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Ecclesiastical Established Church Tions and Canons

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TIONS AND CANONS, ECCLESIASTICAL ; ESTABLISHED CHURCH, p. 848.) It de nounced severe temporal and spiritual penalties against the Puritan divines, and was followed up by unsparing persecu tions. By 3 Jac. I. c. 4, § 32, a penalty of 101. a month was imposed on any per son who maintained, relieved, kept, or harboured in his house any servant, so journer, or stranger who, without reason able excuse, forbore to attend the church for a month together. By 21 Jac. I. C. 4, § 5, it was enacted that actions against persons for not frequenting the church and hearing divine service might be laid in any county at the pleasure of the informer.

In spite, however, of all the means employed for its eradication, the cause of Nonconformity advanced. In the church itself there were many of the clergy who held the Puritan opinions, though they deemed it inexpedient to make a very open display of them, and who sighed for a change ; and the number of such was largely augmented by the alteration which James made in his creed, from Calvinism to the doctrines of Arminius.

Charles I. adopted towards the Non conformists the policy of his predecessors. His haughty temper and despotic dispo sition speedily involved him in diffi culties with his parliament and people. In carrying into execution his designs against Puritanism, he found an able and zealous assistant in Archbishop Laud, under whose arbitrary administration the proceedings of the Star Chamber and High Commission Court were charac tensed by great severity. Many Puritans sought for safety and quiet in emigration; and the colony of Massachusetts Bay was founded by them in North America. But a proclamation by the king put a stop to this self-banishment ; and thus even the miserable consolation of expa triation was denied. Hundreds of Puri tan clergymen were ejected from their cures, on account of their opposition to the Book of Sports, published in the pre vious reign. Calvinism was denounced by royal authority, and severe restrictions laid on the modes and times of preaching. But a change was approaching. In 1644 Land was declared guilty of high treason and beheaded; and about five years after, Charles shared the same fate. The par liament abolished Episcopacy and every thing in the church that was opposed to the model of the Genevan church.

During the Protectorate, Presbytery continued to be the established religion.

Independency, however, prevailed in the army, and was in high favour with Crom well. Under his government the sects of the Quakers and Baptists flourished ; and other sects, some of which held the wildest and most visionary tenets, sprang into existence. All were tolerated. Episco pacy only was proscribed ; and the Non conformis, in their hour of prosperity, forgetful of the lessons which adversity should have taught them, directed against its adherents severities similar to those of which they themselves had been the objects.

The Restoration, in 1660, placed Charles II. on the throne of his ancestors, and led to the restitution of the old system of church government and worship. Another Act of Uniformity (14 Car. II. C. 4) was passed in 1662, by which all who refused to observe the rites as well as subscribe to the doctrines of the Church of England were excluded from its communion, and in consequence exposed to many disad vantages and to cruel sufferings. During the same reign was passed the Conven ticle Act (16 Car. II. c. 4), which sub jected all who presumed to worship God otherwise than the law enjoined to fine and imprisonment, and punished the third offence with banishment ; the Five-Mile Act (17 Car. II. C. 2), which banished to that distance from every corporate town where they had formerly preached the Nonconformist clergy, and forbade them to officiate as schoolmasters except on condition of their taking the oath or passive obedience ; and the Corporation Act (13 Car. II. st. 2, c. 1), which. though directed against the Roman Catholics, pressed with equal severity against Pro testant dissenters, and excluded from offices in municipal corporations those who refused to receive the eucharist as cording to the rubric of the Church of England. This was followed by the Test Act (25 Car. 11. c. 2), which re quired all persons who held any office under the crown, civil or military, to take the oaths of supremacy and alle giance, to subscribe a declaration against transubstantiation, and to take the sacra ment of the Lord's Supper according to the usage of the Church of England. This act, although directed against the Roman Catholics, equally affected the Nonconformists. The act 22 Car. II.

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