[ocr errors]

and that nonresident ministers are ministers of antichrist. Declare as before, the circumstances thereof, and for what cause or consideration you have done this. Ans. “About six weeks since, I preached the lecture at Jppingham, being thereto appointed, taking for my text Col. i. 3–7. I then observed, as naturally arising from the words, that there was an equality among the ministers of Christ; and that Epiphras, the faithful minister of Christ, as mentioned in the text, was not a nonresident, and had not one charge in this country and another, in another country. I then spoke of the benefits of a faithful ministry, and said that the want of it is the cause of ignorance, superstition, atheism, conspiracy; and rebellion. And in the warmth of my zeal, seeing the book tolerateth an ignorant and unfaithful ministry, I said, “it is a vile book, fie upon it !’”* - Mr. Cawdrey delivered the above answers upon his oath, in the presence of Bishop Aylmer, Dr. Stanhope, and Dr. Walker. These spiritual rulers thus obliged the good man to take an oath, with a view of making him accuse himself. This was the constant practice of the high commission court. Mr. Cawdrey having given his answers to the charges brought against him, he was ordered to appear again in the month of December, to answer certain articles, mostly the

same as those already noticed. Upon his appearance at the

time appointed, after a long examination, without comin

to any conclusion, he was cited to o a thir

time in the month of February following. Upon his third appearance, being required to subscribe, and to enter into an engagement to wear the surplice, he refused, and was kept some time in a state of confinement. During his examination, the Bishop of London, urging him to wear the

surplice, thus addressed him :

Bishop. Suppose you were able to keep four or six

servants in livery, and one or two of them should refuse to

wear your livery, would you take it all in good part? Are

not we the queen's servants : And is not the surplice the

livery which she hath appointed to be worn ? And do you think she will be content if we refuse to wear it? Besides, the long prayer which you use before your sermons, is nothing but bibble babble, bibble babble. Cawdrey. Every kingdom divided against itself must needs come to desolation. So when protestants set themselves

[ocr errors]

against protestants, and deal more severely with them than . with papists, confusion must follow. . . . B. We do not deal hardly with you, but the laws of the realm. We are only ministers to execute the law. . . C. You turn those laws against us, which were made against the papists. Wethink it is very hard dealing that you and your brethren, the bishops, do punish us for not observing the Book of Common Prayer in every point, especially as neither you, nor most of the bishops in England, have observed it in all points these twenty-eight years. B. Wherein do we not observe it? C. Because you do not confirm children, as the book enjoins you to do. . By the book we are charged not to receive persons to the communion, until they have been confirmed by the bishop: so we are brought into a painful extremity, and must either offend God, by keeping the people from the communion, or the book, by admitting them without confirmation. If persons can examine themselves, and be able to give a reason of their faith, we may not, we dare not, refuse them the communion, though the book forbids us to admit them till after they have been confirmed by the bishop. - - B. Why, what canst thou say against it 2 C. More than can be said for it. For, you well know it is a popish ceremony, and not warranted by the word of God; therefore, you justly omit it. And why may not we omit other points, more superstitious and offensive than this, without being brought into trouble * ... B. You shall not depart unless you will subscribe to use the book in every point, and engage to wear the surplice. & C. These are things in which I am not yet resolved. I have not wore the surplice since I entered into the ministry; and if I could be persuaded to wear it, my parishioners would be offended, and all the papists and atheists in the country would triumph. Therefore, I pray you, give me sufficient time to deliberate upon it. B. I will, if you will give sufficient security for your appearance here next sitting. C. That I will do. B. But if thou go home, thou wilt confer with thy fellows, and they will persuade thee not to wear the surplice. Therefore, I will keep thee here, and will not let thee go.!

Here the bishop was much offended, and immediately suspended Mr. Cawdrey from preaching in any part of the kingdom. + MS. Register, p. 792–794.

Mr. Cawdrey being kept for some time in a state of confinement, was brought before the high commission, May 5, 1587. Though his case was not then considered; yet seeing a worthy minister out of Essex deprived, for not observing in every point the Book of Common Prayer, and not wearing the surplice; and fearing that he should himself soon share the same fate, he presented a supplication to his worthy friend and patron, the Lord Treasurer Burleigh. This supplication, dated May 10, 1587, was as follows:

“In most humble and dutiful manner, may it please your honour to be advertised, that as your poor orator, in November last, preaching a sermon at Uppingham, in a lecture regularly }. there, happened to speak against a point of the communion book, and was forthwith accused to the high commissioners; (though by whom he knoweth not) and being sent for by them, was compelled against the law to swear to answer such articles or interrogatories as they ministered unto him. This being done, your humble suppliant did appear again; and after conference with the Bishop of London, he suspended him from his ministry, and so hath been suspended these twelve weeks. And because your said orator hath so answered the said interrogatories, as that by law no advantage can be taken against him, the said bishop doth now urge him to subscribe, and wear the surplice; for refusing to do which, he threateneth to deprive your suppliant, as of late he hath done some others. And seeing that is the only living he hath enjoyed for above sixteen years, and was thereunto presented by your honour, may it please your good lord, even out of a tender regard to the cause of God and his poor suffering church, to extend your lawful favour towards him in this behalf, who hath behaved himself so honestly and uprightly during these sixteen years at Luffenham, every way according to his calling, and as becometh his profession; as, your honour allowing him a convenient time, he doubteth not to procure sufficient testimony from the worshipful and ministers of that county. And so your said orator shall be most dutifully bound to pray unto Almighty God for your good health, with much increase of honour, and your everlasting comfort. Your honour's most obedient servant,

“Robert CAwDREY.” The treasurer, upon the reception of this supplication,

:* Ms. Register, p. 796,797.

[ocr errors]

sent to the bishop, inquiring what were the charges against Mr. Cawdrey, and wishing to know the reasons of his hard dealing with him. He requested, at the same time, that his grace would send him the articles, and Mr. Cawdrey’s answers, before any further steps were taken. Notwith'standing this, Mr. Cawdrey appearing before the com‘mission the very same day, and his answers being read, the bishop demanded what he had to say. He then said, “If my answers there set down will not sufficiently acquit me of all accusations, I then crave, as I have a right to do, that I may enjoy the benefit of her majesty's gracious pardon.” Dr. Stanhope, the bishop's chancellor, observed, as there was an exception against him in the statute, that would do him no good. But the exception, replied Mr. Cawdrey, related to the papists and recusants only; and the statute being produced and examined, his statement was found correct. - - This disappointment being extremely vexatious to his tyrannical persecutors, the angry prelate addressing his brethren upon the commission, said, “It is no matter whether it be so, or not; he shall be sworn to answer new articles.” Accordingly, he was constrained to swear, and give direct answers to the two articles following:— “ Whether he would hereafter observe the Book of Common Prayer in every point, or not.—And whether he would wear the surplice, or not.” To the former of these articles, he said, “I will so far as I may according to the word of 'God, and with a good conscience.” . And to the latter, he said, “I am not yet resolved so to do.” The bishop then appointed him to appear again on the 30th of the same -month. But previous to his next appearance, the lord treasurer, after an impartial hearing of both parties, sent an express order to the bishop, to dismiss him, and trouble him no more. This was extremely galling to Aylmer, who replied, that as he was only one of the commission, he could do nothing without the other commissioners; adding, “he must appear on the day appointed, and we will consider his case according to equity and conscience.” 'But little equity and conscience was to be expected from (Bishop Aylmer and his brethren of the high commission. This will, indeed, appear before the close of the present narrative. - ... Mr. Cawdrey, in the above painful circumstances, made

-* MS. Register, p. 794, 795.

a second application to the treasurer, giving him a correct account of the bishop's proceedings, and further soliciting his favour and assistance. . His letter, dated nine days after the former, was as follows:* “My honourable lord, I am bound most humbly to thank God for your honourable and good favour in this my great vexation, having now for the space of more than nine weeks, been bound over to answer from time to time. It grieveth me to be importunate with you in the midst of so many of your affairs, especially as you are in a poor state of health, from which I beseech God to restore you; but, my good lord, my miserable state even forceth me. Notwithstanding your favourable message and letters to the Bishop of London in my behalf, he still keepeth me from performing those duties which I owe to God, my people, and my wife and children; and he seems as if he meant to wear me out. I having lately claimed before the high commission, the benefit of her majesty's gracious pardon, the bishop then caused me to take a new oath, and to answer new articles; namely, whether I would in every point observe the Book of Common Prayer; and whether I. would wear the surplice. These being answered, he appointed me to appear again the 30th of this month, when my case will be further considered. Will it, therefore, please your good lordship, even at this time, to use such means to procure my discharge, as to your godly wisdom shall appear most proper ? #. you, next under God, I fly for refuge in this case. I protest, I am not obstinate in any one thing, as He knoweth whom I am most loath to displease. I am your honour's, &c. “Robert CAwdney.” But the treasurer being sick, Mr. Cawdrey could receive no answer to the above letter; therefore, upon the arrival of the * he appeared again before the commission, hen he was called, and his accusations were read, the bishop asked him what he had to say against their proceeding to pronounce upon him the sentence of deprivation. “To which I answered,” says the good man, “that so far as my knowledge and counsel serve, I cannot see how you can deal so hardly with me. For if the rigour of the law should be extended against me for speaking against the book, the penalty, as set down in the statute, is only half a year's imprisonment, and the loss of my living to her

* MS. Register, p. 797.

« 上一頁繼續 »