal Power to hinder such a Meet­ing? or what Instance could Dr. Wake have pitched upon, less to his purpose; without it be that which follows?

When the Fifth Council of Paris, he says, ‘had resolved it to be Expedient,P. 36. that Pro­vincial Synods should be held every year, according to the Orders of the Church, and the Canonical Custom establisht in it: They made it their Request to Lovis the Empe­ror, and Lotharius his Son, that they would consent that at a fit season every year they might be assembled. This Request was agen renewed some years after in another Sy­nod.’ Thus far he is of our side; for what [Page 142] can be more to the advantage of Provincial Synods than this Decree of the Council of Paris, and their Request in consequence of that Decree, to the Civil Powers, that they would suffer it to take effect according to the Canons? It follows, ‘Yes, notwithstanding these General Permissions, before they did come together, they were to have a parti­cular Warrant for their so doing; as is evi­dent (says he) from the Acts of the Synod of Soissons. Which Synod of Soissons, one would think now, was certainly Provincial ▪ and yet it was composed of the Bishops of no less than Five Provinces, as De Marca assures us L.VI. c. 26. §. 2.; and the Names of several Metropolitans are now fairly legible in the Front of it; which is that part of the Acts, with which Dr. Wake is usually best acquainted.

I thank him here for mentioning this De­cree of the Council of Paris; for it gives me an occasion of supplying his account, and of adding the Reasons, by which the Authors of that Decree governed themselves in the passing it, viz. ‘Because, if Provincial Councils were held Annually, the Honour of the Ecclesia­stical Order would be supported, Ill Clergy­men would be discouraged, many Offences which escape now with Impurity, would be taken notice of, and many Instances of Church-Discipline, now superseded, would, by the blessing of God be restored Quoni­am si haec semel in Anno per unamquamq [...]e Provinciam celebrata fuerint, & Honor Ecclesia­sticus Vires Ordinis sui obtinebit, & Impudentia quorundam Clerico­rum quae passim authoritate Canonicâ calcatâ Auribus Imperialibus mo­lestiam ingerit, ce [...]sabit; & Impunitas diversorum Plagitiorum locum delitescendi quem nunc habet, non hab [...]bit; & multa alia, quae ha­ctenùs secùs quàm Ecclesiastica Disciplina docet, incess [...]runt, ordinem suum Deo Auxiliante servabunt. L. 1. c. 26..’ Which [Page] Reasons, whether they will not serve as well to prove the Expedience of Convening fre­quently the Synods of Canterbury and York, I leave the Reader, who understands the state of this Church and Nation, to determine.

These, I think, are all the Instances of Pro­vincial Councils, which he expresly produces as such, throughout his first Chapter: and I appeal now to the most Partial of his Friends, whether any one of 'em does in the least coun­tenance that Extravagant Principle which he sets up for, That the Calling, or not calling of Convocations (i. e. Provincial Synods) the allowing, or not allowing them to meet and sit, was a Thing always at the Free and Ab­solute Pleasure of the Prince; even where the Nicene Canon was admitted, as a perpetual Law of the Church. I do not wrong him, in representing this as the Design of that large Historical Account of the Authority of Princes over their Councils, which he has given us: for besides that he must either have had this de­sign, or none (nothing less than this being of any service to that side of the Debate which he espouses); Besides this, I say, the very Terms in which he expresses himself shew this to be the true and only End he aims at: ‘Tho',Pag. 34▪ says he, the Council of Nice first, and, after that, several other Councils provi­ded for the constant meeting of Provincial Synods every year; and these being allow­ed of by the Emperors and other Princes who confirmed those Canons, and approved of what they had defined, may seem to have put these kind of Synods at least out of their power; yet even in These we find 'em still [Page 144] continuing to exercise their Authority; and not suffering even such Councils to be held, without their Leave, or against their Consent.’

To confirm which, he produces two o [...] three Stories, which I have shewn to be ut­terly wide of the mark; and then concludes: ‘So intirely has the assembling of [these Provincial] Synods been looked upon to depend on the Will and Authority of the Christian Prince P. 36.!’ A Conclusion that has no Premisses, nor any one clear and full In­stance in all his Long Beadroll of Councils to support it.

The Doctor had kindly prepared us in his Preface, to expect Digressions; but withal pro­mised us, in his nice manner, that they should be rather not directly to the purpose than altogether distant from it. However I find not that he has kept his word with us, or that they deserve to be thus gently dealt with. In the first of 'em, that meets me here, I have shewn nine parts in ten of it [i. e. whatever he has said a­bout General Councils] to be altogether distant from the purpose; and that the other poor Scantling [about Provincial Synods] which seems to be, yet is really not, to the purpose: and I conclude therefore that the whole is not only not directly to the purpose, but altogether distant from it. The Doctor must forgive me if I tell him, that these Historical Unedifying Ac­counts of his put me in mind of the Honest Confession of William Caxton the Chronicler; the words of which will become Dr. Wake's mouth as well every whit as they did His; and I cannot help thinking that I hear him in [Page 145] the close of his first Chapter thus addressing himself to his Reader:

Yf I cowde, says he, have founde mee storyes I wolde have sette in it moo; but the substaunce that I can fynde and knowe I have shortly sette theim in this boke; prayeinge all theym that see this symple werke of myne to pardon me of my symple writynge.

And indeed I for my part should have been very ready so to do, had it been as Harmless as it is Simple; and were it not likely, as Simple as it is, to be produced hereafter for a Testimony against the Churches Rights, if it be not now opposed and disowned. For which reason, how Simple soever the performance is, it de­serves to be examined; and I go on therefore to observe,

IV. That Dr. Wake distinguishes not be­tween the Powers in Fact exercised by Princes, and those of Right belonging to them, by ver­tue of their Office. Good Princes have been allowed often to extend their Authority in Spi­rituals very far, and Ill Princes have often usurped an Authority beyond what they were intitled to. Dr. Wake troubles not himself with these Considerations; but what ever Powers he can find any Prince, (whether Good or Bad) to have exercised over the Church, Those he proposes, as Patterns, which all other Princes may safely copy, and as the true Bounds and Measures of the Royal Suprema­cy, When in the Story of our Convocations [Page 146] some Acts of theirs come cross him, that he does not like, then his Maxim is, That they did take upon them to do this is no proof that they had a Right to do it P. 296.. But the most Extravagant Pre­tentions of Princes in the Ordering Church-matters are admitted by him without any such Guard or Distinction; without considering Who it was that did this or that, and in what Circumstances, and for what Reasons they were submitted to in the doing it. Charlemagne in Germany, and Recaredus in Spain, ordered Ecclesiastical Affairs with a very high hand, and had certainly somewhat more than their Share came to in the management of them. But this was tacitly yielded to by their Bi­shops, who saw, that to whatever Degree their Power was carried, it would all be employed for the Establishment of the Church, and Ad­vancement of the Christian Religion. What They did therefore must not, because they did it, be presently presumed to be the Common Right of every Christian Ruler; but often­times an Instance only of a Discreet Comply­ance, in the Clergy, with such Intrenchments on the Liberties of the Church, as might re­dound to the benefit of it. Good Princes, who had the Hearts of their People, and were known to be intirely in their Interests, have been permitted to carry their Prerogative in Civil Matters to an heigth, that has been with­stood and retrenched in more suspected Reigns. Were the Measure of our English Constitution to be taken from those Excesses of Regal Power, which have been winked at sometimes when well employed; what would become of the Liberty of the Subject, or the Freedom of Parliaments?

[Page 147]Dr. Wake finds perhaps in the Acts of some Councils Expressions of Great Duty and Re­spect used to Pious Princes by their Clergy; These presently he lays hold of as Authentick Synodical Decisions. The Council of Tours, it seems, did once upon a Time, tell Charles the Emperor See p. 92., that they left their Decrees to Him to do what he pleased with them; and the Council of Arles begged him, if he thought fit, to amend and alter them Ibid.: This is Handle enough for Dr. Wake to annex such an Altering Power to the Kingly Character, and to represent the Business of Synods to be only the preparing of matter for the Royal Stamp, which may be improved, corrected, enlarged, shorten'd at the Prince's Pleasure; as (in p. 84, and 85. of his Honest Performance) he is pleased to ex­press himself; and therein to intitle the King, de Iure, to a more Extravagant Authority, than ever the Pope himself, I believe, with all his Plenitude of Power, de facto exercised, or claimed. But surely this is a Doctrine of too great Importance to be established on so slight a bottom: and of such dangerous consequence to the Church, that nothing less than the Uni­versal Practice of the Church can sufficiently authorize it. The Doctor may remember, when he wrote against Prayers for the Dead, in a late Reign, his way of arguing was, that Doctrines of that weight were not to be built on the Figurative Apostrophe's and Rhetorical Flights of the Fathers: but now he is of ano­ther mind; every Submissive word, every Re­spectful Form of Expression that he finds to have dropped at any time from the Mouths of the Members of a Synod, when addressing to [Page 148] their Prince, is Ground sufficient to rear a proof of his Prerogative upon. But thus it is, when Princes are to be complimented at the Expence of their Subjects Rights, Compliments shall pass for Arguments!

As Dr. Wake has furnished himself with a Plea for the boundl [...]s Authority of Sovereigns in Church-matters, from such Extraordinary Acts of Power, as have been submitted to in good Princes; so can he argue as well from the Unjust and Violent Encroachments of Ill ones. Henry the Eighth was such, if ever any Prince upon Earth was; and Sir Walter Raw­leigh therefore says of him, that, if all the Pi­ctures and Patterns of a Merciless Prince were lost in the World, they might all again be painted to the Life out of the Story of this King Pre [...]. to hi [...] Hist. of the World.. And yet the Acts of this King, the most Exorbitant and Oppressive Acts of Power which he exercised towards the Clergy, are produced by Dr. Wake as good and lawful Precedents, which all his Successors are allowed and incited to follow. Particularly that Instance of his Correcting and Amending the Determinations of the Clergy in Synod, even upon Doctrines of Faith, is given us See pp. 136, 137, 138, 139. without any Intimation that such a pra­ctice exceeded the Bounds of the Kingly Pow­er. And in this he is followed by Mr. Nichol­son Hist. Lib. [...]ol 3. p. 196, 197. And both these Gentlemen are so eager to assert this Power to the Crown, that they have not given themselves leisure to inquire how far the Authorities they in this case cite, are to be depended on. Dr. Wake quotes my Lord of Sarum for it, whose words are, ‘These Articles [in 1536] being thus conceived, and in several places corrected and temper­ed [Page 149] by the King's Own Hand were subscri­bed by Cromwell and the Archbishop of Can­terbury, and Seventeen other Bishops, Forty Abbots and Priors, and Fifty Archdeacons and Proctors of the Lower House of Con­vocation Hist. Ref. Vol. 1. p. 217..’ And in the Addenda to his first Volume P. 364. his Lordship further says, that ‘He has had the Original, with all the Subcripti­ons to it, in his Hands.’ I have had it too, and can assure the Reader, that there is not a sin­gle Correction by Henry the Eighth's hand, or any others, in that Original. 'Tis a Copy fairly Engrossed in Parchment See it Bibl. Cot­ton. Cleop. [...]. 5., without any Interlineations or Additions whatever. My Lord Herbert indeed, who is Mr. Nicholson's (and I suppose my Lord of Sarum's I suppose so, because my Lord of Sarum's account of the Sub­scriptions is exactly the same as my Lord Herbert's, and with the same mistakes: no Deans being mentioned by either, nor any Con­sideration had of those of the Low­er House, who subscribed in dou­ble Capacities; which makes the Subscriptions more numerous than they are represented to be.) Autho­rity, says, that ‘the Bi­shops and Divines who consulted upon these Ar­ticles were divided in their Opinions, some following Luther, and some the Old Doctrine; whose Argu­ments on either side the King himself took pains to peruse and mo­derate, adding Animadversions with his own Hand, which are to be seen in our Records Hist. H.S. p. 469..’ But these words I must be bold to say, are mistaken both by my Lord Bishop, and Mr. Nicholson, if they infer from thence, that the King made any Alterations in the Ar­ticles after they were drawn up; since the Anim­adversions plainly were, not on the Articles themselves, but on the Arguments urged on ei­ther side of the Questions determined in 'em. [Page 150] These Arguments, or Opinions, were, it seems according to the known way of that time, of­fered in Writing, and subscribed by the Parties maintaining 'em: And the King took upon him to temper and soften the Expressions on either side, till he had brought both to a Com­pliance. But this is a very different thing from his Correcting and Amending the Articles them­selves; even as different, as assisting in the Debates of a Synod, before the Conclusion is formed; and altering the Conclusion it self, after it has been unanimously agreed on.

This is truly the Case of those Amendments of Henry the Eighth, which Dr. Wake is so full of: However had it been such as he repre­sents it; yet no Argument of Right, I say, can be advanced on such Facts as these; and it had become Dr. Wake therefore, when he related 'em, to have told us withal, that they were unjustifiable. Many of the Actions of that Su­preme Head of the Church were such, as cannot justly, (and will therefore, I hope, never) be imitated by any of his Successors. For in­stance, he made his Bishops take out Patents to hold their Bishopricks at pleasure; tho' I sup­pose my Lords the Bishops that now are, do not think such a Power included in the Notion of the King's Supremacy.

William the Conquerour is another of the Pi­ous Patterns he recommends; who would suffer nothing, he says, to be determined in any Ecclesia­stical Causes, without Leave and Authority first had from him P. 179. & L.M.P. p. 34.: for which he cites Eadmerus; and might have told us from thence, if he had pleased, more particularly, that he would not let any of his Noblemen, or Ministers, tho' guil­ty [Page 151] of Incest, and the Blackest Crimes, be pro­ceeded against by Church-Censures and Penalties Nulli Episcoporum permit­tebat ut aliquem de Baronibus suis, seu Ministris, sive Incestu, sive Adulterio, [...]ive aliquo Capi­tali Crimine denotatum pub­licè, nisi ejus praecepto, impla­citaret, aut Excommunicaret, aut ullâ Ecclesiastici rigoris poenâ constringeret. Eadmer. pag. 6.; that he made his Bishops, his Abbots, and Great Men out of such as would be sure to do every thing he desired of 'em; and such, as the World should not much wonder at for doing it; as knowing, who they were, from whence he took 'em, and for what end he had raised 'em: and that all this he did, in order to make way for his Norman Laws and Usages, which he resolved to establish here in England Usus atque Leges quas Pa­tres sui & ipse in Normanni [...] habere solebant in Angliá ser­vare volens, de hujusmodi Per­sonis Episcopos, Abbates, & alios Principes per totam ter­ram instituit, de quibus indig­num judicaretur, si per omnia suis Legibus, postpositá omni aliâ consideratione, non obedi­rent, & si ullus corum pro quá­vis terrenâ potentiâ caput con­tra eum levare auderet; scien­tibus cunctis Unde, Qui, & ad Quid assumpti sunt. Cuncta ergo Divina & Humana ejus Nutum expectabant▪—Ibid.! This I say, and more than this he might have given us from the very Page of Eadmerus he mentions: by which it is clear, that that Prince was as Absolute in Ec­clesiastical as in Civil Affairs: and his Acts therefore are, I hope, no Precedents to any of his Legal and Limited Successors. His Present Ma­jesty is not William the Con­querour; and can no more, by our Constitution, rule abso­lutely either in Church or State, than he would, even if he could: His Will and Pleasure is indeed a Law to All his Sub­jects; not in a Conquering sense, but because his Will and Plea [...]ure is only, that the Laws of our Country should be obeyed; which he came over on purpose to rescue, and counts it [Page 152] His Great Prerogative to maintain▪ and con­temns therefore, I doubt not, such sordid Flat­tery, as would measure the Extent of His Su­premacy from the Conqueror's Claim.

Intimations of this kind have been thought so Heinous as to be purged only by Fire; a Punishment which our Gentle Laws, tho' they have taken it off from Men, have still re­served for Books, and applyed it now and then to repress a State-Heresie, and secure the Fun­damentals of our Constitution, against All its Underminers.

This Conqueror, and his Family are much in request with our Writer; and agen there­fore of his Son William Rufus, he tells us (not without a Glance on more Modern Times) that he would suffer no Ecclesiastical Synod to be held during the thirteen years of his Reign P. 185.: But let me ask our Man of History, which of all those Historians in whose Works he has so hap­pily spent his Researches, represent this part of Rufus's Character to his advantage? which of 'em that mention the thing, do not also com­plain of it, as one of the Greatest Hardships of that Cruel and Oppressive Reign? and to be ranked with that other Righteous Practice of his, by which he kept Vacant, and set to Farm all the Bishopricks and Abbies, as they fell, and had by that means, when he died, no less than Twelve of them in his Hands Iorvall. apud X. Script. Col. 996.: and of these the small Bishopricks of Canterbury, Winchester, and Sarum were Three. These are sad Stories, but (God be thanked) they were done a great while ago, and do not therefore much concern us. For we live now neither under William the First, nor William the Second, [Page 153] but under William the Third: A short Answer to an Hundred such Old Tales as these; but every good Englishman will think it a full one. Less have we to do with his Outlandish Instan­ces of Ecclesiastical Tyranny; such as the Dealing of Constantius was with the Council of Ariminum: A very Righteous and Laudable Act which Dr. Wake proposes for the Instructi­on of future Princes; and was, as follows: When the four Hundred Fathers assembled there, had finished the business for which they met, and determined the disputed Points clear­ly against Arius, they begged of Constantius, that they might return home, and attend their Flocks: but he refused 'em, ordering his Offi­cers to keep the Synod together by force, till they had revoked their former Decision, and subscribed an Arian Form that he transmitted to them; upon which, those who were resol­ved not to comply, made their Escape as well as they could, and even without his Permissi­on went back to their Dioceses. But Constanti­us not having given them his Leave, neither will Dr. Wake give them His; and does as good as say, they did Ill to separate without the Em­peror's Order, and deserved his Resentments for so doing See p. 77..

I know in his Appeal P. xviii. he pretends to fosten this Censure, and to take off several Invidious Instances of the same kind, by saying, that we are to distinguish between what he relates as matter of History, and what he delivers as his own Opinion. But how should the Reader distinguish, where the Writer does not? nay, where the Writer has left no possible room for a Distinction, tho' the Reader should be never so willing to em­ploy [Page 154] it? For it is certain that Dr. Wake pro­duces these Facts, purely to establish Rights up­on them; and having laid down his Historical Grounds therefore does, in every Instance, pro­ceed to draw his Conclusions from them: par­ticularly in This we are upon [the Instance of a Tyrannical Power exercised by Constantius over the Fathers at Rimini]; after he has told the Story, and added Two other accounts of the Imperial Authorities exerting it self on the like Occasions, he thus concludes: It is therefore the Duty of All Synods, as they are con­ven'd by the Prince's Authority, so to tarry, till they have the same Authority for their Dissolution P. 79..

Let him not hope then, after amassing to­gether all the Instances of an Ungodly Usur­pation in Princes upon the Liberties of the Church, to come off by saying, that we are to distinguish between what he relates as mat­ter of History, and what as matter of Opinion; and by leaving it in his own Power afterwards to apply this General Plea to any particular Instances in his Book, as he shall have need of it; for these Two in Works of this Nature cannot be separated. Where an enquiry is made, what Princes may lawfully do, and in or­der to it an History drawn up of what they have actually done; there all the Accounts the Historian gives us of their Acts he must be sup­posed to approve too, unless he has taken care to warn us to the contrary, and to express his Abhorrence of them. Should a Man pretend to mark out the Bounds of the King's Prero­gative in Civil Affairs, and to that End deduce an account of all the most Arbitrary and Ille­gal Acts of our Princes, by which they have [Page 155] trampled on the Liberties of their Subjects, and the Power of Parliaments; would it avail him afterwards, in abatement, to say, that he in­tended these Instances by way of History only, and not to express his own sense of things; when his own sense of things is manifestly built on those Historical Accounts, his Con­clusions deduced from them, and supported by 'em? Such a poor Excuse would not be admit­ted in behalf of such a Chronique Scandaleuse; Every Good Englishman would still see through, and detest the Design; and the Author, under all his shifts, would be as scandalous as his Hi­story. But to proceed in our Remarks. I ob­serve,

V. That Dr. Wake, in his accounts of An­tient Councils often confounds two things that are widely different, the Prince's power of pro­posing any Subject of Debate to his Synods, and his Power of confining 'em to debate of nothing but just what he proposes. As to the First of these, no body questions the Prince's Right in all Synods, from the Greatest to the Smallest: but as to the Latter, he has neither Right or Practice on his side; not even in the most Ge­neral Councils (where the Civil Authority al­ways exerted it self most), whatever Dr. Wake may pretend to the contrary. 'Tis true, in those Larger Synods, which met at the Call of Princes, upon Extraordinary Occasions, the way generally was, that the Business for which they were called should be first handled: and from the Acts of those Councils it appears, that the Emperor, or his Commissioners, inter­posed sometimes to prevent their entring on [Page 156] any foreign matter, till That was dispatched; call'd 'em back to it, when they wandered; and made 'em begin their Debates anew, when they had proceeded irregularly. But after This was over, that they never entred on any new Point without his express Direction, and in every step of their other Debates expected his Order, is an Assertion worthy of Dr. Wake See p. 48., and every way becoming his Cause and his Character. Let us see how he proves it: He instances first in the Great Council of Ni [...]e, whose Acts were either never drawn up in form, or quickly lost; and one would think it therefore pretty difficult to give a Punctual ac [...]count of their manner of Proceeding: But Dr. Wake, by the help of some History, and more Divination, ventures upon it: ‘It was called, he says, to restore the Peace of the Church which the Heresie of Arius, and the Oriental and Western Churches about the time of keeping Easter had so danger­ously broken; and Eusebius tells us, that Constantine, at the opening it, earnestly ex­horted the Bishops, by their wise Resoluti­ons to settle all things in Quiet and Unity. And accordingly (says he in his new man­ner of Speech) the Subject of their De­bates turned upon these Two Points.P. 48. But his History is every whit as new as his Lan­guage: for it has been hitherto thought, that (the Subject of their Debates, or rather) their Debates had turned on several other Points, be­side these Two, particularly, that there were Twenty Canons framed and published by them; and, whatever becomes of the Arabick ones, yet that these were of confessed Autho­rity. [Page 157] And as willing as Dr. Wake is to overlook these Canons, I must take the liberty to put him in mind of them, especially of the Fifth, which provides for the frequent Sessions of Provincial Councils; without any Previ­ous Application to the Emperor for his Leave to make such Provision. Nay, I find not in any of these Canons a word mentioned, either of the Arian Controversie, or that about Easter; the Decision of which was comprized in their Synodical Epistle: Does the Doctor think that they debated on nothing but what was the Sub­ject of that Letter? or has he some secret Hi­story of their Acts, by which he can prove that Constantine offered these Canons to 'em ready drawn up, and that they passed the Synod by way of form only, without being discussed? If he can make this out, the Instance will be somewhat to his purpose; otherwise, it is fit to keep Company with those that follow.

Viz. the Instances of the two General Coun­cil of Ephesus P. 49., and Chalcedon P. 51., where the Roman Emperors had their Commissioners to preside in their stead. They had so; but in what manner, and to what Ends, let those Emperors themselves, in their Commissional Letters speak: it was [...], to secure Order and Regularity in their Pro­ceedings, and with an Express Prohibition of their interposing in Matters Doctrinal, and such Points as were properly of Church-cog­nizance. This is so beaten a Theme, and the Answers to these objected Instances are so well known, that I should be ashamed to give 'em, were I not obliged to it by Dr. Wake; who is not ashamed to produce the Instances them­selves [Page 158] without taking any notice of the An­swers that have been an hundred times over made to 'em.

Our Learned Mason long ago thus account­ed for these very Instances: The Lay-Presi­dency, he says, in these Synods of Ephesus and Chalcedon was made use of for four Reasons.

  • (1.) To hinder Strangers, who flocked thi­ther and had no Right to Vote, from breaking in upon the Assembly.
  • (2.) To keep all the Members of the Synod together, till they had dispatched the business for which they met.
  • (3.) To see that Business first concluded, be­fore any new Point was started, and pursued.
  • (4.) To take care, that the private Piques and Resentments of any of the Members should not interrupt the Publick Work.

These were the Chief Ends, for which the Emperors had their Commissioners at those Meetings; and not, for the proposing to the Fathers the several successive Matters which they were to Deliberate on; much less, for the Confining 'em to deliberate on nothing but what they proposed. So far was that from being the Case, that the Eighth Canon of the Ephesine Council [occasioned by a Dispute about the Cyprian Priviledges] was plainly brought in, de­bated, and concluded, by the Synod, without the least Interposition of the Civil Power: And which of the Thirty Canons passed by the Council of Chalcedon Act. 15. were not so, I desire Dr. Wake at his Leisure to inform us; and withal, with what assurance he could say, that ‘every New Matter [in that Council of Chalcedon] is Prefaced with this Declaration, [Page 159] that they had obtained leave of the Emperors for the Fathers to consider of it, and that the Emperors Orders were delivered to the Commissioners,Pag. 51. to authorize the Bishops to enter upon it.’ —When not one of these Thirty Canons were thus Prefaced, or authori­zed? tho' some of them were of the Greatest Weight and Consequence; particularly the 28. which put the See of Constantinople upon the Level with that of Rome; and which the Fa­thers were so far from being authorized before­hand to Treat on, and to pass, that the Com­missioners knew nothing of it till it had passed; and had it therefore read to 'em at their next Meeting, in order to their considering, and ap­proving it.

To support this Gross Falsity, he quotes the 7th. 9th. 10th. and 11th. Actions of this Synod, where the New Matter, on which their De­bates proceed, is, he says, Prefaced with the Empe­ror's Leave: but it was not to his purpose to speak more plainly. For that New Matter was such, in which, it is likely, the Emperor had before­hand been apply'd to, and interested himself: in which case, it was decent, if not necessary, to have his Consent, before it was presented to the Synod. It related to some Bishops, who had (as They urged) been Uncanonically deprived, and had probably sought the Emperor's Prote­ction in the case. When the Council sat, he re­ferred 'em thither for Justice; and they might therefore, on this account, fitly mention the Imperial Leave, when their Business first came on. But let this be as it will, it is a Point of [Page 160] Iurisdiction, with which we are not at present concerned: The Canons of that Council it is certain had New Matter in them; and it is as certain, that none of that New Matter was Prefaced with the Emperor's Leave; and how Dr. Wake came to forget, both these and the Nicene Canons is matter of wonder. I had thought, the Decrees of Councils were the most Important and Sacred Part of their Acts; especially the Decrees of those four first General Councils, for which both the Church, and the Law of England Canon. Aelfrici. Can. 33. 1 Eliz. c. 1. have, and have always had a parti­cular Veneration.

But of All the Instances he has pitched up­on to shew, that Synods can debate of nothing but what the Prince particularly proposes to 'em, commend me to those he urges (P. 54, 55.) from the Practice of Carloman, at the Synod of Leptines, and of Arnulph, at that of Trebur. The first of these says, he had call'd his Clergy to­gether to advise him how the Law of God, and the Religion of the Church, which had been suffered to fall into such decay, in the days of his Predecessors, might be restored. The second desires them to consider what they thought was needful to be done, for the Reformation of Mens Manners, for the Secu­rity of the Faith, and for the Preservation of the Unity of the Church. How could these Emperors possibly have expressed themselves in words that left their Synods more at large, or gave greater Scope to their Debates than these do? which yet Dr. Wake produces on purpose to shew, that the Prince prescribed to them the Particular Points, on which they were to pro­ceed. These are Ill Proofs indeed; but pity it is, that such Bad Notions should ever be sup­ported by better.

[Page 161]Under the Prince's Power of suggesting any Subject of Debate to a Synod, I comprehend also his Power of proposing the Draught of a Ca­non to them; for that too he has sometimes done; but without confining 'em to pass such Canons in the Form prescribed: which I con­ceive, he has never done, nor has any Right to do, tho' Dr. Wake gives us very Broad Hints that he thinks otherwise; and to that End produces the ‘Three Ecclesiastical Constitu­tions which Marcian delivered to the Fa­thers of the Fourth General Council at Chalcedon ready drawn up, to be approved by them; and they all (he says) gave their Unanimous Assent to 'em P. 65..’ But he tells us not, as he might, that the Matter of these Canons was of such a mixt nature, as made it proper for the Emperor to interpose in them: nor does he inform us, with what words of high Respect and Deference he offered 'em to the Sy­nod. There are (says he) Three Points which in Ho­nour to your Reverences we have reserved for you; judging it fit and decent, that they should rather be by You in Synod Canonically defined, than Enacted by our Temporal Laws [...]. Act. 6.. And in what manner the Synod passed 'em is worth our no­tice: for it was neither in that Order, nor exactly in those Terms in which they were proposed. And one of them The Second. they put into differ­ent words, without any the least alteration of sense, mere­ly, as it should seem, to keep free of an Ill [Page 162] Precedent, which by receiving the Emperor's Form they might have brought upon them­selves. So that this is a much better Proof, that the Emperor could not prescribe the Form of a Canon to them, than that he could.

Nor are his English Instances of this kind more to his purpose: ‘Some of our Princes (he says) have not only prescribed to their Convocations what they should go about, but have actually drawn up before-hand what they thought convenient to be established, and have required them to approve of it P. [110.].’ And for this he vouches King Iames's Letter to the Convocation in 1603, ‘together with which he sent them the Articles of 1562, to be approved by 'em.’ A notable Instance of the Prince's Power actually to draw up before-hand what they think convenient to be establish­ed by their Synods! because King Iames sent a Message to one of 'em, about Confirming the Thirty nine Articles, which had been actually drawn up by another Convocation, forty years before that Message was sent.

And that this Point may be sure to be well proved, he adds a Second Instance of it, every whit as concluding as the Former, ‘The same Prince, he says, to Another Convocation, about four years after, signified his Pleasure for Singing and Organ-service to be setled in Cathedral Churches, without submitting it to their judgment, whether they approved it, or no Ibid..’ He tells us not from whence he dr [...]w either this, or the former particular, and so I am not able to say how he has dis­guised them. But taking this last as he has re­presented it, clear it is that the King in this [Page 163] case did not form, or draw up any thing before­hand for the Convocation to Sign, but only suggested the Matter of a Canon to them; and of such a Canon, as (if necessary) there was no doubt of their agreeing unanimously in, since it was only to confirm a received Practice: and therefore if he did not ask their Approba­tion, it was because he was sure of it.

Dr. Wake is in this Observation all over Mi­stake: For whereas he calls this Another Con­vocation from that in 1603, it was certainly the same; That in 1603 being by Prorogations continued from Time to Time for seven years together, as his own words are, a few Pages afterwards P. 142.. Nor could the Import of this Message well be the Setling of Singing and Organ-service in Cathedral Churches; for it was setled there long before At the Reforming of the Church, not only the King's Chappel and all Cathedrals, but many Pa­rochial Churches also had preser­ved their Organs, to which they used to Sing the appointed Hymns, i. e. the Te Deum, the Benedictus, the Magnificat, the Nunc dimit­tis, &c. performed in an Artifi­cial and Melodious manner.— Heylin. Hist. of Presbyt. p. 226.. Only King Iames, I suppose, recommended to 'em the framing of a Canon in behalf of what was hitherto autho­rized by Practice alone, and by the Queen's Injunctions Sparrow, p. 80.. But this the Synod thought needless, the Thing being otherwise so well established already; and therefore fra­med no Canon concerning it. How Ridiculous then is it in Dr. Wake to say, that the King sig­nified his Pleasure to them in this matter, without ever submitting it to their Iudgment whether they approved it or no? when the Event shews, that they disapproved, and did not comply with the Motion: for I never heard of any such Canon in behalf of Singing, and Organ-ser­vice; [Page 164] and which is more, Bishop Sparrow never heard of it neither. If this Message there­fore make any thing for the King's Power of Proposing, it makes as strongly for the Clergy's Priviledge of denying, if they think fit; which is the very thing Dr. Wake is endeavouring in this place to deprive them of.

VI. A Sixth Observation I have to offer on Dr. Wake's way of managing this Controversie is, that Those very Acts of Authority which were exercised by Princes in Ecclesiastical Matters, to support and corroborate the Churches Power, are by Him perversely made use of to undermine and destroy it. He finds that the Canons of the most General Coun­cils have been confirmed by the Civil Power, and confirmed at the Instance and Petition of the Synods themselves P. 80.. And from hence he infers therefore that their Definitions are no far­ther Obligatory, than as they are ratified by the Ci­vil Authority P. 79.. And this Point he is so sure of, that he conceives it to be allowed on all hands; whereas I on the contrary conceive, that it is allowed on no hands; and is a Conclusion I am-sure, that neither agrees with the Principles of our Church, nor can ever be drawn from the Premisses on which he pretends to establish it.

If this Doctrine be good, then is that of our Twentieth Article stark naught, which deter­mines, that the Church hath Power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and Authority in Matters of Faith. But how has she Power and Authority to this purpose, if her Synodical Decisions are in no [Page 165] case farther Obligatory, than as they are ratified by the Civil Authority? The Magistrate at this rate, will have Power, but the Church her self can have none. For she speaks only by her Synods, in matters of this nature: and if therefore her Synodical Decrees have not any Authority of their own, till confirmed by the Prince, then under an Heathen or Heretical Prince, the Church has not, I say, any Authority, tho' the Article expresly says, that she has.

It is very observable, that Dr. Wake has not in either of his Books mentioned this Article; which yet surely in a Controversie of this na­ture deserved to have been taken notice of. Such an Omission could not be by chance: and we must believe therefore, that he is of the Opinion of those Back-friends of ours in Charles the First's time, who would allow the former part of the Article no more Authority than Dr. Wake allows to the Church; but said it was deceitfully inserted by Archbishop Laud, and wanting in the Original. He might be ashamed to take up with this Reproach, after that Solemn Appeal, which the Archbishop in his Speech in the Star-chamber Anno 1637. See Heylin's Life of Laud, p. 339. made to the Records of Convocation, for the disproof of it. If he have any Suspicions still left in this matter, my Lord of Sarum, in his Late Expo­sition P. 26., will clear them. In the mean time let me put him in mind of the Fate of Dr. Moc­ket's Book de Doctrinâ & Politeiâ Ecclesiae Angli­canae In 4 to. London, 1617., which tho' writ by Archbishop Abbot's direction, yet was Burned publickly; and that chiefly on the account of this very Omission, if Dr. Heylin's History Life of Laud, p. 76 may be relyed on.

[Page 166]But how comes he to dream it to be allowed on all Hands that Synodical Definitions are no farther Obligatory than they are ratified by the Civil Power? What Church upon Earth ever deter­mined or allowed this Doctrine? Because the Fathers of many Synods desir'd the Prince, un­der whose Direction they met, to inforce their Decrees by Civil Sanctions and Penalties, does it follow, that therefore these Decrees with­out the Addition of the Civil Sanction would have had no Authority, no Force to oblige the Consciences of Christians? Does the Subse­quent Authority destroy the force of the pre­cedent one? Is the one of these lost and swal­lowed up in the other? At this rate, what will become of Excommunication, when con­firmed, as it is here with us, by a Civil Penal­ty? Has the Church Sentence in this case no Authority, because the Writ de Excommunicat [...] capiendo is linked to it, and issues out upon it? Such arguing would have become a Disciple of Erastus much better than a Son of the Church of England.

But he will tell me Canons lose no Autho­rity in this case which they ever had, because indeed they never had any: the Great Privi­ledge of the Church being only to prepare Draughts of Canons, and Dead Matter as it were for the Royal Stamp afterwards to put Life into. But if so, How shall we account for the Acts of Church-power exercised by Synods, from the first Planting of the Christian Reli­gion, till the Empire turned Christian? It is plain, that the Governours of the Church for three hundred years before the Civil Power came in to assist them, met in Synods, and [Page 167] made Laws, which were universally submitted to, not only as Councils or Advices proceeding from Men whose Character was had in great Reverence, but as the Commands of Lawful Superiors towards their Spiritual Subjects: and as such, they were understood to oblige the Consciences of all good Christians in those Ages. And if they had such an Authority before Constantine's time, how came they to want it afterwards? As the Church could get no New Power by coming under the Protecti­on of the State, so how does it appear that she lost any Old one? The Emperors indeed by turning Christians gained something, to wit an Interest in the management of Ecclesiastical Affairs: but their Gains were not built on the Church-Governours Losses; the Power that by this means accrued to 'em was Accumulative not Privative; i. e. it gave them some Autho­rity which they had not, but it took not that away which the Spiritual Pastors and Govern­ours had. A Distinction, that I am not afraid to make use of, notwithstanding the Quarter it comes from!

If Dr. Wake therefore denies the Definitions of Synods [held under the Civil Power] to have any other Authority than what they de­rive from that Power, he by consequence de­nies that the Anti [...] Nicene Fathers assembled in Synod, had any Right to prescribe Rules to those Christians that lived within the District over which they presided; or that those Chri­stians were bound to obey 'em: He affirms in effect the several Canons that these Assemblies passed, the Censures that they pronounced, all the Acts of Synodical Authority which they [Page 168] exercised to be in themselves Null and Void, and mere Usurpations upon the Liberty of Christians. And whether he will take up with these Scandalous Notions, or not, we shall see, when he blesses the World with his Next Per­formance: Sure I am that without 'em, his Scheme cannot be consistent, and of a piece.

Agen, Dr. Wake is also very faulty on this Head, when in order to depress the Power of the Church, he promiscuosly enumerates all the Laws, framed by Princes about Ecclesiasti­cal Affairs, without informing us which of those Laws only traced the steps of precedent Canons, and which of them proposed New Matter of Obedience, beside, or contrary to those Canons; which would in this case have been a very Material and Pertinent Distincti­on. He is full of the Edicts relating to Church-matters, that are to be met with in the Code of Theodosius, the Code and Novels of Iustinian, &c. P. 11. But it would have been very honest of him here to have told us (as the Truth is) that there were scarce any of these Edicts, to which some Canon had not before­hand led the way; and that All therefore that those Princes generally did, was to re-enact by the Civil what had been before enacted by the Ecclesiastical Authority; and to give the Church Decisions more weight and force by inserting 'em into the Body of the Imperial Laws, and annexing further Penalties to the Breach of them. This is so certain and known a Truth, that even at this day we can point out the several Canons upon which almost all the Civil Constitutions of those Princes were [Page 169] founded; and in which the matter of 'em was either particularly and in Terms, or at large, and in general determined. And if in some few Instances we should not be able to do this, what wonder is it? when it is considered at what a Vast Distance of Time we live from the first Rise of these things, and how many Antient Church-Monuments that would have given light in these matters, have in the course of so many Ages perished? Iustinian in his Laws appeals frequently to the Canons, and professes to follow them Nov. 6. c. 1. Ibid. §. 8. Nov. 58. sub finem. Nov. 123. c. 36.. And by this Pattern the French and German Princes in after­times framed their Capitula­ries, taking the Subjects of them from the Resolutions of antecedent Synods Decrevimus juxta Sancto­rum Canonum Regulas— Caroloman. in Syn. Leptin. Anno 747., and even referring themselves thi­ther, for the more clear understanding of what their Law only briefly and in General delivered P. 91.. A Truth so Notorious, that Dr. Wake himself durst not dissemble it! And it would puzzle a man therefore to shew, how such Laws should any ways derogate from the Authority of Sy­nods, which they took their rise from, and were made on purpose to support, and confirm. I must put the Doctor in mind here of a way of arguing made use of by one of his Seconds in this Controversie, where he is disputing a­gainst the Universities Authority to declare Heresie: there he lays down this Position; That,‘the Convocation of the University of Oxford have never forbid any Doctrine to their Scholars, before that very particular Doctrine was first declared Erroneous, or [Page 170] Heretical by some Persons who were then reputed to have Power to declare Heresie L. M. P. p. 69..’ The Truth of this Assertion I at present trou­ble not my self with; but supposing it true, the Inference that arises from it has weight, I own; and when applied to our Present Argu­ment, is of use to inform us, what Secular Decrees in Church-matters are no ways pre­judicial to the Power of the Church, and the Authority of Synods. And this was an Head, I say, upon which Dr. Wake should have ex­plained himself largely and openly, if he had intended a fair state of this Controversie, or had had any other New in what he wrote than merely to serve a Turn, and to advance some colourable kind of Plea for a Practice, which, if he knew any thing of these matters, he must know, was indefensible, and be writing all the while for his Point, against his Conscience: and if he knew nothing of it, with what Con­science could he undertake to determine it? These are words that I do not easily persuade my self to bestow on any Man: but his Gross Prevarications and Disguises of Truth in Do­ctrines of so great moment, wherein the Inte­rests of his Order, and of Religion are so near­ly concerned, force this hard Language from me.

Nor stops he at General Reflections in this case, but brings them home also to our own Church and Constitution; pretending in his Appendix Num. vii. to give us an Abstract of several things relating to the Church, which have been done since the 25 Hen. 8. by Private Commissions, or other­wise, out of Convocation. In which Abstract many of the Points mentioned had certainly [Page 171] the Authority of Convocation, tho' he would fain have us believe they had not; and that, an­tecedently to the Civil Injunction: Others are such Acts of Ordinary Power, as by the consent of All Churches and Parties of Men every Christian Prince is confessedly intitled to: and some few perhaps might be owing to the Necessity of Affairs which would not then admit of more Regular Methods; and should not therefore be vouched as reasonable Prece­dents, and setled Rules and Standards of act­ing in more quiet times; which is manifestly Dr. Wake's End in producing them.

The Reader must forgive me, if I detain him so long, as to run through the Particulars of this List, and shew upon each of 'em, how far the Ecclesiastical Power concurred and led the way to it. It will be a dry unpleasing Task, but is of use to clear the Orderliness of some steps taken in those times, which are generally misunderstood; and is necessary to wipe off the Dirt thrown by Dr. Wake on the English Refor­mation: the Process of which, I am satisfied, was very Regular, and Canonical in most Ca­ses, tho' in some, by reason of the Loss of Re­cords, it cannot easily be proved so. Of this we are in General assured by such as lived at the time when those Records were in being, particularly by Sir Robert Cotton, and Mr. Fuller. The first in his Posthuma P. 215., has these words, ‘If any shall object that many Laws in Henry the Eighth's time had first the Ground in Parliament, it is manifested by the Dates of their Acts in Convocation, that they All had in that place their first Original.’ The Latter speaks, as follows: ‘Upon serious [Page 172] Examination it will appear, that there was nothing done in the Reformation of Reli­gion, save what was acted by the Clergy in their Convocations, or Grounded on some Act of theirs precedent to it, with the Ad­vice, Counsel and Consent of the Bishops, and most Eminent Church-men; confirm­ed upon the Post-fact, and not otherwise; according to the Usage of the best and pu­rest Times of Christianity Church-Hist. xvi. Cent. p. 188..’ To which I shall add the Testimony of one, who must be allowed a Good Witness in this case, my Lord of Sarum: He assures the Bishop of Meaux, in the Answer he made to his Variations, that ‘Our Parliaments and Princes have not med­led in matters of Religion any other way, but that they have given the Civil Sanction to the Propositions made by the Church: and this is that which Christian Princes do in all Places P. 35..’ And in 1604, I find a Puritan Writer making this Challenge: ‘Let them, if they can, shew any one Instance of any Change or Alteration, either from Religi­on to Superstition, or from Superstition to Religion to have been made in Parliament, unless the same freely and at large have been first agred upon in their Synods and Con­vocations Asserti­on of True and Christian Policy. P. 168..’ Which is no otherwise consi­derable, I own, than as it comes from the Pen of an Adversary. These are General Proofs, which would go a good way towards setting aside the Particulars in Dr. Wake's Abstract, if we had nothing more to say against 'em: But they shall be further and more distinctly con­sidered.

[Page 173]The Doctor took 'em, he says, out of his Col­lections as they lay there: and for these Col­lections, I find, he scarce ever goes further than Bishop Burnet's History of the Reformati­on; which tho' a very Excellent Work, and meriting the Thanks of Parliament, which it had; yet, as to the Proceedings of Convocation, and the share which the Ecclesiastical Autho­rity bore all along in those Changes, is ex­tremely defective; partly from the want of Records, and partly from his Lordship's omit­ing to set down All even of that Little that is left us, on this Head, in the Manuscript Me­moirs of that time: So that it is no Proof that nothing was done by the Clergy in such or such a Case, because his Lordship says nothing of it. Besides, that History is by its very Method apt to mislead an unwary Reader in Enquiries of this nature; the way of it being, to set down first the Proceedings of Parlia­ment in every case, and then those of Con­vocation: which makes it look oftentimes, as if the Parliament had led the way to the Con­vocation, in their Debates, when the contra­ry to that is most certainly true; and would have appeared so to be, had his Lordship thought fit to follow the Pattern set by Anti­quitates Britannicae, and given the Precedence always to the Acts of Convocation, when the Business was first agitated there, and afterwards brought into Parliament: which, in a Church-Historian, had, I presume, been a method not improper or unbecoming. At least, since his Lordship could not but know, that our Refor­mation had suffered by being misunderstood in these respects, it might not have been amiss to [Page 174] have given us warning, when things were told out of the Natural Order of time in which they hapned, and in what Instances the Leading steps were from the Convocation, tho' the Course of his History seemed to place the rise of 'em elswhere. The want of this notice has occasioned Dr. Wake's mistakes in some ca­ses, and in others he has not made use even of the Light which this History would have af­forded him. I shall examine every Instance, any ways material, the Injunctions only excepted; which, it must be confessed, were by Henry the Eighth, and Edward the Sixth, in vertue of their Supreme Headship, and under the shelter of that Act, which made the King's Proclamations equal to an Act of Parliament, Issued out in a very Arbitrary manner; and continued so to be, as long as our Princes could in their High Commission-Court take notice of the Breach of them. But since that Court has been put down, and the Extraor­dinary Acts of Spiritual Jurisdiction, annexed to the Imperial Crown of England by the First of Elizabeth, Chap. 1. can now be exer­cised only in Parliament▪ how far any Royal Injunction is valid, unless where by the Advice of the Metropolitan it orders such things as that Act directs and allows, or seconds some Authentick Canon, or Received Practice; and whether it has any greater force in Eccle­siastical, than the King's Proclamation has in Civil Affairs, I leave to the Gentlemen of the Long Robe to determine. The Clergy, I am sure, are not the only Persons concerned in this point; for the Princes of those days car­ried their Power further than Them, and issued [Page 175] out Injunctions alike for the Clergy, and Laity See Edward the Sixth's In­junctions, To all and Singular his Loving Subjects, as well of the Clergy, as of the Laity. Sparrow, p. 1. And Q. Elizabeth's, Anno 1559. Ibid. p. 65.. If the Professors of the Law think that the Crown has still such a Power of sending out Com­mands at pleasure, the Cler­gy will, I dare say, be con­cluded by Their Opinion.

‘An Abstract of several Things relating to the Church, P. 381. which have been done since the 25 Hen. 8. by Private Com­missions, or otherwise, out of Convocation.

25 Hen. 8. ‘Thirty two Persons appointed to review, &c. the Canons of the Church, and to gather out of them such as should from thenceforth alone be of force in it.’ See the Act. c. 19.

Dr. Wake might, if he had pleased, have said, See the Petition of the Clergy in Convocation, which preceded this Act, and wherein this Review of the Canons is by Them desired. What was done in this matter, was done at Their Instance, and therefore had Their Au­thority.

1536.‘Order for the Translation of the Bi­ble. B [...]rn. Hist. Ref. p. 195, 249, 302.’

This too was in consequence of a Petition from the Convocation, a Memorandum of which is entred in their Acts Decemb. 19. 1534. Hey­lin Reform. justified, p. 8. seems to say, that it was put up by Both Houses▪ However that which came from the Upper House is still extant in a Cotton Manu­script [Page 176] Cleopa­tra, E. 5. fol. 339.: and in it the Bishops, Abbots, and Pri­ors request the Archbishop to be instant with the King, Ut dignaretur decernere quòd Sacra Scriptura in Linguam Vulgarem Anglicanam per quosdam Praelatos & Doctos Viros per dictum Illustris­simum Regem nominandos transferatur. And this Dr. Wake could not well be ignorant of, be­cause his very Guide in one of the places he himself quotes from him P. 195. on this occasion, mentions this Petition But pla­ces it in 1536. i. e. Two Years later than it was re­ally made., as an Act of Both Hou­ses, and let's us know, the Translation of the Bible took its rise from it.

1538. ‘Explication of the Chief Points in Religion, published at the Close of the Convocation, but not by it. Ibid. p. 245.’

He means the Book called The Institution of a Christian Man; but mistakes both the Time of its coming out, and its Title, and the Authority by which it was published. And in the first and last, of these that very Passage he cites, would have set him right, if he had heeded it. For thus it speaks: ‘Tho' there was no Par­liament in the Year 1537, yet there was a Convocation; upon the Conclusion of which there was Printed an Explanation of the chief Points of Religion, Signed by Nineteen Bishops, Eight Archdeacons, and Seventeen Doctors of Divinity and Law Hist. Ref. Vol. 1. p. 245..’ Here is no Intimation of its not passing the Convocation, but rather the contrary; Twen­ty five of the Lower House subscribing it: which might well be a Majority of the Mem­bers, when not many years before, in the great Debate about the Divorce of Queen Cathari [...]e, [Page 177] Twenty three only (as we have heard alrea­dy P. 53.) were present; and Fourteen of these Votes therefore made a Majority of that House. But Heylin, who had the Opportunity of exa­mining the Registers, puts this matter beyond a Probability; for he speaks every where Ref. just. p. 11. & p. 549. of this Book as having passed the Convocation, and of these Twenty five as Subscribing it in the Name of all the rest of the Members. At least, if Heylin's word may not be taken for it, yet Dr. Wake's, I hope, may: And he, in his Ap­peal P. 28. calls the Clergy's Dedication of this Book an Address of the Convocation to the King; and says, it was Subscribed by both Houses.

1539. ‘A Committee of Bishops appointed by the Lords, at the King's Command, to draw up Articles of Religion. Ibid. pag. 256.’

This was in a Preparatory way only, and in order to their being considered by the Convo­cation and Parliament. However this Com­mittee did nothing ⸫,Bp. Burn. Ibid. and should not therefore be made an Instance of Things relating to the Church, done out of Parliament. And which is more, the Convocation did the very business, which this Committee was appointed to do; as we shall learn from the next Particular.

The Six Articles on which the Act passed▪ brought in by the Duke of Norfolk, and wholly carried on by the Parliament. Ibid. p. 256, &c.

[Page 178]This is News to that Parliament, by which Dr. Wake says it was wholly carried on; for They in the Preamble of the Act of the Six Articles, say, That the King considering, &c. had caused his most High Court of Parliament to be Summoned; and also a Synod and Convocation of all the Arch­bishops, and Bishops, and other Learned Men of the Clergy of this his Realm. — In which Parliament and Convocation, there were certain Articles set forth, &c. and after a great and long, deliberate and advised disputation and consultation had and made concerning the said Articles, as well by the Consent of the King's Highness, as by the Assent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and other Learn­ed Men of his Clergy in this Convocations and by the Consent of the Commons in this present Parlia­ment Assembled, it was and is finally resolved, ac­corded and agreed in manner and form following 31 H. 8. c. 14..

We see these Articles were so far from being wholly carried on by Parliament, that the Parlia­ment it self thought not fit to Enact 'em, with­out expressing in their Bill the previous Con­sent of the Clergy in Convocation.

Some Body seems to have told the Doctor thus much, before he wrote his Appeal; in a corner of which, among the Errata, he desires that these four Lines may be blotted out. Why he was so Particular in his Requests I cannot tell: but sure I am, that there are very few Lines in this whole Article of his Appendix, that do not deserve blotting out as much as They.

1540. A Committee of Divines employ­ed to draw up the Necessary Erudition of a Christian Man. Ibid. p. 286.

[Page 179]In saying they were employed to draw it up, he speaks unaccurately; for that implys it to be then first drawn up, whereas this Book was in the main the same with that which was published in 1537, under the Title of the In­stitution of a Christian Man. This I have already shewn, passed the Convocation: The Mem­bers of which, that were employed in compo­sing it, do in their Dedication of it to the King, Most humbly submit it to his most Excellent Wisdom, and Exact Iudgment — to be recognized, overseen, and corrected, if his Grace shall find any Word or Sentence in it meet to be changed, qualified, or further expounded, &c.

The Liberty thus given by the Clergy, was made use of by the King, who in 1540 com­mitted it to several Bishops and Divines. (All Members of Convocation) to be review'd, and made afterwards some Alterations in it with his own Hand (to be seen still in the Ori­ginal in Sir I. Cotton's Library Heylin. Ref. justif. p. 549.) and finally published it anew in the year 1543 There was an E­dition in 1540. which differs not considerably from that in 1543; and therefore I give no Distinct Account of it., with this Title Which the Exact Mr. Nicholson has changed into a Necessary De­fence for all sorts of People. Hist. Libr. Vol. 3. p. 197. Where he tells us also, that the King drew up these Articles in 1543; meaning, that he made some Marginal Amendments to the Book after it was drawn up. This he mentions at large, as an approved Instance of the King's Power in such cases without intimating his Dislike of it: and without letting us know (how should be? for he knew it not himself) that what the King did here, was not only at the previous Permission, but Desire of the Clergy; and was afterwards once again by them in Convocation confirmed. Such accuracy is there in the Accounts of Books given us by this Historical Librarian!, A Necessary Doctrine and Erudition for any Chrysten Man, set furthe by the Kinges Ma­jeste of England. There is no mention here of [Page 180] the Concurrence of the Clergy in Convocati­on to this Book; and yet it is certain that all the new Alterations and Additions in it, as they sprang at first from a Request of theirs, so passed 'em agen solemnly afterwards. This ap­pears from some short Memo­randums Sess. 25. Apr. 25. Reveren­dissimus tractavit de Sacramen­tis (of which that Book treats at large) & ibi examinati sunt quidam Articuli. Sess. 26. Ult. Apr. Reveren­dissimus exposuit Articulum Li­beri Arbitrii (which is another Head there) ubi Prolocutor, &c. exposuerunt suas Sententias. of the Acts of Con­vocation in 1543, from Hey­lin's Express Testimony Ibid. See also (in his Quin­quartic. Controv. p. 569.) some other Passages out of the Acts of that Convocation, which prove ma­nifestly that these Alterations un­derwent their Review., and from those words in the King's Preface prefix'd to the Book; that he had set it furthe with the Advise of his Clergy— the Lordes bothe Spirituall and Temporall, with the Nether House of Parliament, having both seen and lik'd it well.

Another Commission appointed to Examine the Rites and Ceremonies of the Church. Ibid. p. 294.

This Committee of Bishops and Divines, for reforming the Rituals and Offices of the Church, was setled at the same Time with That which reviewed the Institution; and was composed therefore, as That was, of the Members (and probably of the same Members) of Convocation, which was sitting now at the Time, when this Committee was appointed; as appears by the Subsidy 32 H. 8. c. 23., and the Sentence of Di­vorce 32 H. 8. c. 25., that passed 'em, compared with the Act of Parliament of the same Session Rastall, p. 690., that mentions this Committee as sitting. From hence alone we might have been satisfied, that this Committee was impowered by the Convoca­tion [Page 181] to act, had we no other Evidence for it. But, as it happens, we have: for in the short Remains of Edward the Sixth's first Convoca­tion, this Committee is said to have met ex Mandato Convocationis In a Pe­tition of theirs, where they pray, Ut Opera Episcoporum & aliorum, qui aliàs ex Mandato Convo­cationis Servitio Divino Examinando, Reformando, & Edendo invigi­larunt, proferantur, & hujus Dom [...]s Examinationem subeant. Synodalia..

And something of the same nature seems to be intimated in the Statute I mentioned, which Enacts, that whatever should be ‘Ordained and set forth by the Archbishops, Bishops, and Doctors now appointed, or other Per­sons hereafter to be appointed, by his Royal Majesty, or else by the whole Clergy of Eng­land, in and upon the matter of Christ's Re­ligion, and the Christian Faith This relates to the Instituti­on of a Christian Man, then to be reviewed., and Lawful Rites and Ceremonies This to the Rituals, at the same time to be altered., and Ob­servations of the same, shall be in all and every point, limitation, and cir­cumstance thereof by all his Grace's Sub­jects, &c. fully believed, obeyed, observed, and performed.’

Here the words [by the whole Clergy of England] do most naturally refer to the Last Verb [appointed,] and under that Constru­ction imply, that this, and such like Com­mittees, were consented to by the Convo­cation, as well as named by the King: and so they certainly were. And the reason of establishing 'em was, because the mat­ters to be discussed ‘requiring (as this very [Page 182] Act speaks) ripe and mature deliberation were not rashly to be defined, nor restrained to this present Session, or any other Session of Parliament: as they must have been, if they had been considered only in Convocation; which Then sat, and rose always, within a few days of the Parliament.

These Committees therefore were appoint­ed to sit in the Intervals of Parliament: and tho' they had a Power of concluding finally, yet they seldom, I suppose, did more than pre­pare business to be laid before the Convocati­on, when it sat. Accordingly what was done by this Committee for reforming the Offices, was reconsider'd by the Convocation it self, two or three years afterwards; as a Manuscript Note Sess. 19. 21. Feb. 1542, & 43. Reverendissimus dixit Regem velle Libros quosdam Ecclesia­sticos examinari & corrigi. Ubi Reverendissimus tradidi [...] hos Libros examinandos quibusdam Episcopis. I have met with, ta­ken from the Journals of Convocation, implies. These Committees indeed are spo­ken of sometimes in our Sta­tutes, and elsewhere, as ap­pointed by the King, without any mention of the Convoca­tion-Clergy: which was partly owing to the Doctrine of those times, by which the King in virtue of his Supreme Headship, was said to do, decree, and order every thing, tho' the previous Steps and Resolves were from the Convocation; and was withal not improper, considering how much was left to the Royal Power in such matters: for the Clergy often only Petitioned the King for a Committee, and referred the Nomination of it to him; of which a clear Instance has been given before, in the Request for the Translation of the Bible. Indeed, [Page 183] when the Committee was composed of Mem­bers from both Provinces, (as it was in the Pre­sent case The Act styles them, ‘The Archbishops, and sundry Bi­shops of Both Provinces, of Canterbury and York, with­in this Realm, and also a great Number of the best Learned, Honestest, and most Vertuous sort of Doctors of Divinity, Men of Discretion, and Iudgment, and Good Disposition, of this said Realm.) it could not sit and act by a bare Order of the Clergy; but was neces­sarily to have the King's Com­mission, before it could be a Legal Assembly: and no wonder therefore, if, tho' both Convocations consented to it, and perhaps sometimes named it, yet the King only be said to impower them.

And here I must once for all observe, that whatever was done by such Select Committees, appointed, or approved by Convocation, tho' done out of Convocation, must be reckoned done by it; as carrying the stamp of its Authority: For so the way has been in all manner of As­semblies, both Ecclesiastical, and Civil. The Catechismus ad Par [...]chos, among the Papists, is accounted to have the Authority of the Coun­cil of Trent, tho' that Council never passed, or saw it; because it was drawn up, and publish­ed by Order of the Pope, to whom that Coun­cil had referred it. The like is to be said of the Oxford Bp. B [...]. Vol. 1. p. 85., and Cambridge Ibid. p. 87. Resolutions, concern­ing the Invalidity of King Henry's first Marri­age; which carried the Authority of those Universities, because drawn up by Committees, which were in full Convocation appointed by them. Nor want we Precedents of a Delega­tion of the Power even of Parliaments to Com­mittees, in antient times. For 1 Hen. 6. some Lords and Others of the King's Council were impowered to determine all such Bills and Pe­titions, [Page 184] as were not answered in Parliament Rot. Parl. n. 21.; and so agen 6 Hen. 6. n. 45, 46. and several Times before, and after. And Henry the Eighth had frequently the whole Power of Parliament Translated upon him: We are not to wonder therefore if the Convocations of his Reign did something like this, when they had so Great Patterns to follow, and were so much more at his Mercy than Parliaments were.

1542. The Examining of the English Tran­slation of the Bible, being begun by the Convocation, is taken by the King out of their Hands, and committed to the two Universities. Ibid. p. 315.

Were the Translating of Scripture a Work appropriated to Synods, (as sure it is not) yet the Petition of the two Houses in 1534 to the King, to take care of a New Translation of the Bible, would have been Warrant enough for him to have put it into whose hands he pleased. Especially, since it is probable, that this very Synod in 1542 complied at last with the King's Proposal. I find indeed in some Minutes of their Acts, that the Bishops at first disa­greed to it Sess. 9. Mart. 1541, 42.: but they were, I suppose, over-rul [...]d▪ for Parker's account is only, Aliquandiu quibus Biblia transferenda committerentur, ambigebant P. 338.; which shews, that the dispute was soon over.

1544. The King orders the Prayers for Processions, and Litanies to be put into English, and sends them to the Archbi­shop, with an Order for the Publick Use of them. Ibid. p. 331.

[Page 185]This was done by a Royal Injunction So it is styl [...]d in Bonner's Reg. f. 48., then equal to an Act of Parliament, and need not therefore by me here be accounted for. How­ever, there is reason to believe, that the Com­mittee for Reforming the Offices, or the Con­vocation it self, might have an hand in it: for about this time, it is plain, they composed the Little Book of Prayers, called the Orarium Orarium, sive Libel­lus Preca­tionum, per Regi­am Majestatem & Clerum Latinè editus. Ex Officina Rich. Grafton. 1545., which was set out by the King the Year after­wards.

1547. The King orders a Visitation over his whole Kingdom, and thereupon su­spends all Episcopal Iurisdiction while it lasted. Vol. II. p. 26.

The King Visited by vertue of his Supreme Headship, recognized first in Convocation, and established afterwards in Parliament. And while this Royal Visitation lasted, all Inferior Jurisdictions ceased a course; as they do, even when an Archbishop visits Pendente Visitati­one At­chiepisco­pali tam Suffraga­nei quam Inferiores Praelati ordinari [...] su [...] Jurisdictione abstinent, omniaque per Archiepiscopum ejusque Commissarios expediuntur.—Ant. Brit. p. 29.. But what would Dr. Wake infer from this Instance? that the King took to himself a Power, which has been thought regularly to belong to the Convocati­on? Why, was ever any Man wild enough to say, that the Convocation were the Visitors-Gene­ral of all Ecclesiastical Bodies in England?

The Homilies composed. Ibid.

He should say, reviewed, and altered: for [Page 186] they were composed many years before, in the Convocation of 1542, as the Acts declare Ian. 1541, & 42. Tracta­vit Reverendissimus de Homi­liis conficiendis. 16. Feb. 1542, & 43. Presentatae sunt Homi­liae compositae per quosdam Praelatos de diversis materiis.. And by ver­tue of this Convocational Au­thority which they had, Arch­bishop Cranmer sent 'em 1 E. 6. to Bishop Gardiner requiring him to publish 'em through­out his Diocese. Thus Bishop Gardiner himself in his Letters to the Protector Fox. Vol. 2. p. 1.; the first words of the first of which are, ‘After most humble Commendations to your Grace, I have received this day Letters from my Lord of Canterbury, touching certain Homi­lies, which the Bishops in the Convocation holden Anno Dom. 1542. agreed to make for stay of such Errors, as were then by Ignorant Per­sons sparkeled among the People.’

The Second begins thus: ‘I have received other Letters from my Lord of Canterbury, requiring the said Homilies, by vertue of a Convocation holden five years past: [He does not allow indeed, that the Homilies formally passed that Synod, for he adds] Wherein we communed of That, which took none ef­fect then, and much less needeth to be put in Execution, ne in my judgment cannot.’ But Cranmer, we see, was of another opinion, and thought these Homilies sufficiently autho­riz'd by the Convocation of 1542; and that they wanted only to be confirmed, and re­commended by the King; as they were in the Injunctions of that year. But should there be any thing wanting to the Authority of these Homilies, when first set out, that want was [Page 187] made up, when they were subsequently rati­fied by the Clergy in Convocation See Art. of 1552, & 1562..

L. M. P. has increased Dr. Wake's Collections by an Instance or two of this date, which must not be neglected: ‘Parliaments, he says, without the Concurrence of Convocations have learnedly argued and determined the Questi­ons about the Lawfulness of Priests Marri­age, and Communion in one kind P. 16..’ As to the first of these, the Stat. 2 & 3 E. 6. c. 21. does indeed determine this point; but it is in consequence, and almost in the very words, of the Determination of the Clergy in Con­vocation made the year before, which Arth. Harmar has Printed P. 170., and my Lord of Sarum has given a short account of Vol. 2. p. 50., tho' with some mistakes in the Circumstances of it. For where­as his Lordship makes but Thirty five to have affirmed the Question, and but Four [...]een to have denied it; there were many more in ei­ther case, Fifty three in the first, and Twenty two in the latter Synoda­lia.. The Name also of the Prolocutor, who gathered these Votes, is mi­staken: for it was Io. Taylor Dean of Lincoln, not I. Tyler; who had been Prolocutor Thir­ty two years before in the Convocation of 1515: where his Lordship takes notice of him Vol. 1. p. 14. with Indignation, for making a Partial Entry in the Journals of Parliament, on behalf of the Clergy, then contending with the Lay-power, about their Ecclesiastical Priviledges, which his Lordship says, is no wonder; the Clark of the Parliament being at the same Time Speaker to the Lower House of Con­vocation’— tho', had not his Lordship thus judged, I should have been apt to have [Page 188] thought this Entry Impartial, for the very same reason; because the Man that made it, belong­ed equally to both the contending Parties: Unless it shall be said, that Clergy-men are so blindly devoted to the Interests of their Or­der, that no other Tyes, or Views whatsoever can make 'em think indifferently, where That is concerned. But of this his Lordship's own Works are an Effectual Disproof.

As to the other Point, about the Communion in both kinds, neither did the Parliament esta­blish that, without the Concurrence of Convocation: for tho' the Clause concerning it was brought into the House of Lords (by Bishop Cranmer, I suppose) Novemb. 24 Bishop Burn. Vol. 2. p. 41., yet it lay upon the Table, without being called for again, till the Clergy Decemb. 2. had Voted it in Convocati­on; after which, the very next day Synoda­lia., it had a Second Reading.

1548. A Committee of Select Bishops and Divines appointed to Examine and Re­ferm the Offices of the Church. Ibid. p. 61, 71.

To such a Select Committe I have shewn that the reforming the Offices was by Convo­cation intrusted in Henry the Eighth's time; so that this was but continuing that business in the same method into which the Convoca­tion had formerly put it. And there is Great Reason to believe that it was thus continued by this Convocation it self; and that the Peti­tion of the Lower House to the Bishops Mention­ed by me p. 181. out of the Acts of this Con­vocation. for a [Page 189] Review of the Books prepared by the former Committee to this purpose, ended in an Ad­dress of Both Houses to the King for a New one. Thus, it is plain, Bishop Burnet See Vol. 2. p. 50. under­stood this matter, and Bishop Stillingfleet too, who first produced that Petition in his Ireni­cum See p. 386. where he terms it a Petition for calling an Assembly of Select Divines, in order to the setling Church-affairs. Not that this was the Direct Purport, but only the Result of it; and occasioned by it..

A New Office of Communion set forth by Them, [i. e. by the Select Commit­tee.] Pag. 64.

And it was therefore Authorized by that Convocation which we have reason to think, consented to this Committee. However, sure we are, that it was established soon afterwards, by another Convocation; which passed the whole Service-Book, where this Communion-Office was, with some Alterations inserted.

There is a Deep silence all along in my Lord of Sarum's History, as to the Convocation­al Authority of this Service-Book; which he seems to represent as the Work of a Committee See Vol. 2. p. 71, 93. only, confirmed afterwards by Parliament. His Lordships's History has that Credit in the World, that his very Omissions may in time pass for Proofs, if they be not observed and supplied; especially in the Present Case, where it will be naturally enough concluded, that the Church-Authority did not intervene, if a Church-Historian of his Lordship's Rank takes no notice of it. For which reason, and be­cause I think the Point to be of Importance, [Page 190] and withal related nearly to the Article we are upon, I shall here produce some Passages from the Papers and Records of that time, which fully clear it.

King Edward's Answer to the Devonshire-Mens Petition Fox. Vol. 2. p. 666., ‘Assures 'em, that for the Mass, no small Study or Travel hath been spent by All the Learned Clergy therein p. 667. b..’ And agen, That‘whatsoever is contained in our Book, either for Baptism, Sacrament, Mass, Confirmation, and Service in the Church, is by our Parliament established, by the whole Clergy agreed, yea by the Bishops of the Realm devised, by God's Word con­firmed P. 668. a..’

The Council's Instructions to Dr. Hopton how to discourse the Lady Mary Fox. Vol. 2. p. 701., affirm the same thing, somewhat more forcibly. The first of these is, ‘Her Grace writeth that the Law made by Parliament is not worthy the Name of a Law, meaning the Statute for the Com­munion, &c.’

You shall say thereto.

‘The Fault is great in any Subject to dis­allow a Law of the King, a Law of the Realm, by long Study, free Disputation, and uniform Determination of the whole Clergy consulted, debated, concluded.’

But above all most Express and Full to this purpose is the Assertion in a Letter of Edw. 6. dated Iuly 23. Regni tertio, and entred in the Register of Bonner F. 219. a.; it runs thus: That‘one Uniform Order for Common-Prayers and Administration of the Sacraments hath beyn [Page 191] and is most Godly sette fourthe not onely by the Common Agreement and full Assent of the Nobility and Commons in the late Session of our late Parliament; but also by the lyke Assent of the Bysshopps in the same Parliament, and of all other's the Learned Men of this our Realm in their Synods and Convocati­ons Provincial.

I thought it worth my while to make good this Point, because it has by some been much doubted, and their Doubts have been counte­nanced by the Act 2 & 3 Edw. 6. c. 1. which establishes the Service-Book; and wherein there is mention only of the Archbishop of Can­terbury, and certain of the most Learned and Dis­creet Bishops and other Learned Men of this Realm, appointed to compile it; but no Formal notice is taken of the Convocation that passed it. And the Proof I have given in this single Instance, will suggest to the Reader, that it might be so in General; and that several other Things done by this Select Committee, were probably approved afterwards in Convocation; tho' the Statutes, and other Records of that time should seem to mention the Committee only. The Con­vocation-Records, which alone could have gi­ven us Full Light in this case are destroyed; and the chief way we now have of supplying this Defect is by Parallel Instances, and Pro­bable Reasonings: which Fair Men therefore will admit as good Evidence, for want of bet­ter; and not take advantage, as Dr. Wake does from the Destruction of such Records to deny that there ever were any. This is as if a Man should pretend to prove, that none of the Peo­ple of such or such a Parish were, in the Reign [Page 192] of Edward the Sixth Christned, because per­haps the Old Parish-Registers are lost.

This made way for the Act of 1548, p. 93. and 1551, p. 189.

He means King Edward's two Acts of Uni­formity, which established the first and second Service-Book; and way therefore was made for them, not by this New Office of Communion, but by the Service-Books themselves: These, I have shewn, tho' the Work of a Committee, yet had the Authority of Convocation, inasmuch as the Convocation approved this Committee before-hand, and confirmed what was done by it afterwards. I have shewn it, I mean, of the One; and the Reader therefore, will easily believe, that the same Steps and Measures were observed as to the Other.

1549. An Order of Council forbidding Pri­vate Masses. Ibid. p. 102, 103.

As contrary to the Statute of Uniformity, and to the Determinations of the Clergy in Con­vocation: and the Council therefore, who sent this Order, do afterwards, in a Letter of theirs to the Lady Mary Iune 4. 1551., call her Chaplains saying Mass, a contempt (not of Their, but) of the Ec­clesiastical Orders of this Church of England Fox Vol. 2. p. 709..

The Forms of Ordination, appointed by Act of Parliament, ordered to be drawn up by a special Committee of Six Bishops, and Six Divines to be nam'd by the King. Ibid. p. 141, 143.

[Page 193]The true account of this is, that the Coun­cil had already appointed this Committee, at the Instance (as we may from former Precedents reasonably collect) of the Convocation it self then sitting: and of the Members of Convo­cation therefore this Committee was composed, according to my Lord of Sarum's account of it. ‘Some Bishops and Divines (says he) brought now together by a Session of Parliament, were appointed to prepare a Book of Ordinati­on Vol. 2. p. 140..’ The Session was likely to end, be­fore these Forms could be prepared, and the Parliament passed therefore a previous Confirma­tion of them, as they had done in the case of the Necessary Erudition, in 1540 See Stat. 32 Hen. 8. cap. 25.. Dr. Wake must have a very uncommon way of arguing, if he can draw any thing to the Prejudice of the Churches Power from such Instances as these, where such an Implicit Deference was paid to the Resolutions of the Clergy, as to Enact 'em, before the Parliament had seen 'em, and indeed before they were made.

Dr. W. we see, does in this, and in every other step of this Article, appeal to my L. of S.'s Book, and would under the cover of his Lord­ship's Name put off all his Bad History, and Worse Opinions. It may not be amiss there­fore to give him the Iudgment of this Right Reverend Prelate clearly expressed, and avow­ed, in another Piece Vind. of the Ord. of the Ch. of Engl.; and with that, to bal­lance all these Doubtful and Uncertain Au­thorities.

His Lordship, speaking of the English Ordi­nal (the Point we are upon) and of the Alte­rations that were afterwards made in it, has these words, ‘It was indeed confirmed by the [Page 194] Authority of Parliament, and there was good reason to desire That, to give it the force of a Law: but the Authority of [the Book and] those Changes, is wholly to be derived from the Convocation, who only con­sulted about them, and made them. And the Parliament did take that care in the En­acting them, that might shew, they did only add the force of a Law to them: for in pas­sing them it was ordered that the Book of Common-Prayer and Ordination should only be read over, (and even that was car­ried upon some Debate; for many, as I have been told, moved that the Book should be added to the Act, as it was sent to the Par­liament from the Convocation, without ever reading it: but that seemed Indecent and too Implicit to others) and there was no change made in a Tittle by Parliament. So that they only Enacted by a Law what the Convocation had done Pp. 74, 75.. And agen, As it were a Great Scandal on the first General Councils to say, that they had no Authority for what they did, but what they derived from the Civil Power; so is it no less unjust to say, because the Parliaments im­powered Here I must beg leave to say, that his Lordship's Expression is not Exact. The Parliament did not impower, but approve of them. some Persons to draw Forms for the more pure Administration of the Sacraments, and Enacted that these only should be lawfully used in this Realm, which is the Civil Sanction; that therefore these Persons had no other Autho­rity for what they did. Was it ever heard of, that the Civil Sanction, which only makes any Constitution to have the force of a [Page 195] Law, gives it another Authority than a Civil one? The Prelates, and other Divines, that compiled our Forms of Ordination, did it by vertue of the Authority they had from Christ, as Pastors of his Church, which did impower them to teach the People the pure Word of God, and to administer the Sacra­ments, and perform all other Holy Functi­ons, according to the Scripture, the Pra­ctice of the Primitive Church, and the Rules of Expediency and Reason; and this they ought to have done, tho' the Civil Power had opposed it: in which case their Duty had been to have submitted to what­ever Severities and Persecutions they might have been put to, for the Name of Christ, or the Truth of his Gospel. But on the other hand, when it pleased God to turn the Hearts of those which had the Chief Power, to set forward this good Work, then they did, as they ought, with all thankfulness acknowledge so great a Blessing, and accept and improve the Authority of the Civil Power for adding the Sanction of a Law to the Reformation, in all the Parts and Branch­es of it. So by the Authority they derived from Christ, and the Warrant they had from Scripture and the Primitive Church, these Prelates and Divines made those Alterati­ons and Changes in the Ordinal; and the King and the Parliament, who are vested with the Supreme Legislative Power, added their Authority to them, to make them ob­ligatory on the Subjects Pp. 53, 54..’

I have produced these Passages at length, not so much for any Light they give to the Parti­cular [Page 196] we are now concerned in, the Authority of the English Ordinal, as for the General Use they may be of in setling the Dispute between Dr. W. and the Church, about the Distinction of the Two Powers Ecclesiastical, and Civil; and the Obligations we are under to the Deci­sions of the one, antecedently to the Sanctions of the other. I subscribe to his Lordship's state of it, and think nothing can be said more just­ly and truly.

1552. The Observation of Holy-Days or­dered by Act of Parliament. Ibid. pag. 191.

This Act traced the Steps of the Rubrick, in the Common-Prayer-Book, relating to Ho­ly-Days; and ordered none to be kept Holy, but what had before-hand been so ordered to be kept by the Clergy in Convocations, only it added New Penalties.

1553. A New Catechism, by the King's Order required to be taught by School­masters. Ibid. p. 219.

This Catechism was published with the Arti­cles of 1552. and had, I suppose, the very same Convocational Authority which those had. It was compiled indeed by Poynet, but is said, in the King's Patent annexed, to have been afterwards perused and allowed by the Bishops, and other Learned Men; by which we are to understand either the Convocation it self, or a Grand Committee appointed by it, and upon which its Power was devolved. That the whole [Page 197] Convocation have been by these, or such like Terms about this time often expressed, the In­stances given in the Margent The Six Articles in the Act 31 H. 8. c. 14. are said to be agreed to by the Archbishops, Bishops, and other Learned Men of the Clergy; who a little before are styl'd a Synod, or Convocation. In the Articles of 1536. (See 'em in Bishop Burn. Vol. 1. Coll. of Rec. p. 305.) the Convocation is expressed by the Bishops, and others, the most Discreet and Learned Men of the Clergy. The Articles of 1552. are in the Title said to be such, de quibus in Sy­nodo Londinensi inter Episcopos, & alios Eruditos viros convene­rat. And i [...] will scarce, I think, bear a Reasonable Doubt, whether these Ar­ticles passed the Convocation. Finally, The Act about Holidays, (as 'tis called) is in the Canon it self. (See it in Sparrow, p. 167.) said to be decreed by the King, with the Common Assent and Consent of the Clergy in Convocation assembled. But in the King's Letter to Bonner about it, the words are, ‘By the As­sents and Consents of all you Bishops, and others, Notable Personages of the Clergy of this our Realm in full Convocation and Assembly had for that purpose.’ will evince.

And that this Catechism was generally under­stood to have the Authority of Convocation, is plain even from the Exception made to it by Dr. Weston For that, said he, there is a Book of late set forth, called the Catechism, bearing the Name of this Honourable Synod, and yet put forth, without your Consents, as I have learned, &c. [...]ox. Vol. 2. p. 19., in the first Synod of Queen Mary; but plainer still from Philpot's Re­ply to that Exception; which discovers also to us somewhat of the Manner, by which the Convocation came to be In­titled, not to this Catechism alone, but to several other Pieces, that seem to carry the Name of a Committee only upon them. His words are, that This House [of Con­vocation] had granted the Authority to make Ec­clesiastical Laws unto certain Persons to be appointed by the King's Majesty; and whatsoever Ecclesiasti­cal Laws They, or the most part of them, did set [Page 198] forth, according to a Statute in that behalf provided, it might be well said to be done in the Synod of London, although such as be of this House now had no notice thereof before the Promulgation. And in this Point be thought the setter forth thereof nothing to have slandered the House — since▪ they had our Synodal Authority unto them committed to make such Spiritual Laws as They thought convenient and necessary [...]bid. p. [...]0..

The Knowledge of the Time and Cir­cumstances of appointing this Committee, we have lost, together with the Acts them­selves: however, plain it is from this Asserti­on of Mr. Philpot, made in open Convoca­tion, that such a Committee there was, named by the Crown, at the Instance of the whole Clergy; and that this Catechism, among other things, passed them; and had on that account, as He judged, the Authority of Convocation. It is left to the Reader, by whom in this ca [...]e he will be guided, the Churches Martyr, or her Betrayer. And here the Instance of the Catechismus ad Parochos is very pat to our purpose, and ought once again to be remembred.

The rest of Dr. W.'s Particulars are Immaterial, and need not stop us: only on the Last of 'em a Line or two may be not improperly spent.

King Charles the First.

‘Directions concerning Preaching with respect to the Arminian Points.’

These Directions were for the silencing both Parties, and for preventing all Innovations upon [Page 199] the Doctrine of the Church already Establish­ed; and such Directions, it is not only the Christian Magistrates Priviledge, but his Duty to prescribe: provided always, that he do it not with any such under-hand Views and Aims, as my Lord of Sarum represents K. Charles the First to have had in publishing His,— ‘All Divines (says he) were by Proclamati­on required not to Preach upon Those Heads: but those that favour'd the New Opi­nions were encouraged, and the others were de­pressed Exposi­tion on the XXXIX. Article, p. 152..’ I presume, this is no part of the Regal Supremacy, nor a Pattern fit to be imi­tated in succeeding Reigns: especially, if the case ever should be, as his Lordship further in­forms us, it was Then,— ‘And unhappy Disputes (continues He) falling in at that time, concerning the Extent of the Royal Pre­rogative beyond Law, the Arminians having declared themselves highly for that, they were as much favoured at Court, as they were censured in Parliament. If this were then really the case, we of This Age have reason to thank Heaven for reserving us for better Times, when the Interests of Prince and People are the same; and it can never therefore be a re­commending Qualification of a Man, that he is for extending the Royal Prerogative beyond Law; nor intitle him to the favour of a Court, to be censured in Parliament.

These are the Instances, in which Dr. Wake has shewn himself very willing to blast the Ho­nour of the Reformation, in order to assert an unreasonable Prerogative to the Crown, for which no good Prince will thank him. I have considered 'em throughout, and have proved, I [Page 200] hope, that the History he brings to justifie his Principles is every whit as unjustifiable as the Principles themselves; and that they deserve therefore to keep Company with one another. In some of these Instances, Truth was so easie to be come at, that he must be thought to have missed it willingly, and to have judged it par­donable to pervert History a little, in order to make his Complement with the better Grace. A Principle, familiar to the Writers in this Controversie, as I could shew by some Dome­stick Instances; but, since that is not proper, shall content my self with a foreign one.

De Marca, a Man excellently well read in this Debate, and of Abilities of Mind equal to his Reading, (and like Dr. W. in nothing, but in his Design of letting the Royal Power in upon the Church as far as he was able) while he was writing his Famous Piece,Baluzii Vita Petri de Marca, &c. in principio operis de Concor­diâ Sa­cerd. & Imp. pp. 13, 14. was named to the See of Thoulouse, but not quickly setled there, for want of his Bulls. To obtain them, he wrote a Letter to the Pope, full of Submission and Respect; and in it, took occa­sion to compare his own advancement to the See of Tholouse with that of Exuperius, former­ly Bishop of that place: whom he made the same with Exuperius, the Spanish President, on purpose, that the Parallel might run the better (He himself having for some time presided in Catalonia); tho' he knew very well, they were two different Men. When this was obje­cted to him, as an over-sight, or rather as a piece of Art, not very well becoming his Holy Character, he laughed at the Objection, and pitied the poor People that made it; who were so scrupulously silly, as to tye Men up [Page 201] to strict Truth in such cases as these, and not able to distinguish between History and a Comple­ment. So that with the Writers in this Argument, it has been, it seems, a Fashion all along, to disguise Truth; and the bending of matters of fact to by-purposes, is a tried and approved Remedy for the Dispatch of Bulls. As a Key to all the false Stories vouched by Dr. W. I have added this true one: and should it happen not to be very pertinent, or entertaining, I have no Excuse to make to him on that head; 'tis but returning him a Freedom, which he has often before-hand taken with his Reader.

I am sensible these Reflections of mine are running out into too great a Length, and shall therefore only name two or three more with­out enlarging much upon 'em.

VII. Dr. Wake makes no distinction between Absolute and Limited Princes, but produces the Acts of the one to prove and justifie the Exer­cise of a like Power in the other. His first Chapter is taken up in telling us, what was done in relation to Ecclesiastical Synods, and Affairs by the Roman, and German Emperors, and by other Princes, of narrower Territory, but not less Despotick in their Government: as if what They did, or had a Right to do, were immediately the Right of every other Christian Prince, without any regard to the Restrictions which the Power of that Prince might be un­der, by the Constitution of his Country. But now should he have told us, what Acts of Ab­solute Authority were exercised by those Em­perors in State-matters, and how their Edicts had the force of Laws; would this Plea justi­fie [Page 202] an English Prince in attempting the like things at home, or be a Bar any ways upon the Rights and Priviledges of Parliament? Indeed our Author seems sensible, that these Instances are not very Conclusive, where he confesses, that Princes may by their own Acts Li­mit themselves, and that such Limitations may alter the Case mightily, and make that Law­ful in one Country which is not so in ano­ther P. 95.. Pity it is, that this Truth had not come into his Thoughts sooner than the 95th. Page of his Work: it might then have pre­vailed with him to withdraw that huge Heap of Foreign Precedents, which now take up so much room in his Work; and which would have been left to sleep peaceably in his Com­mon-place-Book, without seeing the Light, upon so improper an occasion. For should, what he has the Courage in his next Chap­ter to assert, be true; that, by our own Consti­tution, the King of England has all that Power at this day, over our Convocation, that EVER ANY Christian Prince had over his Synod P. 98.: yet the Power he has in this respect, he derives from the Particular Rules of our Constitution, not from any beyond-Sea-Customs and Usages. He claims it not, I suppose, as Heir to the Impe­rial Authority of Constantine, or Charles the Great; but by vertue of that Prerogative, which, as King of England, he has by the Laws of England: and should the Power there­fore happen to be equal here at home to what it is abroad, yet there lyes no Proof from the one of these to the other. Dr. Wake it seems has different notions of these things; for he tells us, that ‘Whatever Priviledges he has shewn [Page 203] to belong to the Christian Magistrate, they belong to him as such; they are not derived from any Positive Laws and Constitutions, but result from that Power which every such Prince has Originally in himself, and are to be looked upon as part of those Rights which naturally belong to Sovereign Authority: and that, to prove any particular Prince en­titled to these Rights, it is sufficient to shew, that he is a Sovereign Prince; and there­fore ought not to be denied any of those Prerogatives that belong to such a Prince, unless it can be plainly made out, that he has afterwards, by his own Act, Limited him­self Pp. 94, 95..’ So that, according to Dr. Wake's Po­liticks, All Kings, in All Countries, have an Equal Share of Power, in their first Institution; none of 'em being Originally Limited, or sub­jected to any Restraints, in the Arbitrary Ex­ercise of their Authority, but such as they have been pleased, by after-acts and conde­scensions, graciously to lay upon themselves. Which Position how it can be reconciled with an Original Contract, and with several Branch­es of the Late Declaration of Rights, I do not see: and how far it may appear to the Three States of this Realm, to entrench on their share in the Government, and on the Funda­mental Rights and Liberties of the Free Peo­ple of England, Time must shew. That all Bishops indeed are Equal, is the known Maxim of St. Cyprian; but which of the Fathers have said, that All Kings are so too, I am, I con­fess, as yet to learn. For my part, I should think it as easie a Task to prove, that every Prince had originally the same Extent of Ter­ritory, [Page 204] as that he had the same Degree of Pow­er: The Scales of Miles in several Countries are not more different, than the Measures of Power and Priviledge that belong to the Prince, and to the Subject. But Dr. W. has breathed French Air for some time of his Life, where such Arbitrary Schemes are in request; and it appears that his Travels have not been lost up­on him. He has put 'em to that Use, which a Modern Author Molds­worth's Pref. to the State of Den­mark. observes to be too often made of 'em, that they teach Men fit Methods of pleasing their Sovereigns at the Peoples Expence: tho' at present, I trust, his Doctrine is a little out of season; when we live under a Prince, who will not be pleased with any thing that is Injurious to the Rights of the Least of his Subjects, when duly informed of them.

Whereas then Dr. W. in great Friendship to the Liberties of his Church, and of his Country, asserts, that by our Constitution the King of Eng­land has all that Power at this day over our Convo­cation, that EVER ANY Christian Prince had over his Synod; I would ask him one plain Question, Whether the King and the Three States of the Realm together have not more Power in Church-matters, and over Church-Synods than the King alone? If so, then cannot the King alone have All that Power which ever any Christian Prince had; because some Christian Princes have had all the Power that was possible; even as much as belongs to the King and the Three Estates in Conjun­ction.

There is one thing indeed which seems ma­terial to be observed and owned in this case; 'tis the Assertion of the Second Canon, which [Page 205] declares our Kings to have the same Authority in Causes Ecclesiastical that the Christian Emperours in the Primitive Church had. But this Canon must necessarily be understood of the King in Parlia­ment: for out of Parliament it is manifest, that he is not so Absolute in Ecclesiastical Matters, as those Emperors were. In Parliament, he can do every thing, that is by the Law of God, or of Reason lawful to be done; out of Parlia­ment he can do nothing, but what the Parti­cular Rules of our Constitution allow of. And,

VIII. This too is a Distinction which Dr. W. should have taken notice of, had he inten­ded to do Justice to his Argument. For the Church here in England is under the Govern­ment both of the Absolute, and Limited Sove­reign: under the Government of the Limited Sovereign, within the Compass of his Prero­gative; under the Government of the Abso­lute Sovereign, without any Restraints or Bounds; except what the Revealed Will of God, and the Eternal Rules of Right Reason prescribe. The Pope usurped not only on the King, the Limited; but on the King and Parliament, the Absolute Sovereign: and what was taken from Him therefore was not all thrown into the Prerogative, but restored seve­rally to its respective Owners.

And of this Absolute Sovereign it is the Du­ty, when Christian, to act in a Christian man­ner; to be directed in matters Spiritual by the Advice of Spiritual Persons, and not lightly to vary from it. By the same Rule the Limi­ted Sovereign is to steer likewise, within the [Page 206] Sphere of his Prerogative: And he is also fur­ther obliged, to preserve those Priviledges of the Church which belong to her by the Laws of the Realm. Now Dr. Wake, I say, con­founds these two Powers, and the Subjections that are due to them; speaking all along of the King, as if He, in Exclusion to the Three Estates, had the Plenitude of Ecclesiastical Authority lodged in him, and were the single Point, in which the Obedience of the Church, and of every Member of it centered. This is a Fundamental Mistake that runs quite through his Book; and is such an One as overturns our Constitution, and confounds the Execu­tive and Legislative parts of it; and deserves a Reprehension therefore some other way than from the Pen of an Adversary.

Henry the Eighth, 'tis true, in vertue of his Supreme Headship, laid claim to a Vast and Boundless Power in Church-affairs; had his Vicegerent in Convocation, Enacted every thing there by his own Sole Authority; issuing out his Injunctions as Laws, at pleasure. And these Powers, whether of Right belonging to him, or not, were then submitted to by All, who either wished ill to the Pope, or well to the Reformation; or wanted Courage otherwise to bear up against his Tyrannical Temper and Designs: and were the more easily allowed of by Church-men, because they saw him at the same time exercise as Extravagant an Authority in State-matters, by the Consent of his Parlia­ment.

However the Title of Supreme Head, to­gether with those Powers that were under­stood to belong to it, was taken away in the [Page 207] [...]st of Queen Mary, and never afterwards re­ [...]ved: but instead of it, all Spiritual Iurisdicti­ [...] was declared to be annexed to the Imperial [...]rown of this Realm, 1 Eliz. c. 1. and the Queen enabled to [...]xercise it by a Commissioner, or Commissi­ [...]ners. This Power continues, no doubt, in [...]he Imperial Crown; but can be exerted no [...]therwise than in Parliament, now, since the [...]igh Commission Court was taken away by [...]he 17 Car. 1. It was attempted indeed to be [...]estored in the Last Reign; but was then uni­ [...]ersally disallowed, and has since been solemn­ [...]y condemned by the Declaration of Rights, as [...]ne cause of the Abdication. Whatever there­ [...]ore Henry the Eighth, and Edward the Sixth [...]id, in vertue of their Supreme Headship, what­ [...]ver the Three succeeding Princes did by their Ecclesiastical Commissions, is not therefore, be­ [...]ause Their Act, or Right, a present Branch of the Regal Supremacy: all those Extraordi­nary Powers and Jurisdictions, which were pe­ [...]uliar to that Title, or that Court, being now [...]eturned to the King in Parliament. And When Dr. Wake therefore tells us, that he is not [...]ware of any Law that has debarred the King from [...]aving his Commissioner, or Vicar General in Convocation now, as Henry the Eighth before had P. 114., [...]e shews how unfit he is, under such a deep [...]gnorance of our Constitution, to write on [...]his Argument: for a very moderate share of [...]kill in these things was, methinks, sufficient to have made him aware of the Illegality of King Iames's Commission. I shall beg leave not to think, that this is a Principle approved by [...]his Grace of Canterbury, or that his Grace would [...]ow give place to such a Vicar General.

[Page 208]IX. One thing more I have to offer, and with that shall shut up these General Remarks Dr. W. distinguishes not between those Power [...] in which the Crown is Arbitrary, and those in which it is purely Ministerial; between Royal Acts that are Free, and such as are Necessary, so that by the Rules of our Constitution the King cannot omit them. For example, he tells us, That the King determines what Persons P. 103. shall meet in Convocation, at what Time P. 103., and in what Place. And this he talks of in such a manner, as if the Prince were perfectly and equally at Liberty, in all these Respects; and under no manner of Tye from the Laws and Usages of this Kingdom. 'Tis true, as to the Place of their Meeting, he is free, and may appoint their Session in what part of his Coun­try he thinks fit; just as he may that of the Lords and Commons. But as to the Time, he is so far restrain'd, that some Times there are when he ought to call them together, by the Funda­mental Rules of our Constitution; and those are as often as Writs for a New Parliament go out. As for the other Convocations in the Intervals of Parliament (if our Constitution now, after an hundred and fifty years disuse, knows any such thing, which I shall not here dispute;) 'tis as to These only, that the Issuing out Writs for the Clergy can be matter of Grace and Favour, or become the Subject of Deliberati­on. But as to the Persons that are to meet, the Crown has no Power of determining who, or how many they shall be; for the Law has de­termined this before-hand. The King may indeed name whom he pleases to Deaneries and Bishopricks: but when he has done so, Those, [Page 209] and no other must be Summoned to Convoca­tion. And in this he does not seem to have left himself at so much Liberty, as he still has in relation to the House of Lords, to which he can by Writ call whom he pleases, whereas it may be questioned, whether his Writ can give place to any one in the Upper House of Con­vocation, but Bishops only.

The Truth is, the King appoints the Per­sons that are to come to Convocation, just as he does those that are to come to Parliament: some have a Right of sitting there in Person, and to those therefore he directs Particular Writs; Others have a Right of being represent­ed there, and those therefore he orders to send up their Proxies; that is indeed, the Constituti­on appoints, what Persons, or Communities shall be Summon'd; and the King, according to that Rule, does, as often as he is pleas'd to call a Parliament, by his Ministers, Execute that Summons. And if Convocations are upon the Level with Parliaments in this respect, as 'tis certain they are, Dr. Wake had best have a care how he attempts to prove, that it is the King's Right to appoint who shall come to those meetings, because this implies, that if he should think fit not to appoint 'em, they would have no Right to come: which is a Doctrine of very dangerous consequence, and not like­ly to recommend the maintainer of it to the Thanks of either House of Parliament.

Dr. Wake is not content to assert this Power to the King, unless he does it upon the bottom of an Imperial Power: for after he has prov'd, as he thinks, in his First Chapter, that the Em­perors of Rome and Germany were Absolute in [Page 210] all these respects, he goes on in his Second to shew, that by our own Constitution, the King of England has all that Power at this day over our Convocation, that ever any Christian Prince had over his Synods P. 98.; and immediately in the same Particulars of Time, Place, and Person, draws the Parallel between 'em.

'Tis true as to Place, the Kings of England are as Arbitrary as those Emperors were: how­ever his way of making out this both of the One and the Other is somewhat singular. A­broad, Pepin's determining the Place of his Sy­nods meeting is prov'd, from his determining that they should meet either at Soissons, or at such other place as the Bishops should agree upon P. 38.. At home, the same thing manifestly appears, because our Princes leave their Synods, with a Great Latitude, to be held either at St. Paul's, or at any other Place, which the Archbishop shall judge to be more conveni­ent P. 103.. Which is very true, for the words of the Writ to the Archbishop have for some hundred years run, ad conveniendum in Ecclesia, &c. vel alib [...], prout melius expedire videritis, which is just such a Determination of the Place they are to meet in, as Dr. Wake's Book is of the Point in question.

He has much such another Argument to prove that the Emperors determined the Per­sons too, that were to come to their Great Councils; because in Three of them (which he there mentions) they left it to the Metropoli­tans, when they came, to bring such of their Suffragan Bishops as they thought fit along with 'em. And when the Princes (says he) who followed after, Summon'd their National Synods, They in like man­ner directed the Choice of those who were to come to [Page 211] them Pp. 39, 40.. If they directed the Choice in like man­ner, I may venture to say, that they did not direct it at all: for those Emperors gave no Directions for the Choice, but, as He says, left it intirely to the Discretion of the Metro­politan; or rather, as the Truth is, left it to the several Provincial Synods to determine, what Bishops should wait upon their Archbi­shop to the Council. Were Dr. Wake's Conge d'estire to be so drawn up, as to leave the Chap­ter to which it shall be sent, at as great a Liber­ty as these Princes left their Metropolitans, he would not think it, I believe, a sufficient Direction of their Choice, because, I dare say, he would not find it so. In the mean time, what Bungling Work is this for an Old Controvertist, that has encountred the Bishop of Meaux, and half persuaded him to be a Pro­testant? The Dr. indeed lets us know plainly enough, what he would be at, in the Positi­ons he lays down; but by the Instances he some­times brings to back 'em, one can hardly tell, which side he is retain'd on.


HItherto, I have made only some General Remarks on Dr. Wake's way of managing this Controversie, and by that means shew'd the Reader, how much there is in his Loose Work utterly wide of the Mark he should have aim'd at; and how unfair he is in his Repre­sentations, and defective in his Proofs, even on those Points which are not pertinent, and where Truth had been of little or no disservice to his Cause. I might go on, and in the same manner lay open his Fourth Chapter also, which he calls a Short View of the State of our Convocation in times past P. 147.; and which is just as short a View, as it is a True one: it being drawn out to the length of an hundred tedious Pages; in which there is scarce One (I speak what I have considered) that would not, upon a careful Review, yield a manifest Proof of his Insincerity or Ignorance. So slight and partial are the accounts he there gives of the Business of Convocations, and the Ends of assembling them; so false are his Allegations often times, and so weak the Inferences he draws from them; such an Implicit Relyance has he on every Relation he meets with in any of the Monkish Chroniclers, and so willing is he to think it as Exact and Full, as if the Au­thors had written Just Histories of Ecclesiasti­cal Affairs, and not Lean Journals only; so tho­roughly in the dark does he appear every where to be as to all those Manuscript Papers and Re­cords that might be of use to clear up this Con­troversie; [Page 213] so base and untrue are the Aspersi­ons he casts on some of the best Clergy-men of those times, and (where he can) on his Whole Order; so mean and fulsome is the Flattery he bestows on the Memory of some of our Worst and most Arbitrary Princes: Upon all these Accounts, I say, and many more than these, Dr. Wake has left so much room for Censure, that it would be the busi­ness of one entire Book to set out the Mistakes and Prevarications of that single Chapter. But in this, I shall rather trust the Reader to believe as he pleases, than tire him with a proof of it: especially, since opportunity will be given me of displaying some of them, here and there, under the following Heads of Matter I have mark'd out, and according to the Method I have resolved to proceed in. By That I am now led to consider the Exceptious of all sorts that have been taken at the Two Points assert­ed in the Entrance of this Work, by any of those Writers who have pretended to answer the Letter to a Convocation-man We have hither­to done little more than set aside what in Dr. Wake's Book is foreign to the Argument he treats of; let us see now, what there is either in That, or any other Piece, written on the same side, that can be thought Material: I shall conceal nothing that may seem in the least to affect the Truth I contend for, or the Proofs which I have brought to support it.

In Relation to the first Point laid down we are told, that the Provincial Writ, by which a Convocation is Summon'd, has no relation to the calling of a Parliament, nor does so much as mention [Page 214] it L. M. P. p. 29, 30.; That by such Writs the Clergy may be as­sembled, when no Parliament is in being, may meet before the Parliament, and be continu'd after the Dissolution of it; That as to the Clause, Prae­munientes, in the Bishops Writ, it is matter of Form only, having stood there these three hundred Years without any manner of use Ibid. p. 32., and referring to a Convocation, which for many Years past has had no Existence W. p. (284.); That it was first inserted upon some Particular Occasion, and continu'd after the Cause was determin'd L. M. P. p. 32.; and that, merely by the neglect of a Clark, as my Lord of Sarum conjectures Hist. Ref. Vol. 2. p. 49.; That upon the whole therefore the Time of the Convocations meeting is no ways fix'd, but Precarious L. M. P. p. 27., and it's Iust Definition is, an Occa­sional Assembly for such Purposes as the King shall direct, when they meet—as a late Little Author Nicolson. Hist. Libr. Vol. 3. p. 200. has told us out of a Great one.

But let the Definition come from what Hand it will, I must be bold to say, that it is unskilfully drawn. For from the Accounts al­ready given in these Papers it appears, that the Convocation is not an Occasional, but a Stated Assembly; in some measure Stated, as a Pro­vincial Synod, simply in it self considered; much more so, as a Synod attendant on a Parliament. As a Provincial Council, the Rules of the Church, receiv'd in all Christian States, and particular­ly in ours, direct that it should be Annual: As a Synod attendant on the Parliament, it has the same stated times of assembling that the Parliament has. And such Parliamentary Meet­ings of the Clergy ought the rather to be kept up, because it was from These that the Disuse of yearly Provincial Councils, here and else­where, originally sprung. For when through [Page 215] the Piety of our Saxon Ancestors the Clergy were call'd to the Great Councils of the Realm, and made a constant and necessary part of them; they were oblig'd so frequently to at­tend in that Capacity, that they had neither Leisure, nor Need to observe the set times of their Provincial Assemblies. The Ordinary Business of These was dispatch'd at those State-meetings; which were frequent, and gave the Clergy the Opportunity of an easie Recourse to the Civil Power for a Confirmation of their Decrees. And this, by degrees, brought on a discontinuance of Provincial Synods, which from thence began to meet only on Great Emergencies, and for Extraordinary Occasi­ons. Thus the matter stood throughout the Saxon Times, and for some Reigns after the Conquest: The Clergy of the whole Realm met Nationally with the Laity, and did Church-business at the same Time and Place that the Great Affairs of the State were transacted. Afterwards it was thought more Regular, that they should attend the Parliament, not in one Body, but in Two Provincial Synods; which would equally answer the State-Ends of assem­bling them, and would withall be more strict­ly agreeable to the Canons. Accordingly they have for near 400. years past constantly thus attended; and are therefore in this respect as stated an Assembly, as the Parliament it self. 'Tis true, there have been during this Period, Other Meetings also of the Clergy out of Par­liament time, when the Necessities of the Church so requir'd; and these Assemblies in­deed (and these alone) were properly Occasion­al. But these were rare in comparison of Par­liamentary [Page 216] Synods, even in Popish times: and since the Reformation there has been no In­stance of 'em, the Convocation of 1640. on­ly excepted; which is no Compleat Instance neither: for it was call'd, and sat together with the Parliament, tho' it continued after it. And what Reflections and Votes this Continuance produc'd in the Succeeding Parliament, is suf­ficiently known. Setting aside therefore what was done in this disputed Instance, it is certain, that All the Business of the Church has for these hundred and fifty years last been trans­acted purely in Parliamentary Convocations: and these therefore (which are the only Sy­nods now in use) being Stated, and not Occa­sional, it can be no part of the Definition of a Convocation, that it is an Occasional Assembly. By the Universal Rules and Practice of the Church there are Set-times allotted for Provin­cial Synods to meet; and these Times are by our Constitution adjusted to those of Parlia­ment. And the Clergy-Meetings therefore thus appointed concurrently with Parliaments can no more be said to be Precarious, or Occasi­onal than They are. 'Tis true, their Acting is Occasional, tho' their Meeting and Sitting be not: for they may possibly, when met, have no Bu­siness to do; and then, as they met a course, so they adjourn, or are adjourn'd a course: but the Chance of their acting, or not acting, ought not any ways to hinder their Meeting and Sitting, both because it cannot certainly be known till they are met, whether there be any Business for 'em, or no; and should there not be any, yet they preserve a Right to do Business, when there shall be occasion for it, [Page 217] by thus assembling when there is none. Arch­bishop Parker, Mr. Cambden, Sir Robert Cotton, all that have been Eminent for their skill in our Constitution, have constantly represented the Convocation to be a fixed and stated Assem­bly, and never once dreamt that it was Occa­sional: and one would wonder therefore how our Young Antiquaries came to be wiser in this respect than the Old ones. No! this Meeting is not Occasional, but the Notion is taken up purely to serve a Turn, and do Business: for there must be New Notions to justifie New Usages. But (to speak a plain word) I cannot for my heart like these Men of Occasional Prin­ciples: for I remember well that Those were thought thoroughly Honest by neither side, who were for Occasional Communion.

Thus much in answer to the General Part of the Objection, which would persuade us, that 'tis of the Nature of a Convocation to be a Precarious Assembly: what is further urg'd to support this Notion, shall be consider'd under Two Heads, wherein I shall shew,

1. That the Praemunientes in the Bishops Writ, is not an Idle Useless Clause (as we are made to believe) inserted only on a Particular Occa­sion, and continu'd by Accident; but a Real, and (heretofore at least) an Effectual Summons of the Clergy to Parliament; such as they constantly made Formal Returns to, as often as it went out, and did expresly obey.

2. That the Writ to the Two Archbishops to convene the Clergy of their Provinces, tho' it does not expresly mention a Parliament, yet has an immediate Reference to it: the Original Design of its issuing out together with the Bi­shops [Page 218] Writ being only to secure an Obedience to the Premunitory Clause of it, and to make the Clergy's Parliamentary Assemblies more full and certain.

Upon the first of these Points I shall not content my self barely to make good what I propose; but shall extend my Enquiries fur­ther, and endeavour to give some account of the Original of the Premunitory Clause, as it now stands in the Bishops Writ, of the true Grounds of inserting it, and of the steps by which it prevail'd.

Something not unlike it I find practis'd as early as the Sixth of King Iohn, when a Writ, yet to be seen among our Records Cl. 6 Joh. m. 3. dors., went out, calling the Bishops to Parliament, and by them all the Conventual Abbots and Priors of the Dio­cese; that is, it may be, all those of the Cler­gy below Bishops, who might, in this Instance, be Summon'd to Parliament. Ten years after this the Charter of Runnymead oblig'd the Crown to Summon every Bishop, Baron, Ab­bat, and Prior, Singillatim, that is, by a Di­stinct Writ: and accordingly in the 26 H. 3. Cl. m. 13. dors. the Archbishop of York's Summons has no such Clause in it; the Abbots being then, we may presume, Summon'd severally; as we are sure they were in the 41st. of the same Prince, from the Abbot of Burton's Summons, preserv'd in the Annals of that Monastery P. 371., and as the Deans appear to have been in the 49 H. 3.Dugd. Summ. p. 2. And whether the Clergy of yet Lower Rank came to that Famous Meeting in some proportion answerable to that of the Lower Laity, and in what manner they were Summon'd thither, can be matter of Guess only; for our Records are silent.

[Page 219] Edward the First, a Martial Prince, having great Designs abroad, had consequently need of Great Supplies at home; and in order to obtain them quietly, found it requisite to get the Express Consent of as many of his Sub­jects as he could to the Parliamentary Grants; and for that End resolv'd to make the Lower Clergy and Laity a constant and standing Part of All his Parliaments.

In his first year, while he was yet abroad in his Expedition, we find the Commons (as we now understand the word) present in Parliament de quolibet Comitatu Qua­tuor milites, & de qualibet Ci­vitate Quatuor. Ann. Wav. p. 227.; and that in a greater number than they were in the 49th. of his Father. But it does not ap­pear, that the Inferior Clergy were at this Meeting; who, it seems, standing upon their Priviledges and Exemptions, were not so easie to be dealt with in this respect as those of the Laity were. In his third year therefore we hear only of the Pontifices, & Cleri Majores in Parlia­ment [i. e. of the Bishops, Abbats, Priors, and Archdeacons]; of whom the King demand­ing a Subsidy was answer'd by the Bishops, that they could not agree to it, without con­sulting the Clergy of their Dioceses;Wykes, ad Ann. 1275 which they promis'd to do against the next Parlia­ment met, and to bring their Resolutions along with them to it.

In his Seventh year the Council of Reding met, wherein it was order'd that two Proctors should be Elected by the Clergy of every Dio­cese, and sent up to represent them in the next Congregation of the Clergy to be held with the next [Page 220] Parliament This is according to the Edi­tion of the Canons of that Coun­cil, at the End of Lynwood. From what Copy it was taken, is not said: But those Copies which Sir Will. Dugdale Transcrib'd into the Second Volume of our En­glish Councils [See p. 320.] dif­fer'd from it, it is clear; if at least Sir William's Transcripts are Exact, and to be depended on.. Whether Arch­bishop Peckam found, that the King had resolv'd to bring these Proctors to Parliament by his Own Authority, and therefore prevented him by this Constitution, or whether he did it, to have their Coun­sel and Assistance in opposing the Statute of Mortmain, which he foresaw would be attempted in that Parliament (and was accordingly carried); or upon what other View he acted, I pretend not to say. But from thence forward I take it for granted that such Proctors were constantly re­turn'd to all the Clergy's Parliamentary Meet­ings; and that purely upon an Ecclesiastical Call at first, tho' the King soon let himself in­to a share in Convening them.

For in his Ninth year, His and the Archbi­shop's Authority were joyntly and interchange­ably employ'd in it; the Archbishop signify­ing the King's Pleasure in his Letters Manda­tory to the Clergy, and the King on the other side Executing the Archbishop's Mandate by his Own Ministers. The Case (if my Collections deceive me not) was thus: The Bishops [and their Clergy] were Summon'd to a Synod at London by an Injunction from the Archbishop in which they were commanded also to meet at another Time and Place appointed by the King: and that they might be sure so to do, Letters of Citation are directed (not to the Bi­shop of London, but) to the King himself, to be by him communicated to the several Bishops by Royal Messengers. This odd President we [Page 221] have an account of in the Register of P [...]ckam The Cita­tory Let­ters are dated Kal. Apr. 1281▪. And the same Formality, I suppose, was used in Convening the Clergy of York Province, who met about this time at York, as appears from a Writ extant in Pryn Eccl. Ju­risd. T. 3. P. 275., impowring the Bishop of Carlisle, to collect the Tenth of his own Diocese, granted at that Provincial As­sembly.

Next year the Prerogative got ground a lit­tle, for the King holding his Parliament at Nor­thampton, commanded the Archbishop by Writ to Summon his Clergy thither, to meet Coram Nobis, vel coram fidelibus nostris quos ad hoc duximus depu­tandos, See App. Num. VII. ad audiendum & faciendum ea quae pro Re­publicâ Vobis & eis super his ostendi faciemus, &c. But the Persons which the Archbishop is dire­cted to Summon are only Bishops, Abbats, Pri­ors, and other Heads of Religious Houses, to­gether with the Proxies of Deans and Chap­ters, without any mention of Archdeacons, or of the Diocesan Clergy; who, it may be, were by a Particular Writ to be apply'd to after­wards, and requir'd to follow the Pattern which the Superior Clergy should set, accord­ing to the way sometimes practis'd in former Reigns See an Instance, A. D. 1207 80. Joh. in Pryn's Parl. Writ. Vol. 1. Pref.. So that this Meeting was just such another as that in the third of his Reign, where the Majores Cleri only were present. And yet at the Synod call'd on the same occasion by the A.B. of York, in His Province, we find the Dioce­san Clergy appear'd: and (which is very remark­able) the Laity of York-Province under Barons, [Milites, Liberi Homines, Communitates, & omnes alii de singulis Comitatibus ultrà Trentam] had also their Summons to the same Time and Place with the Clergy. So I gather from the Writ [Page 222] sent joyntly to both, which being of a curious and uncommon Form, will deserve a place in the Appendix Numb. VIII. where the Reader will find also another directed to the Clergy and Laity of the Bishoprick of Durham; who tho' meeting with the rest of York-Province, yet had, it seems, distinct Messages and Messengers sent to them, and made likewise their separate Re­turns. (See Regist. Joh. Romani ad Ann. 1286. fol. 99. Regist. Grenefield ad Ann. 1310. f. 180.) and something of this Priviledge I think, that See even yet retains..

Hitherto then the Clergy were so far from meeting Nationally with the Parliament, that the Lower part of the Parliament seems to have divided sometimes to accommodate it self to the Provincial Meetings of the Clergy.

How the King was obey'd in this Instance as to the Province of Canterbury appears from Peckam's Register, where we find his Mandate See App. Num. IX. to the Bishop of London, reciting the King's Writ, and commanding all the Bishops of his Province, and all the others mention'd in it, to assemble dictis die & loco ob Reverentiam Regiae Majestatis, de expedientibus reipublicae tractaturi; but with words also that intimated his sense of the Hardship which this New Precedent laid 'em under, and which the Clergy, I suppose, so understood, as if he would not be very se­vere upon them, tho' they should not comply with it. Accordingly their Meeting at Nor­thampton was but thin, and they brake up imme­diately, referring themselves to a Fuller Convo­cation; to be call'd in the usual Form by the Archbishop, and refusing to answer the King's Demands till such an one were Summon'd; as it was soon afterwards See App. Num. IX.: and that being a Re­gular [Page 223] Assembly, both as to the Place Nov. Templ. Lond. at which, and the Authority The Arch­bishop's. by which they met, and the Persons Totus Clerus are said to be call'd i. e. beside those Summon'd to Northampton, the Archdeacons also, and Diocesan-Clergy. composing it, the King's Business did there receive an Easie Dispatch.

Had the King's Writ, which call'd the Cler­gy before his Commissioners at Northampton been obey'd readily, the way had been open'd towards his bringing the whole Body of 'em af­terwards to Parliament. But having fail'd in this, and such like attempts, and finding that the Archbishop and his Clergy understood one another, and were secretly agreed to defeat him, he afterwards went more roundly to work, and without asking help from the Church, was resolv'd to use only his Own Au­thority; and accordingly Summon'd all the Great Abbats and Priors to Parliament Person­ally, as well those who did not hold of him by Barony, as those who did; and the Lower Clergy by a Premunitory Clause inserted in the Writ to every Bishop. At what time precisely this Method was first set on foot, I cannot be positive: but sure I am that a year before the 23 Edw. 1. (the common Aera of the Praemuni­entes) it was practis'd. Peckam was now dead, and Winchelsey not yet return'd with his Pall from Rome; and the See of York fill'd with an Obnoxious Person Ioh. Ro­manus., Fin'd lately Four thou­sand Marks by Parliament Ryley's Placita. p. 141.; and on that, and some other accounts See Ibid. p. 173. now at the King's Mercy. This lucky Juncture the King seems to have laid hold of, to bring the Clergy to a [Page 224] compliance with his Will, when they had no body to head them in their opposition to him Vacabat Ecclesia Cant. (says Knighton) & mem­bra sine capite in consilio dispersa sunt; Ebo­racensis vèro Iohannis Romanus, Regis timore perterritus, eò quòd in magnâ pecuniae summâ regi tenebatur, quasi dissimulando destituit, &c. p. 2502.. He Summons the Prior and Chapter of Can­terbury therefore, as Guardians of the Spiritu­alties of that See, during its Vacancy, and by Them the Archdeacon of Canterbury, and two Proctors for the Diocese See the Writ Append. Numb. X..

The Clause in this Writ differs in nothing from what was afterwards practis'd, except that it begins with the word Vocantes, instead of Praemunientes, and mentions not the Prior and Chapter of Canterbury, they being indeed the Persons written to, and having already in the former part of the Writ been cited under ano­ther Capacity. Only still we may observe that tho' the Call were really to Parliament, yet it is not mention'd throughout the Sum­mons; either in that part of it, which com­mands the Bishop to attend, or in that which warns the Lower Clergy to accompany him; but they are cited only to treat and to consult among themselves.

Knighton Eodem Anno (MCCXCIV.) Vocavit Rex per Literas suas Archiepiscopos, Episcopos, Decanos Ecclesiarum Cathedralium & Archidiaconos in propriis per­sonis suis Clerumque uniuscujusque Diocesis per duos Procuratores, &c. X. Script. col. 2501., and the Annals of Worster Die XIX. Sept. Rex habuit Colloquium Londoniae cum omnibus Episcopis, & Archidiaconis, & Abbatibus. Et Clerus ibi similiter ha­buit Procuratores. Ann. Wig. apud Ang. Sacr. Vol. 1. p. 516., and [Page 225] Eversden Rex Parliamento die cra­stino Sti Michaelis [it should be Matthaei] habito—Universos & singulos Angliae Praelatos cum Clero, nec non & Religio­sos omnes possessiones obtinen­tes ad ipsum Parliamentum voca­tos, ad praestationem, &c. in­duxit. M. S. in Off. Arm. ad Ann. 1294. mention the Cler­gy as present in this Parlia­ment, and the two first of these tell us particularly, who were Summon'd. Neither of their Enumerations are just indeed, but both together com­pleat the Account. And from the notice thus taken of the Clergy's attendance, and from the Particular given of the Persons attending, we may be satis­fy'd, that the Summons was Extraordinary; and from thence may conclude, that before this it had not, probably, been practis'd; to be sure, not obey'd. But now it was effectu­ally: for, upon the receipt of the King's Writ, the Prior and Chapter sent out their Letters Mandatory (in which they recite it) One to the Archdeacon of the Diocese, and another to the Commissary of their Separate Jurisdi­ction, ordering them to bring the Clergy of their several Districts together at a Place, and Time appointed; as They did: and the Cler­gy thus met, deputed two Common Proctors, to represent the whole Diocese. And these Proctors sat and acted for them in Parliament, i. e. in that Assembly of the Clergy which was Summon'd by the same Writ, to meet at the same Time and Place that the Lay-part of the Parliament were Ad ip­sum Par­liamen­tum voca­tos, says Eversden, above.; and accordingly did thus meet at the opening of it promiscuously So I gather from Mat. Westm. who says, Co­ädunatis apud—Clero & Populo. P. 422. and so Knighton's Rela­tion, (Col 2502.) manifestly implys., tho' they afterwards debated and resolv'd se­parately [Page 226] This too appears from Knigh­ton (ibidem) and from the man­ner in which their Orders in re­lation to the Grant are spoken of in Registr. Henr. Prioris, fol. 63. There a Writ recites, that in sesto beati Matthaei, &c. quaedam [...]unt Ordinata per Praelatos & Cleri Procuratores, exclusively to the Laity. And the Clergy's Proctors are there also impower'd to consent to what the Prelates, Archdeacons, and other Proxies of the Clergy should do in com­mon.. And one of the Resolutions they came to was to give the King a moiety of their Goods for one year. This Gift however was by the Province of Canterbury a­lone; for the Clergy of York-Province, if present in this meeting, yet did not make their Grant in it, as ap­pears from the King's Letters Patents transmitted to them by the Dean of York, immedi­ately upon the rising of the Clergy of Canter­bury The Parliament sat on Sept. 20th. or 21th. and rose in a few days, the Letters-Patents to the York-Clergy are dated Septemb. the 28th., wherein they are com­manded to do as the King's Agent shall direct, i. e. as the Clergy of the other Province had done before them. It ap­pears indeed from the Regi­ster of Ioh. Romanus Ad Ann. that his Clergy were Summon'd to this Parliament by the very same Writ that those of Canterbury were: but whe­ther they declin'd appearing there, or only de­laid their Grant till they met Provincially at home, I cannot say: sure we are, that the next year 23 E. 1. they were again Summon'd, the Praemunientes being inserted into the Writs of all the Bishops of York-Province, as Pryn Parl. Wr. Vol. 1. p. 7. in­forms us. And the year after that, we know that it was not only inserted Dugd. Summ. p. 13., but obey'd by them. For Rex Angliae apud Sanctum Edmun­dum in crastino Animarum Parliamentum suum te­nuit, & vocati ibidem venerunt per Regias Literas Praelati & Totus Clerus, says the Manuscript Chronicle of Canterbury written at this time, of [Page 227] which a Fragment is published by Mr. Wharton (Angl. Sac. Vol. 1. p. 50.) and so Thorn. Rex apud S. Edm. tenuit Parliamentum, Convocato illùc Toto Clero. Col. 1965. Now therefore the Praemuni­entes became an Usual Part of the Bishop's Writ, and had a place there, not as Matter of Form only; for as often as it was repeated, it was expresly comply'd with. The Bishop, up­on the Receipt of his Writ, transmitted it in a Letter of his own to the Dean or Prior of his Cathedral Church, and to the Archdeacon or Archdeacons of his Diocese, commanding them to appear in Person at the Time and Place pre­fix'd by the Writ, and to warn the Chapter to send one of their Body, and the Clergy of the Diocese Two thither; and moreover to transmit an account to him of what they had done, or would do in this matter. To this the Deans, Priors, or Archdeacons, made answer by their Certificatorium; which recited the Bishop's Writ, as that recited the King's, and concluded al­ways either that they had done, or would do, as commanded. Upon this the Chapter met and deputed One, and the Clergy of the Dio­cese Two to appear for them in Parliament. The Persons so deputed had Procuratoria (or Let­ters of Substitution,Literae de Rato. and Ratihabition) given to 'em from the Persons they represented: These ran always in the same Terms with the Writs of Summons, and varyed according to them; so that when the One was ad tractan­dum, ordinandum, & faciendum; or ad faciendum & consentiendum, or ad consentiendum only, so was the Other. These Instruments they exhibited the first day of the Session, or at least of their Appearance there; and Memorandum's of them [Page 228] were enter'd, together with the other Proxies, by the Clerk of the Parliament.

This was the Method in which the Praemu­nientes was Executed upon the Inferior Clergy, and obey'd by them: a Method, not practis'd once, or twice, upon an Exigence only (as our Adversaries ignorantly talk); but for two hundred years and upwards, at least, after the first framing it.

Several times it was inserted in the Latter Years of Edward the First, as the Writs Print­ed by Pryn, and Dugdale shew, and sometimes when they take no notice of it For instance, the Writ for the Parliament in Quindena Puri­fic. 33 E. 1. is Printed in Dug­dale (p. 45.) without the Praemu­nientes: whereas both That, and the Writ of Prorogation certainly had it; as appears from a Certi­ficatorium relating to the one, and a Procuratorium to the other; both enter'd in a Register of Henry the Prior of Canter­bury.. And I have seen either the Certificatories, or Letters of Proxy, that were drawn up by some Capitular Body or other, in relation to every one of these Meetings. Three or four of these for the Convent of Bathe, Pryn Parl. Wr. Vol. 1. Pp. 116, 117, 118. has given us as Rarities; and indeed they are All that I have seen Printed any where, (for That which he mentions out of Selden is a Deputation for an Abbat only): However in the Old Chapter-Books they are very com­monly to be met with; and from thence therefore I shall take the Forms of some Few See Ap­pend. Numb. XI., and the Dates of as many more as will be requisite to continue the Succession of them down to Henry the Eighth's Reign.

All Edward the First's time, I have said, that this Clause had its due effect; the Clergy, by vertue of it, resorting from Both Provinces to Parliament. Of this the Evidence is very Full [Page 229] and Convincing, in relation to his Last Parlia­ment at Carlisle, the Records of which Ryley has Printed at length in his Placita Parliamenta­ria; and amongst them, the Names of all those Proctors that appear'd for every Capitular Body, and for the Clergy of Each Diocese of the Kingdom. 'Tis the only thing of the kind that is extant, or perhaps preserv'd; and the Book where it lyes is in the Hands of Few but the Professors of the Law: for which reason I shall place a Specimen of it in the Appendix See Num. XII..

Nor did any Change happen in this respect, all Edward the Second's time: Indeed the Weakness of that Prince (who was given up to his Favourites and his Pleasures), and the As­cendant which Archbishop Winchelsey had over him, after his Return from Exile, encourag'd, the Clergy to slacken a little in their Obedience to this Clause, at the Beginning of his Reign: and once or twice under Archbishop Reynolds they attempted to free themselves wholly from the Authority of a Lay-Summons. But they could not bring it to pass; and after a short struggle therefore soon return [...]d to their Duty, and made their Representatives regularly, ac­cording to the Tenor of it, throughout all the Latter part of his Reign. It will be at least a curious, if not an useful piece of knowledge, to give our selves some Account of the Steps taken by the Lower Clergy, to get rid of the Praemunientes, and of the little Varieties made use of in convening them, at this Critical Time.

In the first and third years of this Prince, when it went out, it was comply'd with Vide Procura­toria data 3. Apr. 1307. & 25. Apr. 1309. in Registro Henrici Prioris.: but the Clergy afterwards fell off, so that in his [Page 230] fifth year, he found himself oblig'd to insert a Clause of a different nature into the two Arch­bishops Writs See the Form in Dugd. Summo­it. Pp. 77, 78., ordering them to bring the Clergy (not of their several Dioceses only, but) Provinces to Parliament. And here (for ought I can find) the Foundation was laid for that Practice of a Double Summons of the Clergy, both by the Provincial, and Bishop's Writ, which grew afterwards the setled Course, and does even to this day (with some small Variety as to the Form) obtain.

Two years afterwards a New Attempt was made by the Crown, to bring Each Province apart before the King's Commissioners, out of Parliament time, but by Writs in a Parliamen­tary Form to the several Suffragan Bishops, and by others to the two Archbishops See Ap­pend. Numb: XIII., ordering them to convene their Clergy Provincially at two different Times and Places therein menti­on, Prout in proximo Parliamento nostro apud West­minster habito tam per Clerum quam per Communi­tatem regni nostri extitit concor­datum This refers to the Parliament in Quindenâ Paschae, (Dugd. p. 95.) which was Summon'd with the Praemunientes, and that Clause was (as appears by these words) obey'd.. The Direction of it was, Venire faciatis coram dict­is fidelibus nostris Suffraganeos vestros, Decanos, Priores Ecclesi­arum Cathedralium, Archidia­conos, Abbates Exemptos & non Exemptos Provinciae vestrae in propriis personis; Capi­tula etiam—per unum—& Clerum—per duos Procu­ratores, ad tractandum & consentiendum unà Vobiscum, &c. And because the Exempt Abbats might be backward in obeying the Archbishop's Man­date, They too had the same Writ sent 'em, as the Suffragans had, the Clause Praemunientes only excepted. Had this Method succeeded, [Page 231] it would have brought the Clergy more effe­ctually, and in fuller Numbers to Parliament than the Praemunitory Clause did. When met therefore, they took the Alarm, and remon­strated against it, as a Novelty, never before practis'd, in formâ quâ nunc scribitur. They com­plain also of the Total Insertion of the King's Writ into the Archbishop's Mandate, as tend­ing to a manifest Subversion of their Privi­ledges, and desire a Revocation of it; and that they may be resummon'd in a Regular Man­ner, by the Archbishop, without any Inter­position of the Civil Authority; which was granted. The Remonstrance See it Append: Numb. XIV. is set down in an Old Cotton-Manuscript Faustin. A. 5., but with a false Date: for it is there supposed to be made at a Convocation in 1322, to which it no ways belongs.

The Alteration this produc'd was, that the next year [of this Prince's reign, but the same of our Lord] the Archbishop had two several Writs directed to him, when the Parliament was Summon'd; the One, as he was Bishop of the Diocese, with the Usual Clause for the Lower Clergy; the other See it Append. Num. XV., as Metropolitan, to cite those very Clergy, and no others, Pro­vincially, who were call'd up by the Writs to their several Diocesans. But neither would this Method take easily, for the Clergy, when assembled, protested against such sort of Cita­tions by the Archbishop, as calling a part of the Body only; and those ad Curiam Saecula­rem, puta Domini Regis Parliamentum quod in Ca­merâ ejusdem inchoatur; and therefore tam rati­one Fori, quam Loci, Uncanonical; and say, that for the future they will not obey them See their Protestati­on, Appen. Num. XV..

[Page 232]For which reason when the year after 9 E. 2. 1315., Both these Writs went out again, the Archbi­shop varied a little from both in his Letters Mandatory Dated 15. Kal. Jan. 1315. in Registro Reynolds.; for he call'd not only those spe­cify'd in the Praemunitory Clause, but the Whole Clergy of his Province; to appear, not in Par­liament, but before himself, in a Sacred Place, the Day before the Time prefix'd by the King's Writ: Nor does he in his Mandate recite, or mention this Clause; but refers himself to that Other Writ, which the King sent out at the same time to enforce the Praemunientes; and mentions it, as a Request Cum nos Rex suis Rogati­bus excitaverit—Nos Regiae Majestatis hujusmodi Precibus eò facilius inclinamur. on­ly on the Crown-side, and a Condescension on His; but not as a Legal Command, issu'd by a Competent Authority. The Clergy thus conven'd stood by him in what he had done, and made their Excuse for not appearing at the Place the King directed; praying the Archbishop and his Suffragans to be instant with the King, that he would not insist on his Summons, but give them the Li­berty of declining it. So I gather from a Peti­tion of theirs (in an Old Book in the Cotton-Li­brary Faustin. A. 8., said to be made tempore Edvardi 2di, without any further Date; but seeming by its Place in the Manuscript, and some other Coin­cidences to belong to this year, and to this As­sembly. The Reader will find it in the Appen­dix Numb. XV.. Whether they carried their Point, at this time, I know not, but soon after we find, the Writ with the Praemunientes inserted in the Archbi­shop's Mandate Vide Re­gistr. Henr. Prioris, f. 227. & fol. 263. where it appears that the two Writs with the Praemunientes of the 15 E. 2. & 20 E. 2. Printed by Dugdale, (Pp. 122.136.) were formally obey'd., and formally comply'd with by the Clergy.

[Page 233]When the Procuratoria were drawn, in relati­on to the Praemunientes alone, they ran (as that did) ad faciendum & consentiendum, or ad consen­tiendum only: when the Provincial Summons went out also, the Clergy's Powers ran ad tra­ctandum cum Venerabili Patre—Praelatis & Clero, necnon ad Consentiendum; which answer'd Both the Citations. And sometimes Double Instruments of Prexy were fram'd both for the Parliament and Convocation, and different Proctors ap­pointed for each of 'em. And this, I conceive, was as often as the Parliament was held out of the Province, and the Clergy were at the same time to meet Provincially at home An Instance of such a Dou­ble Procuratorium is to be seen in Registro Henr. Prio­ris, fol. 202, 203. naming differ­ent Proctors to represent the Chap­ter of Canterbury in the Parlia­ment to be held at York, à die Paschae in mens [...]m, and in the Convocatio Cleri London in Quindena Paschae. It was in the Year 1319. and do business; for they could not then assemble with the Parliament, or near it; and sent their Proctors therefore to testifie their Con­sent to what should be done in it. And the same thing I have observ'd to be done some­times even in that Province where the Parliament met, if the Archbishop of it did then solemnly hold his Provincial Council: for in this case also different Proxies were return'd to these several Meetings An In­stance of this kind also I have met with Ann. 1323, when the Parliament was held in die Purisic. and the Archbishop's Provincial Council about the same time: The Dean and Chapter of Lincoln send Proctors to both of them. Vide Registr. penes Dec. & Cap. Linc. ab Anno 1321, ad 1339. fol. 33..

Now then, tho' the Praemunientes was obey'd Nationally, yet the Clergy that met with the Parliament acted Provincially, i. e. the Clergy of that Province where the Parliament was [Page 234] held, acted as a Synod conven'd by their Me­tropolitan, and the Clergy of the Other Pro­vince sent their Deputies to the Lay-Assemb [...]y to consent for them, but tax'd themselves, and did all manner of Ecclesiastical Business at home Thus in the In­stance be­fore given An. 1321, The Clergy of York-Province, (where the Parlia­ment was held) are only said to have made their Grant in Parliament. For a Writ (tested July 19. that Year) to the Archbishop of Canterbury recites, how in Parliamento nostro ultimò apud Eborum summonito—Xa Cleri in Prov. Ebor. XVIIIva. Bonorum Mobilium Communitatis regni & XIIa. in Civitatibus Burgis & Dominicis nostris fuerunt concessae: But the Clergy of Canterbury-Province are not said to have granted in Par­liament, tho' they met at the same time Provincially, and Consented to the Grant of a Tenth, which the Pope had impos'd upon them, as the same Writ afterwards recites. See it Reg. Henr. Pr. fol. 211. in their Own Province. And this was pitch'd upon as a Mean of complying with the Canons of the Church, which requir'd fre­quent Provincial Councils, and yet paying their attendance in Parliament: the Archbi­shop's Mandate Summon'd them to the One, and the Praemunitory Clause to the other, and Both were obey'd.

Nay, so great stress was laid on this Clause, that when an Archbishop dy'd There was the same Reason for it, when a Bishop dy'd, and therefore the Practice, I suppose, was the same., after it went out, and before the Return of it, a New Summons was sent to the Guardian of the Spiritu­alties commanding him agen to warn the al­ready premonish'd Clergy; and a particular Writ directed over and above to the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral, enforcing that second Summons; the Tenor of which Writ was, Nos Nolentes per mortem praefati Archiepiscopi dicta Mandata nostra differri, set ea potiùs per Vos execu­tioni debitae demandari, Vobis Mandamus, &c. I [Page 235] take this to be very material to prove, how strictly the Praemunientes was executed upon the In [...]erior Clergy, and obey'd by them; and shall therefore among the Instruments Append. Numb. XVI. Print it at large, as Pryn Parl. Wr. Vol. 1. Pp. 152, 153. has given it us. Mr. Elsyng P. 50. therefore makes this the formal Reason of Summoning the Guardians of the Spiritual­ties, and the Vicars General, when the Bishops of such Sees were either dead, or in Foreign Parts, [He might have added also why Bishops Elect were Summon'd before Confirmation, and even the Vicars General of Elect Bishops, when those Bishops were abroad] because they were (says he) Praemunire Clericos, i. e. that the Inferi­or Clergy might be sure to have their Sum­mons. This may have been one Reason of that Practice, but I do not think it the only one It could not be the Only one, because long before the Praemuni­entes was inserted, the Custom was, to Summon the Chapters of Vacant Sees to Parliament: of which take this Instance from M. Paris, who tells us that in the Parliament of the 38 H. 3. there were Pr [...]curatores t [...]ium Sedi­um Vacantium, ex parte scili­cet Capitulorum. P. 643., because it does not account for the Sum­mons of Elect Abbats also, be­fore their Installment; and I doubt not therefore but this Custom had its Rise chiefly from the Double Capacity in which the Greater Clergy attended the Parliament, both as Spiritual Prelates, and Ba­rons of the Realm: on which account when they had not a right to a Summons as Barons, yet as Ecclesiastical Prelates, they had. How­ever, They who make this Supposition, make it mightily to the advantage of the Lower Clergy, and suppose their Presence in Parlia­ment to have been indispensably necessary. And thus stood the Clergies Obligations in re­lation to the Praemunientes, throughout Edward the Second's Reign.

[Page 236] Edward the Third continu'd this Practice upon the very same Foot that he found it: the only difference was, that whereas before his Time the Praemunientes was inserted, or left out, at the King's pleasure, in his Reign it grew a constant and necessary part of the Bi­shop's Writ; so that no Parliament ever met without one, after his sixth year; that is, in­deed, after the Compleat Settlement of Parlia­ments upon the Foot on which they do now, and will, I hope, for ever stand. And this Observation alone is sufficient to shew, that the Clause in the Bishops Writ was not grown Use­less; for if it had, it would not then have been most regularly inserted, and have grown most in request, when its Use and Significancy (if some Mens word were to be taken) had utter­ly vanish'd.

In the year before it was fix'd, tho' there were several Summons to Parliament, yet it was inserted but in One of them, and in that One it was obey'd. For the Records of Parlia­ment tell us, that upon a Debate, the Bishops and Proctors of the Clergy went by themselves Abr. of Rec. p. 11.. And that These were Proctors of the Inferior Clergy, according to the strict sense of the word, and not the Proxies only of Absent Bishops, Abbats and Priors, (as L. M. P. dreams P. 32.) does from hence appear, that in the other Parlia­ments of this year, when the Praemunientes was not practis'd, no mention is made of the Pro­ctors of the Clergy; the Phrase then being, that the Bishops went by themselves, the Lords by themselves, and the Knights by themselves P. 12.. Nei­ther is there ever in those Records any menti­on of the Proctors of the Clergy at a Great Coun­cil, [Page 237] but at Parliaments only: the reason of which is, that Parliament-Writs only had the Praemunientes in them, but the Summons for Great Councils had not.

And now therefore the Clergies Returns for the Parliament are frequently to be met with in our Old Registers, Parliaments themselves being frequent. If in the succeeding Reigns we find not so many of these Procuratoria on Re­cord, it is not to be wonder'd at: for the Arch­bishop's Writ, which went out concurrently with the Praemunientes, being understood to be a Summons to Parliament (which it was in Ef­fect, tho' not in Terms) and being strictly ex­ecuted upon the Inferior Clergy, might in time bring on a Disuse of the Forms practis'd in Executing the Other. The Bishops, through whose Hands both the Parliamentary and Pro­vincial Summons came, might sometimes, ei­ther by the Neglect of their Officers To this Neglect of their Offi­cers that Clause seems to have re­fer'd▪ which was an usual part of the King's Writ to the Archbi­shop in E. 2. & 3ds time, Nos no­lentes negotia nostra pro defectu Praemunitionum antedictarum, si forsan minùs ritè factae fue­rint, aliqualiter retardari., or as thinking it sufficient, transmit the first of them only; or, if Both were transmitted, might wink at the Clergies Omission in making their Return but to the One: as not being un­willing to sooth up the Lower Orders in their Averseness to comply with a Lay-Summons; because that sensibly encreas'd the Greatness and Power of the Parliament Prelates; and by degrees brought the Clergies Interest in State-matters all into their Hands. Besides oftentimes, when the Bishop executed the Praemunientes, and the Clergy certify'd up­on it, yet no notice might be taken in our Re­gisters [Page 238] of Forms which return'd so very fre­quently, and which were not stood much up­on, while the Provincial Mandate, that went out on the same Occasion had its certain and Regular Course. These and several other Ac­cidents might, I say, conspire to make the Entry of such Procuratoria in Chapter-Books less fre­quent in after-times: however neither are they sow'd so thinly there, but that we can make a shift from the Helps of this kind that are left to continue the Succession of them down from the 22 E. 1. to the Latter End of Henry the Seventh's Reign, as low as whose 19th. year Anno 1503. I have seen a Deputation See App. Num. XI. made to a Monk, to represent a Capitular Body in Parliament; and that, drawn up in such a manner, as to be at once a Joint-Proxy both for the Parliament and Convocation. I question not, but that there are more of a Lower Date (tho' I have not had Opportunity, or Leisure to search for them) for I find that the Praemunientes was exe­cuted in form, as low as the 33d and 36th. years of Henry the Eighth See Re­gistr. Bon­ner. fol. 33, 65.; and Returns therefore were for some part of his Reign very probably made to it.

Not many years after this, the Custom of returning Proxies to Parliament in Form, did, I believe, cease: and if a Conjecture may be allow'd in a matter of this nature, where with some care and search one might be certain, I should choose to fix the Time of this Total Disuse, not far off of the 6th. or 7th. of Henry the Eighth, when the Disputes between the Spiritualty and Temporalty about the Exemp­tion of Clerks, growing loud and warm, and the Clergy with an high hand asserting their [Page 239] Priviledges, might take up thoughts of setting themselves free also in another Instance than that which they contended about, and agree generally to frame no more Instruments of Proxy in Obedience to the Lay-Summons. And this Guess of mine falls in well enough with the Tradition my Lord of Sarum menti­ons as prevailing in Queen Elizabeth's time, that the Inferior Clergy departed from their Right of be­ing in the House of Commons, when they were all brought under a Praemunire in Cardinal Wolsey's time Hist. Ref. Vol. 2. p. 48.; if we understand this of the first Pre­munire they fell into upon the Citation of Stan­dish, and not (as his Lordship does) of that from which they ransom'd themselves by a Tax and a Submission, fourteen years afterwards; and if by departing from their Right of being in the House of Commons we do, as we must, suppose his Lordship to mean, that they declin'd send­ing up those Deputations to Parliament, which manifested their Antient Right of sitting in it, and being part of it. For there could not pos­sibly be any Tradition in Queen Elizabeth's time of the Inferior Clergy's sitting in the House of Commons, in the middle of Henry the Eighth's Reign, because there were pro­bably many Persons then alive, who remem­ber'd the contrary, and there were certainly some who understood the Old Constitution of Parliaments well enough to contradict so ab­surd an Opinion, and prevent its spreading: a very small degree of skill in our English Anti­quities sufficing to have inform'd 'em that the Lower Clerks had no place in the House of Com­mons, not only at the Period assign'd, but for an hundred years before it. The truth is, I am [Page 240] the worse satisfy'd with this Guess of mine, be­cause I do not find what Ground his Lordship had to say, that there was in Queen Elizabeth [...]s time, such a Tradition. For he seems to have taken up this Opinion from the fourth Article of Bishop Ravis's Paper See it Coll. of Rec. Vol. 2. p. 121. which he there quotes: whereas I must take the Liberty to say, that his Lordship misunderstood that Article, if he thought it related to any thing done in Henry the Eighth's Reign. For the Separation there spoken of is plainly of antient Date, and refers (as there is good reason to think) to the Times of Edward the First, and Archbishop Winchelsey. But whatever was the precise time at which the Clergy desisted wholly to make their Re­turns to the Bishops Writ, it is certain they did not think, that upon that failure the Effect and Influence of the Praemunitory Clause ceas'd, but look'd upon themselves as still Summon'd by it, and meeting in vertue of it, in their Parlia­mentary Assemblies. Of this their Remon­strance in Queen Elizabeth's Reign, is a So­lemn and Authentick Proof; the words of it have been produc'd already, Page 66. of these Papers, and thither I shall refer the Reader. If after this we hear of no Formal Claim made by the Church in this case, it was because there was no need of it; Common Opinion, and Common Practice being all along of her side; and no Instance to be given of a New Parliament Summon'd, without a Convocation to attend it, from the Times of the Reformati­on, till some years after the late Revolution. And no wonder therefore that a Claim was not frequently put in, which was never till lately deny'd, or disputed.

[Page 241]Thus have I given the Reader some account of the Praemunientes, its Rise, and Use, and of the Methods which all along have been taken by the Bishops in Executing it, and by the Lower Clergy in obeying it. An imperfect Ac­count indeed! however such an one, as does, I am sure, sufficiently expose the Letter-wri­ters pretence P. 32., that it was a Clause added on­ly upon a Particular Occasion, and continu'd after the Business was determin'd, and has stood in the Bi­shops Writ these 300. years without any manner of Use. Assertions that, I might by this time be allow'd to tell him, could flow from nothing but the Depth of Ignorance or ill will to the Function, were I not restrain'd by considering whence Hist. Ref. Vol. 2. p. 48. it is that he borrows his Light, and Who therefore would be understood to share the Reflection.

Indeed strange it is, that any Man in the least vers'd in our Antiquities should doubt, whether the Clergy came to Parliament by the Praemunientes; and stranger still that he should imagin that Clause to have been preserv'd in the Writ by Accident, after its first Insertion, and think to account for this merely by the neglect of a Clark Ibid.. A neglect, that must have continu'd now for above four hundred years; and yet could not possibly have continu'd One, if it were a neglect, without being ob­serv'd, and amended. No Forms were more nicely worded, or more Religiously kept to, in the main Frame and Substance of them, than Writs of Summons to Parliament. After they first issu'd out, they receiv'd not any the mi­nutest Alteration but by the Command of the Prince, signify'd by his Chancellor; and after [Page 242] they were fully fix'd, not any that was Mate­rial, but by Consent of Parliament. How ma­ny Ordinances of Parliament were there in Later Times for the several Successive Changes in the Writs for Electing the Commons? Par­ticularly that New Circumstance, that the Knights should be girded with Swords Gladiis cincti., and the Clause of Nolumus autem quod Tu, nec alius Vice­comes, &c. inserted in the 13th. and 46th. of E. 3. had they not the Authority of the three Estates to warrant them? And when after­wards Richard ▪ the Second added to the Commons Writs this Particular, that the Per­sons return'd should be in Debatis Modernis In­differentes Cl. 11. R. 2. m. 23. dors. See Pryn. P. W. Vol. 2. p. 121., was he not forc'd to retract it im­mediately, and issue out New Writs in the Old Form before the Session came on? When Ed­ward the Third in the fourteenth of his Reign, made an Addition to his Regal Titles in the Writs of that year, he excus'd his so doing in the Writs themselves See [...]em Pryn. Par. Wr. Vol. 1 p. 5., and referr'd himself to what the Parliament, when met, should order in that matter. And in the first of Queen Elizabeth there was, we know, a warm dispute, whether the Omission of the Title of Supreme Head in the Writs of Summons (tho' it had not been then practis'd thirty years) did not null the Proceedings of those Parliaments where it was wanting Sir Sy­monds d' [...]wes, p. 38.. At such times as these, when the Parliament appears to have been so jealous of any Alterations in these Forms, can we imagin that the Praemunitory Clause, had it been kept in by the neglect of a Clerk, would not have been retrench'd? They that can sup­pose this, may as reasonably suppose also, that some have grown Barons by Writ by the Neg­lect [Page 243] of a Clark, who finding them Summon'd once or twice to Parliament, continu'd to Sum­mon them on, without the Prince's Privity or Consent, and so made them Lords of Parlia­ment. For if the Neglect of a Clark can ac­count for any Material Clause or Part of a Writ, it may as well account for an Whole one. 'Twill be a more reasonable way of ap­plying this Supposition, and more honourable to the Maker of it, to suppose, as I am will­ing to do, that the Passage which contains it, was a part only of the Rude Draught of his Lordship's Work, and expung'd by him up­on a Review, but kept in by the Neglect of the Transcriber;Lett. to Bp. of Cov. & Litch. in 1693. upon whom I find his Lordship lays very great Blame: And indeed, if he stands answerable for All the Neglects that are, and may be charg'd, I think, very deserved­ly.

But should many mistakes of this kind be found in that Celebrated Work, yet would they receive an Easie Excuse. The Composer of it, having his Thoughts busied chiefly in that Period of Time to which his History reaches, might, when he steps backward, and takes a greater Compass, over-look Truths sometimes that lay hid in our Elder Records, where his Lordship had not leisure to search for them. If the Main Facts he professes to relate, and the Colours he gives to those Facts are right; if there be no premeditated Omissi­ons, or Disguises of Material Truths; no De­sign'd Complyances with Popular Mistakes and Prejudices; if that Air of Impartiality which at first sight seems to run through the Relation be undissembled, and not only a more Artifici­al [Page 244] Way of conveying false Principles and Cha­racters into the mind of the Reader: if, I say, in These, which are the most Essential Ver­tues and Beauties of good History, his Lordship's Labours will bear the Test (which his Lordship's Friends do not much doubt) — tho' it should after this be granted, that Mi­stakes of a Lesser Size and Importance aboun [...] there without number, and particularly, that the Digressive Part of the Book has little of Exactness in it; this would not however sink the Reputation of the Work: it is what, con­sidering the Hast of the Composure, is not to be wonder'd at, and may easily be excus'd. All that One could have wish'd in the Case is, that where Light on these, and such other Ac­counts as these was wanting, and Mistakes therefore were necessary, his Lordship had been so happy as to have mistaken always on the Side, and to the Advantage of the Clergy; which, some Readers will tell us▪ his Lord­ship has not always done. But let this be as it will — The Plea here advanc'd in behalf of that Eminent Historian cannot be made use of to excuse our Letter-Writer, who has no man­ner of Title to it. It was His Chief Business to have consider'd with care the Rise of the Praemunientes, and the Reasons of its continu­ance, the Obligation it was all along under­stood to lay on the Inferior Clergy, and their Methods of complying with it; this being one Great Article upon which the Dispute, that he was so willing to thrust himself into, turn'd. And his Ignorance therefore of every thing that relates to it is inexcusable; but his Confi­dence, under so Gross a degree of Ignorance [Page 245] yet more inexcusable. For these are his Pe­remptory Words — That the Clergy were ever a part of the Parliament, or sate in it, is very uncer­tain; the Affirmative being supported only by Conjectures, without any Record or Authentick Memorial to maintain it P. 31.. Words, which no Learned Man could ever have said, and no Wise Man, conscious of his want of Skill in this point, would ever have ven­tur'd to say. But it seems neither of these Qualities hinder'd our Letter-writer from fall­ing into them, and by that means affording us a clearer Proof of his own utter Unfitness to meddle in this Argument, than he has given of any One Point besides that he pretends to maintain. For it is certain (as certain as that these Words were thrown out by this Gentle­man at Random) that the Inferior Clergy were a part of the Parliament, were Summon'd, and repair'd to it as such, and as such sat in it, both when the Praemunientes first went out, and many years afterwards—sat in it, I say; not under the same Roof, indeed, with the Laity (I mean not Ordinarily); but asunder, as a separate State; and as the Lords now sit (and even then, for the Greater part of this Period, sat) asunder from the Commons. And he who makes this matter of Conjecture, and pronoun­ces it Uncertain, puts it beyond a Conjecture, how far in things of this kind, his word is to be taken. I have shewn him, that there are many Unquestionable Records, and Authentick Memo­rials yet left (some Printed, but more in Manu­script) which prove the Clergy to have been once in the strictest sense of the word, a Mem­ber of Parliament: and if the Church part of [Page 246] these Records lay out of his way (tho' they were as open to Him, I dare say, as they were to me) yet as a Lawyer, methinks, he should have had some Acquaintance with Ryley's Pla­cita Parliamentaria.

As for Dr. Wake, he resolves to be as little out as he can on this Head, and therefore wise­ly says nothing of it. For from the Beginning to the End of his Book you shall not find a word to inform us, how the Praemunientes, after its first Insertion, was executed upon the Infe­rior Clergy, and obey'd by them. He seems indeed to be of Opinion, that the Clergy were a Part of Parliament, in Edward the Third, and Richard the Second's Reigns; and he means, I suppose, that they were a Part of it, as Summon'd thither by the Praemunientes, tho [...] he does not say so. However, that the Vertue of that Clause has long since ceas'd, so that it is now become utterly useless, in That he is positivePp. 213, 214.: and modestly therefore proposes a Retrench­ment of i [...] from the Bishop's Writ; thinking it advisable to reduce that Writ to its first Form, when the Proctors of the Clergy not coming, neither were they Summon'd to Parliament P. 253.. A very free piece of Advice indeed! which not only his Order, but the Great Council of the Realm have rea­son to thank him for! Who for some hundred years have been under the Mistake of thinking this Clause an Essential Part of the Writ, till their Eyes were open'd at last by this Wise Ob­server! While our Constitution was unsetled, these Writs were so too; but they are now as Immovable as That. Let them have been Let­ters of Grace, or Badges of Duty at first, they have since grown to be Charters of Right and [Page 247] Priviledge by long Use and Continuance. The King, Lords and Commons indeed may alter them, if they please, (for they may do any thing); but I humbly suppose that no One Part of the Constitution can do it without the Other. Some of our Princes indeed have at­tempted to make some slight Changes in them; but scarce sooner entred on the Attempt, than they disclaim'd it. Had Dr. Wake known in the least, how Sacred those Forms are held by our Law, and of how great Importance it is to the Constitution to preserve them, he would never have dar'd to recommend such an Alte­ration as this; but Ignorance is fearless! We may see here, how the Love of Alterations creeps upon a Man, and how far in time it may carry him; from mending the Model of the Church (which was the work Ten years ago) to the Improving that of the State: with­out considering, that the One of these may be tamper'd with, and practis'd upon more easily than the other, and more securely. When such Bold Proposals as these come from Private Unauthoriz'd Hands, they deserve a Publick Censure; and, (because I am for every thing's having what it deserves) I hope, will find it.

Dr. Wake it seems, does not understand to what purpose this Clause is retain'd in the Writ, and proposes therefore a Retrenchment of it. An hard Case this, that the Writ should be alter'd, because he does not understand it! for at this rate, what Old Forms are secure? I have endeavour'd however to help his Under­standing a little, and to shew him, that it is retain'd there to very good Purpose; that it de­clares the King's Right of Summoning the [Page 248] Clergy to attend his Parliaments in Body, the Lords and Commons Right of being thus at­tended, and the Clergy's Right also to be Sum­mon'd, and to attend accordingly. And that These are very great and weighty reasons for keeping it there, appears from what has hap­ned already, and may happen hereafter. The Time is now come when the Clergy find themselves oblig'd to put in their Claim to a Parliamentary Attendance, because it is dispu­ted: and according to the Natural Vicissitudes of things, a Time may possibly come, when the Crown, or the Lords and Commons shall want the Parliamentary Attendance of the Clergy, and be willing to claim it. Equal Provision is made against each of these Inconveniences, by continuing the Praemunitory Clause in the Bishops Summons: where, I hope, it will ever conti­nue▪ even tho' a Sett of Future Bishops should arise (which God forbid) that would be con­tented to be Summon'd without it; as not con­sidering, that it is as much Their Interest, as the Inferior Clergy's, [...]o keep this Form whole and intire, and that if the one part of the Writ goes, the other may not stay long be­hind it.

Were this Alteration at any time to take place, it had been well for Dr. Wake that it had hapned, before he wrote his Book; for then, had the Clause been left out of the Writ, he might have left it out of his Appendix too, and by that means sav'd himself the shame of those Childish Mistakes which he has com­mitted in Reciting it; and which shall in due Time and Place be made known See p. 427, 8, 9. of these Pa­pers..

[Page 249]Nothing could have taken off from the Ex­travagantness of Dr. Wake's Proposal, but as wild an Assertion of a certain Acquaintance of his, who is not afraid to tell us, that Par­liamentary Writs prove [...]othing of the Constitution L. M. P. p. 32.; and this in words at length, and not in Figures! A Glorious Maxim [...] which the Lords and Commons at Oxford knew nothing of, who de­clare that the Writs of Summons are the Foundation of All [Parliamentary] Power Declara­tion of the Treaty, p. 15.. I shall say not one word to disprove it; for Parliamentary Writs and Constitutions are able to take care of themselves. Only I cannot but observe how wise a way he has taken of making this Maxim good: For (continues he) a Writ of Summons in the Time of Edward the First upon occasion of War with France, had [...] Chiuse, [Q [...]d omnes tangit ab omni­bus approbetur.] And it may with as much reason be concluded from that Writ, that the King cannot make War without the Approbation of his Parlia­ment, [...] from the Present Writ that he cannot hold a Parliament, without calling the Clergy to it. That is, the King's known Prerogative may with as much reason be barr'd by an Expression once in­serted in the Preamble of a Writ, as the Cler­gy's Right and Priviledge can be grounded up­on a Clause in the Body of a Writ, which has stood there for above four hundred years. What a wonderful way of arguing is this? how can we choose but surrender upon such Proofs, as soon as they are produc'd? Dr. Wake, I remem­ber, has an Axiom, that Logick is one thing, and Law another P. 252., (which, by the by, is all he knows of either). And I must needs say, that I never in my life met with a better Instance of the Truth of that Axiom, than in this Gen­tleman's Law-Reasonings.

[Page 250]Thus far of the Inferior Clergy's Summons to Parliament by the Clause in the Bishops Writ; the Rise, Nature, and Force of which I have fully explain'd, and pro [...]'d that it is not even at this time so insignificant a Form, as we are made to believe; much more, that it has not been so now for some Hundreds of years. But there is also another Summons of the Clergy; tho' not to Parliament, yet to meet in Parlia­ment-time, under the Two Archbishops, in their several Provinces. And This too has been regularly issu'd out, as often as a New Parliament was call'd from the Latter End of Edward the Second till now, with Few Ex­ceptions to the contrary; and with None, from the first Dawn of the Reformation in Henry the Eighth's Reign, down to this pre­sent. And from this Antient Custom (as An­tient as the Compleat Settlement of our Con­stitution) the Clergy think themselves intitled to be Summon'd, to assemble, and to sit Pro­vincially, when ever a New Parliament meets.

But here it is objected, that the King's Writ to the Two Archbishops to call the Clergy of their Provinces together has no relation to the calling of a Parliament, nor does so much as mention it L. M. P. p. 29, 30., that a Convocation is not in its Nature and Constitution at all dependent upon a Parliament; that its Summons is distinct from that of a Parliament, and so is its Dissolution: and, admitting therefore that the Clergy ought to be call'd to Parliament (which is all that can be inferr'd from the Bishops Writ), yet doth it not follow therefore that the Con­vocation ought to be Summon'd, when the Parliament [Page 251] meets; for that is plainly a Distinct Assembly, and Summon'd by a Distinct Writ P. 32.. And much to the same purpose Dr. Wake, p. 226. (284.) and elsewhere, has stated the matter. I think this needs no Answer, but what it has already re­ceiv'd. For allowing the Objection in its full force, yet since Custom is the Law of Parliaments, and it has perpetually been the Custom to issue out these Writs to the Archbishops, whenever Writs went out for the Parliament; it is certain that the Clergy have a Right to these Provin­cial Assemblies in Parliament time, on the ac­count of this Antient Prescription, tho' the Convocation-Writ it self should neither men­tion a Parliament, or any ways refer to it. For if a Custom of three or four hundred years standing, will not create a Right, I know not what will. However, that I may not seem to neglect any thing that has the Look of an Ob­jection, I will give a further and more di­stinct Answer to it; going on (as I propos'd) in the

2d Place to shew, that the Writs to the Two Archbishops to convene the Clergy of their Provinces, tho' they do not expresly mention a Parliament, yet have an Immediate Reference to it; the Original Design of their Issuing out together with the Bishops Writ be­ing only to secure an Obedience to the Prae­munitory Clause, and to make the Clergy's Parliamentary Assemblies more Full and Cer­tain. This is so Indubitably true, and so capa­ble of being made out clearly from the Elder Convocation-Writs yet remaining, that had Dr. Wake, or the Letter-Writer seen any one of them they would have foreborn starting [Page 252] this Objection, for very fear of receiving the true Answer to it; than which nothing can more expose the Weakness of that Cause they plead for, or of the Arguments they bring to maintain it. The Case was truly thus—

From the time that the Praemunientes was first gra [...]ted into the Bishops Writ, the Popish Cler­gy, who out of a false Policy studied all ways of dividing themselves from the Laiety, were, as I have said, very uneasie under it, and cast about how to evade it. When it went out there­fore in the 33 Edw. 1. Archbishop Winchelsey took this way of salving in some measure the pretended Priviledges of the Clergy, without disobeying it See Ap­pend. Numb. XIV (c).. In his Letter to the Prior and Chapter of Canterbury, he recites not the whole Summons sent him by the King, but the sub­stance only of the Warning Clause, and then commands them (as he did I suppose the Cler­gy of his Diocese by the Archdeacon, and all the rest of his Province by the Dean of it, the Bishop of London) to appear before himself at Lambeth, a Day or two earlier than the Parlia­ment was to meet, in order to treat with Him, (as a Provincial Council) and to do afterwards in Parliament what the Holy Canons of the Church should allow of.

A weak Government succeeding, the Rigor of this Clause was so far relax'd, that tho' the King still kept it in his Writs, yet was he forc'd (as I have observ'd) to call the Archbishop to his help, in order to get it obey'd; and to com­ply with the Clergy so far as to let the Provin­cial go out hand in hand with the Parliamenta­ry Summons; accepting their Obedience to the One, as a Constructive Obedience to the [Page 253] Other; upon Condition, that the Forms should still be kept up, that Execution should be duly made of the Praemunientes, and Letters of Proxy sent up and Register'd, as often as it went out. And these Acknowledgments being pay'd, they were allow'd to meet, and do all manner of Business in their Provincial Assemblies, accor­ding to the Tenor of the Archbishops Sum­mons▪ This I apprehend to have been the Me­thod of obeying Both Writs, which was then pitched upon, and afterwards obtain'd.

The first Instance of this kind, wherein I remember such a Double Writ to have been plainly practis'd, is 8 Edw. 2. In which year it went out twice for Two several Parliaments. The Tenor of it was, that ‘whereas the King had Summon'd a Parliament to such a Time and Place, he did r [...]gando mandare the Arch­bishop Then and There to convene such of the Clergy of his Province, as He and the Bishops were by Distinct Writs order'd to premonish; See Ap­pend. Nu. XIV (d). ad tractandum & consentiendum hiis quie in praemissis tunc ibidem contigerit ordinari. It was rested the same day with the Ordinary Bishops Writ, and transmitted at the same time with it to the Archbishop.

In the 14 Edw. 2. (if not sooner) it receiv'd some Alteration; for the Preamble of it reci­ted the Bishops Writ with the Clause Praemuni­entes intirely,See App. Numb. XIV (e). and then added; Nos nolentes ne­gotia nostra in dicto Parliamento tractanda propter absentiam dictorum Decanorum, Priorum, Arc [...]idia­conorum retardari, Vobis Mandamus rogantes, &c. And thus the Form, with some little Variety, continu'd, for many years afterwards; parti­cularly I have seen the several Writs with this, [Page 254] or the like Clause, for the several years of E 2. and E. 3. mention'd in the Margent 17 E. 2. Cl. m. 27. dors. 20 E. 2. Cl. m. 4. dors. 1 E. 3. Cl. ps. 2. m. 16. dors. & m. 3. dors. 2 E. 3. Cl. m. 22. dors.— and so in his 3d, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 13th, and 14th. years. See Pryn's Register of Parl. Writ. Pp. 34, 36, 37, 43, 44, 46, 98, 99. where many of these Writs are Printed.. With this, or the Like Clause, I say; for from the End of E. 2. downwards, it ran nearly in these Terms: Et licet Injunxerimus singulis Episcopis praedictis qu [...]d quilibet eorum praemuniri faciat, &c. no­lentes tamen dicta negotia nostra pro defectu praemunitionum prae­dictarum, si forsan minùs ritè factae fuerint, aliqua­liter retardari: Vobis mandamus rogantes, &c.

Hitherto therefore the Writs for a Convoca­tion went not out only together with those for a Parliament, but were design'd purely to Second and Inforce them, and to be a Double Tye upon the Clergy to come to Parliament, being call'd thither both by the Bishops Writ, and by a Provincial Citation from their Metro­politan. And the same Members therefore, we may observe, neither more nor fewer, are or­der'd to be resummon'd by the Provincial Writ, which had been before Summon'd by the Premonishing Clause; Deans, Cathedral-Priors, Archdeacons, and the Clergy of Chap­ters and Dioceses, being the only Persons ci­ted both by the One and the Other, without any mention of Bishops, Abbats, or other Priors, who had Personal Summons to Parlia­ment; and there being not so much danger therefore of Their not attending, the Archbishop had no Commands in Relation to them. Accordingly his Mandate was usually drawn just as this Form directed, citing those of the Clergy, and no other than those which it men­tion'd, [Page 255] and exactly to the Time and Place prescrib'd. I shall present the Reader with a Copy of this Mandate, among the other Re­cords, as it was practis'd Anno 1321, to execute the Writ of the 14 E. 3. just now mention'd, and in it he will find also Expressions which shew,Append. Numb. XIV (f.) that the same Course had for a good while before this obtain'd.

'Tis true, when the Archbishop Summon'd in Obedience to this Second Writ, he did not do always just what that Writ exacted, and no more; but took occasion Thus Anno 1323. when the Parliament met in Octabis S. Hil. and the Praemunientes went out (for the Writ has it, whereby that Parliament was Prorogu'd. See Dugd. Summ. p.) the Arch­bishop at the King's Instance ex­press'd in his Second Writ, with the Clause Nos nolentes, &c. (a Copy of which for the Prorogati­on of this Parliament is in Pryn, Vol. 1. p. 98.) Summon'd not the Parliament-Clergy alone, but all such as compos'd a Provincial Synod. See Reg. Henr. Prioris. f. 234. sometimes from thence to cite all those Abbots and Pri­ors who had no place in Par­liament, in order to compleat the Numbers of the Clergy, and form a Provincial Assem­bly. And he cited 'em to ap­pear (after Winchelsey's Pat­tern) not before the King, and among the other States; but before Himself, in the Chief Church of the Place. But this was at his Choice; for the King's Writ directed him only to command the Attendance of the Parliament-Clergy. And with this the Crown had reason to be content, while the Defects of these General Summons by the Provincial and Bishops Writs were supply'd by Particular Writs directed to great Numbers of Abbats and Priors, as the way was in Edward the First's and Second's time; the former of these citing Personally to his Parliaments, after the Prae­munientes went out, often sixty, or seventy, and [Page 256] sometimes above eighty Regular Prelates; and the Latter usually Summoning about fifty of them, till the Declining Part of his Reign. But this being esteem'd an Hardship on those Regulars, who were not by Tenure oblig'd to attend the King's Summons (as holding no­thing of him by Barony), they were in time omitted, and the Number of Abbats and Pri­ors, who had Personal Writs, reduc'd to a­bout thirty; the Archbishop's General Man­date then calling the rest to his Parliamentary Convocations, and that being allow'd and ac­cepted by the Crown as a sufficient Atten­dance in Parliament. But what the Archbi­shop did of himself at first, That he did after­wards at the King's Instance; who took occa­sion from this Practice to enlarge his own Let­ters of Direction to him, and by them at last to require him to Summon all those Regular Prelates he was us'd to Summon without such a Direction. This, as it was a Natural Step, so indeed it was necessary, after the Crown had foreclos'd it self from Summoning the greatest part of the Abbats Personally to Parliament: for then it lay purely in the Archbishop's Breast, whether he would call the Unsummon'd Ab­bats by his General Mandate or no; and so, upon any Dispute between the Spirituality and Temporalty, the Crown might have been de­feated of their Parliamentary Attendance.

At what Time precisely these Writs to the Archbishop for a Full Convocation to be held concurrently with a Parliament, began to be practis'd, I have not found. The Eldest that has yet come to my hands is of the 10th. of Edw. 3. when the Parliament was call'd to meet at [Page 257] Nottingham die Lunae prox. post Festum S. Mat­thaei See Dug. p. 186. by a Writ dated Aug. 24. And the same day another Writ issu'd to the Archbishop of Canterbury to call all the Clergy of his Province to Leicester, ad diem Lunae prox. post Festum S. Mi­chaelis, that is seven days afterwards See Cl. 10 E. 3. m. 16. dors.. And the next year again the same thing was pra­ctis'd; the Archbishop being order'd to Sum­mon the Convocation to St. Paul's, two or three days after the Parliament was to meet at Westminster See Pryn. Parl. Wr. Vol. 1. p. 39, 40.. And still (which is observable) the Style of Authority in these Fuller Convo­cation-Writs was the same as it was in those where the Premonish'd Clergy only were men­tion'd; it being a Mixture of a Command and a Request [Rogando Mandamus] as it con­tinues to be in all Writs for a Convocation to this very Day.

This also deserves notice in many of them, that they went not out only at the same time with the Parliament Writs, but mention the holding of a Parliament in their Preambles as the Ground of their issuing; that so the Cler­gy, according to their Duty, might resort to it. Thus it was in the Writ of the 11 Ed. 3. Ps. 2. m▪ 40. dors. just now mention'd. And so again in his 29th. year another Writ Cl. m. 8. dors. runs, Cùm pro arduis & urgentibus Negotiis Nos & Statum Regni nostri An­glicani ac necessariam defensionem ejusdem Regni concernentibus ordinaverimus Parliamentum nostrum apud Westmonasterium tenere, &c. Quia expedit quòd praedicta Negotia quae Salvationem & Defensionem Regni nostri contingunt salubriter & efficaciter cum bonâ & maturâ deliberatione deducantur, Vobis mandamus rogantes, &c. to call the Clergy of Canterbury-Province to St. Paul's die Lunae prex. [Page 258] post Festum S. Martini, ad tractand' & consulend' super praemissis unà Vobis [...]um & aliis per Nos illùc mittendis, & ad consentiend' hiis quae tùnc, &c. T. R. apud Westm. 25. Sept. The same Form re­curs 31 E. 3. Cl. m. 21. dors. and in divers o­ther Instances. And when the Convocation-Writs did not mention a Parliament in Terms, yet the Matter and Tenor of them shew'd that they belong'd to one: for as long as the Reasons of State were continu'd in the Parlia­ment-Writs, so long we find 'em inserted in those to the Archbishops for a Convocation; and after the Particular Causes of Summons, came to be omitted in the Convocation-Writs, and They, as well as Those for a Parliament, were re­duc'd to a Fix'd Form, which return'd con­stantly, with little or no Variation (which happen'd, I think, about the middle of R. the 2d There are later Instances of Parliament-Writs, where the Rea­sons of Summoning are declar'd specially (as 7 H. 4. Cl. dors. m. 29.) but they are rare ones.); yet even Then the General Rea­sons of convening them left in the Writ, and still a part of it, shew that they were call'd not only for Ecclesiastical, but Civil Af­fairs, and such as concern'd the Peace, Publick Good and Defence of the Kingdom; in a word, to the very same Intents and Purposes for which the Parliament it self was assembled.

These Writs for a Full Convocation grew now the Common Form, it being matter of Ordi­nary Practice to send them out concurrently with those for a Parliament, in Edward the Third, and Richard the Second's Reigns; and still the Convocation was (as in the preceding Instances) generally order'd to attend a few days sooner or later than the Parliament did, [Page 259] and not precisely on the Spot, where the Par­liament open'd, but at some Church, or Chap­ter-house near it. And sometimes the Archbi­shop was left wholly at large as to both these Circumstances, the Place being mention'd with a vel alibi prout melius expedire videritis, and the Time no otherwise prefix'd than by the words, cum omni celeritate accommodâ, or, ad breviorem diem quam poteritis, or such other Equi­valent Expressions: which yet were so under­stood as to oblige the Archbishop to joyn the Assemblies of the Clergy both in Place and Time closely to those of the Laiety. A yet Greater Liberty was indulg'd and taken in some of the succeeding Reigns; till in Henry the Eighth's time My Lord of Sarum (Vol. 1. Coll. o [...] Rec. Num. 3.) Prints a Convoca­tion-Writ as the Pattern of all those which were issu'd out in his Reign; whereas the Forms were different. Before the Submission Act the Writ was so word­ed as to leave the Archbishop at Liberty both as to Time and Place; but after, it was restrain'd often in both these respects; and more narrowly in the last, that it is now at present, running without the words vel alibi, as appears by the Writs for the Convocation 20. Jan. 1541. 30. Jan. 1544, 45. in the Register of Bonner, fol. 33. 65. This Omission hinder'd the Clergy from meeting in, not from adjourning to, any other place than that men­tion'd in the Writ: and therefore when the Convocation of the 13 Nov. 1554. adjourn'd to Henry the Seventh's Chappel, I find this Note thus entred by their Registrary, Memorandum quòd in Brevi Regio precis [...] convoca­tur Clerus in Ecclesiam D. Pauli, & non alibi, quamvis hic proroga­tur ad Ecclesiam Westminst., things came about again into their Original Course; and the Old Me­thod took place of opening the Convocation very near at the same time with the Parlia­ment.

Upon the whole therefore it is manifest, that the King's Writ for a Convocation, when it went out with that for the Parliament was ori­ginally only a Second Summons of the same [Page 260] Persons that were call'd by the Praemunientes, and to the same Ends and Intents for which they were call'd by it; that it was employ [...]d at these times only to secure an Obedience to the Praemunitory Clause, and to leave the Clergy (thus doubly Summon'd both by the Provincial and Bishops Writ) without Excuse, if they did not attend the Parliament: That it was made use of afterwards (when it took in Abbats and Priors) to bring those Regulars to it by the As­sistance of the Archbishop, who declin'd appear­ing there upon an Immediate Summons from the King, as holding nothing of him by Baro­ny; and to render, by this means, the Parlia­mentary Assemblies of the Clergy so much in proportion fuller, as the Number of the Ab­bats and Priors decreas'd, who were us'd to be Summon'd, and to sit with the Laiety: That this little Diversity between the Persons Sum­mon'd by the Provincial and Bishops Writ ceas'd at length upon the Dissolution of Monasteries; the Old Usage then returning of addressing both the Writs precisely to the same Persons, and ever since continuing: That the Letter­writer therefore is utterly mistaken when he pretends that the Writ for a Convocation (tho' it went out constantly with every New Parlia­ment, yet) has no Relation to it P. 29., because, for­sooth, it does not now mention it expresly (tho' at first, for many years after it was practis'd, it did): and that Dr. Wake is yet further from Truth, when, in his Fantastick way of Speech, he tells us, that the Convocation call'd by the Provincial Writ is consisted of another sort of Per­sons P. (284.) than the Parliamentary Assemblies Sum­mon'd by the Praemunientes were; since it is [Page 261] certain, that Both those Assemblies were ori­ginally consisted of the very same Persons, and were really but one Assembly of Men, meet­ing under a Double Capacity; and as certain also that they have been again thus consisted, for the last one hundred and sixty years. I am really at a Loss to determine, which of the Two is more absurdly false, the Doctrine he here lays down, or his manner of expres­sing it.

That Air of Assurance which Dr. Wake takes up every where on this Article would be very Amazing to a Man that did not consider, how Doubts dwell usually in knowing Breasts, and that those who have the least skill in things are most apt to be Positive. ‘It is as plain (says he) as any thing can well be, That the Convocation of the Clergy consider'd as call'd by the Parliamentary Writs, and sitting by vertue of them; and the Convo­cation consider'd as Summon'd by the Con­vocation-Writ, and the Order of the Arch­bishop consequent thereupon, are, in their Nature and Constitution two different Assem­blies; and which, by no means, ought to be confounded together P. 226..’ By no means in­deed, if Dr. Wake's Cause must right or wrong be upheld: for the confounding these two As­semblies, and making them but one, confounds all his Little Aims and Reasonings. However, I have shewn, that they must necessarily be, and have always been thus confounded together, when ever the Praemunientes, and a Royal Writ for the Convocation went out joyntly; and it will puzzle Dr. Wake, I believe, out of his Plentiful store of Useless Collections to furnish [Page 262] us with a single Proof to the contrary, where the Convocation-Clergy call'd by the Archbi­shop at the King's Writ, and those Summon'd by the Praemunientes, have met, sat, and acted in the same Province distinctly; all which they must have done, to be, what he tells us they were, two different Assemblies. Nothing but a continu'd Series of such Instances as these, carry'd through the several Reigns in which this Double Summons was practis'd can justifie Dr. Wake's Notion; and therefore I am very sure, it can never be justify'd: for They that that are vers'd in these things know, that when these two Summons issu'd concurrently from the King, the Clergy call'd up by the Praemu­nientes form'd no distinct Assembly, but after making their Returns to it, sat and acted Pro­vincially; and this, as I have often times said, was reputed, and accepted as a Parliamentary Attendance. At these Times therefore the Con­vocation of the Clergy praemonish'd by the Bi­shops Writ, had, as Dr. Wake says rightly, no Existence, i. e. no separate Existence from the Con­vocation of the two Provinces; but was in­volv'd in it, and represented by it, and acted through it. 'Tis true, Two sort of Writs go­ing out to call the Clergy in Time of Parlia­ment, there is room for a Nice Head to distin­guish (as Dr. Wake does) between the Nature and Constitution of that Assembly which relates to the One, and the Nature and Constitution of that As­sembly which relates to the Other. But these two Assemblies being in fact but one Assembly, it does us no Harm, as to the Argument we are upon, to consider that One Assembly under as many different Views and Respects as Dr. Wake plea­ses. [Page 263] So he will allow it to have but One Exist­ence (to keep to his Phrase) we will not dispute its having Two Essences; that is, its convening under two different Formalities: for Metaphy­sical Speculations ought to make no Quarrels among Friends.


I Have in the Preceding Chapter examin'd carefully into the Rise, Nature, and Force of the Praemunientes, and of the Convocation-Writ that goes out with it; and have fully con­sider'd whatever may be objected from either of these against the Clergy's right of Meeting and Sitting in Convocation together with eve­ry New Parliament: more fully indeed than the Objection it self deserves, had I intended barely to pull down what was advanc'd on the other side, without giving some further Light into this Intricate, and as yet untrodden Sub­ject. For the Objection it self might in Two Words have been dispatched by saying, That the Clergy have certainly a Right of Meeting and Sitting in Convocation thus often, because thus often they have for some hundred years met and sat: And this is a plain short Answer, which is capable of no Evasion. Dr. Wake however has made some small Effort towards Eluding it; and what he offers to this purpose shall in the next place be consider'd.

We find him (Pp. 106, 107, 140, 141, &c.) thus distinguishing: That the Clergy have no Right to Meet, and Sit, but only to be Sum­mon'd as often as a Parliament: That having [Page 264] indeed for some hundreds of years been Summon'd always with the Parliament, it may be question'd P. 229. whether they have not (he means, it is not to be question'd but that they have) now a Right to such a concurrent Summons; but it is certain they have a Right to nothing besides; and it were no Great Matter whether They had a Right to that or no P. 107.. This is Dr. Wake's New Scheme for lay­ing aside the Clergy's Parliamentary Meetings first, and their Parliamentary Summons afterwards. A very Honest Design, if it could be effected! and very fit to be first recommended to the world by the Pen of a Clergy-man! God be thanked his Abilities are not Equal to his Good­will in the Case, nor the Colours by him put upon this matter such, as will ever tempt a wise Ministry to execute what he has Proje­cted! In answer to this New Distinction, I desire to be satisfy'd, why, if Custom gives the Convocation a Right to be Summon'd as often as the Parliament meets and sits, it does not give 'em a Right to Meet and Sit too; since it is certain that they have the very same Custom to plead for the One, as for the Other. Time out of mind the Custom has been, that when­ever the Parliament has met, the Convocation (should not only be Summon'd, but) meet too; and accordingly for some Ages now it has met with it, and been open'd in Form by the Arch­bishop, or in the Vacancy of his See, by some Bishop Commission'd from the Dean and Chap­ter of Canterbury; Divine Service has been said, a Sermon preach'd, and a Prolocutor chosen. There are Instances indeed when they have gone no further than this, and done no other Business; but it was when they had no other [Page 265] Business to do: for they were always put into a Posture of doing it, and into a Capacity of making such Motions and Requests as they should judge proper for the Good of the Church, or the Redress of Grievances. Till late years, it was never known, that Convo­cations should meet purely in order to be ad­journ'd; that the Members of the Lower house should attend only to be told when they should attend next; without being allow [...]d to offer their Advices, or Complaints, or even to put themselves into a Condition of offering them. This Custom, we know is but nine years old, whereas the contrary Custom is as old as these Assemblies themselves are: and if Custom be the Law of Convocations (as Dr. Wake allows P. 298.105. it to be) he will be pleas'd to tell us, how this Establish'd Custom can be broke in upon, and set aside, without a Breach of the Law; and whether the Clergy's not being suffer'd to meet and form themselves into a Body, accord­ing to the Intent of their Summons be not (upon Dr. Wake's Principles) as plain a Viola­tion of their Rights, as it would be, not to Summon them Queen Elizabeth, one would think, was under these Apprehensions; for she suffer'd a Popish Convocation to sit and act to­gether with her first Parliament, at a Time when she was taking all manner of Legal Steps and Means to expel Popery, and to introduce the Reformation: which she would never, I presume, have done, had she thought her Power extended so far over the Convocation as to adjourn them before a Pro­locutor was chosen There was indeed a Singula­rity practis'd at the En [...]ance of this Convocation, which I remember no In­stance of in any other: It was open'd without any Sermon. The reason of which is thus given in the Acts, Sess. 2. Episcopus London Commissarius —evocatâ Domo Inferiori exposuit eis Causam Convocationis, & quod non futura sit concio pro more quia Sedes Episcopalis destituta ex­istit, & quia Consiliarii Regis [it should be Reginae] in mandatis dede­runt, ne Conciones in Eâdem Ecclesiâ fierent, donec de Beneplacito Reginae constaret. The first of these Reasons is no reason, but the last is suf­ficient, according to the Doctrine of Those Times; when our Princes in Ver­tue of their Supremacy, were thought to have a Power of silencing any, or even all the Pulpits of England at once; which both King Edward and Queen Mary are said to have practis'd. But that Doctrine being now out of Doors, the Practise founded upon it can be no Warrantable Precedent for our Times. Even the Acts themselves that give us an account of this Omission, affirm the Custom, and say the Sermon was a thing de more.. And if she did not [Page 266] think she had such a Power, it would make one apt to believe that she had it not: for, whatever else has been said of her, I never heard it laid to her Charge, that she was igno­rant of the Extent of her Prerogative, or us'd it too tenderly.

'Tis true, my Lord of Sarum informs us, that left the Clergy might set out Orders in Opposition to what the Queen was about to do, she sent and requir'd them under the Pains of a Praemunire to make no Canons Vol. 2. p. 327.. His Lordship gives us no Authority for this Particular, and I must beg leave there­fore to suspect the Exactness of it; because the Submission-Act, and that which confirm'd it, were repeal'd in Queen Mary's time, and as yet unreviv'd: and the Queen could have no Pretence from any other Acts than these to threaten them with a Praemunire, if they pro­ceeded to make Canons. However allowing this account of the Queen's Message to be just, we may observe, that tho' she prohibited 'em to make Canons, yet she did not forbid them to Sit and Act in Inferior Instances, because she thought it their Priviledge so to do; and ac­cordingly [Page 267] this very Convocation did business, drawing up their Judgment upon five Impor­tant Points in five Articles, by way of Protest, to be deliver'd (not to the Queen, as his Lord­ship thinks Ibid.) but to the Keeper of the Great Seal, and to the Lords of Parliament: And this they did, for the Disburthening of their Consci­ences Ad exo­nerationem conscienti­arum sua­rum., as the Acts speak; and were allow'd to do it without Check or Disturbance. And if the Priviledges of a Popish Convocation were thus tenderly preserv'd to them by a Queen averse to their Principles, we may be sure that the Protestant Clergy afterwards had not less Liberty, or Worse Usage; but were al­low'd freely to sit and declare their Grievances, as often as they were understood earnestly to desire it in the Succeeding Reigns: there be­ing no Instance of such a Liberty deny'd by any of our Princes to any of their Synods, when the Prince and the Synod were of the same Judgment in Religion. I have shewn that it has been granted even when they dif­fer'd in Principles, let Dr. Wake prove to us, that ever it was with-held when they agreed; and he will somewhat lessen the Opinion the Clergy have of the Hardship they at present lye under.

If Custom therefore creates a Right, we are sure that the Clergy have a Right to somewhat more than a Bare Summons; they have a Right actually to assemble, to be form'd into a Body, and to fill the Chair of the Lower House; and if they have any Petitions or Motions to make in Church-matters, they have a right to sit so long as till they have made them; for thus they have been always accustom'd to do; and [Page 268] when they were adjourn'd without it, it was upon a Presumption, that they had nothing of this kind to offer, and were themselves con­senting to such Adjournments.

Dr. Wake himself is forc'd in good measure to agree to this, for he owns, that whilst the Clergy were wont to assess themselves, and their sit­ting upon this account was necessary for the support of the Government; they were not only Summon'd to meet, but were wont actually to assemble; and sit so long as it was requisite for them to do for this pur­pose P. 141, 249.. Now 'tis not forty years ago since the Clergy were in the undisputed Possession of this Priviledge of Assessing themselves; and till That time therefore, even by Dr. Wake's Con­fession, they had Custom, and consequently Right of their side, even for Assembling, and Sitting, as well as being Summon'd. And the Late Discontinuance of this Custom cannot yet have infring'd that Right, as being not yet Immemorial. There is no Custom therefore for the Methods lately taken; and it is the Clergy's great desire that there never may be any: and for that reason among others it is that a Convocation is so earnestly call'd for, to prevent this Pretence of Dr. Wake's from grow­ing up into an Argument; for tho' it have now no manner of strength in it, yet twenty or thirty years hence perhaps it may.

But tho' Dr. Wake is out, as to the Clergy's having no Right, because no Custom to sit; yet at least he can prove, he thinks, that 'tis very fit and reasonable they should have none, upon Two Accounts: the One, drawn from the True End and Design of calling the Clergy to Parlia­ment; the Other, from the Alteration that has [Page 269] hapned in the Original Constitution of those Meetings. As to the First of these, he tells us, that the True End and Design of the Clergy's Assem­bling with the Parliament was to raise Money; and that End therefore now ceasing, since they have left off to assess themselves, the Right grounded upon it ought to cease too All the use that was gene­rally made of them was to con­concur with the other E­states in granting Money to the King, which having done, they were com­monly dismissed without entring on any other Business. Pp. 106, 107. However the King usually added a Conciliary Summons to his Parliamen­tary Writ—yet still the Design was in Both the same that they might thereby more effectually confirm what had in Parliament been granted to the King, &c. Ibid. The Main Design our Princes seem to have had in assembling these Convo­cations either at the same time they did their Parliament, or not long after, was to get Money from them. P. 227. This was the Great Use the King was wont to make of our Convocations, and from thence it came to be the Custom to Summon them for the most part as often as the Parliament met. P. 229. For the most part what was done by the Convocation when they met, was only to confirm or make an order for Money. P. 228. For the most part the Great End our Kings had in Summoning them was to get Money from them. P. 245. As long as the Clergy in Convocation have continu'd to assist the Govern­ment by granting Subsidies, it has been allow'd to sit as often as it was ne­cessary to that purpose, tho' it has seldom done any thing besides. P. 250.. As to the Second, That the Convocation, when it us'd to sit at the same Time with the Parlia­ment, was a Member of Parliament; but not be­ing so now, there is no reason why it should sit with it Pp. 105, 106, 107..

The first of these is so False and Scandalous a Reflection upon our Princes, and those Meet­ings, and upon the Constitution it self, that I wonder how it could drop from the Pen of an English Divine, that had any Regard left for his Church, or his Country; and how even This [Page 270] Writer, as meanly as he may think of Synods, and their Powers, could yet prevail with him­self to say it. He says it, not once or twice only, but often, and with the utmost Assu­rance; of Convocations call'd out of Parlia­ment time, as well as of those which met in it; and seems to be afraid only, lest this Decent Maxim should escape the Reader's Eye; and has therefore taken care to instill it so often, and on so different Occasions, that one can­not read long in his Book without meeting it. Let us see, how he attempts the Proof of it.

Why, he tells us, that in the accounts of our Elder Synods, little more is said to have been done by them, than that they gave the King such and such Supplies; and tho' they met often in former times, yet as for Ecclesiastical Busi­ness, for ought he can find, they did as little with their often meeting then, as they do with their sel­dom meeting now P. 283.. But first, allowing all this to be true, does it follow from hence that the End of the Convocations sitting was to give Money? might not frequent Opportunities be taken of pressing the Clergy to Grants, and yet That not be the End of their Meeting? Mo­ney has been as frequently given by Parlia­ments as by Convocations, and has been as much the Design of calling them; so that once upon a Time Cl. Rot. 21 E. 3. ps. 2. m. 9. dors.— Et scire Vos volumus quod dictum Parliamentum non ad Auxilia seu Talla­gia à Populo dicti regni nostri petenda, vel ad alia Onera eidem Po­pulo imponenda, set duntaxat pro Justitiâ ipsi Populo nostro super Dampnis & Gravaminibus sibi illatis faciendâ—See Pryn. Parliam. Writ. Vol. 1. p. 53., when the King inserted a Clause in the Commons Writs to assure them, [Page 271] that That Parliament was not call'd in order to a Supply, it is taken notice of by our Antiqua­ries as a Wonder: Nevertheless the Reason and End of those State-meetings is not, I suppose, to be fetch'd purely from Money, but Redress of Grievances, according to the honest Doctrine of the Mirror Pur Oyer & Terminer les playntes de tort de le Roy, de la Roigne, & de lour Enfans, & de eux specialment, de que [...]x Torts lun ne poet aver autre­ment common droit. Cap. 1.. Further, had the accounts we have left of Convocations mention'd lit­tle more than the Supplies they gave, yet it might have become Dr. Wake to suspect that those accounts were De­fective, and that much besides might have been done, tho' little else was recorded. The Pro­portion that the Clergy bore in the Taxes, be­ing a matter in which the State, as well as the Church was nearly concern'd, might be set down in our Annals with a more than Ordi­nary Care; on the Crown-side it might be ta­ken notice of, that the King for the future might be sure of as much; on the Clergy's side, that they might be sure of giving no more: Both might think it prudent to arm themselves with Precedents for a Demand, or a Denyal, as the Case might happen; and for this reason, among others, the Article of Subsidies might have been suppos'd to make so considerable a Figure in the Story of those Synods, had Dr. Wake been inclin'd in the least to embrace any accounts that were for the Honour or Interest of his Order. But after all, the very Bottom he goes upon is false; an injurious, and ground­less Misrepresentation: For that the Clergy, when met, had a great deal of other Business to do, besides Raising Money, appears from [Page 272] Numerous and Undeniable Testimonies. And if Dr. Wake cannot find 'em, as he says, 'tis be­cause he has not look'd where they ought to be found, or at least not with that care he ought to do, in order to find them. Had he look'd into Spelman or Lynwood, methinks, he might have found, that they made Provincial Canons and Constitutions all along for the good Govern­ment of the Church; and by means of 'em repress'd now and then an Aspiring Clergy­man, that was making a False Court by be­traying the Interests of his Body, and endea­vouring to build his Fortune upon the Ruin of their Liberties. Had he lookt into our Histori­ans, as nicely as he would be thought to have done, particularly into Harpsfield, and Antiqui­tates Britannicae, he would have found, that they were taken up often in Foreign, and more often in Domestick Affairs of the utmost Importance; in Deputing some of their Mem­bers to General Councils Harpsf. p. 610, 611., and preparing their Instructions; in restoring Peace to the Church, when it was broken by the clashing of Popes with Councils Ant. Br. p. 227., or by the Conten­tions of Rival Popes about the Lawfulness of their Titles Harpsf. p. 608.; in resisting Papal Encroach­ments and Provisions Harpsf. p. 618, 654., in exercising their Jurisdiction, in Reforming Abuses among themselves, or Petitioning for the Redress of them above; that they open'd their Mouths to their Superiors, as well as their Purses; and gave Dutiful Advice sometimes that was as serviceable and welcome to a Good Prince as their Money. But above all, had he look'd into the few Old Acts and Journals of Convo­cation sav'd out of the General Wreck, and [Page 273] yet remainining, he would have found, that the Articuli Reformandi, or Gravamina Cleri were put up almost at every Session, that Subsidies were seldom given without them, and that they were suggested often, when no Subsidies were given; the Clergy in those Days being allow'd sometimes to approach their Prince Empty-handed, and to beg of him what was their Due without paying for the Liberty of doing it. Reforming Grievances was so much the End of the Clergy's Conciliary Meetings, that the Archbishop mention'd it oftentimes in his very Provincial Man­date In one of Archbishop Me­pham's Anno 1328. there is this Clause, Proviso quod sin­guli Episcopi antequam Dio­ceses suas versus dictum Con­cilium egressi fuerint, cum suo Clero deliberent & inquirant sagaciter de Gravaminibus & Defectibus dicti Concilii stu­dio reformandis—and to the same purpose another of Strat­ford's Dated 10. Kalend. Aug. 1341. These were for Provincial Councils, strictly so call'd.; the Bishops being there directed to consult with the Clergy of their several Dioceses, about the particu­lar Grievances they lay un­der, in order to their being laid before the Assembly. And the Lower Clerks have now and then observ'd these Directions of their Metro­politan so well as to complain to him of the Inabilities, or Exactions of those who had Iurisdiction under Him, or under any of the other Bishops Duck. Vit. Chich­leii, ad Ann. 1421, 1432.. As they were always sure of his Good Offices, so sometimes it has so hapned that He himself has stood in need of Theirs; and accordingly the Subject of their Debates has been how to screen an Archbishop from the Displeasure of his Prince Heylin's Hist. of Presbyt. p. 250.. Some­times they have consulted of measures for the Advancement of Learning, and Encourage­ment of Universities Conci­lium Pro­vinciale ad reparationem splendidarum Universitat. Oxon. & Cant. ac Gradua­torum in eadem proficientium promotionem—Ann 1417. Registr. Bub­with. Ep. B. & W., and have come to re­solutions [Page 274] very much to the Honour and Ad­vantage of those Famous Bodies Spelm. Conc. Vol. 2. p. 677. Ant. Brit. p. 214.; and have by that means made way for them, when un­der a Cloud, to the Favour and Bounty of Others. At some times the Regulation and Improvement of Grammar-Schools Acta MSS. Synodi tentae, An. 1555—ad Jan. 7. 1555, 56.; at Others, the Loos­ness and Disorders of the Stage Febr. 24. 1541, 42. Episcopi consultârunt de Publicis Disso­lutis Comaediis corrigendis— Act. MSS. have been the Subject of their Debates: and it has been known, when even Matters of Common Iustice and Traffick have felt the Influence of their Re­solves, and the Kingdom been generally bene­fitted by the Spiritual Censures they have de­nounc'd on the Use of False Weights and Mea­sures Constitutio facta—in Con­vocatione—1430. pro abolitio Ponderis vocati Le Auncell Weight. Spelm. Vol. 2. p. 687.. A Late Writer Nicholson, Hist. Lib. p. 196. has found out yet another Em­ployment for the Clergy in Convocation, to pass the Finales Concordiae, or Levies of Fines, as we now call them; and this upon no less an Authority than Sir Henry Spelman's; who says In voce Finis., it seems, that such Matters were transacted sometimes coram Episcopo, & in Synodali Conventu: and so they might be, without however being ratify'd by a Convocation properly so call'd: for the words of Sir Henry refer to those Mixt Assemblies, where the Clergy and Laiety sat together. Would Mr. Archdeacon afford us an Instance of a Fine thus pass'd in a Pure Ecclesiastical Meeting, after the two Jurisdictions were compleatly separated, it would be a very Cu­rious Particular, worth acquainting the World with. But this is not the Only Instance See ano­ther p. 31. of these Papers. he [Page 275] has given of his knowing no other sense of the word Synodus, but that of a Church-Assembly.

Many other ways the Clergy assembled in Synod had of employing themselves to the Ad­tage of the Church and the Commonwealth; too many to be Enumerated, and too well understood to be insisted on: if Dr. Wake knows nothing of these things, he is to be pi­tied for his Ignorance; if he does, and yet dis­sembles his knowledg of them, he is to be de­tested for a much worse Quality. But can this Gentleman be in Earnest when he says, that the Convocation had little else at any time to do but to give Money? does not He himself own in several places Pp. 286, 287, 236, 237., that the King frequently sent his Prohibitions thither, commanding 'em not to en­ter or proceed upon Business that he did not approve of? This implies, I think, that they were often otherwise employ'd than in Mo­ney-matters: for Dr. Wake, I believe, will not pretend that it was Usual with our Princes to prohibit the Clergy from giving them Mo­ney. Nay, he tells us further out of Coke, that the King did often appoint Commissioners by Writ to sit with the Clergy in Convocation, and to have Co­nusance of such things as they meant to establish, that nothing might be done in prejudice of their Authori­ty P. [111.]. And if so, he could not but see, that they were us'd to do some other Business beside Tax­ing themselves; for here again I humbly con­ceive, that neither were these Commissioners sent to restrain the Clergy's Liberality. To con­vince the Reader yet further, that the Clergy, when met, had other things beside Taxes to con­sider of, I shall direct him to those very Instan­ces brought by Dr. Wake to shew they had not: [Page 276] I shall examin All his Proofs of this kind drawn from the Practice of Modern Synods, and by Them shall leave the Reader to judge how fairly he has dealt with the Antient ones.

‘That I may not be thought (says he P. 142.) to speak at all Adventures, I will offer an In­stance or two of it. The Convocation that met the first of King Iames the First, was by Prorogation continu'd from time to time for seven years together. Yet except it were in his first year, we do not hear of any great Business that was done by them more than that of granting Subsidies.’ But I am well satisfy'd that he speaks at all adventures from this very Instance. For Book X. p. 28. Fuller seems to say, that the Acts of this Convocation were lost even in his time; and if so, Dr. Wake must needs be a Bold Adventurer, to pretend to say what was, or was not done in it. Besides, had he spo­ken out, and told us plainly, what that Busi­ness was they did in their first year, it would have given us some account why they might possibly have layn still a good while after­wards. For that Business was no less than the setling the whole Discipline of the Church in a Body of an hundred and forty one Canons then drawn up, which was one of the Greatest Works that ever any English Convocation had before them: and having finish'd it therefore, it would have been no wonder, if they had discontinu'd their Debates for some time with­out entring on any thing that was Material. If they had no Business to do, we cannot expect that they should have made Business on pur­pose to do it. But after all it so happens that we can certainly prove this Convocation to have [Page 277] sat and done Business, and that of a very Im­portant Nature: for in 1606 Bishop Overall's Convocation-Book pass'd it; a Work, consi­derable in it self; but made yet more consider­able by the Event that attended the Publicati­on of it. And throughout all the rest of the Time, that they were Employ'd, or at least sitting, and in a Readiness to do Business, as it should happen, appears from the Bishop of St. David's Speech in 1604, about the Use of the Cross There is mention of this Speech in the Preface to Pool's Sermon about Spiritual Worship. He speaks of it as made in 1604; tho' o­therwise I should have plac'd it at the Time when the Canons were passing. The Speech it self, and some Account of it is among the Manuscripts Bodl. Bibl. n. 8069▪ From which Paper we might cer­tainly learn when it was spoken, but I have not consulted it., (which shews that matter was then re-deba­ted); from the strict Atten­dance paid by the Members of the Lower House (Three of which were Excommunica­ted by Archbishop Bancroft in 1605, on the account of their Absence, and absolv'd from that Sentence the year after­wards See Registr. Banc. oft. fol. 138, 139▪); from the Messages sent by King Iames at several times to them (with Two of which relating to the Articles of 1562, and Cathe­dral Service, Dr. W. himself has kindly furnish'd us P. 110.); and from the Applications made by the Clergy to the King; One Instance of which [their Petition against Prohibitions Append▪ Numb. VI.] I have al­ready given the Reader. So that no Instance could be more unfortunately pitch'd upon by Dr. Wake than this: Let us see whether he is more lucky in that which follows.

His next Words are, ‘In King Charles the First's time there were but Few Parliaments, and therefore we are not to look for Con­vocations in that, P 142..’ In the first sixteen [Page 278] years of King Charles the First there were five New Parliaments chosen, and as many Convo­cations; and every One of those Convocati­ons met, and sat, and we know who were the Prolocutors in each of them. The first of these five Anno 1625. See Fuller. C. H. Book. XI. p. 108. was hindred from doing much Business by the Plague which then reign'd; and the Last, by a Select Committee for Alterations, which sat in the Ierusalem-Chamber of the Deanery of Westminster, and was set on foot to supplant the Use of Synods. And yet even in these Two, Motions were made Some Instances of this kind Fuller takes notice of. Ibid. & p. 172., and Debates held, tho' no Synodical Conclusions were form'd; and in all the Five In the Convocation of 1628: Pryn says, that Dr. Jackson was accus'd of Arminianism, Append. to Anti-Arminianism. at least so much Business was done, as made their Title good to do more, if they thought fit: for I must here and every where put this Gentleman in mind, that there is a great deal of Business for Con­vocations to do, besides framing Constitutions. However even That Business it self was done in One of these Assemblies, the Convocation of 1640; where also their Jurisdiction was exercis'd in a very Notable Instance, the Su­spension of the Bishop of Gloucester See Hey­lin. Cypri­ [...]n. Angl.. Dr. Wake takes no notice of these things, but slips quiet­ly over this Reign to the next.—

‘In which, he says, upon King Charles the Second's Return, the Famous Convocation of 1660 met, to remedy those Disorders which the Civil Wars had occasion'd. In order whereunto it was necessary for them at first to settle the Affairs of the Church: but that being done, they were by the [Page 279] King's Writ Prorogu'd Eighteen times suc­cessively; and it does not appear by the Journal of it, which I have seen, that any thing Material was done in it afterwards.’ He has seen a Journal, it seems, where there are no Memorandums of any thing done; and from that Empty Journal One would think that he had learnt all his skill in the Business of Convocations. But had not something else been as Empty as that Journal, he would sure have foreborn giving this as an Instance how Convocations have been employ'd, whilst they were us'd to assess themselves (which is his profess'd Design in producing it See Pag. 141.), when all these Eighteen Prorogations were after they began to be Tax'd by Parliament; and all of them were with the Good will and Consent of the Clergy, who by the Favour of their Prince, and the Assistance of the Parliament, had in the first year of their Sitting done so much, that little or no Church-work might remain upon their Hands for several succeeding years. And yet in All those years they were not Idle for want of an Opportunity of being other­wise; for they observ'd their Forms all along, met with every Parliament, and said their Prayers together, and when their Prolocutor dy'd, chose a new one; as even that Journal the Doctor perus'd, as Empty as it was, would have taught him; if I guess right at the Qui­ver from whence this Blunt and Harmless Ar­row was drawn. Now the observing these Forms, whatever Apprehensions Dr. Wake may have of it, yet several of his Brethren of the Clergy think to be very Material; as being a step to that which is confessedly so, and pre­serving [Page 280] the Body in their Legal Capacity of Acting, as there shall be Occasion. Particular­ly that part of the Solemnity, the Opening of the Assembly with Prayers and a Sermon, as it is a matter of great Decency, so is it of some Use also; the uttering of these Discourses from the Pulpit having been generally the Province of the Lower Clergy, who took the liberty at such times to lay the State of the Church before the Fathers and Governours of it very nakedly and plainly, and freely to expostulate with them about any Neglects or Mismanagements, they might observe to prevail. I shall give the Reader a few Instances of the Freedom practis'd on that occasion, which may satisfie him that it had its Uses in some special Jun­ctures; and may be as serviceable again, when the same Corruptions shall have got into the Church; as it is possible that they some­time or other may, tho' at present we are ne­ver so free from them.

The Passages of this kind I shall take notice of, are in Pieces not easie to be met with; and should therefore my Transcripts from thence be somewhat large, I hope they will not be thought tedious; the Christian Courage, Inte­grity, and Zeal that animates these Awakening Discourses will be my Apology for producing so much of them, and for doing it here in the Body of the Book, without referring the Rea­der for a sight of them to an Article in the Appendix.

Oratio habita a D. Ioanne Colet Decano S. Pauli ad Clerum, in Convocatione, Anno M. D. XI.

Pag. 1. Accessi hodie, Patres, admonendi ve­stri gratiâ, ut de reformatione Ecclesiae, in illo ve­stro Concilio toto animo cogitetis.

5. In ipsis Dignitatibus qui sunt, plerique corum incedunt vultu adeo erecto, & oculis tam sublimibus ut non in humili Praesulatu Christi, sed in alto dominatu mundi positi esse videantur, non agnoscen­tes, nec animadvertentes, quidnam magister humili­tatis Christus dixerit discipulis suis, qu [...]s vocavit ad Praesulatum; Principes Gentium, &c. vos au­tem non sic. Quibus verbis docet plane Magisterium [...] Ecclesiâ nihil aliud esse quàm Ministerium, & Pri­matum in Ecclesiastico homine nihil esse aliud quam humilem Servitutem.

7. Oh Avaritia! ex te onerosae Visitationes Epis­coporum, ex te Corruptiones Curiarum, & inventiones istae quotidiè novae quibus miser populus devora­tur. Oh Avaritia mater omnis iniquitatis! à te procacitas, & petulantia Officialium, ex te in Or­dinariis illud ardens studium amplificandae suae Iurisdictionis, ex te in Ordinariis ista insana & ra­biosa contentio de Insinuatione Testamentorum, ex te Intempestivae Sequestrationes, ex te ista superstitiosa observatio Legum earum quae Lucrosae sunt, post­habitis iis quae ad Emendationem Morum spe­ctant.

8. Faciem Ecclesiae maculat assidua Occupatio Secularis, in qua se implicant multi Sacerdotes & Episcopi, Servi magis Hominis quam Dei — nihil audent nec facere, nec dicere, nisi ea quae noverint [Page 282] suis Principibus grata & placentia: hinc Ignoran­tia & Caecitas, quando obcaecati tenebris hujus seculi nihil vident nisi terrena.

12. Quare vos, Patres, vos, Sacerdotes, vos, omnes Clerici expergiscimini aliquando ex isto vestro somno in hoc mundo Lethargico, & evigilantes tan­dem audite Paulum Clamantem vobis, Nolite con­formari huic seculo, sed reformamini in novitate sensûs vestri The Text.. Haec autem Reformatio & Re­stauratio Ecclesiastici Statûs oportet incipiat à Vobis Patribus nostris, & sic deinceps in nos Sacerdotes vestros derivetur. Ad Vos spectamus tanquam ad Signa directionis nostrae, in vobis & in vitâ vestrâ cupimus legere, tanquam in vivis libris, quonam pacto ipsi vivamus: Quare si volueritis videre Festucas nostras, priùs tollite Trabes de oculis ve­stris.

13. Nullum est erratum cui Patres optima re­media non providerunt. Non est opus ergo ut novae Leges & Constitutiones condantur, sed ut serventur conditae. Quare in vestrâ illâ Congregatione recitentur leges quae sunt editae: imprimis recitentur leges quae admonent vos Patres ne manus vestras citò alicui im­ponatis—Recitentur leges quae jubent ut Beneficia Ec­clesiastica dignis conferantur. Recitentur Leges quae militant contrà Simoniacam Labem.

16. Ante omnia verò recitentur Leges quae per­tinent & spectant ad Vos reverendos Patres & domi­nos Episcopos; Leges de justâ & Canonicâ Ele­ctione Vestrâ in capitulis Ecclesiarum cum invocati­one divini spiritûs: nam praeterea quod hoc non fit his diebus, & quia saepe eliguntur Praelati magis fa­voribus hominum quam Dei gratiâ, idcirco habemus certè nonnunquam Episcopos parum Spirituales, ho­min [...]s magis Mundanos quam Coelestes, sapientes magis spiritum hujus Mundi quam spiritum Christi.

[Page 283] 17. Recitentur Leges de residentiâ Episcoporum in diaecesibus suis—Renoventur postremò istae Leges & Constitutiones patrum de celebratione conciliorum, quae jubent ut Provincialia Concilia frequentiùs pro re­formatione Ecclesiae celebre [...]tur: nam nunqu [...]m accidit Ecclesiae Christi res magis detrimentosa quam omissio Conciliorum, tum Generalium, tùm Provin­cialium.

18. Quâ quidem in re vos potissimum debitâ reverentiâ, Patres, appello; nam ista legum Exe­cutio à vobis incipiat oportet—Vos autem si serva­veritis leges, sique ad normam & regulam Cano­num vitam vestram imprimis reformaveritis, tùna dabitis nobis lumen in quo quid nobis faciendum sit videamus, lumen videlicet optimi exempli vestri; nosque videntes Patres nostros servare leges, libenter Patrissabimus.

21. Considerate miseram Ecclesiae formam & Statum, & in ejus reformatione totis animis in­cumbite; Nolite, Patres, nolite sinere istum ve­strum tam celebrem Conventum abire in vanum; nolite pati istam vestram congregationem elabi in nihilum: congregamini quidem saepe, sed (ut vestrâ pace quod verùm est dicam) quis adhùc fructus praesertim Ecclesiae ex istiusmodi conventibus est con­secutus? ite modo in Spiritu, quem invocastis, ut ejus auxilio adjuti in isto vestro Concilio possitis ea excogitare, statuere, decernere, quae sint Ecclesiae utilia, quae vobis laudi, quae Deo honori.

Oratio ad Pontifices Londini in Aede Pau­linâ An. Dom. 1553.17. Id. Apr. per Nic. Grimoaldum. Impressum 1583. Londini.

7. Nescio quo fato fieri dicam, Patres praecla­rissimi, etiam vobis praesidentibus, qui eruditionis gloriâ floretis, in quâvis Diocesi plures ut invenian­tur Legum Sacrarum expertes Sacrifici quam intelli­gentes. Num vos etiamdum, Praesules, ad hunc ho­nestissimum ordinem atque pulcherrimum, illiberale & imperitum genus hominum aggregatis?—

8. Vestrarum hoc partium est, Pontifices, fo­vendo gnaros, repudiando rudes, efficere ut vel vul­gus hominum intelligat, quid sit bonis artibus ex­coli.

10. Cogitate Vos esse eos unde sibi & Populus, & Reges, & Cives omnes consilium de maximis gravissimisque rebus expectant: loquendum est liberè, & admonendum; debere Reges erudiri rectam ut sententiam ferre possint; debere Principes viros con­venire, Domino ut inserviant; debere eos sanciendis promulgandisque legibus ostendere se fidem habere Deo, se Remp. & quidem Christianam tueri, amplificare, & confirmare: Scilicet summum Deum odisse ma­lorum Ecclesiam, eòsque qui non stant ab illius par­tibus, contrarios illi & adversarios esse, & plane perduellionis reos.

11. Quò minor est rerum bonarum cura, quo ma­jor est doctorum virorum paucitas, eò vos haec ipsa de­f [...]ndite diligentiùs. In Patriam & Remp. intuemini, Patres, cui dati estis à Deo Gubernatores. Scelerati & flagitiosi omnia referre solent ad utilitatem pro­priam, nec facile possunt animum inducere ut agant emninò aliquid gratui [...]ò: Vir pius tamen & religiosus [Page 285] non commoditates suas quaerit, sed totus est in ju­vandis aliis occupatus—Estis Sal terrae, condite caeteros: Estis Lux orbis, lucete aliis: Estis Du­ces, praeite viam reliquis. Estis Angeli Dei Op. Max. nunciate ingentem laetitiam futuram toti Populo. Estis divinorum arcanorum dispensatores, scienter id facite, & fideliter. Reverendi Patres Episcopi, fa­cile est Episcoporum habere nomen, rem praestare profectò difficile: vestro si vultis officio perfungi, oportebit docendo, monendo, emendando, suadendo, deterrendo, disputando, aliisque multiplicibus mini­steriis, obire labores maximos, tolerare vigilias, ex­cubare, animis concoquere longa taedia, pati contumelias improborum, & versari etiam in vitae discrimine— quare jam inde ab hoc tempore usque ad occasum vitae, extremúmque spiritum nunquam divelli vos à tam praeclaro instituto patiamini.

Non ita multos abhinc annos in eo fuistis multi, ut quos possetis ab Operum Nitelis averteretis, à Pere­grinatione Religionis ergô, à Lucernis ad Statuas affigendis, à Lustrali Aqvulâ, Missa Papisticâ, & id genus aliis rebus: superest, Patres, sicut anteà dis­ceptatum est cum Superstitione, nùnc ut cum Impie­tate certetur; sicut antè disceptatum est de ma [...]e col­locatis Operibus, nùnc querela fiat de amissis benefa­ctis, & nusquàm ferè comparentibus; sicut anteà de­clamatum est in Idola, & Cultus execrabiles, nùnc in illum pestilentissimum Deastrum Mammonem declami­tetur. Nam quod Tempus simile Temporum nostrorum? Quot [...]odiè solent alienas invadere facultates? eate­nùs amplectuntur plerique Religionem, quatenùs quae­stum ex eâ commodúmque faciant. Ut distrahuntur Opes Ecclesiasticae! Sacerdotiorum quam frequens est Nundenatio! Venalia Templa sunt, Venales Ecclesiae.

14. Nam quid ad haec dicemus Auditores optimi? Scholarum & magistrorum quibus carere Christianae [Page 286] civitates nullo modo possunt, cur dilaniari sinitis ali­moniam & viscera? quid de vobis judicabit atque sentiet Posteritas, tantam audaciam si non coercebitis? quoüsque conceditis hanc licentiam? Quousque com­probabitis quae Avarissimus quisque concupivit? Si potestis parùm, saltem cohibete Assensiones, ne par­ticipetis eorum facta. Si potestis ampliùs extinguite crescentem flammam, ne deinde Victrix ad Domorum & Templorum Tecta subsiliat.—Agite, O Praesides, & Procuratores Ecclesiae, per Deum Immortalem agite.—

16. Vident certè multi quî possit ex hisce malis eripi Ecclesia, sedent tamen compressis manibus, se­cúmque (ut dicitur) vivunt.

19. Si estis Episcopi, circumspectate quid à fa­mulis, quid à liberis, quid à ministris Ecclesiasticis, quid à Magistratibus, quid agatur à populo. Si estis exploratores, Exquirite Papistas, investigate Ana­baptistas, Libertinos, & Haereticos omnes deprehen­dite, corrigite, fugate, fundite. Si Legati estis, Imperata peragite; Si Custodes omnium, custodite Domini vestri Ovilia, & quidem integra, ut ne partim foveantur, partim deserantur.

23. Iam nùnc penes vos erit vestróque in arbritrio positum, aut Ecclesiae Proceres praeclarissimos, aut Custo­des inertes & negligentes in perpetuum appellari. Quapropter excitate Spiritus; Erigite capita; au­res, oculos, animósque advertite; omnia collustrate; in toto regno religionem confirmate; Literas, Leges, virtutesque conserite. Vos si in speculis forte stetistis Episcopi, jamdudum sentire potuistis pleraque in Ec­clesiâ agi raptim, atque turbatè, sine more, sine or­dine. Quid ergo? quid existimatis, gravissimi viri? desiderari nullas Leges Ecclesiasticas?

24. Necesse habetis pro eâ conditione in quâ positi estis maleficia palàm patrata palàm arguere, neque [Page 287] personarum in eâ re discrimen habere ullum.—Vos cùm excluseritis eos è Christianorum conventiculo, do­cebitis populum ea sancta credere, quae ab istis vio­lari solent.

26. Contra horum Luporum omnium incursus quam paratis defensionem, Patres? & quos tandem opponitis adversarios? O rem miseram, atque mise­randam▪ ad Ecclesiarum procurationem admoventur non Patroni, Tutores, Defensores; sed praedones, hostes, proditores; Qui non quàm ipsi boni sint curant, sed quàm bonum Sacerdotium.—Mirer si est vana ferè vestra, Pontifices apud plebem authoritas? Vos ele­vatis eam. Quippe quia muneribus & emolumentis Ecclesiasticis dum vultis vobis devincire nescio quos ex alieno genere atque ordine, efficitis ut minùs possi­tis ipsi, & estis majori despicatui. Qui aliis Ex­emplo esse debetis, aliorum Exemplo peccabitis potiùs quàm alii vestro rectè faciant? His ego jucundiora & plausibiliora dictu alia esse scio, sed me vera & seria pro jucundis & plausibilibus loqui, etsi meum ingenium non juberet, necessitas Cogit.

29. Ipsa Patria sic vobiscum, Pontifices, agit & quodammodo tacita loquitur.—Quid agitis Antisti­tes? Vobis non modo inspectantibus, sed etiam assenti­entibus labefactabitur Ecclesia vera?

31. Veniat in mentem, vestra quid polliceatur professio, quid noti, quid ignoti, quid expectent à vobis omnes; quid Regia Majestas, quid ejus Con­siliarii, quid ipsa Resp. postulet.—Vae vobis, si aut ignaviâ vestrâ, aut vitio pusilli animi, aut quovis alio modo perdideritis Oviculas-Date diligenter ope­ram, timete Mortalium neminem.

Concio ad Clerum in Synodo Provinciali Can­tuariensis Provinciae ad D. Pauli, Die XX. Febr. A. D. MDXCIII. per Lance­lotum Andrews Theol. Doct. Inter Opus­cula, Edit. Lond. 1621.
Act. XX. 28. Attendite Vobis, & Universo Gregi in quo Vos Spiritus Sanctus posuit Episcopos, &c.

P. 27, 28.NEque verò haec Apostolus—Viderat procul du­bio, viderat alicubi in Synodo remissas quo­rundam manus, soluta genua: Viderat nonnullos in Asiâ, quorum nos hic in Angliâ non paucos vide­mus, ad Munus suum vel non satis attendentes, vel non satis acri tendentes animo—Ita ferè animati sumus, ita (ut eleganter Augustinus) secum quis­que loquitur, Quid ad me pertinet? quisque quid velit, agat; Victus meus [...]alvus erit, & Lac & Lana; Satis est mihi, eat Ecclesia quà potest. Hoc malum sub Sole est, Patres; ab hoc verò malo est quicquid usquam est mali. Cladem Ecclesiae sic orditur Christus in Parabolâ Zizaniorum, cùm Dormirent Homines. Scio quidem accessit In­vidia Daemonis; sed substrata illi causa, Desidia Hominis. Nam certè quae fuerunt unquam Gre­gis Dispersiones, aut agri Zizaniis oppleti, vel luxatae in Ecclesiâ trabes, & tecta perstillantia, ab hoc malo fuerunt omnia. Etiam Nos, Patres, dum▪ semisomnes hic sedemus, (quanquam somnu [Page 289] non fuit, vidimus enim); dum videmus ergo, sed tamen tepidi & tacentes sede [...]us, nescio quae portenta Opinionum invaluerunt hic apud Nos, nulli prisco­rum a [...]dita vel visa, & vulgi a [...]res animósque occuparunt; ac jam Zizania scilicet Zizania non sunt; Fruges sunt. Cura certè nobis, si non Cor defuit; & eodem redit, venienti malo vel non attendere per oscitantiam, vel non contra tendere per vecordiam.

P. 29. Neque verò laeta magis Ecclesiae fa­cies, aut quam videre malles, quàm cùm Timo­theos habuit, qui rem Gregis germanè accurabant; neque verò tetra magis aut funesta facies Ecclesiae, quàm cùm Galliones habuit, quibus nihil illorum curae, quibus súsque déque quid fieret Ecclesiae.

P. 31. Et est in Vobis Cura, est Attentio vestri; quis negat? Satis enim Vos vobis atten­dere, & rei vestrae, populi V [...]x est; satis Vos strenuè ditandis filiis, dotandis filiabus attendere: tam verò Vos hâc ex parte attentos esse, ut Haeredum magna sit Vobis attentio, Successorum exigua (etsi quae exigua est, aliqua est); [imò] ut prae Haeredum attentione, nulla sit Successorum. Attendere, hoe quidem est; sed vereor ut Pauli sit.—

P. (31.) Omnium in Vos Oculi atque Or [...] conversa sunt—Quod si quis in vestro illo tam sancto ac venerando Ordine malae frugis, si quis Dilapidator Aerarii sacri, si quis Polygamus, s [...] Nepos, si Falsarius, si F [...]nerator, si caupo Beneficio­rum; latè se spargit Exemplum, & nimis facile re­sponsum, Idem hoc Episcopus noster factitavit.

P. 32. Haec ad Vos de Vobis. De Grege jam ve­stro superest sermo alter.—Omninò auditur Susur­rus iste in vulgo (utinam falsò); Ubi Vestra res agitur, si quid in Titulos, in Statum, in Dignita­tem Vestram tentatur, si periclitatur pars vestra in redargutionem venire; ut ille, praecedenti capite, pro [Page 290] Dianâ sud, itidem & Vos mirum in modum sata­gere; non labori, non sumptui parcere, non attenti­oni ulli: de Grege verò non perinde sollicitos esse. Etiam hoc quoque dicitur, ad illos Consessus vestros & Consistoria, si vestrûm cujusquam privata res agatur, sive lucrum est, sive vindicta, alacres, [...] ­rectos, attentos advolare Vos, ac vehementer quidem perorare: sin aliquid in commune tractandum▪ si collatis sententiis deliberandum, vel nequid Ecclesia detrimenti capiat, vel cùm quid Ecclesia detrimenti c [...]pit, si res gregis prae manibus est, concidere illicò attentionem ve­stram, subducere se quemque, vel non interesse, vel, si interest, tepidum & tacentem sedere & obtorpescere.

P. 37. Attendite, inquam, idque perpetuò fa­cite; Domi quisque in speeuld, Foris in Visitatione vestrâ, tùm verò in Synodo hìc hodiè, vel maximè. Synodorum enim vel uno hoc attentionis nomine in Ecclesiâ illustre semper nomen, & cùm celebris tùm salubris Authoritas; in quibus—magnum semper remedium extitit ad [...] Ecclesiae. Si quando enim Murmur in eâ exortum, hìc seda­tum est (cap. 6.); si quando emersit Haeresis, hic profligata est (cap. 15.); si quando quid ullâ in re cuiquam Indulgendum fuit, hìc dispensatum fuit (cap. 21.). Benedictus Deus, qui dedit talem Pote­statem Hominibus! Beati verò Homines, quibus Potestate hâc datâ legitimè uti fas!

P. 40. Proximè post hos Attentionem vestram requi­rit scelerata illa Simonis & Judae fraternitas; Judae, quid datis mihi? quaerentis; Simonis, vel pecuniam, vel pejorem pecuniâ conditionem offerentis. Nec hoc so­lum in Nobis Minoritis, qui sic Rectorias nostras feri paciscimur; sed & apud Vos Majoritas, quos sic Ca­thedras vestras, nempe vel Pecuniarum summis, vel Ec­clesiarum spoliis foedè cauponari vulgò dictitant. Quo morbo malè jamdiu habet & audit Ecclesia nostra? nun­quid non est Resina in Gilead? quare itaque non est obducta Cicatrix Leprae hujus?

[Page 291]These Three Instances, taken at three several Distances, from the times before the Reformation down to the Latter End of Queen Elizabeth, will convince the Reader, that the Solemnity of opening a Convocation, is it self a matter of some Importance, and which would deserve carefully to be kept up, even tho' there were nothing Material to be done in Sy­nod afterwards. We live in a Preaching Age, when the Devotion of People runs much that way, and they are mightily indulg'd in it. Pity it is, that whilst so many New Discourses of this kind are set up for the Laiety, this One good Sermon ad Clerum should be put down; which, be­sides that it has some Hundred years Pre­scription to plead for it self, is at least as edifying an Exercise as any of those that are more encourag'd.

I have examin'd all the Modern Instan­ces produc'd by Dr. Wake in behalf of his Darling Point, That the Chief End of Con­vocations is to give Money: His Elder Ac­counts would afford as much room for Reflection, if it were worth the while to pursue 'em as minutely. But I suppose there is no great need of proving to the Reader, that a Writer has misled him in Facts of an Ancient Date, when I have shewn that he has done it in things that have hapned within our Memories, and under our Noses. For he that will im­pose [Page 292] upon a Man before his Face, will certainly do it behind his Back; and the more out of his Reach he is, the more he will do it.

It is said, his Superiors have employ'd him in an Edition of these Old English Councils. If he deals with them as ill in that Edition, as he has done in this ac­count, it will, I am sure, be the faultiest Book in the kind, that ever was Printed; and so far from mending Sir Henry Spel­man's Collections on this Head, that it will be worse than Mr. Baxter's. How­ever, should he discharge the Task never so well, his Hand, I think, is not proper to be employ'd in it: for the World will judge it a Preposterous thing for the same Pen to be used in preserving the Memo­ry of Old Canons, and writing down the Priviledges and very Being of Convoca­tions. I suppose he thinks the Mortal Blow is now given to the Church, and that she will never hereafter speak by her Provincial Assemblies; and therefore, as the way is to give accounts of Men when they are Dead, he thinks it time to col­lect the Acts of a Departed Convocation. But he ought to be sure, that it is de­parted, before he enters on this Task: for should it ever revive and sit again, one of the first Requests it would make, might possibly be, that the Work should be ta­ken out of his Polluted Hands: Since the Church cannot hope, from what she knows [Page 293] of him, that his Account of her Synods will be given with any other View, than the Learned Fryer wrote the History of that of Tre [...]t; on purpose to expose 'em. But this is a Distant Concern; Our Business at present is with him only as to the Treatment which these Antient Councils have found from him, in the Work we are upon: and upon this Head, I shall for the Reasons already given, trust the Reader, without entring into the Retail of it; adding on­ly to what has been already said in this Chapter, one short Remark—That from Henry the Eighth down to the last Un­happy Prince, no King has sat on the Throne, who did not allow and encou­rage these Meetings of the Clergy. King Iames's Late Reign made the first Ex­ception of this kind; when Popery and Arbitrary Power being determin'd to be set up, consequently Parliaments and Con­vocations were laid aside, from whence the Greatest Hindrance to those Designs was most likely to come: for tho' the Clergy wrote Popery out of the King­dom, in a smaller time than they could be expected to have done it in that Method; yet, had they been allow'd to sit in Convocation, they had probably dis­patch'd the Work somewhat sooner. But the Oppressive Pattern then first set, will not, we dare say, by our Generous De­liverer be follow'd. Frequency of Par­liaments has been the distinguishing Mark and Glory of his Reign; and it will add [Page 294] some small Lustre to it, if it may be said in our Annals, that the Liberties of Convo­cations too were no less tenderly preserv'd. We question not, but so Good and Graci­ous a Prince, and so great a Pillar of the Protestant Religion, will in this respect yield to the Just and United Desires of his Clergy, when they are sufficiently made known to him. No Men resisted the Encroachments of the Late Reign more than They; no Men by their Labours and Zeal contributed more to our present happy Establishment; and they have reason therefore to hope for their share in the Common Benefit of it.


BUt to return to our Business—Another Ob­jection made by Dr. Wake against the Rea­sonableness of the Clergys Assembling with eve­ry New Parliament, is, That when this was Customary, they were a Member of Parliament; but not being so Now, neither is there the same reason that they should assemble with it P. 106, 107, & (284.). To this I answer, that the words Member of Par­liament, may be taken differently, as they sig­nifie either an Essential Part of the Legislature, whose Consent and Authority is necessary to all Laws; or a part of the Great Body of Parlia­ment, assembled by the same Writs, at the same time with it, but to some special Intents and Purposes prescrib'd by our Constitution. In the former Sense, the Clergy are not, nor for some hundred Years have been; in the latter, as they always were, so they still, I presume, are a Member of Parliament: Not an Intrinsick Mem­ber, if I may be allowed so to speak, or Estate of Parliament; but only an Extrinsick Part of it, or an Estate of the Realm, call'd with the Parliament always, and attending upon it; who have a Parliamentary Right of Petitioning, and Advising within their proper Sphaere, and at whom Decrees about Matters Spiritual ought regularly to begin. They are a Lesser Wheel in the Machine of Government, that is acted by the same Springs and Weights, and therefore moves and ceases together with the Greater, but has peculiar Ends and Offices of its own to which it serves. Nor is this to be wonder'd at, [Page 274] for even the States of Parliament themselves have different Powers and Priviledges, and pe­culiar Orbs of their own, as it were, within which they move; the Lords are distinguish'd by their Iurisdiction, and the Commons by their Money Bills: so that the being Member, Part, or Parcel of Parliament, does not necessarily imply the very same Parliamentary Interests and Powers. And the Clergy therefore, though no part of the Civil Legislature, nor concern'd directly in the great Affairs of State transacted in Parliament, may yet in other Respects, and to other Purposes, be properly reputed and styl'd a Member of Parliament. And accordingly I have shewn, that they have been thus esteem'd, and spoken of, from the time of their separati­on downwards; and even by Henry the VIII. him­self, many Years after their submission to him. One instance of this kind has been given alrea­dy P. 59. from a Proclamation in the 35th. of his Reign: and because the way of Wording these State-Papers is a matter of great Weight and Importance, I shall here add another, from an Original Direction of the same Prince to his Judges, then about to go their Summer Circuit. It begins thus —

By the KING.

Henry R.

Cleop. E. 6. fol. 214.TRusty and Right Well-beloved, We grete you well. And whereas heretofore, as ye know, both upon most just and vertuouse Fundations, grownded upon the Lawes of Al­mighty God, and Holly Scripture, and allso by the deliberate Advice, Consultation, Consent [Page 275] and Agreement as well of the Bishops and Cler­gie, as by the Nobles and Commons Temporall of this our Realme, assembled in our High Courte of Parliament, and by Auctorite of the same, the Abuses of the Bishop of Rome, his Auctoritie and Jurisdiction of long tyme usurped against Us, have been not only utterly Extirped, A­bolish'd and Secluded, but also the same Our Nobles and Commons, both of the Clergie and Temporaltie, by another several Acte, and upon like fundation, for the publique Weal of this our Realme, have united, knytte, and annexed to Us, and the Corone Imperiall of this Our Realme, the Title, Dignite and Stile of Supreme Hed in Erthe, immediately under God of the Church of England, as undoubtedly evermore we have been: Which things also the said Bishops and Clergy, particularly in their Con­vocations, have wholly and entirely consent­ed, recogniz'd, ratify'd, confermed and approv­ed autentiquely in Writing.

And that this Doctrine was still good, and the Language much the same, as low as the Restau­ration of C. the II. the Office then set out for the 5th. of November shews; where mention is made of the Nobility, Clergy and Commons of this Realm, then assembled in Parliament Prayer the 2d.: For to say, that by the Clergy of this Realm, my Lords the Bishops only are intended, were so absurd a Gloss, that even Dr. Wake's Pen would, I be­lieve, be asham'd of it. And if they were then rightly said to be assembled in Parliament, they may as rightly be said to be so assembled still: and if assembled in Parliament, why not a Mem­ber of Parliament? to those Intents and Purpo­ses, [Page 276] I mean, for which they are assembled in it? Dr. Wake will be pleas'd to answer this Questi­on at his Leisure; and withal to inform us, among his late Meditations on the Day Serm. on the 5th. of Nov. 1699., this had not been a proper one. His Function may be, some excuse for his being a stranger to the Lan­guage of the Statute Book, or of our Manuscript Records: but not to have so much Law as even his Common Prayer-Book would have furnish'd him with, is, let me tell him, inexcusable.

Dr. Wake's Foundation therefore failing, the Inference he builds upon it falls accourse, and the Argument will now run quite the other way; that, because the Clergy are a Part, or Member of Parliament (in a qualify'd Sense) therefore they ought to Assemble with it. However, since that Expression is invidious, and liable to be mis­constru'd, I willingly wave it, and content my self to say, that, though the Clergy are now no Member or Estate of Parliament, as they once were (not the Third, as Dr. W. ignorantly talks P. 151., but the First Estate of it) yet are they still an Estate of the Realm, necessarily attendant on the Parliament; and have attended as such, whenever a new Parliament was called, from the time that they left off to be an Estate of Par­liament, till within a few Years past, with few Exceptions to the contrary; and with none, from the Reign of Henry the VII. to that of his pre­sent Majesty. And this prescription of some hundred Years has given them an undoubted Right of being summon'd, and sitting as often as a Parliament is summon'd and sits, though they are not a Member, or Estate of Parliament.

No more than this need be said, to remove the Objection. But I design not barely to an­swer [Page 277] Dr. Wake, but moreover to give the Rea­der every where as Comprehensive a View of the Subject in Debate, as the short compass of this Work will allow of; and shall take occasi­on therefore from hence to deduce an Account of the Interest which the Lower Clergy have had all along in these State Meetings. 'Tis a point that well deserves our Reflections; and Dr. Wake therefore, according to his instructive way, has said nothing of it: No body had gone be­fore him, and common plac'd our Historians, and Manuscript Authorities to his hand on this Argument; and he never ventures to break the way, or to give us any part of Learning, but what has born the test of Time, and is warran­ted by at least an hundred Years usage.

A compleat State of this point is not to be ex­pected in a Digression; all I can do here is, to lay before the Reader some of the most Materi­al Passages to this purpose, that have occurr'd to me in our Histories and Records, and to add here and there a few cursory Remarks upon them: which will throw some small Light in­to things as we pass, and may suggest matter of juster and sounder Reflections to others, who shall write after me on this Argument. The Proofs taken singly, may few of them perhaps seem full and convincing; however, when uni­ted, I perswade my self, they will carry such an evidence in them, as is not easily to be withstood.

The Saxon times are overspread with Dark­ness; and yet Light enough is still left us to dis­cover, that the Inferior Clergy, as well as La [...]e [...]y, were then oftentimes call'd to the Great Councils [Page 278] of the Realm. Much has been Written on this Point as to the Laiety, but I do not remember that I have met any where an account of the Lower Clergys Interest in those Meetings; and therefore I shall produce some Proofs of it here, without entring into the Civil part of the Dis­pute, any further than may be of use to give Light to the Ecclesiastical, and to clear the An­cient Rights and Priviledges of the Commons Spi­ritual; which, I am satisfy'd, ran even all along with those of the Commons Temporal, and pro­portionably grew, declin'd, or reviv'd with them.

The first Instance I shall take notice of to this purpose, is that known Preface to King Ina's Laws, which says, they were made (in the Rude, but Faithful Translation of Iorvallensis) exhortatione & doctrinâ Ceonredi Patris mei, Heddae Episcopi mei, & Erkenwoldi Episcopi mei, & omnium Senatorum meorum, & seniorum sapientum Regni mei; multâque Congregatione Servorum Dei X. Scrip. p. 761.. That the Servi Dei here men­tioned were Clergy, bears no doubt; and that the Words are further to be understood chiefly of the Inferior Orders of the Clergy, appears both from their Numbers (for the West-Saxon Bishops and Abbats were but few), and from the like use of the Phrase in other places: for instance, in the Council of Clo­veshoe, A. C. 824. (another mixt Assembly) the Dei Servi, then present, are thus in the next words explained; Presbyteri, Dia [...]oni, & Plurimi Monachi Ibid. p. 335. And in a Charter of Milred, Bishop of Worster (A. D. 774.) he makes his grant cum Licen­tiâ Servorum Dei, qui sub meo regimine Dei Providen­tiâ constituuntur (Monast. Vol. 1. p. 122.) i. e. of all the Clergy of his Diocese.. And when therefore Athelstan's Laws are said to be drawn up at one of these [Page 279] State-Meetings For thus we read a [...] [...] close of it. Totum hoc— [...] Magnâ Synodo apud— [...] Arch. Wl [...]inus inter [...]uit [...] & omnes Optimates, & S. p. [...] tes quos Adelstanus rex po­tuit congregare. Iorv. p. 84 [...]. Consilio Wolfelini Archiepiscopi mei, & omnium Episcoporum, & Dei Ministrorum, Ibid. p. 841. those Mini­stri Dei also are to have the same Interpretation. Something of this Dr. W. seems to have been aware of, and therefore slid over these three Instances in hast as it were, and touch'd them tenderly: His account of the first is, That Ina made his Laws with the consent of his Bishops and all his Aldermen P. 171.; of the last, That Athel­stan publish'd his Ecclesiastical Laws with the Council of his Bishops P. 162.; and as to the third, he tells us, There was such a Council at Cloveshoe, Anno 824. P. 172. and that's all. Very succinct indeed! especially, coming from the Pen of so prolix and tedious a Writer; who fails not to tire us with Circumstantial Accounts of things, when they are unenlightning: But here a pun­ctual Relation might have open'd Eyes, and made Discoveries; and in such Cases Dr. W's. communicative Temper always fails him.

I shall supply his Defects as to one of these Instances, a little further than I have done, by transcribing a Passage or two from an old Char­ter granted to the Church of Worster, and en­ter'd in the Register of it. There this Meeting at Cloveshoe (Anno 824.) is called Pontificale & Sinodale Conciliabulum, at which the King, the Bishops, Abbats, & Universi Mercensium Principes, & multi Sapientissimi viri were pre­sent. Statut [a] est autem atque decret [a] ab Ar­chiepiscopo, [um] & ab omni Sanctâ Sinodo illâ con­sentienti▪ ut Episcopus, qui Monasterium & Agel­lum cum libris haberet, cum juramento Dei Servo­rum, [Page 280] Presbiterorum, Diaconorum, & plutimo­rum Monachorum, sibi in propriam possessionem terram illam cum adjuratione adjur [asset],[aret] &c. Quaproptersiquis, &c. contra Decreta Sanctorum Canonum sciat se facere; quia Sancti Canones de­cernunt quicquid Sancta Synodus Universalis cum Catholico Archiepiscopo suo adjudicaverit, nullo modo fractum vel irritum esse faciendum.—The Charter is subscribed by the King, Bishops, Ab­bats and great Men of the Laiety; and then comes this Note in Saxon, thus Translated by Dugdale Monast. vol. 1. p. 125: Eidem Iuramento apud Westmona­sterium praestito aderant 50 Sacrifici The Sax­ons is Mas­se-preosta [i. e. Mis­sales Pres­byteri] in both places., & 10 Dia­coni, & ex omnibus aliis Presbyteris, 160. And after that, this other: Haec sunt Sacrificorum nomina qui Iuramento illi astiterunt, & idem praestiterunt,—which is follow'd by the Subscrip­tion of 3 Abbats, 47 Presbyters, and 6 Deacons. The Book which furnishes us with this Instru­ment, is a venerable Monument of Antiquity, reposited in the Cotton Library Tiberius A. 13.; it was written about the Conquest, that is, within 250 Years of the Date of this Council, whose constituent parts it thus reckons up; and the Account there­fore it gives is as Authentick, as it is Considera­ble: which are two reasons why Dr. W. should pass it by unobserv'd.

The only instance of this kind, I think, which he has prevail'd with himself to mention at length, is the Council of Becanceld in 694. where together with the Duces, Satrapae, Abbates, Ab­batissae, there met also Presbyters, and Deacons, who are said in unum glomerati de statu Ecclesia­rum Dei pariter tractare; and accordingly in the Subscriptions of that Council yet remaining, there are the Names of 8 Presbyters Spelm. Conc. v. 1. p. 19 [...]. to be seen. [Page 281] This is so clear a proof of what I am contend­ing for, that allowing the matter of Fact true, there is no evading it. Dr. W. therefore would fain, if he could, have the Account thought Fabulous; if (says he) the Relation be true, it was indeed an Assembly of an Extraordinary Com­position P. 171.. But if he suspected it not to be true, he would have done well to acquaint us with some of the Grounds of his Suspicions; all which he has discretly kept to himself. And indeed, I cannot imagin what Ground there can be to suspect the Truth of it: There are no Marks of Imposture in it, nothing that disa­grees with the Story, or manners of that time. Sir H. Spelman printed it from five good Manu­scripts, and one of them, near as Old as the Saxon Age. In the Ancient Saxon Chronicle, there is at the Year 694. a very large and par­ticular account of this Council: and, least the Dr. should startle at the Abbesses being found in such Company, they are expresly mention'd al­so by that Chronicle as present. Nor can this be matter of surprize to any one in the least ac­quainted with the State of those times, when it was not unusual for Women to assist at their Sy­nods, and great Councils; witness the Synod of Nidde Eddius in Vitâ Wilfredi. c. 58., and that of Streanshealeh, mention'd by Dr. W. P. 166. as held in the Monastery of Hilda, and in which (though he does not mention it) she her self sat, Argu'd, and Voted See Eddi. c. 10. and Beda Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 25.. Ingulphus who understood the manner of these Saxon As­semblys somewhat better than Dr. W. does, did not suspect a Charter pass'd in one of them, be­cause he found several Abbesses subscribing their Names to it P. 17.. And there is reason to be [...]lieve that this Practice was not confin'd to the [Page 282] times before the Conquest, but continu'd long after it; if at least an expression in M. Paris may be rely'd on, who tells us, That in the Year 1210. venerunt ad Generalem Vocationem [Regis] Abbates, Priores, Abbatissae P. 230., without any Intimation that the latter of these came by Proxy only, and not Personally to this Meet­ing.

What is it then that makes Dr. W. think this to be an Assembly of an Extraordinary Composi­tion? it must be, because he finds Presbyters and Deacons there: but that this is no such Ex­traordinary Thing, appears from the instances I have already produc'd, and yet further from these that follow. For,

In the Year 697. the constitutions of Withred were made by the Bishops, & caeteri Ordines Ecclesiastici illius gentis In a Mixt Council; for the Viri Militares are said to be there. Spel. Conc. V. 1. p. 194.; in which several of the Clergy under Abbats must be included.

In 747. at another Council at Cloveshoe, toge­ther with the King and the Great Men of the Laiety, there are said to meet Praesules, & Plu­rimi Sacerdotes Domini, & Minores quoque Ec­clesiastici Gradùs Dignitates; and these did all (the lowest as well as the highest) de Unitate Ecclesiae, ac statu Christianae Religionis & concor­diâ Pacis tractandà confirmandâque pariter con­sidere Malsmb. l. 1. p. 197..

In the Legats Relation to Pope Adrian of what pass'd at the Synod of Calchyth (A. C. 787.) it is said, That every thing was done in Concilio publico coràm Rege Aelsvaldo, & Archie­piscopo Eanbaldo, & omnibus Episcopis & Abba­tibus Regionis, seu Senatoribus, & Ducibus, & Populo Terrae Spelm. ibid. p. 300. And at the Close of the sub­scriptions we find these words; Hijs quoque sa­luberrimis [Page 283] Ammonitionibus Presbyteri, Diaconi Ecclesiarum, & Abbates Monasteriorum, Iudices, Optimates, & Nobiles unopere uno ore consenti­mus, & subscripsimus P. 301.. Which words occur also in a Charter of the Year 996, granted to the Dean of Wolverhampton, in a great Council of the Realm Monast. v. 1. p. 991.

In a second Synod at Calchyth (Anno 816.) we find the King cum suis Principibus, Du­cibus, & Optimatibus: tum undique sacri Ordi­nis Praesides cum Abbatibus, Presbyteris, Dia­conibus, pariter tractantes de necessarijs & utili­tatibus Ecclesiarum Spelm. 16. p. 328..

At the Coronation of King Edgar (Anno. 973.) the Saxon Chronicle tells us, Conrenerat Sacerdotum Caetus, ingens Monachorum turba, sapientumque Concilium P. 122..

By the Sapientes here mention'd, the Laiety are chiefly to be understood: But in other places, where the lower Clergy are not distinct­ly nam'd, the Word comprehends Them also, and is design'd to express them; of which that pas­sage in Simeon Dunelmensis, where he speaks of the Synod of Finchale (and probably speaks out of the very Acts of that Synod) is a clear Proof: His words are, In diebus justorum Regum, & Du­cum bonorum, atque sanctorum Episcoporum, alio­rumque Sapientum, Monachorum scil. atque Clericorum, quorum prudentiâ, &c. X. Script. p. 114. Lastly,

At the great Council of Westminster, conven'd Anno 1066. by Edward the Confessor, upon the Consecration and endowment of that Abby, there was Generalis totius ferè Nobilitatis An­gliae Conventus Hist. Ramseyens c. 120.; and, on the Church part, Epis­copi & Abbates totius Angliae, & Monachi, & Clerici Spelm. ibid. p. 629., who went aside to excommunicate the [Page 284] Infringers of the Priviledges then granted.

These Instances are so plain as to need no Comment, and to admit no fair Reply. Dr. W. indeed seems to have laid in matter for an Eva­sion, where he speaks of Ecclesiastical Synods properly so call'd, at which the King, and his Nobility were present; insinuating, that we are to distinguish these from those mixt Saxon Coun­cils, compos'd originally, and equally of the Clergy and Laiety. But this is an imaginary Distinction, for which there is no foundation in History. There were indeed in these times Ec­clesiastical Synods properly so call'd, without any intermixture of the Laiety; but there was no Business appropriated particularly to these; the most solemn Church affairs being transacted ge­nerally at the State-meetings by the Clergy then assembled; who went aside and consulted among themselves, and then laid the result of their De­bates before the great Council of the Realm, in order to be confirm'd by them. And wherever therefore we find the several Orders of the Laiety present, we must consider, that that Assembly, where they were present, was a State Council, though matters properly of Ecclesiastical Cogni­zance were transacted in it. Besides, several of those Councils I have instanc'd in, had Civil as well as Church-affairs before them, and made Laws in both equally; which is a sure sign that they were not pure Ecclesiastical Synods.

It may perhaps further be urg'd, that the Lower Clergy present at these State-Councils, were no part of them, but call'd only to a Sy­nod by their Metropolitan, at the same time and place that the great Council of the Realm met. But they who shall thus pretend, must produce [Page 285] some good Evidences and Authorities to support this pretence, and not expect that we should take their bare word for it; the common appear­ances of History being on the other side. How­ever, allowing this Scheme true, yet is it some proof of the Interest which the Inferior Clergy had in those State-meetings, if they were us'd to assemble together with them, though not in them; this being the only Interest they at pre­sent claim.

Not that I believe them to have had place in all (even the most ordinary and stated) As­semblies, but only in the Greater and more Ex­traordinary ones; the Wittena-gemots, and Mycel-Synods, the Magna Concilia, and Pleni Folcmoti, which are plainly destinguish'd from the less Solemn and Numerous Councils; and which met together only ex arduis contingentibus, and legum condendarum Gratiâ, as Sir H. Spelman observes In Voce Gemotum p. 261. [...].: The foundation (as I have said) being laid thus early of that difference, which afterwards more plainly appear'd, between Councils, and Parlia­ments, properly so call'd; which was no new Institution set up first by the Normans, but the old usage of our Saxon Ancestors, Time without Memory.

Nor do I suppose that the Clergymen of lower Rank call'd to these Full Conventions treated always as freely, and acted as authoritatively as the constant and standing Members did: No, I take them as to this, to have been much in the same case with the inferior Laiety, who are said oftentimes to have been present at such great Councils, and to have consented to, and ap­prov'd what was done there, but not often to have deliberated or determin'd; just as the Lesser [Page 286] Members of the German Colloquia, or Synods (the Patterns of our English ones) are re­presented by Hincmar In the passage mention'd p. 30. of [...]his Book. to have interpos'd in them.

The Doctrine here laid down is no new Scheme of mine, contriv'd to serve a Turn, but what has in the main been long ago asserted by the Learned Mr. Sheringham, in his Book of the Supremacy. ‘In the Saxon Times (says he) Laws were commonly made by the Approbati­on and Consent of the Nobles, Archbishops, and Bishops, in a Publick Synod or Parlia­ment: sometimes the Queen was present, sometimes the Inferior Clergy, and sometimes also the Commons; but that hapned very sel­dom P. 52..’ Which coming from the Pen of one of known skill in our English Antiquities, and in a Treatise not at all design'd to assert the Li­berty of the Subject, does on both these accounts carry a particular weight with it; and will with those who have a due regard for that excellent Writer, be a strong presumption of the truth of all I have offer'd on this Argument.

Another clear proof of the Lower Clergys assisting frequently at those Great Councils, may be drawn from the Subscriptions of Charters, where we frequently meet with Capellani and Presbyteri, and sometimes with simple Deacons, among the other Witnesses. One instance or two have been given already, to which these follow­ing ones may be added.

A Charter of King Ethelred So it should be, though the MS. by the mi­stake of the Scribe, puts Edgar instead of Ethelred. to the Church of Pauls (Ann. 867.) is subscrib'd by several Ministri, Abbates, & Presbyte­ri intermingled Lib. MS. Paul. Eccl. notat. B. f. 20. a..

[Page 287]In another of the same Prince to the same Church, after the Bishops, Duces & Satrapae, two Presbyters and a Deacon follow. Ib. fol. 21.

The Saxon Chronicle affords us one of these Instruments (with all the subscriptions at length) which belong'd to the Church of Peterborough, and was fram'd A. D. 664. and to this also E­oppa Presbyter, and Wilfridus Presbyter are Wit­nesses P. 37..

But the two Charters of King Edgar to the Monasteries of Westminster and Ramsey, are in this respect most observable. To the first, after the King, his Sons, 14 Bishops, and 11 Abbats, 9 Presbyters subscribe; and the last of these thus Writes, Ego Oswardus Presbyter cum su­pradictis, & cum aliis 107 Presbyteris, infra­ctores hujus firmitatis excommunicavi. Nine Duces follow, and after them this Note: Ad ultimum itaque unà cum Rege & Filiis ejus nos omnes Confratres & Coepiscopi, & cum totâ hâc populosâ & sanctâ Synodo ejusdem loci, omnes futuros Abbates, &c. contestamur—Quatenus, &c. Quod si aliquis praesumpserit, illum sicut Viola­torem atque Transgressorem hujus Nostri Decre­ti, imò Apostolici, ante summum judicem, cùm venerit saeculum judicare per ignem, responsu­rum super hâc re invitamus Cartula­rium Cae­nobii Westm. in tit. Sulcar­dus. Bibl. Cot. Fau­stina. A. 3. fol, 11.. That to the Mo­nastery of Ramsey is sign'd by fix Presbyters, and the last of the six adds also, Ego Aethelsi Presby­ter cum supradictis & aliis quamplurimis Presby­teris infractores hujus firmitatis excommunicavi. It pass'd in a mixt Council of those times, cùm in Natali Dominico (as the Charter speaks) o­mnes Majores totius regni mei, tam Ecclesiasticae Personae quam Saeculares, ad Curiam meam cele­brandae mecum festivitatis gratiâ convenissent. [Page 288] The Alii Quamplurimi Presbyteri are also men­tion'd once again in the Body of it; and in the Close this Passage occurs, Post hujus itaque Pri­vilegii donationem excommunicaverunt omnes Episcopi, Abbates, Presbyteri, qui in plurimâ numerositate eodem die affuerunt, eos qui hoc institutum in fringerent, &c. Monast. vol. 1. pp. 235, 236.

To which I shall add a like Passage from the Confessor's Priviledge to the Church of West­minster; Post hanc Donationem excommunica­verunt omnes Episcopi & Abbates totius Angliae, & Monachi, ac Clerici, eos qui hoc constitutum infringerent Ibid. p. 61.

I could multiply Instances of this kind, but I forbear; because these, I think, are sufficient to shew, that the Inferior Clergy were an usual Part of the great Saxon Councils; since their Names are often either added to, or mention'd in those Charters, which pass'd in such Councils, and which were not otherwise held Valid and Binding; as appears by a remarkable Instance, breifly set down in the Evidentiae Cantuarienses X. Script p. 2218., but more largely explain'd by the Monasticon Egbertus & Athelwolf filius ejus dederunt Ecclesiae Christi, &c. quod Maneri­um priùs eïdem Ecclesiae dedit Baldredus Rex: Sed quia non fuit de consensu Mag­natum regni, donum id non potuit valere. Et ideò isto anno in Concilio apud King­stone celebrato ab Archiepis­copo [...]eolnotho restaura­tum est Ecclesiae antedictae. Vol. 1. p. 20., out of ano­ther Writer. And if in the Sub­scriptions to many other such Priviledges and Muniments, we find none of the Clergy under Abbats, that is not to be won­der'd at; since the Members only of highest Rank and Dignity were us'd to sign, though all con­sented; as we have already See p. 32. of this Book. heard from Ingulphus, and may from the following Passages in some of the Conque­rors Charters further learn. One of them made [Page 289] in the 15th. Year of his Reign thus concludes, Convenientibus in unum cunctis Patriae Prima­tibus in Nativitate domini, &c. Scripta est haec Charta & auctorisata, & ab Excellentioribus Regni Personis Testificata, & Confirmata, & Corroborata Sulcardus f. 42.. In another of the Year 1075, pass'd in an Universal Synod, as the word there is, the Conqueror decrees, Communi Consensu, maximè Episcoporum, Abbatum, & aliorum in signium nostrorum Procerum Ib. fol. 39.. And in a third, granted A. D. 1077. the subscriptions are but few: However the Members composing that Synod where it pass'd (the Charter it self tells us) were Numerous, and all these are said Hanc eandem [Chartam] cooperante sibi in om­nibus Divinâ Pietate honorificè perficientes com­plevisse. Quorum igitur Memoriam & Nomina singulatim exprimere, & huic Paginulae longum & fastidiosum videtur exprimere Ibid. p. 38.. So that tho' the Subscriptions of Charters inform us clearly who were Members of those great Councils, yet do they not shew us also who were not; since Multitudes were Present at such Meetings, who yet did not Subscribe.

It is not however improbable, that under the Ti­tle of Ministri, some of the Inferior Clergy might often be comprehended; especially when these Ministri sign'd, as they sometimes did, in great Numbers, and so as to bear no Proportion to the other Ranks of Witnesses, either of the Clergy, or Laiety Thus a Charter granted to the Monastery of Abingdon is attested by 60 Ministri, 7 Duces, and 8 Bishops. Monast. v. 1. p. 103.. This will seem a Paradox; however, there is more to be said for it, than at first sight may be ima­gin'd. For as Minister, and Thane, were words Equivalent, so it is certain that [Page 290] the latter of these was apply'd frequently to Spiritual Persons; sometimes to Bishops Adeò ut multi de Nobi­lissimis Thanis mortem obi­rent. — Eorum unus fuit Swithulfus Episcopus de Hrof­ceaster. Chron. Sax. p. 97., but more often to Pres­byters, who in Athelstan's Laws, are term'd Apud Jorval. pp. 845.846. Messe-Thegnes, [or Thanes Spiritual] in opposition to Woruld Thegnes [or Thanes Temporal] and were at other times call'd Ministri Dei Ibid. p. 841., and Theo-Thayni, if the Manuscript Note of a learn­ed Person does not deceive me. In a certain Charter I find one Ethelwald thus signing, Win­toniensis Ecclesiae Minister & Glastoniae Mona­chus Monast. vol. 1▪ p. 17.; in another, Ego Ingvaldus Presbyter, & humilis Minister vocatus audivi Ingulph. p. 4.. Sir H. Spelman further says, that the Religiosi are sometimes in old Books call'd Ministeriales Glos­sar. in voc Minister., and that in Domesday the Terra Tainorum Eccle­siae is often expresly mention'd Reliq. Spelman n. p. 42.. Dr. Brady adds, that under the Title of Terra Tainorum Regis, the Lands of Priests, and other Inferior Clergymen are often included Introd. App. p. 21.. However, this I propose as a Conjecture only, to be admitted or refus'd, as the Men of more skill in these Matters shall agree upon it: That which I in­sist on, is, that the Attestations and Style of these Charters make it manifest, that many of the Lower Clergy had place in those great Councils which confirm'd them. How, and in what Capacity they were summon'd thither; whether as representing any part of the Spiritu­alty, or as the King's immediate Servants and Dependants, (his Hand-Preosts, and Hir'd-Cleres, as the Capellani and Presbyteri Regis are in the Saxon Chronicle odly call'd) is another Enquiry, which it is not very easy, nor very ne­cessary at present to determin.

[Page 291]Nor matters it much, whether the Charters I have vouch'd be all Genuine, or not: for sup­posing them forg'd, they must be allow'd at least to be well counterfited; or else they would not have pass'd upon knowing Men, when first produc'd. The Monks, who Coyn'd them, were no Bunglers; but understood very well the state of those Times to which they adjusted these In­struments, and drew them, no doubt, according to authentick Forms and Patterns. And a Te­stimony therefore taken from thence concerning the Customs and Usages of those times holds near as well, as if they were confessedly Genuine, and of the very Age they pretend.

At the bottom of these Instru­ments See Evidentiae Cant. col. 2212., and of some Ecclesia­stical Synods See Spelm. Conc. V. 1. pp. 328. & 325., among the other Inferior Clerks, Archdeacons now and then appear; and those not Titular ones on­ly, but such as had Authority, and held their Courts for Matters Spiritual, even in the Saxon times; whatever a late Writer Nicolson Hist. Lib. Vol. 3. p. 207. pretends to the contrary, who both as an Antiquary, and an Archdeacon, should have understood this point better. The Words of the Conquerors Writ, whereby he separated the two Jurisdictions, are a plain Proof of this; for they run—Nullus E­piscopus, vel Archidiaconus de Legibus Episco­palibus ampliùs in Hundret Placita teneat, &c. which implys the Archdeacons to have exercis'd Jurisdiction in the Hundred Courts before the Conqueror came in; especially, if we add the Praefatory Words of that Writ, where he styles these Usages such as had obtaind in regno An­glorum usque ad mea tempora. But because this matter is with so much assurance deny'd by that [Page 292] Writer, and is generally so much mistaken, it may not be amiss, to add a few Instances more; some of which carry the Proof of it above an hundred Years higher than the Aera pretended. Sir H. Spelman's Opinion in this Case is of Great Weight, and may go for a General Proof: His Words are, ‘The Archdeacon, in the Saxon times, had a superintendent Power over all Parochial Parsons in every Deanery of his Pre­cinct Rel. Spelm. p. 50.’ The Acts of the Synod of Worster, Printed by Mr. Wharton A. S. vol. 1. p. 543., recite a Constituti­on of St. Dunstan and Archbishop Oswald, made about the middle of the Xth. Century, which ordains, qùod nullus Decanus, nullus Archidia­conus de Monachorum Ecclesiis vel Clericis se intromittat, nisi per Priorem Ecclesiae [Wigorn]. And there is an Elder Charter of this Dunstan, while Bishop of London, still preserv'd In Car­tulario Westm. Faustina A. 3. f. 13 where­by he grants a burying place to the Church of Westminster, so that whosoever petierit se ibi sepeliri, non impediatur vel ab Episcopo, vel ab Archidiacono, vel à Parochiano suo Presbytero. The Northumbrian Canons allso, fram'd not much after, set this point beyond dispute: Two of these are,

6. Si Presbyter Edictum Archidiaconi non ex­equatur, XII Oris eluito.

7. Si Presbyter reus criminis contra Archidi­aconi Prohibitionem Missam celebraverit, XII Oris dependito. Spelm. Conc. V. 1. p. 496. And methinks this Last In­stance at least might have been known to a man who professes to have made the Antiquitys of our Northern Countys his Peculiar Study; and has ventur'd to add his insipid Remarks to those of the Learned Cambden, particularly in that of Northumberland.

[Page 293]'Tis true, the Great Man he mentions, places the Rise of the Archdeacons Jurisdiction no higher than He does: but That was in favour to his Own Order; in which cases the Best and Greatest Men are not allways so Discerning, or so Indifferent as they ought to be. It was a slip of that truly Great Man's Memory, who had not then the words of the Conquerors Writ in his View, which prove the contrary: whereas our Archdeacon sleepily produces those very words P. 207. but a Page or two before he espouses this Opinion.

Nor can he pretend, that he is speaking only of the Archdeacon's Jurisdiction, when it be­came Independent of the Bishops; whereas till the Conquest, he acted merely as a Deputy: for besides that this is more than He knows, his Words are plain, that the Archdeacons had no Iurisdiction in the Saxon times, their whole Bu­siness being to attend the Bishops at Ordinations, and other Publick Services in the Cathedral P. 209.. And the same is said, but in more forcible Terms, by the Great Man whose Opinion he implicitly transcribes, and approves. But we are not to wonder, that He who so Liberally gives up the General Rights of his Church, should be as ready to quit any Particular Point that is to the Advantage of his Own Office and Autho­rity.

He makes amends however a little after­wards P. 210., and learnedly proves, that the Archdea­con's Jurisdiction must be somewhat older than the Council of Clarendon, from some Trite Pas­sages in those Constitutions, so notoriously known, that they have not escap'd even Dr. W's Enquirys See p. 125. But if he must needs have pro­duc'd [Page 294] a Proof of this lower than the Conquest, why was not the Council of London under H. the I. thought of? where it was decreed Eadmer. Hist. Nor. L. 4. p. 95., that the Archdeacons should take an Oath about the Execution of the Canons then made; not to con­nive at the Breach of them for Money, but se­verely to punish Offenders. This would have carry'd his Proof between 30 and 40 Years high­er than the Council of Clarendon, and would have shew'd his Reader, that he did, not upon such Heads as these, content himself barely to transcribe those, who had transcrib'd others; but convers'd with Original Authors.

To make all he says on this occasion of a Piece, he further adds, That we should not have known that the Bishops and Archdeacons were for­bidden by the Conqueror to mix Iurisdiction with the Earl, &c. in the Hundred, or Shiregemots, but for an Inspeximus, 1. R. 2. m. 12. n. 5 P. 72.. Not have known it! Why, there are divers Au­thentick Manuscript Copys, or Accounts of it yet in being, writ long before the time he talks of. Particularly one enter'd in the Register of Win­chelsey Fol. 1., where the Clergy in their Roll of Grievances recite it. Sir R. Twysden saw ano­ther of the Hand of E. the I. Hist. Vind. p. 99. Dugdale, in the Instruments relating to Pauls, A [...]p. p. 196. has Printed a third of the same Age: And a much Ancienter Copy than any of these is to be found in one of the Old Books of that Church, Lib. B. versùs fi­nem. writ about the Reign of R. I. between which, and that of R. II. there is allmost 200 Years distance, as my Al­manack tells me. Mr. Archdeacon might have modestly said indeed, that He himself had not known of this Charter, without that Inspeximus; and some People would be apt to add, nor with [Page 295] it neither, if he had been to fetch his Intelli­gence from the Records of the Tower: With which had he been acquainted, he would have known, that this Inspeximus was of the 2d. not of the 1st. Year of R. II. as he imagines.

This, I am sensible, is a Digression; but I shall make no Apology for it, either to Mr. Ni­cholson, or the Reader: The One of these, I hope, will overlook it, if he does not like it; and the other may censure it in what manner he pleases.

Having shewn, that there was by our Original Constitution a difference between the Greater and Lesser Councils of the Realm in the Saxon times; and this Distinction being yet more Evi­dent in the Latter Ages, from the middle of E. the I. downwards; as our Records, preserv'd pretty well throughout this space of time, a­bundantly testify: We cannot doubt, but that the same Distinction is applicable also to the In­termediate Period; and that the Conqueror, and his nearest Successors had also their Magna Concilia (call'd afterwards Full Parliaments) to which the Summons of their Subjects, both of the Clergy and Laiety was more General, and the Resort more Numerous, than to their Ordi­nary Courts and Councils, which were held de more, for the dispatch of common Business, and at stated Times. And in such Extraordinary Meetings it is, that we must chiefly expect to hear of the Inferior Clergys appearance.

Accordingly in one of them, held in the 11th. Year of William the I. we find, that a Charter then granted to the Monastery of Westminster is subscribed by Archiepiscopi, Episcopi, Comites, [Page 296] & alii Seniores, &c. multis praeterea Illustrium Virorum Personis & Regni Principibus diversi Ordinis omissis, qui similiter suae Confirmationi piissimo affectu Testes & Fautores fuerunt. Hii etiam illo tempore à Regiâ Po [...]estate è diversis Provinciis & Urbibus ad Universalem Synodum, pro causis cujuslibet Sanctae Ecclesiae audiendis & tractandis ad praescriptum celeberrimum Canobium, quod Westmonasteriense dicitur, convocati Spelm. Conc. Vol. 2. p. 14.. It is plain, this was a mixt Meeting of the Tem­poralty, and Spiritualty, such as were in use among the Saxons. Who were there on the Lay part, it is not my Business to enquire: however, They who restrain the words most as to Them, yet allow, that they must be understood to take in Deans, Archdeacons, and other Dignify'd Per­sons of the Clergy Dr. Bra­dy Introd. p. 302.. This was an Extraordi­nary Assembly; the Conqueror is known also to have had his more Ordinary Courts, which were held every Year at the Three Great Festivals, and at which he appear'd, Crown'd and Rob'd, in great State and Splendor. And of what Per­sons, These were compos'd we learn from the Saxon Annals, where they are thus reckon'd up; Archbishops, Bishops and Abbots, Earls, Thanes and Knights P. 190., i. e. all who held by Knight-service. And among These, that several of the Lower Clergy had place, appears from the Sur­vey of Doomsday; upon which, we are told, there were found in England 60215 Knights Fees; and of these the Religious possess'd 28015, the Vills 1080, and Parochial Churches 4711 Author Eulogii MS. apud. Selden. Tit Hon.. There is no doubt, but the Priests of these Pa­rochial Churches, as well as the King's Tenants in those Towns and Burroughs, were present, or represented in his Curiae, whenever they assem­bled. [Page 297] And among Those who are term'd Reli­gious, and who had in them near half the Knights­Fees of all England, there were, to be sure, some of the Saecular Clergy above Parish Priests, and below Bishops. And these too appear'd among his Tenants in chief, at such Assemblys; and are comprehended in that General account given of one of these Courts in a Cotton-Manuscript— Convenerunt ad Regalem Curiam An. 1072. apud Civita­tem Wentanam in Paschali Solemnitate Episcopi, Abbates, caeteri ex Sacro & Laïcali Ordine Cleop. E. 1.7.. Whether more of the Clergy than these, even some who held in Frank-almoigne, might not be present at that Extraordinary Convention at Sarum, to which all the [Terrarii] or Land­holders of note in England, re­pair'd, cujuscunque Foedi fuissent, (as M. Paris Ad ann. 1084. Cujus­cunque feudi vel tenementi fuissent., the Waverly-An­nals Ad ann. 1086., and Huntingdon P. 370. But he places it in the Conqueror's 19th. Year. ex­presly speak) may be worth an Enquiry.

In his Son H. the I's time▪ a Parliament met at London An. 1102, and there the Spiritualty went a­side, and made several Ecclesiastical Constituti­ons Eadme­rus p. 67.. The Lower Saecular Clergy therefore were there, whose consent to the framing of Canons was requisite; and so Hemingford's Re­lation of it plainly implys; statuerunt (says he) Archiepiscopi, & Episcopi cum Clero— which word, Clerus, when oppos'd to Archbi­shops, and Bishops, must signify some of the Inferior Saeculars or Regulars, and not merely Abbats and Priors.

In the Council of Gloster, Ann. 1123. (which Hemingford has confounded with the former) William de Corboyl was chosen Archbishop of [Page 298] Cant. Sim. Dun­elm p. 247. But not being a Religious, as all the Arch­bishops of Cant. from Austin down to his time had been, the Prior and Monks of Cant. oppo­sed his Election, and so did all the other Monks of the several Orders there present; with whom most of the Earls and Thanes allso sided; if the Monk of Peterborough be not partial in his Sto­ry Prior & Mona­chi de Cant­warabyrig, omnesque alii Monarchici Ordinis Viri, qui ibi fuerunt, oppugnarunt illud integrum biduum, &c. Tunc elegerunt quendam Clericum W. de Cur­boil nomine, &c. & Rex dedit ei Episcopatum: ac omnes Episcopi eum susceperunt— verùm rejecerunt Monachi, & Comites, & Thani pene omnes qui interfuerunt. Chron. Sax. p. 225.. Monks only are mention'd here, because They only were engag'd in the Struggle.

In King Stephen's time the Lower Clergys In­terest in these State-meetings is set in something a better Light by a Passage in a Charter of his to the Church of Westminster, which recites, that in his third Year An. 1138. there was at Westmin­ster, Universal [...] totius Angliae Concilium, at which affuerunt quidam Comites Regni mei, & Barones mei quam plurimi, & innumera Multi­tudo Cleri & Populi The Hi­storians speak of this Meet­ing in the very same words, particularly Gervasius; who after saying, there were 17 Bishops, and 30 Abbats there, adds, cum Cleri & Populi multitudine numerosâ. X. Script. p. 1347. So also Continuator Florentii, ad ann. & Hagustald. p. 327., qui hiis omnibus interfue­runt, & religioso favore Voluntatem & Assensum Auctoritatis, nostrae Paginae & Privilegio praebu­erunt Sulcard. fol. 60..

M. Paris's Expressions relating to the follow­ing Reign, are yet Clearer. There were sum­mon'd, he says (2 H. 2.) Archiepiscopi, Epis­copi, Abbates, multarumque Ecclesiarum Praela­ti, [Page 299] cum Comitibus, & Baronibus totius regni, ut negotia Regni & Ecclesiae pertractarent V. Abb. S. Aug. p. 79.. And these last Words are probably those of the Writ it self, by which they were summon'd; and which lay before Paris, in the Register of St. Albans, that he was then transcribing. In 1162, he tells us that the Universitas Episcoporum, Ab­batum, & aliorum Magnatum met at Westminster V. Abb. S. Aug. p. 79.: and these Alii Magnates are in his History ex­plain'd by Comites, Barones, Archidiaconi, & innumera turba regni P. 99. l. 1.. And to the Articles of Clarendon, in 1164, he says there swore Archi­episcopi, Episcopi, Abbates, Priores, Clerus, cum Comitibus, ac Baronibus, & Proceribus cunctis; and this, not afterwards, but upon the spot, Vivâ voce, in that very meeting where these Con­stitutions were made.

With these accounts agree those which Ger­vase of Dover has given us of some Great Coun­cils in the same Reign. That at Northampton in 1157, was compos'd, he says, of the Praesu­les & Principes regni, Abbates nonnulli, aliaeque inferioris ordinis personae. And of another in 1168 he particularly observes, that the Subprior and Monks of Cant. had their Writ to come to it Convo­cati sunt, illicò a­pud Lon­don Prae­sules & Praelati & Proceres, ut contra mandata Alexandri Papae & Archi­episcopi omnes appellarent. Sed & Monachi Cant. ad idem sunt Evocati. Act. Pontif. p. 1671. And to this, or some such other Meeting, the follow­ing passage in his Chronicle referrs. Congregatio Episcoporum & Abba­tum, & aliarum personarum Ecclesiasticarum apud Londonias facta est. Sed & Subprior & Monachi Cant. Ecclesiae Imperio Regis jussi sunt etiam a­desse. p. 1404.. He mentions Those only, because He himself was one of their Number.

And in the last Year of this Prince An. 1188 we are by Hoveden told, that he did Magnum celebrare [Page 300] Concilium Episcoporum, Abbatum, Comitum, & Baronum, & aliorum multorum tam Clericorum quam Laicorum P. 642..

In the 6 R. I. the same Writer informs us that the Bishops, Earls and Barons were call'd to the Commune Concilium regni; and the first day that they met, the Archbishops, the Bishops, Abbats, & Clerici multi Cant. Dioces. i. e. Pro­vince. went a­side into the Chappel of the Infirmary at West­minster, and Excommunicated Earl Iohn, and all his Adherents †.

5to. Ioh. Military Aids were given the King by his Great Men in a Colloquium at Oxford: Nec etiam Episcopi & Abbates, sive Ecclesiasticae Personae, sine promissione recesserunt M. Par. p. 209.52..

17o. Ioh. Convocatum est Parliamentum Lon­doniis, praesidente Archiepiscopo cum toto Clero, & tota Secta Laïcali Author Eulogii a­pud Sel­den. Tit. Hon. part 2. c. 5. Which Expression, how forcible soever, yet being General, I should not have mention'd, had not the Learned Sir R. Cot­ton made use of it before, to shew, that the In­ferior Ministers of the Church, as well as Bishops, had suffrage in Parliament Remains p. 209..

Indeed some of this Princes Great Councils seem, as to the Spiritual part of them, to have been compos'd only of Bishops, Abbats and Pri­ors; as may probably be collected from a Writ in his 8th. Year Pat. 8. Ioh. m. 1. apud Pryn. Parl. Wr. 1 Vol. Praef., reciting, that these Great Clergymen had granted him an Aid in Parlia­ment; and demanding the like Aid of the Saecu­lar Clergy of the Province of Cant. below Bi­shops, then assembled in Convocation. Howe­ver in others of them, more of the Clergy were plainly present; particularly in one 15to. Ioh. at London, to which Stephanus Cant. Arch. cum E­piscopis, Abbatibus, Prioribus, Decanis, & Ba­ronibus [Page 301] regni is said to have come *. And the Archdeacons, though not specify'd were proba­bly there; for the Clergy we find, went Syno­dically apart, and made Canons; which implys the Presence and Concurrence of the Archdeacons, who were a necessary part of every Synod; and had therefore, allmost an 100 years before this, been summon'd particularly by the Archbishop to the Council of London An. 1125 See the Archbishops Writ of Summons in Spelm. Conc. Vol. 2. p. 33. taken out of the Codex Landavensis. 'Tis the most ancient Summons of any kind that I have ever observ'd..

In the next Reign, the Archdeacons presence in Parliament is frequently taken notice of by our Historians, as may appear from the follow­ing Passages in M. Paris, and the Annals of Burton.

1231/2 XVI. Cal. Ian. habitum est apud S. Al­banum ingens Consistorium Abbatum, Priorum, Archidiaconorum, cum ferè totâ Nobilitate regni, Magistrorum, & Clericorum—M. Par. p. 372.

1247. Fecit Dominus Rex Magnates suos, nec non & Angliae Archidiaconos per Scripta sua Regia Londinum evocari. Ib. p. 719. & agen, Convenerant etiam tùnc ibidem, ut praetactum est, Archidiaconi Angliae, nec non & totius Cleri pars non minîma, cum ipsis Magnatibus conque­rentes communiter super intolerabilibus & fre­quentibus Exactionibus domini Papae.—Tandem de Communi Consilio provisum est, ut Gravamina terrae domino Papae seriatim monstrarentur ex parte Communitatis totius Cleri & Populi regni Anglicani. pp. 720, 721.

[Page 302]1255. Post festum St. Mich. tenuit Rex Par­liamentum suum apud Westminster, convocatis ibidem Episcopis, Abbatibus, & Prioribus, Co­mitibus, & Baronibus, & totius Regni Majori­bus, in quo petebat a Clero de Laïcis Foedis suis sibi [Suffragium] Subsidi­um. exhiberi— disponens hoc priùs a Clero, & post eà à Populo Majori & Mi­nori extorquere. Episcopi vero, Abbates, Prio­res, & Procuratores qui ibidem pro Universita­te affuerunt, nolentes huic exactioni adquiesce­re— Gravamina summo Pontifici sub sigillis de­stinarunt, Quorum Tenor Talis est.

De Archidiaconatu Lincolniae Articuli pro Communitate. Procuratores Beneficiatorum Archidiaconatûs Lincoln, pro totâ Communitate proponunt, &c. Ann. Burt. pp. 355, 356.

1256. A Writ from the Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry to the Archdeacon of Stafford, commanding him to collect the Papal Procura­tions, ipsam Pecuniam tali die in Parliamento Londoniensi nobis assignantes (Ibid. p. 372.) Which supposes the Archdeacons Then to have attended the Parliament. And accordingly the next time it was assembled, we again find them there: For a Debate arising, this Resolution was taken; Commune Concilium super hoc rese­dit, quod Decani, Praelati Regulares, ac Archi­diaconi tractabunt cum suis Capitulis & Clericis it a quod ad mensem post Pascha redeant per Pro­curatores instructos ad plenè respondendum (Ann. Burt. p. 374.) The meaning of which was, that the Deans, Priors and Archdeacons appeared in Parliament, not for themselves alone, but for the whole Clergy of the Body, or District over which they presided; bringing up from them [Page 303] Procuratorial Letters See a Bishop's Mandate to this purpose, in the next Year (1257) which runs, ut praedicti Dicanus & Prior dictarum Cathedralium Ec­clesiarum [Cov. & Litchf.], Abbates, & alii Priores, cum Literis Procuratoriis nomi­ne Congregationum suarum confectis, ac dicti Archi­diaconi cum Literis simili­bus factis ex parte Clerico­rum qui subsunt eïsdem— dictis die & loco peronali­ter intersint. Ann. Burt. p. 382. This Summons was pure­ly Synodical. P. 9. of this Book, I have given two In­stances, wherein the same me­thod was at this time pra­ctis'd in relation to the Par­liament., in which their Powers were sometimes specify'd, and limited: and this made a Recourse to their Principals necessary, as often as any thing was propos'd, that exceeded the Limits of those Powers. This was by way of Indulgence to the Lesser Cler­gy, in times, when Summons to Parliaments were very frequent, and consequently Attendance there very Expensive and Trou­blesome. And the constitution of Reading therefore (so often cited) which first made distinct Proctors from the Rural Clarks of every Diocese, a fixt and ne­cessary part of the Clergys Par­liamentary Assemblys, did it not as a Priviledge, but a Burthen: for it commands them to be return'd, etiamsi de Conturbatione vel Expensis oporteat fieri men­tionem, i. e. notwithstanding the Trouble and Charge it might be to them. This they felt not, while the Archdeacons were Commission'd to act for them; who being bound Themselves to attend in Person, by taking Procuratoria from the Inferior Clerks, lessen'd Their Charge, without increasing their Own: But assoon as the Clergy sent up Distinct Proctors, they were o­blig'd to maintain them.

The Laiety, I find, were at this time indulg'd in like manner, but in an Higher Degree: for in the Parliament of Oxford (Ann. 1258.) this Memorable Provision was made, which I shall for more than one reason here insert intirely.

[Page 304] Si fet a remembrer ke le Commun es [...]ise XII prodes homes ke vendrunt as Parlemenz (which by the last Article were to be held three times every Year) & autre fez quant mester serra, quant Rei, u sun Cunseil, les mandera pur tre­ter de bosoingnes del Rei & del Reaume. Et ke le Commun tendra pur estable cer ke ces XII. frunt: & ceo serra fet pur esparnier le Cust del Com­mun Ann. Burt. p. 416..

These Words, at first sight, might pass well enough for a Proof, that the Commons of England, properly so call'd, were now repre­sented in Parliament. But upon comparing the several parts of the Relation, it appears, that these very Twelve, who are here said to be e­lected par le Commun, are in another place men­tion'd as chosen by the Barons. And therefore the Community here spoken of, must be the Com­munity of the Baronage, or Military Tenants, who (the Highest as well as the Lowest) did, it seems, impower this Committee of Twelve to act for them in the three Annual Parliaments then appointed to be held. And These, to­gether with the King's Council of Fifteen (at the same time chosen) had Authority to make Acts and Ordinances; as appears evidently from the Provisions publish'd the next Year, in the Parliament at Westmin­ster, of which it is said—Ces sunt les Purve­ances & les Establissimentz [...]aitz a Westmoster al Parlement, a la seint Michel, par le Rei & sun Conseil Who the King's Council were, ap­pears p. 413, & les XII par le Commun Conseil esluz, (after which these remarkable Words follow) par devant le Communance de Engle­terre, ke dunke fu a Westmuster, le an del regne Henry le fiz le Rei Iohan quarantieme terz Ibid. p. 435.. [Page 305] The Community of England therefore, as distin­guish'd from the Community of Barons, or Great Tenants in Chief, (represented here by the Committee of XII) were at, and of this Assem­bly; though the Enacting part of the Provisions then pass'd, did not run in Their Name, whose proper Province it was to Represent, and to Pe­tition. Accordingly at their Instance these ve­ry Provisions were made, as the same Annals inform us, — Significavit Communitas Bachele­riae Angliae Domino Edvardo filio regis, Comiti Gloverniae, & aliis Iuratis de Concilio Regis a­pud Oxoniam, quòd dominus Rex totaliter fecerat & adimplevit omnia & singula quae providerant Barones, & sibi imposuerant facienda; & quòd ipsi Barones nihil ad utilitatem reipublicae sicut promiserant fecerunt, nisi Commodum Proprium & Damnum Regis ubique; & quòd nisi inde fieret Emendatio, alia ratio Pactum reformaret.— Up­on which it follows— Tandem videntes Barones magis expedire promissa sua per seipsos adimpleri quàm per alios, publicè fecerunt Provisiones suas promulgari subsequentes pp. 427, 428.. Here the Communi­tas Bacheleriae Angliae are the same with the Communance de Engleterre before mention'd: And that These were no Tumultuary Rabble, but a Constituent Part of the Parliament, who had an Interest there, and a Power of acting within their proper Sphaere, is manifest from their threatning the Barons, that if they did not publish the Provisions agreed on at Oxford, they would do it themselves; that is, they would step out of their Circle, and Ordain, where­as they were us'd only to Represent, or to Pe­tition.

[Page 306]And that this word, Bachilers, was then ap­ply'd to the Commonalty, as we now understand the word, may be gather'd, I think, from ano­ther Writer Wykes., who a few Years after this tells us, that the Inferior sort of People, who in eve­ry Town and Borough, did without, and against the Governing part of it combine together for the Redress of Grievances, styl'd themselves by this Name; in imitation, I suppose, of the great Communitas Bacheleriae Angliae, who push'd on this Reformation in Parliament. Indeed Wykes, a Warm Advocate for the Crown, uses the word there in an angry and reproachful Sense; the Licentiousness, and Disorders of those Times having distasted him: but that it had a more Honourable Meaning some Years before this M. Paris shews Ad Ann. 1244.; and that it recover'd its Cre­dit again, and was long afterwards imploy'd to signify those Commoners of Lower Rank, who had place in Parliament, take these two Instances out of many.

Rex die crastino Coronationis suae de assensu Baronum sibi assistentium delegit & per Literas suas Patentes vocavit & constituit duos Episco­pos, duos Comites, duos Barones, duos Banneret­tos, & quatuor Bachiliers de Consilio, Statu, Ho­nore, & Emolumento Regis & Regni procurando & ordinando, &c. Rot. Pat. 1. R. 2. p. 2. m. 16.

And again in the last Year of this Prince, the Lower House of Parliament are, in the Instru­ment of his Deposition See it ad calcem X Script., more than once call'd The Bachilers and Commons of this Land.

Upon the Whole therefore I must needs, till I am better inform'd, think this a clear Proof, that the Commons, properly so call'd, had Interest in Parliament, before the 49 H. III; notwithstand­ing [Page 307] what has been said to the contrary by some Learned Persons, whom for their great Skill in our English Antiquitys I honor. And with due Re­verence to Them, I shall (since I am upon this Head) beg Leave further to say; That had such a Change hapned all at once, in this Point of time which they have pitch'd upon, some of our English Annals would to be sure have taken notice of it: which yet I do not find that any One of them has done. On the contrary, seve­ral of them speak of the Parliaments preceding this in Terms that imply them to have been at least as Numerous. For instance, a Parliament in the 48. H. III. is thus describ'd by Matth. of Westminster, Maxima cöadunatur Congregatio Londini Procerum & caeterorum Praelatorum reg­ni, quanta non est visa longo tem­pore in Angliâ P. 384. To this Parlia­ment the Record (printed by Mr. Petyt Miscell. Parl. p. 41.) referrs, which contains a Form of Peace à Domino Rege, & Domino Edmun­do, Praelatis & Proceribus, & Communitate totâ regni Angliae communiter & con­corditer approbata. It was seald in Parliament, de con­sensu, voluntate, & praecep­to domini Regis, nec non Praelatorum, Procerum, ac etiam Communitatis, tunc ibidem praesentium. Rot. Parl. 48. H. III. pars. unic. m. 6. dors. in Scaccario.; and of another in the same year, he says, M [...]g­num celebratum est Parliamentum Londini Ibid.: the very word that is us'd of that in the 49 II. III. by the, Annals of Waverley P. 216.; which Wykes passes over with this mention onely, Convocatio non mimima Procerum Anglico­rum P. 65.. This was, I know, a very busy and bloody Year, and bred much business for the Pens of our Historians: However no Passage in it could be more Con­siderable than this of the Enlarge­ment of our Great Councils, had it then newly hapned; nor would have deserv'd better to be recorded. When the Clause, Premunientes, was first inserted into the [Page 308] Bishop's Writ, our Historys take notice of it Knigh­ton. An­nal. Win­ton. Chron. Abendon.; and so they would (some of them at least) of these New Writs for the Knights, Ci­tizens, and Burgesses, had they then first issued out. 'Tis true, the same Objection lys against fixing the Date of this Change in any Year, if it were necessary to fix it in any, which I sup­pose it is not: the Alteration being, as I appre­hend, not made all at once, by any sudden and Violent Shock in the Government; but intro­duc'd leysurely, and by easy degrees, according as the Exigences of the Times, and the Designs of the Partys th [...]n contending either for Empire, or Liberty would allow of it: the Barons favor­ing the growth of the Commons Interest in Par­liament, as promising themselves from thence an assistance toward making their stand against the Crown; and the King hoping also by Their Means to be the better able to curb his Trouble­some Barons. And the steps by which their Parliamentary Interest grew to the full Heighth wherein we find it, toward the Latter End of H. the III, were such as These. Sometimes the King wanted an Account of the Antient Cu­stomes and Usages of the Realm, and directed Writs therefore to the Sheriffs, to return a cer­tain Number of Knights for every County, to inform Him, and his Great Council concerning them: This was practis'd in the Conqueror's Reign Chronic. Litchfeld. apud Sel­den. in Eadm. p. 172.. At other times, when the People had layn under Great Oppressions and Grievances, the Shires were order'd to send up each their Representatives, who should lay the Particulars before the King and his Nobles: Such a Sum­mons went out in the 15th. Year of King Iohn M. Par. p. 239.. And the same Year also there was a more Ge­nerall [Page 309] General Call of Quatuor Discreti Milites de quo­libet Comitatu, ad loquendum nobiscum de Nego­tiis regni nostri Cl. 15. Ioh. pt. 2. m. 7. dors. apud Seld. T. H. p. 587.; without specifying the Par­ticular Business about which they were sum­mon'd. Sometimes these Knights were, toge­ther with the Sheriffs, to appear in Parlia­ment, and account for their several Shires, in relation to some Subsidys formerly granted, the Collection of which they had been appointed to take care off Cl. 4. H. 3. m. 5. dors.: sometimes they were call'd up in order to a Grant; ad providendum (as the Words of the Writt are Cl. 38. H. 3. m. 7. & 12. dors.) unà cum Militibus aliorum Comitatuum, quos ad eundem diem vocari fecimus, quale Auxilium nobis in tantâ necessi­tate impendere voluerint. They were to take their Instructions from a Country-Meeting, where the Busyness of this Assembly was previously to be debated, and the Result of those Debates was to be layd before the King and his Great Council, by these special Messengers, quos iidem Comitatus elegerint, vice omnium & singulorum eorundem. By these, and such steps of these, the Commons recover'd their Priviledges, which the Norman Conquest seems to have eclyps'd a little, without extinguishing; and not onely re­cover'd, but enlarg'd 'em: till they came at last, about the End of H. the III. to that Height of Parliamentary Power and Interest which they now enjoy. And by the like steps, I question not, the Lower Clergy rose allso; bearing the Commons Company on all these Occasions, as they remarkably did in the Last Instance pro­duc'd: where, at the same time that Praecepts went out to the Sheriffs to return duos Legales & Discretos Milites for every Shire, Writs went out also to the Bishops to convene the [Page 310] Clergy of each Diocese, and propose the Kings busyness to them, and from that Diocesan Meet­ing, to send up certain discreet Men by them Chosen; who should attend at the same Time and Place, and for the same Purposes that the Knights of Countys did Pryn. Reg. Parl. Wr. Vol. 1. p. 4, 5..

It cannot therefore be said, that the Com­mons were first call'd to Parliament in the 49 H. III; but that they then, or there abouts, be­gan to be Summon'd thither uninterruptedly, and to grow a fixt and necessary part of the Meeting. The Learned Advocate, I know, on the other side has doubted (and Dr. W. there­fore is very pardonable in doubting after him) whether from the 49. H. III. to the 18 E. I. any Summons went out, because the Writts are lost. But this, I think, will bear no doubt: for that Loss is, as it happens, pretty well supply'd by our Histories; and I shall produce the Passages from thence that prove it.

The Parliament of the next Year which met after the E. of Leicester was slain, and the King set at Liberty, is just so spoken of as that in the 49th. Factum est Parliamentum Magnum Wintoniae Ann Wa­verl. p. 220.; and so is that in 1266, at Kenil­worth Iibid. p. 224., and another in 1268, at Northamp­ton Ibid. p. 222.. In which Year allso Wykes's words are, that the King conven'd all the Praelates and Great Men, nec non cunctarum Regni sui Civi­tatum Pariter & Burgorum Potentiores-conflu­ente pariter Plebeiae Multitudinis (i. e. of the Commonalty of every County) Turbâ non mo­dicà Chronic. p. 85..

But more express are the words of the for­mer Annalist, in the 1. E. I. when, he says, Convenerunt Archiepiscopi, Episcopi, Comites, [Page 311] Barones, Abbates, Priores, & de quolibet Co­mitatu Quatuor Milites, & de quâlibet Civitate Quatuor Ann. Waverl. p. 227. The [...]ame words occurr allso into the Annalls of Worster, apud A. S. Vol. 1. p. 499. and in Annales Monasterii Hidae extra Winton. MS. Bibl. Bodl. 1891..

1274. The Assembly that met per Evoca­tionem Regiam, upon E. the I's Return into England, was compos'd of Comitum, Baronum, & Militum Copiosa Caterva, besides the Represen­tatives of the City of London, & caeterarum Civitatum, & Oppidorum totius regni Wykes p. 187.; to wit, of such as sent Members to Parliament.

1275. The Statute of Westminster was made by the Assent of Archbishops, Bishops, Abbats, Priors, Counts, & tout la Cominaltie de la Terre illonques summone [...]s.

1282. The King's Writ to the Archbishop recites, that he had begun the War with Lewel­lin, de Consilio Praelatorum, Procerum, & Magna­tum regni, nec non & totius Communitatis ejus­dem. Dat. apud Rotholan. Nov. 22. regni 11 Regi­strum Pec­kam..

1285. Circa festum S. Mich. rex convocari fe­cit apud Salopesbiriam Majores regni sui & sa­pientiores tam de Civibus quàm de Magnatibus Wykes p. 111..

1288. Convocatis Edicto publico regni magna­tibus—Episcopus Eli, Regis Thesaurarius, petiit Subsidium à Comitibus & Baronibus, imò & gene­raliter ab Omnibus Incolis regni. Which last words are apply'd to the Commons, in the Writs Writ of 23 E. I. summons ad trac [...]and cum Praelatis, Proceribus, & aliis Incolis regni. Dugd. Surm. p. 10. and Historys M. Westm. ad ann. 1297. Exigendo pro hâc concessione ab Incolis octavum denarium. Qui mox concessus est a Plebe in suâ tunc Camerâ circumstante. p. 430. of those times.

[Page 312]This Collection of Authoritys is Material, not onely as it affords us a proof, that from the 49 H. III. to the 18. E. I. the Commons continued to be Summon'd; but as it is a strong Presump­tion also, that they were so summon'd before it. For had they first been call'd, when the King was under a Force, and in the hands of Si­mon Momfort, as soon as that Force had been remov'd, and the King at Liberty, such a Pra­ctise, so ill begun, would certainly have been discontinu'd: whereas we find on the contrary, that the Last Eight Years of H. the III. and the first Seventeen of E. the I. afford us frequent In­stances of it. And (which deserves our No­tice) it then grew to be most frequently us'd, and most unalterably fix'd, when E. the I. one of the most Potent and Glorious Monarchs that e­ver sway'd the English Scepter, was arriv'd at the utmost pitch of his Power and Grandeur. So far is that Excellent Constitution of Parlia­ments, we at present live under from owing its rise to the Weakness of our Princes, and the Encroachments made by Rebellious Subjects up­on their Royal Authority.

As for the Appeal made to our Records, it has, I presume, no manner of weight: for what wonder, if in such times of War and Confusion all the Writs of Summons to the Commons be­fore this Aera should be lost? The same thing has hapned to the Writs for the Temporal Lords also; none of which Elder than this date are preserv'd: but I hope, it follows not from hence, that they were never before this Sum­mon'd.

How Beaten a point soever this may be, I could not forbear saying something to it, as it [Page 313] fell in my way; especially since it bears so near an allyance to the subject I am upon: For it is certain (as I have said often, and shall once again repeat) that the Parliamentary Interests and Priviledges of the Commons Spiritual and Temporal ran even allwayes; or, at least, were never far a sunder: and they do therefore, when made out, mutually prove each other.

And now, having said so much in this case my self, I may the more freely venture to shew the weakness of an Argument that has been late­ly offer'd on the same side, by Mr. Nicholson. He has discover'd a Record (where indeed one would hardly look for it) in a Dictionary; which, he thinks, plainly proves that the Peo­ple had their Representatives in Parliament be­fore the Aera commonly assign'd; and he won­ders that none who have written on this Argu­ment, should have taken notice of it Hist. Lib. Vol. 3. p. 60. To Ease him of his wonder, I will whisper the rea­son of it to him in his Ear; it was, because those Knowing Gentlemen saw it was frivolous, and not worth the mentioning. The Words, as they stand in Somner's Translation are,— Consi­liarii qui fuerint electi a Nobis & à gentis Plebe in regno nostro, &c. I have no skill in the Tongue, Mr. Somner had certainly a great deal, and Mr. Nicholson has some, if at least we may take a Friends Praef. Chronic. Saxonic. word for it. However in opposition to both, I must bég leave to say, that either the Original is faulty, or the Translation not proper: and I do this, upon very good Grounds, because it differs from the Translation which the Parliament it self made of this Record: for, as Mr. Nicholson ought to have known, it was publish'd by them in three several Languages, English, Latin, and [Page 314] French; and the French Copy of it we have in the Printed Annalls of Burton P. 417., which were written at the very Time when this Charter was fram'd. And there the words are, Nostre Cun­seil—ke est eslu par nous, ou par la Commun de nostre Reaume. It was, it seems, at that Ox­ford Parliament agreed, that the Kingdom should be govern'd by a Council of Twenty Four, Twelve of which should be chosen by the King, and Twelve by the Community, i. e. by the Ba­ronage, not by the Commons properly so call'd; as is manifest from the whole Course of the Story, and particularly from that Branch of it, where the Names of the Twenty Four are set down All but One., under these Titles; Electi ex parte Domini Regis, and Electi ex parte Comitum & Ba­ronum P. 412.. And not the Electors onely, but eve­ry one of the Twelve allso, who were thus Ele­cted, were Barons. It is sufficiently evident from hence, that the words, Electi à Plebe, give us no true account of that part of the Record they pretend to Translate; and that our Histo­ricall Librarian therefore might have kept this Rarity to himself, and the World not have been injur'd by his Reserv'dness.

Mr. Archdeacon fitly puts me in mind of the point from whence I wander'd. I was proving, that there is frequent mention of his Order, as call'd to Parliament, in H. the III's Reign; and of this I gave several Instances: there are others, which prove the yet Lower Ranks of the Clergy to have been present there. For Example,

1229. 13. H. III. Fecit Rex convenire apud Westm—Dominos Archiepiscopos, Episcopos, Ab­bates, Priores, Templarios, Hospitalarios, Comi­tes, Barones, Ecclesiarum Rectores, & qui de [Page 315] se tenebant in Capite, ad Locum praefixum & di­em, ut audirent Negotia memorata, & de rerum Exi­gentiis communiter tractarent ibidem M. Par. p. 367.. By Ec­clesiarum Rectores here I understand, not Deans, and Archdeacons onely, but some of the Rurall Rectors of Parishes; the words being employ'd in this sense frequently in the Records of this Reign See Pat. 11. H. III. m. 10. a­pud Pryn Eccl. Juris. T. 2. p. 406. Cl. 32. H. III. m. 12. dors. ibid. p. 718..

1232. A Tax is said to be given by the Arch­bishops, Bishops, Abbats, Priors, & Clerici ter­ras habentes quae ad Ecclesias suas non pertinent Cl. 16. H. III. m. 2. dors. Which M. Par. seems to have copied, where he says, that at this Meeting there was given the King a 40th. ab Episcopis, Abbatibus, Pri­oribus, Clericis & Laïcis, p. 318., to which are joyn'd, on the Laypart, Earls, Barons, Knights, and Free-men, & Villani de Regno. A Learned Person Dr. Brady Introd. p. 220. says these Clergymen were such as had Lands, the Fee of which was in the Crown, and not in the Church: and if so, we must suppose 'em to be the Parochial Priests of some of those Churches, which upon the Doomsday-Survey were found to have 4711 Knights Fees in them. However that may be, again five Years after this, we hear of these Clerks Cl. 21. H. III. m. 7. dors.: onely now the Record varys a little; for the Earls, Barons, Knights, and Free­men give pro se, & suis Villanis; whereas still the Clerici terras habentes, &c. are said to give for themselves.

Between these Two we have a Writ Pat. 20. H. III. m. 8. in tùs apud Pryn, Eccl. Jurisd. T. 2. p. 475., wherein the Archbishops, Bishops, Abbats, Priors, & aliae Ecclesiasticae Personae de regno are said to have [Page 316] granted an Aid de omnibus Foedis suis, tam de illis de quibus nobis respondent quando Scutagium datur, quam de aliis quae retinent ad Opus suum: and that this was a Grant in Parliament, we learn from the Teste of it (which is, May 4.) compared with M. Paris in this Year, where he tells us, that 4. Kal. Maii (i. e. 8 days before) congregati sunt Magnates Angliae Londini ad Col­loquium, de Negotiis Regni tractaturi Ad ann. 1236. p. 429.. And in the same History we are told of a Parliament 32. H. III, that there came to it Edicto, Regio, totius regni Angliae Nobilitas; and among them, Bishops, Abbats, Priors, & Clericorum multitu­do copiosa. M. Par. p. 743.

These Testimonys are, I think, sufficient to shew, that from the Conquest down to E. the I. the Inferior Clergy had Place, and Interest in Parliament; being there sometimes in Body, and as representing the Whole, sometimes in Part onely, and as entituled by their Tenures: the Lower Regulars and Saeculars appearing now and then by distinct Proctors of their own, but more frequently by their Priors and Archdeacons, particularly impower'd to that purpose. Nor matters it much, whether they were thus call'd up immediately by a Royal Writ, or by an Ecclesiastical Summons onely, issu'd out at the King's Instance; since, whether cited this way or that, the Effect of their Citation was to at­tend the Parliament: and accordingly the Me­moirs of those times speak of them as being of the Parliament, and as acting in it. They might be summon'd often, as they sat, Apart from the Laie­ty; but as they sat in Parliament, though se­parately; so were they call'd to Parliament, though perhaps after a different manner from [Page 317] the Laiety; and did there, together with the Greater Prelates, compose a Full Representa­tive of the Clergy, and the first Estate of the Realm.

This meeting of the Clergy with the Parlia­ment was at first in One National, but after­wards in two Provinciall Assemblys. When such Synods of the Province, held concurrently with the Parliamentary Sessions, began, is hard to say: but, to be sure, they were Older than E. I. in the beginning of whose Reign they are, we find, by the Constitution of Reading menti­on'd, as Establish'd Customary Meetings: the Archbishop there, with the consent of the Synod, ordaining, quòd in Congregatione nostrâ tempore Parliamenti proximi post festum Sti. Mich. ad Tres Hebdomadas per Dei gratiam futurum, prae­ter Personas Episcoporum veniant duo Electi ad minus à Clero Episcopatuum singulorum, qui Au­ctoritatem habeant unà nobiscum tractare de hiis quae Ecclesiae communi utilitati expediunt Angli­canae Constitt. Prov. ad finem Lyn­wood. p. 25..

It appears from hence, both that the Clergy were now us'd to attend the Parliament in their Synods Provincial, and that the Parliament it self was now us'd to sit after Michaelmas; since it could not else well have been spoken of here as an Assembly that would at that time certainly convene. For this Council of Reading sat down 29 Iuly, and therefore (as Synodical Sessions were then very short) rose in the beginn­ing of August: at which time, there could be no notice of the approaching Parliament (not yet summon'd) but from common Custome and Usage. And the same receiv'd Custome there was also, it seems, for the Clergy at That and [Page 318] Other times to attend the Parliament; their Con­gregatio tempore Parliamenti being not now first order'd, but spoken of as an antient and authoriz'd Practise. These Clergy-Meetings however, tho' concurrent in Time with those of Parliament, yet were not necessarily to be held at the same Place also, where the Parliament was open'd; but assembled oftentimes at some other, either in the Neighbourhood of it, or more Remote from it; as the Archbishop thought fit, or the Churches Occasions requir'd. Thus in 1290 (18. E. I.) The Parliament met after Michelmas, at Clip­ston See Ry­ley's Placi­ta Parlia­ment ▪ p. 63.; but the Convocation, that was held con­currently with it, at Ely, upon the Consecration of the Bishop of that Place Wikes ad ann..

And what the Form of the Archbishops Sum­mons to these Parliamentary Synods was, we may learn from a Procuratorium, relating to this very Meeting at Ely; the most Antient In­strument of the kind I have ever seen: and by it the Proxys sent have power ad tractandum vobiscum & aliis Venerabilibus Patribus suffra­ganeïs Provinciae Cant. ac etiam totius Cleri Pro­curatoribus in Civitate Eliensi, super his quae Dei honorem & publicam Utilitatem respiciunt, & ad consentiendum hiis quae ibidem ad pacem & consolationem Ecclesiae, Dominique Regis & Regni Angliae, Cleri Communitas inspirante Deo providebit Regi. strum Hen­rici Prio­ris. f. 146.. The first part of which seems to refer to this Assembly, as a Synod of the Pro­vince; and the Latter, as a Convention of the Clergy, held for State-Ends, in time of Par­liament.

Thus stood matters, when the Clause Premu­nientes was first inserted, and by it the Clergy of both Provinces were again call'd Nationally to [Page 319] Parliament, and requir'd strictly to attend at the very Time and Place at which the Parliament assembled. How this Clause was executed up­on the Inferior Clergy, and obey'd by them, and what Interest it gave them in Parliament, has been allready consider'd so fully, that I need enter into no New Account of it.

But here, in the very Entrance of this Period, a famous Interruption of this New Practise hap­ned: the whole Body of the Clergy fell under the Displeasure of the King, were put out of his Protection first, and out of his Parliament afterwards; and a Great Council of the Realm was held, Excluso Clero, without summoning any One of the Spiritualty to it. This Instance some Modern Writers, willing to reduce the Parliamentary Interest of the Clergy as low as they can, are very full of; and Dr▪ Wake, a­mong the rest, has very amply P. 232, 233. from p. 348. to 355., and often di­lated upon it: nor does it seem to have been rightly understood, even by Those Grand. Quest. p. 182. Hey­len Refor. Iustify'd, &c. who on the Clergy's behalf have undertaken to account for it. For which Reasons it will, I hope, be no unacceptable Entertainment to the Reader, if I digress so far as to set this Piece of History in a Truer Light than it has hitherto appear'd; and shew, that neither were the Clergy in this Instance to be blam'd so much, nor was the Ex­clusion of them carry'd so far, as is commonly imagin'd.

Edward the First was the most Expensive Prince that perhaps ever sat on the English Throne, and had by his Large and Frequent De­mands allmost exhausted all his Subjects; par­ticularly those of the Spiritualty, upon whom the Burthen still fell heavyest. His French, [Page 320] Welch, and Scotch Wars, and Voyages to the Holy Land, in some of which he was constantly engag'd, putt him upon asking supplys every Year of his Reign, and upon extorting 'em some­times, when deny'd, in a very Arbitrary and Illegall manner: and in these Demands he still grew upon the Clergy, so that in his 22d. Year, he had no less than a Moiety of their Goods at once; which single Levy Ioh. de Eversden MS. in Off. Arm. ad ann. 1294. §. 314., a Cotemporary Writer, reckons to have amoun­ted to 100100 l. A vast Summ, for those times, to be rais'd, in One Year, upon any One Body of Men, and indeed upon any One Kingdome! Nor was the Summ more Extraordinary, than the way of procuring it. The King first seiz'd all their Wool, and all the Wealth that was layd up in any of their Churches or Monasterys: then calling 'em together, came himself in Per­son to them, and demanded Half of their Moveables Knighton Col. 2501. Joh. de Eversden thus re­lates the Story,—Rex tùm Precibus, tùm Exhortatio­nibus, tùm etiam Commina­tionibus praemissis Universos & singulos Angliae Praelatos cum Clero, nec non & Re­ligiosos omnes possessiones obtinentes — ad praestatio­nem Medietatis omnium bo­norum suorum Spiritualium ac Temporalium—com­pulit & violenter induxit. §. 314. (rightly so term'd, at present; for he had taken 'em violently out of their Owners hands, and put them safely under Lock and Key, in his Own Treasury at London Knight. ibid. Wikes ad ann.). Upon their demurring a little, they were threatned to be put out of his Protection Kn. col. 2502., and a certain Blustring Knight stood up M. Wesim. ad ann., and bad the Man amongst 'em, who durst dispute the King's Demands, come forth, that they might know him, and use him as he deserv'd. It was to no purpose for Them to pretend to deny him Half, who had allready All under his Custody: [Page 321] and therfore at last they consented to it; and took out Letters of Protection, directed Capita­neïs Marinariorum, & iisdem Marinariis, &c. who, it seems, at the beginning of the Dispute, had been sent to quarter upon them. The form of the Writ to those Captain-Mareeners is very remarkable, and to be seen among Ryley's Re­cords P. 462.; who also gives us an account of near 300 Letters of this kind, that issu'd out for the Regular Praelats only. The very next Year to this, the King demanded a Third M. West. pp. 425, 426. of that Half that was left; and was, with great difficulty, and after a long Contest, prevail'd with to ac­cept the Disme M. West. pp. 425, 426. which they offer'd him. Wea­ried with these Exactions, and foreseeing no End of them, the Clergy resolv'd at last to take re­fuge in the Pope's Authority (as oppress'd Men will seek Relief at any hand, where it is to be had); and, by Archbishops Winchelsey's means, procur'd a Bull from Pope Boniface, forbidding them to give any further Aids, without Consent of the Holy See: and upon this Head, excus'd themselves in a Parliament held the next year at St. Edmundsbury Nov. 3. 1296.; where he again demanded a Fifth, after having (in Dr. Wake's Quaint Ex­pression) accounted his Circumstances to them P. 350.: and that Excuse not being accepted, referr'd themselves, for their Final Answer, to a Full Convocation of the Province; which should be call'd by Ecclesiastical Authority; for now they met only upon a Lay-Summons. Respite accor­dingly was given Them till Hilary next; and in the mean time their Stores and Granaries all seal'd up by the King's Officers, to be ready for Confiscation, if they persisted in their refusal: as they did, when on the Day prefix'd they as­sembled [Page 322] at Pauls, by a Mandate from Archbi­shop Winchelsey See his Register f. 205., and after 8 days M. West. p. 429. fruitless debate separated. Upon which they were, as it should seem, prosecuted in the King's Bench, and judg'd out of the King's Protection; one of the Justices there, after sentence pronounced, adding openly, in terrorem, these Me­morable Words Vos domini Attornati Archiepiscoporum, Episco­porum, Abbatum, Priorum, & caeterarum Personatum omnium ex Clero, nuntiate Dominis vestris & dicite, quòd de caetero in Curiā do­mini Regis nulla flet eïs ju­stitia de quâcunque re, eti­am si illata fuerit iis injuria atrocissima. Justitia tamen de eïs fiet omnibus conque­rentibus & e [...]m habere vo­lentibus, Knighton. c. 2491., ‘You the At­tornys of the Archbishops, Bi­shops, Abbats, Priors, and o­ther Ecclesiastical Persons, tell your Masters, that from henceforth no Right shall be done on their Behalf, in the King's Courts, whatever Inju­rys they receive; but Justice shall be done upon them, at the suit of any Man.’ After this, their Lands were seiz'd, their Goods confiscated, and their Persons sub­jected to all manner of Affronts and Indigni­ties.

While they were under this Outlawry, the King call'd his Lay Nobles to Sarum, and there held a Council, Excluso Clero; at which high Words arose, and great Heats hapned between Him and his Barons; so that Roger Bigod, Earl Marshal, when upon his refusal to go in person to the Wars in Gascoigne, the King in passion told him, By God, Sir Earl, you shall either go or hang; made this sudden and stout reply, And by the same Oath, Sir, I will neither go, nor hang Knight. p. 2493.. Upon which He, and many others, left the Place in Discontent, and wearied with the Kings Oppression and Tyranny (I speak the Words of Westminster Ad ann. 1297. p. 430.) held a Parliament, in [Page 323] the Marches without him. The Meeting of Sa­rum being up, the Archbishop summon'd ano­ther Provincial Council to meet at Pauls, in Midlent, 1297 Vide Pro­curatori­um Subpri­oris & Ca­pituli Ba­thon, apud Pryn. Parl. Wr. Vol. 1. p. 118.. But that too dispers'd with­out coming to a Temper, or pitching upon any Expedient. And thus the matter rested, till the Counts and Barons came in openly to their Quar­rel, as they did in a Parliament of that Year at Lincoln Rex indixit Parliamen­tum apud Lincoln in Octavis S. Ioh. Bapt. in quo orta est dissensio inter ipsum & quosdam Comites & Baro­nes regni, quòd tam Cle­rum quam Populum intole­rabili onere conabatur op­primere. Petebat enim ite­ratò a Clero medietatem om­nium bonorum suorum, à Laīcis verò sextum Denari­um. Responderunt ergo Comites & Barones, sine assensu Archiepiscopi Cant. & totius Cleri tam onero­sam & importabilem Exacti­onem se nullo modo subire. Sed petebant instanter bona potiùs Ecclesiae Sanctae, & sua, injustè à Regiis Ministris communiter capta indilatè restitui, & Articulos & Pun­ctos in Magnâ Chastâ con­tentos de caetero observari. Eversden, ad ann. 1297.; joynt­ly protesting against the King's Exorbitances, and insisting upon a Redress of Grievances. So that the King, who saw himself oppos'd on All sides, was forc'd at last to be reconcil'd to both, and to beg pardon of Both toge­ther; as he did, even with Tears, when he restor'd the Archbishop to his Temporaltys, on the 14th. of Iuly Westm. ibid. afterwards. And this struggle finally ended in a Con­firmation of the Great Charter, and the Charter of the Forests, enlarg'd by a new Article, which provided, that no state for the future should be tax'd separately, but only by Common Consent of Parliament.

This is a faithful and full ac­count of that Transaction be­tween the King and his Clergy, which Dr. W. neither like a good Historian, a good Church­man, nor a good Englishman, has so represented, as if the Clergy had been altogether blameable, and the King had done nothing but what the Laws of the Land allow'd of. But in all [Page 324] that vast Heap of Mistakes, his Book, there is not any one Particular, further from Truth than this, or less becoming the Pen that it comes from. They were faulty indeed in applying to the Pope: but it was an Error of those times, when the Pope's Power over the Clergy was thought very great, and carried very far, even by the Consent of the Laiety. Besides, never Men could be more tempted than they were to make use of this Extraordinary Remedy. Ac­cordingly they were so far from being blam'd by their Country for procuring this Bull, that the Great Men all stood by them in it, and publick­ly approv'd it. For so I find it recorded in a List of Grievances, which were by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal presented to the King a Year or two afterwards, and enter'd in a Re­gister of that time, together with the Answers to Each, as in a Roll of Parliament. At the close of these, the Prelats excuse themselves from consenting to the Contribution desir'd, by reason of the Bull of Pope Boniface; to which the Answer annex'd is, Non placuit Regi, sed Communitas Procerum approbavit. However, allowing 'em to have done amiss in this Appli­cation, yet nothing that they did afterwards needs an Excuse: Their Refusal to comply with the King's Excessive Demands, was not only faultless, but honourable; and the Proceeding against them upon that refusal was altogether Illegal and Barbarous. For we must not think, that this sentence of Outlawry was built on any Legal Forfeiture they had incurr'd, by adhering to the Pope against the Crown; no, it was founded purely on their denying to supply the King, according to his Demands: for three years [Page 325] before this, when they delay'd to grant the Moiety ask'd, he threatned Audiens Rex indig­natus est, & per suos satellites commina­tus est, se extrà Protectionem suam Clerum velle ponere, nisi medieta­tem omnium bonorum concederent. Knight. c. 2502. So also Eversden, before cited. to do, what he actually did now [to put them out of his Pro­tection]; and Then, the Prohibitory Bull of Pope Boniface was not in being.

It would be some Mitigation indeed of the severity of this Process, if it had been, as Dr. W. would perswade us P. 351., carried on in Parlia­ment. But that is highly improbable, and in­consistent with the best accounts we have of those times. The Barons, it is plain, were now very uneasy under the King's Exactions; and it is not credible therefore that They should joyn with him in oppressing the Clergy: nor had they, for ought I can find, any Opportunity of doing it. For the Clergy were put out of the King's Protection Ian. 30 310. Cal. Feb. tale fuit Regis Consilium quòd prae­ciperet praescriptam duriti. em fieri contra Clerum. Ann. Wigorn. apud Angl. Sacr. Vol. 1. p. 520. 1296; which was long after the Parliament of St. Edmundsbu­ry Held Nov. 3. 1296. was up, and before the Council of Sarum Which met Feb. 24. 1296/7. was called. Nay 12 days before this Council, the Sentence was not only pro­nounc'd, but executed, even in the remote parts of England: for the Writ of Seizure to the Sheriff of Worcestershire bears date Feb. 12 Vid. eosdem Ann. Wigorn. ibid.. And this agrees very well with the Observation made by the Writers of that time Eversden, Knighton, West­minster, Ann. Wigorn., that the King's Army was beat in Gascoign, on the same day that the Clergy were outlawed here in [Page 326] England: for the News of this Defeat, it ap­pears from Matthew of Westminster P. 429., reach'd the King, sometime before he met his Barons at Sarum. Indeed Knighton Col. 2491, and Walsingham Ypod. Neustr. speak of a Parliament at Hillary 9 [...]. where this Sentence may seem to have pals'd; but there is great reason to suspect their Exactness in this particular. The Eldest of them liv'd an 100 Years after the Time they here write of; where­as there is no one Cotemporary Author Rex An­gliae Ed­wardus in crastino animarum apud S [...]um. Edmundum Parliamentum suum tenuit, & vocati ibidem vene­runt per Regias Literas Praelati & totus Clerus. Sed quoniam Clerus vo­catus fuit ibidem ad mandatum regis, & non auctoritate Ecclesiasticâ, no­luit ibidem finaliter respondere. Sed prorogata dies fuit quoad Clerum usque in Crastinum S. Hilarii. A Laïcis tamen ibidem duodecimam par­tem bonorum-suscepit, &c. In festo verò S. Hil.—Rex petebat à Clero tùnc Londoniae eâdem causa congregatis auctoritate Ecclesiasticâ Auxili­um, &c. Excerpta è Chron. MS. Eccl. Cont. apud Angl. Sacr. Vol. 1. [...]p. 51. Generalis Convocatio Cleri facta est apud Londoniam in Octavis S. Hil. ad tractandum de pace Sanctae Eccl. &c. Iohn. de Eversden MS. The Sentence of Excommunication denounc'd by the Bishops and Clergy in Convocation A. D. 1298. (see it Spelman Concil. Vol. 2. p. 428.) style this meeting Quaedam Convocatio Praelatorum & Cleri London celebrata post Festum S. Hil. A. D. 1296. The Writ also for summoning it (see it Registr. Winchelsey fol. 205.) the Returns to that Writ (see One, Registr. Henr. Prioris fol. 70.) and the Procuratoria drawn in relation to it (ibid.) mention a Meeting of the Clergy alone, without any the least Intimation of a Parliament. that I have seen, either in Print, or Manuscript, (and I have perus'd several) that mentions such a Parliament, or speaks of this meeting at St. Hi­lary any otherwise than as a Provincial Council of the Clergy; agreed upon indeed in the pre­ceding Parliament of St. Edmundsbury, but not held concurrently with any Session of it. Nor is there a Writ of this date, either of Summons, or Pro [...]ogation, in our Rolls, or Registers. So that the word, Parliamentum, in these two Hi­storians, [Page 327] must be taken loosly, and in the same Latitude that it is made use of at this very time, by Westminster Barones Angliae Parlea­mentum suum per se-statue­runt ad ann. 1297., and E­versden Comites & Barones te­nuerunt Parliamentum suum apud Northampton, de dis­cordiâ ortâ inter Regem & Ipsos. ad ann. eund., when they apply it to the Barons Voluntary Meetings, without, and in Opposition to the King's Authority. Accordingly we may observe, that in the Prae­cept to the Sheriff for-seizing the Estates of the Clergy (by me lately mention'd) there are no words that imply the Sentence to have pass'd de Consilio Baronum, or to have had the Con­sent of Parliament. It says only, Propter ali­quas certas C [...]usas Tibi praecipimus qùod omnia L [...]ca F [...]eda totius Cleri in Ballivâ tuâ—sine dila­tione capia [...]is in manum vestram, &c. Annal. Wig. p. 520 and by the Tenor of it one would guess, that it was a mere Arbitrary Command of the Prince, not built on any Judicial Process whatever. I have been very Liberal therefore in allowing that it might spring from a Iudgment in Court (led to it by some Expressions that look that way in the Relations of Thorn, and Knighton): How­ever the Judge who pronounc'd it, will not be excus'd by this allowance; for he pass'd an Un­righteous Sentence in a very Infamous Cause, and meanly prostituted the Law, to gratify the King's Resentments. For which reason we may be sure, that Sir Roger Brabazon Dr. W. pretends to tell this Story with great Ex­actness, and yet mistakes both the Name of the Person and his Office; there being no such Iudge at that time as Robert Brabazon; and the Person he means being neuer either second Iudge, or Chief Iustice of the Common Pleas (as Dr. W. will have him to have been) if Dugale's Chronica Ju­ridicialia may be relied on. The Dr. it seems, found there Justitiarius ad Placita corum Rege, and Justitiarius de Banco, oppos'd to one another; and wisely thought, that the first of these signify'd the Common Pleas, and the second the King's Bench; just as they sounded. was not the Man, as my Lord Coke too hastily thought; for He was too Great and Good a Person, to be em­ployed [Page 328] in such Vile Offices. No, it was Iohn de Metingham, a Clergyman, who utter'd those words, as the Annals of Worster expresly tell us P. 520.; a fit Instrument, to be made use of in the Oppression of his Brethren! For look through all our History, and you shall find, that wherever the Clergy have smarted under any Great Hard­ship, some of their Own Order have been still at the bottom of it; without whose Helping Hand, the Rights and Priviledges of the Church never were, and never would be invaded.

Thus much, to take off the Aspersions, with which Dr. W. has loaded the Clergy of those times, very Indecently, and Untruly. Their Conduct I do not in every respect pretend to ju­stify: However, I think it capable of a Fair Ex­cuse, if their Circumstances be consider'd. And accordingly I observe, that among all our Histo­rians of Note, Antient or Modern, there is not One, that I know of, who has thoroughly taken the King's part in this Dispute; none, I dare say, that has represented it so much to the Disadvantage of the Clergy, as this Gentleman of the Function has done. And yet several of these were Laymen; particularly Daniel, the most sensible of the Moderns, calls the King's Proceeding in this Case, a strain of State beyond any of his Predecessors P. 194.. It was a Debt I ow'd to Truth, to set this Story right; and I would have done it, had Iews or Heathens been the Subject of it. Whatever the Popish Clergys faults were, yet want of Love to their Country [Page 329] was none of 'em; the true Interests of which they understood, and espous'd generally, and were ever fast Friends to the Libertys of it. They were bad Christians, but good English­men; which is more than can be said for some of their Successors, who, with a Purer Religi­on, have been worse Members of the Common­wealth than They. Their Dependence indeed on a Forreign Head misled 'em in Church affairs; but against the Exactions and Usurpations even of the Pope himself in Civil Matters, none de­clar'd more loudly, or made a more vigorous stand than They. Matthew Paris is an Instance of this kind, worth our notice; who, tho' of a Monastery that ow'd all its Immunities and Ex­emptions to the Pope, yet takes the English side all along against Papal Encroachments: and his Works therefore (the best part of our History) are a mere Satyr on the Court of Rome; writ­ten indeed, not in the mannerly way of later times, but however with a Spirit of great Ho­nesty and Freedom. Disinterestedness, a Love of Truth, and a Generous Concern for the Pub­lick shine through every Page of him: Qualitys, which it were well, if some Modern Historians, who have spent a great many Popular Invectives against Monks, and Monkish Writings, had been pleas'd to observe, and imitate, Their Works (as well as Persons) would then have been in much greater Esteem with the Age wherein they liv'd, and have had a much surer Title to the Ap­plause of Posterity. If what I have said of the Popish Clergy be suspected any ways, my Lord Coke will vouch for the Truth of it; who, with great Candor and Justice, observes of that very Reign we are upon, that ‘Allbeit divers Judges [Page 330] of the Realm were Men of the Church, as Briton, Martin de Pateshull, William de Raleigh, Robert de Lexington, Henry de Stanton, and many others; and that the Honourable the Officers of the Realm, as Lord Chancellor, Lord Treasurer, Lord Privy Seal, Master of the Rolls, &c. were in those days Men of the Church; yet they ever had such honoura­ble and true-hearted Courage, as they suffer'd no Encroachment by any Forreign Power up­on the Rights of the Crown, or the Laws and Customs of the Realm Vpon the Stat. of Westm. I. cap. 51..’ Among so many Excellent Persons, what wonder is it, if a false hearted Clergyman or two were found; true neither to the Libertys of their Country, nor the Interests of their Order? Every Age, and every Body of Men has had (and will have) its Iohn de Metingham's; it is enough if the Age, and the Body they were of has constantly abhorred them.

From what has been before related, it appears that this Exclusion of the Clergy from Parliament, so much talk'd of, is as much misunderstood: for, in the first place, That was really no Par­liament from whence they were excluded, but a Colloquium or Tractatus only, as the Writ of Summons Dugdale Summon. p. 18. expresly calls it. And the common Opinion, that this hapned at the Parliament of St. Edmondsbury, in crastino Animarum, is a com­mon mistake; for the Clergy were certainly both summon'd thither Dugd. p. 13., and present there throughout the whole Ses­sion MS. Chron. Eccl. Cant. & Eversden ante citat.: But they were not so in the Council of Sarum, on St. Matthias's day; to which, it appears by our Rolls Dugdale p. 19., that some particular Barons and [Page 331] Knights only were call'd, but not one of the Cler­gy. And here therefore Knigh­ton Col. 2492., and Eversden Rex Parliamentum su­um apud Sarum cum Laïcis ad hoc tantùm vocatis in die cinerum tenuit.— positively fix the Exclusion; and what they say, the whole course of the Story manifestly confirms. The Pretence for this Exclusion I sup­pose to have been, the Clergys Outlawry, and the seizure of their Temporaltys, which was judg'd a sufficient reason for denying 'em their Writs of Summons. And this also seems to have been the Ground of that famous Resoluti­on of the Judges in Keilway's Reports fol. 181.; where it is affirm'd, that the King might hold his Par­liament without the Spiritual Lords, i. e. when those Lords Spiritual are in the case of Out­laws, and under a Premunire, as they were, when that Judgment was given; and incapable therefore (as Opinions then ran) of their seats in Parliament. But later Times, and greater Authoritys have decided quite contrary; it be­ing upon several solemn Debates in the House of Commons, 35. Eliz. resolv'd See Sir Symonds d' Ewes Jour. p. 518., that a Man under an Outlawry was capable of being elected a Member: and what does not disable a single Person from being chosen into Parliament, could be no sufficient reason for shutting the whole Spiritualty out of it, who are One of the Great­est Estates of this Realm 1. Eliz. c. 1.. All therefore that this celebrated Instance amounts to, is, that the King, having put the Clergy under an Outlaw­ry, against Law and Reason, held a select Coun­cil of the Laiety without them, against all Rule and Custom. And it must be remember'd, that this was not only Excluso Clero, but Excluso Po­pulo too; for neither had the Countys, Citys, [Page 332] and Burroughs any Representatives there: and such an Instance can, I am sure, no ways pre­judice the Parliamentary Interest of the Clergy.

To proceed therefore in our Account of it,— that is, in our Deduction of those particular Passages in our Historys and Records, which prove it all along, from the Insertion of the Pre­munientes down to the Times of the Reforma­tion. Three sorts of these there are, that de­serve to be taken notice of. First, Such as re­present the Convocation to be a Meeting Coïn­cident with the Parliament. Secondly, Such as speak of the Convocation Clergy, as of the Par­liament, and in it: And Thirdly, Such as de­clare the Particular Intents and Purposes, for which the Convocation Clergy were, and were esteem'd to be, of the Parliament.

The First of these points, as far as Antient Practice is concern'd, our Adversarys seem to grant: or, should they dispute it, yet it has already, in the former part of this Book, by many plain Evidences and Authoritys been made good. However, since it falls once more in my way, I shall here add a few Instances of the same kind, by way of Supplement.

13 E. II. The King is said, ad requisitionem Praelatorum & Cleri regni nostri [then sitting] to have prorogu'd the Parliament Dugd. Summ. p. 108..

5. E. III. In a Bishop's Summons to Parlia­ment, we find this Clause,—Et quia ante haec tempora Communia Regni nostri negotia, propter aliquorum Praelatorum & Magnatum absentiam, qui ad Convocationes & Parliamenta hujusmodi, non ad dies statutos, sed diù post modùm venerunt, frequenter retardata fuerunt, ad commune dam­num Populi regni nostri; volumus, &c. quod [Page 333] dicto Crastino omnimodò sitis apud Nos ad Locum praedictum; & praemuniatis Priorem Archidiaco­nos & caeteros, qùod ipsi similiter intersint; qui­a intentionis nostrae existit, quòd Parliamentum illud cum celeritate qu [...] poterit finiatur Ibid. p. 163., &c. This implys plainly, that these Two Assemblys, [the Convocation, and Parliament] were us'd [ante haec tempora] long before this time, to assemble concurrently; as also (which relates to the second point) that the Praemonish'd Cler­gy, so assembling in Convocation, were yet rec­kon'd to be of the Parliament.

13. E. III. Mention is made of Writs then to be issu'd, One to call the Convocation of the Province of Cant, and the Other, that of York, against the Time to which the next Parliament was Summon'd Abr. of Rec. p. 19..

20. E. III. The Bishops are commanded to certify into Chancery the Names of all Aliens, their Benefices, and Values, avaunt le jour de la Convocation de la Clergie, ou adonque à pl [...]s tard Rot. Parl. n. 46.. i. e. before, or at the next Convocation, which was to fit with the next Parliament.

29. E. III. (Cl. m. 8. dors.) The King's Writ for a Convocation recites, that he had, pro ar­duis & urgentibus negotiis Nos & Statum Regni nostri Angliae & necessariam defensionem ejusdem regni concernentibus, call'd his Parliament to Westm [...]. die Iovis, in crastino Sti Martini—and then adds,—Et quia expedit quòd praedicta nego­tia, quae salvationem & de [...]ensionem regni nostri sic contingunt, salubriter & efficaciter cum bonâ & maturâ deliberatione deducantur; Vobis man­damus rogantes,— to call the Clergy of Cant. Prov. to Pauls, die Lunae prox post festum S. Mar­tini—ad tractandum & cons [...]lendum super prae­missis— [Page 334] T. Rege apud Westmr. 25. Sept. The same Praeamble literally recurrs in the Writ of the 31. E. III. (Cl. m. 21. dors.); and something Equivalent to it is to be found in several suc­ceeding ones.

1. R. II. The Clergy grant a Xth. on conditi­on that the Commons give a XVth: Registr. Sudbury f. 44. b. and on the other side, (8. R. II.) the Commons offer two XVths, on condition that the Clergy shall give two Xths Registr. Courtney f. 81. b., These Mutual Stipulations im­ply, that the two Assemblys were concurrent: They were practis'd frequently in the Entrance of this Reign See Rot. Par. IV. R. 2. n. 13. VII. R. 2. n. 13. VII. R. 2. n. 12., but now, in this last Instance, a Check was given to them; for the Archbishop protesting, in behalf of the Clergy, that the Condition was against the Liberty of the Church, and insisting that it ought not to remain there, it was by the King's Order with-drawn. For which reason there is now no mention of it in the Rolls of this Parliament.

More such Passages as these might be brought in each succeeding Reign; but I shall content my self to step an hundred Years forwards, and produce one only out of the Continuer of the Annals of Croyland. In his account of E. the IVth's last Parliament Anno 1483., he tells us, that the King, nihil a Communitate subsidii pecuniarii ex­petere ausus, betook himself to the Clergy, quasi (adds the Monk) semel comparentibus Praelatis & Clero in eorum Convocatione, quicquid Rex pe­tit, id sieri debeat P. 563..

These, I confess, are not Direct and full Proofs of the Convocations sitting ordinarily with the Parliament, but only intimate and sup­pose it; and are therefore mention'd here, not so much to strengthen that point, which is other­wise [Page 335] sufficiently secur'd, as to illustrate and ex­plain it. The Passages of the second sort which represent the Convocation Clergy, as of the Par­liament, and acting in it, have more Weight in them: Some of these I have already offer'd P. 60. &c., and shall now add several others. The Reader, who considers that the very stress of the Debate lies here, and who has withal any Tast of these studys, will not, though I abound in Proofs of this kind, think me Tedious.

The first Instance I shall give, is from the Ar­ticuli Cleri (10. E. II.) the Praeamble of which recites, qùod cùm dudùm temporibus Pro­genitorum nostrorum quondam Regum Angliae in diversis Parliamentis suis, & similiter postquam regni nostri gubernacula suscepimus in Parliamen­tis nostris, per Praelatos & Clerum regni nostri plures Articuli continentes Gravamina Ecclesiae Anglicanae & ipsis Praelatis & Clero illata, ut in eïsdem asserebatur, porrecti fuissent, & cum in stantiâ supplicatum ut inde apponeretur remedi­um opportunum; ac nuper in Parliamento nostro [...]p [...]d Lincoln, anno Regni nostri nono, Articulos subscriptos, & quasdam Respon [...]iones, ad aliquos eorum prius factas coram Concilio nostro recitari, ac quasdam responsiones corrigi, & caeteris Arti­culis subscriptis per Nos & dictum nostrum Con­cilium fecimus responderi, &c. Spelm. Conc. Vol. 2. p. 483.. Words which shew the Lower Clergy, as well as Prelates, to have been look'd upon as of the Parliament, and acting in it; not then only, but long before al­so, in the Reigns of several of that Princes Pro­genitors; to wit, in those of E. I. and H. the III. at least, if not higher. And I the rather produce them at length (as Sir William Dugdale copied [Page 336] them from a Cotton-ManuscriptOtho. A. 15. fol. 136., and from the Archbishop's Register Raynold, f. 76.), be­cause the Printed Statutes See Rastal Vol. 1. p. 57. have given a different turn to them, and made them utterly insigni­ficant to the purposes for which I urge them.

In the 13th. Year of this Prince, a Writ to the Archbishop Cl. m. 20. dors. thus speaks— Cùm in Parlia­mento nostro ultimo apud Eborum summonito, per vestrum caeterorumque Praelatorum, & Pro­cerum regni Consilium & Assensum, &c. Xa Cleri in Provinciâ Eborum, XVIIIva bonorum mobilium Communitatis, & XIIma in Civitatibus & Burgis & Dominicis nostris nobis—fuerint concessae Registr. Henr. Pri. fol. 211.. Where we see the Clergy of that Province in which the Parliament was held, are said to have granted in Parliament; in like manner as the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses did.

In a statute of the 25. E. III. See it Rastall V. 1. p. 100. there is men­tion of a Dism, & Quindism, granted by the Commons: which is a clear proof of what I have before advanc'd P. 59., that the Commons Spiritual come often times under that Appellation; for the Dism here mention'd was given by the Spi­ritualty, and the Quindism by the Temporalty, as the Nature of the Grants speaks, and Knigh­ton expresly informs us Col. 2603.

And this Language meets us frequently in the Rolls; for again, 50. E. III. n. 168. ‘The Com­mons of Tividal as well Reli­gious as Saecular Prayen Abr. of Rec. p. 137. I have not the Transcript of the Roll by me, but as I re­member the French word there is Liges Gens—:’ and in the same Parliament, n. 162. ‘The Commons of the Diocese of York complain of the Outragi­ous taking of the Bishop and his Clerks for admission of Priests to their [Page 337] Benefices Ibid p. 136., by which, as I conceive, the Commons Spiritual are most naturally understood.’

In the same Year a Constitution of Simon Islep is said to be made, de consilio & consensu Fra­trum nostrorum in Parliamento praesentium, & Procuratorum absentium Spelm. Conc. Vol. 2. p. 598. This Decree, we must believe, pass'd in Convocation; and that Meeting therefore was then esteem'd Parliamen­tary: for why else, should the Bishops, when acting in their Convocational capacity, be spoken of as present in Parliament?

And here also I must take notice of a Passage in that Antient Piece, Modus tenendi Parliamen­tum; I call it Antient, because Mr. Selden him­self, who first discover'd it not to be of the Age it pretends, says, he saw a Copy of it in an Hand of E. the III. And indeed younger than that it cannot well be, for it would not then have been enter'd (as part of it is) in Arundel's Register, for a piece of real Antiquity, without any suspicion of its Forgery. And it may there­fore safely be produc'd as a General Evidence of the Practise in E. the III's time, at least of the Opinion which Men then had of the Lower Clergys Parliamentary Rights and Interests in Elder Ages. The Passages in it which concern us, are—Ad Parliamentum summoneri & venire debent ratione Tenurae suae omnes & singuli Ar­chiepiscopi, Episcopi, Abbates, Priores, & alii Majores Cleri, qui tenent per Comitatum vel Ba­roniam, ratione hujusmodi tenurae; & nulli Mi­nores, nisi eorum praesentia & adventus aliunde quam pro Tenu­ris suis requiratur; ut si sint de Consilio Regis, &c. The Copy that Mr. Selden (Tit. Hon. part 2. c. 5.) and that which my Lord Coke (Inst. part 4. p. 4.47.) us'd, dif­fer'd some what from this, and from each other; but those differences are not material. Item Rex facere soleba [...] summonitiones suas [Page 338] Archiepiscopis, Episcopis, & aliis Exemptis Per­sonis, ut Abbatibus, Prioribus, Decanis, & aliis Ecclesiasticis Personis quae habent Iurisdictiones per hujusmodi Exemptiones & Privilegia separa­tim quod ipsi pro quolibet Decanatu & Archidia­conatu Angliae per ipsos Decanatus & Archidia­conatus eligi sacerent duos peritos & idoneos Pr [...] ­curatores [de proprio Archidiaconatu] ad venien­dum & interessendum ad Parliamentum, ad illud subeundum, allegandum & faciendum idem quod facerent omnes & singulae personae ipsorum Decana tuum & Archidiaconatuum, si ibidem personali­ter interessent. Et quod hujusmodi Procuratores veniant cum Warantis suis duplicatis sigillis su­periorum suorum signatis, quod ipsi ad hujusmodi Procurationem Clerici missi sunt. Quarum Lite­rarum una liberabitur Clericis de Parliamente ad irrotulandum, & alia residebit penes ipsos Pro­curatores. Et sic sub istis duobus generibus sum­mon [...]ri debet Totus Clerus ad Parliamentum Dacher. Spicileg. T. 12. p. 557.. I know very well, that this Account in the Mo­dus, is not suited to the exact manner of the Clergys Summons to any Parliament, the Re­cords of which are left us; and therefore I pro­duce it only as a General Proof, that the Lower Clergy were some way or other call'd to Parlia­ment, and were understood to have been so call'd for some Ages, at the time that this Mo­dus was fram'd. My Lord Coke Ibid., from the first Lines of what I have cited, endeavours to l [...]ssen and bring down the Parliament-Rights of the Lower Clergy; but without considering, that the same words are afterwards us'd also of the Lay Commons.

2. R. II. In the Register of Selby Bibl. Cott. Cleop. D. 3. f. [...]., the King's Letter to the Abbat of that Monastery takes no­tice, [Page 339] that ‘divers reasons had been shew'd in Parliament, why the payment of the Disms and Quindisms, granted in the said Parliament by the Clergy and Laiety of the Kingdom Les dismes & quindis­mes à nos grantez au di [...] Parliament per le Clergie, & per lez Lays de nostre Royaume.—, should be antici­pated: and that accordingly the Archbishop of Cant. with the other Prelates and Clergy of his Province had agreed to it, as also the Archbishop of York, and those Prelates No mention of the Lower Clergy of York Prov [...]n [...]e, be­cause They at that time were not present, but holding a Con­vocation at Home, together with all the Prelates of th [...] Province, who were not Barons of Parliament. of his Province who were present. But that some of the Clergy of that Province delay'd payment, as the King understood, at which he much marvelled, and was highly dis­pleas'd Encontre ce que feu [...] acordez a nostre dit Parle­ment, dont nous avons grande merveil & d [...]sp [...]eser. Et sur [...]eo escrivon [...] a dit l'ercevelque de Everwy [...]k empriant & requirant que consideres les choses sus [...]i­tes, & coment la Province [...] Everwick à condiz [...] ­s [...]umez en le temps [of E▪ III.] affere semblablement, & aussi bien come o [...]t fait ceux de la Province de Can­terbiri, &c.: And had therefore written to the Archbishop of York, praying, and requiring him (in consideration of that Agreement in Parliament, and according to the Custom esta­blish'd in Edward the III's time, for the Province of York to do always as that of Cant. did) to take effectual Care that all his Clergy did their Duty in this respect.’ I have enlarged my Recital of this Letter thus far, because, beside the main purpose for which I have vouch'd it, [...]t furnishes us also with the Proof of a By­point, which has been before laid down in these Papers P. 46, 47., that the Convocation of York was [...]ook'd upon as under some kind of Obligation [...]o follow the Pattern set by that of Canterbury.

[Page 340]The Protestations of the whole Clergy against Divers Bills, are mention'd in the Rolls, and sometimes enter'd at length: a manifest Evi­dence that they had somthing to do in Parlia­ment; for otherwise, I am sure, they could have had no Pretence to Protest against what was do­ing there; nor would the Parliament have ac­cepted, and entred such Protestations. These ran indeed sometimes in the Name of the Arch­bishops alone, but were however made on the be­half of their Suffragans also, and of the whole Clergy of their Provinces; as the Rolls Rot. Parl. 13. R. 2. n. 24. ex­presly speak. And this is in general to be observed, that oftentimes, in matters Parlia­mentary, where the Bishops names only are mention'd, yet it was not Their Act alone, but had the Concurrence also of the Convocati­on Clergy. Thus the Statute of the Clergy 25. E. III. Rastall p. 93. is in the Preamble said to have taken its rise from a Petition of the Bishops: but if we look into the Roll of that Parliament, we shall find that the Bishops petition'd for them­selves, & tote la Clergie. And 15. E. III. n. 19. though Archbishops and Bishops only are nam'd, yet in the Note of the King's answer (n. 26.) they are call'd Generally, Petitions of the Clergy. This well deserves our Notice, because it gives us a true account, how the Parliament Prelates came to act in Parliament for the whole State Spiritual: for that being at hand always, was consulted and advis'd with in every thing that related to them; and the Result of those De­bates was by the Lords Spiritual laid before the Parliament.

21. R. II. The Clergy of both Provinces ap­point a Common Lay Proctor to consent for [Page 341] them to some Matters done in Parliament, which they could not Lawfully be present at; and the Form of the Power given by Them to this pur­pose in writing, is as follows. Nos Thomas Cant. & Robertus Eboracensis Archiepiscopi ac Praelati & Clerus utriusque Provinciae Cant. & Ebor. Jure Ecclesiarum nostrarum & Tempora­lium earundem habentes jus interessendi in singu­lis Parliamentis domini nostri Regis & Regni An­gliae pro tempore celebrandis, nec non tractandi & expediendi in eïsdem—Quantum ad singula in in­stanti Parliamento pro Statu & Honore domini no­stri Regis, nec non Regaliae suae, ac Quiete, Pace, & Tranquillitate Regni Iudicialiter justificandâ, Venerabili Viro Thomae de Percy Militi nostram plenariè committimus potestatem; ita ut singula per ipsum facta in praemissis perpetuis temporibus [rata] habeantur Rot. Par. n. 10. This Instrument is by or­der enroll'd, and the Right therefore which the Prelates and Inferior Clergy there claim, of be­ing of every Parliament, and acting in it, is by the King, and his Great Council, who order'd this Enrollment, admitted and affirm'd.

2. H. IV. c. 15. The Statute against the Lol­lards sprung from a Remonstance made to the King, ex parte Praelatorum & Cleri Regni sui Angliae in praesenti Parliamento, as the Preamble speaks: and again it is said, in the Body of it; super quibus quidem Novitatibus & Excessibus superiùs recitatis Praelati & Clerus supradicti, ac etiam Communitates dicti regni, in eodem Parliamento existentes dicto domino Regi suppli­caverunt Constitt. Provv. ad finem Lyn­wood. pp. 62, 63.. And at their Request, the King Enacts, ex assensu Magnatum, & aliorum Pro­cerum ejusdem regni in dicto Parliamento existen­tium.—So that the Prelates, and Barons, the [Page 342] Commons, and Lower Clergy are alike here said to be present in Parliament.

The Testimony of Walsingham also, who liv'd at this time is considerable: He appears to have been excellently well vers'd in our Records, and speaks properly always, though not Elegantly, of the matters he relates: And his Phrase, where he gives an account of any Grant, or Act of the Clergy in Convocation, usually is; Clerus in eo­dem Parliamento conce [...]it, or Statuit. Of which take One very remarkable Instance. Anno 1391. (says he) Parliamentum incaeptum est intra mensem & faeliciter expeditum. Nempe praeter Xam a Clero & XVtam a Populo concessam, mul­ta alia sunt in Clero & Populo ad Regis Placitum reformata; & praecipu [...] in Ordine Nigrorum Mo­nachorum, illic in maximo numero, Regis Edicto, insimul congregato. Fuerant itaque ibidem eti­em 60 Abbates, & Priores Conventuales, & eti­um 300 & amplius Monachi, Doctores & Procu­rato [...]s—Statutum [...]uerat etiam in eodem Parlia­mento, ad instantiam maximè domini Regis, ut asseritur, per clerum, ut tertium Beneficium, &c. It is the Convocation-Clergy, and Convo­cation-Business, that the Historian all along here speaks of; and yet he speaks of the first we see, as being of, and of the second, as done in Parlia­ment: so closely were those Two Meetings then thought to be united and ally'd. And the same is Perpetually the Style 133 [...]. Edvardus Parliamen­tum tenuit, in quo Ar­chiepisco­pus Cant. Concilio Cleri cele­brato. Regi Xam trien­nalem à Clero con­cedi obti­nuit. p. [...]22. 1371. In h [...]c Parliamento Cleri Synodus ab Archiepiscopo celebrata est. p. [...]3. 1344. —Parliamentum tenu [...]t In eo Clerus ei concessit Xas triennales, [...] [...]36. & of the Author of that Excellent Book de Antiquitate Ecclesiae Britanni­cae; than whom none understood our Constituti­on better, or express'd himself with greater Ex­actness.

[Page 343]To descend to Times nearer our Own. In the 21. H. VIII. The Summer before the Clergys Submission, a Letter was written to the Pope, about the affair of the Divorce, by many Mem­bers of Parliament, Herbe [...]t's His [...]. p. 334 who subscribe it under eight distinct Ranks, or Classes; the last of which is, Milites & Doctores in Parliamento: Eleven of these there are, and several of 'em Clergymen; as particularly Wolman, Sampson, Gardiner, Lee, &c. Who seem to have subscrib'd as Members of Convocation; for Wolman at this time was Prolocutor Act. MS. Conv. 1529. And I do not see how otherwise some of them could be reckon'd of the Parlia­ment, being not, that I can find, call'd up thi­ther, either as the King's Great Officers, or by Writ of Assistance.

I have already mention'd P. 62. a Mandate of Bon­ner's, in 1543. very observable for the way in which it is worded. There is another issu'd a­bout two Years before this, 32. H. VIII. (the first time, for ought appears, that the Clergys Subsidys were confirm'd by Parliament): and there the Phrase differs a little; for the Prelates and Clergy of Cant. Prov. are said to have granted a subsidy tam in ultim [...] ipsorum Praelatorum & Cleri dictae Prov. Cant. Convocatione apud D. Paul. Lond. quàm etiam in Parliamento hujus reg­ni tùm apud Westm. sacrâ regiâ auctoritate respe­ctivè tentis Registr. Bonner f. 21. a., and so again in another, dated 10. Decem. 1544. Ibid. f. 66. a. and in a Third of Bishop Rid­ley's, drawn 4•o E. VI Ridley's Registr. f. 287. b.. So that all along from the Time when the Premunientes was first inser­ted, down to the Reformation, and below it, the Clergy assembling in Convocation have been still reputed and spoken of in our Records, and most Authentick Writers, as attending on the [Page 344] Parliament, being of it, and acting in it: To what Intents and Purposes they were so, and how far their Parliamentary Interest in these times extended, is to be our Third and Last Enquiry.

'Tis upon many accounts too nice a Point, to be fully and exactly stated here: Something however, as it falls in my way, I shall say of it; desiring the Reader (as I have done already on other Occasions) to remember, that I meddle not in what follows, with what is, or ought to be the Clergys Right, or Priviledge now; but only with what it has been heretofore; and that I act the part of a mere Historian, not of an Advocate.

Their Great Parliamentary Right was to Tax themselves, which they did always by separate Grants, and those antiently neither prescrib'd, nor confirm'd by the Laiety in Parliament. till 32. H. 8. When therefore in the 4 R. II. Rot. Par. n. 13. ‘the Commons proffer'd a certain Summ, so the Clergy, who (they said) had the third part of the Realm, would give as much, it was answer'd by the Clergy; that their Grants never had been, nor ought to be made in Parliament [in that sense of the word, by which the Parliament is oppos'd to the Convocation] that neither could the Laiety constrain Them in this respect, nor They the Laiety: praying the King withal, that the Libertys of the Church might be still preserv'd, as they had hitherto been; and that the Commons might be requir'd to do their Dutys, as the Clergy would also certain­ly do Theirs, and had always done.’ Upon which the Commons Proposal was with-drawn, and they granted without that Condition. And [Page 345] the same Motion was made again, and quash'd, after a very remarkable manner, in the Eighth Year of this King, as I have already had occa­sion to observe.

This Priviledge they enjoy'd chiefly as to their Old Revenues, with which they were endowed be­fore the Statute of Mortmain; but for what they acquir'd after that Act, they were rated toge­ther with the Laiety, notwithstanding their fre­quent Struggles against it. See Abr. of Rec. 15. E. III. p. 33.14. E. III. p. 28.20. E. III. p. 51.1. R. II. p. 163.

Another of their Great Parliamentary Privi­ledges was, To begin Bills by Petition from themselves, in the same manner as the Commons did; and those Requests, when answer'd from the Throne, by the advice of the King's Great Council, grew Statutes, or Ordinances of Par­liament. The Rolls are full every were of These; which are mention'd under a distinct Head from those of the Commons, and Receiv­ers are now and then particularly appointed for them 21. E. III. See Abr. of Rec. p. 51.. They came sometimes from both Pro­vinces Rot. Par. 1. R. II. n. 112. joyntly, but generally from the Pro­vince of Cant. alone; and the Style of them was—Supplicant vestri Humiles Oratores, Prae­lati, & Clerus 4. H. IV. n. 19.2. H. 4. n. 48. Prov. Cant. Or Humiles & Devoti Oratores Clerus totius Prov. Cant. 50. E. III. n.. Vos assiduels Oratours, & devotz Prelatz, & toute la Clergie de Province, &c. 51. E. III n. 80. Vostre Cha­pelains, La Commune de la Clergie 25. E. III n. 69.. These Requests for the most part began in the Lower House of Convocation; especially when they tended to the Redress of Grievances, in which the Lower Clergy were most nearly concern'd: and took it therefore to be their peculiar Pro­vince to draw up Heads of these, and propose them either immediately to the King and Parlia­ment, [Page 346] or to the Prelates of the Upper House, in order to their being propos'd in Par­liament.

The Clergy further claim'd, in those times, to have no Bills in derogation of any of their Priviledges and Immunities pass without their Consent. And in favor to this Claim of theirs it was, that when such Bills were offer'd, they were enacted sometimes by the King, under a Condition, that the Clergy should thereto agree Rot. Par. 9. R. II. n. 44.; and at other times, referr'd to the Clergy in Convocation; and the Answers made by them to such Petitions reported in Parliament. Nume­rous Instances there are in both these kinds; I shall mention some few of them.

11. H. IV. n. 70. A Petition from the Com­mons is thus answer'd; C [...]st matteire appertient a S. Eglise—& quant a la Residence remedie em [...]ust purveu en le darrain Convocacion. Another Petition of theirs (7. R. II. n. 53.) thus: The King will Charge the Clergy to amend the same. It related to the Extortions of Ordinarys for the Probates of Wills.

18. E. I. The Commons desire Remedy de multimodis injustis Vexationibus eïs factis per Officiales, & alios Ministros Ecclesiae. The King reply'd, Cancellarius emendet in Temporalibus, Archiepiscopus in Spiritualibus Sir Rob. Cotton Rem. p. 216. i. e. the Archbi­bishop in Convocation.

21. E. III. n. 48. To a Petition of the Com­mons about the Tithe of Great Wood, claim'd, as they say, by the Clergy, in vertue of a late Constitution, the King's answer is; L'ercev [...] que de Canterbery & les auters Evesques ont [...]sponduz que tiele disme nest demandee per res [...] de la dit Constitution, forsque de s [...]bbois.

[Page 347]27. H. 6. n. 25. The Commons pray a Par­don, in behalf of some of the Clergy, allowing the King a Noble an head for every one of the Priests so pardon'd. The King's Answer is (what, for as much as there is no Intimation of it in the Abridgement, I shall at length Trans­cribe): ‘At the Reverence of, and for the Love and Tenderness that the King hath to the Chirche, and to the Ministers of the same, he woll that this Bill as to th' Imposicion that shuld bate the Secular Prests of this Roialme not benefic'd as Stipendiaries and Chauntrie Prests, be committed to the Archbishops and Bishops in the Convocations of the Clergies of this Roialme, because it toucheth the Immuni­tie and Libertie of the Chirche, the which the King intendeth to keep without hurte or Pre­judice in all wyse. And as touching the Par­don conteyned in this Bill, in case the Nobles of the said Prests be graunted to him in the said Convocacions, then the King woll that the said Pardon stond in his vertue and strength, without fyne or fee payeing therefore, by au­ctorite of this present Parliament.’

And when in the same Session the Commons petition'd for the Perpetual Imprisonment of Fe­lonious Clarks, they were thus answer'd, ‘For­asmuche as the matter conteyned in this Peti­tion perteineth to Spiritueltie, the King woll that th' Archbishops and the Bishops of this Roialme set suche due Remedye thereynne as shall seeme to theire wisedom covenable and sufficient therefore hereafter, and that the Chirche have its freedomes and Libertees. n. 22.’

[Page 348]45. E. III. n. 47. The Commons ask, that the Statutes of the Priests, by Assent of the Cler­gy may be observ'd Abr. of Rec. p. 114.. Again,

50. E. III. n. 46. They desire que nul Estatute, ne Ordenance soit faite ne grante au Petition du Clergie, si ne soit per assent de Voz Commenes; ne que vous dites Communes ne soient obligez per nulles constitutions quils font pur lour avantage, sanz assent de voz dites Commenes. The Reason of which Re­quest follows; Car eux ne veullent estre obligez a nul de voz Estatutz ne Ordinances faitz sanz lour assent. i. e. to none, made to their Hurt and Detriment, & pur avantage de Gens Layes. In the Kings answer, the Truth of what is here as­serted, is not deny'd; but the Request and the Imputation being too general, it was order'd— Soit ceste matiere declaree en special.

The Protestation of the Clergy against the Statute of Provisors 13. R. II. n. 18. runs, That they assent to no Act, made in that or any other Parliament, in restrictionem Potestatis Apostolicae, aut in sub­versionem, enervationem, seu derogationem Eccle­siasticae Libertatis.

Nay even as low as the Year 1529 or 30, I find 'em asserting their suppos'd Priviledges in this respect, and complaining of some Statutes For an ac­count of which See Hist. of Ref. Vol. 1. p. 82. which pass'd in that Parliament to their Preju­dice, ad quae facienda nec consenserunt per se, nec per Procuratores suos; neque super eïsdem con­sulti fuerunt. 'Tis in a Petition yet unprinted, and which I shall therefore from a Cotton-Manu­script transcribe into the Appendix See N. XV..

And some things have been reckon'd to be so properly of Ecclesiastical Cognizance, that even in Acts of Parliament made since the Re­formation concerning them, the Previous Reso­lution, [Page 349] or Concurrence of the Clergy in Convo­cocation has been expresly taken notice of. Thus 5 and 6 E. VI. c. 12. The Learned Clergy of the Realm are said to have determin'd Priests Marriages to be most Lawful, by the Law of God, in their Convocation, as well by their Common Assent, as by the Subscription of their hands. And 1 Eliz. c. 1. allow'd not the High Commissioners to or­der, determin, or adjudge any matter or cause to be Heresy, but only such as have heretofore been determin'd, order'd, or adjudg'd to be Heresy, by the Authority of the Canonical Scriptures, or by the first four General Councils, or any of them, or by any other General Council, wherein the same was declared Heresy by the express and Plain Words of the said Canonical Scriptures or such as shall hereafter be order'd, judg'd, or determin'd to be Heresy by the High Court of Parliament of this Realm, with the Assent of the Clergy in their Convocation. And so in several other Statates.

Beyond all this, their Consent in Parliament has also, by way of Condescension, been some­times ask'd, and admitted, even in matters where they were not particularly interested. For 9. H. V. the whole Body of the Clergy (under the Style of Proelati & Clerus) concurr'd to the Ratification of a League by Parliament; where­in it is said, how the King Tres Status regni, viz. Praelatos & Clerum, Nobiles & Magnates, nec non & Communitates dicti regni—ad Palati­um suum Westminster—ad majorem firmitatem & robur pacis praedictae; nec non propter alias cau­sas suum statum, regnum, & regni utilitatem concernentes juxta morem & consuetudinem ejus­dem fecerat convocari—Coram quibus tribus Sta­tibus idem Serenissimus dominus Rex, &c. made [Page 350] this Treaty be read, and They confirm'd it. n. 15.

And the very same Method, I doubt not, was practis'd 35. E. III. when, according to Walsing­ham's account, in Parliamento Londoniis propo­nebatur cunctis Regni Statibus Concordia inter Reges Stabilita, placuitque Yp. Neu­str. ad ann. 1361. cunctis dictam con­cordiam recipere & tenere Yp. Neu­str. ad ann. 1361..

6. H. VI. n. 27. When it was Enacted, that no Man should contract or marry himself to any Queen of England, without the King's leave; the Record says, that‘the Bishops and Clergy agree to it, as far forth as the same swerveth not from the Law of God, and of the Church, and so as the same importeth no Deadly Sin. Abr. of Rec. p. 589..’

In all the Judgments of the Parliament 21. R. II. the Name and Assent of the Proctors of the Clergy is particularly alledg'd Abr. of Rec. p. 381., to counte­nance (as the Historian of our Reformation sup­poses Part 2. p. 49.) the Acts of that Meeting, wherein the whole Proceeding of a former Parliament was annull'd; and to give a Collateral Assent, and Authority to them, as another Writer L. M. P. p. 32. (not much amiss, I think) distinguishes. And thus far I can agree with Both: but when his Lord­ship further adds, that this is the only time that they are mention'd as bearing a share in the Le­gislative Power, I must beg leave to believe the Records before him: One of which [the Instru­ment of Succession in H. IVth's time] has been already produc'd P. 61, 62.; and his Lordship upon a view of the Words cannot, I dare say, doubt whether the Clergy were, in that Instance, al­low'd a share in the Legislative Power; for the Succession is said to be settled, not only with their Consent, but by their Authority.

[Page 351]Such have the Instances been, in which they either claim'd, or were indulg'd a consenting Voice; and for the sake of which, as it should seem, their Summons ad consentiendum issu'd out all along, even after their Compleat Sepa­ration. Not that the same Reasons still conti­nue, though the same Summons does; for 200 Years Disuse has barr'd the Clergy from acting Parliamentarily in several Instances, which here­tofore they were allow'd to interpose in. Our Constitution is much alter'd in many of these respects: and (to say the Truth) it was fit, that in many of'em it should be al [...]er'd; and that the Parliamentary Interest of the Lower Clergy should be reduc'd (as it is) to Matters Ecclesia­stical, and such Things as concern either Religi­on, or their Order. And in this Sphaere, I con­ceive, they still move, and are still a Parliamen­tary Assembly; whose Consent is regularly to be had to all Laws, relating to Faith, or Church-Discipline, when ever the Parliament shall please to enact any; and whose consent, when Previ­ous to such Laws, is, I presume, most Regular. They have still a Right o [...] being summon'd to ▪ and with every new Parliament, and a Right of sitting by vertue of that Summons; in order, not to those High Affairs of State, which they once consider'd jointly with my Lords the Bi­shops, when they sat with them in Parliament; and which made the Constant Preamble of their Convocation-Writs, long after they separated: but for some Religious Ends, and Church Pur­poses; with which, however, the Safety and Peace of the State is closely interwoven. They are to be ready, to offer to the King and Parlia­ment, what they shall Judge serviceable to the [Page 352] Interests of Piety and Good Manners; and to consider of what shall be offer'd to them; to re­monstrate against what may be passing there to their Disadvantage; and to pray Help of the States, in such matters as may redound both to the Benefit of their Own Order, and to the good of the whole Kingdom. In these, and several such respects as these, the Clergy have still a Right of Attending on every New Parliament; and (which ought to be consider'd) the Par­liament have also a Right of being attended by them, as their Proper Assistants, and Councelors in matters Ecclesiastical, whose Judgment is in many cases to be ask'd even where it may not be follow'd; and whose Resolutions are not with­out Weight, even when they are without Au­thority.

'Tis in this case, as in that of the Iudges, the Masters in Chancery, and the King's Coun­cil learned in the Law; who have a Right of being call'd up to the House of Lords, and to that end can demand their Writs of Assistance: Nor is this all; for the Lords also have a Right of being thus assisted by them; and can there­fore claim their attendance, though they them­selves should be willing to forego it: The Pri­viledge is mutual, and not to be wav'd on the one side, without Consent of the other. In like manner, I say, the Convocation-Clergy may be consider'd as the Council Spiritual of Parliament; to whose attendance therefore, that August Bo­dy is entitled; and in whose Summons and sit­ting consequently, it is in a near manner con­cern'd. For should there not be frequent need of their Advice or Assistance, yet as it is for the Honour of the two Houses, that the Clergy [Page 353] should be ready always, against there shall be need of it; so is it for their Interest too, to keep up a Title to such Assisting Assemblys, by keep­ing up the Assemblys themselves. It is possible, that there may be no occasion of advising with the Iudges, throughout an whole Session of Parliament. Could the Lords certainly foresee this, yet they would not, I suppose, consent that their Summons should, for that time, be drop'd, or even their Attendance excus'd.

The Argument therefore advanc'd in these Papers must be look'd upon, as a Plea for the Priviledges, not of the Convocation-Clergy only, but of the Parliament it self also, to which they belong; and to whose Assemblys, Theirs, are now, and from the first settlement of Christia­nity among us have been, strictly united: not indeed constantly in the same Respects, and by the very same State-Tyes, and Ligaments; but sometimes by more, and sometimes by fewer; and always by such, and so many, as were need­ful to preserve, and prove the Union. An Ac­count of these, regularly deduc'd through the several Periods of time, from the earliest Saxon Age downwards, has been the business of this Chapter: not with any Aim of retrieving lost Rights, or building New Pretensions on Old dis­us'd Practises; but merely to shew, that the Parliamentary Assemblys of the Clergy, are of the Essence of our Government, have been pra­ctis'd from the foundation of it, and are woven into the Frame of it; and can never therefore without doing Violence to our good Old Con­stitution, be suppress'd.

[Page 354]The Ends and Uses indeed of these Conventi­ons of the Clergy have been different; but un­der all those Varietys, the Right, and the Pra­ctise of Convening has still continu'd the same, without being ever, till now, interrupted, or disputed. And therefore (to repeat here at the close of this Chapter, what I have said already at the Entrance of it) it makes nothing against the Clergys Right of Meeting with the Parlia­ment, that they are now no Member, or Estate of Parliament (as Dr. W. objects): since they are, however, an Estate of the Realm, oblig'd and entitled by the fixt Rules of our Constitution to assemble with the Parliament; and which has, according to this Obligation, and by this Title, assembled with it, now for some hundred Years, since all Pretence of assembling, as an Estate of Parliament, vanish'd.

And now, I have, I think, answer'd all Dr. W's Objections on this first Head; unless we should allow a certain poor Colour of his to pass for an Objection, where he tells us, that Our Kings have often been wont to hold Convocations when there were were no Parliaments sitting Pp. 229. (286.): from whence he would have it understood, that those two Meetings have no manner of dependence upon one another; and that the King therefore is as much at Liberty to hold a Parliament with­out a Convocation, as he has been to call a Con­vocation without a Parliament. To this End he has adorn'd his Appendix with a learned List of Convocations antiently held without Parliaments, or at different Times from them Num. VI.: an whole Dozen of which he finds in the Compass of [Page 355] 240 Years From 1287. to 1538.. 'Tis a mercy, his knowledge is somewhat stinted in this way: for else, we should assuredly have had fifty Instances more of the kind; since so many at least, might, with­in that Compass of time, have been fetch'd from our Manuscript Registers, and Printed Historians. I could without difficulty number up the greatest part of them now, if it were either worth the Readers while to have such a List, or related any ways to the present Dispute; which turns not on the King's Prerogative of assembling Convocations out of Parliament (a Right undoubtedly belonging to the Crown in elder Times) but on the Spiritual Subject's Privi­ledge of being assembled in it. Had Dr. W. given us a List of Parliaments antiently held with­out Convocations, That indeed had been to his purpose, and would have gone a good way to­wards setling the Point between us. But here he is as reserv'd as one would wish; for from the beginning to the end of his Crude Work, there is not a single Instance of this kind made out, or so much as pretended Except the Trite▪ Instance of Exclus [...] Clero.. Nay, to see the fate of misapply'd Reading, even of those twelve insig­nificant Instances which he has produc'd, no less than eight are evidently mistaken, as to the Dates either of the Parliaments, or Convocati­ons mention'd in them. The Reader will ra­ther take my word for it, than allow me the li­berty of interrupting the Course of my Argu­ment so far, as to prove it: And I shall proceed therefore to consider and remove the several Ob­jections that lie also against the second Point ad­vanc'd in these Papers, that ‘the Clergy, when met, have a Right of Treating and Debating [Page 356] freely about such matters as lie within their proper Sphaere, and even of coming to fit Re­solutions upon them, without being necessita­ted antecedently to gratify themselves for such Acts or Debates, by a License under the Broad Seal of England.


IT had been argu'd from the General Nature of such Assemblys, as these we are treating of, that Freedom of Debate was their undoubted Right and Priviledge, incident to them as such, and inseparable from 'em. To this I find these several Answers return'd.

Dr. W. assures us, that the Debates of the most General and Famous Councils have been un­der as great Restraint as he supposes the Convo­cation to be P. 288.

L. M. P. adds, that Poyning's Law has ty'd up even a Parliament in Ireland as strictly P. 44.: and the Author of the Postscript At the end of a Book, en­tituled— An Essay concerning the Power of the Ma­gistrate, 8 [...]. 1697. fetches a third Instance from Scotland, where the Three Estates, he says, can debate of nothing, but what the Lords of the Articles have beforehand agreed on P. 198..

As to the first of these, supposing Dr. W's Al­legation true, yet he has been told, that there is no arguing from the Powers claim'd, or exercis'd by Emperors in those Great and Extraordinary Assemblys, to what is fit to be done in lesser and stated ones: and why such Inferences do not hold, some Reasons have been given him, which I need not now repeat. But in truth he mistakes, [Page 357] or misrepresents the Practise of the Emperors, even in these General and Famous Councils, which (I have shewn him p. 125, 6.) went no fur­ther, than to require a preference to that Parti­cular Business for the Dispatch of which they were Summon'd, not to exclude their debating on any thing, but what the Emperor propos'd to them. And of this the Canons of those Coun­cils are an Evidence beyond Dispute; which, both as to Matter and Form, took their Rise from the several Synods they were made in, without any Imperial Leave, or Direction for the framing them. With what Face then can Dr. W. vouch the Practise of these Councils as Precedents for that Degree of restraint he would have laid on an English Convocation? With what Truth or Conscience can he affirm, that they acted intirely according to the Prescription of the Emperors? P. 288. and deliberated on nothing, but what they were directed, or allowed (he means expresly, and particularly allow'd) by the Prince to deliberate on P. 48.? Whatever our Author may think of such Doctrine Now, or whatever he may Hope from it, sure I am, that had he liv'd, and utter'd it, while those Holy Synods were in being, it would not have been two or three Years afterwards before he had repented of it. But Old Councils are Dead and Gone; and a­ny thing, it seems, may be said of them. Let him not depend too much upon that: for they have Friends still in the World, that may hap­pen, yet before he dies, to meet together, and ask him a few Questions. A living Synod may some­time or other think it for its Interest, and find it in its Power, to vindicate the Honor and Autho­rity of the Dead ones.

[Page 358]Well, if Old Councils cannot afford a Pre­cedent, Modern Parliaments shall. Poyning's Law therefore is urg'd, which provides, ‘that All such Bills as shall be offer'd to the Parlia­ment of Ireland, shall be transmitted hither under the Great Seal of that Kindom; and having receiv'd approbation here, shall be sent back under the Great Seal of England, to be preferr'd to the Parliament of Ireland L. M. P. p 44..’ But what have we to do with Instances fetch'd from Conquered Countrys, who must receive what Terms the Victor pleases, and be glad of any? We live among another People, always Jealous of their Libertys, and careful to preserve them: in a Land, where slavery either in Church or State, though sometimes planted, could never thrive. And those Fetters therefore, which might perhaps justly be laid on an Irish Parlia­ment, may not fit an English Convocation so well; which is therefore free, because it is an English one. But after all, how far does this Law of Poynings reach; Our Lawyer tells us, that it leaves not the Parliament at Liberty to propose what Laws they please, that the Irish look upon it as Conclusive upon their Debates, and are satisfy'd: and again, that we have here an In­stance of a Parliament without Liberty of Debate. But this is too gross an Imposition upon the Credu­lity of his Readers; few of which are so ignorant, as not to be aware, that Poyning's Law layes a restraint only on the Enacting Power of their Parliament, but not on the Debates of it; which, notwithstanding this Act, are left as free as ever. They can still Treat and Conferr about all Mat­ters and Causes that are of Parliamentary Cog­nizance; they can Petition, Represent, and [Page 359] Protest: Nay they can propose what Heads of Bills they please, to be transmitted hither, and sent back thither in Form; of which we have had very late and frequent Experience. And how therefore the Abridgment of the Convoca­tions Liberty of Debate can be pretended to be justify'd by this Irish Precedent, is, I confess, past my English Understanding. For, as I take it, the Convocation desires no other Powers and Priviledges, but just what this Parliament claims and practises; and pleads only, that the 25 H. VIII. may not be extended to such a Rigo­rous and Unjustifiable Sense, as will lay greater restraints upon Them, than Poyning's Laws does upon Those of Ireland.

But our Letter-writer himself is sensible, that this Instance is not to the purpose: for at the close of it, his Conscience gives a little, and he is forc'd to confess, that the Irish Parliament are not under an Universal Restraint, nor wholly mute, till the King gives them Power to Debate and Act P. 44.. Are they not? Why then was it generally said, that they were a Parliament with­out a Liberty of Debate, or of proposing what Laws they please, in the very next Lines to these, where it is all unsaid again? What means this Absurd Writer, to place his Inconsistencies so near one another, that one Glance of the Eye discovers them? Even Dr. W. is in this respect a more Modest and Wary Manager: for His Con­tradictions usually keep their Distance, and may lie hid therefore, if the Reader do not think it worth his while (as few Readers do perhaps) to carry the several parts of his Book in their mind, and compare them one with another. Be­sides, if the Irish Parliament is not under an Univer­sal [Page 360] Restraint, what have we to do with it here▪ where we are enquiring after Instances, to coun­tenance the laying such an Universal Restraint on the Convocation in England? If this be not a Parallel of a Restraint in the same Degree, it is no parallel at all: there is no doubt, but such meetings may be restrain'd; how far, is the Que­stion. Were Precedents Proofs of the Reasona­bleness of such and such ways of acting, yet those Precedents must be exact and full, or they prove nothing. Ay, but the same Power that disabled them so far, might have put them under an entire disability. It might so, if they were a Province won to the Crown by its Sword; for it might have allow'd them no Parliament at all: but if it allow'd them any, Freedom of Debate could not have been deny'd them; without which, in the Apprehensions of Us Englishmen, there can be no Parliament. 'Tis true, the French use the word otherwise: for with Them it sig­nifies an Assembly, to which the King's Edicts are sent to be verify'd. But we are not yet acquain­ted with this Sense of the Word, and I hope ne­ver shall. We took the Term from them here­tofore, when it signify'd something else; and we have taken care to preserve its Original Mean­ing. Dr. W. indeed bids far for introducing the French sense of the Word; for he tells us round­ly, That the English Parliament are,P. (289.)in the main parts of their Debates as much, though not as necessarily directed by the King in what he would have them con­sult about, as the Convocation it self. And how far the Convocation is, in his Opini­on, to be directed by the King, his Book informs us. This is harsh Doctrine, to suppose any re­straint [Page 361] upon the Parliaments Freedom of De­bate, and may happen not to go down easily with Those that are concern'd in it. But he thinks he has soften'd it, by saying, that the Par­liament are in their Debates as much, though not as necessarily directed as the Convocation. What the meaning of that senseless Distinction is, I cannot see, or how it does him any service. Should we allow him, that his Doctrine curbs the Parliaments Freedom of Debate as much, though not as necessarily, as it does that of Con­vocation, would such an allowance mend the matter? or screen him a whit the more from the Just Resentments of Those, who will no more bear being told, that they are as much, than that they are as necessarily directed in their De­bates, as the Convocation is? if indeed the Con­vocation can debate of nothing, till they are qua­lify'd for it under the Broad Seal of England. I am mistaken, if this be not, to wound the Liber­tys of Parliament, through those of Convoca­tion.

The Instance of the Lords of the Articles in Scotland is as little to the purpose. They were a Previous Committee, compos'd of some Mem­bers of the Estates of Parliament, thro' which every Act was to pass, before it could come be­fore the States themselves. But they were no bar upon the Debates of Parliament; where a­ny Subject might be started and discuss'd, any Requests or Proposals to the Prince might be drawn, whether these Lords had made way for such Considerations or no. However, the check which this gave to the Parliament in their Legi­gislative Capacity, was thought a Badge of slave­ry by the Scotch; and therefore towards the be­ginning [Page 362] of this Revolution, when the Chains were knock'd off every where from his Majesty's Subjects, this Committee was abolish'd. And had the English Clergy then lain under any un­due Restraint, They too might have hop'd for a Relief from it, assoon as any men; since none had been more Instrumental than They in pro­moting the Common Deliverance. They might have expected a legal Relaxation of the Rigor of any Law that lay hard upon them: but in­stead of this, their only Request is, that an Act made in Abridgment of their Priviledges may not be constru'd to an Illegal and Oppressive Sense; that they may enjoy their Old Rights, which they stand possess'd of by Law; and that no New Encroachments may take place upon them. Which is so very Modest a Plea, as may be made by any Body of Men, even without Merit on their [...]de; and cannot when under­stood, be deny'd them without Injustice: and therefore, I am confident, when it is understood will not be deny'd them.

Having taken off this General Colour, drawn from the Authority exercis'd over such Meet­ings as these, in other Times and Countrys, I go on now to what has been objected more parti­cularly and closely. And the first Exception of Weight that lies against the Claim made, is, That the Perpetual Practise of Convocations, ever since the 25 H. VIII▪ runs otherwise: and this indeed, were it true, would be a strong one. And if General Assertions without Proofs would have made it true, Dr. W. had done it: for he has over and over Pref. p. II. pp. 26, 40, 43, 109, 113, 115, 116, &c. 293. L. M. P. p. 40, 43, 3 [...] affirm'd this to be the case, with as much assurance as if he had perus'd the [Page 363] Journals of every Convocation since that Act, and seen the King's several Commissions enter'd there. By that time he is got to the second Page of his Preface, we have him affirming, that the Sense of the Act given is repugnant to the Constant Practise of our Convocations ever since the time of H. VIII. This is certain, he says, nor does he Himself (against whom he writes) deny it. Indeed 'tis just as certain, as it is that that Writer yields it; who says only [in answer to a Question there put, whether the Convocation may conferr without a License?] that the Common receiv'd Opinion is in the Ne­gative P. 40.. But not a word has he there, or any where else, about the Practise consequent upon that Act: and he speaks only of the Opinion at present receiv'd, without entring into the Judg­ment of Elder times. So that Dr. W. represents his Adversarys Positions just as honestly as he argues against them. Indeed should that Author have allow'd the stream either of Practise or Opi­nion to have been always contrary to his sense of the Act, he had been (as Dr. W. now is) un­der a Gross Mistake; for it is certain, that both General Opinion and Practise were on his side for many Years after the Act pass'd. Upon a strict Enquiry into the matter, I find no Instance of a Commission to treat, that is not Threescore and ten Years younger than the Statute it self. The several Convocations in the 12 last years of H. the VIII. those of E. the VIth. of Q. Mary, and Q. Elizabeth all, for ought I can find, act­ed without any such Commission, or License in writing; and the first time we meet with it on Record, is, in 1603, when King Iames's first Synod met, to settle the Discipline of the Church, [Page 364] in that Body of Canons, which at present ob­tains. Nor is there any Opinion, I believe for the Necessity of such a License, elder than this Practise: at least I have not had the good for­tune ever to meet with any, though I have dili­gently sought for it. 'Tis true, the Registers of most Convocations, summon'd since this Sta­tute, were lost in the Fire of London; however large Extracts out of several of them are pre­serv'd, and compleat Transcripts of some: and in none of these is there the least Footstep of any License under the Broad Seal to be seen, but very plain Intimations to the contrary; as I shall now by some Remarkable Passages taken from thence, and from other Books and Papers of good Authority shew. And if I am somewhat Larger in my Recitals of this kind than is abso­lutely necessary, the Reader, I hope, will easily forgive me: What does not directly tend to esta­blish my Assertion, will serve at least to give some small Light into the Methods of Proceed­ing usual in Convocation, which the Author of the Letter to a Convocation-man rightly observes to be little known, or minded. And Dr. Wake, who smiles at his Remark, is himself a most Contemptible Instance of the Truth of it: since he has ventur'd to write a Book, about the Cu­stoms and Priviledges of Convocations, without having perus'd the Acts of almost any One Eng­lish Synod; and has from the beginning to the end of his wretched Performance, prov'd no­thing effectually, but his own profound Igno­rance of the Subject he is engag'd in.

I shall take the Rise of my Enquirys from the Convocation which sat, upon a Prorogation, Nov. V. 1532. before which the Submission of [Page 365] the Clergy was made to the King, but not yet Enacted: so that though it oblig'd them not Then as a Law, yet it bound them as a Promise; by the Terms of which, if a Commission to Treat had been then held necessary, we may be sure, they would not so soon after the making that Promise have treated without one. And yet I find no Hint of a Commission in a Diary of that Meeting, where a great many things of much less moment are set down; and where, it being the first time the Clergy met after they submit­ted, had any such thing been practised, we should without fail have heard of it. Sess. 11. Martii 26. 1533. this Note is inserted,—Tunc verteba­tur in dubium, an liceret disputare in Negotio Regio, eò quòd Negotium pendet coram summo Pontifice indecisum. Which Doubt the President remov'd by producing the Apostolick Brief, that gave leave cuilibet Opiniones suas dicere; & Dominus Praesidens instanter rogavit omnes ut diligenter inquirerent de ista quaestione, & refer­rent quid sentirent. See Ant. Brit. ad ann. where the very same ac­count is gi­ven of Stokesly's producing a License from the Pope, but no hint of any from the King. They had no doubts, it seems, about the Lawfulness of Treating with­out a Royal License; which had they had, it would have been mention'd here together with the Papal Leave: and we may fairly therefore presume, they had none.

In the Convocation begun Iune 9. 1536. the first in which Cromwel sat as Vice-gerent The Bi­shop of Sa­rum tells us, that Crom­well came hither as the King's Vicar-General; but he was not yet Vice­gerent. For he sate next the Archbishop; but when he had that Dignity, he sat above him. Nor do I find him styl'd in any Writing Vicegerent, for sometime after this, though my Lord Herbert says he was made Vicege­rent the 18th. of July this Year, the same day on which the Parliament was Dissolv'd.’ Vol. 1. p. 213. In which Paragraph there are great Marks of Haste: For the Acts of this Convocation expresly call Cromwell Vicegerent, as well as Vicar-General, and shew, that he both took place of the Archbishop, and sign'd before him; as he does in two Papers that pas­sed this very Convocation, and which together with the Subscriptions his Lordship has given us. Vol. 1. Coll. of Rec. p. 157. p. 315. The Words of the Acts are — Magister Willielmus Petre allegavit, quòd ubi haec Syn­odus convocata [...]it auctoritate illustrissimi Principis▪ & dictus Princeps Supremum Locum in dictâ Convocatione tenere debeat, ac eo absente ho­norandus Magister Tho. Cromwell Vicarius Generalis ad Causas Ecclesiasti­cas, ejus Vicemgerens, locum ejus occupare debeat; ideò petiit pradi­ctum locum sibi assignari. Ac ibidem praesentavit Literas Commissio­nales dicti Domini sui, sigillo Principis ad Causas Ecclesiasticas sigillatas. Quibus perlectis Reverendissimus assignavit sibi Locum juxta se, i. e. the Place next above himself, which he demanded. Nor does my Lord Herbert say, that Cromwell was made Vicegerent July 18th. this Year; but July 9th. (see Hist. p. 466.) which is a manifest Misprint for June 9th. the very day on which this Convocat [...]on was open'd, and on which, I suppose, his Patent bore date. Indeed, I question, whether the Powers of Vicar-Gene­ral, and Vicegerent were different, and conveyed, as my Lord of Sarum thinks by different Patents, for I have seen no Good Ground any where for such a Distinction. In the Collection of Records at the End of the second Part (p. 303.) the Bishop has given us what he calls Cromwell's Commission to be Lord Vicegerent in all Ecclesiastical Causes. But his Lordship had not time to peruse it; for upon reading it, he would have found, that it was only the Draught of a Commission to certain Persons deputed by Cromwell to execute the Vicegerents Power in several parts of the Kingdom: One of those Subordinate or Subaltern Commissions, which had respect to a Superior one, as his Lordship upon another occasion (Vol. 2. p. 347.) very properly distin­guishes., we are told, Comparuit Dominus Prolocutor unà cum Clero, & exhibuit Librum sub Protestatione, con­tinentem [Page 366] mala Dogmata per Concionatores intra Prov. Cant. publicè praedicata. This List is Prin­ted by Fuller P. 208.; and in it the Clergy, by way of Preface to their Articles, Protest, That they neither in Word, Deed, or otherwise, directly, or indirectly, intend any thing to speak, attempt, or do, which in any manner of wise may be displea­sant unto the King's Highness, &c. and that they sincerely addict themselves to Almighty God, his Laws, and unto their said Soverign Lord the [Page 367] King, their Supreme Head in Earth, and his Laws, Statutes, Provisions, and Ordinances, made here within his Graces Realms. Had any General Commission been granted them, there had been no need of this Protestation; which was made, to guard against the Penaltys of the Acts 25. and 27. H. VIII. and has therefore, we see a plain reference to them.

The Convocation in which Alesius the Scot disputed with so much applause, sat the Year after this, Anno 1537: Ant. Brit. p. 331. Fox Vol. 2. p. 504. (though my Lord of Sarum Vol. 1. p. 214., I find, out of a laudable Eagerness to record the Honors done to his Countrymen, has plac'd this Dispute a Year earlier than it hap­ned.) Cromwell open'd the Meeting with a Speech, where he tells them, that they are call'd to determin certain Controversys in Religion, which at this time be moved, concerning the Chri­stian Religion and Faith, not only in this Realm, but also in all Nations thorough the World. For the King studieth Night and Day to set a Quiet­ness in the Church, and he cannot rest till all such Controversys be fully debated, and ended through the Determination of You, and of his Whole Parliament. For—he will suffer no Com­mon Alteration but by the Consent of You, and of his Whole Parliament. And he desireth You for Christ's sake, that All Malice, Obstinacy, and Carnal Respect set apart, ye will friendly and lo­vingly dispute among your selves of the Contro­versys mov'd in the Church, &c. These Fox tells us, were the very words of his Speech; and that, as soon as it was ended, the Bishops rose up alto­gether, giving thanks unto the King's Majesty, not only for his Great Zeal towards the Church of Christ, but also for his Godly Exhortation wor­thy [Page 368] so Christian a Prince [and then] immediate­ly they went to Disputation. We may ob­serve here, that neither Cromwell in his Speech to the Convocation, nor the Prelates in their An­swer, mention any Commission to Treat, though it had been a Proper Head to have been enlarg'd on, in both Cases; and could not well have escap'd the Clergy, when returning Thanks to the King for his Goodness to them, had any such Commission then issu'd. But that it did not, and that the Clergy were then under no Apprehensions that their liberty of Debating on what Subjects, and even of coming to what Conclusions they pleas'd, was abridg'd by the late Act, the Preface to the Institution of a Christi­an Man (a Book, which pass'd this Convoca­tion) evidently shews. I have transcrib'd the Passage already from thence See P. 97., and shall here therefore only referr the Reader to it. No, the Practise then, and long afterwards, was only for the President of the Synod to declare to 'em by word of Mouth Thus in the Convo­cation of Jan. 1. 1557 The Acts say, that Card. Pool Causas hu­jus Synodi Verbo tenùs proposuit. And so divers times before, and after. 1541. Ian. 20. Reverendissimus exposuit iis ex parte Regis qùod in­tentio ejus erat, qùod ipsi inter se deliberarent de Reformandis Erroti­bus—& conficerent Leges de Simoniâ vitandâ, &c. 1547. 1. E. VI. Nov. 5. Revmus exposuit i [...]s fuisse, &c. de mandato Regio & Procerum qùod Praelati & Clerus inter se con [...]lerent de ver [...] Christi Religione probè instituendâ. With this agrees an Old Directory of Cranmer's for the first Day of the Convocation, 7 E. VI. May 1. 1552. §. 6. ‘The Clergy of the Inferior House to be called up to the Chapitor; his Grace to declare the Cause of this Convocation, and to appoint them to Elect, &c. 1555. 22. Oct. Episcopus London summariè & compendiosè Causam Synodi vocatae exposuit. Ian. 13. 1562. Arch. Cant. brevem quandem Orationem Eloquen­tiae plenam habuit ad Patres & Clerum; perquam inter alia opportunita­tem reformandarum rerum in Eccl. Anglic. jam oblatam esse aperuit, ac Propensos animos tam illustrissimae Dominae Nostrae Reginae quàm aliorum Magnatum hujus regni ad hujusmodi Reformationem habendam decla­ravit. I have laid these Instances together, that we may see clearly, what the Cu­stom then was, and how a Message from the King by the President supply'd the place of a Commission under the Broad Seal, which was afterwards practis'd. Heylin and Fuller have translated some of these Passages in their Historys, but so loosly, as to accommodate them to the Current Doctrine and Practise of their time, when a License to Treat was held necessary. Which I mention, to warn the Reader, not to receive their Versions as Literal: For it is plain, they saw no other Acts of Convocation than those from whence these Transcripts were taken. the King's Pleasure, for what Ends he had call'd them together, and what Business he would have them proceed up­on. And this Verbal Intimation was all the Previous Leave that was either ask'd, or given in That, or several other succeeding Reigns.

[Page 369] The only Instance in H. the VIII's time that seems to contradict this, is the Divorce of Anne of Cleve in 1540, mention'd by L. M. P. P. 40. which he says,‘the Clergy could not take cog­nizance of, till the King's Commission im­power'd them to debate and consider it.’ And in their Iudgment therefore they recite that Commission at large, and by vertue of it declare, &c. They do so; and there were Two very good Reasons for it, arising from the Matter about which they were to give their Judgment, and from the Manner also in which they were to handle it. As to the first of these, the at­tempting any thing by Word or Deed against this Marriage of the King with Anne of Cleve, was High-Treason (or at least [...] Misprision of Treason) by the Laws of the Realm; as the Clause of Pardon in the Act 32. H. 8. c. 25. for dissolving this Marriage evidently shews. And the Clergy there­fore [Page 370] had reason to desire a Commission from the Crown, to screen them from these Penealtys. But further, such a Commission was necessary, not only for their security in a point of this Im­portance, but in order to their very Assembling. For (which has not been hitherto observ'd) this Cause was adjudg'd, not in a Convocation properly so call'd, that is, in a Provincial Sy­nod; but in a National Assembly of the whole Clergy of either Province: the King issuing out his Letters Commissional under the Great Seal (as the Sentence See it Bi­shop Bur­net. Vol. 1. Col. of Rec. p. 197. speaks) to the Two Archbi­shops, All the Bishops, Deans, Archdeacons, and Clergy of England, and commanding them in Universalem Synodum convenire, to debate, and determin this matter. The Lords and Com­mons then sitting had petition'd the King to re­ferr it to his Clergy, with a de­sign of grounding an Act of Par­liament on Their Determina­tion. The Business requir'd Haste The Commission was seal'd the 6th. of July, the Clergy met by Vertue of it the 7th. The Cause was heard, Iudgment given, and Letters Testimonial of that Iudg­ment drawn up, and sign'd by all the Clergy on the 9th. such Dispatch was requir'd of them. On the 10th. the Archbishop of Cant. reported it to the Lords and Commons. On the 11th. the King let the Queen, then at Richmond, know what was done, and had her Consent to it; and on the 12th. a Bill was brought into the House an­nulling the Marriage, which (says my Lord of Sarum Vol. 1. p. 282.) went easily through both Houses., for the Summer was now far come on, and the Par­liament of Necessity soon to dis­perse; it could not therefore be committed separately to the Con­vocations of either Province, there to be transacted in a Regu­lar manner: But all the Bi­shops of the Province of York being present in Parliament, and all the Clergy of that of Canter­bury being ready hard by in their Convocation; the King took this way of joyning both together by his Commission, and forming One National As­sembly. [Page 371] To these he recommended the Discus­sion of his Case, so that what should be by them determin'd, id demùm (says he) Totius Ecclesiae nostrae Autoritate innixi licitè facere & exequi audeamus. It is manifest, that this Com­mission to Treat (or rather to Sit The Clergy are said in the Instrument, to be Congregati & Convocati virtute Com­missionis, &c. but there is no formal Mention of their Treating in vertue of it.) was here necessary to be issu'd out, for such Reasons, as sufficiently distinguish both this Meeting, and their Business from those we are discoursing of. To proceed therefore to the times of E. VI. In his first Year I have shewn the Custom still continu'd for the President to de­clare the King's good Pleasure to the Houses, Orally, without producing any License under the Broad Seal. 'Tis true, there is the Draught of a Petition of this Year preserv'd, which seems at first sight to imply the contrary; and shall be fully consider'd under a separate Head: All I shall here say to it is, that should the Sense of the Inferior Clergy be justly express'd in this Pe­tition, at the opening of this Convocation, yet 'tis certain they continu'd not long of this Opi­nion; but were soon satisfy'd, either from the Answer made to them by the Bishops, or some other way, that their Fears of incurring a Pre­munire, if they treated without a Commission, were vain and groundless; because we are as sure as we can be of a Negative of this nature at this distance, that in all the Convocations for many Years after this they treated without one.

In the 6th. of the same Prince (1552) that Convocation met in which the first 42 Articles pass'd, whose Title is, Articuli de quibus in Sy­nodo Londinensi Anno Dom. 1552▪ ad tollendam [Page 372] Opinionum dissensionem & consensum Verae Reli­gionis firmandum, inter Episcopos & alios Erudi­tos Viros convenerat. Regià Authoritate in Lu­cem Editi. And here again the Omission of a License in form ought to satisfy us, that there was no such thing, because where we know it was granted, as in 1603. and 1640. there the Titles of the Canons then fram'd carry an Express men­tion of it.

1o. Mariae, ‘The Prolocutor certify'd the [Lower] House [upon their first Meeting] that it was the Queens Pleasure that the Com­pany of the same House being Learned Men This explains the Eru­diti Viri in the Title of the Canons of 1552. And is another Instance of the Con­vocational Vse of that Phrase, to be added to those I have given. p. Assembled, should debate of matters of Religion, and constitute Laws thereof, which her Grace and the Parliament would ratify. Philpot's account in Fox Vol. 3. p. 19. And the same Intimation was given, I suppose, by Bonner, the President of the Upper House, to the Bishops; or rather to both the Houses joynt­ly, and his Speech reported afterwards by the Prolocutor to the Lower Clergy; as the Custom is for the Speaker to do in Parliament. The Business committed to this Convocation was ve­ry extensive we see; and yet no other License, but what was Verbal, either given, or requir'd; tho' the 25. H. VIII. stood in full force, both then and the Year afterwards.

When another Convocation met, Nov. 13. 1554. They too debated and act­ed, though Unlicens'd As far as the Silence of the Acts in this case (good part of which I have seen) are an Evidence of it.; and a­mong other things sollicited for a Repeal of this Statute. Twenty Eight Articles of Reformation the Lower House [Page 373] preferr'd; and in the Preface to those Articles assert the Power by which they did it, ‘Ac­counting our selves (say they) to be called hither—to treat with Your Lordships as well concerning the restitution of this Noble Church of England to the Pristin State and Unity of Christ's Church, as of other things touching the State and Quietness of the same Church in Doctrine and in Manners; we have for the furtherance of your Godly Doings therein de­vis'd these Articles following Bishop Burnet 2. Vol. Col. of Rec. p. 207.’

The next Convocation Dr. IV. Appeal p. 30. assure us out of the late Life of Cranmer, was assembled by Cardinal Pole in vertue of a License from the Queen, whereby he was impower'd also to make Canons. But this is according to his u­sual Exactness in these Matters. The Convoca­tion in 1555. met Oct. 22. Act. MSS; the Cardinal's Li­cense to hold a Synod bears date Nov. 2. (Anth. Harmar. p. 142.) that Year; and that Convocation therefore could not possibly be assembled by him in vertue of this License. Besides, he was not consecrated till the Day after Granmer's Death (22. March. 155 [...] Hist. of Ref. Vol. 2. p. 340.) and could not therefore, as Archbishop, till then▪ summon a Convocation of the Pro­vince. The true account of this matter is, that the Parliament meeting this Year, Oct. 21. D [...]dg. Sum. p. 517., the Convocation also, in course, met the day af­ter it at Pauls; being conven'd by the Dean and Chapter of Cant. Heylin Hist. Q. Mary, p. 223. as was usual in the Vacancy. The Cardinal, though in England, did not ap­pear at it, but Bonner, by Commission from the Chapter presided. There they sat and did busi­ness till Oct. 30. Act. MSS when I find them coming to a Conclusion, and offering their Subsidys, and Com­plaints to the Queen. The second of the next [Page 374] Month,Anth. Har­mar p. 141 the Cardinal had his License under the Broad Seal, to hold his Synod Legatin of both Provinces, and upon it issu'd out his Mandate to Bonner, Nov. the 8th. for the Prov. of Cant. to meet those of York, on the second of Decem. fol­lowing. Accordingly both Provinces met in the King's Chappel at White-Hall Act. MSS. Me­morandum [...] post incaeptam Convocati­onem in Ecclesiâ Divi Pauli, &c. Loco Capitulari ibidem, posteà [Episcopi] unà cum Inferiori Clero Prov. Eb [...]r comparuerunt in Synodo Reverendissimi in Christo Patris Domini Reginaldi, &c. inchoatâ in Sacello Regio apud Whitehall prope West­minster. W. Saye.; and from thence adjourn'd back again to Pauls, and af­terwards to Lambeth; and continu'd sitting there till Feb. 11th. which was two Months after the Parliament was dissolv'd Parl. dissolv'd Dec. 9. Journal.. Nor was the Synod even then dissolv'd; but prorogu'd only to the 10th. of October.

All our Writers (my Lord of Sarum not ex­cepted) have confounded Two things here, that are very distinct, the Convocation of this Year, and the Legatin Synod: For the Former of these no License was granted, or necessary; but it issu'd purely in relation to the Latter; where­in the Clergy of both Provinces were to meet N [...]tionally, by a Legatine Authority. For the Exercise of this Authority the Cardinal had be­fore hand been impower'd by Letters Patents of Decem. 10. 1554. But this License being too General, and expressing matters of Iurisdiction and Dispensation only; it was thought fit to add another, for the more ample Declaration of those Letters Patents (as the Words of it are); and therein to specify the Power of holding Sy­nods, and framing Constitutions Legatine, and [Page 375] to indemnify the Clergy particularly for meet­ing and acting under that Authority. ‘This (says the Bishop) was thought safe on both sides, both for Preserving the Rights of the Crown, and securing the Clergy from being afterwards brought within the Statute of Pre­munire, as they had been upon their acknow­ledging Cardinal Wolsey's Legatine Authority Vol. 2. p. 324.:’ For the Old Laws against Provisions, which brought the Clergy then under a Premunire, were still in force. This was the Reason of the second License, which could have no manner of regard to the 25 H. VIII. for that Act was Then repeal'd. I shall give the Reader in the Appen­dix Nu XVI. this License at large, as it is found in Pole's RegisterFol. 7.; where (and it seems, in the Patent Rolls Rot. Pat. 1. part 310. Reg. says Hist. Ref. ibid. also) it is still preserv'd. The Observa­tion naturally arising from hence is, That if any other License of this Nature had from the Time of these Legatin Synods down to that of Iames the I. been granted, it would also either in the Rolls, or Registers be found: But none such (that I can hear of) appearing there, we have all the Reason in the World to conclude, that none issu'd. In which Opinion we shall be fur­ther confirm'd if we take a view of the Convo­cations in Q. Elizabeths Reign.

The first, met Ian. 24. 1558/9. and were so far from being Commission'd to Treat, that they had not so much as any General Directions from the President to proceed upon Business See Fuller C. H. p. 54. Act. MSS.: for when he enquir'd, an Clerus Inferioris Domùs aliquid excogitavit qùod voluerunt exponere illo die, the Prolocutor, and the Rest made answer, se nes­cire ob quam causam, & quibus de rebus tracta turi sunt. I mention this particular, to shew, [Page 376] that it was Customary for the Convocation to be directed to the subject of their Debates by the Crown, even when the 25 H. VIII. lay under a Repeal (as it now did): and such Directions therefore given at other Times, when the Statute was in force, must not be supposed to spring from this Act so much as from the King's known Prero­gative, by which he ever propos'd both to Parlia­ments and Convocations, at their first opening, the Reasons which He, on his Part Super praemissis, & aliis quae ibidem ex parte nostrâ clariùs exponentur, are the Words of every Convocation-Writ., had to assemble them. But this only by the bye.—The Protestant Convocations held after this Sta­tute was reviv'd, are a plain proof of the Truth of that Ex­position I have given of it. For in a Directory of Archbishop Cranmer's, prescribing the Method of opening them, though every step that is at such times to be taken be minutely set down, and the summ of whatever the Archbishop, or any other, is on that occasion to do, or say, be di­stinctly mention'd; yet of his producing a Com­mission to Treat, not a word is said: as 'tis natu­ral to think there would have been, had such a Commission been practis'd. I shall give the Reader a Copy of this Directory among the other Pa­pers See Ap­pend. N. XVII., because, if the Discontinuance of Con­vocations prevails, such Lights as these may in some time be necessary. We are hastning on, I find, into so Thorough an Ignorance of these matters, that it may, for ought I know, within a while, be urg'd as a Reason for not holding a Convocation, that we do not understand the Manner of holding it. I am sure this is as good a Reason as any that has been yet given for it. I call this Paper Archbishop Parker's, because by [Page 377] the Company I find it in, I have reason to con­clude it so to be. However, it was certainly drawn up, since the Reformation, either in King Edwards, or in the beginning of Q. Elizabeth's Reign; for there is no mention in it of the Mass, or of Abbats, and Priors: and it is of use there­fore to prove the Practise of those Protestant Conocations which we are enquiring after. But this is only a General Proof.

More Particular and Express to our Purpose is the Synod of 1562. where Matters of Great Moment were transacted, the Articles of the Church, and the Catechism review'd; and seve­ral Canons relating to Discipline fram'd, though some of these were not at that time publish'd. And the Debates on these occasions were all en­ter'd upon, and manag'd without any Commission from the Queen; as is manifest beyond a Doubt, from the Acts of that Synod, of which I have seen an Exact and Entire Copy, written in an Hand of the Time, and taken from the Registers of that Convocation, soon after it sa [...]. These Acts are very Particular and Minute in giving an account of the Proceedings of every Day, and do orderly specify all the Publick Instru­struments that any way concern the Synod: But as to a Commission to Treat, they are perfectly silent. The Reader, who has any Curiosity this way, will not be displeas'd, I suppose, if I pro­duce some Passages from thence, that shew plain­ly how they were employ'd.

Ian. 16. The Archbishop himself said Pray­ers, reading the Litany, cum Collectis assuetis, ac Oratione [in] Synodo Provinciali dicenda noviter, ut adparuit, editâ. Which new Collect I take to be that in the Convocation Office, which be­gins, [Page 378] Domine Deus, Pater Luminum, &c. and in it they beseech God, ut Gratiâ Tuâ caelitùs adjuti ea omnia investigare, meditari, tractare, & discernere valeamus quae Honorem Tuum, & Gloriam promoveant, & in Ecclesiae cedant pro­fectum. I can scarce believe that they would have chosen to address themselves to God in such a Form of Words as this, had they thought that they were under an utter Incapacity of entring on any particular Debate whatever, without being Qualify'd by a Broad Seal for it.

It follows, Tùnc dimisso Clero Inferioris Do­mûs Reverendissimus rogavit Patres, quòd unus­quisque eorum intra proximam Sessionem Exco­gitate velit ea quae in eorum specialibus Diaeces. reformatione indigeant, ac in proximâ Sessione proponere dignaretur.

Jan. 19. Habitâ inter dictum Reverendiss. Pa­trem ac caeteros Episcopos—communicatione sive deliberatione de quibusdam Articulis ad Christia­nam fidem facientibus, tandem dictùs Reverendis­simus accersiri jussit ad se Prolocutorem Domûs Inferioris. Qui quidem Prol. unà cum Sex aliis de Clero dictae Domûs Inferioris coram Patribus sui Copiam faciens proposuit & asseruit, quòd quidam de dictà Domo exhibuerant quasdam diver­sas Schedas de rebus reformandis per eos respe­ctivè Excogitatas & in Scripta redactas. Quae quidem schedae de communi consensu traditae sunt quibusdam Viris gravioribus & doctioribus de cae­tu dictae Domûs Inferioris ad hoc electis perspici­endae & considerandae. Quibus sic electis (ut asseruit) assignatum est, ut hujusmodi Schedas in Capitula redigant, ac in proximâ Sessione ex­hibeant coràm ipso Prolocutore▪ Et ulteriùs pro­posuit, [Page 379] quòd Articuli in Synodo Londinensi tem­pore nuper Regis Edvardi Sexti (ut asseruit) Editi This is a sufficient Proof that the Arti­cles of 1552. passed the Sy­nod of that Year in form; how­ever my Lord of Sa­rum, in his late Exposition, came to say the contrary. See Introd. p. 5. where his Lordship thinks it probable that they were prepar'd by Cran­mer and Ridley, and publish'd [without any Synodal Consent] by the Regal Authority. What were the Reasons inducing his Lordship to think this probable, I presume not to guess: The only Reason he has pleas'd to give, is, That the Major part of the Synod could not have agreed to 'em without a Miracle. However, since the Acts of another Synod Ten Years afterwards, assure us, that such a Miracle was done; we have reason, I think, to take Their Word before my Lord of Sarum's Conjecture., traditi sint quibusdam aliis Viris ex Caetu dictae Domûs Inferioris, ad hoc etiam electis, ut eos diligenter perspiciant, examinent, & con­siderent, ac proüt eïs visum fuerit, corrigant & reforment; ac in proximâ Sessione etiam exhibe­ant. Et tunc Revmus hujusmodi Negotia per di­ctum Proloc. & Clerum incaepta approbavit, ac in iisdem juxta eorum determinationem procedere voluit, & mandavit.

Jan. 20. Episcopi—de & super quibusd [...]m Ar­ticulis sacrosanctam Christi Religionem concer­nentibus—per spatium trium horarum aut circi­ter inter se tractarunt.

Jan. 29. Post Tractatum aliquem inter Episco­pos habitum, tandem super quibusdam Articulis Orthodoxae fidei inter Episcopos quorum nomina eïs subscribuntur, convenit. Deinde Electi fue­runt Reverendi Patres Domini Edmund Londin, &c. ad Excogitanda quaedam Capitula de Disci­plinâ in Ecclesiâ habendâ.

Feb. 5. Reverendi Patres Domini. Joh. Sarum, &c. assignati fuerunt ad examinandum Librum dictum the Catechism.

Mart. 1. Comparuit coràm eïs Prolocutor— & allegavit qùod Caetus dictae Domûs Inferioris ex­cogitavit [Page 380] quaedam Capitula Additionalia ad li­brum de Disciplinâ coràm patribus ultimà Sessione porrectum. Quae quidem Capitula dicto Libro (ut asseruit) addi cupit. Unde dictus Revmus tradidit eidem dicto Prolocutori Librum praedictum, man­dando quod additis hujusmodi Capitulis sic Exco­gitatis ipsum Librum cum Additionalibus prae­dictis denuò exhibeant coràm codem Revmo

Mart. 3. Dominus Proloculor, &c. Nomine totius Caetûs praesentarunt eisdem Patribus quendam Librum nuncupatum Catechismus Pue­rorum; cui (ut asseruerunt) omnes de Caetu e­jusdem Domûs unanimiter consenserunt.

Mart. 5. Dom. Proloc. &c. comparuerunt, & exhibuerunt, &c. Librum de Disciplinâ unà cum quibusdam Capitulis Additionalibus ad eundem, viz. de Adulterio, &c.

The Reader sees that the Business here gone upon was as great and weighty as perhaps ever employ'd any English Synod: The Doctrine of the Church was here setled in the Articles, and the Catechism, and new Rules of Discipline form'd; and all this was done without any Pre­vious License, except what was contain'd in that General Message deliver'd by the Archbishop in his Speech which I have already mention'd. It is further observable, that the Review of the Ar­ticles took its Rise from the Lower House; that the matter of the New Canons was There first suggested and drawn into Form; and that every thing almost that was done, came Originally from Them to the Upper House, and not from the Archbishop to Them: and was not the Ef­fect therefore of any Royal Command, or In­timation, but a Free Act of the Body.

[Page 381]The Articles set out by this Synod bear this Title—Articuli de quibus convenit inter Archie­piscopos & Episcopos utriusque Provinciae, & Clerum Universum in Synodo Londini Ann. 1562. Editi Authoritate Serenissimae Reginae.

The Ratification of them afterwards in 1571. (when they were again with this Ratification Printed) runs thus—Hic Liber antedictorum Ar­ticulorum jam denuò approbatus est per Assensum & Consensum serenissimae Reginae Elizabethae Do­minae Nostrae retinendus, & per totum regnum Angliae exequendus. Qui Articuli & lecti sunt, & denuò confirmati subscriptione D. Archiepis­copi & Episcoporum Superioris Domûs, & totius Cleri inferioris Domûs My Lord of Sarum (Expositi­on p. 16.) doubts whe­ther the Articles in 1571. pass'd the Lower House, at least, whether they were Subscrib'd by the Members of it. But these Words in the Ratification of them (Printed by his Lordship, p. XVI. though at present, I suppose, out of his mind) leave no Room or Colour for such a Doubt. His Lordship was betray'd into it, it seems, &c. by the Be [...]net Colledge Manuscript, where the Subscriptions of the Bi­shops only appear. But it might have been presum'd that the Bishops did in this Instance sign One Copy by themselves; and the Clergy of the Lower House another, which has since perish'd. in Convocatione A. D. 1571 Sparrow p. 222.. In neither of these is there any hint of a License under the Broad-Seal; although it be expresly mention'd afterwards, where we know it was employ'd.

The Speech wherewith Archbishop Parker open'd a Convocation in 1572. I have seen and perus'd; and there is no Expression in it from whence we can suspect, that that Meeting was to Treat by Commission from her Majesty.

In the Synod of 1584 the Style of the Arti­culi pro Clero then agreed upon is, Articuli per Archiepiscopum, Episcopos, & reliquum Clerum Cant. Prov. in Synodo, &c. Stabiliti, & Regi [...] Authoritate approbati & confirmati Sparrow p. 191..

[Page 382]The Canons made in the Convocation of 1597. bear this Title—Capitula, sive Constituti­ones Ecclesiasticae, per Archiepiscopum, Episcopos, & reliquum Clerum Cant. Provinciae in Synodo, &c. congregatos tractatae, ac posteà per ipsam Re­giam Majestatem approbatae, & confirmatae; & utrique Provinciae tam Cant. quam Ebor. ut dili­gentiùs observentur eàdem Regiâ Authoritate sub Magno Sigillo Angliae promulgatae Sparrow p. 243..

L. M. P. has been guilty of a piece of slight of hand in producing this Title: for he has re­mov'd the Comma, which should be after the word Tractatae, backward to Provinciae, (omit­ting the Words between those Two) that so tractatae may seem to belong to the Sentence which follows it, and the Reader be by that means led into a belief that the Original Treating it self was as much from Royal Condescension and Grace, as the Passing, and Promulging af­terwards. I need not say, how absurd this is, and how contrary to the Rules of common Con­struction, and common Sense.

It is true (and Truth being the only thing I seek, I shall not conceal it) that in the Manu­script Collections of a Learned Man, who liv'd before the Convocation-Registers were burnt, I have seen a Memor. in these following Terms.—

Lib. Convocat. ab anno 1584. usque, &c. 1597. Fol. 195. ‘The Queens Letters Patents to con­firm the Canons, a Recital of the Writ, of their Desire, the Canons Confirmation, and a Command to have them observ'd in both Pro­vinces.’

Which shews indeed, that the Synod in 1597 desir'd, and had leave for the Canons they pass'd, and implys further, that both their Request, and [Page 383] the Answer to it were very probably in writing; since it could not else have been recited in the Ratification of them. But what this Leave was ask'd, and given for; whether only for the pas­sing these Canons, or even for the Previous Treat­ing about them, appears not from this Memo­randum; and must otherwise therefore be deter­min'd. Our Publick Records will not ease us of this Doubt; among which (I am told) this Instrument is not now to be found: and the on­ly way therefore we have left of clearing it, is, by a Recourse to the Title of the Canons; which, if it may be depended on, evidently shews, that their Desire was for Leave, not to Treat, but to Enact only. And how Authentick and Signifi­cant the Titles of Canons are to this purpose, our Adversarys in the next Instance will tell us: for they produce Appeal p. 24. L. M. P. p. 37. the Title of those in 1603. as a manifest Proof, that that Synod had a Com­mission to treat. We allow it had; and it is the first Synod that ever had one from the 25 H. VIII. down to that time.

L. M. P. indeed has found out one somewhat Elder: for he tells us, that‘a Proclamati­on on came out 5. March 1. Iac. 1. for the Au­thorizing of the Book of Common Prayer, &c. which recites that the King had issu'd out a Commission to the Archbishop and others, ac­cording to the Form which the Laws of the Realm in the like Case prescribe to be us'd, to make an Explanation of the Common Prayer, &c. So that in those days (says he) this In­dependent Freedom of Debate was not esteem­ed amongst the Libertys of the Church P. 41..’ But had that Writer seen the Commission it self, and not guess'd at the Contents of it from a [Page 384] Recital in a Proclamation, he would have known, that it was directed, not to the Clergy in Convocation, (for they met not, till some Months after the Date of it) but to the High Commissioners in Causes Ecclesiastical; autho­rizing the Alterations they had made in the Com­mon-Prayer-Book, by vertue of a Proviso in the Act of Uniformity 1•. Eliz. How is this to his purpose? or what possible use can he make of it? It is indeed to my purpose, to observe from hence, how high the Prerogative then ran, and what Unreasonable Powers were claim'd by it. The Book of Common-Prayer was establisht by an Act of the 1st. of the Queen, in which it was provided, that ‘if there should happen any Contempt, or Irreverence to be used in the Ceremonys or Rites of the Church by the mis­using of the Orders appointed in that Book, the Queens Majesty might by the Advice of her Commissioners, or of the Metropolitan, ordain and publish such further Ceremonys or Rites, as might be most for the advancement of God's Glory, the Edifying of his Church, and the due Reverence of Christ's Holy My­steries and Sacraments Cap. 2..’ In vertue of this Proviso, King Iames in his first Year gives Di­rections to the Archbishop, and the rest of the High-Commissioners, to review the Com­mon-Prayer-Book; and they accordingly made several Material Alterations and Enlargements of it, in the Office of Private Baptism, and in several other Rubricks and Passages; added five or six new Prayers, and Thanksgivings, and all that part of the Catechism, which contains the Doctrine of the Sacraments. Which last Addi­tions would not, I conceive, have been in the [Page 385] least warranted by that Proviso, had the Powers there specify'd extended to the Queens H [...]irs and Successors: but as they were lodg'd pereson­ally in the Queen, there could, I presume, be no Colour for K. Iames's exercising them in ver­tue of it. The Drawer up of the Commission was aware of this, and supplys therefore what was wanting in this Provisional Clause, by some General Words, and by a Recourse to that In­exhaustible source of Power, the King's supreme Authority and Prerogative Royall; which, it seems, was at that time conceiv'd to extend so far, as to enable the Crown to make Alterations of Great Importance in a Book establish'd by Act of Parliament, to authorize the Book thus alter'd, and to forbid the Use of the Other. I question whether such a Proceeding would now be thought Legal; but then it went down quiet­ly: and in vertue of it, the Common Prayer-Book so alter'd, stood in force from the 1st. of K. Iames till the 14 C. II. when, upon a new Review, it was again confirm'd by Parliament. I shall place this Commission in the Appendix N. XVIII, that the Reader may have an Instance, what the Doctrine of that time was concerning the Extent of the Prerogative in Church Matters, and from thence cease to wonder that a Formal Commission to treat, &c. should be first granted to the Con­vocation a few Months afterwards. I say first granted; for there is no Suspicion of any pre­ceding License of this kind, but in 1597. only: and that rises no higher than a Suspicion; there being stronger Probabilitys against it, than for it. And thus, I hope, I have effectually re­mov'd Dr. W's Argument about the sense of the Act ▪ taken from the Constant Practise of All [Page 386] Convocations ever since the framing it; which he appeals to so frequently, and with so much Calmness and Security, that one less acquainted with him than I am would have been tempted to think, that he spake upon good Grounds, and had well consider'd what he said: Whereas in truth he was merely upon the Conjecture; and having found that the Convocations of 1640. and 1603. acted by Commission, concluded pre­sently that all the Precedent ones must have done so too; forgetting in the mean time that wise Maxim of his Own, with which he very fitly introduces as wise a Chapter. ‘So great (says he) is that Uncertainty to which all Human Constitutions are expos'd, that tho' I have before sufficiently shewn, what the Na­ture of our Convocation at present is, and what Authority our King's have over it, yet we can by no means from thence conclude, that this was always the case P. 147..’ Which deep Re­mark, had it been in his View throughout his Book, would have instructed him not to deter­min so peremptorily upon the Course of Anti­ent Practise from some Modern Instances; it would have sav'd him the shame of slipping in­to so many false and groundless Assertions on this Head, and me the trouble of exposing them. When he resolv'd, for Reasons best known to himself, to set up for a Champion in this Cause, he should either have taken care fully to instruct himself in the matters he wrote of; or at least, where he was conscious of his want of Light, he should have had the Discretion to express himself a little more warily.

The oldest Aera therefore of these Commissi­ons, which impower the Convocation to Treat, [Page 387] &c. is 1. I. 1. how that New Precedent came then to be set, and what Restraints it may be con­ceiv'd to have laid on the Clergys Liberty of Debate, I shall now briefly enquire.

It must be confess'd that K. Iames, who had been somewhat less than a King in Scotland, took upon him to be somewhat more than a King, assoon as he came to the Crown of England; spoke of his Prerogative in a very high tone, look'd upon it as some Innate Power, divinely annex'd to the Kingly Character, and did not stick to call it so frequently in his Speeches and Messages See his Speech to the Bi­shops and Ministers, Spots­wood p. 534. Letter to the Assembly of Perth. ib. p. 537.; and sometimes to talk even of a Sovereign and Absolute Authori­ty, which he enjoy'd as freely as any King, or Monarch in the World See his Declarati­on in 1605. Spotswood p. 488.. Bishop Bancroft, who had corresponded with him for­merly in Scotland, knew his Temper well: and, the Church having then Great Business to do, and He himself some, (for the See of Cant. was then void) contriv'd, we may imagin, how to humor it in the approaching Convocation, where­in He was to Preside; and to that end procur'd this Ample Commission, as an Instance of the great Deference and Submission which the Church of England paid to the Royal Authori­ty. Indeed the Clergy had reason to shew all the Marks of Duty and Respect that were fit­ing, to a Prince that had shewn himself so fast a friend to them, as K. Iames in the Hampton-Court Conference, which immediately preceded this Convocation, had done: Where he had de­clar'd openly for All the Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, against the Scruples of those, who were then called