Nevertheless, there are many provisions in these postReformation canons which are declaratory of the ancient usage and law of the Church, and the law which they thusrecord is binding on the laity.
According to Semitic ideas the declaration of law is quite a distinct function from the enforcing of it, and the royal executive came into no collision with the purely declaratory functions of the priests.
He guided it through the controversies as to Robertson Smith's heresies, as to the use of hymns and instrumental music, and as to the Declaratory Act, brought to a successful issue the union of the Free and United Presbyterian Churches, and threw the weight of the united church on the side of freedom of Biblical criticism.
Another bill (the Declaratory Act), however, was almost immediately passed by the king's party, asserting absolute supremacy of parliament over the colonies, and in the succeeding parliament, by the Townshend Acts of 1767, duties were imposed on paper, paints and glass imported by the colonists; a tax was imposed on tea also.
Recognizing in a declaratory act the legal existence of these common institutions, they also determined the method by which they should be administered.
In spite of the opposition in the colonies to the Declaratory Act, the Townshend Acts and the tea tax, Franklin continued to assure the British ministry and the British public of the loyalty of the colonists.
It obtained from parliament a total repeal of the Stamp Act, but it also passed a Declaratory Act, claiming for the British parliament the supreme power over the colonies in matters of taxation, as well as in matters of legislation.
Some of them, however, were in part at least, as they all purported to be, declaratory of ancient usage and remained in force after the royal renunciation.
Charles Townshend, a brilliant, headstrong man, led parliament in the way which had been prepared by the Declaratory Act, and laid duties on tea and other articles of commerce entering the ports of America.
This was accompanied by a Declaratory Act in which the church expressed its desire to enlarge rather than curtail the liberty hitherto enjoyed.