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assemble and meet together from time to time, and at such times within the space of four calendar months now next ensuing, in the Master's lodgings in the Savoy in the Strand, in the county of Middlesex, or in such other place or places as to you shall be thought fit and convenient; to take into your serious and grave considerations the several directions, rules, and forms of prayer, and things in the said Book of Common Prayer contained, and to advise and consult upon and. about the same, and the several objections and exceptions which shall now be raised against the same. And if occasion be, to make such reasonable and necessary alterations, corrections, and amendments therein, as by and between you and the said Archbishop, Bishops, Doctors, and persons hereby required and authorized to meet and advise as aforesaid, shall be agreed upon to be needful or expedient for the giving satisfaction unto tender consciences, and the restoring and continuance of peace and unity in the Churches under our protection and government; but avoiding, as much as may be, all unnecessary alterations of the forms and liturgy wherewith the people are already acquainted, and have so long received in the Church of England !."
This Commission met at the Savoy in the Strand on April 15th, and its sittings ended on July 24th, 1661: the Session of Parliament and Convocation commencing on May 8th of the same year. The “several objections and exceptions” raised against the Prayer Book were presented to the Bishops in writing. These are all on record in two or three contemporary reports of the Conference, of which one is referred to in the foot-note, and they are printed at length in Cardwell's Conferences on the Book of Common Prayer. Many of these "exceptions” are of a frivolous kind, and the remarks which accompanied them were singularly bitter and uncharitable, as well as diffuse and unbusiness-like. It seems almost incredible that grave Divines should make a great point of “The Epistle is written in ” being an untrue statement of the case when a portion of a prophecy was read and technically called an “Epistle;" or that they should still look upon it as a serious grievance when the alteration conceded went no further than “ For the Epistle :” or, again, that they should spend their time in writing a long complaint about the possibility of their taking cold by saying the Burial Service at the grave. Yet sheets after sheets of their papers were filled with objections of this kind, and with long bitter criticisms of the principles of the Prayer Book. The Bishops replied to them in the tone in which Sanderson's Preface to the Prayer Book is written, but they seem to have keenly felt what Sanderson himself expressed-mild and gentle as he was—when he long afterwards said of his chief opponent at the Savoy, “that he had never met with a man of more pertinacious confidence, and less abilities, in all his conversation?." Perhaps too they were reminded of Lord Bacon's saying respecting his friends, the Nonconformists of an earlier day, that they lacked two principal things, the one learning, and the other love.
The Conference was limited by the Letters Patent to four months' duration, but when that time had drawn to an end little had been done towards a reconciliation of the objectors to the use of the Prayer Book. Baxter had composed a substitute for it, but even his friends would not accept it as such, and probably Baxter's Prayer Book never won its way into any congregation of Dissenters in his lifetime or afterwards. In Queen Elizabeth's time Lord Burleigh had challenged the Dissenters to bring him a Prayer Book made to fit in with their own principles; but when this had been done by one party of Dissenters, another party of them offered six hundred objections to it, which were more than they offered to the old Prayer Book. The same spirit appears to have been shown at the Savoy Conference ; and the principle of unity was so entirely confined to unity in opposition, that it was impossible for any solid reconciliation of the Dissenters to the Church to have been made by any concessions that could have been offered. After all the “exceptions” had been considered and replied to by the Bishops' side (replies again replied to by the untiring controversial pens of the opposite party), the result of the Commission was exhibited in the following list of changes to which the Bishops were willing to assent:
The Concessions offered by the Bishops at the Savoy Conference. § 1. We are willing that all the epistles and gospels be used according to the last translation.
§ 2. That when any thing is read for an epistle which is not in the epistles, the superscription shall be “ For the epistle.”
§ 3. That the Psalms be collated with the former translation, mentioned in rubr., and printed according to it.
i Cardw. Conf. 257–368. “Grand Debate between the most 1 : Kennett's Register, p. 551. This can hardly refer to Baxter, Reverend the Bishops and the Presbyterian Divines. .... The who was a man of some learning ; but no doubt his excessive most perfect copy.” 1661.
1 vanity and moroseness were a chief cause of the failure.
$ 4. That the words “this day,” both in the collects and prefaces, be used only upon the day itself; and for following days it be said, “as about this time.”
§ 5. That a longer time be required for signification of the names of the communicants; and the words of the rubric be changed into these, “at least some time the day before.”
$ 6. That the power.of keeping scandalous sinners from the communion may be expressed in the rubr. according to the xxvith and xxviith canons; so the minister be obliged to give an account of the samegmmediately after to the ordinary.
$ 7. That the whole preface be prefixed to the commandments.
§ 8. That the second exhortation be read some Sunday or Holy Day before the celebration of the communion, at the discretion of the minister.
$ 9. That the general confession at the communion be pronounced by one of the ministers, the people saying after him, all kneeling humbly upon their knees.
§ 10. That the manner of consecrating the elements be made more explicit and express, and to that purpose these words be put into the rubr., “Then shall he put his hand upon the bread and break it," “then shall be put his hand unto the cup.”
§ 11. That if the font be so placed as the congregation cannot hear, it may be referred to the ordinary to place it more conveniently.
$ 12. That these words, "yes, they do perform these,” &c., may be altered thus : “Because they promise them both by their sureties,” &c.
$ 13. That the words of the last rubr. before the Catechism may be thus altered, "that children being baptized have all things necessary for their salvation, and dying before they commit any actual sins, be undoubtedly saved, though they be not confirmed.”
§ 14. That to the rubr. after confirmation these words may be added, " or be ready and desirous to be confirmed.”
§ 15. That these words, “with my body I thee worship,” may be altered thus, “with my body I thee honour.”
$ 16. That these words, "till death us depart," be thus altered, “ till death us do part.” § 17. That the words "sure and certain” may be left out.
The Conference being ended, and with so little practical result, the work of Revision was committed to the Convocations of the two Provinces of Canterbury and York. On June 10th, 1660, a Licence had been issued to the Archbishop of Canterbury [Juxon], empowering the Convocation of his Province to “debate and agree upon such points as were committed to their charge !.” Another was issued to the Archbishop of York (Frewen], of a similar tenour, on July 10th (or 23rd). But little was likely to be done while the Savoy Conference was sitting, beyond preparation for future action. A fresh Licence was issued on October 10th, by which the Convocation of Canterbury was definitely directed to review the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal', under the authority of the Commission sent to them on the 10th of June : and on November 22nd a similar letter was sent to the Archbishop of York. This letter enjoined the Convocations to review the Prayer Book, and then to present it to “ us for our further consideration, allowance, or confirmation.”
It is probable that much consideration had been given to the subject during the five months that elapsed between the issue of the first Licence and that of the second, as a Form for the 29th of May had been agreed upon, and also the Office for Adult Baptism. When, however, the Convocation of Canterbury met on November 21st, 1661, "the King's letters were read," and the revision of the Prayer Book was immediately entered upon with vigour and decision. The Upper House appointed a Committee, consisting of the following :
Matthew Wren, Bishop of Ely.
I State Papers, Dom. Charles 11. xliii. October 10.
* The Bishops returned to their seats in the House of Lords on Nov. 20th, and from that time the junior Bishop said prayers daily as formerly. The Presbyterian minister had been “excused from attendance" on the House of Commons some time before.
Robert Sanderson, Bishop of Lincoln.
„ „ Durham. The last-named had been invited (with the Archbishop of York, and the Bishops of Carlisle and Chester) to be present and assist at the previous session of the Southern Convocation; and was now appointed on the Committee as the most learned ritualist among the Bishops. Wren, Warner, and Skinner had been Bishops in the Convocation of 1640'.
It was necessary that the co-operation of the York Lower House of Convocation should be secured : the Archbishop and three Bishops of that Province therefore wrote to them, saying that the time was very short for the work in hand, and that it would much facilitate its progress if some Clergy were appointed to act in the Southern Convocation as Proxies for the Northern. Eight such proxies were appointed, three of whom were members of the lower house of Canterbury Province, and five of the lower house of York?.
The Committee of Bishops met at Ely House; and Sancroft, at this time Rector of Houghton-leSpring, Prebendary of Durham, and Chaplain to Cosin, appears to have acted as their Secretary. Bishop Cosin had prepared a folio Prayer Book of 1619, in which he had written down in the margin such alterations as he considered desirable: and this volume, which is preserved in the Cosin Library, Durham [D. III. 5), has been thoroughly examined for the present work, all the alterations so made being either referred to or printed in the Notes?. This volume was evidently used as the basis of their work by the Bishops, although (as will be seen) they did not adopt all the changes proposed by Cosin, and introduced others which are not found in his Prayer Book. They were thus enabled to proceed rapidly with the work of revision, and on November 23rd sent a portion of their labours down to the Lower House, which returned it on the 27th. The whole Prayer Book was completed by December 20th, and a form of Subscription was then agreed upon, of which a copy in Bishop Cosin's handwriting is inserted in his Durham Book, and which is also to be found, with all the names attached, in Kennett's Register, pp. 584, 585. The Revised volume, thus prepared, was a MS. of five hundred and forty-four pages, and appears to have been the same that was ultimately attached to the Act of Uniformity. It is said to have been preserved in the Parliament Office as recently as 1825, and is referred to as existing there in the Record Commissioners' edition of the Statutes, vol. v. p. 365; but it has since disappeared.
There was a delay of some weeks before the Prayer Book thus revised received the approval of the King in Council. The Act of Uniformity was under the consideration of the House of Lords, and on February 12th, 1661-2, the Earl of Dorset expressed the disappointment of the House at not receiving the revised Prayer Book; on which the Bishop of London promised that it should shortly be brought in. A Privy Council was then summoned, at which four Bishops were ordered to be present. This met on February 24th, 1661-2, the Bishops of London, Durham, Salisbury, Worcester, and Chester being present: “at which time the Book of Common Prayer, with the Amendments and Additions, as it was prepared by the Lords Bishops, was read and approved, and ordered to be transmitted to the House of Peers, with this following recommendation, signed by His Majesty :"—the recommendation being that the Prayer Book as altered be that appointed to be used by the intended Act of Uniformity'. On the next day it was sent to the House of Lords, with the Great Seal attached "; and on March 17th was declared (without any review of its contents) to be the Book referred to in the Act of Uniformity then passing through the House. On March 18th the thanks of the House were conveyed to Convocation for their care in revising the Book, and on April 10th it was sent down to the House of Commons.
On the 16th of April the question was put in the House of Commons whether there should be any debate upon the amendments inserted in the Prayer Book by Convocation, and it was decided in the negative. A resolution was, however, afterwards passed, that they "might have been debated by the order of the House.” Thus, although the Act of Uniformity was much discussed in the House of Commons, the Book of Common Prayer was accepted by them, as well as by the Lords, exactly as it had passed out of the hands of the Bishops; and nothing was ever said about their right to consider the work of the Convocation until it had been decided that it was to pass unaltered through the secular part of the Legislature. This determination was also strongly illustrated by two circumstances that occurred while the Prayer Book was before the two Houses. (1) A strong desire was expressed in the House of Commons that a proviso should be introduced into the Act of Uniformity, enjoining reverent gestures during the time of Divine Service. This proviso was twice read,“ but the matter being held proper for the Convocation," it was ordered that those members who managed the Conference with the Lords should intimate the desire of the House, “that it be recommended to the Convocation to take order for reverend and uniform gestures and demeanours to be enjoined at the time of Divine Service and preaching :” this course being ultimately adopted, and an addition made by Convocation to the XVIIIth Canon, in consequence, on May 12th, 1662'. (2) The second circumstance is thus stated in the Journals of the House of Lords, on the 8th of May, 1662 : “Whereas it was signified by the House of Commons at the Conference yesterday that they found one mistake in the rubrick of Baptism, which they conceive was a mistake of the writer, Persons being put instead of Children, the Lord Bishop of Durham acquainted the house, that himself and the Lord Bishop of Carlisle had authority from the Convocation to amend the said word, averring it was only a mistake of the scribe; and accordingly they came to the Clerk's table, and amended the same ?."
1 Archbishop Juxon, Bishops Duppa, Piers, and Roberts, had , Book; and had prepared a fourth, suggesting amendments which also been Bishops in 1640. Four other Bishops in the Upper he considered to be necessary several years before. These are House of 1661, Sheldon, Floyd, Griffith, and Ironside, had been collected in the fifth volume of his Works, published in the in the Lower House in 1610, and so had about twenty members Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology. Some MS. Notes on the of the Lower House of 1661.
Prayer Book, Harl. MS. 7311, are also said to be his. Kennett's Register, pp. 563-565.
• Kennett's Register, pp. 632, 633. State Papers, li. 5. 3 A fair copy of this volume, written by Sancroft in a Prayer 5 When the Bill for Uniformity had been sent up from the Book of 1634, is preserved in the Bodleian Library [Arch. Bodl. House of Commons, a Prayer Book (probably that of Elizabeth) D. 28), and has been collated with the original for the present had been attached to it, but this was set aside for that of the work. Cosin had also written three sets of Notes on the Prayer Convocation. Kennett's Register, p. 642.
The amendments proposed by the House of Commons in the Act of Uniformity all tended to raise the tone in which the Prayer Book was to be used, and to make the provisions of the Act more strict. They especially required that the Surplice, and the Sign of the Cross in Baptism, should continue to be used. [Kennett's Reg., pp. 676. 679.] These amendments were all agreed to by the Lords on May 10th; and thus the Prayer Book, as amended by Convocation, and the Act of Uniformity, as amended by Parliament, both received the Royal Assent on May 19th, 1662.
In answer to inquiries from the House of Lords, the Bishops had guaranteed (on April 21st) that the Book should be in print and ready for use on August 24th, the Feast of St. Bartholomew, which was the day fixed by Parliament for the Act to come into operation. The printing was undertaken by Convocation, which, as early as March 8th, had appointed Dr. Sancroft to be Supervisor, and Messrs. Scattergood and Dillingham, Correctors of the press'. The following MS. entry on the fly-leaf of Bishop Cosin's Durham Book, in the Bishop's own hand, will show how much anxious thought he had taken for this and all other matters connected with the Revision of the Prayer Book :
“ Directions to be given to the printer.
“Set a fair Frontispiece at the beginning of the Book, and another before the Psalter, to be designed as the Archbishop shall direct, and after to be cut in Brass.
“ Page the whole Book.
“Add nothing. Leave out nothing. Alter nothing, in what Volume soever it be printed. Particularly; never cut off the Lord's Prayer, Creed, or any Collect with an &c.; but wheresoever they are to be used, print them out at large, and add [Amen] to the end of every prayer.
1 Kennett's Register, pp. 671. 680. 684.
Bishop Kennett, but it has an air of probability: and such strange ? Kennett's Register, p. 680. An order for correcting this accidents in the most important matters have not unfrequently error had passed Convocation on April 21st. Ibid. p. 666. occurred. So the word “not” was once omitted from the seventh
A more curious slip of the pen is said to have been corrected commandment in a whole edition of the Holy Bible; the printers with a bold readiness by Lord Clarendon. “Archbishop Tenison | being heavily fined for the mistake. told me by his bedside on Monday, Feb. 12, 1710, that the Con- 3 Among Archbishop Sancroft's MSS, in the Bodleian, there vocation book intended to be the copy contirmed by the Act of is a letter from one of Bishop Cosin's chaplains, written from Uniformity had a rash blunder in the rubrick after Baptism, Bishop Auckland on June 16th, 1662, in which he says, “My lord which should have run [It is certain by God's word, that children desires at all times to know particularly what progress you make which are baptized dying before they commit actual sin are un. in the Common Prayer." There is also a mandate from Charles II. doubtedly saved). But the words (which are baptized] were to the Dean and Chapter of Durham among the State Papers, left out, till Sir Cyril Wyche coming to see the Lord Chancellor dated June 16th, 1662, likewise, and ordering them to dispense with Hyde found the book brought home by his lordship, and lying in Prebendary Sancroft's residence, as he has been for some months, his parlour window, even after it had passed the two houses, and and still is attending the impression of the Liturgy;" and adding happening to cast his eye upon that place, told the Lord Chan- that “it is not the meaning of the statutes to require the resi.
Ibid. p. 643. This story was fifty years old when it reached | to the Church requires them.”
State Papers, lvi. 61.
“Never print the Lord's Prayer beyond deliver us from evil. Amen.'
“As much as may be, compose so that the leaf be not to be turned over in any Collect, Creed, Verse of a Psalm, Middle of a sentence, &c.
"Set not your own Names in the Title-page nor elsewhere in the Book, but only Printed at London by the printers to the King's most excellent Majesty. Such a year.'
“Print [Glory be to the Father, &c.] at the end of every Psalm, and of every part of cxix. Psalm.
“In this Book :“Where a line is drawn through the words, that is all to be left out. " Where a line is drawn under the words, it is to be printed in the Roman letter.
“ Where a prickt line is drawn under the words, it is not part of the book, but only a direction to the printer or reader.
“Where this note [ is set, a break is to be made, or a new line begun.
While the Act of Uniformity was passing through Parliament, the House of Commons inserted a clause which provided that “a true and perfect copy of this Act, and of the said Book annexed hereunto," should be provided by the Deans and Chapters of every Cathedral or Collegiate Church before Christmas Day, obtained “under the Great Seal of England," and also that similar copies should be delivered into the respective Courts of Westminster, and into the Tower of London, to be kept and preserved as records. It was also provided that these books should " be examined by such persons as the King's Majesty shall appoint under the Great Seal of England for that purpose, and shall be compared with the original Book hereunto annexed.” These Commissioners were to have power “to correct, and amend in writing, any error committed by the Printer in the printing of the same book, or of any thing therein contained, and shall certify under their hands and seals .... that they have examined and compared the said Book, and find it to be a true and perfect Copy.” The Prayer Books so certified and sealed with the Great Seal were then enacted to be as good Records as the MS. itself.
Soon after the Book was printed, a Commission was therefore issued : a strong Royal mandate having been meanwhile sent to the University of Cambridge, commanding the Vice-Chancellor to inhibit the University printers from sending out any copies printed otherwise than was allowed them. The Commission was dated Nov. 1st, 1662, and was addressed to John Croftes, Dean of Norwich ; Joseph Henshaw, Dean of Chichester; Richard Chaworth; William Paul, Dean of Lichfield; William Brabourne; Mark Franck, Archdeacon of St. Alban's; and George Madling. Certain alterations were made, chiefly in the headings and titles of Prayers, Psalms, &c., in all the Books which were to receive the Great Seal; and a Certificate was appended to each of them, signed by the Commissioners on December 13th. The Books so certified were afterwards ordered to be passed under the Great Seal, and as many copies sealed as the Lord Chancellor thought fit', Letters Patent, dated January 5th, 1662-3, being appended to each. Thus the Book of Common Prayer was carefully guarded through every stage of its preparation, that it might go forth to the people of England with all the authority that law can give, and that a perfect Record might never be wanting of the true document by which the system of Divine Service is regulated in the Church of England.
An attempt was made in the reign of William III. to remodel the Prayer Book on principles much less Catholic than those which had been uniformly adopted in former revisions, but the attempt happily failed". No further alteration of its pages has taken place, and the Prayer Book of 1662 is still the Prayer Book of the Church of England in 1866.
1 It is very singular that Burton had alleged, some five-andi ? State Papers, Domestic, Charles II., lviii. 42. twenty years before, that there was "in the great printing house 3 Ibid. lxi. 144 ; lxiii. 42. at London a Common Prayer Book,” altered with Cosin's hand, 4 The whole of the proposed Revision of 1689 was printed in a to show “how he would have it altered." Prynne makes a some “blue book " by order of the House of Commons, dated June 2nd, what similar assertion in his criticism of Corin's Devotions, printed 1854. A full account of it is also given in Procter's History of in 1626 and 1627. [Lathbury's Convocation, p. 273.] These an the Common Prayer, pp. 144–160. As it has never had any ticipations of Cosin's influence show that he was marked out for authority or influence, it has been considered unnecessary to give a leader in the work of revision.
any particulars respecting it here.