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Mr. SANDERson was minister at Lynn in Norfolk, and troubled for his nonconformity. In the year 1573, he was charged, together with the people of the town, with having impugned the Book of Common Prayer. This was, indeed, a sad crime in those days.” February 8th, in that year, the following articles were exhibited against him in the ecclesiastical court: 1. “That he had called the curate of the place, a dumb dog, and a camelion priest. 2. “That he said the curate would not say the morning prayer, but would bid the popish holy-days, and say the popish service (meaning the common prayer) for those days. 3. “That, January 17th, he declared in the pulpit, that they who formerly employed their labours, and their goods, for the benefit of their poor and afflicted brethren, were now become judges over them; they sat in judgment upon them; and, like the Galatians, had received another gospel. 4. “That he exhorted the people to pray unto God, to change the heart of the queen's majesty, that she might set forth true doctrine and worship. 5. “That he said the apostle Paul would have contention for the truth, rather than suffer any inconvenience to enter into the church of God. 6. “That, January 24th, he said, that if either bishops, deans, or any others, or even an angel from heaven, preached any other doctrine than that which he then preached, they should hold him accursed, and not believe him. 7. “That he called the appointed holy-days, Jewish ceremonies; and the churching of women, Jewish purifications; and said, that many persons made the queen's laws their divinity. 8. “That, February 7th, he said in his sermon, that unpreaching and scandalous ministers were one principal occasion of the present dearth.” H Upon the examination of Mr. Sanderson, though we do not find what penalty was inflicted upon him, one Francis Shaxton, an alderman of the place, accused him of having delivered these opinions and assertions in two of his sermons, and even said he heard them, when, in fact, he was in London at the very time when the sermons were preached. In the year 1583, Mr. Sanderson's name is among those of the Norfolk divines, being upwards of sixty in all, who were not resolved to subscribe to Whitgift's three articles."
* “On Christmas-day last,” says the Bishop of Norwich, in his letter to Archbishop Parker, “ some of the aldermen went to church in their scarlets, and some would not; some opened their shops, and some shut them up ; some eat flesh on that day, and others eat fish.” Surely, then, it was high time to punish these rebellious people!—Strype's Parker, p. 452, + M.S. Register, p. 191. WOL. I. T
John Hill, was minister at Bury St. Edmunds, and, for omitting the cross in baptism, and making some trivial alteration in the vows, was suspended by the high commission. Not long after receiving the ecclesiastical censure, he was indicted at the ..". the same thing. Upon his appearance at the bar, having heard his indictment read, he pleaded guilty. Then said Judge Anderson, before whom he appeared, what can you say that you should not suffer one year's imprisonment 24 M. Hill replied, “the law hath provided that I should not be punished, seeing. I have been already suspended for the same matter, by the commissary.” Upon this, the judge gave him liberty to produce his testimonial under the hand and seal of the commissary, at the next assizes. Accordingly, at the next assizes, his testimonial was produced and read in open court, when his discharge as founded thereon according to law being pleaded by his counsel, he was openly acquitted and dismissed.
Notwithstanding his public acquittance in open court, at the Lent assizes in 1583, the good man was summoned again by the same judge, and for the same crime. When he appeared at the bar, and heard the charges brought against himself, he greatly marvelled, seeing j been already discharged of the same things. He was obliged to attend upon the court many times, when being known to be a divine of puritan principles, nothing more was done than he was always bound to appear at the next assize. At length, however, the judge charged him with having complained of their hard usage. And, surely, he had great reason for so doing. To this charge Mr. Hill replied, “I have
* MS. Register, p. 486,
+ Sir Edmund Anderson, lord chief justice of the common pleas, was a most furious and cruel persecutor of the puritans. He sat in judgment upon Mary, Queen of Scots, in October, 1586; and the next year presided at the trial of Secretary Davison, in the star-chamber, for signing the warrant for the execution of that princess. His decision on that nice point was, “That he had done justum, non juste; he had done what was right in an “unlawful manner, otherwise he thought him no bad man.” “This was excellent logic,” says Granger, “for finding an innocent man guilty. But upon the queen's order, and no-order, he was obliged to find him guilty, "Pon Pain of being deprived of his office.”—Biog. Hist. vol. i. p. 235.
spoken nountruth of your honours.” Anderson then shewed him the copy of a supplication, demanding whether he had not set his hand to it; and Mr. Hill answering that he thought he had, the angry judge said, “we shewed you favour before in accepting your plea, but we will shew you no more.” Mr. Hill then replied, “I hope your lordships will not revoke what you have done, seeing you have discharged me of this matter already.” The judge then answered, “ that which we did, we did out of favour to you.” Here the business closed, and Mr. Hill was sent to prison, being charged with no other crime than that of which the same judge had acquitted him. He continued in prison a long time; but whether he was ever restored to his ministry, is very doubtful."
Nichol. As BRow N, B. D. — This learned divine was fellow of Trinity college, Cambridge, and one of the preachers to the university, but dissatisfied with the discipline of the national church. In the year 1573, he was brought into trouble for two sermons which he preached in the university. For the erroneous and dangerous doctrines supposed to be contained in these sermons, he was several times called before the heads of colleges, and, after repeated examination, was kept for some time in a state of confinement. Dr. Whitgift, afterwards the famous archbishop, was a leading person in these severe proceedings.
Upon Mr. Brown's appearance before his learned judges, he was required to retract his dangerous positions; which, at first, he utterly refused; but afterwards, it is said, he complied. These dangerous positions were contained in the two following articles: “That in his two sermons, he uttered doctrine and reasons tending to infringe the order and manner of creating and electing ministers, and the regimen now used in the church of England.—And that no priests made in the time of popery ought to have any function in the church of England, except they be called afresh.” These doctrines, said to have been delivered in his sermons, contain all the crimes with which he was accused even by his enemies. He was, therefore, required to make the following recantation, in the place, and before the congregation, where he had delivered the sermons:
“Whereas, I preaching in this place, the Sunday before “Christmas, and January 25, last past, was noted to have “preached offensively; speaking as well against the manner “ and form of making and ordering of ministers and deacons “ in the church of England, as by law established ; also, “ against such pricsts as were made in the time of King “Henry and Queen Mary, saying that they were not to be “admitted into the ministry without a new calling. I now “let you understand, that I never meant so. For I do here “acknowledge and openly protest, that the manner and “form of ordering ministers and deacons in the church of “ England, now established, is lawful and to be allowed. “Also, that the priests made in the time of King Henry and “Queen Mary, now allowed, and now exercising any “function in the church, are lawful ministers of the word “ and sacraments, without any new ordering, otherwise than “ is prescribed by the laws of this realm.” Mr. Brown refused to comply with the above tyrannical requisition. He would not defile his conscience by doing that which was contrary to the convictions of his own mind. He considered it to be his duty to obey God, rather than men, though they were the spiritual rulers of an ecclesiastical establishment. He was, therefore, detained in prison a considerable time, but afterwards obtained his release. Notwithstanding this, his troubles were not over. After his deliverance from prison, he was repeatedly convened before the vice-chancellor and heads of colleges. On one of these occasions, the vice-chancellor commanded him to deliver another sermon in St. Mary's church, on a particular day, and at the usual hour of public service, requiring him to read openly and distinctly a paper, which the vicechancellor should deliver to him. He also charged him “to accomplish the same humbly and charitably, without any ..flouting, girding, twisting, or overthwarting any man, and without using any words or gesture tending to the discredit of any person, or to the stirring up or maintaining of any contention or dissention.”4 That which the learned ecclesiastic delivered to him, and commanded him to read before the public congregation, was a kind of revocation of his opinions; but he remained inflexible, and would not comply with the tyrannical imposition.: On account of the cruelty with which he was treated, he presented his distressing case to Lord Burleigh, the chancellor, who warmly espoused his cause, and sent a letter to the vice-chancellor, dated June 26, 1573, in which his lordship wrote as follows:—“Mr. Brown was with me,” says he, “five or six days past, to entreat me, that by my means to you and others, he might forbear the execution of a certain order by you as vice-chancellor prescribed, to pronounce a certain declaratory sentence, in a sermon to be made by him now at the commencement. In which matter I had no disposition to deal; yet by the importunity of his sorrowful petition, and purpose not to offend in any such cause wherewith he hath been charged, I did with my pen write suddenly a few lines, to shew my inclination to have him favoured, and so dismissed him. Since which time, he is this day returned to me with a letter from Sir Thomas Smith, the queen's majesty's principal secretary, whereby you shall see how I am entreated to procure more favour for him. And yet without hearing you and others, who best know his cause, I dare not precisely require any alteration of your orders, but do recommend the party, who hath a #. report, to be as favourably ordered, as he may find is repair to me hath in some measure relieved him, without hurting the public cause of good order.” This pacific address from the treasurer proved ineffectual. The tyrannical vice-chancellor and his reverend colleagues refused to observe the generous instructions of the chancellor. Mr. Brown still remained under their ecclesiastical oppressions; and on account of the cruel usage he met with, he again laid his distressing case before Burleigh, July 6, 1573; but whether with any better success, we have not been able to learn.t The year following, a puritan divine of the same name, and no doubt the same person, was concerned in Undertree's sham plot, when many letters were forged in his name. After examination, his innocence, with that of his brethren, was made openly and perfectly manifest.; Upon Mr. Brown's removal from the university, he became minister at Norton in Suffolk, where he was afterwards molested for nonconformity. For, in the year 1583, on the publication of Whitgift's three articles, he refused subscription, and, with many others, was immediately suspended. How long he continued under the ecclesiastical censure, or whether he was ever restored, we are unable to ascertain.5
* MS. Register, p. 314. + Strype's Parker, p.391, 392.
* Strype's Parker, p. 391, 392,-Baker's MS. Collec. vol. iv. p. 55, 56. + Ibid. vol. iii. p. 395, 396. f Ibid. p. 399, 400.