Up, and by water to Sir W. Coventry to visit him, whom I find yet troubled at the Commissioners of Accounts, about this business of Sir W. Warren, which is a ridiculous thing, and can come to nothing but contempt, and thence to Westminster Hall, where the Parliament met enough to adjourne, which they did, to the 10th of November next, and so by water home to the office, and so to dinner, and thence at the Office all the afternoon till night, being mightily pleased with a little trial I have made of the use of a tube-spectacall of paper, tried with my right eye. This day I hear that, to the great joy of the Nonconformists, the time is out of the Act against them, so that they may meet: and they have declared that they will have a morning lecture1 up again, which is pretty strange; and they are connived at by the King every where, I hear, in City and country. So to visit W. Pen, who is yet ill, and then home, where W. Batelier and Mrs. Turner come and sat and supped with us, and so they gone we to bed. This afternoon my wife, and Mercer, and Deb., went with Pelling to see the gypsies at Lambeth, and have their fortunes told; but what they did, I did not enquire.
- During the troubled reign of Charles I., the House of Commons gave parishioners the right of appointing lecturers at the various churches without the consent of rector or vicar, and this naturally gave rise to many quarrels. In the early period of the war between the king and the parliament, a course of sermons or lectures was projected in aid of the parliamentary cause. These lectures, which were preached by eminent Presbyterian divines at seven o’clock on the Sunday mornings, were commenced in the church of St. Mary Magdalen in Milk Street, but were soon afterwards removed to St. Giles’s, Cripplegate. After the Restoration the lectures were collected in four volumes, and published under the title of the “Cripplegate Morning Exercises,” vol. i. in 1661; vol. ii. in 1674; vol. iii. in 1682; and vol. iv. in 1690. In addition there were two volumes which form a supplement to the work, viz., “The Morning Exercises methodized,” preached at St. Giles’s-in-the-Fields, edited by the Rev. Thomas Case in 1660, and the “Exercises against Popery,” preached in Southwark, and published in 1675 (see Demon’s “Records of St. Giles’s, Crinnlegate,” 1883, pp. 55-56). ↩