Were it not that the concluding part of your observations on the Letter which yon did me the favour to print in the last Number of your Journal, may lead your readers to infer that I evaded giving an opinion as to the validity of one of the authorities quoted from Mr. Hanbury (Eel. Rev. Oct. 1832, p. 293,) I should not so soon have again trespassed on your time and patience. To obviate such an inference, therefore, you will, perhaps, allow me to observe, that I omitted to notice that authority merely because I conceived it to be entirely set aside by what I had already written. In the absence of all original documents, the writer in the Christian Remembrancer affirms, that "it is certain that the disputed Clause of the XXth Article of the Church of England was never composed by, nor exhibited in manuscript to, the Convocation ". Archbishop Laud, on the contrary, appeals to the then existing manuscript Records of Convocation as containing the Clause, and his appeal is left uncontradicted by persons who bad the power, and the will, to controvert that appeal if contradiction had been possible. The only question then which remains is this: Is the assertion that "none ever ventured to impugn" Laud's appeal to the Records, "unsupported" by history? The facts of the case, so far as my information extends, are briefly these: Dr. Laud is charged in 1637 with having illegally made alterations in certain Formularies sanctioned by Acts of Parliament:—among other alterations specifically charged upon him was the interpolation of a Clause in the XXth Article.—Laud had "theimpudency" (as Prynne has it) to justify such alterations as he admitted to have been made, but denied that any addition whatever had been introduced into the XXth Article; maintaining, on the contrary, that the Clause which he had been accused of forging, was to be found in the original Records of Convocation, and producing at the same time "an attested Copy" of that Clause extracted from those Records. At this point, however, it is argued, that "the controversy vras cut short, not by evidence, but by authority." Let us enquire, then, how far this " assertion " is supported by fact. Admitting that the controversy was terminated by authority in 1637, yet, in March, 1644, the House of Commons ordered that "Master Prynne hath power to view, and send for, Writings, Papers, Orders, and Records, and to take copies thereof as he sees cause ;" and this for the very purpose, among other things, of carrying on the controversy in question. The consequence was, that, in the course of Laud's impeachment. those "publike Records of the Church" which he is said to have altered, are again specifically pointed out;—his Speech in the Star-Chamber in defence of those alterations is expressly recited;—but the charge of having interpolated a Clause in the XXth Article is never once alluded to. But of how much consequence it would have been to set aside the Archbishop's appeal to the Records of Convocation, will at once occur to your renders

when they consider that such a result would have afforded additional matter of grave accusation against Lnud in that it would have fastened upon him the wickedness of having produced in the Star-Chamber a forged Instrument which professed to be an "attested Copy" of a Clause that did not in fact exist. On the other hand, to pass the matter over in silence, as the Archbishop's accusers did, was, in my apprehension, tacitly to admit that the Instrument exhibited by him in the Star-Chamber was a true Copy of a Clause actually to be 'found in the Records of the Convocation. I am the more disposed, also, to adhere to this conclusion, because it is matter of notoriety that Prynne, to whom the task of collecting evidence against Laud was entrusted, was, (with all his defects of character,) too acute a man to have omitted to bring forward so grave a charge against the accused as that abovementioned, provided there had been ground for it; and too honest a man to repeat the charge of Laud's having interpolated an Article of Religion, if he found by reference to documents that such a charge was destitute of foundation.

Whether or not Laud, in his defence in the Star Chamber, actually "produced " any early editions of the Articles, may not appear; but I do not find that those who afterwards examined his library ever taxed him with referring to editions which he did not possess. He doubtless might have produced such early editions of the Articles if it had been necessary, for there are now existing a Latin edition, 1563, printed by Wolfe; one, if not two, English editions, printed by Jugg and Cawood, 1551: what is considered, the Authentic Edition in English, 1571, by the last named printers; besides other editions of later date,—all containing the disputed clause. An enumeration of the earlier editions may, I believe, be seen in the Preface to Bennett's Historical Essay on the Articles.

With regard to the Note in Archdeacon Blackburn's Confessional, to which you refer, I am quite willing to leave your readers to decide between the considerations which I have submitted to your notice, and any inference which the Archdeacon may have been able to deduce against the authenticity of the disputed clause, from Mr. Hale's Letter to Dr. Laud. The only remark, therefore, I think it necessary to make on that note is, that the whole question depends not on what is found in any Latin edition of the Articles, but on what is read in that English edition referred to by the Act 13th of Elizabeth, under the title of "A booke imprinted," &c. The Records of the Convocation from which that edition was printed having been destroyed, the authenticity of the disputed clause in the Twentieth Article may ever remain among the qucestiones vexatce of literature; yet, it seems to me, that there is sufficient evidence in its favour to induce any scholar to hesitate before he authoritatively pronounces that clause to be a "forgery."

It now only remains for me to apologize for having inflicted such a lengthy communication upon you, but my excuse must be the pleasure one cannot but feel in discussing any subject with an impartial opponent. I can also, in much sincerity, assure you, that in these days of ignorant prejudice and evil passion, it is no small satisfaction to correspond with a Journalist, whose honourable distinction is, that, in any opposition he may feel it necessary to manifest towards the Church of England, his aim is to found that opposition on argument, and not on clamour.

Dec. 22, 1832. One Of Your Readers.

The above letter was received too late for insertion in our last Number. We have deemed it but fair to our courteous and wellinformed Correspondent, to allow him the benefit of replying to our remarks; but here, our readers will probably think, the subject ought to drop. We will simply suggest, that, even although the charge which would fix the forgery upon Laud, may have been unsusceptible of proof, or without foundation, this circumstance would not prove that the clause was not originally an unauthorized interpolation. Laud's own admission, that in 157U (the very year when the Articles were first confirmed by 13 Eliz. cap. 12,) the Articles were printed, both in Latin and English, without the clause, which he imputes to ' the malicious cunning of that oppo'site faction', who 'governed businesses in 1571, and rid the 'Church almost at their pleasure',—we must still consider as fatal to the authority of the clause. We say nothing here as to the wisdom of retaining it.


In the press, a Historical Sketch of the Baptist Denomination; presenting a view of its rise, progress, and present state, in all parts of the world; to which is added, an Alphabetical List of Baptist Churches in England, with dates of their formation, and names of Pastors. By Charles Thompson. In one small volume.

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