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hardships under which the puritans groaned, were intended to be redressed.* The bills passed smoothly through the commons, and were referred to a committee of both houses; which so alarmed the bishops, and gave such offence to the queen, that, two days after, she acquainted the commons, that it was her royal pleasure, that no bill relating to religion should henceforth be introduced into that house, till after the same had been considered and approved by the clergy; and she commanded the house to deliver up the two bills last read, touching rites and ceremonies. With this high stretch of her majesty's prerogative, the commons quietly and tamely complied, and their efforts came to nothing. In the mean time, the bishops stuck close to the canonical discipline; enforced conformity with the utmost rigour; and, according to the computation of Mr. Strype,f there were at least one hundred ministers deprived this year, for refusing subscription. The university of Cambridge was, indeed, become a nest of puritans. Dr. Browning and Mr. Brown, both fellows of Trinity college, were convened before the heads, and cast into prison for nonconformity. Mr. Clarke, fellow of Peter-house, and Mr. Millain, fellow of Christ's college, were expelled from their colleges, and banished from the university.; But these severe proceedings had not the effect intended: for, instead of crushing the nonconformists, the more they were persecuted, the more they multiplied. & The puritans having in vain sought for a reformation from the queen and the bishops, resolved to apply to the / parliament, and stand by the constitution. They published a treatise, presenting their grievances in one view. It was compiled by Mr. Field, assisted by Mr. Wilcocks, and revised by others. The work was entitled “An Admonition to the Parliament;” to which were annexed, Beza's letter to the Earl of Leicester, and Gaulter's to Bishop Parkhurst, upon the reformation of church discipline. It contains a platform of the church; the manners of electing ministers; with their several duties, and their equality in government. It then exposes with some degree of sharpness the corruptions of the church, and the proceedings of the bishops. The admonition then concludes, by petitioning the houses, that discipline, more consonant to the word of God, and more agreeable to other reformed churches, may be established by law. Mr. Field and Mr. Wilcocks presented it themselves to the house, for which they were apprehended, and sent to Newgate, where they remained in close and miserable confinement at least fifteen months. While the authors were thus prosecuted, the book spread abroad, and soon passed through several editions." The leading puritans having presented their numerous petitions to the queen, the bishops, and the parliament, to little or no purpose, agreed to attempt to promote the desired reformation in a more private way. For this purpose, they erected a presbytery at Wandsworth, near London. The members of this association were Messrs. Smith, Crane, Field, Wilcocks, Standen, Jackson, Bonham, Saintloc, and Edmunds; to whom were afterwards joined Messrs. Travers, Clarke, Barber, Gardiner, Cheston, Crook, Egerton, and a number of respectable laymen. Eleven elders were chosen, and their offices described in a register, entitled “The Orders of Wandsworth.” This was the first presbyterian church in England. Notwithstanding that all imaginable care was taken to keep their proceedings secret, the bishops' eyes were upon them, who gave immediate intelligence to the high commission; upon which the queen issued her royal proclamation for a more exact observance of the act of uniformity. And though the bishops knew of the presbytery, they could not discover its members, nor prevent others from being erected in other parts of the kingdom.4 While multitudes of the best preachers were utterly silenced, the church of England stood in the greatest need of their zealous and faithful labours. It was, indeed, in a most deplorable condition. The conformable clergy obtained all the benefices in their power, and resided upon none, utterly neglecting their cures; many of them alienated the church lands, made unreasonable leases, wasted the wood upon the lands, and granted reversions and advowsons for their own advantage. The churches fell greatly into decay, and became unfit for divine service. Among the laity there was very little devotion; and the Lord's day was generally profaned. ... Many were mere heathens, epicures, or atheists, especially those about the court; and good men feared that some sore judgment hung over the nation.* In the year 1573, the queen issued her royal proclamation, “strictly commanding all archbishops and bishops, all justices of assizes, and all others having authority, to put in execution the act of uniformity of common prayer, with all diligence and severity, neither favouring, nor dissembling with any one person, who doth neglect, despise, or seek to alter the godly orders and rites set forth in the said book.” The proclamation requires further, “that all who shall be found nonconformable in the smallest matter, shall be immediately apprehended and cast into prison; all who shall forbear coming to the common prayer, and receiving the sacraments, according to the said book, shall be immediately presented and punished; and all who shall either in private houses, or in public assemblies, use any other rites of common prayer and administration of sacraments, or shall maintain in their houses any persons guilty of these things, shall be punished with the utmost severity.” This, from the supreme governor of the church, inspired the zealous prelates with new life and courage. They enforced subscription upon the clergy with great rigour. Though the forms of subscription varied in different dioceses, that which was most commonly imposed was the following: “I ac“knowledge the book of articles agreed upon by the clergy “in the synod of 1563, and confirmed by the queen's “ majesty, to be sound and according to the word of God.— “That the queen's majesty is the chief governor, next under “Christ, of this church of England, as well in ecclesiastical * as civil causes.—That in the Book of Common Prayer, “there is nothing evil or repugnant to the word of God, but “ that it may well be used in this our christian church of “England.—And that as the public preaching of the word “in this church of England is sound and sincere, so the “ public order in the ministration of the sacraments is con“sonant to the word of God.”: Upon the rigorous imposition of these forms, many ministers not being able with a good conscience to comply, were brought into great trouble. Messrs. Deering and Cartwright, together with Dr. Sampson and other excellent divines, endured much cruel usage for nonconformity.; Dr. Wyburn, and Messrs. Brown, Johnson, Field, Wilcocks,
* Strype's Parker, p. 394.
+ D. Ewes's Journal, p. 207.-Strype's Annals, vol. ii. p. 125.
# Strype's Annals, vol. ii. p. 187.
§ In opposition to the above facts, Bishop Maddox insinuates that great favour and indulgence were shewn to the puritans, during this year; and refers to the words of Mr. Strype, saying, “That they were as gently treated as might be ; no kind of brotherly persuasion omitted towards them; and most of them as yet kept their livings; though one or two were displaced.”. What degree of truth is contained in this statement, every one will easily judge.—Maddox's Windication, p. 173.
WOI. I. D
* For a circumstantial account of the controversy excited by the publication of the “Admonition,” see Art. Thomas Cartwright. * Fuller's Church Hist. b. ix. p. 103.—Neal's Puritans, vol. i. p. 266.
* Strype's Parker, p. 395. + Sparrow's Collec. p. 169, 170. † Parte of a Register, p. 81. § Strype's Annals, vol. ii. p. 265–282.
Sparrow, and King, were deprived of their livings, and four of them committed to Newgate. They were told, that if they did not comply in a short time, they should be banished, though there was no law in existence to inflict any such punishment. Mr. Johnson, who was fellow of King's college, Cambridge, and domestic chaplain to the Lord Keeper Bacon, was tried at Westminster-hall for nonconformity, and sent to the Gatehouse, where, through his cruel imprisonment, he soon after died. Several others, cast into prison at the same time, died under the pressures of their confinement. Mr. Bonham, Mr. Standen and Mr. Fenn, were committed to prison, where they remained a long time. Mr. Wake, rector of Great-Billing; Mr. Paget, minister of Oundle; Mr. Mosely, minister of Hardingstone; Mr. Gilderd, minister of Collingtree; and Mr. Dawson, minister of Weston-Favell, all in the diocese of Peterborough, were first suspended for three weeks, and then deprived of their livings. They were all useful preachers. Four of them were licensed by the university, as learned and religious divines, and three had been moderators in the religious exercises. Mr. Lowth, minister of Carlisle, was prosecuted in the high commission at York; while Mr. Sanderson and Dr. Crick, two learned and useful divines in - Norfolk, fell into the hands of the high commissioners in the south, when the latter was deprived of his preferment. Many others in the diocese of Norwich refusing conformity, were prosecuted in the ecclesiastical courts. And Mr. Aldrich, with many others in the university of Cambridge, received much unchristian usage from the governing ecclesiastics. At the same time, John Townley, esq. a layman, was committed to prison for nonconformity, when Dean Nowell, his near kinsman, presented a petition to the president of the north and the Archbishop of York, for his release.:
The year 1574 was memorable for the suppression of the religious exercises, called prophesyings. Some of the bishops being persuaded of the usefulness of these exercises, discovered their unwillingness to put them down. This gave great offence to the queen, who addressed a letter to all the bishops in England, peremptorily commanding them to suppress them in their respective dioceses. Her majesty in this discovered a most despotic and tyrannical spirit. All the bishops and clergy in the nation must bow to her sovereign pleasure." This was the royal lady who renounced the infallibility of the Pope of Rome. In these exercises, the clergy were divided into classes, and each class was under the direction of a moderator appointed by the bishop of the diocese. They were held once a fortnight, when a portion of scripture formed the subject of discussion. They were holden publicly in the churches; and besides exposing the errors of popery, they were of unspeakable service in promoting a knowledge of the scriptures among the people. But the jealous archbishop looked upon them as the nurseries of puritanism, calling them vain prophesyings. They tended, in his opinion, to promote popularity, insubordination, and nonconformity. But the archbishop did not long survive. For he died May 17, 1575; when he was succeeded by Dr. Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of York. He was a prelate of rigid and cruel principles, and much concerned to establish an exact uniformity in outward things, to the neglect of more important matters.; During this year, a congregation of Dutch anabaptists was discovered, without Aldgate, London; twenty-seven of whom were apprehended and cast into prison, and four . bearing fagots at Paul's cross, recanted their opinions. Eight were banished from the kingdom, and two were condemned to the flames, and burnt in Smithfield. The Dutch congregation in London interceded for their pardon, as did Mr. Fox, the martyrologist; but the queen remained inflexible, and the two poor men perfumed Smithfield with their ashes.' - - Z"The puritans, under all their hardships, had many able friends at court, who stood firm in the cause of religious liberty. Therefore a committee was this year appointed by parliament to draw up a bill “For the Reformation of Church Discipline.” But, as before, the house most probably received a check for attempting to interfere in eligious matters." In the year 1576, many learned divines felt the vengeance of the ruling prelates. Mr. Harvy and Mr. Gawton, in
* Strype's Parker, p. 412, 413. + Ibid. p. 451, 452. # Baker's MS. Collec. vol. xxi. p. 382.
* Strype's Grindal, Appen. p. 85, 86. + Strype's Parker, p. 461.
# Though a late writer affirms that Archbishop Parker “was prudent, gentle, and patient;” Hume says “he was rigid in exacting conformity to the established worship, and in punishing, by fines or deprivation, all the puritanical clergymen, who attempted to innovate any thing in the habits, ceremonies, or liturgy of the church.”—Churton's Life of Notrell, p. 113. —Hume's Hist. of Eng. vol. v. p. 188.
§ See Art. Fox. | MS. Remarks, p. 463.