Ordinance for the calling of an Assembly of Learned and Godly Divines, to be consulted with by the Parliament, for the setling of the Government of the Church
Grounds for calling an Assembly of Divines.; Names of Persons summoned to assemble.; Assembly Where and when to be.; Powers.; Wm. Twist, D.D., to be Prolocutor.; Allowance for attendance.; Acquittal from all penalties, etc., incurred by absence from Cures and Churches through attendance at Assembly.;Persons nominated in the room of those dying before dissolution of Assembly to have like privileges.
Whereas amongst the infinite blessings of Almighty God upon this Nation, none is, or can be more dear unto us then the purity of our Religion; and for that as yet many things remain in the Liturgy, Discipline and Government of the Church, which do necessarily require a further, and more perfect Reformation then as yet hath been attained: And whereas it hath been Declared and Resolved by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, That the present Church-Government by Archbishops, Bishops, their Chancellors, Commissaries, Deans, Deans and Chapters, Archdeacons, and other Ecclesiastical Officers depending upon the Hierarchy, is evil, and justly offensive and burthensome to the Kingdome, a great impediment to Reformation and growth of Religion, and very prejudicial to the State and Government of this Kingdome, and that therefore they are Resolved that the same shall be taken away, and that such a Government shall be setled in the Church, as may be most agreeable to Gods Holy Word, and most apt to procure and preserve the Peace of the Church at home, and nearer Agreement with the Church of Scotland, and other Reformed Churches abroad, and for the better effecting hereof, and for the vindicating and clearing of the Doctrine of the Church of England from all false Calumnies and Aspersions, It is thought fit and necessary to call an Assembly of Learned, Godly, and Judicious Divines, to consult and advise of such matters and things, touching the Premises, as shall be proposed unto them by both or either of the Houses of Parliament, and to give their advise and counsel therein to both or either of the said Houses, when, and as often as they shall be thereunto required. Be it therefore Ordained by the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, That all and every the Persons hereafter in this present Ordinance named, that is to say, Algernon Earl of Northumberland, William Earl of Bedford, Philip Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, William Earl of Salisbury, Henry Earl of Holland, Edward Earl of Manchester, William Lord Viscount Say and Seal, Edward Lord Viscount Conway, Philip Lord Wharton, Edward Lord Howard of Estr. John Selden Esquire, Francis Rows Esquire, Edmond Prideaux Esquire, Sir Henry Vane Knight senior, John Glyn Esqu. Recorder of London, John White Esquire, Bouldstrode Whitclock Esquire, Humphrey Salloway Esquire, Mr. Serjeant Wilde, Oliver St. John Esqu. His Majesties Solicitor, Sir Benjamin Rudyard Knight, John Pym Esquire, Sir John Clotworthy Knight, John Maynard Esquire, Sir Henry Vane Knight junior, William Pierpoint Esquire, William Wheeler Esquire Sir Thomas Barrington Knight, Mr. Young Esquire, Sir John Evelin Knight, Herbert Palmer of Ashwel Batchelor in Divinity, Oliver Boles of Sutton Batchelor in Divinity, Henry Wilkinson of Maddesden Batchelor in Divinity, Thomas Valentine of Chalfont Giles Batchelor in Divinity, Dr. William Twist of Newbury, William Reynor of Egham, Mr. Hannibal Gammon of Maugan, Mr. Jasper Hicks of Lawrick, Dr. Hoyle late of Dublin in Ireland, William Bridges of Yarmouth, Thomas Wincop of Ellesworth Dr. in Divinity, Thomas Goodwin of London Batchelor in Divinity, John Ley of Budworth in Cheshire, Thomas Case of London, John Pyne of Bereferrers, Mr. Whidden of Mooreton, Dr. Richard Love of Ekington, Dr. William Gouge of Blackfriers London, Dr. Ralph Brownrigg Bishop of Exceter, Dr. Samuel Ward Master of Sidney Colledge, John White of Dorchester, Edward Peal of Compton, Stephen Marshal of Finchingfield, Batchelor in Divinity, Obadiah Sedgwick of Cogshal Batchelor in Divinity, Mr. Carter, Peter Clerk of Carnaby, William New of Estington Batchelor in Divinity, Richard Capel of Pitchcomb, Theophilus Bathurst of Overton Watervile, Philip Nye of Kimbolton, Dr. Brocket Smith of Barkway, Dr. Cornelius Burghess of Watford, John Green of Pencomb, Stanley Gower of Brampton Bryan, Francis Taylor of Yalding, Thomas Wilson of Otham. Anthony Tuckney of Boston, Thomas Coleman of Bliton, Charles Herle of Winwick, Richard Herrick of Manchester, Richard Cleyton of Showel, George Gibbs of Ayleston, Dr. Calibute Downing of Hackney, Jeremiah Burroughs of Stepney, Edmund Calamy Batchelor in Divinity, George Walker Batchelor in Divinity, Joseph Carrol of Lincolns-Inne, Lazarus Seaman of London, Dr. John Harris Warden of Winchester Colledge, George Morley of Mildenhal, Edward Reynolds of Branston, Thomas Hill of Titchmarch Batchelor in Divinity, Dr. Robert Saunderson of Boothby Pannel, John Foxcroft of Gotham, John Jackson of Maske, William Carter of London, Thomas Thoroughgood of Massingham, John Arrowsmith of Lynne, Robert Harris of Hanwel Batchelor in Divinity, Robert Cross of Lincoln Colledge Batchelor in Divinity, James Archbishop of Armagh, Dr. Matthias Styles of Saint George Escheap London, Samuel Gibson of Burley, Jeremiah Whittacre of Stretton, Dr. Edmund Stanton of Kingston, Dr. Daniel Featly of Lambeth, Francis Coke of Yoxhall, John Lightoot of Ashley, Edward Corbet of Merton Colledge Oxon, Samuel Hildersham of Felton, John Langley of Westendersley, Christopher Tisdale of Uphusborn, Thomas Young of Stowmarket, John Philips of Wrentham, Humphrey Chambers of Claverton Batchelor in Divinity, John Conant of Lymington Batchelor in Divinity, Henry Hall of Norwich Batchelor in Divinity, Henry Hutton, Henry Seuddir of Colingborn, Thomas Bayly of Manningford Bruce, Benjamin Pickering of Easthomeley, Henry Nye of Clapham, Arthur Salloway of Seavernestoake, Sydrake Sympson of London, Anthony Burghess of Sutton Coldfield, Richard Vines of Calcot, William Greenhil of Stepney, William Moreton of Newcastle, Richard Buckley, Dr. Thomas Temple of Battersey, Josias Shute in Lombardstreet Batchelor in Divinity, Mr. Nicholson, Thomas Gattaker of Rotherhithe Batchelor in Divinity, James Weldey of Sylatten, Dr. Christopher Pashley of Hawarden, Henry Tozer Batchelor in Divinity, William Spurstow of Hambden in Bucks, Francis Channel of Oxon, Edward Ellis of Gilfield Batchelor in Divinity, Dr. John Hacket of S. Andrews Holborn, Samuel de la Place, John de la March, Matthew Newcomen of Dedham, William Lyford of Sherburn in Com. Dorset, Mr. Carter of Dynton in Com. Bucks, William Lance of Harrow in Middlesex, Thomas Hodges of Kensington in Com. Middlesex, Andreas Perne of Wilby in Com. Northampton, Dr. Thomas Westfield of S. Bartholomew le great London, Bishop of Bristol, Dr. Henry Hammond of Penshurst in Kent, Nicholas Prophet of Marlborough in Com. Wilts, Peter Sterry of London, John Erle of Bishopston in Com. Wilts, Mr. Gibbon of Waltham, Henry Painter of Exceter Batchelor in Divinity, Mr. Michelthwait of Cheryburton, Dr. Wincop of S. Martins in the fields, Mr. Price of Pauls Church in Covent Garden, Henry Wilkinson Batchelor in Divinity, Dr. Richard Oldsworth Master of Emanuel Colledge in Cambridge, Mr. William Duning of Coldaston, and such other person and persons as shall be nominated and appointed by both Houses of Parliament, or so many of them as shall not be letted by sickness, or other necessary impediment, shall meet and assemble, and are hereby required and enjoyned upon summons signed by the Clerks of both Houses of Parliament, left at their several respective dwellings, to meet and assemble themselves at Westminster in the Chappel called King Henry the sevenths Chappel, on the first day of July, in the year of our Lord One thousand six hundred forty three; and after the first meeting, being at least of the number of forty, shall from time to time sit, and be removed from place to place, and also that the said Assembly shall be dissolved in such manner as by both Houses of Parliament shall be directed: And the said persons, or so many of them as shall be so assembled, or sit, shall have power and authority, and are hereby likewise enjoyned from time to time during this present Parliament, or until further Order be taken by both the said Houses, to confer and treat amongst themselves, of such matters and things touching and concerning the Liturgy, Discipline and Government of the Church of England, or the vindicating and clearing of the Doctrine of the same from all false aspersions and misconstructions as shall be proposed unto them by both or either of the said Houses of Parliament, and no other, and to deliver their Opinions and Advises of or touching the matters aforesaid, as shall be most agreeable to the Word of God, to both or either of the said Houses, from time to time, in such manner and sort as by both or either of the said Houses of Parliament shall be required; and the same not to divulge by Printing, Writing, or otherwise, without the consent of both or either House of Parliament. And be it further Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That William Twist Doctor in Divinity, shall sit in the Chair as Prolocutor of the said Assembly; and if he happen to die, or be letted by sickness or other necessary impediment, then such other Person to be appointed in his place, as shall be agreed on by both the said Houses of Parliament: And in case any difference of Opinion shall happen amongst the said Persons so assembled touching any the matters that shall be proposed to them as aforesaid, that then they shall represent the same, together with the Reasons thereof, to both or either the said Houses respectively, to the end such further direction may be given therein, as shall be requisite in that behalf. And be it further Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That for the Charges and Expences of the said Divines, and every of them in attending the said Service, there shall be allowed unto every of them that shall so attend, during the time of their said attendance, and for ten days before and ten days after, the sum of Four Shillings for every day, at the charges of the Commonwealth, at such time and in such manner as by both Houses of Parliament shall be appointed. And be it further Ordained, That all and every the said Divines so as aforesaid required and enjoyned to meet and assemble, shall be freed and acquitted of and from every offence, forfeiture, penalty, loss, or damage, which shall or may arise or grow by reason of any non-residence or absence of them or any of them, from his, or their, or any of their Church, Churches, or Cures, for or in respect of their said attendance upon the said Service, any Law or Statute of Non-residence, or other Law or Statute enjoyning their attendance upon their respective Ministeries or Charges to the contrary thereof notwithstanding: And if any of the Persons before named shall happen to die before the said Assembly shall be dissolved by Order of both Houses of Parliament, then such other Person or Persons shall be nominated and placed in the room and stead of such Person and Persons so dying, as by both the said Houses shall be thought fit and agreed upon; and every such Person or Persons so to be named, shall have the like Power and Authority, Freedome, and acquittal to all intents and purposes, and also all such Wages and Allowances for the said Service, during the time of his or their attendance, as to any other of the said Persons in this Ordinance is by this Ordinance limited and appointed. Provided always, That this Ordinance, or any thing therein contained, shall not give unto the Persons aforesaid, or any of them, nor shall they in this Assembly assume to exercise any Jurisdiction, Power, or Authority Ecclesiastical whatsoever, or any other Power then is herein particularly expressed.