[Page] THE BISHOP OF ARMAGHES DIRECTION, Concerning the Lyturgy, and Epi­scopall Government. Being thereunto requested by the Honou­rable, the House of COMMONS and then presented in the year 1642.


LONDON, Printed, for the general good, 1660.

To satisfie your demands both concerning the Liturgy, and Episcopall government.

1. FIrst for the Book of Common Prayers, it may be alledged that God himselfe appointed in the Law a set forme of Be­nediction, as Numb. 6. ver. 23, 24, 25, 26.

2. That David appointed set Psalmes to be sung up­on special occasions, as the title of them sheweth.

3. That the Prophet Joel appointed a set forme of Prayers to be used by the Priests at a solemne Fast, Joel 17.

4. That Christ not only commanded us to pray after such a manner, Mat. 6. 9. but to use a set form of words, Luke 11. and the 2. When you pray, say, Our Father, &c.

5. The spirit of God is no more restrained by using [Page 2] a set form of Prayers, then by singing set Hymes or Psalms in meeter, which yet the adversaries of our Common prayers practise in their assemblies.

6. Of all Prayers, premeditated are the best, Eccles. 5. 2. and of premeditated prayers, those which are al­lowed by publick authority, are to be preferred before those which are to be uttered by any private spirit.

7. All the Churches in the Christian world, in the first and best times, had their set form of Lyturgy, whereof most are extant in the Writings of the Fa­thers at this day.

8. Let our Service-book be compared to the French, Dutch, or any other Lyturgy prescribed in any of these former Churches, and it will appear to any in­different Reader, that it is more exact and compleat than any of them.

9. Our Service-book was penned and allowed of, not only by Learned Doctors, but glorious Martyrs, who sealed the Truth of the reformed Religion with their blood.

Yet it cannot be denyed that there are quaedam in pulchro corpore, and it were to be wished, so it were to be done without much noise.

1. That the Calender in part might be reformed, and the Lessons taken out of the Apocrypha might be struck out, and other Lessons taken out of the Cano­nical Scripture appointed to be read in places of them; for besides that there is no necessity in reading any of the Apocrypha, there are some of the Chap­ters repugnant to the Doctrine of the holy Scripture, as namely in some Chapters of Tobit.

2. That in the Psalms, Epistles, Gospels, and [Page 3] all sentences alledged out of the holy Scripture, the last translation of King James his Bible may be fol­lowed; for in the former there be many passagaes not agreeing to the Original, as might be proved by many sentences.

3. That in the Rubrick, wherein of late the word Priest hath been put instead of Minister, it may be ex­punged, and the word Minister restored, which is less offensive, and more agreeable to the language of all the reformed Churches, and likewise some clauses which seem surreptitiously to have crept into it, be ex­punged, as namely after the Communion.

4 Every Parishioner shall communicate, &c, and shall after receive the Sacrament, and other Rights ac­cording to the order in the book appointed, which words can carry no good sense in a Protestant Cure, nor those added after private Baptism: That it is cer­tain by Gods Word, that Children being baptised have all things necessary for salvation, and be un­doubtedly saved.

5. That in the Hymes instead of the Song of the three Children, some other were placed out of the Canonical Scripture, and that a fitter Psalm were chosen at the Churching of women for these verses:

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: and the Sunne shall not burn thee by day, nor the Moon by night: seem not to be pertinent.

6. That in the Prayers and Collects some expres­sions bettered, as where it is said, Almighty God which only worketh great things, &c.

And let thy mercy lose them for the, &c.

And from all fornication and all other deadly sins, [Page 4] as if all sinnes were not deadly.

And that among all the changes and chances, &c.

And in the visitation of the sick, I absolve thee from all thy sins, &c,

7. That in the singing of Psalms, either of hymns, rymes, or other superfluous words, as I have said, and for why: and homely phrases, as thou shalt feed them with brown bread: and take hand out of thy lap, and give thy foes a rap, and mend this geere, and the like, may be corrected, or at least, a better translation of the Psalms in meeter appointed in place of the old.

For Episcopal governmen, tit may be alledged that in the old Law, the Priests were above the Levites.

That in the Law the Apostles were above the se­venty Disciples.

That in the subscription of St. Paul's Epistles, which are part of the Canonical Scriptures:

It is said that Timotheus ordained the first Bishop of the Church of the Christians.

That Episcopal ordination and jurisdiction hath express warrant in holy Scriptures▪

As namely Titus the 1. and the 5. For this cause left I thee in Creet, that thou shouldest set in order things that are wanting, and ordain Presbyters, that is, Mi­nisters in every City, as the first of Timothy, the 5. 22. Lay hands suddenly on no man; and verse 19. Against a Presbyter or Minister receive not an accusation but under two or three witnesses.

The Angels to whom the Epistles were endorsed, two or three of the Apocalyps, are by the unanimous consent of all the best Interpreters, both ancient and [Page 5] later, expounded to be the Bishops of these Cities. Eusebius, and other Ecclesiastical Writers affirm, none contradicting them, that the Apostles them­selves chose James Bishop of Jerusalem; and that in all the Apostolick See there succeeded Bishops, which continued in all the Christian world, and no other goverement heard of in the Churches for 1500 years and more, than by Bishops, and the Canons both ge­neral and provincial consisted of Bishops.

That so many Acts of Parliament and Laws of the Kingdome, and Statutes of the Colledges of both Universities, have relation to Bishops.

That the removing of them, especially there having been no other Government ever setled in the King­dome, will breed an infinite confusion, and no re­formation in the Church; yet it will be wished that in some things our Government might be reduced to the constitution and practise of the Primitive Church, especially in these particulars.

1. That Bishops did ordinarily and constantly preach, either in the Metropolitan Churches, or in the Parochial Churches in the Visitations.

2. That they might not ordain any Ministers with­out the consent of three or four at the least grave learned Presbyters.

3. That they might not suspend any Minister ab officio & beneficio, at their pleasures by their sole au­thority, and not but for such crimes only, as the anti­ent Lawes of this Kingdome appointed.

4. That none might be excommunicated but by the Bishop himself, with the consent of the Pastor in those Parishes the delinquent dwelleth, and that for [Page 6] heynous and scandalous crimes joyned with obstina­cy and wilfull contempt of the Churches authority; and that for non-appearance upon ordinations, some lesser punishment might be inflicted.

5. That Bishops might not demand benevolence from the Clergy, nor exact allowance for their diet in their visitations, nor suffer their servants to exact un­due Fees at Ordinations and Constitutions.

6. That Bishops and Officials might be subjected to the censure of provincial Synods and Convo­ations.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.