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of the word of God? The catholic church must be judge.” White. We will be tried by the best reformed churches. The church of Scotland hath the word truly preached, the sacraments truly ministered, and discipline according to the word of God: these are the marks by which a true church is known. Dean. We have a gracious prince. Prisoners. May God preserve her majesty and council. White. That which God commandeth, ought to be done; and that which God forbiddeth, ought not to be done. Bishop. Yes; and so say I. White. It is manifest that what God commandeth to be done, is left undone; and what God forbiddeth, is done by authority. God says, “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all that thou hast to do: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God.” But the law of the prince saith, “Thou shalt not labour six days, but shalt keep the popish holy-days.”—Christ commandeth discipline to be used in his church, Matt. xviii., and it was practised by the apostles: but in the church of England, that is set aside, and none used but the popish discipline. And Christ saith, “If any man shall add unto those things which he has revealed, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in his book: and if any man shall take away from the words of his book, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city.” Rev. xxii. How will you avoid this 2 Bishop. Why, is it not well to hear a good sermon or two on the holy-days? White. We are not against that. But what shall we do when the sermons are ended ? If we do any work, we are commanded to appear in your courts. Bishop. You may be well employed in serving God. White. So we are, when we are at our work, as God commandeth. Dean. Then you would have no sermons, nor prayers, all the week. White. I think he is no christian who does not pray and serve God every day in the week. Nixson. You can suffer bear-baiting, bowling, and other games, both on the sabbath and your holy-days, without any trouble for it. Dean. Then you would have no holy-days, because the papists have used them :
White. We ought to do what God commandeth. Dean. Then you must not use the Lord's prayer, because the papists used it; and many other prayers, because the papists used them. You would have nothing but the word of God. Are all the psalms which you sing the word of God 2 White. Is every word delivered in a good sermon the word of God 2 Dean. No. - White. But every word and thing agreeing with the word of God, is as the word of God. Bishop. There hath been no heretic, but he hath challenged the word of God to defend himself. White. What is that to us? If you know any heresy that we hold, charge us with it. Bishop. Holy-days may be well used. Hawkins. Bishop Hooper, in his Commentary upon the Commandments, saith, “that holy-days are the leaven of antichrist.” In the conclusion, the prisoners not yielding to the conformity required, were sent to Bridewell, where they, with their brethren, and several women, were kept in confinement two years. During this period, the famous Mr. Thomas Lever had a conference with them, and, by their desire, wrote them a letter to comfort and encourage them under their present trials, giving his opinion of those things for which they suffered. In this letter, dated December 5, 1568, he declares, that by the grace of God, he was determined never to wear the square cap and surplice, nor kneel at the communion, because it was a symbolizing with popery. Yet he would not condemn those who should observe these things. The celebrated Mr. John Knox wrote, also, a most affectionate and faithful letter to certain prisoners confined for nonconformity; urging them to hear the ministers who preached sound doctrine, though they conformed to the habits and ceremonies of the church. This letter, written about the same time, was most probably addressed to the same persons f The patience and constancy of Mr. Hawkins and the rest of the prisoners, being at length sufficiently tried, an order at the motion of Bishop Grindal, was sent from the lords of the council to release them. Therefore, in the month of April, 1569, after admonition to behave themselves better in future, twenty-four men, and seven women, were discharged.” Bishop Maddox insinuates that these persons were guilty of disloyalty; and adds, “that it was no wonder they “ were not more respectful to the queen, since their whole
* Parte of a Register, p. 24–37. + MS. Register, p. 18, 19. f Ibid. p. 20, 21.
* The names of the men were, Robert Hawkins, John Smith, John Roper, James Ireland, William Nixson, Walter Hinkesman, Thomas Bowland, George Waddy, William Turner, John Nash, James Adderton, Thomas Lidford, Richard Langton, Alexander Lacy, John Leonard, Robert Tod, Roger Hawksworth, Robert Sparrow, Richard King, Christopher Coleman, John Benson, John Bolton, Robert Gates, and William White. HSeveral of them had been beneficed ministers in the church, the rest were religious and worthy laymen, but all sufferers in the same cause. Among the latter was Mr. William White, a substantial citizen of London, whom Fuller, by mistake, calls a minister. He was oftentimes fined and tossed from one prison to another, contrary to law and justice, only for not going to his own parish church. Having been examined before the Bishop of London, he wrote his lordship a most bold and excellent letter, now before me, dated December 19, 1569; in the conclusion of which, he obscribes himself, “Yours in the Lord to command, William White, who joineth with you “ in every speck of truth, but utterly detesteth whole antichrist, head, “body, and tail, never to join with you, or any, in the least joiut thereof; “nor in any ordinance of man, contrary to the word of God.”: An abstract of this letter is preserved by Mr. Neal. § January 18, 1573, Mr. White appeared before the commissioners, who treated him neither as men, nor as christians. He was examined in the presence of the Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls, the Master of the Requests, the Dean of Westminster, the Sheriff of Londen, the Clerk of the Peace, and Mr. Gerard. Some others having been dispatched, Mr. White was brought forth, whom his lordship accosted as follows:– L. C. J. Who is this 2 White. White, if it please your honour. L. C. J. White as black as the devil. White. Not so, my lord, one of God’s children. L. C. J. By whom were you released ? White. By the commissioners, I suppose. L. C.J. That is well, indeed, if we shall commit, and others set at liberty White. They did no more than they might do. L. C. J. By which of the commissioners were you delivered White. I know not. There were the hands of four or five commissioners set to the warrant. L. C. J. But who were they White. I suppose Sir Walter them. Master of Requests. How were you delivered 2 White. Upon sureties. M. Requests. How long is it since you were delivered White. Since the birth-day of our Lord. L. C. J. How often, during this time, have you been at your parish church 2 White. I could not go to any church, being myself, with sureties, bound to be a true prisoner in my own house. L. C. J. Oh! you were glad of that. White. Not so, my lord ; for if I had been at liberty, I would have frequented the place of public preaching and prayer.
and my Lord Mayor were two of
+ Strype's Grindal, p. 136. # MS. Register, p. 22–25.
“ scheme of church government appears to be calculated for “ the overthrow of monarchy.” We are at a loss to say whether this calumny discovers greater ignorance or bigotry. The twofold charge is asserted without the least shadow of
Gerard. When were you bound to appear 2 White. At any time, I suppose, when I should be called. Gerard. You are now called : you must then answer. 'White. I acknowledge it, and am here to answer. L. C. J. Why will you not come to your parish church 2 White. My lord, I did use to frequent my parish church before my troubles, and procured several godly men to preach there, as well as other places of preaching and prayer; and since my troubles, I have not frequented any private assemblies, but, as I have had liberty, have gone to my parish church. Therefore, they who have presented me, have done it out of malice; for if any of the things can be proved against me, or that I hold all things common, your lordship may dismiss me from hence to the gallows. Gerard. You have not usually frequented your own church. White. I allow I have more used other places, where I was better edified. Gerard. Then your presentation is in part true. White. Not so, if it please you; for I am presented for not coming at all to my parish church. Gerard. Will you then come to prayers when there is no sermon 2 White. I crave the liberty of a subject. But if I do not publicly frequent both preaching, prayer, and the sacraments, deal with me accordingly. Master of the Rolls. You must answer yes or no. White. You know my mind, how that I would avoid those things which are a grief to me, an offence to others, and disturb the quiet state of the church. r Dean. You disobey the queen's laws. White. Not so, if it please you. Dean. What fault do you find in the common prayer White. Let them answer to whom it appertains; for being in prison almost a whole year about these matters, I was indicted upon a statute relating to that book; and before I came to liberty, almost outlawed, as your worship Mr. Gerard knoweth. M. Requests. What scripture have you to ground your conscience upon against these garments *. White. The whole scriptures are for destroying idolatry, and every thing belonging unto it. M. Requests. These things never served to idolatry. White. Shough they are the same as those which heretofore were used for that purpose. M. Requests. Where are they forbidden in scripture? White. In Deuteronomy and other places, the Israelites are commanded, not only to destroy the altars, groves, and images, with all thereto belonging, but also to abolish the very names. And God by Isaiah commandeth us not to pollute ourselves with the garments of the image, but to cast them away as a menstruous clout. M. Rolls. These are no part of idolatry, but are commanded by the prince for civil order; and if you will not be ordered you shew yourself disobedient to the laws. • White. I would not willingly disobey any law, only I would avoid those things which are not warranted by the word of God.
* Maddox's Vindication, p. 210.
evidence, excepting what might arise in his lordship's episcopal imagination. Mr. io. and several others had been beneficed ministers in London, but were now silenced and persecuted for nonconformity. The rest were
M. Requests. You disobey the queen's laws; for these things are com manded by act of parliament. - - Dean. Nay, you disobey God; for God commandeth you to obey your prince. Therefore in disobeying her in these things, you disobey God. - White. I do not avoid those things of contempt, but of conscience. In all other things I am an obedient subject. L. C.J. The queen's majesty was overseen not to make thee of her council, to make laws and orders for religion. White. Not so, my lord. I am to obey laws warranted by God’s word. L. C. J. Do the queen's laws command any thing against God's word * White. I do not say so, my lord. L. C. J. Yes, marry, you do; and there I will hold you. White. Only God and his laws are absolutely perfect. All men and their laws may err. L. C. J. This is one of Shaw's darlings. I tell thee what, I will not say any thing of affection, for I know thee not, saving by this occasion; thou art the wickedest, and most contemptuous person, that has come before me, since I sat in this commission. White. Not so, my Lord ; my conscience doth witness otherwise. M. Requests. What if the queen should command to wear a grey frize gown, would you then come to church 2 White. That were more tolerable, than that God's ministers should wear the habit of his enemies. L. C. J. How if she should command them to wear a fool's coat and a cock’s comb 2 White. That were unseemly, my lord, for God’s ministers. Dean. You will not be obedient to the queen's commands. White. I am, and will be, obedient. M. Requests. Yes, you say so. But how are you obedient, when you will not do what she commandeth 2 White. I would only avoid those things that have no warrant in the word of God, that are neither decent nor edifying, but flatly the contrary, and condemned by the foreign reformed churches. M. Requests. Do the church and pews edify And because the papists used these, will you, therefore, cast them away 2 White. The church and pews, and such things, are both necessary and profitable. Gerard. White, you were released, thinking you would be conformable, but you are worse than ever. White. Not so, if it please you. L. C. J. He would have no laws. White. If there were no laws, I would live like a christian, and do no wrong, though I received wrong. L. C. J. Thou art a rebel. White. Not so, my lord; a true subject. L. C. J. Yea, I swear by God, thou art a very rebel; for thou wouldst draw thy sword, and lift up thy hand against thy prince, if time served. White. My lord, I thank God, my heart standeth right towards God and my prince; and God will not condemn, though your honour hath so judged. L. C. J. Take him away.