BY THE KING. ¶ A Proclamation Commanding the use of the Book of COMMON-PRAYER according to Law, notwithstanding the pretended Ordinances for the New DIRECTORY.

WHEREAS by a Printed Paper, dated the third of January last past, intituled, An Ordinance of Par­liament for taking away the Book of Common-Pray­er, and for establishing and putting in execution of the Directory for the Publique Worship of God; It is said to be ordained amongst other things, That the Book of [Page] Common-Prayer should not remaine, or be from thenceforth used in any Church, Chappell, or place of publique Worship within the Kingdome of England, or Dominion of Wales; And that the Directory for publique Worship in that printed Paper set forth, should be from thenceforth used, pursued, and ob­served in all Exercises of publique Worship of God in every Congregation, Church, Chappell, and place of publique Wor­ship. And by another printed Paper, dated the 23th day of August last past, intituled, An Ordinance of the Lords and Com­mons assembled in Parliament, for the more effectuall putting in execution the Directory for Publique Worship, &c. particular directions are set downe for the dispersing, publishing, and use of the said Directory, in all Parishes, Chappelries, and Dona­tives, and for the calling in and suppressing of all Books of Common-Prayer, under severall forfeitures and penalties to be levyed and imposed upon Conviction before Iustices of Assize, or of Oyer and Terminer, and of the Peace; as by the said two printed Papers may appeare. And taking into Our Consi­deration, that the Book of Common-Prayer, which is endea­voured thus to be abolished, was Compiled in the times of Reformation, by the most Learned and Pious Men of that Age, and defended and confirmed with the Martyrdome of many; and was first established by Act of Parliament in the time of King Edward the sixth, and never repealed or laid aside, save only in that short time of Queene Maries Reigne, upon the Returne of Popery and Superstition; and in the first yeare of Queene Elizabeth, it was againe revived and established by Act of Parliament, and the repeale of it then declared by the whole Parliament, to have been to the great decay of the due honour of God, and discomfort to the Professors of the truth of Christs Religion: and ever since it hath been used and obser­ved for above fourescore yeares together, in the best times of Peace and Plenty that ever this Kingdome enjoyed; and that it conteines in it an excellent Forme of Worship and Service of God, grounded upon the Holy Scriptures, and is a singular meanes and help to Devotion in all Congregations, and that, or some other of the like Forme, simply necessary in those ma­ny [Page] Congregations which cannot be otherwise supplyed by lear­ned and able men, and keeps up an uniformity in the Church of England; And that the Directory, which is sought to be in­troduced, is a meanes to open the way, and give the liberty to all ignorant Factious, or evill men, to broach their owne fancies and conceits, be they never so wicked and erroneous; and to mislead People into sinne and Rebellion, and to utter those things, even in that which they make for their Prayer in their Congregations as in Gods presence, which no Conscientious man can assent or say Amen to. And be the Minister never so Pious and Religious, yet it will break that uniformity which hitherto hath been held in Gods Service, and be a meanes to raise Factions and Divisions in the Church; And those many Congregations in this Kingdome, where able and Religious Ministers cannot be maintained, must be left destitute of all help or meanes for their publique Worship and Service of God. And observing likewise, that no reason is given for this altera­tion, but only Inconvenience alleadged in the Generall (and whether pride and Avarice be not the ground, whether Re­bellion and destruction of Monarchy be not the intention of some, and Sacriledge and the Churches Possessions the aymes and hopes of others, and these new Directories, the meanes to prepare and draw the people in for all, We leave to him who searches and knowes the hearts of men.) And taking into Our further Consideration, that this alteration is introduced by co­lour of Ordinances of Parliament, made without and against Our Consent, and against an Expresse Act of Parliament still in force, and the same Ordinances made as perpetuall binding Lawes, inflicting penalties and punishments, which was never, before these times, so much as pretended to have been the use or pow­er of Ordinances of Parliament, without an expresse Act of Parliament, to which We are to be Parties. Now least Our si­lence should be interpreted by some, as a connivance or indiffe­rency in Vs, in a matter so highly concerning the Worship and Service of God, the Peace and Vnity of the Church and State, and the establish'd Lawes of the Kingdome, We have therefore thought fit to Publish this Our Proclamation; And We doe [Page] hereby Require and Command all and singular Ministers in all Cathedrall and Parish-Churches, and other places of publique Worship, within Our Kingdome of England or Dominion of Wales; and all other to whom it shall appertaine, That the said Book of Common-Prayer be kept and used in all Churches, Chappells, and places of publique Worship, according to the said Statute made in that behalfe in the said first yeare of the said late Queene Elizabeth; And that the said Directory be in no sort admitted, received, or used, the said pretended Ordinances, or any thing in them contained to the contrary, notwithstand­ing. And We doe hereby let them know, that whensoever it shall please God to restore Vs to Peace, and the Lawes to their due Course, (wherein We doubt not of his assistance in his good time) We shall require a strict Account and prosecution against the breakers of the said Law, according to the force thereof. and in the meane time, in such places where We shall come, and find the Book of Common-Prayer supprest and laid aside, And the Directory introduced, We shall account all those that shall be Ayders, Actors, or Contrivers therein, to be Persons disaffected to the Religion and Lawes establish'd; and this they must expect, besides that greater losse which they shall sustaine by suffering themselves thus to be deprived of the use and com­fort of the said Book.


Printed at Oxford, by Leonard Lichfield, Printer to the Universitie. 1645.

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