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there, nor to hear others ? This is very hard dealing. God willing, I will never yield unto it. D. Do as you please. Do as you please. W., I was born and brought up in that parish, and I am bound to attend there by the laws of the realm. Do you then sit here to execute the law, and will you bind me to act contrary to the law Palmer. Erase it, erase it, for shame! It is a thing never before heard of, that a man should be bound from attending at his own parish church. Proctor. I will put this in its place, “that he shall never come there to preach.” W. Will you put in that, Mr. Proctor : Will you first exclude me from his whole province, and then exclude me from that particular place D. What else have you for him to do? P. He must confess that before us, which he would not acknowledge publicly in the church. D. Then read it unto him. W. I will confess these things neither publicly, nor priwately. But if you allow me, I will separate those things which are true, from those which are false. D. Give him the paper. He then took the paper, and told them what was true, and what was false. This being done, and the good man having bound himself to preach no more in the archbishop's province, he was released, ascribing honour and praise to God for his merciful deliverance.” Mr. Wilson having obtained his liberty, though excluded from all usefulness in the province of York, went to London, and, during the same year, frequently preached at Alhallows in Thames-street. Also, by the allowance of the minister of St. Michael's, Cornhill, he delivered a sermon
there; for which Bishop Aylmer silenced him the very next
day, and summoned him, and the church-wardens of Alhallows, to appear before him the Saturday following. Mr. Wilson not seeing the bishop's officer when he left the information at his lodgings; nor knowing what warrant he had for what he did, refused to appear. But one of the church-wardens appeared, when, though the bishop was not present, Dr. Stanhope pronounced upon them both the sentence of excommunication; upon the one for not appearing, and upon the other for suffering Mr. Wilson to Treach without a license. This excellent minister was thus exercised with tribulations in the south, as well as in the north.
* MS. Register, p. 784–786,
At length, our divine finding that the high commissioners, with Aylmer and Whitgift at their head, were anxious to apprehend him; that they had issued several warrants for this purpose; that a printed order was sent to all the churches in London and its vicinity, that none should preach without a license; and that his name, with several others, was particularly mentioned," he wisely concealed himself for a season, and retired into the north. Towards the close of the year, he returned to London; and after his arrival, Mr. Glover and Mr. Weblin, two of his cordial friends living in the parish of Alhallows, waited upon Archbishop Whit§ at Lambeth, soliciting his favour in behalf of Mr.Wilson.
hey had no sooner mentioned his name, than his lordship asked, “What that factious fellow who intruded himself into the church in Cornhill, and there delivered a seditious sermon P’’ “Yes,” said Mr. Glover, “that is the man; but he hopeth to clear himself of all faction, intrusion, and sedition.” “Let him then come to me any day after tomorrow,” said the archbishop, “ and I will say more about him.” Therefore, December 1st, Mr. Wilson and his friends waited upon his grace at Lambeth; and upon their appearance, after asking Mr. Wilson his name, where he was born, and where educated, the archbishop thus addressed him : Archbishop. Did not you intrude yourself into a church in Cornhill, and there preach a seditious sermon 2 Wilson. That I preached there is certainly true; but there was nothing seditious. And as to intrusion, I will prove upon the oath of honest men, that I had the minister's consent, both before and after I came into the church. A. Did you not then intrude yourself? W. I will prove, I say, upon the oath of honest men, that it is an impudent falsehood. A. Say you so. I did not know this before. W. It is malice that hath propagated these things. A. But why did you not remain in your own country? W. Because I cannot and may not place myself where I please, much less in mine own country; for I must go where I am called, and be placed where the Lord shall appoint. A. If you will then be placed here, you must subscribe to certain articles. W. I will subscribe to any thing that is lawful. . A. Do you mean any thing according to law W. Surely, I dare very well say so. But I meant the law of God, which is the only rule of conscience. A. You must subscribe to those articles. W. I must first see them, and then I can answer you. A. There is good reason why you should see them; and therefore I refer you to my lord of London. If he will allow you, I will not disallow you. But you Londoners, (speaking to Mr. Glover and Mr. Weblin) are so much given to novelty, that if there be one man more new than others, him you will have. Glover. Surely, my lord, we cannot be justly accused of novelty. For we have had neither new nor old at our church since I knew the place, having now only a drunken reader, who can do us no good. A. Well, you know my mind about this matter. Stanhope. You must be sworn. W. To what must I be sworn. • * * S. You shall know that afterwards. W. No, by your leave, sir, I will see the articles before I take any oath. S. No, you may not see them till you are sworn. W. I will not swear till I see them. It is hard dealing to make men swear to they know not what, ...You may ask me things which it is not lawful for me to make known. S. What are those things : . W. It is against the law of the land, that a man should be sworn to accuse himself. And by this oath, you may urge me to disclose the secret things of my heart, or the secrets of my friends, both of which are unnatural and unlawful. Such dealing is intolerable and cruel. Let me see the articles; and if I may lawfully answer them, I will do it upon my oath. S. Let him then see the articles. W. Setting aside all circumstantial questions, I will answer these articles upon my oath. S. Well, all other matters shall be set aside. W. I will make a true answer to these articles, so help me God.” S. I can tell you, Mr. Wilson, if you mean to preach here, you must also minister the communion, at least thrice every year. W. There is one to do that in the place already. S. That is no matter. You must join him in that action, to shew that you do not divide your ministry. W. My ministry shall be to preach the word only. S. The laws of the realm allow of no such ministry. . W. But the laws of God do. . S. But I am set to examine the laws of the realm. W. And I am set to maintain the laws of God, and to declare the truth of them. S. It must be as I tell you. And that is not all: you must subscribe to certain articles. W. What are those articles 2 S. I think they are here. Read them, and tell me what you think of them. - W. I think it is unlawful to subscribe to them. S. What is there you dislike : W. Many things, and the second article altogether. S. Shew me this at large.
* The worthy divines whose names accompanied this order, were Mr.
Wilson, Mr. Davison, Mr. Barber, Mr. Wigginton, Mr. Gifford, Mr. Carew, and some others. The order itself, dated August 16, 1587, being descriptive of the spirit of the times, was the following:—“Whereas sundry “ministers, preachers, have lately come into the city of London and “the suburbs; some of them not being ministers, some having no suffi“cient warrant for their calling; and others having been detected in “the country, have taken upon them to preach publicly in the city, to the “great infamy of their calling : and some of them in their preaching, “ have stirred up the people to innovation, rather than sought the peace of “the church. These are, therefore, in her majesty's name, by virtue of “her high commission for causes ecclesiastical to us and others directed, “strictly to enjoin, command, and charge, all parsons, vicars, curates, and ‘‘church-wardens, of all churches in the city of London and the suburbs. “thereof, as well in places exempt as not exempt, that neither they nor “any of them, do suffer any to preach in their churches, or to read any “lectures, they not being in their own cures; but only such whose licenses “ they shall first have seen and read, and whom they shall find to be “licensed thereto, either by the queen's majesty, or by one of the univer“sities, or by the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, or the Bishop of “London, for the time being. And that this may be published, and take “the better effect, we will that a true copy thereof shall be taken and “delivered to every curate and church-warden of all the churches afore“ said. Signed,
“John CANTERBURy, Ep. STANHoPE,
“John London, Ric. Cosins,”
MS. Register, p. 835.
* These articles, nineteen in number, consist of certain things professedly collected from his sermon at Cornhill. They are said to have been his expressions, and are mostly against pluralities, nonresidents, and idle, ungodly, and nonpreaching ministers. In one of them he is charged with having said of such ministers, “They eat up the sins of the people.” And in another, “That by the word of God, it is necessary that every congregation should have a preaching minister.” This is a specimen of the treasonable charges brought against Mr. Wilson; but the whole, together with his answers, is too long to be inserted,—MS. Register, p. 829–331.
W. I fear you seek some advantage against me. S. I promise you, that you shall have no hurt for any thing you may speak here. . I dislike private baptism by laymen or women. S. You know my lord of Canterbury denies that the book alloweth any such thing. W. It is too plain to be denied. And though he do deny it, he alloweth that if a woman or any private person perform the action, it is a sacrament, and is not to be renewed by the minister. Where there no other things, this is sufficient to keep me from subscribing. S. But if you may have favour in that point, will you yield to the rest ? - W. I wish they were such things, that I could yield to them. S. What else then do you dislike. W. The book of making bishops and ministers. S. Why so : - W. Because I find no such thing done by one man, and in that manner, in the word of God. ** S. Then I can say nothing to you. W. But I could say something to you, sir, if you would
patiently hear me. S. What is that? Say what you please. W. If you can shew me any statute, now in force in England, which requireth me to subscribe to the Book of Common Prayer, to the book of making bishops and ministers, and to the whole book of articles; I will promise before you and these people, that I will subscribe. But if I offer my hand to subscribe, as far as any statute doth j why is the offer not admitted or by what law can it be rejected 2 S. There is a statute which alloweth these things. This, I think you will not deny. W. I do not deny it. But where is the statute which commandeth subscription to them S. The bishops have a commission from her majesty, to deal in these matters according to their own discretion. W. But neither their commission, nor their discretion, may oppose the discreet laws made by her majesty and parliament. If they do, I dare boldly say, that they abuse her majesty, her subjects, and their own commission. S. Take heed what you say. You must yield to this subscription, or you cannot be admitted. Besides, you are no proper minister, and were never authorized to preach.