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worthy, religious persons, but great sufferers in the same cause. These proceedings against zealous protestants, of pious and sober lives, excited the compassion of all unprejudiced beholders, and brought many over to their interests. It was, indeed, a great grief to the prelates, to see persons
White. I would speak a word, which I am sure will offend, and yet I must speak it. I heard the name of God taken in vain. If I had done it, it had been a greater offence than that which I stand here for. Gerard. White, White, you do not behave yourself well. White. I pray your worship, shew me wherein, and I will beg your pardon and amend it. L. C.J. I may swear in a matter of charity. White. There is no such occasion now. Gerard. White, you do much misuse yourself. White. If I do, I am sorry for it. M. Requests. There is none here but pitieth thee. White. If it be so, I praise God for it. But because it is said, that at my last being before you, I denied the supremacy of my prince, I desire your honours and worships, with all that be present, to bear witness, that I acknowledge her majesty the chief governor, next under Christ, over all persons and causes within her dominions, and to this I will subscribe. I acknowledge the Book of Articles, and the Book of Common Prayer, as far as they agree with the word of God. I acknowledge the substance of the doctrine and sacraments of the church to be sound and sincere; and so I do of rites and orders, as far as they agree with the word of God. Dean. Are not all things in the Articles and the Book of Common Prayer, taken out of the word of God? White. Though they were; yet being done by man, I may not give them the same warrant as the writings of the Holy Ghost. Dean. You will not then allow of sermons. White. We are commanded to search the scriptures, and to try the spirits; therefore, we must allow of sermons as they agree with the scriptures. L. C. J. Take him away. White. I would to the Lord Jesus, that my two years' imprisonment might be a means of having these matters fairly decided by the word of God, and the judgment of other reformed churches. L. C.J. You shall be committed, I warrant you. White. Pray, my lord, let me have justice. I am unjustly prosecuted. I desire a copy of my presentment. L. C. J. You shall have your head from your shoulders. Have him to the Gatehouse. White. I pray you to commit me to some prison in London, that I may be near my house. , L. C. J. No, sir, you shall go thither. White. I have paid fines and fees in other prisons: send me not where I must pay them again. L. C.J. Yes, marry shall you. That is your glory. M. Requests. It will cost you twenty pounds, I warrant you, before you come out. : White. God’s will be done. The good man was then carried to the Gatehouse; but how long he remained in a state of confinement, we are not able to learn. These severe proceedings, instead of crushing, greatly promoted the cause of puritahism. The sword of persecution was always found a bad argument to convince men of understanding and conscience.—MS. Register, p. 176-178.
going off from the first establishment of the protestant religion, concluding the service book to be unlawful, and the ecclesiastical state antichristian; and labouring to set up another kind of church government and discipline. But who drove them to these extremities : Why were not a few amendments made in the liturgy, by which conscientious persons might have been made easy; or, even liberty given them to worship God in their own way 2 . How far these proceedings were justifiable by the laws of God, or consistent with that universal rule of conduct given by Jesus Christ, Whatsoever ye would that men should do to 3/ou, do ye even so to them, is left with the impartial reader to determine.
ANDREw KINGsMILL, LL.B.—This excellent person was born at Sidmanton in Hampshire, in the year 1538, educated in Corpus Christi college, Oxford, and elected fellow of All Souls college in the same university, in 1558. He studied the civil law, in the knowledge of which he made considerable proficiency. But while he was thus employed, he did not forget to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. He discovered the warmest desires for a knowledge of the mysteries of the gospel, and for the attainment of which, he paid the closest application. He would receive nothing for truth, till he found the testimony of scripture for its support. By a constant and close attention to the word of God, its sacred pages became familiar to him; and, indeed, he so addicted himself to search and recite the holy scriptures, that he could readily repeat by heart, and in the Greek language, the whole of the epistles to the Romans and Galatians, the first epistle of John, and many other parts of the sacred volume.*
Mr. Kingsmill did not so much esteem the preferment and profit, to which he might easily have attained by the profession of the law, as the comfortable assurance and blessed hope of eternal life, and to be useful in preaching the gospel to his fellow creatures. He, therefore, relinquished the law, entered the sacred function, and became an admired preacher in the university of Oxford. For some time after the accession of Queen Elizabeth, there were only three preachers in this university, Dr. Humphrey, Dr. Sampson, and Mr. Kingsmill, all puritans. But upon the rigorous imposition of conformity, Dr. Sampson being already deprived of his deanery, Mr. Kingsmill withdrew from the storm. He was averse to all severity in the imposition of habits and ceremonies; and being fixed in his nonconformity, he wrote a long letter to Archbishop Parker, against urging a conformity to the papists in habits, ceremonies, and other things equally superstitious.* Upon Mr. Kingsmill's departure from the kingdom, he resolved to take up his abode among the best reformed churches, both for doctrine and discipline, that he could meet with in a foreign land. During the first three years, he settled at Geneva, where he was highly esteemed by persons eminent for learning and piety. Afterwards, he removed to Lausanne, where he died in the month of September, 1569, aged thirty-one years. Though he was a zealous puritan, and an avowed nonconformist, seeing he was a man of such great worth, and universally beloved, Wood found himself obliged to give him an excellent character. Accordingly, he says he was too good for this world, and left behind him a most excellent pattern of piety, devotion, and every other amiable virtue.t
* Wood's Athenae Oxon, vol. i. p. 135.
His Works.-1. A View of Man's Estate, wherein the great Mercy of God in Man's free Justification is shewed, 1574.—2. An excellent and comfortable Treatise for all such as are in any manner of way either troubled in Mind or afflicted in Body, 1578–3. Godly Advice touching Marriage, 1580.-4. A godly and learned Exhortation to bear patiently all Afflictions of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.— 5. A Conference between a godly learned Christian and an afflicted Conscience, concerning a Conflict had with Satan,—7. As Sermon on John iii. 16.
CHR1stopher ColeMAN was a zealous puritan, and one of the preachers to the congregation of separatists in London. In the year 1567, he was apprehended, with the rest of his brethren, at Plumbers-hall, and cast into prison, where he remained a long time. This heavy sentence was inflicted upon him, for separating from the established church, and holding private meetings for divine worship, when he could not in conscience conform to the church of England. Having at length obtained his release, he wrote, a letter, in the year 1569, to Secretary Cecil, earnestly urging him to employ his interest to promote a further
* Wood's Athenae Oxon. vol. i. p. 126.—Strype's Parker, p. 157. + Athenae Oxon. vol. i. p. 126. * See Art. Robert Hawkins.
reformation of the church. He is denominated from this letter a man of good intentions, but of little learning." Mr. Coleman and his brethren, Messrs. Benson, Button, and Hallingham, are said to have been more ardently zealous in the cause of the reformation than any others; and it is observed, that they condemned the discipline of the church, the calling of the bishops, and the public liturgy, as savouring too much of the church of Rome; that they would allow of nothing in the public worship of God, besides what was expressly laid down in the holy scriptures; and that though the queen had commanded them to be laid by the heels, it is incredible how the number of their followers increased in all parts of the kingdom.t -
WILLIAM Axton was a truly pious man, a steady nonconformist, and a learned divine. He was some years rector of Moreton Corbet in Shropshire: where Sir Robert Corbet, who was his great and worthy friend, protected him for some time from the severities of the prelates. Though under the wing of so excellent a patron, he found protection only for a season, and was brought into trouble for nonconformity. About the year 1570, he was cited before Dr. Bentham, bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, when he underwent several examinations for refusing the apparel, the cross in baptism, and kneeling at the sacrament. Upon his appearance, he debated these points with the bishop and his officers, with great freedom and courage. These examinations, now before me, though at considerable length, are here presented to the curious reader. Mr. Axton being brought before his ecclesiastical judges, the bishop thus addresed him:
Bishop. Though we allow you, Mr. Axton, to assign your reasons, you shall not be unanswered. Therefore set forth your reasons, and we will consider them.
Axton. If there be any odds in the disputation, it is on your side. For you are many, and I am but one, and have no equal judge or moderator; but I am content to set down my reasons, and leave them to God and your own con
* Strype's Annals, vol. i. p. 568—570. + Heylin's Hist. of Pres. p. 257,258. f Mr. Neal, by mistake, says Leicestershire.—Hist. of Puritans, vol. i. . 228. p § Sir Robert was a constant friend to the persecuted nonconformists, and eften sheltered them from the tyrannical oppressions of the bishops.-MS. Chronology, vol. ii. p. 373. (14.)
sciences.—As the priesthood of Christ or of Aaron, and even their very garments, were most honourable: so the priesthood of antichrist, and even the very garments, as the *; and surplice, is most detestable. . Then you will condemn as unlawful, whatsoever the pists used in their idolatrous service. A. Sóme things have been abused by idolaters, and yet are necessary and profitable in the service of God. Other things they have abused, which are neither necessary nor F. The former are to be retained, and the latter to e refused. The surplice hath been used by the priests of antichrist, and hath no necessary nor profitable use in the service of God, any more than any other thing used in idolatrous worship; therefore the surplice ought not to be used. B. The surplice hath a necessary use. A. If it have, you sin in omitting it at any time. In this you condemn the reformed churches abroad, for excluding a thing so necessary. B. It is necessary, because the prince hath commanded it. A. Indeed, it is so necessarily commanded, that without the use of it, a minister must not preach, nor administer the sacraments, however great are his learning, his gifts, and his godliness. This is a most wicked necessity. B. But it is comely in the church of God. A. What comeliness is it for the minister of Christ, to wear the rags of antichrist? If this be comely, then the velvet and golden copes, for the same reason, are more comely. But this is not the comeliness of the gospel. B. You are not a judge whether the surplice be comely. A. The apostle saith to all christians, “Try the spirits, whether they be of God.” Is it then unlawful for a christian, and a minister of Christ, to judge of a ceremony of man's invention ? The reformed churches have judged the surplice to be uncomely for the ministers of Christ. Luther, Calvin, Beza, Peter Martyr, and many others, have disallowed the use of it. And most learned men now in England, who use the surplice, wish with all their hearts, it were taken away. Yea, I think this is your opinion also. Ridley said “it was more fit for a player on the stage, than for a minister of God in his church.” B. We will not allow that the surplice is the garment of antichrist. A. That which was consecrated by antichrist, and constantly worn by the priests of antichrist, in their idolatrous Service, was one of the garments of antichrist. But the