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A DECLARATION OF THE Proteſtant Clergie Of the City of DUBLIN, Shewing the Reaſons why they cannot conſent to the taking away of the Book of Common Prayer, and comply with the Directory.

Preſented To the Honourable Commiſsioners for the PARLIAMENT of ENGLAND, July 9. 1647.

[printer's device, consisting of the Irish harp surmounted by a crown

July 22th. Printed in the Yeere 1647.


To the Honourable Commiſsiomers from the Parliament of ENGLAND, The humble Anſwer and Petition of the Proteſtant Cler­gie of the City of Dublin;

Humbly ſhewing,

THat whereas we have received from your Honours by Anthony Dopping Eſquire, a meſſage conſiſting of two branches; one of a Demand, Whether the Miniſters will officiate in their ſeverall Churches, not uſing the Book of Common Prayer.

The other a Conceſſion to this effect; That ſuch as will of­ficiate, may uſe the Directory, or ſuch ſervice as is agreeable to the Word of God; but not uſe the Book of Common Prayer.

We hereto with all meekneſſe and lowlineſſe of minds return this our joynt Anſwer.

1 That foraſmuch as we ſee and know, that the Proteſtants of this City, for the moſt part, are much grieved in heart for the want of the daily accuſtomed Service of God in the two Cathedralls, and the Pariſh Churches of this City, and for their late being deprived of us and our Miniſtery, which they have long enjoyed: We are very much troubled, and are very ſorrowfull in our ſoules for their grief: We acknowledge our ſelves bound to preach the Goſpell of Chriſt unto the People, and are ſo farre from a voluntary deſertion of our Churches, People, Miniſtery, and the exerciſe thereof, as that we ſhall rejoyce in nothing more, then that we may finiſh our courſe with joy, and the Miniſtery which we have received of the Lord Jeſus, to teſtifie the grace of God.

2. That we have been and ſtill are effectually debarred from our Churches, and the exerciſe of our Miniſtery by your Ho­nours Injunction and Command, bearing date the 24. of June, 1647. 2〈…〉you require the diſcontinuance of the Booke of Common-Prayer, and the receiving of the Directory, &c. which injunction lies ſtill upon us, with the danger of non-pro­tection in caſe we diſobey the ſame.

3. That we cannot conſent with a good conſcience to the diſcontinuance of the Book of Common-Prayer, & receiving the Directory in lieu thereof, or any other private forme of publike ſervice, for the reaſons exhibited, and alledged in our Anſwer the 22. of June laſt; whereto we humbly annex theſe reaſons following, amongſt others which we debated upon in our mutuall conference the 25. of June, and on the ſame day touched ſome of the heads of them before your Honours.

I. We all at our Ordination or being made Presbyters, have (among other things) made this ſolemne promiſe before Gd, which wee account the ſame with or little different from an Oath, that we would ſo miniſter the Doctrine and Sacra­ments, and Diſcipline of Chriſt, as the Lord hath commanded, and as this Realme hath received the ſame.

II. We have often taken the Oath of Supremacy, and ſworn that the Kings Highneſſe is the onely ſupremeovernour of this Realme, as well in all ſpirituall or Eccleſiaſt call things, or cauſes, as temporall, and that we ſhall aſsiſt and defend all Iuriſdictions, &c. granted or belonging to the Kings Highneſſe, his Heires and Succeſſors, or united ad annexed to the Imperiall Crowne of this Realme. Now ſhould we receive a Directory printed, or any other forme without royall Authority, wee doe not con­ceive how this can ſtand with this our Oath.

III. As the Act of Parliament 2. Eliz. ſtill in force in this Kingdome, expreſſely commands the uſe of this Book of Common-Prayer, ſo it forbids Common-Prayer or Adminiſtra­tion of the Sacraments, otherwiſe or after any other manner or forme, with any private diſpenſation whereof we cannot comply, we being bound to the obedience thereof, not only for fear of penalty, but for conſcience ſake, Rom. 13.5.

3IIII. Whereas the Booke of Common-Prayer is one maine part of the Reformation eſtabliſhed in the Churches of England and Ireland, the laying aſide thereof and the recei­ving of the Directory or any other forme would be, we con­ceive (conſidering the preſent ſtate and circumſtances of things) a departing in this from the Communion of the Church of England and Ireland.

V. It is evident, that as the Conſtitution of a Law in any matter Eccleſiaſticall, the order ever obſerved in the Church ſince Kings became nurſing fathers thereto, was, is, and ought to be this, That it firſt paſſe the conſultation and determina­tion of a lawfull Eccleſiaſticall Councell; and then, that it re­ceive the ſanction and confirmation of the civill ſupreme Ma­giſtrate; for this gives it the formall ſtrength and vigour of a Law outwardly obliging, and that gives it materiality and ſubſtance, and ſupplies ground ſufficient to make it a Law in­wardly obliging Chriſtian People to receive it. So in the pro­mulgation and execution of that Law, concerning a matter Eccleſiaſticall, there was and is this order obſerved: Firſt, the ſupreme civill Magiſtrate remands and recommends it to the Eccleſiaſticall Governours, and they deliver it to the reſt of the Paſtors, and they to the People. So that the immedi­ate actuall reception of an Order Eccleſiaſticall by the Mini­ſters, is from the hand of the Biſhop or Ordinary. And upon this is founded that ſolemne promiſe made before God by e­very Miniſter at his Ordination, That he will reverently o­bey his Ordinary, and other chiefe Miniſters, unto whom the government and charge over him is committed, following with a glad mind their godly admonitions, and ſubmitting himſelfe to their godly judgements.

Since then in this matter concerning the Booke of Common Prayer, all the required premiſſes were fulfilled, and that any other forme, that for the preſent we can uſe,4 wants all of them, we cannot without breach of our promiſe forementioned, and diſordered anticipation or neglect of the judgement of our Ordinances, receive any ſuch or other form, conſidering the Kings command concerning the onely uſe of the Book of Common-Prayer expreſſed in the Act of Parlia­ment is ſtill in force, and the commands and conſtitutions of our lawfull Convocation of the Biſhops and Clergie, ſtill live and ſpeak unto us, in the Canons made in the yeare, 1634. whereof the third thus expreſſely, That Forme of Liturgie or divine Service and no other ſhall be uſed in any Church of this Realme, but that which is eſtabliſhed by Law, and comprized in the Booke of Common-Prayer, and Adminiſtration of the Sacraments. Which Canon with all the reſt is confirmed and publiſhed by his Majeſties Authority under the great Seale of Ireland.

VI. It may be added, that the Reformed Church of Ire­land, under the Government of our dread Soveraigne the King, is and ever was reputed a free Nationall Church, and not ſubordinate unto or depending upon the convocation of any other Church. And hence it was, that till the convocati­on held at Dublin, Anno, 1634. the Articles of the Church of England were not held, or reputed the Articles of the Church of Ireland, and when they were received, they were not received in any acknowledged ſubordination to the Church of England, but for manifeſtation of our agreement with that Church in the confeſſion of the ſame Chriſtian Faith, and the Doctrine of the Sacraments, as is expreſſed in the firſt Canon. Hence it is, beſides that our Canons were not impoſed by the Church of England, nay when ſome­what highly the Clergie was invited to ſubmit to the Book of Engliſh Canons, the Convocation utterly refuſed the ſame, and framed a new Booke of Canons for the Church of Ire­land. Should wee therefore receive or admit of any other forme, without the Authority of this Church, we ſhould be held and eſteemed before God and the world, guilty of un­conſcionably5 betraying of the Liberty of the free Nationall Church of Ireland.

VII. The Book of Common-Prayer hath been in uſe in this Church from the beginning of the Reformation, wee have preached for it, and recommended it to the people as a forme of Gods publike Worhip and Service: the people of God in this City for the moſt part, generally doe love it, have been edified by it, are loath to part from it, and earneſt­ly deſire the continuance of it. Now ſhould we conſent to the taking of it away, and receive or uſe any other forme not eſtabliſhed by Law, we ſhould not avoid the guilt of ſin, it being all one to deſtroy that which is well built, as to build that which a man once deſtroyed, which in the Apoſtles judgement (Gal. 2.8. ) renders a man a tranſgreſſor.

And withall wee ſhould, as matters ſtand, give great of­fence and ſcandall to the conſciences of our brethren, and ſo ſin againſt them, who deſerve better at our hand, and for whom Chriſt dyed.

VIII. Laſtly, that reaſon given by the Uuniverſity of Oxford in this point is not to be forgotten, that by our lea­ving of the Booke of Common-Prayer and receiving any o­ther Former, we ſhould condemne the Church and State for the penalties and cenſures againſt Recuſants, and juſtifie them in their accuſations and imputations of injuſtice and tyranny, wherwith they boldly charge both our Churches of England and Ireland.

The premiſſes conſidered, as we hope your Honours diſcern hereby, that we have not lightly or obſtinately or out of fa­ction, or any ſpirit of oppoſition for borne the exerciſe of our Miniſtery ſince your Honours injunction; ſo we do now with all humility preſent theſe our fervent Petitions to your Honours.

1. That you would be pleaſed, in pitty and compaſſion to the6 Proteſtants of this City and to us the Miniſters, who elſe by your Injunction aforeſaid, are indangered to be expoſed to baniſhment, loſſe of eſtate, and of preſent ſubſiſtence, with our wives and fami­lies, to reſtore us to our Churches, Miniſtery and exerciſe thereof, by permitting of us to uſe the Booke of Common Prayer, in our ſeve­rall Cathedral and Pariſh Churches, as formerly we uſed the ſame, before your Injunction aforeſaid, and to grant us your Protection therein, till ſuch time as further order be taken by a Convocation of the Clergie, and an act of Parliament in this Kingdome, and in the meane time we ſhall endeavour to demeane our ſelves in the whole courſe of our Miniſterie, with ſuch Chriſtian faithful­neſſe and moderation, as that wee ſhall (by the help of God) give no juſt occaſion of offence.

2. That in caſe your Honors ſhalbe pleaſed to grant this Petition, which we hope you will, if after our ſtay and reſidence here, we, or any of us ſhall by the impoſall of any thing againſt our conſci­ences be forced hereafter to depart the Kingdome, we may then reſpectively have free paſſes and convenient time to remove our perſons families and goods.

3. That during the time of our reſidence here, wee may enjoy the profits, benefits and meanes of our ſeverall Church-livings for our ſubſiſtence, which are due or allotted to us by the Law of the Land and Acts of State.

4. That whereas the monethly faſt obſerved hitherto by com­mand of authority on a Friday, was grounded upon the horrid Re­bellion of the Iriſh Papiſts, begun, and the danger we were all in, as on that day, wherein the Rebells came to this City to ſurprize it, and the evening of that day, was the time wherein that bloody treachery, and conſpiracie was diſovered, that we may be permit­ted ſtill to keep the monethly Faſt on that day, being a day of pre­paration for the monethly Communion according to our cuſtome theſe five yeares paſt.

And we ſhall ever pray &c.

Subſcribed as followeth.
  • Ed. Laonenſis.
  • Jer. Margetſon.
  • Ben. Culme.
  • Ambr. Anngier.
  • In. Sybald.
  • Godf. Rhodes.
  • Hen. Hall.
  • Ioſ. War.
  • Io. Brookbank.
  • Gilbert Deane.
  • Dud. Bowell.
  • Rob. Parry.
  • Ioan. Creighton, Can.
  • Edw. Syng.
  • Rob. Dickson.
  • Rand. Ince.
  • Henry Byrch.
  • Rich. Powell.

About this transcription

TextA declaration of the Protestant clergie of the city of Dublin, shewing the reasons why they cannot consent to the taking away of the Book of common prayer, and comply with the Directory. Presented to the Honourable Commissioners for the Parliament of England, July 9. 1647.
Extent Approx. 14 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 5 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online text creation partnership.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A82229)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 160390)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 63:E399[27])

About the source text

Bibliographic informationA declaration of the Protestant clergie of the city of Dublin, shewing the reasons why they cannot consent to the taking away of the Book of common prayer, and comply with the Directory. Presented to the Honourable Commissioners for the Parliament of England, July 9. 1647. [2], 6 p. s.n.],[London :Printed in the yeere 1647.. (Place of publication from Wing.) (Signed at end: Ed. Laonensis [and 17 others].) (Annotation on Thomason copy: "July 22th".) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Church of England. -- Book of common prayer -- Early works to 1800.
  • Directory for the publique worship of God throughout the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland -- Early works to 1800.
  • Clergy -- Ireland -- Dublin -- Early works to 1800.
  • Protestants -- Ireland -- Dublin -- Early works to 1800.
  • Ireland -- Church history -- 17th century -- Early works to 1800.

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ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2014-11 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A82229
  • STC Wing D756
  • STC Thomason E399_27
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  • EEBO-CITATION 99862226
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  • VID 160390

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