In 1643 the Long Parliament, confronted by war with the king and by religious anarchy, called an assembly of divines to advise it on the steps which must be taken to reform the church. The situation clearly called for decisive action. The bishops, shorn of their political power, had retired to live in their sees or to join the king. Many clergymen, suspected of royalist sympathies or unpopular because of their ritualistic tendencies, had been ejected from their parishes; others, like Thomas Fuller, non-ritualistic but royalist, had left to join the king; while other loyal Anglicans remained in their parishes with the support of their patrons or their church wardens and thus presented a threat to parliament. Furthermore, with the old discipline gone, sectaries had sprung up. To fill the vacant pulpits, to provide a form of ordination for those who objected to prelatical ordination, to substitute for the Prayer Book a simpler form of worship, and, most of all, to clip the wings of the bishops or to replace episcopal government with a system nearer to that of the reformed churches,— these were the tasks which confronted parliament. To accomplish them it went back to an action of 1642, when it had appointed a number of ministers of anti-Laudian, Presbyterian, or Independent views to act as advisors in the settlement which it hoped to reach with the king.