was to prevent all controversy on points of doctrine in the pulpit. It is enjoined in the declaration that the articles of religion should be subscribed by the clergy in the strict grammatical sense, no one being at liberty to put his own sense or comment upon them. At the same time, or at all events during the same year, a new edition of the Thirty-nine Articles was published, containing the disputed clause in the twentieth article. The Puritans immediately charged Laud with forging the clause in question. The clause is as follows:-"The Church hath power to decree rites or ceremonies, and authority in controversies of faith.”

On this point we cannot but conceive that Dr. Cardwell has done injustice to the memory of Laud. In a note to the royal declaration, he has the following remarks:

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"Bishop Laud was accused at his trial of having interpolated this edition of the Articles, by inserting a sentence of his own, at the beginning of the twentieth article, respecting the authority of the Church. There was some apparent foundation for the charge, inasmuch as the passage was not to be found in either the first edition or in most of those that followed it. But it certainly existed in others; and it was probably introduced by the Queen, after the Articles had been approved by the Convocation of 1562. We may admit, however, that we are indebted to Bishop Laud for the publicity and confirmation that the passage has subsequently obtained."-(CARDwell, vol. II., 171.)

Now, we cannot think that there was even any apparent foundation for the charge against Laud of interpolating the edition of the Articles of 1628. The charge was not alleged against him for the first time at his trial, it was brought some years before by the Puritans. In the year 1637, Bastwick, Burton, and Prynne, were censured in the Star Chamber for their indecent attack on the hierarchy, and on individuals, Laud was present on the occasion, and as he was one of the parties most deeply implicated in the charge, he defended himself at great length on all the points respecting which he had been charged with innovations. His reply to the charge of

late Sovereign, King James, on Sunday, March 27th, by Dr. Price, Deane of Hereford, then in attendance, and now Chaplaine in Ordinary to his Majestie. London, 1625." The sermon furnishes a curious instance of the worship always paid to the rising sun; for, after lamenting the state in which King James then was, which was known to be hopeless, the preacher proceeds in a somewhat flattering strain to compliment Prince Charles:-" Here is present a gracious dove (alluding to the prince), with an olive branch that shall bring comfortable news to our world, and the waters shall cease." But the fact, that the prince and the court attended divine service at such a time, is a convincing proof that the religious feelings of the age were very different from those of the present.

forging the disputed clause in the twentieth Article is so triumphant, that we shall make no apology for quoting it from the original speech, a copy of which is now before us,

"But then, my Lords, I must tell you, I hope to make it as clear as the day, that this forgery was not, that this clause mentioned was added by the Prelates to the Article, to gain power to the Church, and to serve our turns But that that clause, in the beginning of the Article, was by these men, or at least by some of their faction, razed out, and this to weaken the just power of the Church, to serve their turns."

In replying to the allegation that the clause was not to be found it the first editions of the Articles, he remarks

"But for the Articles made in the Queen's time, and now in force, that this clause should not be found in English or Latin copies, till the year 1628, that it was set forth with the King's declaration before it, is to me a miracle: but your Lordships shall see the falsehood and boldness of these men.

"What is this affirmative clause in no copy, English or Latin, till the year 1628 ? Strange! Why, my Lords, I have a copy of the Articles in English of the year 1612, and of the year 1605, and of the year 1593, and in Latin of the year 1563, which was one of the first printed copies, if not the first of all.

"And in all these this affirmative clause for the Church's power is in."*

Laud also produced a document, under the hand of a public notary, to shew that the clause was to be found in the copy of the Articles embodied in the Acts of Convocation, of 1562, then preserved in St. Paul's Church. These records were consumed in the fire of London, in 1666: but there can be no doubt that the disputed clause existed in the Acts of Convocation.

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It is certainly true that the clause was not found in several of the early editions: but this omission is more than overbalanced by the fact that it exists in the Acts of Convocation. In 1562 it was evidently subscribed by the Convocation. In this state did the matter remain until the year 1571, when many of the clergy endeavoured to avoid subscription, and when the Bishops laboured to enforce it. During that year the Articles were again printed in Latin and English, with the omission of the disputed clause. At that time the Puritan party appear to

* See “A Speech delivered in the Star Chamber, on Wednesday, the 12th of June, MDCXXXVII, at the censure of John Bastwick, Henry Burton, and William Prin concerning pretended innovations in the Church. By the Most Reverend Father in God, William, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, his Grace. London, MDCXXXVII. P. 67-68."

have been very powerful, both among the clergy and the laity: and it seems probable that under their influence the clause was left out. It does not appear that any dispute had then arisen respecting this clause, and the matter involved in it had not yet assumed that importance which was attached to it some years afterwards. Under such circumstances it was perfectly easy to omit the clause in re-printing the articles, without exciting observation. The subject had not attracted attention, and the omission was not noticed. There can be no doubt, whatever, that the clause existed in the copy subscribed by the Convocation of 1562. Its omission in various editions, both before and subsequent to 1571, is easily explained. The clause was not forged with a view to oppress the Puritans: but the omission was evidently designed to strengthen their cause. It is remarkable, that the paper produced in the Star Chamber was in existence in the year 1715, when Bennet published his able work on the Thirty-nine Articles. Whether it is still in existence we cannot determine: but we see no reason to doubt that such

is the case. In 1715, the original document was in the possession of Colonel Hale, of Cottells, in the county of Wilts, a grandson of Lord Chief Justice Hale. It appears that this paper was seized by Prynne, under the authority of the House of Commons, and never returned to the Archbishop. Bennet has printed it in his valuable work.*

During the reigns of Elizabeth, James, and Charles I., the Church was greatly agitated by disputes respecting the situation of the Lord's table. In popish times the altar stood at the East end of the church, close to the wall. When altars were removed, tables were substituted and by the second book of King Edward, they were to stand in the body of the church or in the chancel. It was at the option of the minister to place the table in either part of the church. The custom, however, was to place it in the chancel, and on communion days it was removed into some more convenient part. This is evident from Queen Elizabeth's Injunctions, A.D. 1559; by which it was ordered

"That the holy table, in every church, be decently made, and set in the place where the altar stood, and there commonly covered, as thereto belongeth, and as shall be appointed by the visitors, and so to stand, saving when the communion of the sacrament is to be distributed: at which time the same shall be so placed in good sort, within the chancel, as whereby the minister may be more conveniently heard of the communicants in his prayer and ministration, and the com

* Bennet's Essay on the Thirty-Nine Articles, p. 167-168.

municants also more conveniently, and in more number communicate with the said minister. And after the communion done, from time to time, the same holy table to be placed where it stood before."

This was the practice in the reign of Elizabeth and her


The rubric in King Edward's Second Book, and also in Queen Elizabeth's, enjoined, that the table should stand in the body of the church, or in the chancel, leaving it to the option of the clergy or the ordinary. The injunction, therefore, and the rubric are somewhat different, the former fixing the position of the table, but enjoining its removal to a more convenient spot at the time of the celebration of the Lord's Supper; the latter leaving it with the minister and ecclesiastical authorities.

The reader of English history knows how vehemently the placing of the table at the East end of the chancel was opposed by the Puritans. Laud was charged with wishing to introduce popery. The civil wars broke out soon after 1640, while the disputes were raging, and Laud and the Bishops were overpowered. There was also another circumstance connected with the communion-table, at which the Puritans were highly offended, namely, the enclosing it with rails. After the civil wars had commenced, the soldiers of the parliamentary army used, wherever they came, to break down the rails and level the East end of the chancel with the rest of the church.

That Laud acted in opposition to the rubric, in insisting on the removal of the table to the East end, is a matter that cannot be questioned, for the position was left optional: but the Puritanical objections were most unreasonable, and the practice attempted to be enforced by Laud was, undoubtedly, far more becoming than that adopted by his opponents. In insisting, however, on the administration of the Lord's Supper at the table standing near the wall at the East end of the Chancel, he was acting in opposition to the eighty-second canon, which, with respect to the point in question, is the mere repetition of the Injunction of Elizabeth, already quoted. By the rubric, therefore, and by the canons, the matter was left undecided. Laud attempted to bring about uniformity: but just at the moment. when the object was gained, the commotions of the country commenced, which issued in the murder of the King and the ruin of the Church.

In many places the table was placed, at the time of the celebration of the communion, at the East end of the chancel; but no express sentence from authority was obtained until the year 1640. In that year Charles assembled a Parliament, which was shortly dissolved. The Convocation always assembled with the Parliament: and when the latter was dissolved

the former ceased to exist. But, on this occasion, the King, by the exercise of his prerogative, continued the Convocation until it had enacted and passed a body of canons for the regulation of ecclesiastical discipline. These canons, by the next Parliament, were voted illegal; nor were they revived at the Restoration. In this Convocation Laud procured a settlement of the question respecting the position of the table according to his own views.

There is nothing in the canon then made to which churchmen in the present day can object, yet a loud outcry was raised against it at the time. And though in itself it is unobjectionable, yet it was most impolitic in Laud to attempt the alteration. The canon declares that the situation of the table was a matter of indifference, a position which can scarcely be questioned; and it would have been well if Laud had acted on this very principle, and made no new canon on the subject. For years that eminent prelate had been labouring to effect this particular object; and as soon as it was gained, he himself, and the Church over which he had presided, experienced a sad


In 1661, when the Liturgy was revised, the rubric respecting the situation of the table was permitted to remain unaltered. The canon also of 1604 is still in force. No regulation on the subject was framed: yet from the Restoration it has been the unvarying practice in all churches to place the table at the East end of the chancel, and to administer the elements at the rails. The very end, therefore, which Laud could not gain by all his efforts, has been secured by the moderation of those who revised the Liturgy in 1661. Had they altered the rubric and the canon, or had they insisted on placing the table at the East end of the church, it is more than probable that many would have been dissatisfied, and instead of uniformity, as is now the case, we might have been still involved in angry discussions respecting a mere trifle. The matter was wisely left undecided, and the consequence has been the most complete uniformity. For though the canon authorizing the removal of the table from the East end at the celebration of the communion still remains in force, and though the rubric still enjoins that the table shall stand either in the body of the church or in the chancel, yet there is not a parish in the kingdom in which it is not placed near the wall at the upper end of the chancel, or in which the elements are not administered at the rails. By leaving the matter indifferent, all controversy on the subject ceased; and in the present day no one is weak enough to imagine that the position of the table in the chancel can be regarded as an indication of popery. Such is the perversity of human nature,

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