44. The King's Proclamation on Religion.

[December 10, 1641. Rushworth, iv. 456. See Hist. of Engl. x. 98.] By the King.

A proclamation for obedience to the laws, ordained for the establishing of the true religion in this kingdom of England.

His Majesty considering it is a duty most beseeming, and that most obligeth sovereign authority in a Christian King to be careful (above all other things) of preserving and advancing the honour and service of Almighty God, and the peace and tranquillity of the Church, to which end His Majesty with his Parliament hath it under consideration, how all just scruples may be removed, and being in the meantime sensible that the present division, separation and disorder about the worship and service of God, as it is established by the laws and statutes of this kingdom in the Church of England, tendeth to great distraction and confusion, and may endanger the subversion of the very essence and substance of true religion; hath resolved for the preservation of unity and peace (which is most necessary at this time for the Church of England), require obedience to the laws and statutes ordained for the establishing of the true religion in this kingdom, whereby the honour of God may be advanced, to the great comfort and happiness both of His Majesty and his good subjects.

His Majesty doth therefore charge and command, that Divine Service be performed in this his kingdom of England and dominion of Wales, as is appointed by the laws and statutes established in this realm; and that obedience be given by all his subjects, ecclesiastical and temporal, to the said laws and statutes conceiving the same. And that all Judges, officers and ministers, ecclesiastical and temporal, according to justice and their respective duties, do put the said Acts of Parliament in due execution against all wilful contemners and disturbers of Divine Service contrary to the said laws and statutes.

His Majesty doth further command that no parsons, vicars or curates in their several parishes shall presume to introduce any rite or ceremonies other than those which are established by the laws and statutes of the land.

Dated the tenth day of December, in the seventeenth year of His Majesty's reign.

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