A Copy of the PETITION OF THE DIVINES of the Assembly, Delivered to both Houses of PARLIAMENT, Iuly 19, 1943.
To the Right Honourable the Lords and Commons Assembled in PARLIAMENT,
THat your Petitioners upon se∣rious consideration and deep sense of Gods heavy wrath lying on us, and hanging over our heads and the whole Nation, and manifested particularly by the two late sad, and unexpected defeates of our Forces in the North, and in the West, Page 2 doe apprehend it to be our duty as Watch∣men for the good of the Church and King∣dome, to present to your religious and pru∣dent consideration these ensuing Requests, in the Name of Iesus Christ, Your Lord and ours.
First, That you would be pleased to com∣mand a Publike and extraordinary day of Humiliation, this weeke, throughout the Ci∣ties of London, Westminster, the suburbs of both, and places adjacent within the weekely Bills of Mortality, that every one may bit∣terly bewaile his owne sinnes, and cry migh∣tily unto GOD for Christ his sake, to re∣move his wrath, and to heale the Land, with professed and renewed resolutions of more full performance of the late Covenant for the amendment of our wayes.
Secondly, That you would vouchsafe in∣stantly to take it into your more serious con∣sideration, how you may most speedily set up CHRIST more gloriously in all his Or∣dinances within this Kingdome, and reforme all things amisse throughout the Land, where∣in God is more specially and more immediat∣ly dishonoured: Among which we humbly lay before you these particulars.
Page 3 1. That the bruitish ignorance and pal∣pable darknesse possessing the greatest part of the people in all places of the Kingdome, whereby they are utterly unfit to waite upon God in any holy duty (to the great dishonour of the Gospell, and the everlasting endan∣gering of their poore soules) may be reme∣died, by a speedy and strict charge to all Mini∣sters constantly to Catechise all the youth, and ignorant people, (they being commanded to be subject to it) and all sorts to be present at it, and information to be given of all persons who shall withstand or neglect it.
2. That the grievous and hainous pol∣lution of the Lords Supper, by those that are grosly ignorant, and notoriously pro∣phane, may be henceforth with all Chri∣stian care and due circumspection prevented.
3. That the bold venting of corrupt Do∣ctrines, directly contrary to the sacred Law of God, and religious humiliation for sin, which open a wide doore to all Libertinisme and dis∣obedience to God and man, may be speedily suppressed every where, and that in such man∣ner as may give hope that the Church may be no more infected with them.
Page 4 4. That the Prophanation of any part of the Lords Day, and the dayes of solemne Fasting, by buying, selling, working, sporting, travelling or neglecting of Gods Ordinances, may be re∣medied by appointing speciall Officers in e∣very place for the due execution of all good Lawes and Ordinances against the same.
5. That there may be a through and spee∣dy proceeding against blind guides and scan∣dalous Ministers, by whose wickednesse peo∣ple either lack or loath the Ordinances of the Lord, and thousands of soules perish, and the removeall of the Arke from among us, is (to the trembling of our hearts) evidently threat∣ned. And that your Wisedomes would find out some way to admit into the Ministery such godly and hopefull men as have prepared themselves and are willing thereunto, without which there will suddenly be such a scarcity of able and faithfull Ministers, that it will be to little purpose to cast out such as are unable, idle or scandalous.
6. That the Lawes may be quickned a∣gainst Swearing and Drunkennesse, with which the Land is filled and defiled, and under which it mourneth.
Page 5 7. That some severe course be taken a∣gainst Fornication, Adultery and Incest, which doe greatly abound, especially of late by reason of impunity.
8. That all monuments of Idolatry and Superstition, but more especially the whole body and practise of Popery may be totally abolished.
9. That Iustice may be executed on all De∣linquents, according to your solemne and reli∣gious Vow and Protestation to that purpose.
10. That all possible meanes may be used for the speedy reliefe and release of our mi∣serable and extreamely distressed Bretheren, who are prisoners in Oxford, Yorke, and else∣where, whose heavy sufferings cry loud in the eares of our God; and it would lye very heavy upon the Kingdome, should they miscarry, suffering as they doe for the cause of God.
That so God, who is now by the Sword aven∣ging the quarrell of his Covenant, behol∣ding your integrity and zeale, may turne from the fiercenesse of his wrath, heare our prayers, goe forth with our Armies, perfect the worke of Reformation, forgive our sins, and settle Truth and Peace throughout the Kingdome.
And the Petitioners shall ever pray, &c.Page 6
THis Petition being read in both Houses, Answer was returned to the Divines that presented it to this effect; That the Petition was very well approved, that both Hou∣ses had agreed to have a Publike Fast in all the places mentioned in the Petition, on the Friday then next following, being Iuly •1. (which ac∣cordingly was very solemnely performed by both Houses of Parliament and the Assembly all together, as well as by the Cities,) and that they would take the other particulars into speedy consideration.