Triers, Ecclesiastical

Triers, Ecclesiastical A parliamentary ordinance was passed in 1654 appointing thirty-eight commissioners to the office of triers; they were chosen by Cromwell, and sat at Whitehall. They were mostly Independents, though some Presbyterians were joined with them. They were appointed to try all ministers that came for institution and induction, and without their approval none were admitted. The opinion of Baxter is that they were of essential service to the Church. He says they saved many congregations from ignorant, ungodly, and intemperate teachers-men who designed nothing more in the ministry than to repeat a sermon as readers say their prayers, and to patch up a few good words together to talk the people asleep on Sunday, and all the rest of the week go with them to the ale- house, and harden them in their sin; and that sort of ministers who either preached against a holy life, or preached as men that were not acquainted with it. They had power to eject scandalous, ignorant, and insufficient ministers and schoolmasters.

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