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is specified by that name." At length, having been driven from one situation to another, and finding no place of safety in his own country, he fled into a foreign land, and became an exile in Germany. During his abode on the continent, he wrote an excellent letter to his godly brethren at home; in which, besides declaring the cause of those calamities now come upon England, he earnestly directed them to the mercy and faithfulness of God, for a redress of all their grievances. This letter was read in the private religious meetings of his persecuted countrymen, to their great edification and benefit. He wrote, also, an epistle to the popish priests, wherein he made a just and an important difference betwixt the Lord's supper, and the popish mass, denominating the latter a wicked idol. H Mr. Becon remained in exile till the accession of Queen Elizabeth, when he returned to his native country, and became a most faithful and zealous labourer in the vineyard of Christ. Having obtained distinguished reputation, he was soon preferred to several ecclesiastical benefices. He is said to have been designed for one of the chief preferments then vacant. In the year 1560, he became rector of Buckland in Hertfordshire, but most probably did not hold it long. About the same time, he was preferred to a prebend in the church of Canterbury; and in 1563, he became rector of St. Dionis Back-church, London. This last he held to his death.Ş In the year 1564, when conformity was rigorously imposed upon the London clergy, Mr. Becon, with many of his puritan brethren, was cited before Archbishop Parker at Lambeth, and refusing to subscribe, he was immediately sequestered and deprived; though it is said, he afterwards complied, and was preferred. It does not, however, appear what preferment he obtained. During the same year, he revised and republished most of his numerous and excellent writings in three volumes folio, dedicating them to all the bishops and archbishops of the realm. The clergy were in eneral at this time in a state of deplorable ignorance. Mr. #. was deeply affected with their situation, and extremely anxious to render them all the assistance in his power. Therefore, in the year 1566, he published a book, entitled “A new Postil, containing most godly and learned Sermons, to be read in the Church throughout the Year; lately set forth unto the great Profit, not only of all Curates and Spiritual Ministers, but also of all Godly and Faithful Readers.” Mr. Strype stiles him a famed preacher and writer, and the book a very useful work, containing honest, plain sermons upon the gospels, for all the Sundays in the year, to be read by the curates of congregations. The preface, dated from Canterbury, July 16, 1566, is addressed. “ to his fellow labourers in the Lord's harvest, the ministers and preachers of God's most holy word;” in which he earnestly exhorts them to the discharge of their important duties. To this Postil he added two prayers, one at some length, the other shorter, either of which was to be said before sermon, according to the minister's discretion: also a third prayer, to be repeated after sermon. . These prayers and sermons were drawn up for the use of ministers who were not able to compose prayers and sermons, and for the further instruction of the people in sound and wholesome doctrine." Bishop Parkhurst published verses in commendation of Mr. Becon and his excellent writings. Durin the above year, he preached the sermon at Paul's cross; j such was his great fame, and such his favour among persons of distinction, that the lord mayor for that year presented a petition to Archbishop Parker, entreating his grace to prevail upon him to preach one of the sermons at the Spittle the following Easter.f Our historians are divided in their opinion concerning the time of Mr. Becon's death. Newcourt observes that he died previous to September 26, 1567; and Lupton says he died in 1570. He was a divine of great learning and piety, a constant preacher, a great sufferer in the cause of Christ, and an avowed enemy to pluralities, nonresidence, and all the relics of popery, being ever zealous for the reformation of the church. He was a man of a peaceable spirit, always adverse to the imposition of ceremonies, and an avowed nonconformist, both in principle and practice. Mr. Strype justly denominates him famous for his great learning, his frequent preaching, his excellent writings, and manifold sufferings in the reigns of King. Henry, King Edward, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth. One Mr. Thomas
* MS. Chronology, vol. i. p. 221. (3 || 3.) . - -
+ Strype's Cranmer, p. 357, 358. i Churton's Life of Nowell, p. 40.
§ Strype's Parker, p. 72, 130.-Newcourt's Repert. Eccl., vol. i. p. 330, 815. . . . | Strype's Grindal, p. 98.
* Strype's Parker, p. 228. + Lupton's Modern Divines, p. 333. # Strype's Cranmer, p. 424. § Repert. Eccl. vol. i. p. 330.—Hist. of Divines, p. 332. | M.S. Chronology, vol. i. p. 48, is Strype's Cranmer, p. 423,-Parker, p. 130,
Becon was of St. John's college, Cambridge, public orator and proctor in the university, and an active leading man, most probably in the cause of nonconformity, by which he is said to have incurred the displeasure of the chancellor, formerly his patron and great admirer. This was undoubtedly the same person." #. was author of numerous books, many of which were designed to expose the superstitions and errors of popery, and to encourage his fellow christians under persecution; and his labour of love was signally useful. He wrote against the superstitious practice of bowing at the name of Jesus, as did several other puritans after him. According to Mr. Lupton, the following appears to be the most correct list of his numerous learned writings that can now be obtained : .
His Works.-1. News from Heaven.—2. A Banquet of Christ's Birth.-3. A Quadragesimal Feast.—4. A Method of Praying.—5. A Bundle or Posey of Flowers.-6. An Invective against Swearing.— 7. Discipline for a Christian Soldier.—8. David's Harp.–9. The Government of Virtue.—10. A short Catechism.—ll. A Book of Matrimony.−12. A Christian's New-Year's Gift.—13. A Jewel of . Mirth.-14. Principles of the Christian Religion.—15. A Treatise of Fasting.—16. The Castle of Comfort.—17. The Soul's Solace.—18, The Tower of the Faithful.—19. The Christian Knight.—20. Homilies against Whoredom.—21. The Flowers of Prayers.-22. A sweet Box of Prayers.-23. The Sick Man's Medicine.—24. A Dialogue of Christ's Nativity.—25. An Invective against Idolatry.—26. An Epistle to the distressed Servants of God.—27. A Supplication to God for the Restoration of his Word.—28. The Rising of the Popish Mass.f-29. Common-places of Scripture.—30. A Comparison betwixt the Lord's Supper and the Papal Mass.-31. Articles of Religion confirmed by the Authority of the Fathers.-32. The monstrous Wages of the Roman Priests.-33. Romish Relics.-34. The Difference betwixt God's Word and Human Inventions.—35. Acts of Christ and Antichrist, with their Lives and Doctrine.—36. Chronicles of Christ.— . 37. An Abridgement of the New Testament.—38. Questions of the Holy Scripture.—39. The glorious Triumph of God's Word.—40. The Praise of Death.-41. Postils upon all the Sundays' Gospels, 42. A Disputation upon the Lord's Supper.
GILBERT ALcock was an excellent minister of puritan principles, but silenced, with many of his brethren, for nonconformity. April 3, 1571, he presented a supplication to the convocation, in behalf of himself and his suffering brethren,
* Baker’s MS. Collection, vol. i. p. 193.
+ This excellent work was reprinted in the time of Archbishop Laud; but upon the complaint of a popish priest, his grace commanded it to be suppressed, and threatened the printer with a prosecution. Such was the spirit and inclination of this protestant prelate.—Canterburies Doome, p. 516.
earnestly soliciting the house to consider their case, and redress their grievances. In this supplication, now before me, he spoke with considerable freedom and boldness, concerning the corruptions of the church. He expressed himself as follows:–4. The ceremonies now retained in the church, and urged upon the consciences of christians, occasion the blind to stumble and fall, the obstinate to become more hard-hearted, Christ's messengers are persecuted, the holy sacrament is profaned, God dishonoured, the truth despised, christian duty broken, and the hearts of many are sorely vexed: they cause papists and wicked men to rejoice in superstition, error, idolatry, and wickedness: they set friends at variance, and provoke the curse of God. Woe unto him by whom the offence cometh. “The godfathers and godmothers, who promise to do so much for the child, are the pope's kindred; and, by his canon law, like priests, are forbidden to marry. It is holden that kneeling in the public sacrament, is more reverent, more religious, and more honourable to God; and thus they make themselves wiser than Jesus Christ, who sat with his disciples at the last supper. Matt. xxvi. In vain do ye worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. “If a minister preach true doctrine and live virtuously, yet omit the least ceremony for conscience sake, he is immediately indicted, deprived, cast into prison, and his goods wasted and destroyed; he is kept from his wife and children, and at last excommunicated, even though the articles brought against him be ever so false. How heavy these ceremonies lie upon the consciences of christians; and what difference there is between them, and those for which the people of God have been, and are still, so much persecuted, judge ye, as ye expect to be judged in the day of judgment. Those who observe your ceremonies, though they be idolaters, common swearers, adulterers, or much worse, live without punishment, and have many friends. We, therefore, beseech your fatherhoods to pity our case, to take these stumbling-blocks from us, that we may live quiet and peaceable lives, to the honour of our God.” The convocation were, however, of another mind; and, instead of lessening their burdens, very much increased them. * Bishop Maddox has endeavoured to invalidate this statement of Mr. Alcock, but completely failed in the attempt. He has produced additional evidence of the extreme severities inflicted upon the oppressed DAVID WHITEHEAD, B.D.—This famous divine, greatly. celebrated for learning, piety, and moderation, was educated at Oxford, and chaplain to Queen Anne Bullen, Archbishop Cranmer says, “he was endowed, with good, knowledge, special honesty, fervent zeal, and politic wisdom;” for which, in the year 1552, he nominated him, as the fittest person to become Archbishop of Armagh. The nomination, however, did not succeed; for another was chosen to the place.” In the beginning of the bloody, persecution of Queen Mary, he fled from the storm, and, retired to Frankfort, where he was chosen pastor to the English congregation. Here he was held in high esteem by his fellow exiles. He discovered his great wisdom and moderation, and answered the objections of Mr. Horne, relative to church discipline, and the worship of God, and used his utmost endeavours to compose the differences among his brethren.4. Upon the accession of Queen Elizabeth, Mr. Whitehead returned home; and, the same year, was appointed, together with Drs. Parker, Bill, May, Cox, Grindal, Pilkington, and Sir Thomas Smith, to review King Edward's liturgy. The same liturgy was published the following year. This was the third edition of the English liturgy ever published, the two former editions having come forth in the reign of King Edward.j In the year 1559, he was appointed one of the public disputants against the popish bishops. The subjects of disputation were, 1. “Whether it was not against the word of God, and the custom of the ancient church, to use, in the common prayers and administration of the sacraments, a tongue unknown to the people.—2. Whether every church hath authority to appoint, change, and take away, ceremonies and ecclesiastical rites; so the same were done to edification.—And 3, whether it could be proved by the word of God, that in the mass there was a propitiatory sacrifice for the quick and the dead.” The other disputants on the side of the protestants, were, Dr. Story, bishop of Chichester, Dr. Cox, Mr. Grindal, Mr. Horne, Mr. Sandys, Mr. Gest, Mr. Aylmer, and Mr. Jewel ; most or all of whom afterwards became bishops, and some of them archbishops.5 On this occasion, Mr. Whitehead had a fine opportunity of displaying his great learning, piety, and moderation; and he shewed himself to be so profound a divine, that the * Strype's Cranmer, p. 274–278.
puritans.-Vindication, p. 335, 336, + M.S. Register, p. 90–92.