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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

All pretences for conventicles were taken away

parishes unto their communions,

nor baptize their children, nor marry any of them, without the allowance of the minister of the parish, and if they countenance the people deserting their own parishes, they are to be silenced for shorter or longer time, or altogether turned out, as the council shall see cause; and upon complaint made and verified, of any seditious discourse or expressions in the pulpit, uttered by any of the ministers, they are immediately to be turned out, and further punished according to law: And seeing by these orders, all pretences for conventicles were taken away, if any should be found hereafter to preach without authority, or keep conventicles, his pleasure is, to proceed with all severity against them, as seditious persons and contemners of authority.' To salve this in point of law, (because it was against former laws of their own) and to make the king's letter the supreme law afterwards, and a valid ground in law, whereupon the council might proceed, and enact, and execute what the king pleased in matters ecclesiastic; he therefore caused frame a formal statutory act of supremacy, of this tenor, 'That his majesty hath the supreme authority and supremacy over all persons and in all causes ecclesiastic, within his dominions, and that by virtue thereof, the ordering and disposal of the external government of the church, doth properly belong to him and his successors, as an inherent right to the crown: And that he may settle, enact, and emit such constitutions, acts, and orders, concerning
the administrating thereof, and persons employed in the same, and concerning all ecclesiastical meetings and matters, to be proposed and determined therein, as he in his royal wisdom, shall think fit: which acts, orders, and constitutions, are to be observed and obeyed by all his majesty's subjects, any law, act, or custom to the contrary notwithstanding.' Whereupon, accordingly the council, in their act July 27, 1669, do nominate several ministers, and 'appoint them to preach, and exercise the other functions of the ministry, at their respective churches there specified, with consent of the patrons.' The same day also they conclude and enact the forementioned restrictions, conform to the king's letter above rehearsed, and ordain them to be intimate to every person, who is by authority foresaid allowed the exercise of the ministry. These indulged ministers, having that indulgence given only upon these terms, that they should accept these injunctions, and having received it upon these terms also (as an essential part of the bargain and condition, on which the indulgence was granted and accepted, as many following proclamations did expressly declare) do appoint Mr. Hutcheson, one of the number, 'to declare so much; in acknowledging his majesty's favour and clemency, in granting that liberty, after so long a restraint; and however they had received their ministry from Jesus Christ, with full prescriptions from him for regulating them therein, yet nothing could be more refreshing on earth to them, than to have free

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