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sary of the Bishop of Norwich, and committed to prison at Bury. He is said to have maintained the following opinions: “That unpreaching ministers were dumb dogs.-That whoever keeps saints' days, is an idolater.—That the queen, who had sworn to keep God’s law, and set forth God's glory, as appointed in the scriptures, and did not perform it, was perjured.” And it is added, that for the space of six months, he had refused to have his own child baptized; “ because,” he said, “none should baptize his child who did not preach;” and that when it was baptized, he would have neither godfathers nor godmothers. These were the great crimes alleged against him Mr. Copping having for these offences remained in prison two years, and still refusing to conform; December 1, 1578, he underwent an examination before Justice Andrews, when the above false and malicious opinions, as they are called, were proved against him.” The good man continuing steadfast to his principles, and still refusing to sacrifice a good conscience on the altar of conformity, was sent back to prison, where he remained nearly five years longer. What shocking barbarity was this! Here Mr. Elias Thacker, another Brownist minister, was his fellow prisoner. The two prisoners having suffered this long and painful confinement, were indicted, tried, and condemned for spreading certain books, said to be seditiously penned by Robert Brown against the Book of Common Prayer. The sedition charged upon Brown's book, was, that it subverted the constitution of the established church, and acknowledged her majesty's supremacy only in civil matters, not in matters ecclesiastical. The judges took hold of this to aggravate their offence to the queen, after they had passed sentence upon them, on the statute of 23 Eliz. against seditious libels, and for refusing the oath of supremacy. Having received the sentence of death, they were both hanged at Bury, in the month of June, 1583. Such, indeed, was the resentment, and even the madness, of the persecutors of these two servants of Christ, that, previous to their death, all Brown's books that could be found, were collected together, and burnt before their eyes. # Under all these barbarities, the two champions for nonconformity continued immoveable to the last, and died sound in the #. and of holy and unblemished lives. But, to hang men for spreading a book written against the church
* Strype's Annals, vol. ii. p. 532, 533. + Ibid. vol. iii. p. 186.
only, appeared extremely hard, especially at the very time when Brown himself was pardoned and set at liberty.
Thom As UNDERDown was minister of St. Mary's church in Lewes, in the county of Sussex, but was brought into trouble for nonconformity. By a special warrant from Dr. Longworth, visitor to Archbishop Whitgift, dated November 18, 1583, he was summoned to appear in the ecclesiastical court at Lewes." Upon his appearance in the court, he was immediately required to subscribe to Whitgift's three articles. He signified his readiness to subscribe to the first and third of those articles, but, hesitating about the second, he was immediately suspended. At the same time, Mr. William Hopkinson, vicar of Salehurst, Mr. Samuel Norden, minister of Hamsey, Mr. Thomas Hely, minister of Warbleton, with many others in the same county, were cited and suspended, for refusing subscription, though their refusal was not out of contempt, -but because to them some things appeared doubtful.f
These ministers having received the ecclesiastical censure, ventured to lay their case at the feet of the archbishop. They appeared before his grace at Lambeth, December 5th, in the same year; when they entered upon the following conference:
Underdown. We are become suitors to your lordship, out of the diocese of Chichester, being urged thereunto by the hard dealing of Dr. Longworth; who hath suspended us from the exercise of our functions, for not subscribing to certain articles, pretended to be sent by your lord
ship; and to request your favour to be released from the same.
* Dr. Longworth sent the following warrant or citation to all the ministers within the archdeaconry of Lewes, requiring them to appear before him :—“These are to command you in her majesty's name, to * appear personally in St. Michael's church in Lewes, the 20th day of this “present November, between the hours of eight and ten o’clock in the
“forenoon, then and there to perform all such duties and injunctions, as I “am to impose upon you, from the Archbishop's grace of Canterbury, as “appeareth by a special letter directed to me in that behalf. Fail you * not hereof, upon pain of the law which will necessarily ensue upon the “default which you shall commit in these premises. From Lewes, * November 18, 1583. “Signed your loving friend,
MS. Register, p. 396.
Archbishop. I am so far from releasing you from your sus
nsions, that I declare it to have been orderly done; and so and justify the same, and shall further proceed against you unless you subscribe.
U. My lord, we have subscribed to the first and third articles, but desired respite for the second. And though we have used the Book of Common Prayer, so far as concerned our ministry, we cannot with a good conscience, subscribe to every particular in that book.
A. If you use that to which you will not subscribe, you dissemble. And how much respite would you have, after the exercise of twenty-five years 2
U. Every thing in the book doth not pertain to our ministry; and in some things we are left to our liberty; but this subscription bindeth us to give our full consent to the whole, and thus abridgeth us of the liberty which the book alloweth.
A. What do you dislike in the Book of Common Prayer? U. We do not say dislike, my lord; but there are many things doubtful, and about which we are not yet resolved. A. What are the points doubtful, which you wish to have resolved? I will endeavour to satisfy you, if you will be satisfied. U. We desire to know what book your lordship would have us to subscribe unto. For there are many copies, which differ in many points of great weight; and those which have been printed last, have most declined to superstition. A. I mean the book which is now used for divine service and administration of the sacraments in the church of England. U. That is not the book established by law, according to 1 Eliz., but differeth in more points from the book of 5 Edward VI. than the law of the land alloweth. A. And what is the difference 2 U. They differ in the following points and some others: The kalenders are not the same; the first lessons on all saints' days are appointed out of the apocrypha : the kalender appoints the saints' eves to be observed by fasting: it putteth in the popish saints: it prescribeth a number of holy-days: and it omitteth the advertisement after the communion, to avoid the popish adoration in kneeling at the sacrament. A. The kalenders are not of the substance of the book. U. They form a principal part of the book, and have a chief interest in the directions there given: and the statute calleth it a part. A. What other doubts have you which you wish to be resolved 2 U. The book prescribeth certain parts of the apocrypha to be read in public worship, which contain gross errors, both in doctrine and practice; and leaveth out some parts of canonical scripture. - A. All the apocrypha is not appointed to be read, but those parts which are most edifying. And the ancient fathers permitted them to be read in the church. * * U. N. some detached parts only, my lord, but whole books are appointed. - A. What errors in doctrine and practice do they contain: U. Raphael maketh a lie, Tobit v. 15. A. If this be a lie, then the angels lied to Abraham, by seeming to have bodies and to eat, when they had no bodies and did not eat: And Christ, when he seemed to intend going farther than Emmaus: And God, when he destroyed not Ninevah. U. The cases are not alike.—Again, the devil is said to have loved Sara, Tobit vi. 16., which is fabulous. A. Is it strange to you that the devil should love men and women 2 Do you think the devil doth not love? U. In Ecclesiasticus xlvi. 20. it is said, that Samuel preached after he was dead. A. It is controverted whether this were Samuel or some evil spirit. U. What writers are of this opinion ? A. What point of faith is it to believe it was Samuel ? U. A principal point, my lord; for Rev. xiv. 13. it is said, that the souls of the righteous are in the hands of God, and rest from their labours; which is not true, if they be at the call of a witch or sorcerer, to do those things which while they lived, they would not have done. A. Cannot the Lord dispense with them, and allow them to come, being called: U. He dispenseth with things according to his word. And, surely, he would not condemn such abominations, and encourage them. A. It is no matter whether we believe the one or the other. What is your next error: Are there any other faults in the apocrypha : U. There are many others, which at this time we remember not.
A. Is there any other reason why you will not subscribe to the Book of Common Prayer 2 U. Yes, my lord, there are many others. For if we subscribe to the book, we must subscribe to the massing apparel : as copes, vestments, tunicle, &c. A. Whatever you are discharged from by any article or injunction, you are not required to subscribe unto it in the book. U. Who then shall interpret how far our subscription shall extend ? * A. That will I and the other bishops do, who know best what the book and subscription meaneth. . . . U. But, my lord, we dare not subscribe without protestation. A. I will have no protestation. You are not called to rule in this church of England; and you shall not rule, but obey. And unless you subscribe, you shall have no place in the ministry. Is there any other thing which hindereth your subscription ? - U. The rubric requireth that after the reading of the , Nicene creed, an homily shall be read, either one already set forth by public authority, or hereafter to be set forth ; and we think it is absurd to subscribe to the use of things not yet published. " A. You need not trouble yourself about that. Have you any thing else 2 U. If we subscribe, we must subscribe to private baptism, and the baptism of women, directly contrary to the word of God. A. Though baptism were unlawfully performed, yet being once performed, it is not to be repeated; and seeing it has the seal of the prince, it may not be condemned, though not performed by an ordinary minister. U. We acknowledge the necessity of baptism, and that he who administereth it, does not make the sacrament better; yet from the words of Christ, “Go teach and baptize,” it appears that he who administers this sacrament should be a minister of the word. A. Whosoever shall say it is of the substance of the sacrament, that he who baptizeth must be a minister, I will proceed against him as an heretic. I say, moreover, it is not lawful for women to baptize; yet if they do baptize, their baptism is valid, and ought not to be set aside. U. Seeing the sacrament is not saving, but the seal of God’s promises, there is no need of them to baptize. t