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HISTORY OF THE PURITANS;
REFORMATION IN 1517,
THE REVOLUTION IN 1688;
ACCOUNT OF THEIR PRINCIPLES;
THEIR ATTEMPTS FOR A FARTHER REFORMATION IN THE CHURCH;
LIVES AND CHARACTERS OF THEIR MOST CONSIDERABLE DIVINES.
BY DANIEL NEAL, M. A.
A NEW EDITION, IN FIVE VOLUMES;
REPRINTED FROM THE
TEXT OF DR. TOULMIN'S EDITION,
LIFE OF THE AUTHOR AND ACCOUNT OF HIS WRITINGS.
REVISED, CORRECTED, AND ENLARGED,
PRINTED FOR WILLIAM BAYNES AND SON,
THE FOURTH VOLUME.
CHAP. I. From the death of king Charles I. to the corona-
FROM THE DEATH OF KING CHARLES I. TO THE CORONATION OF KING CHARLES II. IN SCOTLAND. 1648.
UPON the death of the late king, the legal constitution was dissolved, and all that followed till the restoration of king Charles II. was no better than a usurpation under different shapes; the house of commons, if it may deserve that name, after it had been purged of a third part of its members,* relying upon the act of continuation, called themselves the supreme authority of the nation, and began with an act to disinherit the prince of Wales, forbidding all persons to proclaim him king of England, on pain of high-treason. The house of lords was voted useless; and the office of a king unnecessary, burdensome, and dangerous. The form of government for the future was declared to be a free commonwealth; the executive power lodged in the hands of a council of state of forty persons,† with full powers to take care of the whole administration for one year; new keepers of the great seal were appointed, from whom the judges received their commissions, with the name, style, and title, of, custodes libertatis Angliæ authoritate parliamenti, i. e. keepers of the liberties of England by authority of par
According to Echard, not above a fifth part of the commons were left. On account of the reduced and mutilated state of the house, they were called the Rump Parliament. This name was first given to them by Walker, the author of the History of Independency, by way of derision, in allusion to a fowl, all devoured but the rump; and they were compared to a man" who would never cease to whet and whet his knife, till there was no steel left to make it useful." Dr. Grey, and Rapin. ED.
+ According to Whitelocke, who gives their names, the council consisted of thirtyeight persons only.-ED.