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and the old Book of Common Prayer, and for the establishment of a new one; but the queen being offended, forbad them to proceed." All the endeavours of the puritans proving ineffectual, and being wearied with repeated applications to their superiors, they began to despair of obtaining relief. Therefore, in one of their assemblies, they came to this conclusion: “That since the magistrates could not be induced to reform the discipline of the church, it was lawful, after waiting so many years, to act without them, and introduce a reformation in the best manner they could.” They had their private classes or associations in Essex, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, London, Cambridge and other places, when they consulted about the most proper means of promoting the desired object. And having revised their book, entitled “The Holy Discipline of the Church, described in the Word of God,” it was subscribed by above five hundred ministers, all divines of good learning, and of unspotted lives. # In the year 1587, Mr. Holmes, rector of Kenn, was driven from his flock and his living. Mr. Horrocks, vicar of Kildwick, in the West-Riding of Yorkshire, was convened before the high commission at York, committed to York castle, and enjoined a public recantation, for suffering Mr. Wilson, another puritan minister, to preach in his church, though it was his native place. Mr. Wilson was also convened, and cast into prison. After he had obtained his release, he was obliged to remove out of the archbishop's province; and going to London, he was called before Whitgift and suspended. Mr. Allison was twice suspended. Mr. Penry was summoned before the high commission and committed to prison. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Bainbrigg, both fellows in the university of Cambridge, and popular preachers, were cast into prison, where they continued a long time. Mr. Jewel was tried at the public assizes for nonconformity, and condemned to suffer five months' imprisonment. Mr. Wight was harassed for many years, when his study was broken open, searched, and his private papers carried away. Mr. Darrel and Mr. Moore were both cited before the high commission at Lambeth, when the former was deposed from his ministry, and committed close prisoner to the Gatehouse, and the latter close prisoner to the Clink, where they continued many years. Mr. Udal was summoned before the council, sent close prisoner to the Gatehouse, and not suffered to have pen, ink, or paper, or any one to speak to him. He was afterwards tried at the public assizes and condemned as a felon. Having received sentence of death, pardon was offered him if he would have recanted; but he continued firm to his principles, and died in the Marshalsea, as a martyr in the cause of religious liberty. The proceedings of the high commission against the afflicted puritans, now exceeding all bounds, men of the greatest eminence began even to question the legality of the court. But the archbishop, to get over this difficulty, and remove the odium from himself, sent the principal nonconformists, especially those possessed of worldly estates, to be prosecuted in the star-chamber." Indeed, several of the bishops, as well as many of the lords temporal, opposed these proceedings; and it appears from a list now before me, that upwards of one hundred and twenty of the house of commons, were not only averse to persecution, but zealous advocates for a reformation of the church, and the removal of those burdens under which the puritans groaned. Therefore, in 1588, a bill against pluralities and nonresidence passed the commons, and was carried up to the lords; but by the determined opposition of the zealous prelates, it came to nothing.f The puritans still continued to hold their associations. Many divines, highly celebrated both for learning and piety, were leaders in their assemblies, and chosen moderators: as, Messrs. Knewstubs, Gifford, Rogers, Fenn and Cartwright. At one of these assemblies, held at Coventry, it was resolved, “ That private baptism is unlawful.— That the sign of the cross ought not to be used in baptism.— That the faithful ought not to communicate with ignorant ministers.-That the calling of bishops is unlawful.— That it is not lawful to be ordained by them, nor to rest in their deprivation of any from the ministry.—And that for the restoration of ecclesiastical discipline, it ought to be taught the people, as occasion shall serve.” Some of the more zealous nonconformists about this time, published Martin Mar-Prelate, and other satirical pamphlets. + They were designed to expose the blemishes of the established church, and the tyrannical proceedings of the bishops. They contained much truth, but were clothed in very offensive language. Many of the puritans were charged with being the authors: as, Udal, Penry, Throgmorton, and Wigginton; but the real authors were never known. However, to put a stop to these publications, the queen issued her royal proclamation, “ For calling in all schismatical and seditious books, as tending to introduce monstrous and dangerous innovation, with the malicious purpose of dissolving the present prelacy and established church.”f The flame of contention betwixt the conformists and nonconformists, broke out this year with redoubled fury, when Dr. Bancroft, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, ventured to assert, that the order of bishops was superior to that of presbyters, by divine appointment, and that the denial of it was heresy. This new doctrine š was readily adopted by many, in favour of their high notions of episcopal ordination, and gave new fuel to the flame of controversy. They who embraced the sentiments of Bancroft, considered all ministers not episcopally ordained, as irregularly invested with the sacred office, as inferior to the Romish priests, and as mere laymen.] In the year 1590, the persecution of the puritans still raged with unabating fury. Many of the best divines were prosecuted with the utmost rigour in the high commission and the star-chamber. Mr. Hubbock and Mr. Kendal, two divines in great repute at Oxford, were cited before Whitgift, and suspended. Mr. Hildersham was prosecuted a second time in the high commission, and again suspended. He was obliged to enter into bonds not to preach in any art of England; and when restored he was not allowed, or some time, to preach at any place south of the river Trent. The celebrated Mr. Cartwright, with many of his brethren, endured much severe persecution. This divine having been prosecuted for nonconformity, was driven into a foreign land, where he remained several years in a state of exile. Upon his return for the benefit of his health, he was immediately apprehended, and, though in a very languishing condition, was cast into prison. At length, having obtained his liberty, he was suspended by his diocesan, and convened before the high commission, when thirty-one articles were exhibited against him. But refusing the oath ex officio, to answer these articles, he was immediately committed to the Fleet, with his brethren, Messrs. Stephen Egerton, Humphrey Fenn, Daniel Wight, Farmer, Edward Lord, Edmund Snape, Andrew King, Rushbrooke, Wiggins, John Field, Royde, John Payne, William Proudlove, Melancton Jewel, &c." Many others were summoned at the same time: as, Messrs. Henry Alvey, Thomas Edmunds, William Perkins, Edmund Littleton, John Johnson, Thomas Stone, Thomas Barber, Hercules Cleavely, and Andrew Nutter. These believing it to be their duty to take the oath, deposed many things relative to the associations, and thus became witnesses against their brethren; for which they were most probably released. But the others underwent many examinations; received much unkind treatment in the high commission and star-chamber; and they continued in rison several years. As this storm was gathering, Mr. Francis Kett, a man of some learning, and master of arts in one of the universities, was convened before the Bishop of Norwich; and for holding divers detestable opinions, as they are called, he was condemned and burnt near the city of Norwich. Such was the outrageous persecution in the reign of Queen Elizabeth ! In the year 1592, the nonconformists had many bold and zealous advocates in both houses of parliament. Mr. Attorney Morrice, a man of distinguished eminence, moved the house of commons to enquire into the inquisition and other proceedings of the bishops, contrary to the honour of God, the laws of the realm, and the liberty of the subject; compelling learned and godly ministers upon their own oaths, to accuse themselves, and to deprive, degrade and imprison them upon this accusation.” He also offered two bills to the house; the one against the oath ex officio, the other against the illegal proceedings of the bishops, in which he was warmly supported by Sir Francis Knollys and other famous statesmen. But the queen, by her own arbitrary command, forbad the house to discuss ecclesiastical matters, and charged the speaker, upon his allegiance, not to read the bills. Morrice was, at the same time, seized in the house, and carried prisoner to Tutbury castle, where he continued many years. The parliament having tamely yielded its own liberties and those of the subject, to the tyrannical power of the queen, passed one of the most unjust and inhuman acts for oppression and cruelty, that was ever known in a protestant country. It is entitled “An Act for the Punishment of Persons obstinately refusing to come to Church;” and enacts, “that all persons above the age of sixteen, refusing to come to church; or persuading others to deny her majesty's authority in causes ecclesiastical; or dissuading them from coming to church; or being found present at any conventicle or meeting under pretence of religion; shall upon conviction be committed to prison without bail, till they shall conform and come to church.” But in case such offenders should refuse to subscribe a most debasing recantation, it is further enacted, “That within three months, they shall ABJURE THE REALM and go into PER PETUAL BANIshMENT. And if they do not depart within the time appointed; or if they ever return without the queen's license, they shall suffer DEATH without BENEFIT of clergy.”f The case of the nonconformists was by this act worse than that of felons. Herein the queen exceeded the tyranny of Henry VIII. For absolute as that monarch was, he contented himself with punishing those who opposed the established religion by some overt act; but by this new statute, the subjects were obliged, under the heaviest penalty, to make an open profession of the established religion, by a constant attendance on its public service.”; The oppression of this statute fell chiefly upon the Brownists, who renounced all communion with the national
* MS. Remarks, p. 465. + Neal's Puritans, vol. i. p. 423.
* Fuller's Church Hist. b. ix. p. 187. + MS. Chronology, vol. ii. p. 417. (15.) f During the debate upon this bill in the upper houses, when it was signified that the queen would confer with the bishops upon the points contained in the bill, the celebrated Lord Gray said, “he greatly wondered at her majesty choosing to confer with those who were enemies to the reformation; and added, that he wished the bishops might be served as they were in the days of Henry VIII. when they were all thrust out of doors.”—Strype's Annals, vol. iii. p. 543.−Fuller's Church Hist. b. ix. p. 190. - ** § Strype's Annals, vol. iii. p. 470, 471.
* Fuller's Church Hist, b. ix. p. 194. + The bishops having cried out loudly against Martin Mar-Prelate, it was prohibited that no person should presume to carry it about him, upon pain of punishment. This the queen declared in the presence of the Earl of Leicester, who, pulling the book out of his pocket, and shewing it the queen, said, “what then will become of me?” But it does not appear that any thing was done.—Selection Harleim Miscel. p. 157. Edit. 1793. # Sparrow's Collec. p. 173. § The first English reformers admitted only two orders of church-officers, bishops and deacons, to be of divine appointment. They accounted a bishop and a presbyter to be only two names for the same office. But Bancroft, in his sermon at Paul's Cross, January 12, 1538, maintained, that the bishops of England were a distinct order from priests, and possessed a suporiority over them, jure divino. Mr. Strype thinks that Bancroft published this new doctrine under the instructions of Whitgift.—Strype's Whitgift, p. 292, | Mosheim's Eccl. Hist, vol. iv. p. 393.