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The Savoy Conference.

conducted with so much confusion and ill temper, that it led to no amicable result; and at last the following account of the conference was, by common consent, returned to the King: 'that the Church's welfare, that unity and peace and his Majesty's satisfaction, were ends upon which they were all agreed; but as to the means, they could not come to any harmony.

In the paper of exceptions to the Liturgy, the Presbyterians, after some general censure, objected specifically

(1) to the responses made by the parish-clerk and people, and to the alternate reading of the psalms and hymns, as causing a confused murmur in the congregation.

(2) To the mode in which the litany is framed; the petitions being uttered by the people, instead of the minister, by whom, as the mouth of the people, it should be offered to God, not in short, broken supplications, but in one solemn prayer.

(3) To the countenance given to the keeping of Lent as a fast.

(4) To the observation of Saints' days, and their vigils.

(5) To the exclusion of extempore prayer, and to the absence of any permission to ministers to say a part of each service at their discretion.

(6) To the defects in the version of the Scriptures used throughout the Liturgy. This was the translation of Tyndal and Coverdale, as revised by Cranmer, and published in 1539, in large folio, whence it was known as 'the great Bible.' (7) To the lessons taken out of the Apocrypha.


any part of the Service not properly belonging to the Lord's Supper.

(9) To the use of the words Priest and Sunday, instead of Minister and Lord's day.

(10) To the want of a better metrical version of the Psalms for singing.

(11) To the obsolete words remaining in the Liturgy.

(12) To the portions of the Old Testament, and Acts of the Apostles, read as epistles.

(13) To the phrases throughout the Prayer Book, which presume all persons within the communion of the Church to be regenerated, converted, and in a state of grace.

(14) To the Collects, as being too long in their prefaces, and too short in their petitions.

(15) To the Confession, as not expressing original sin, nor enumerating actual sins, but keeping to generalities, in which latter respect they object also to the whole body of the Common Prayer.

(16) To the imposition of divers ceremonies condemned at the Reformation, such as the surplice, the sign of the cross in baptism, and kneeling at the Lord's Supper.

The paper also contained many exceptions to particular words and phrases throughout the Prayer Book.

The Bishops, in their mode of dealing with these exceptions, were doubtless influenced very much by the consideration, that no concessions in matters of detail were likely to conciliate the Presbyterians, who were opposed on principle to the enforcement of any common liturgy, as superseding the 'gift' of the individual Minister. The result was that 8) To the Minister's rehears- the greater part of the objecing at the Communion-table tions were disallowed, and

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only a few insignificant points | posited in the chief clerk's office were conceded. in the House of Lords 2.

Soon after the close of the Savoy conference, the Convocations of Canterbury and York were empowered by royal licence to make a revision of the Prayer Book, and the work was carried forward by a Committee of bishops with great zeal and unanimity. Among those who were most active in forwarding this work may be mentioned Bishop Cosin and Mr Sancroft, at that time his chaplain, Bishops Henchman, Wren, Reynolds, and Sanderson. Many of the changes now made were due to Cosin, who had several years before considered what amendments were desirable, and who now submitted to the Committee his suggestions written in the margin of a Prayer Book, which is still preserved in the Cosin library at Durham'. The book, as amended, was sanctioned by both houses of both the Convocations at the close of 1661; in the early part of the following year it passed through parliament, and received the royal assent. Certain printed copies of the revised book were compared with the original MS., by Commissioners appointed for the purpose, and having been corrected and certified by them were sealed with the great Seal; one such copy to be preserved in each cathedral library, and one to be delivered to each of the Courts of Westminster. So much care was taken to preserve an exact record of this revision. The original MS., after having been mislaid for about thirty years, and supposed to be lost, was found in 1867, having been de

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In this revision a few con

cessions were incorporated, which the Bishops had promised in the Savoy conference. Thus the Sentences, Epistles, and Gospels, and other extracts from the Bible, except the Psalter, the ten Commandments, and other portions of the Communion-service, were taken from the Authorized Version of 1611. The General Confession in the Communion was appointed to be said by Minister and people, and not, as formerly, by the Minister alone. A rubric was added to make more explicit the mode of consecrating the elements. In the Catechism, a slight alteration was made by changing the words 'Yes, they do perform them by their sureties, who promise and vow them both in their names,' to the present form, 'Because they promise them both by their sureties.' In the marriageservice the words 'till death us depart' were altered thus, 'till death us do part.' But other changes, agreed to by the Bishops in conference, were not adopted in the revision; e.g. the alteration of the words in the Marriage Service, 'with my body I thee worship,' to 'with my body I thee honour,' and the omission of the words 'sure and certain' in the Burial Service.

In general the alterations were calculated rather to offend than to conciliate the Nonconformists. For instance, the absolution was ordered to be pronounced by the priest alone,' instead of by the minister. This change, however, was not

1 See Blunt's Annotated Prayer Book, p xli.

2 See Dean Stanley's Memorials of Westminster Abbey, p. 430 (2nd ed.).

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new: it had already been made, but without authority, in several editions of the Prayer Book published in the reign of Charles I. The same may be said with regard to the substitution of 'Priest' for 'Minister' in the suffrages between the Lord's prayer and the collect for the day. The book of Bel and the Dragon, which had been omitted from the calendar of lessons in 1604, was now restored. In the litany the last deprecation was now made to include rebellion and schism, sins from which the nation had lately suffered so severely, as well as sedition, privy conspiracy, &c. In a subsequent petition, the words 'bishops, priests, and deacons,' were used instead of 'bishops, pastors and ministers of the Church.' In several of the Collects, as in one for Good Friday, and in those for the fifth and sixteenth Sundays after Trinity, and for St Simon and St Jude's day, the word Church was substituted for congregation. The last clause respecting the Saints departed was added to the prayer for the Church militant. The declaration respecting the undoubted salvation of baptized infants dying before the commission of actual sin, which had previously been included in the preface to the Confirmation Service, was now introduced as a rubric after the office of Infant Baptism, to the great discontent of the Nonconformists.

Of the remaining changes the following are the most important. A new Preface and Calendar of proper lessons were prefixed. The prayers for the Queen, the Royal Family, and the Clergy, previously included in the litany, were transposed

1 See above, p 35.


to the end of Matins and Evensong, which were made to conclude with the prayer of St Chrysostom and the benediction. The rubric after the third Collect, 'In quires and places,' &c., was introduced; shewing that in many places it was then customary to conclude the Service with singing!. To the Evening Service, which had hitherto begun with the Lord's Prayer, was added the introductory part, which had been prefixed to the Morning Prayer in 1552. The Collects for the Ember Weeks, the prayers for the High Court of Parliament, and for all sorts and conditions of men, the General Thanksgiving, and that for the Restoration of Peace, were added. Several alterations were made in the Collects, Epistles, and Gospels. The rubric with regard to kneeling at the Lord's Supper, which had been inserted in 1552, and removed by Queen Elizabeth, was restored with some alteration. Several changes were made in the occasional Offices. The Office for the Baptism of such as are of Riper Years, and the Forms of Prayer to be used at Sea, were added. The Preface and some of the new prayers appear to have been written by Bishop Sanderson; the General Thanksgiving by Bishop Reynolds.

So dissatisfied were the Nonconformists with the result of the revision, that a proposal was made on their behalf in the House of Lords for the continuance of the existing Liturgy, and the abandonment of all the corrections made in Convocation.

It is well observed by Dr Cardwell, that 'the revision

2 Conferences, p. 454.


Royal Commission of 1689.


son, Hall, and Tenison. They proceeded some way in their

of Charles II., memorable as a passage of history, is no less instructive as an example. Be-work; but the result of their

ginning in a sense of thankfulness that the times of trouble were at an end, in a generous spirit of forgiveness for past sufferings, and in a prevailing disposition to renounce private interests and to include all rea- | sonable worshippers within one common ritual, it terminated in a stricter interpretation of religious faith, in more rigorous requirements of ecclesiastical discipline, and in an increased amount of civil disabilities.'

labours was not laid before Convocation, nor suffered to transpire to the public'. The downfall of episcopacy in Scotland produced a not unreasonable alarm in the English Church, and made the clergy more than ever suspicious of the Nonconformist body. On the other hand, the Non-jurors, however unpopular their opinions might be, had acquired universal respect by the sacrifices they had made in the maintenance of those opinions; and it was feared, that if any From the year 1662 the change were made in the LiPrayer Book has remained turgy, they might carry the without alteration. As the re- people along with them in revolution of 1688 was warmlyjecting that change as a schissupported by the dissenters,matical innovation. From these William III. was not wanting in endeavours to requite their past services, and to secure their good-will for the future. Measures of comprehension and toleration were proposed by him in their behalf, but were counteracted by the cir- A few examples are subcumstances of the times. In joined of the way in which it the autumn of 1689 a Royal was proposed by the revisers of Commission was appointed to 1689 to meet the scruples of deliberate generally on ecclesi- the Nonconformists:-The word astical matters, and especially minister was substituted for to prepare alterations of the priest, and Lord's day for Liturgy and the Canons, with Sunday. The Apocryphal lesa view to the comprehension of sons for Saints' days gave place Nonconformists. This Com- to lessons from Proverbs and mission, consisting of ten bi- Ecclesiastes. If the minister shops and twenty other divines, objected to the use of the surincluded Stillingfleet, Beve- plice, the bishop was to disridge, Burnet, Patrick, Tillot-pense with his not using it,

causes the Convocation was indisposed to consider the revision of the Prayer Book; in order, therefore, to avoid a collision with that body, William suspended its deliberations by proroguing it.

1 The changes in the Prayer Book contemplated by the Commissioners of 1689 are enumerated by Lathbury, Hist. Convocation, p. 267. They may now also be seen in extenso in the Report which the Commissioners prepared for Convocation, a document long supposed to be lost, but recently found in the library of Lambeth Palace, and printed by order of the House of Commons, June, 1854 This document is now (1868) out of print: but the contents of it are well shown in the Revised Liturgy of 1689. published by Bagster, 1855. See also Mr Procter On the Prayer Book, p. 144.


Subscription to the Prayer Book.


or to appoint a curate to offici- | Administration of the Sacraate in a surplice: a similar ments, and none other.' order was made with regard to the sign of the cross in baptism. It was explained that the damnatory clauses of the Athanasian Creed 'were to be understood as relating only to those who obstinately deny the substance of the Christian faith.' In the Communion Service, the most considerable change was in the prayer of humble access, which was altered thus, that our souls and bodies may be washed and cleansed by the sacrifice of His most precious body and blood.' Parents were allowed to be sponsors for their children. The minor holidays of the Calendar, and the vigils &c., were struck oat. (For Ritual Commission, see Appendix).

(II.) By the Act of Uniformity of 1662, it was enacted that every person upon being promoted to any Ecclesiastical Benefice or Promotion, shall upon some Lord's day within two months after he comes into possession thereof, openly in Church before the congregation declare his unfeigned assent and consent to the Use of all things contained in the Book of Common Prayer, in these words and in no other; 'I, A. B. do hereby declare my unfeigned assent and consent to all and every thing contained and prescribed in and by the Book intituled, The Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, according to the Use of the Church of England (now alter

Among the tests which are required of the clergy, in proof of their fitness for their sacred office, is included a Declara-ed to the United Church of tion that they approve of the Book of Common Prayer. Such a Declaration they made, until the year 1865, in two forms, prescribed by two different Authorities:

(I.) By the Canons passed in the Convocation of the Clergy in 1603, it is appointed that every person upon Ordination to Deacon's or Priest's Orders, or on Institution to any Benefice, or on being licensed to any Cure of Souls, shall subscribe the three articles of the 36th Canon, the second of which declares that "The Book of Common Prayer and of Ordering of Bishops, Priests and Deacons containeth in it nothing contrary to the Word of God, and that it may lawfully so be used, and that he himself will use the form in the said Book prescribed, in Public Prayer and

England and Ireland); together with the Psalter or Psalms of David, pointed as they are to be sung or said in Churches; and the Form or Manner of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.'

It will be observed that the Declaration enacted by Parliament in 1662 is more stringent in its terms than that which was imposed by Convocation in 1603. The difference may have been caused by that tendency to repel rather than to conciliate (no unnatural consequence of the rebound from Puritanism) which prevailed in the Church at the commencement of the reign of Charles II., and of which we have already had occasion to take notice. (See supra, p. 29.)

In 1689, an attempt was made to modify the subscription re

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