Meet the Puritans

Andrew Willet, D. D.—

This learned and laborious divine was born the city of Ely, in the year 1562, and educated first in Peter-house, then in Christ’s college, Cambridge. He was blessed with pious parents, who brought him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. His father, Mr. Thomas Willet, was sub-almoner to King Edward VI., and a painful sufferer during the cruel persecutions of Queen Mary. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, he became rector of Barley in Hertfordshire, and was preferred to a prebend in the church of Ely. His son Andrew, while a boy at school, discovered an uncommon genius, and made extraordinary progress in the various rudiments of knowledge. He was so intense in his application, that his parents were obliged to use various methods to divert his attention from his books. At the age of fourteen, he was sent to the university, where he was soon preferred to a fellowship. Here he became intimate with Downham, Perkins, and other celebrated puritans, who encouraged each other in their studies. Willet soon distinguished himself by his exact acquaintance with the languages, the arts, and all the branches of useful literature. He was concerned not to have these things to learn, when he came forth to teach others; wisely judging that youth should prepare that which riper years must use. Among the anecdotes related of him while at Cambridge, shewing the promising greatness of his abilities, is the following:—” The proctor of the college being prevented, by some unforeseen occurrence, from executing his office at the commencement, just at hand, none could be found to take his place excepting Willet, who acquitted himself so well, that his orations gained him the approbation and applause of the university, and the high admiration of all who knew how short a time he had for preparation.” In the year 1586, he united with the master and fellows of Christ’s college, in defence of themselves against the accusations of their enemies, in which they acquitted themselves with great honour.

Having spent thirteen years at the university, he came forth richly traught with wisdom and knowledge. On the death of his father, the queen presented him to the rectory of Barley, and gave him his father’s prebend in the church of Ely. He entered upon his charge at Barley, January 29, 1598. Though he is said to have sought no other preferment, one of his name became rector of Reed in Middlesex, in the year 1613; and rector of Chishall-Parra in Essex, in 1620. We cannot, however, learn whether this was the same person. He studied to deserve preferments, rather than to obtain them. His own observation was, that some enjoy promotions, while others merit them. He always abounded in the work of the Lord, and accounted the work in which he was engaged as part of his wages. About the time that he entered the ministerial work, he married a near relation to Dr. Goad, by whom he had eleven sons and seven daughters.

Dr. Willet was a man of uncommon reading, having digested the fathers, councils, ecclesiastical histories, the civil and canon law, and numerous writers of almost all descriptions. Indeed, he read so much, and understood and retained what he had read so well, that he was denominated a living library. To secure this high attainment, he was extremely provident of his time. He constantly rose at a very early hour, by which means he is said to have got half way on his journey before others set out. He was laborious in the numerous duties of his ministry; and he greatly lamented the condition of those who sat under idle and ignorant ministers. He also often lamented the state of the prelates of those times, who, after obtaining rich livings, though they were men of talents and learning, would not stoop to labour for the welfare of souls. But he, as a faithful steward of Christ, constantly preached three times a week, and catechised both old and young throughout his parish. And though he was a man of most profound learning, had been some time chaplain to Prince Henry, and had frequently preached at court, his sermons and catechetical instructions were dressed in so plain and familiar a style, that persons of the weakest capacity might easily understand him. He esteemed those the best discourses which were best adapted to the condition of the people, and most owned of God: not those which were most decorated with human ornaments, and most admired among men. Though he could administer all needful reproof and warning to the careless and the obstinate; yet his great talent was to bind up the broken-hearted, and comfort the weary, fainting pilgrim.

His external deportment, at home and abroad, was inch as became his profession. He lived, as well as preached, the gospel. His house was the model of a little church and house of God; where morning and evening sacrifices were daily offered unto God. He had laws and ordinances set up in his house, directing all the members of his numerous family to the observance of their respective duties; and he was a pattern to them all in all things. His humility and benevolence were two of the brightest jewels in his crown. Though he had a numerous family of children, he did not consider that a sufficient reason for abridging his constant and extensive liberality. On the contrary, he was of the same mind as one of the fathers, who said, “The more children, the more charity.” And it is said of Dr. Willet, that his substance increased with his liberality. Many poor ministers tasted the sweetness of his bounty.

Dr. Willet obtained a great degree of celebrity by the numerous and valuable productions of his pen. One of his voluminous publications appeared in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, entitled, “Synopsis Papismi; or, a general View of Papistrie.” This work, which was dedicated to the queen, contains upwards of thirteen hundred pages in folio. It is perhaps the best refutation of popery that ever was published. In this work, says Mr. Toplady, no less than fifteen hundred errors and heresies are charged against the church of Rome, and most ably refuted. It passed through five editions; and was highly approved by many of the bishops; held in great esteem by the two universities; and very much admired, both by the clergy and laity, throughout the kingdom. The author, it is incorrectly added, was most zealously attached to the church of England, and not a grain of puritanism mingled itself with his conformity,

This celebrated divine continued his numerous and painful labours to the last. He used to say, “As it is most honourable for a soldier to die righting, and for a bishop or pastor praying; so, if my merciful God will vouchsafe to grant me my request, I desire that I may finish my days in writing and commenting on some part of scripture.”

Herein God gave him the desire of his heart. He was called to his father’s house, as he was composing his “Commentary on Leviticus.” Though he did not desire, as good Archbishop Leighton did, that he might die at an inn, the unerring providence of God had appointed that he should. The occasion of his death was a fall from his horse, as he was riding homewards from London, by which he broke his leg, and was detained at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, incapable of being removed. On the tenth day after his fall, having supped cheerfully the preceding evening, and rested well during the greatest part of the night, he awoke in the morning by the tolling of a bell, when he entered into sweet conversation with his wife about the joys of heaven. After singing with melody in their hearts to the Lord, and unitedly presenting their supplications to God, he turned himself in bed, and giving a deep groan, he fell into a swoon. His wife, being alarmed, immediately called in assistance; and upon the application of suitable means, he recovered a little, and raised himself up in bed, but immediately said, ” Let me alone. I shall be well, Lord Jesus;” and then resigned his happy soul to God, December 4, 1621, aged fifty-eight years. His funeral was attended by a great number of knights, gentlemen, and ministers, who, having esteemed and honoured him in life, testified their respect to his memory when dead. Though he wrote against the unmeaning and superstitious practice of bowing at the name of Jesus, and was a sufferer in the cause of nonconformity; yet, being so excellent a man, so peaceable in his behaviour, and so moderate in his principles, he was enabled to keep his benefice to the day of his death. “He was a person,” says Fuller,” of a sound judgment, admirable industry, a pious life, and bountiful above his ability He is classed among the learned writers and fellows of Christ’s college, Cambridgc. Mr. Strype denominates him a learned and zealous puritan.”!

Dr. Willet’s remains were interred in the chancel of Barley church, where there is a representation of him at full length, in a praying attitude; and underneath is a monumental inscription erected to his memory, of which the following is a translation

Here lies
Andrew Willet D.D.
once Minister of this Church,
and a great ornament of the Church in general.
He died
December 4, 1621, in the 59th
year of his age.

Reader, admire! within this tomb there lies
Willet, though dead, still living with the wise;
Seek you his house:—his polished works peruse,
Each valu’d page the living Willet shews:
All that of him was mortal rests below,
Nor can you tearless from the relics go.

Subjoined to the Latin inscription are the following lines in English:

Thou that erewhile didst such strong reasons frame,
As yet, great Willet, are the popelings shame;
Now by thy sickness thy death hast made,
Strong arguments to prove that man’s a shade.
Thy life did shew thy deep divinity,
Death only taught us thy humanity.

Giles Wigginton, A. M.

This zealous puritan was born at Oundle in Northamptonshire, educated in Trinity college, Cambridge, and, in 1566, made second scholar in the college. He went to the university under the patronage and recommendation of Sir Walter Mildmay, and was educated under Dr. Beaumont, master of the above college. Afterwards, he was chosen fellow of the house, though much opposed by Dr. Whitgift, then master of the college. He took his degrees in arts in 1571, having made great progress in the Knowledge of divinity and the Greek and Hebrew languages. He continued some years longer at Cambridge, and, when he quitted the university, was possessed of great learning and many excellent endowments.

Mr. Wigginton having completed his studies at the university, was presented to the vicarage of Sedburgh, in the North Riding of Yorkshire; but being a zealous nonconformist, he became a great sufferer in the common cause. In the year 1581, Archbishop Sandys, writing to the Bishop of Chester, in whose diocese our divine lived, thus reproaches his nonconformity:—” Your lordship,” says he, ” shall do well to better Mr. Wigginton, a young man very far out of frame; who, in my opinion, will not accept of you as his ordinary or bishop; neither would I accept of him being in your place, as a preacher of my diocese. He laboureth not to build, but to pull down, and, by what means he can, to overthrow the state ecclesiastical.” He probably thought the ecclesiastical state so far corrupted and decayed, that it was incapable of the amendment that was desired; and, therefore, he might wish and endeavour by all peaceable means, to have it pulled down, and a more pure discipline and government erected.

Being afterwards in London, he was appointed in the year 1584, to preach before the judges, in St. Dunstan’s church. ‘ Information of this coming to the ears of Whitgift, then Archbishop of Canterbury, he sent a pursuivant to Mr. Wigginton’s lodgings in the dead of the night; and, finding him in bed, forbade him preaching, and required him to give bond for his appearance the next day, at Lambeth. All this he did without any written warrant. Upon his appearance at Lambeth, and refusing the oath ex officio, to answer certain articles altogether unknown to him, the archbishop, after using much reviling and reproachful language, committed him to the Gatehouse, where he remained nine weeks within one day. At the expiration of this period, t he merciful archbishop released him, and gave him canonical admonition, charging him not to preach in his province without further license.

In the year 1585, upon the information of one Edward Middleton, a man of profane character, and a suspected papist, Whitgift gave orders to his brother Sandys of York, to proceed against Mr. Wigginton, even to deprivation. He was therefore cited before Chadderton, bishop of Chester, when twelve charges were exhibited against him; and, in the end, he was deprived of his ministry; and one Colecloth, a minister of immoral character, was sent to take possession of the living. Afterwards, by the favour and influence of several persons of quality, he was again restored.

In the year 1586, our divine, being in London, was again apprehended by one of Whitgift’s pursuivants, and carried before his grace at Lambeth ; who, for refusing the oath to accuse himself as before, committed him to the White-lion prison, where he was treated with the utmost barbarity. We shall give the account in his own words. “In the month of May,” says he, ” I was in London; and was sorely vexed by the archbishop’s pursuivants, who apprehended me, and took me to Lambeth. At Lambeth, I was shamefully reviled and abused by the archbishop and those about him, as if I had been the vilest rebel against my prince and country. He then committed me to the keeper of the prison in Southwark, who, by the archbishop’s strict charge, so loaded me with irons, confined me in close prison, and deprived me of necessary food, that in about five weeks, I was nearly dead.” Such were the unfeeling and inhuman proceedings of this persecuting arch-prelate.

While in this deplorable condition, Mr. Wigginton wrote to a certain nobleman, soliciting him to use his utmost endeavours to obtain his deliverance from suck cruel usage. In this letter, dated from the White-lion, June 1, 1586, he expressed himself as follows:—” I desire” you to make known my lamentable case to her majesty’s honourable privy council, or to her majesty herself, that ” the cause of my imprisonment may be examined, and that I may be delivered from this hard usage. For I desire justice, and not mercy, being conscious of my own “innocency. My old adversary, the archbishop, hath treated me more like a Turk, or a dog, than a man, or a “minister of Jesus Christ. I heartily commend you to God. Giles Wigginton.”

He further proceeds in this account of himself, and says, At length, my life being in so great danger, 1 was removed to another prison in London. And some time after this, I was brought again to Lambeth; when, for refusing to answer as before, after much slanderous usage, the archbishop suspended me from preaching in his province, and, in a certain way, deprived me of my living at Sedburgh: but for my final deprivation, he sent me to Sandys, archbishop of York.

“When by the extremity of my sickness in prison, I was constrained still to abide some time in the city; and when, in the opinion of learned physicians, I was on my death-bed, the archbishop sent two pursuivants, commanding me to appear before him again at Lambeth; which 1 being unable to do, he pronounced against me the sentence of deprivation and degradation. After my departure, the Earls of Warwick and Huntington, without my solicitation, did earnestly sue unto him for my restoration; but he absolutely refused, signifying, that he had already written to the patron of the living, for the presentation of another to the place.”

Upon Mr. Wigginton’s recovery from sickness, he returned to Sedburgh, and offered himself to preach in the church, but was refused the pulpit. He, therefore, preached in various places, and particularly in his own house, where he had a considerable assembly; and looking upon himself as the pastor set over the people by the Lord, he administered both the ordinances of the gospel. This coming to the knowledge of Whit gift, by his instigation an attachment was sent forth from Archbishop Sandys, ” To all justices, mayors, sheriffs, bailiffs, constables, and all other her majesty’s officers and subjects, within the province of York, or to any of them, to apprehend him, and commit him to the castle of Lancaster, in the province of York.” Accordingly, Mr. Wigginton being soon after on a journey, was apprehended at Boroughbridge, arrested by a pursuivant from the archbishop, and carried to Lancaster castle, being the distance of fifty miles, in a severe, cold winter. There he was shut up in close prison among felons and condemned prisoners, and more basely used than they, or the recusant papists. From hence he sent an account of his case to Sir Walter Mildmay, his worthy patron, and one of the privy council; wherein he expressed himself as follows

Right honourable and beloved in Christ.

“Since nay late deprivation at Lambeth, I have both preached and ministered the sacraments, to my flock at Sedburgh; nor could I find any rest in my conscience till I had done this. And as I have not depended on any man’s opinion, in what I have done, so the Lord hath abundantly blessed me with heavenly comforts in my own soul, and under my painful sufferings ; and abundantly blessed my labours among those whom he committed to my care.

“I have turned my back upon those antichristian and unlawful proceedings which were used against me, my ministry, and my flock. This was necessary in these days of prelatical and popish superstition. But I must inform you, that as I was lately on my journey as far as Boroughbridge, my wife big with child, and the other branches of my family being with me, 1 was there arrested by a pursuivant, and brought to this place, a distance of fifty miles, in this cold winter. The chief cause of this usage, is my preaching and administrating the sacraments among my flock, after my deprivation. Dr. Sandys used me hardly, in causing me, and those who were with me, to remain four days at Boroughbridge, and in sending me this distance, to this noisome prison, in cold winter, when there were better prisons near at hand. I am here within the iron gate, in a cold room, among felons and condemned prisoners, and in various ways, worse used than they, or recusant papists. Therefore, my suit to your honour, is, that it would please your honour to use some means, as God shall direct you, whereby 1 may be delivered out of the hands of my cruel enemies. And that it may please your honour to further the reformation of our English church, especially in this present parliament; that the faithful ministers of Christ may not be silenced by the prelates; that good christians may not be brought into trouble, for refusing those rites and ceremonies which are the inventions of men; and that a learned and godly minister may be appointed to every congregation.

You are now one of the oldest nobles in our land. Your days are few and wearing out; therefore, let them be spent to the honour of Christ. Thus we shall pray for you, while you live, and esteem your posterity when you are with Christ in the kingdom of heaven. The Lord both guide and bless your honour, and his whole church. From Lancaster castle, February 28, 1587.

” Giles Wigginton, pastor of Sedburgh.”

It does not appear what effect was produced by the above letter, nor how long Mr. Wigginton remained a close prisoner; but in about two years, he was brought into other troubles by Whitgift, his old adversary. In the month of December, 1588, being in London, the archbishop’s pursuivant apprehended him at his lodgings, while he was in bed, and carried him to Lambeth, upon suspicion of being one of the authors of Martin Mar-Prelate. At Lambeth, he appeared before the Archbishop, the Bishop of Winchester, Dr. Aubery, Dr. Cosin, Dr. Goodman, and other high commissioners; when he underwent the following examination:

Archbishop. There is a book, called Martin MarPrelate, a vile, seditious, and intolerable book; and you are suspected to be one of its authors. Therefore, you are to swear what you know concerning it.

Wigginton. You do well to let me know what I have to swear to. But let me know, also, who are my accusers. For I do not mean to accuse myself.
A. We will take your answers upon your word alone. What say you to these articles following? Have you any of those books? or have you read or heard any of them read, or any part of them, at any time ?
W. 1 will not answer to accuse myself. Let my accusers stand forth and proceed against me. You have known my mind upon this point, many years.
A. Have you had any of them, and how many? How came you by them? What did you do with them? In whose hands are they. And by whose means did you obtain them?
W. I had rather accuse myself, than other persons; but I will accuse neither. Let mine accusers, and proper witnesses according to the laws of God and the realm, proceed against me. I expect no comfort in accusing myself, or my neighbour.
A. Have you bought, sold, given, dispersed, handled, or any way dealt in any of them? and in what sort ?
W. I account it as unnatural for mc to’ accuse myself, as to thrust a knife into my thigh. The matter, I understand, is doubtful and dangerous; therefore, I will accuse neither myself nor others. “In the mouth of two or three witnesses, let every word be established.” The heathen judge said,” 1 will hear thee when thine accusers are come.”
A. Do you know the author, writer, or printer of that book? Did you make or help to make, write, or print it, or any part of it, or see tiny part of it before it was printed?
W. I did neither make, write, nor print it, nor any part of it, nor see any part of it before it was printed.
A. Did you not deliver some copies of it in the country, one to Mr. Moore, and another to Mr. Cartwright?
W. I understand, what you well know, that many lords, and other persons of quality, have obtained and read the book. And supposing 1 have done the same, it will, in my opinion, be more to your credit, to examine all sorts about it, and not poor persons only, according to your custom.
A. Whom do you believe, think, suspect, or conjecture, to be the author, writer, or printer of it, or any part of it, or any way helper towards it? Did you make: any oath, or vow, or promise, to conceal the same?
W. What I believe, think, suspect, or conjecture, or have vowed or promised, I am not bound to make known. I answer as before, I would rather accuse myself, than my neighbour.
A. What printing press, or furniture for printing, have you known, within the two years last past?
W. I know of none, as 1 told you before.
A. Yes, but you are verily suspected of it. Public fame is against you.
W. I thank God, I am not infamous; nor will I borrow of any man. But, by the grace of God, I will live a true subject, the benefit of whom I claim, and wish to enjoy.
A. But what do you say about the case of Atkinson of Sedburgh, as mentioned in the book? Did not you minister this report of Atkinson, nor any thing else towards the book? Have you the note of Atkinson’s hand for it, or who hath it?
W. I did not minister any such thing. For if I had done it, I would have reported the same story in another form. Atkinson told it to many others besides me, whose names I reserve in silence.
A. Did you not say to the pursuivant, as you came in the boat, that you had seen the second Martin, called “The Epitome?”
W. Let the pursuivant stand forth, and accuse me, if he will.
Bishop. You have preached pernicious doctrine.
W. What do you mean by pernicious doctrine? I preach that doctrine which promotes the glory of God, and the salvation of his people.
B. We have the queen’s authority and commission in our hands.
W. I pray for you, that you may do well; but this I tell you, that while I profess to serve God, all that 1 do is not the service of God: so while you challenge the queen’s authority and commission, all that you do is not the queen’s authority and commission.
A. The papists answer altogether like you.
W. The papists eat bread, and so do I: and I fear not to do like them in any good thing. Yet I hope you will make a difference betwixt me and papists,
A. Not in that point.
W. It is well known that you mistake my design, and I yours; but I wish you well. A. I care not for your wishes.
W. My wishes and prayers, though they be sinful, will do you no harm.
A. I desire them not, and would be loath to come under them.
W. Love me not the worse for being plain with you. Cosin. No, you are not so plain; for you do not directly answer.
W. Martin himself, I understand, will come forth, and defend his matters, if he may have fair trial. A. Record that, Mr. Hartwell.
W. It is well known that I am as ready to read and lend that book as any person, in a good and lawful manner. Yet I will not accuse myself, and thus do myself hurt, and you no good. And I would rather have to speak well, than ill of you hereafter.
Goodman. If we be ill, whom do you mean?
W. All are ill, and need reformation.
Aubery. Did not you tell Mr. Martin, your keeper at the Compter, that he could not find out the author of the book?
W. Mr. Martin is a simple man, and imagines from the title of the book, that I am the author.
A. Is Mr. Perry then the author of the “Demonstration,” or of Martin Mar-Prelate ?
W. I think he is not. And I think you are greatly deceived in charging him with it.
A. There are many lies in Martin.
W. You must then confute them.
A. You despise the high commission. Why do you wear a cloak above your gown? –
W. – As a woman just come out of child-bed, I am just come out of the Compter, and dress thus, fearing the cold.
A. You make a wise comparison of yourself. Such women must be kept warm.
W. Then let them be kept warm.
The commissioners having finished the examination of Mr. Wigginton, and finding him, after using all the inquisition their wits could devise, unwilling to accuse himself 6r others, they dismissed him from their presence, while they consulted what they should do. And being again called in, the meek and lowly archbishop thus addressed him:—” Forasmuch as you have refused to swear, and to answer as we have required you, and so, by law, have confessed yourself to be guilty of the accusations charged against you; and as you have at sundry times, and in divers ways, shewed your contempt of our ecclesiastical authority, and of this our high commission, which the queen bath given unto us, and which you shall obey and yield unto, before I have done with you; therefore, your former enlargement shall now be taken away, and you shall be kept close prisoner in the Gatehouse, until you shall yield in these matters; and when you are so disposed, you may send us word. In the mean time go your way. Away with him pursuivant.” He was then carried to the Gatehouse, where he remained a long time; and though repeated intercessions were made to the archbishop for his release, it was all to no purpose. Mr. Wigginton was a pious man, a zealous minister, and a learned divine, and was living in the year 1591; but he most probably continued in the Gatehouse for several years, until the general banishment of the puritans.

This great sufferer in the cause of nonconformity, during his confinement in prison, had some correspondence with Hacket, the zealous enthusiast, who is said to have devised mad plots against the government; for which he was hanged, drawn and quartered. Whatever acquaintance or correspondence he had with this man, he never approved of his opinions and practice. However, from his slight connection with Hacket, Coppinger, and Arthington, his memory has suffered greatly from the scurrilous pen of Dr. Cosin, one of the high commission in the above examination; and herein he is followed by other historians.* On this account, it will be proper to give a circumstantial statement of the case, even allowing his enemies to be judges.

That Wigginton held correspondence with these men in the matters of their conspiracy, and that there was mutual correspondence betwixt him and them in all their plots for advancing their discipline, is manifest, says our author, by the confession of Arthington, who said, “That he heard Hacket singing certain songs, who wished that Arthington had some of them. For it was a very special thing, and, said he, Mr. Wigginton hath a great many of them.” This is one evidence of their mutual and united conspiracy!

Coppinger, it is said, had once a conference with Wigginton, in the presence of Arthington, concerning his extraordinary calling. On this occasion, Mr. Wigginton refused to be made acquainted with Coppinger’s secrets, saying, “You are known to be an honest gentleman, and sworn to the queen, and therefore I will not be acquainted with those things which God hath revealed unto you for the good of your sovereign.” Hacket also declared, that he heard Mr. Wigginton say, “That if the magistrates do not govern well, the people might draw themselves together, and see to a reformation.” This dangerous opinion, it is said, may be gathered from one of his letters, in which he said, “Mr. Cartwright is in the Fleet, for refusal of the oath, and Mr. K. is sent for, and sundry worthy ministers are disquieted. So that we look for some bickering ‘ere long, and then a battle, which cannot long endure.” Coppinger and Arthington told Wigginton, “That reformation and the Lord’s discipline should now forthwith be established, and therefore charged him in the Lord’s name, to put all christians in comfort, that they should see a joyful alteration in the state of church government shortly.”
They also told him, “That they were provoked to pronounce him the holiest minister of all others, tor dealing so plainly and resolutely in God’s cause above all ministers, which God would manifest one day to his comfort.” At another time, they came to him and said, “We are come to you now to bring you certain news of great comfort, viz. That we have seen Jesus Christ this day, in lively and extraordinary shape or fashion presented unto us, not in his body; for he sitteth at the right hand of God in heaven, until the last judgment; but in his effectual or principal spirit, whereby he dwelleth in William Hacket, more than in any creature upon the earth.”* Such are the grievous crimes with which Mr. Wigginton is charged! These facts, with a few others equally ridiculous, contain all the evidence of his uniting with Hacket and his companions, in their mad plots to overturn the government! As our information is from the pen of one of his bitterest enemies and Eersecutors, we may presume it is not given at all in is favour, but in some degree to his disadvantage: the impartial reader will, therefore, judge for himself, bow far he was guilty.

After the most minute investigation, it appears to me that Mr. Wigginton’s character and memory have suffered great injury from the above bigotted historian, and from those who imitated his example. One of them, speaking of Hacket and his companions, observes, ” that one of this good brotherhood was Wigginton, as brainsick a teacher as any of the club, and as staunch an enemy to government.” The reader will easily perceive the injustice and falsehood of this representation. For, if this statement be correct, why did not his enemies proceed against him, as well as against the other conspirators? They were in possession of all the evidence that ever appeared against him, and he was now a prisoner in the Gatehouse; why then did they not punish him according to his deserts? This, surely, was not owing to their loo great Unity, or their want of inclination.

During Mr. Wigginton’s imprisonment, he published two pamphlets. One was on “Predestination;” the other was entitled “The Fools Bolt; or, a Fatherly Exhortation to a certain Young Courtier.” The latter is said to have been “conceived into an halting rhyme;” and written chiefly against the governors of the church.

John Browning, D. D. —

This learned divine was senior fellow of Trinity college, Cambridge, and afterwards domestic chaplain to the Earl of Bedford, but was deprived of his fellowship for his puritanical opinions. Having delivered a sermon in St. Mary’s church, in which were contained certain heretical opinions, as they were called, he was convened, February 1, 1572, before the heads of colleges, and commanded to abstain from preaching, till he should be purged from his dangerous heresy. Under these circumstances, he looked upon it to be his duty to obey God, rather than men, and therefore refused to obey their command, and still continued in his beloved work of preaching; on which account he was cast into prison for contempt. Whatever were the pretended charges of his enemies, his principal crime was his nonconformity.

Dr. Browning having remained for some time in prison, was at length released, upon giving bond of two hundred marks, and obtaining two sureties bound in forty pounds each, for his appearance to answer such charges as should be alleged against him, and to abstain from preaching till further leave should be granted. Being called before his spiritual judges, they resolved, ” that if the said John Browning shall from time to time appear and answer, when and wheresoever he shall be lawfully called within the realm of England, to all such matters as shall be objected unto him, touching certain words uttered by him in two sermons, for which he hath been convened before the said vice-chancellor, until he shall be lawfully discharged; and also shall abstain from preaching, until he shall be permitted or called by the said vice-chancellor, or his deputy, or successors: And further, shall behave himself quietly and peaceably towards the queen’s majesty, and all her subjects, and especially within the university of Cambridge, that then the recognizance to be void and of no effect, or else to stand and remain in its full power and strength.” The day following, Dr. Bying, the vice-chancellor, sent a statement of his crimes, with an account of the above proceedings, to Lord Burleigh the chancellor.

Dr. Browning himself, after his release from prison, appeared before the chancellor, subscribed a submission with his own hand, and was so far acquitted that he was sent back to the university, and the vice-chancellor and heads were urged to re-admit him to his former office and preferment. But this will best appear in Burleigh’s own words, addressed to the vice-chancellor and heads, which were as follows:—” Having received from you a declaration of two errors committed by this bearer, John Browning, in his sermons, one of them containing matter of heresy, and the other tending to sedition, I have caused him to be further examined hereupon, in the presence of Sir Thomas Smith, her majesty’s principal secretary; and finding as well by the relation of Mr. Secretary, as by his own confession subscribed with his hand, that he utterly abhorreth them both, and affirmeth that he hath been much mistaken in the same, I thought it best, for preserving the university’s reputation, and for the reverence of the church of God, wherein he is a minister, to suppress the memory and notice of the said errors, especially that which may be drawn to an interpretation that he should be justly thought seditious and offensive. Therefore, my advice is, that you should receive him again into his place; and if he shall willingly acknowledge before you the same doctrine, and misliking of the foresaid errors, whereof I mean to send you his confession under his hand, and then he may continue quietly among you.”

Though he returned to his office in the college, and to his public ministerial exercise, his troubles were not over. Having taken his doctor’s degree at Oxford, two years earlier than he ought to have done, brought upon him many fresh trials. For this singular offence, which some deemed a mere trifle, and others accounted a very grievous crime, he was deprived of his fellowship, and in effect expelled from the university. This oppressive sentence was inflicted upon him in a most clandestine and illegal manner by Dr. Still, and even above four years after taking his degree at Oxford. This was done a long time after Dr. Still had signified his approbation of his taking the degree, by allowing him to deliver public lectures in the chapel, according to the statute of the university, and by allowing him to be incorporated in the same degree at Cambridge. He also confirmed to Dr. Browning his fellowship and place in the college, not only by suffering him quietly and peaceably to enjoy it, with all the privileges thereof, for more than three years, but also elected him by his own voice to be senior bursar of the college, and to be vice-master for two years by two separate elections.

Moreover, Dr. Still’s conduct was in many particulars most shameful. He proceeded against Dr. Browning with great injustice and inhumanity. Not content with illegally depriving him of his office and benefice, he would not suffer him to dine in the hall of the college, nor any one to eat or drink with him. When Dr. Browning kept his chamber in the college, this inveterate enemy would not permit any of his friends or acquaintance to come to him, or converse with him; and those of his friends who had any private intercourse with him, he strictly examined by threatenings and oaths to confess what had passed, with a view to accuse them from their own mouths. He also complained in this case to a foreign judge, expressly contrary to the statute of the college. And though he caused the name of Dr. Browning to be struck out of the buttery, he commenced an action of £300 against him, merely on supposition that he had done the same by him. He, moreover, procured a restraint of Dr. Browning’s liberty, by watching him and keeping him in his chamber for some time as in a prison. Not satisfied with these tyrannical proceedings, he assaulted Dr. Browning’s lodgings in a most violent manner, and broke open his doors, and dragged him out of his chamber, to the great injury of his body; notwithstanding the Earl of Bedford by his letters had previously required all proceedings against him to be stayed, till the cause should be heard. To finish the business, this cruel oppressor of the Lord’s servants prohibited Dr. Browning’s pupils, servants and friends, from coming near him, or bringing him any thing to eat or drink, intending to starve him to death.

During these rigorous and illegal proceedings, the Earl of Bedford, as intimated above, wrote to the Chancellor Burleigh, desiring his lordship not to give his consent to the sentence pronounced upon Dr. Browning, till after he had heard both parties. He spoke, at the same time, in high commendation of his character; that he had good experience of his sound doctrine, his useful preaching, and exemplary conversation, saying, that his deprivation was hard dealing. If his deprivation of his fellowship was hard dealing, what must all the other proceedings have been ? These troubles came upon him in the year 1584: but we do not find that this persecuted servant of Christ obtained any relief.

Humphrey Fenn.

This most learned and venerable divine was several years minister at Northampton, and above forty years a laborious and faithful preacher in Coventry, and uncommonly successful in his ministry; yet he underwent many troubles for nonconformity. While in the former situation, he experienced the cruel oppressions of the times, and was apprehended and committed to close prison, where he remained a long time. During his confinement, the inhabitants at Northampton presented a supplication to Queen Elizabeth, humbly and earnestly beseeching her majesty to grant his release, and his restoration to his beloved ministry. In this supplication they affirmed upon their dutiful allegiance, that during his abode in that place, he had lived an honest and a peaceable life, and gave a high character of his diligence in preaching, his obedience to God, and to those in authority. It does not appear, however, whether this application was at all successful. It is very probable he never returned to his charge at Northampton.
Having at length obtained his release, he most probably entered upon his ministerial charge in the city of Coventry. The oppressed puritans being desirous to be eased of their heavy burdens, Mr. Fenn was unanimously chosen by the London ministers, to accompany the Earl of Leicester, in a presentation of their afflictions and desires to those in authority; but with what success, we have not been able to learn. He consented to this appointment, saying “that he was ready to run, whenever the church commanded him.” It is said to have been his opinion, that impropriations, which were attached to her majesty, to colleges, &c. ought to be set to the pastors; and that all tythes, which are appendages by some composition, should be paid to the ministers in specie. It is also observed, that he accounted it unlawful to receive the sacrament at the hands of a dumb minister, or to attend the ordinary service of the church without a sermon.
Upon the publication of Whitgift’s three articles, and the persecutions which followed, he was cited to Lambeth, and, refusing to subscribe, was immediately suspended. When he appeared before the archbishop, he was urged by many arguments, to subscribe; and he, on the contrary, endeavoured to answer those arguments, stating his reasons for refusal. This was as follows:
Archbishop. Your subscription is required by the statute of 13 Eliz.
Fenn. That statute extendeth no further than the confession of christian faith, and the doctrine of the sacraments.
A. There is provision in the statute of 7 Eliz., that the queen, with her high commissioners, or the archbishop, may take further order.
F. The proviso of 7 Eliz. can have no relation to 13 Eliz., which was some years after. And the proviso expresseth how far it is to be extended: not to taking away and establishing ceremonies.
A. But so much of the canon law is still in force, as is not contrary to God’s word; and you have promised canonical obedience.
F. But the question is, whether the things required be agreeable to God’s word? And not only so, there is no canon which requires us to subscribe to the judgment of our ordinary.
A. That I allow; but the law hath charged the bishop to see that all things for the ministry be duly observed, as by law established; and I take this order for the more effectual execution of things already established.
F. Your care and diligence in the execution of laws must be according to law, and not contrary to law; that is, by admonition, by suspension, by sequestration, or by deprivation, as the case may require. But these proceedings are not according to law; but an inquisition into our hearts and consciences, for which there is no law.
A. I make this a decree and order for the whole of my province, and, therefore, is to be observed as if it had been made before.
F. No one person, nor any number of persons, hath authority to make decrees or constitutions, except in convocation; which must be called together by the king’s writ: As 25 Henry VIII. and 1 Eliz., which is entitled, ” The Submission of the Clergy.”
A. I have the queen’s consent.
F. But that consent was not according to law provided in this behalf. Nor was it done in convocation.
A. I have the consent of my brethren and some others.
F. That was not according to the order of convocation, wherein we are to have our free choice of clerks.
Mr. Fenn remained under suspension a long time, during the whole of which period his cure was totally neglected. But by the kind favour of the Earl of Leicester, as appears from his letter to the archbishop, dated July 14, 1585, he was at length restored to his ministry, when he returned to his charge in Coventry. The same honourable person also promised, that he would treat with the bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, to obtain his favourable allowance. Though this excellent divine might probably enjoy peace and quietness for a season, his troubles were not ended. In the year 1591, an information was exhibited against him and many of his brethren, for being concerned in the classis, atending their associations, and subscribing the “Book of Discipline;” when they were all apprehended, and committed to prison. A circumstantial account of these proceedings, together with their examinations and endeavours to procure their deliverance, is given in another place. These worthy sufferers, during their confinement, presented a long letter to the queen, dated April, 1592, in vindication of their own innocency.t It does not, indeed, appear how long a time they remained in prison, after that period.
Upon Mr. Fenn’s release, he most probably returned to Coventry, where he spent the rest of his days. He died in a firm attachment to those principles for which he suffered. Mr. Clark observes, that he was famous for his ministry and nonconformity in the city of Coventry; and that in his last will and testament, he made so full and open a protestation against the hierarchy and ceremonies, that when his will was tendered to be proved, the prelates, or those of their party, would not allow it to have a place among the records of the court.

John Fox, A. M.

This celebrated man, usually denominated the English Martyrologist, was born of respectable parents at Boston in Lincolnshire, in the year 1517. His father dying when he was young, and his mother marrying again, he came under the guardianship of his father-in-law. At the age of sixteen, he was sent to Brazen-nose college, Oxford; and afterwards he became fellow of Magdalen college, in the same university. In the days of his youth, he discovered a genius and taste for poetry, and wrote several Latin comedies, upon subjects taken from the scriptures.

For some time after his going to the university, Mr. Fox was strongly attached to the superstitions and errors of popery. He was not only zealous for the Romish church, and strictly moral in his life, but rejected the doctrine of justification by faith in the imputed righteousness of Christ, and concluded himself to be sufficiently safe by trusting in the imaginary merit of his own self-denial, penances, alms deeds, and compliance with the ceremonies of the church. Afterwards, by the blessing of God upon his studies, he was delivered from this self-righteousness, and led to submit himself to the righteousness of Jesus Christ. And by his indefatigable researches into ecclesiastical history, together with the writings of the fathers, but especially by his thorough acquaintance with the holy scriptures, he was convinced of the immense distance to which the church of Rome had departed from the faith, and spirit, and practice of the gospel.

In order to make himself a more competent judge of the controversy, which now began to be warmly discussed betwixt protestants and papists, he searched all the ancient and modern histories of the church with indefatigable assiduity. His labours to find out the truth were indeed so great, that, before he was thirty years of age, he read all the Greek and Latin fathers, all the schoolmen, and the decrees of councils, and made considerable progress in other branches of useful knowledge. During this close application, he avoided all kinds of company, and betook himself to the most solitary retirement, often spending whole nights in his study. At length, from this strict and severe application, having forsaken his old popish friends, and from the dubious manner in which he spoke, when he was obliged to five his opinion on religious subjects, but, above all, from is sparing attendance on the public worship of the national church, in which he had been remarkably strict, he was suspected of alienation from her constitution and ceremonies, and being infected with heresy.

Mr. Fox having found the truth, soon became bold and courageous in the profession of it, even in those dark times of popery. He chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God in the cause of truth, than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Being deeply impressed with the declaration of our Lord, “Whosoever is ashamed of me, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father, with his holy angels;” he determined to venture the loss of all things for the sake of Christ; and, therefore, openly professed himself a protestant. This he had no sooner done, than he was publicly accused of heresy, and expelled from the college. His adversaries, indeed, thought they dealt favourably in suffering him to escape with his life. This was in the year 1545. Wood, by mistake, says, he resigned his fellowship, and left the university, to avoid expulsion.

Mr. Fox being expelled from the university, lost the favour of his friends and relations. As he was convicted of heresy, they thought it unsafe, and were therefore unwilling, to countenance or protect him. His father-in law, in particular, seized this opportunity of withholding from him the estate which his own father had left him. While he was thus forsaken and oppressed, God, in the hour of extremity, raised up an unexpected friend and patron, in Sir Thomas Lucy of Warwickshire. This worthy person took him into his house, and made him tutor to his children. Here he found a comfortable asylum from the storm of persecution. While in this situation, he married a citizen’s daughter of Coventry, but still continued in Sir Thomas’s family till his pupils were grown up. Afterwards, with some difficulty, he procured entertainment sometimes at the house of his father-in-law, and sometimes at the house of his wife’s father in Coventry, till a little before the death of King Henry VIII., when he removed to London.

For a considerable time after his removal to the metropolis, having no employment, nor yet any preferment, he was again reduced to extreme want. However, by the kind providence of God, he was at length relieved, in the following remarkable manner: As he was sitting one day in St. Paul’s church, his countenance being pale, his eyes hollow, and like a ghastly, dying man, a person, whom he never remembered to have seen before, came and sat down by him, and accosting him with much familiarity, put a sum of money into his hand, saying, ” Be of good comfort, Mr. Fox. Take care of yourself, and use all means to preserve your life. For, depend upon it, God will, in a few days, give you a better prospect, and more certain means of subsistence.” Though he could never learn from whom he received this seasonable relief, within three days of that memorable event, he was taken into the family of the Duchess of Richmond, to be tutor to the Earl of Surrey’s children, whose education was committed to her care.

Mr. Fox continued in this honourable family, at Ryegate in Surrey, during part of the reign of Henry VIII., the whole of Edward VI., and part of Queen Mary’s. Bishop Gardiner, a most bloody persecutor, in whose diocese he found so comfortable and safe a retreat, would have brought him to the stake, had he not been protected by the Duke of Norfolk, who had been one of his pupils. Mr. Fox, it is said, was the first person who ventured to preach the gospel at Ryegate; and with deep concern, Gardiner beheld the heir to one of the noblest families in England, trained up, under his influence, to the protestant religion. This prelate formed various designs against the safety of Mr. Fox; and sought by numerous stratagems, to effect his ruin. The good man, who was less suspicious of the bishop, than the bishop was of him, was obliged, at length, to quit his native country, and seek refuge in a foreign land. The duke, who loved and revered him as a father, sheltered him from the storm as long as he was able; and when Mr. Fox was obliged to flee for safety, he took care to provide him with every comfortable accommodation for the voyage.

He set sail from Ipswich, accompanied by his wife, and some other persons, who left the country on a similar account. The vessel had no sooner got to sea, than a tremendous storm arose, which obliged them to return to port next day. Having with great difficulty reached the land, Mr. Fox was saluted with indubitable information, that Bishop Gardiner had issued warrants for apprehending him, and that the most diligent search had been made for him, during his absence at sea. He, therefore, prevailed upon the master of the ship to put to sea again, though the attempt was extremely dangerous; and in two days, they arrived at Newport in Flanders. Thus, by the kind providence of God, he a second time, narrowly escaped the fire.

After his arrival in Flanders, Mr. Fox travelled to Antwerp, then to Frankfort in Germany; where he was involved in the troubles excited by the officious and unkind proceedings of Dr. Cox and his party.t The first settlers at Frankfort being driven from the place, Mr. Fox removed to Basil in Switzerland, to which city many of his fellow exiles accompanied him. Basil was then one of the most famous places in Europe, for printing; and many of the English refugees, who retired thither, procured their subsistence by revising and correcting the press. By this employment, Mr. Fox maintained himself and his family. Also, at Basil, he laid the plan of his “Acts and Monuments of the Martyrs,” which he afterwards, with immense labour, finished in his own country. Mr. Strype is, however, very incorrect when he intimates that our author published his first book while he was in a state of exile.

Having mentioned the above celebrated work, commonly called Fox’s “Book of Martyrs,” it will be proper to give some account of this fruit of his Herculean labour. We have already observed that the author directed his attention to this work) during his residence at Basil; but he reserved the greatest part of it till his return to his native country, that he might procure the authority and testimony of more witnesses. It appears from the author’s own notes, that he was eleven years in compiling this great work; and in this, as well as in some others of his labours, Mr. Fox was favoured with the particular assistance of several distinguished persons. Among these were Mr. John Aylmer,

afterwards Bishop of London; Mr. Edmund Grindal, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury; and Mr. Thomas Norton, afterwards a celebrated lawyer, member of parliament, and a noted puritan, who married the only daughter of Archbishop Cranmer. From the last of these, our author is said to have derived the greatest assistances It also appears that Grindal, besides his constant counsel and advice in the course of the work, supplied our author with numerous materials, which, when he had digested and methodized them, were of great use to him. During Grindal’s exile, he established a correspondence in England for this purpose, by which means, accounts of most of the acts and sufferings of those who were persecuted in Queen Mary’s reign, came to his hands; and it is said to have been owing to Grindal’s strict and tender regard to truth, that the work Was so long in hand; for he rejected all common reports and relations that were carried over, till more satisfactory evidence could be procured. It was by his advice, that Mr. Fox at first printed separately the acts of some particular persons, of whom any sure and authentic memoirs came to hand, till materials for a more complete history of the martyrs, with their persecutions and sufferings, could be obtained. In pursuance of this advice, Mr. Fox published at Basil, various histories of the English bishops and divines, in single pieces, soon after their respective persecutions and martyrdoms.

Mr. Fox at first undertook to publish his laborious work in Latin; but by the advice of Grindal, it was printed in Latin and English, for more general usefulness. It was published in London in 1563, in one thick volume folio, with this title, « Acts and Monuments of these latter perillous days touching matters of the Church, wherein are comprehended and described the great persecutions and horrible troubles that have been wrought and practised by the Romish prelates special ye in this realm of England and Scotland, from the year of our Lorde a thousand unto the time now present,” &c. A fourth edition was printed in London in 1583, in two volumes folio, and it was reprinted in 1632, in three volumes folio. The ninth edition was printed in London in 1684, in three volumes folio, with copper cuts, the former editions having only wooden ones. To this edition there is frequent reference in the present volume.

Several writers have laboured to depreciate the memory of Mr. Fox, by insinuating that his History of the Martyrs contained many misrepresentations and falsehoods. Dr. Collier, who embraces all opportunities to lessen his reputation and undervalue his work, accuses him of disingenuity and ill nature, and says, he ought to be read with great caution. He tells us, that a vein of satire and coarse language runs through his martyrology, and instances the case of the cruel Bishop Gardiner, whom he styles u an insensible ass, who had no feeling of God’s spirit in the matter of justification.”* He charges Mr. Fox with other improprieties and inconsistencies, and adds, “I cannot perceive the martyrologist had any right to Elijah’s sarcasm. His zeal without doubt was too much embittered. He was plainly ridden by his passion, and pushed by disaffection, towards profaneness.” It is readily acknowledged, that Mr. Fox sometimes discovers too warm a temper; and it was almost impossible it should be otherwise, considering the circumstances under which he wrote, and those cruel proceedings which he has handed down to posterity. This was too common among our zealous reformers, who, it must be confessed, were sometimes hurried forwards to lengths by no means justifiable.

Wood observes, ” that as Mr. Fox hath taken a great deal of pains in his work, and shewed sometimes much judgment in it; so hath he committed many errors therein, by trusting to the relations of poor simple people, and in making such martyrs as were living after the first edition of his book came forth, though afterwards by him excused and omitted.” Admitting all this, what does it prove? It is very justly observed, that as to private stories, Mr. Fox and his friends used the utmost diligence and care, that no falsehood might be obtruded on the reader, and were ever ready to correct any mistakes that might happen. Though he might be misinformed in several parts of his intelligence; yet these he corrected, as they came to his knowledge. Indeed, these were inconveniences which must attend the compiling of so large a body of modern history, as Mr. Fox’s chiefly was. No man is likely to receive, from various hands, so large a mass of information, and all be found perfect truth, and when digested to be found without the least trait of error. What is the weight of all the objections offered in contempt of the Foxian martyrs, to overthrow so solid and immoveable a fabric? It is compiled of so many undeniable evidences of popish barbarity, that its reputation will remain unsullied to the latest period of time. The Acts and Monuments of the Martyrs have long been, they still remain, and will always continue, substantial pillars of the protestant church; of more force than many more volumes of bare arguments, to withstand the tide of popery; and, like a Pharos, should be lighted up in every age, as a warning to all posterity.

The indefatigable Strype passes the following encomium on the work:—” Mr. Fox,” says he, ” hath done such exquisite service to the protestant cause, in shewing from abundance of ancient books, records, registers, and choice manuscripts, the encroachments of popes and papelins, and the stout oppositions that were made by learned and good men in all ages, and in all countries, against them; especially under King Henry and Queen Mary in England. He hath preserved the memoirs of those holy men and women, those bishops and divines, together with their histories, acts, sufferings and deaths, willingly undergone for the sake of Christ and his gospel, and for refusing to comply with the popish doctrines and superstitions. And Mr. Fox must not pass without the commendation of a most painful searcher into records, archives, and repositories of original acts, and letters of state, and a great collector of manuscripts. The world is infinitely indebted to him for abundance of extracts thence, and communicated in these volumes. And as he hath been found most diligent, so most strictly true and faithful in his transcriptions,”

No book ever gave so deep a wound to the errors, superstitions, and persecutions of popery; on which account the talents, virtues, and labours of Mr. Fox rendered him a fit object of papal malice and enmity. No man could be more hated and calumniated than he was by his enemies. His name, together with some others, was inserted at Rome in a ” bede-roll,” or list of persons who were appointed to be dispatched; and the particular mode of his death, as by burning or banging, pointed out, when the design of invading and over-running England should be accomplished. By order of Queen Elizabeth, Mr. Fox’s History of the Martyrs was placed in the common halls of archbishops, bishops, deans, archdeacons, and heads of colleges, and in all churches and chapels throughout the kingdom.

On the accession of Queen Elizabeth, our learned divine returned from exile, and was cordially received and courteously entertained by his noble pupil, the Duke of Norfolk; who maintained him at his house, and settled a pension upon him at his death. Afterwards, in 1572, when this unhappy duke was beheaded on Tower-hill, for his treasonable connections with the Queen of Scots, Mr. Fox and Dr. Nowell, dean of St. Paul’s, attended him upon the scaffold.

Mr. Fox lived many years highly esteemed and favoured by persons of quality. Bishops Grindal, Parkhurst, Pilkington, and Aylmer; also Sir Francis Walsingham, Sir Francis Drake, Sir Thomas Gresham, and many others, were his powerful friends. By their influence, they would have raised him to the highest preferment; but, as he could not subscribe, and disapproved of some of the ceremonies, he modestly declined their offers. Indeed, he was offered almost any preferment he pleased, but was more happy in declining them, excepting a prebend in the church of Salisbury.

For the space of three years after his return from exile, Mr. Fox had no preferment whatever: and in a letter to his friend Dr. Lawrence Humphrey, he says, ” I still ” wear the same clothes, and remain in the same sordid condition that England received me in, when I first came ” from Germany: nor do I change my degree or order, ” which is that of the mendicant, or, if you will, of the “friars preacher.” Thus did this grave and learned divine pleasantly reproach the ingratitude of the times. He continued without the least preferment till the year 1563, when Secretary Cecil procured him the above prebend; which, with some difficulty, he kept to his death. This was all the preferment he ever obtained.

In the year 1564, the Bishop of London having preached the Emperor Ferdinand’s funeral sermon, in the cathedral of St. Paul’s, it was ordered to be printed, and to be translated into Latin, “by the ready and elegant pen of John Fox.” During the same year, Archbishop Parker attempted to force the clergy into a conformity to the established church; for which purpose he summoned all the London ministers to appear at Lambeth, when they were examined upon the following question: “Will you promise conformity to the apparel by law established, and testify the same by the subscription of your hands?” Those who refused were immediately suspended, and after three months, deprived of their livings. To prepare the way, Mr. Fox was summoned first, that the reputation of his great piety, might give the greater countenance to their proceedings. When they called him to subscribe, he took his Greek Testament out of his pocket, and said, To this I will subscribe. And when the commissioners required him to subscribe the canons, he refused, saying, ” I have nothing in the church but a prebend in Salisbury, and much good may it do you, if you take it from me.” His ecclesiastical judges, however, had not sufficient courage to deprive so celebrated a divine, who held up the ashes of Smithfield before their eyes. It ought here to be observed, that Mr. Strype is guilty of a twofold mistake, when he says, that, in 1566, Mr. Fox had no ecclesiastical living; and that though he was no approver of the habits, he was not summoned before the ecclesiastical commissioners.

Though Mr. Fox refused subscription and conformity to certain ecclesiastical ceremonies, he behaved with great moderation, and disapproved of the warmth of the more rigid and zealous puritans. And while he expressed his dislike of separation, he was exceedingly grieved about those things which gave the occasion. Speaking of Blumfield, a wicked persecutor of the pious Mr. Harelson, for not wearing the surplice, he said, ” It is a pity that such baits ” of popery are left to the enemies, to take christians in. ” God take them away from us, or us from them. For God” knoweth they are the cause of much blindness and strife “among men.”

At the above period, Mr. Fox presented a Latin panegyric to the queen, for having granted indulgence to several nonconformist divines. But in the year 1575, he addressed her majesty on a very different occasion. During this year a most severe persecution was raised against the anabaptists in London, ten of whom were condemned, eight ordered to be banished, and two to be executed. Mr. Fox, therefore, wrote an excellent Latin letter to the queen, in which he observes, “That to punish with the flames, the bodies of those who err rather from ignorance, than obstinacy, is cruel, and more like the church of Rome, than the mildness of the gospel. I do not write thus,” says he,” from any bias to the indulgence of error; but to save the lives of men, being myself a man; and in hope that the offending parties may have an opportunity to repent, and retract their mistakes.” He then earnestly entreats that the fires of Smithfield might not be rekindled; but that some milder punishment might be inflicted upon them, to prevent, if possible, the destruction of their souls, as well as their bodies.} But his remonstrances were ineffectual. The queen remained inflexible; and though she constantly called him Father Fox, she gave him a flat denial, as to saving their lives, unless they would recant their dangerous errors. They both refusing to recant, were burnt in Smithfield, July 22, 1575; to the great and lasting disgrace of the reign and character of Queen Elizabeth.

Mr. Fox was a man of great humanity and uncommon liberality. He was a most laborious student, and remarkably abstemious; and a most learned, pious, and judicious divine, and ever opposed to all methods of severity in matters of religion. But as he was a nonconformist, he was shamefully neglected. ‘”Although the richest mitre in England,” says Fuller, would have counted itself preferred by being placed upon his head, he contented himself with a prebend of Salisbury. And while proud persons stretched out their plumes in ostentation, he used their vanity for his shelter; and was more pleased to have worth, than to have others take notice of it. And how learnedly he wrote, how constantly he preached, how piously he lived, and how cheerfully he died, may be seen at large in his life prefixed to his book.” And even Wood denominates him a person of good natural endowments, a sagacious searcher into antiquity, incomparably charitable, and of an exemplary life and conversation, but a severe Calvinist, and a bitter enemy to popery.

This celebrated man, having spent his life in the most laborious study, and in promoting the cause of Christ and the interests of true religion, resigned his spirit to God, April 18, 1587, in the seventieth year of his age. His death was greatly lamented; and his mortal part was interred in the chancel of St. Giles’s church, Cripplegate, London; where, against the south wall, was a monumental inscription erected by his son,} of which the following is a translation:

In memory of John Fox,
the most faithful Martyrologist of our English Church,
a most diligent searcher into historical antiquities,
a most strong bulwark
and fighter for Evangelical Truth;
who hath revived the Marian Martyrs
as so many Phoenixes,
from the dust of oblivion,
is this monument erected,
in grief and affection,
by his eldest son Samuel Fox.
He died April 18, An. Dom. 1587,
in his seventieth year.

Mr. Fox, during his residence at Basil, preaching to his fellow exiles, confidently declared in his sermon, ” Now is the time for your return to England, and I bring you the news by the command of God. For these words he was sharply reproved by some of his brethren: but, remarkable as it may appear, they afterwards found that Queen Mary died the very day preceding the delivery of this sermon, and so a way was open for their return home.

It was Mr. Fox who had the memorable interview with Mrs. Honiwood, often related by historians. This pious lady was under most distressing doubts and fears about the salvation of her soul, and her sorrow became so grievous, that she sunk in despair. This so affected her bodily health, that she appeared to be in a deep consumption, and even on the very brink of death, for about twenty years. In vain did the ablest physicians administer their medical assistance; and in vain did the ablest ministers preach comfort to her soul. At length, Mr. Fox was sent for; who, on his arrival, found her in a most distressed and languishing condition. He prayed with her, and reminded her of the faithfulness of God’s promises, and of the sufferings of Christ for her soul. But all he could say appeared ineffectual. Not in the least discouraged, he still proceeded in his discourse, and said, “You will not only recover of your bodily disease, but also live to an exceeding great age; and which is yet better, you are interested in Christ, and will go to heaven when you die.” She, looking earnestly at him as he spake these words, with great emotion, answered, “Impossible; I am as surely damned, as this glass will break,” and immediately dashed a Venice glass, which she had in her hand, with great violence to the ground ; but the glass received not the smallest injury. The event, indeed, proved according to the words of Mr. Fox. Though Mrs. Honiwood was then sixty years old, she recovered from her sickness, and lived the rest of her days, being upwards of thirty years, in much peace and comfort.

Mr. Fox was uncommonly liberal to the poor and distressed, and never refused giving to any who asked for Jesus’s sake. Being once asked whether he remembered a certain poor man whom he used to relieve, he said, “Yes, I remember him, and I forget lords and ladies to remember such.”—As Mr. Fox was going one day from the house of the Bishop of London, he found many people begging at the gate; and having no money, he immediately returned to the bishop and borrowed five pounds, which he distributed among the poor people. After some time, the bishop asking him for the money, Mr. Fox said, “I have laid it out for you, and have paid it where you owed it, to the poor that lay at your gate;” when his lordship thanked him for what he had done.

As Mr. Fox was going one day along the streets in London, a woman or his acquaintance met him; and as they discoursed together, she pulled out her Bible, and with too much forwardness, told him she was going to hear a sermon; upon which, he said to her, ” If you will be advised by me, go home again.” But, said she, then when shall I go to church? To which he immediately replied, “When you tell no body of it.”

Mr. Fox, it is said, used to wear a strait cap, covering his head and ears; and over that, a deepish crowned, shallow-brimmed, slouched hat. His portrait is taken with his hat on, and is supposed to have been the first English engraving with a hat.

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 assizes for 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? Mr. 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 he had 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 spoken no untruth of your honours.” Anderson then shewed him the copy of a supplication, demanding whether he had 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.

Thomas Collier-

was a minister of the baptist persuasion, a person of great diligence, moderation and usefulness, and a sufferer in the evil times in which he lived. Edwards denominates him a great sectary, and a man of great power among them; who had emissaries under him, whom he sent abroad into various parts of the country. He preached some time in the island of Guernsey, where he had many converts; but his cruel persecutors would not allow him to enjoy peace. They banished him and many of his followers from the place, and cast them into prison at Portsmouth; but how long they remained under confinement, we are not informed.t On account of his incessant labours and extensive usefulness, he is represented by his adversaries as having done much hurt at Lymington, Hampton, Waltham, and all along the west country. “This Collier,” says my author, “is a great sectary in the west of England, a mechanical fellow, and a great emissary, a dipper, who goes about Surrey, Hampshire, and those counties, preaching and dipping. About a fortnight ago, on the Lord’s day, he preached at Guildford in the meeting-place, and to the company of one old Mr. Close, an independent minister, who hath set up at Guildford, and done a great deal of mischief, having drawn away many of the well-meaning people from the ministry of other godly ministers. There this Collier exercised; and it was given out in the country, that he was a rare man; and the people came from the towns about to hear him. This fellow, in his circuit, at an exercise where he was preaching to many women for rebaptization and dipping, made use of that scripture to that purpose: And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man,”

In the year 1645, Mr. Collier came forwards in vindication of his sentiments, and published a work, entitled, “Certain Queries, or Points now in Controversy, Examined;” in which, after vindicating his own views of christian baptism, he maintains, that magistrates have no power whatever to establish church government, or to compel any persons by any human power, to observe the government of Christ. In discussing the power of the civil magistrate in ecclesiastical matters, he gives his advice to the parliament to use their utmost endeavours to promote a further reformation of the church; for the attainment of which, he recommends them “to dismiss that assembly of learned men, who are now called together to consult about matters of religion; because he cannot conclude that God hath any thing for them to do; and he knows no rule in the book of God for such an assembly. He also recommends them to go forwards in subduing their antichristian enemies, so far as by civil law they had power. He then concludes by recommending the parliament to give the kingdom to the saints; by which is meant,” says he, “not only an external kingdom, but the spiritual kingdom and government of the church of Christ.”

The year following, two of Mr. Collier’s letters, addressed to his religious friends, were intercepted, and published to the world. As they discover his piety and usefulness, and contain a sufficient answer to all the impious clamour of Mr. Edwards’s scurrilous pen, it will be proper to insert them. The first, dated from Guildford, April 20, 1646, is addressed ” To the Saints in the order and fellowship of the gospel at Taunton;” the preamble to which is, ” Your dear brother, Thomas Collier, desireth the increase of grace and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ;” and is as follows:

“Dear brethren and sisters,

“I have not had an opportunity of writing unto you until now, although my spirit hath been up to the Lord for you continually. The Lord hath manifested his presence with me exceedingly in my journey. I desire the Lord to raise up your hearts in thankfulness. He hath gathered saints in Pool by me. Fourteen took up the ordinance at once; there is like to be a great work; and I confirmed the churches in other places. I am not yet got so far as London; but I shall, I expect, to-morrow. Dearly beloved, my desire and prayer to our Father, on your behalf, is, that {our souls may be satisfied with his fulness, that you may have above, and then you shall not want comfort. My exhortation to you is, to wait upon the Lord, in his own way, and not to look forth into the world. There is bread enough in your Father’s house, where he hath promised his presence. Though you seem to want gifts, yet you shall not want the presence of your Father, your Jesus, if you wait upon him. There are two brethren I suppose will visit you from Hampton; brother Sims and brother Row, whom I desire you to receive as from the Lord. The unlimited power of the presbyterians is denied them, of which you shall hear more shortly. I desire to be remembered to all my kind friends with you, and at present rest

Your dear brother in the faith and fellowship of the gospel,

“Thomas Collier.” In a note to the above letter, Mr. Collier says, “I shall see you as speedily as possible.” His second letter breathes the same pious feelings, and is also addressed “To the Saints in the order and fellowship of the gospel.” It is dated from London, May 2, 1646, and is as follows: “My dear ones in the Lord Jesus,

“I salute you, desiring Him who is our head and husband, our life and liberty, our all and in all, to gather up our souls more abundantly into the glorious unity and fellowship of the Son of God; that you may not live upon these lower things, which are but instruments to convey light and love unto us: I mean, even ordinances, or the like; which indeed are but as a shell without the kernel, further than we enjoy Christ in them. My dear ones, you are in my heart continually, and my desire is to be with you as soon as possibly I can, to impart some spiritual gifts unto you, and to enjoy fellowship in Jesus Christ with you. But what is this? you are upon the heart of Christ; nay, engraven upon his hand, and shall be had in everlasting remembrance before him. I am much in haste at present, the post coming forth of town, only I have sent you these few lines, and two books here enclosed, as a remembrance of my love. I desire to be remembered to all my dear friends with you, and at present rest and remain

“Your dear brother in the faith and fellowship of the gospel,

“Thomas Collier.”

Mr. Collier was author of several other pieces, in addition to the one we have mentioned, which were probably on the controversies of the day. But at what place or places he afterwards preached, or when he died, we are not informed.

John Gee, A. B.—

This zealous person was the son of a minister, born in Devonshire, in the year 1597, and educated first in Brazen-nose college, then in Exeter college, Oxford. Entering upon the ministerial work, he was beneficed at Newton, near Winwick, in Lancashire. Being at this period much inclined to popery, he left the place, and retired to London, where he became intimately acquainted with several leading persons of the popish persuasion. October 26, 1623, Mr. Gee was in the assembly of above three hundred persons^ collected in an upper room, in Blackfriars, London; when, about the middle of the priest, and nearly one hundred of the congregation, were killed, and many others severely bruised. This he considered a most alarming and awakening providence. Having already received many urgent letters from his father, and by means of a conference which he had with Archbishop Abbot, he renounced the errors of popery, and became a zealous protestant. Some, it is said, thought he became too zealous a protestant. For he embraced the principles of the puritans, and wrote with great spirit and ability against the papists, exposing their errors and superstitions. The papists, however, in return, loaded him with much slander and abuse. After renouncing popery, he preached at Tenterden in Kent, where he died, but at what particular time we arc not able to learn.t fie had a younger brother, called Orlando Gee, who was afterwards knighted.

William Perkins-

was born at Marton in Warwickshire, in the year 1558, and educated in Christ’s, college, Cambridge. For some time after his going to the university, he continued exceedingly profane, and ran to great lengths in prodigality. While Mr. Perkins was a young man, and a scholar at Cambridge, he was much devoted to drunkenness. As he was walking in the skirts of the town, he heard a woman say to a child that was froward and peevish,” Hold your tongue, or I will give “you to drunken Perkins, yonder.” Finding himself become a by-word among the people, his conscience smote him, and he became so deeply impressed, that it was the first step towards his conversion. After he was called by divine grace, and become a preacher of the gospel, he laid open the workings of sin and vanity in others, exercised a spirit of sympathy over perishing sinners, and upon their repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, led them to the enjoyment of substantial comfort. He gave, at the same time, strong proofs of his great genius, by his deep researches into nature, and its secret springs of operation. When the Lord was pleased to convert him from the error of his ways, he immediately directed his attention to the study of divinity, and applied himself with such uncommon diligence, that in a short time, he made an almost incredible proficiency in divine knowledge.

At the age of twenty-four, he was chosen fellow of his college, when he entered upon the sacred function. Having himself freely received, he freely gave to others; and in imitation of our Lord, he went and preached deliverance to captives. Feeling bowels of compassion for the poor prisoners confined in Cambridge, he prevailed upon the jailer to collect them together in one spacious room, where he preached to them every sabbath, with great power and (success. Here the prison was his parish; his love to souls, l the patron presenting him to it; and his work, all the wages he received. No sooner were his pious labours made known, than multitudes flocked to hear him from all quarters. By the blessing of God upon his endeavours, he became the happy instrument of bringing many to the knowledge of salvation, and to enjoy the glorious liberty of the sons of God, not only of the prisoners, but others, who, like them, were in captivity and bondage to sin. His great fame, afterwards known in all the churches, was soon spread through the whole university; and he was chosen preacher at St. Andrew’s church, where he continued a laborious and faithful minister of Christ, till called to receive his reward.

Mr. Perkins being settled in this public situation, his hearers consisted of collegians, townsmen, and people from the country. This required those peculiar ministerial endowments which providence had richly bestowed upon him. In all his discourses, his style and his subject were accommodated to the capacities of the common people, while, at the same time, the pious scholars heard him with admiration. Luther used to say, ” that ministers who preach the terrors of the law, but do not bring forth gospel instruction and consolation, are not wise master-builders: they pull down, but do not build up again.” But Mr. Perkins’s sermons were all law, and all gospel. He was a rare instance of those opposite gifts meeting in so eminent a degree in the same preacher, even the vehemence and thunder of Boanerges, to awaken sinners to a sense of their sin and danger, and to drive them from destruction; and the persuasion and comfort of Barnabas, to pour the wine and oil of gospel consolation into their wounded spirits. He used to apply the terrors of the law so directly to the consciences of his hearers, that their hearts would often sink under the convictions; and he used to pronounce the word damn with so peculiar an emphasis, that it left a doleful echo in their ears a long time after. Also his wisdom in giving advice and comfort to troubled consciences, is said to have been such, “that the afflicted in spirit, far and near, came to him, and received much comfort from his instructions.”

Mr. Perkins had a surprising talent for reading books. He perused them so speedily, that he appeared to read nothing; yet so accurately, that he seemed to read all. In addition to his frequent preaching, and other ministerial duties, he wrote numerous excellent books; many of which, on account of their great worth, were translated into Latin, and sent into foreign countries, where they were greatly admired and esteemed. Some of them being translated into French, Dutch, and Spanish, were dispersed through the various European nations. Voetius and other foreign divines, have spoken of him with great honour and esteem. Bishop Hall said, “he excelled in a distinct judgment, a rare dexterity in clearing the obscure subtleties of the schools, and in an easy explication of the most perplexed subjects.” And though he was author of so many books, being lame of his right-hand, he wrote them all with his left. He used to write in the title of all his books, ” Thou art a Minister of the Word: Mind thy business.”

This celebrated divine was a thorough puritan, both in principle and in practice, and was more than once convened before his superiors for nonconformity; yet he was a man of peace and great moderation. He was concerned for a purer reformation of the church; and, to promote the desired object, he united with his brethren in their private associations, and in subscribing the “Book of Discipline.”* Complaint was, however, brought against him, that he had signified, before the celebration of the Lord’s supper, that the minister not receiving the bread and wine from the hands of another minister, but from himself, was a corruption in the church:—that to kneel at the sacrament was superstitious and antichristian;—and that to turn their faces towards the cast, was another corruption. Upon this complaint, he was convened before Dr. Perne, the vice-chancellor, and heads of colleges; but refusing to answer, unless he might know his accusers, it was thought expedient to bring certain persons who had heard him, and examine them upon their oaths. Therefore, Mr. Bradcock, Mr. Osborne, Mr. Baines, and Mr. Bainbrigg, were produced as witnesses against him, and required to answer the three following interrogatories: — 1. “Whether Mr. Perkins, in his common place, made at the time before mentioned, did teach, that it was a corruption in our church, that the minister did not receive the communion at the bauds of another minister, because that which is used in our church is without warrant of the word?—2. Whether he did name kneeling when we receive the sacrament, as superstitious and antichristian—3. Whether he did not denominate kneeling towards the cast to be a corruption?” —The witnesses mostly answered in the affirmative; but, in several particulars, they could not give any testimony. Mr. Bambrigg closed the evidence by observing, with respect to kneeling at the sacrament, “He thought our Saviour sat, and,” in his opinion,” it was better to come near to that which He did, than that which was done in time of popery.” lie thought also that it was better not to kneel towards the cast.

After the examination of the witnesses, Mr. Perkins was allowed to speak in his own defence, when he addressed his spiritual judges as follows:—” As this doctrine of faith and a good conscience is to be applied to the congregation, so it is by God’s providence come to pass that I must apply it to myself. I am thought to be a teacher of erroneous doctrines. I am enjoined to satisfy, and, in truth, I am now willing with all my heart to do it.—Of ministering the communion to a man’s own self, this was my opinion, that in this place it was better to receive it from another, because we are thirteen ministers; and, by this means, the minister would not only receive the sacrament, but also the approbation of his brother, that, he was a worthy receiver. It is observed, that I said this action was unlawful, and a corruption of our church. I said it not; and truly, I protest before God, if I had said it, the same tongue which had said it, should unsay it; that God might have the glory, and that shame and confusion might be unto me.

“I said not that kneeling was idolatrous and antichristian. I do remember it. My opinion was this, that of the two gestures which we used, sitting and kneeling, sitting is more convenient, because Christ sat, and the pope kneeleth, as Jewel observes against Harding. And in things indifferent we must go as far as we can from idolatry. Mr. Calvin taught me this, in his sermon on Deut. vii. I think a man may use it with a good conscience; for I am far from condemning any. And I beseech you how can we altogether clear ourselves, who, sitting before, fall down on our knees when the bread Cometh, and, having received it, rise up again, and do in like manner with the wine. “I hold looking unto the east or west to be indifferent, and to be used accordingly: but this I marvel at, why the cross still standeth in the window, and why we turn ourselves toward the end of the chapel, at the end of the first and second lesson. We are commanded to flee from every appearance of evil.—These things I have said to satisfy every man in the congregation, and to shew that I despise not authority: which, if this will do, God be praised; but if not, God’s will be done. I confess most freely this thing. I. did not seek the disquiet of this congregation; yet I might have spoken these things at a more convenient time.”

It does not appear whether Mr. Perkins’s defence gave satisfaction to his ecclesiastical judges, or whether he suffered some particular censure or further prosecution. This, however, was not the end of his troubles. He was apprehended, with many others, and carried before the star-chamber, on account of the associations. Upon his appearance before this high tribunal, he took the oath ex officio, discovered the associations, and confessed that Mr. Cartwright, Mr. Snape, and others, had met at Cambridge, to confer about matters of discipline.t He was once or twice convened before the high commission; and though his peaceable behaviour, and great fame in the learned world, are said to have procured him a dispensation from the persecutions of his brethren, he was, nevertheless, deprived by Archbishop Whitgift. Mr. Perkins, writing at the above period, in 1592, when many of his brethren were cruelly imprisoned for nonconformity, styles it, ” The year of the last patience of the saints.”

Towards the close of life, Mr. Perkins was much afflicted with the stone, the frequent attendant on a sedentary life, which he bore with remarkable patience. In the last fit of his complaint, a little before his death, a friend praying for the mitigation of his pains, he cried out, “Hold, hold! do not pray so; but pray the Lord to give me faith and patience, and then let him lay on me what he pleases.” At length his patience had its perfect work. He was finally delivered from all his pains, and crowned with immortality and eternal life, in the year 1602, aged forty-four years. He was born in the first, and died in the last year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. He left the world rich in grace, and in the love of God and good men; and was instrumental in making many rich. His ministerial labours were signally blessed to multitudes, both townsmen and collegians. His remains were interred in St. Andrew’s church with great funeral solemnity, at the sole expense of Christ’s college; the university and the town striving which could shew the warmest gratitude for his faithful labours, and pay the greatest respect to his memory. Dr. Montague, afterwards successively Bishop of Bath and Wells, and of Winchester, preached his funeral sermon from Joshua, i. 2. Moses my servant is dead; and spoke in high commendation of his learning, piety, labours, and usefulness.

Mr. Perkins was so pious and exemplary in his life, that malice itself was unable to reproach his character. As his preaching was a just comment upon his text; so his practice was a just comment upon his preaching. He was naturally cheerful and pleasant; rather reserved towards strangers, but familiar upon their further acquaintance. He was of a middle stature, ruddy complexion, bright hair, and inclined to corpulency, but not to idleness. He was esteemed by all, says Fuller, as a painful and faithful dispenser of the word of God; and his great piety procured him liberty in his ministry, and respect to his person, even from those who differed from him in other matters. He is classed among the fellows and learned writers of Christ’s college, Cambridge. Churton styles him “the learned and pious, but Calvinistic Perkins;” as if his Calvinism was a considerable blemish in his character. Toplady, on the contrary, applauds him on account of his Calvinistic opinions, and denominates him “the learned, holy, and laborious Perkins.” The celebrated Archbishop Usher had the highest opinion of him, and often expressed his wish to die as holy Mr. Perkins did, who expired crying for mercy and forgiveness. Herein he was, indeed, gratified; for his last words were, “Lord, especially forgive my sins of omission.”

The works of this excellent divine are numerous and highly esteemed, especially in foreign Countries. ‘ They were published at various times, but were collected and printed in three volumes folio, in 1606, entitled “The Works of that Famous and Worthie Minister of Christ, in the University of Cambridge, M. W. Perkins.” Mr. Job Orion had an high opinion of him and his writings, and gives the following account both of the author and the productions of his pen:—” I am now reading the works of Mr. William Perkins, an eminent tutor and divine at Cambridge, in Queen Elizabeth’s reign. They are three volumes folio, and I have got through one of them. What led me more particularly to read him was, that his elder brother was one of my ancestors, from whom I am in a direct line, by my mother’s side, descended. I think him an excellent writer: his style is the best of any of that age, or the next, and many passages in his writings are equal to those of the best Writers in modern times. He is judicious, clear, full of matter, and deep christian experience. He wrote all his works with his left hand, being lame of the right, and died about forty-four. I could wish all ministers, especially young ones, would read him, as they would find large materials for composition. He hath some tracts against the papists; and appears to have been a pretty high Calvinist; but he hath many admirable things in practical divinity. His works arc little known in England, but they are still in estimation in Germany, many of them being written in elegant Latin, and others translated into German.”

Mr. Perkins made his last will and testament a little before his death, dated Cambridge, October 16, 1602, and it was in substance as follows:—First, he bequeaths to the poor of the parish of St. Andrews, where he then dwelt, the sum of forty pounds. Also to his worshipful and loving friends, Mr. Edm. Harwell, .lam. Montague, D. D. Mr. Law. Chadderton, master of Emanuel college, Rich. Foxcroft and Tho. Cropley, M. A. and Nath. Cradock his brother-in-law, all the messuage or tenement wherein he then dwelt, with the houses, yards, &c. adjoining thereto, in the town of Cambridge, to be sold, and the money divided into three equal parts, one part to go to his wife Timothye, the other two amongst his children, born or unborn. He also wills that the price of all his moveable goods and chattels be divided amongst his wife and children.

“He appoints his wife Timothye his sole executrix, or in case of failure by death, then he makes Nath. Cradock aforesaid, executor. He also bequeaths to his father, Tho. Perkins, and his mother, Anna Perkins, ten pounds a piece, and to every of his brethren and sisters, five pounds a piece, and to his son-in-law, John Hinde, his English Bible.”

William Ames, D.D.—

This learned divine was born in the county of Norfolk, in the year 1576, and educated in Christ’s college, Cambridge, under the famous Mr. William Perkins. Having received the truth of the gospel, he became exceedingly zealous in its defence, avowing his opposition to every kind of error and sin, especially the delusive corruptions of popery. About the year 1610, having for some time been fellow of his college, lie preached a sermon at St. Mary’s church, against playing at cards and dice; which gave great offence to many of his audience, particularly because he was well known to be zealous in y the cause of nonconformity. He beheld the approaching storm, and was obliged to quit the college and university, to prevent expulsion. Previous to his departure, he was called before Dr. Carey, master of the college, who urged him to wear the surplice; and to convince Ames’s understanding, and bring him to a compliance, he warmly urged the words of the Apostle: “Put on the armour of light;” that is, said he, the white surplice. The doctor’s learned argument was, however, too futile to prevail upon Ames to conform. He adhered too tenaciously to the word of God, to defile his conscience by any sinful compliance; but resigned his fellowship, and forsook the university; and soon after, to escape the indignation of Archbishop Bancroft, he left the kingdom.

He fled to Holland, and was chosen minister of the English church at the Hague. But there he could find no long repose. The resentment of the prelates followed him into a foreign land. He was no sooner comfortably settled at the Hague, than Archbishop Abbot, Bancroft’s successor, wrote to Sir Ralph Winwood, the English ambassador at the court of Holland, urging Ames’s removal from his present situation. The archbishop’s letter to Winwood [is dated March 12, 1612, which he concludes by saying, I wish the removing of him to be as privately and as cleanly carried as the matter will permit. We are also acquainted what English preachers are entertained in Zealand, where unto in convenient time we hope to give a redress. What intolerance could be worse than this? Good men must enjoy peace neither at home nor in a foreign land. When Ames was about to be chosen professor of y divinity at Leyden, endeavours were also used through the medium of the ambassador, and it was prevented. The same was also attempted, but without success, when he was chosen by the states of Friesland to the same office in the university of Franeker. Such were the malice and madness of his persecutors! Dr. Ames attended at the synod of Dort, and informed King James’s ambassador at the Hague, from time to time, of the debates of that venerable assembly. He was famous for his controversial writings, especially against the Arminians, Bellarmme, and the English ceremonies; which, for conciseness and perspicuity, were not equalled by any of his time.

Dr. Ames having for the space of twelve years filled the divinity chair with universal reputation, began to think the air of Franeker too sharp for his constitution. He was troubled with extreme difficulty of breathing, and thought every winter would be his last. He was, at the same time, desirous to be employed in the delightful work of preaching the gospel to his countrymen; therefore, he resigned his professorship, and accepted an invitation to the English church at Rotterdam.

Upon this exchange of situation, our divine wrote his “Fresh Suit against Ceremonies, a work of distinguished worth, shewing his abilities and erudition. In the preface to this excellent work, he states the controversy thus: “We stand upon the sufficiency of Christ’s institutions, for every- thing pertaining to divine worship; and that the word of God, and nothing else, is the only standard in matters of religion. The prelates, on the other hand, would have us allow and use certain human ceremonies in christian worship. We, therefore, desire to be excused, holding them to be unlawful. Christ we know, and are ready to embrace every thing that cometh from him. But these human ceremonies in divine worship, we know not, we cannot receive them.” And speaking further on the same subject, he says, “I am more than ever persuaded, that such relics of popery, and monuments of superstition, never did any good, but much evil. He did not, however, live to publish it himself; but its learned editor says, that herein “Dr. Ames pleads the cause truth both succinctly and perspicuously, as he does, indeed, most admirably in all his writings. He shewed himself a pattern of holiness, a burning and shining light, a lamp of learning and arts, and a champion for the truth, especially while he was in the doctor’s chair at Franeker.” 

This learned divine did not long survive his removal into Holland. His constitution was already greatly shattered, and the air of that country being of no real service to him, he determined upon a removal to New England; but his asthma returning his intended departure, to his life at Rotterdam. He was there buried November 14, 1633, aged fifty-seven years. The following spring his wife and children embarked for New England, carrying with them his valuable library, which at that time was a noble acquisition to that country. His 
son William, afterwards returning to England, was one of the ejected nonconformists, in 1662. 

Dr. Ames filled the divinity chair, says Mr. Granger, with admirable abilities. His fame was, indeed, so great, that many came from remote nations to be educated under him. But he was much better known abroad than at home. And he adds a quotation from a piece of Mr. Hugh Peters, in these words: “Learned Amesius breathed his last breath into my bosom, who left his professorship in Friesland to live with me, because of my church’s independency at Rotterdam. He was my colleague, and chosen brother to the church, where I was an unworthy pastor.” Dr. Ames was a solid, judicious, and learned divine; a strict Calvinist in points of doctrine, and an independent in matters of discipline and church government. Fuller has classed him among the learned writers and fellows of Christ’s college, Cambridge. Dr. Mather styles him, “the profound, sublime, irrefragable, and angelical doctor, and doubts whether he left his equal upon earth. He seldom preached without tears; and when upon his death-bed, had most wonderful foretastes of glory.”

The learned Mosheim, speaking of our divine as a writer, particularly upon the moral science, observes, that, by a worthy and pious spirit of emulation, he was excited to compose a complete body of christian morality. He says, that Dr. Ames was a native of Scotland; and that he was one of the first among the reformers who attempted to treat morality as a separate science, to consider it abstractedly from its connexion with any particular system of doctrine, and to introduce new light, and a new degree of accuracy and precision, into this master-science of life and manners. The attempt, says he, was laudable, had it been well executed; but the system of this learned writer was dry, theoretical, and subtile, and much more adapted to the instruction of students, than to the practical direction of private christians.

Thomas Becon.—

This celebrated divine was born in Suffolk, and educated in the university of Cambridge. He afterwards became chaplain to Archbishop Cranmer, and a zealous advocate tor the reformation, even from its very commencement in the reign of King Henry VIII. He endured many troubles from the persecuting prelates; and in the year 1544, was apprehended, with Mr. Robert Wisdome, another excellent reformer, by the cruel Bishop Bonner, when he was obliged to make a public recantation at Paul’s cross, and burn his books. Having obtained his release, he travelled for future safety towards the north, and settled at Alsop in the Dale, in the Peak of Derbyshire, where he taught school for his subsistence. At this place, Mr. Alsop, a pious gentleman, and an avowed friend to the reformation, shewed him much civility, and afforded him seasonable relief.

The severity of the times not suffering the zealous and faithful servants of the Lord to abide long in any one place, Mr. Becon was obliged to move into Staffordshire, where he was kindly entertained in the house of Mr. John Old, a man eminently distinguished for charity and piety. Mr. Wisdome, mentioned above, was also entertained with him. Mr. Becon, in his treatise, entitled “The Jewel of Joy,” published in the reign of King Edward, gives this character of Mr. Old: “He was to me and Wisdome, as Jason was to Paul and Silas: he received us joyfully into his house, and liberally, for the Lord’s sake, ministered to our necessities. And as he began, so did he continue a right hearty friend, and dearly loving brother, so long as we remained in the country. Here, as in his former situation, he educated children in good literature and sound christian doctrine, continuing, at the same time, in a close application to his studies. Afterwards, he removed into Leicestershire, where he was for some time hospitably entertained by the Marquis of Dorset. Here he contracted a familiar acquaintance with Mr. John Aylmer, afterwards the famous bishop of London, whom he calls his countryman. He next removed into Warwickshire, where he still occupied the office of tutor to gentlemens’ sons. Upon this last removal, to his great joy, he met with his old friend, the famous Hugh Latimer; who, about twenty years before, while they were at Cambridge, had been instrumental in bringing him to the knowledge of the gospel.

During the reign of Henry VIII. the city of Canterbury was more hostile to the reformation than most other places ; therefore, upon the accession of King Edward, Archbishop Cranmer placed in that city six of the most distinguished preachers for learning and piety; among whom was Mr. econ. The others were Nicholas Ridley, afterwards bishop of London and martyr, Lancelot Ridley, Richard Turner, Richard Beasely, and John Joseph. The ministry of these learned divines proved a great blessing to the place, and, by their labours, many persons were brought to embrace the gospel.t Also, during the reign of the above excellent prince, Mr. Becon, justly denominated a worthy and reverend divine, became chaplain to the protector Somerset, and was made professor of divinity in the university of Oxford, where he gained much reputation.t But upon the accession, of Queen Mary, he was apprehended in London, with Mr. Veron and Mr. John Bradford, and committed to the Tower. Here he remained above seven months in close confinement, meeting with most cruel usage; and having been made rector of St. Stephen, Walbrook, London, in 1547, he was deprived of both his office and benefit. It was indeed; nearly miraculous that this zealous reformer escaped the fire. While many of his brethren, and even those committed with him to the Tower, suffered at the stake, a kind providence constantly watched over him, and at length delivered him from the rage of all his enemies. During the reign of King Henry and former part of Queen Mary, Mr. Becon, to conceal himself from his malicious foes, who narrowly watched for his life, went by the name of Theodore Bazil, and in the proclamation of the king, in 1546, as well as that of the queen, in 1555, he miraculous that this zealous is specified by that name. At length, having been driven, from one situation to another, and finding no place of safety in his own country, he fled into a foreign land, and became an exile in Germany. During his abode on the continent, he wrote an excellent letter to his godly brethren at home; in which, besides declaring the cause of those calamities now come upon England, he earnestly directed them to the mercy and faithfulness of God, for a redress of all their grievances. This letter was read in the private religious meetings of his persecuted countrymen, to their great edification and benefit. He wrote, also, an epistle to the popish priests, wherein he made a just and an important difference betwixt the Lord’s supper, and the popish mass, denominating the latter n wicked idol.

Mr. Becon remained in exile till the accession of Queen Elizabeth, when he returned to his native country, and became a most faithful and zealous labourer in the vineyard of Christ. Having obtained distinguished reputation, he was soon preferred to several ecclesiastical benefices. He is said to have been designed for one of the chief preferments then vacant. In the year 1560, he became rector of Buckland in Hertfordshire, but most probably did not hold it long. About the same time, he was preferred to a prebend in the church of Canterbury; and in 1563, he became rector of St. Dionis Back-church, London. This last he held to his death.

In the year 1564, when conformity was rigorously imposed upon the London clergy, Mr. Becon, with many of his puritan brethren, was cited before Archbishop Parker at Lambeth, and refusing to subscribe, he was immediately sequestered and deprived; though it is said, he afterwards complied, and was preferred. It does not, however, appear what preferment he obtained. During the same year, he revised and republished most of his numerous and excellent writings in three volumes folio, dedicating them to all the bishops and archbishops of the realm. The clergy were in general at this time in a state of deplorable ignorance. Mr. Becon was deeply affected with their situation, and extremely anxious to render them all the assistance in his power. Therefore, in the year 1566, he published a book, entitled “A new Postil, containing most godly and learned Sermons, to be read in the Church throughout the Year; lately set forth unto the great Profit, not only of all Curates and Spiritual Ministers, but also of all Godly and Faithful Readers.” Mr. Strype stiles him a famed preacher and writer, and the book a very useful work, containing honest, plain sermons upon the gospels, for all the Sundays in the year, to be read by the curates of congregations. The preface, dated from Canterbury, July 16, 1566, is addressed “to his fellow labourers in the Lord’s harvest, the ministers and preachers of God’s most holy word;” in which he earnestly exhorts them to the discharge of their important duties. To this Postil he added two prayers, one at some length, the other shorter, either of which was to be said before sermon, according to the minister’s discretion: also a third prayer, to be repeated after sermon. These prayers and sermons were drawn up for the use of ministers who were not able to compose prayers and sermons, and for the further instruction of the people in sound and wholesome doctrine. Bishop Parkhurst published verses in commendation of Mr. Becon and his excellent writings. During the above year, he preached the sermon at Paul’s cross; and such was his great fame, and such his favour among persons of distinction, that the lord mayor for that year presented a petition to Archbishop Parker, entreating his grace to prevail upon him to preach one of the sermons at the Spittle the following Easter.

Our historians are divided in their opinion concerning the time of Mr. Becon’s death. Newcourt observes that he died previous to September 26, 1567; and Lupton says he died in 1570. He was a divine of great learning and piety, a constant preacher, a great sufferer in the cause of Christ, and an avowed enemy to pluralities, nonresidence, and all the relics of popery,| being ever zealous for the reformation of the church. He was a man of a peaceable spirit, always adverse to the imposition of ceremonies, and an avowed nonconformist, both in principle and practice. Mr. Strype justly denominates him famous for his great learning, his frequent preaching, his excellent writings, and manifold sufferings in the reigns of King Henry, King Edward, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth. One Mr. Thomas Beron was of St. John’s college, Cambridge, public orator and proctor in the university, and an active leading man, most probably in the cause of nonconformity, by which he is said to have incurred the displeasure of the chancellor, formerly his patron and great admirer. This was undoubtedly the same person. He was author of numerous books, many of which were designed to expose the superstitions and errors of popery, and to encourage his fellow christians under persecution ; and his labour of love was signally useful. He wrote against the superstitious practice of bowing at the name of Jesus, as did several other puritans after him. According to Mr. Lupton.

Jeremiah Burroughs, A.M. —

This very amiable divine was born in the year 1599, and educated at Cambridge, but was obliged to quit the university, and afterwards the kingdom, on account of nonconformity. After he had finished his studies at the university, he entered upon the ministerial work, and was chosen colleague to Mr. Edmund Calamy at Bury St. Edmunds. In the year 1631, he became rector of Titshall, in the county of Norfolk; but upon the publication of Bishop Wren’s articles and injunctions, in 1636, he was suspended and deprived of his living. He sheltered himself for some time under the hospitable roof of the Earl of Warwick; but, on account of the intolerant and oppressive proceedings of the ecclesiastical rulers, the noble earl at length found it was impossible to protect him any longer; and shortly after, to escape the fire of persecution, he fled to Holland, and settled at Rotterdam, where he was chosen teacher to the congregational church, of which Mr. William Bridge was pastor. After his suspension, he is charged with attempting to bribe the bishop’s chancellor, by an offer of forty pounds; and going beyond seas, and returning disguised in a soldier’s habit, with many libellous pamphlets, when, it is said, the sentence of deprivation was pronounced against him for nonresidence. Of this circumstance, however, Mr. Edwards gives a very different account. He says, “that Mr Burroughs, for some speeches spoken against the Scotch war, in company not to be trusted, for fear fled in all haste to Rotterdam;” at which he very much stumbled. Mr. Burroughs, in his animadversion upon this misrepresentation, observes as follows: “Had Mr. Edwards been willing to have conferred with me about this, as I desired, before he printed, I should have so fully satisfied him about my going out of the kingdom, that he could never have stumbled, nor have caused others to stumble. How does he know there were speeches delivered, for fear of which I fled? It may be there was only an accusation. In his bold assertion there is held forth to the world, at least some indiscretion in me, that I should speak words of a high nature, in company not to be trusted. I am so fully clear in that business, that I wiped off before my lord of Warwick whatsoever might have seemed indiscretion, not by mine own assertion only, but by the testimony of two gentlemen, being all the company, besides the accuser, who were present while we discoursed of that matter. The truth is, there were no such speeches; there was only some accusation of speeches. What man can free himself from accusation?” This ungenerous accuser afterwards recanted, and expressed his great sorrow for having aspersed the character of our pious and worthy divine.

Mr. Burroughs replies to the charge that he fled in all haste to Rotterdam, by saying, “It was four or five months after this accusation before I went to Rotterdam. Had not the prelatical faction been incensed against me, for standing out against their superstitions, I should have ventured to have stood to what I had spoken, for all I said was by way of query, affirming nothing. I knew how dangerous the times then were. I knew what the power of the prelatical party at that time was, who were extremely incensed against me. A man’s innocency, then, could not be his safety. A mere accusation was enough then, to cause me to provide for my security. I was, by Bishop Wren, deprived of my living in Norfolk, in which, I believe, I endured as great a brunt as almost any of those who stayed in England; though Mr. Edwards is pleased to say, we fled that we might be safe upon the shore, while our brethren were at sea in the storm. I believe neither he, nor scarcely any of our presbyterian brethren, endured a harder storm at sea, than I did before I went out of England. Yet, I bless God, he stirred up noble friends to countenance and encourage me in my sufferings; for which I will not cease to pray that the blessing of God may be upon them and their families. For some months I lived with my lord of Warwick, with whom I found much undeserved love and respect, and was in the midst of as great encouragements to stay in England, as a man deprived, and under the bishop’s rage, could expect; when I set myself in as a serious a manner us ever I did in my life, to examine my heart about my staying in England; whether some carnal respects, that countenance I had from divers noble friends, the offers of livings, did not begin to prevail too far with me. My spirit was much troubled with these thoughts, Why do I still linger in England, where I cannot with peace enjoy what my soul longs after? Did I not formerly think, that if ever God took me clearly from my people, 1 would hasten to be where I might be free from such mixtures in God’s worship, without wringing my conscience any more? Why do I, therefore, now stay? Am I not under temptation? God knows these were the sad and serious workings of my spirit, and these workings were as strong as ever I felt them in my life.

“While I was thus musing,” says Mr. Burroughs, “thus troubled in my spirit, and lifting up my heart to God to help me, and set me at liberty, leaning upon my chamber window, I spied a man, in a citizen’s habit, coming in the court-yard towards my chamber; and upon his coming near, I knew him to be formerly a citizen of Norwich, but, at that time, one of the church at Rotterdam. When this man came near to me, he told me that he came lately from Rotterdam; and that he was sent there by the church to give me a call to join with Mr. Bridge in the work of the Lord, in that church. When I heard him say this, I stood awhile amazed at the providence of God; that, at such a time, a messenger should be sent to me upon such an errand. My heart, God knows, exceedingly rejoiced in this call. I presently told the man I saw God much in it, and dared not in the least to gainsay it. My heart did much close with it; yet I desired to see the hand of God a little further. I required him to return my answer to the church, with a desire, that, as most of them knew me, they should give me their call under their own hands; then there would be nothing wanting, but I should be theirs; and thus we parted.”

Mr. Burroughs, having vindicated his own character against the aspersions of his adversaries, further observes, that, “after this I hoped all would blow over, when my lord of Warwick, falling sick in London, sent for me, and I came up to him and continued with him about three weeks, going freely up and down the city. My lord knew all the business, and made no question but all was over. Being now, as I hoped, set free from my accuser, the messenger from Rotterdam came to me again, with an answer to what I had desired, shewing me how the church there had assembled, and had sent a call to mc in writing, under the hands of the elders, with many other hands, in the name of the church; on which we agreed upon the day when, and the place where, we should meet in Norfolk, to make a full conclusion and prepare for our voyage.”

Our divine has thus favoured us with a circumstantial account of his invitation to Rotterdam. Upon his arrival, he was cordially received by the church; and he continued a zealous and faithful labourer several years, gaining a very high reputation among the people. After the commencement of the civil war, when the power of the bishops was set aside, he returned to England, says Granger, “not to preach sedition, but peace; for which he earnestly prayed and laboured.”

Mr. Burroughs was a person highly honoured and esteemed, and he soon became a most popular and admired preacher. After his return, his popular talents and great worth presently excited public attention, and he was chosen preacher to the congregations of Stepney and Cripplegate, London, then accounted two of the largest congregations in England. Mr. Burroughs preached at Stepney at seven o’clock in the morning, and Mr. William Greenhill at three in the afternoon. These two persons, stigmatized by Wood as notorious schismatics and independents, were called in Stepney pulpit, by Mr. Hugh Peters, one the morning star, the other the evening star of’ Stepney Mr. Burroughs was chosen one of the assembly of divines, and was one of the dissenting’ brethren, but a divine of great wisdom and moderation. He united with his brethren, Messrs. Thomas Goodwin, Philip Nye, William Bridge, and Sydrach Sympson, in publishing their” Apologetical Narration,” in defence of their own distinguishing sentiments. The authors of this work, who had been exiles for religion, to speak in their own language, “consulted the scriptures without any prejudice. They considered the word of God as impartially as men of flesh and “blood are likely to do, in any juncture of time; the place “they went to, the condition they were in, and the company “they were with, affording no temptation to any bias.” They assert, that every church or congregation has sufficient power within itself for the regulation of religious government, and is subject to no external authority whatever. The principles upon which they founded their church government, were, to confine themselves in every thing to what the scriptures prescribed, without paying any regard to the opinions or practice of men; nor to tie themselves down so strictly to their present resolutions, as to leave no room for alterations upon a further acquaintance with divine truth. They steered a middle course between Presbyterianism and Brownism: the former they accounted too arbitrary, the latter too rigid; deviating from the spirit and simplicity of the gospel. These are the general principles of the independents of the present day.

Mr. Burroughs, in conformity with the above principles, united with his brethren in writing and publishing their “Reasons against certain Propositions concerning Presbyterial Government.” In the year 1645, he was chosen one of the committee of accommodation, and was of great service in all their important deliberations. He was a divine of great piety, candour, and moderation; and during their debates, he generously declared, in the name of the independents, “That if their congregations might not be exempted from the coercive power of die classis; and if they might not have liberty to govern themselves in their own way, so long as they behaved themselves peaceably towards the civil magistrate, they were resolved to suffer, or go to some other part of the world, where they might enjoy their liberty. But,” said he, ” while men think there is no way of peace but by forcing all to be of the same mind; while they think the civil sword is an ordinance of God to determine all controversies in divinity; and that it must needs be attended with fines and imprisonment to the disobedient; while they apprehend there is no medium between a strict uniformity and a general confusion of all things: while these sentiments prevail, there must be a base subjection of men’s consciences to slavery, a suppression of much truth, and great disturbances in the christian world.”

After his return from exile, he never gathered a separate congregation, nor accepted of any parochial benefice, but continued to exhaust his strength by constant preaching, and other important services, for the advantage of the church of God. He was a divine of a most amiable and peaceable spirit; yet he had some bitter enemies, who, to their own disgrace, poured upon him their slander and falsehood. Mr. Edwards, whose pen was mostly dipped in gall, pours-; upon him many reproachful and unfounded reflections. He charges Mr. Burroughs, and some others, with having held a meeting with one Nichols, a man of vile and dangerous sentiments: whereas Mr. Burroughs thus declared, “I know no such man as this Nichols. I never heard there was such a man in the world, till I read it in Mr. Edwards’s book. I, to this day, know of no meeting about him, or any of his opinions, either intended, desired, or resolved upon; much less that there was any such meeting.”‘ What he thus declared under his own hand, he afterwards proved from the1 most correct and substantial evidence, casting all the reproach upon the false statement of his bitter adversary.

This peevish and bigotted writer, indeed, warmly censures Mr. Burroughs for endeavouring to propagate his own sentiments upon church discipline; and even for pleading the cause of a general toleration. But our pious divine, with his usual christian meekness, repelled the foolish charges, proved his own innocence, and exposed the rancour of his enemy. Being charged with conformity in the time of the bishops, he says, “Though I did conform to some of the old ceremonies, in which I acknowledge my sin; I do not cast those things off as inconvenient or discountenanced by the state only, but as sinful against Christ; yet I think there can hardly be found a man in that diocese where I was, that was so eyed, who conformed Jess than I did, if he conformed at all. As for the new conformity, God kept me from it; and my sin in the old makes me be of a more forbearing spirit towards those who now differ from me. I see now what I did not; and I bless God I saw it before the times changed: and others, even some who scorn at new light, must acknowledge they see now what a while since they saw not. Why then should they or I fly upon our brethren, because they see not what we think we see? O, how unbecoming is it for such who conformed to old and new ceremonies, now to be harsh and bitter in the least degree against their brethren, who differ from them, when they differ so much from what they were not long since themselves! Some of them know I loved them as brethren, when they conformed to what I could not, but was suspended for refusing it. Let me have the same love from them as brethren, though I cannot now conform to all they now do.”

Mr. Edwards and old Mr. John Vicars were his most bitter and furious enemies. The latter he addressed in the language of meekness and conciliation, as follows: “I reverence, and teach others to reverence old age; but,” says he,” it must know there are many infirmities attending it; and is fitter for devotion, than for matters of contention. If Mr. Vicars had told me some experience of the work of God upon his soul, or of the good providence of God towards his people and himself, I should have diligently observed it, and, 1 hope, I might have got good by it. But, oh, how unbecoming old age is that spirit of contention which appears in his books! If he think those places he has cited will serve his turn, surely his skill in presbytery is not great. My pen was running into a hard expression, but I will not provoke the old man: yet I must be plain with him. How uncomely is it for an old professor of piety and religion, to be found jeering and scorning at piety and religion.’ Who would have thought that ever Mr. Vicars should have lived to that day? The chief scope of his book is to cast dirt upon the apologists. Certainly the spirit of the man is much altered from what he once seemed to be. Is it becoming the gravity and wisdom of old age to charge his brethren publicly, of unworthy double dealing, and of unfaithfulness? The Lord, I hope, will cause Mr. Vicars to see cause to be humbled for this.”

When Mr. Burroughs and his brethren were stigmatized as schismatics, he discovered his great mildness and forbearance. “I profess, as in the presence of God,” says he,” that upon the most serious examination of my heart, I find in it, that were my judgment presbyterial, yet I should preach and plead as much for the forbearance of brethren differing from me, not only in their judgment, but in their practice, as I have ever done. Therefore, if I should turn presbyterian, I fear I should trouble Mr. Edwards and some others more than I do now: perhaps my preaching and pleading for forbearance of dissenting brethren would be of more force than it is now.”

Dr. Grey, who has called our divine “an ignorant, factious, and schismatical minister,” has certainly imitated too much, in rancour and misrepresentation, the example of his predecessors. Mr. Baxter, who knew his great worth, said, “If all the episcopalians had been like Archbishop Usher; all the presbyterians like Mr. Stephen Marshall; and all the independents like Mr. Jeremiah Burroughs, the breaches of the church would soon have been healed.” The last subject

Mr. Burroughs preached upon, which he also published, was his “Irenicum,” or an attempt to heal the divisions among christians. His incessant labours, and his grief for the distractions of the times, are said to have hastened his end; He died of a consumption, November 14, 1646, in the forty-seventh year of his age. Granger says, “he was a man of learning, candour, and modesty, and of an exemplary and irreproachable life.” Fuller has classed him among the learned writers of Emanuel college, Cambridge.t Dr. Williams says, that his “Exposition of Hosea” is a pleasing specimen, to shew how the popular preachers of his time applied the scriptures, in their expository discourses, to the various cases of their hearers. He published several of his writings while he lived, and his friends sent forth many others after his death, most of which were highly esteemed by all pious christians.

John Bale, D. D.-

This laborious and celebrated divine was born at Cove, near Dunwich, in Suffolk, November 21, 1495. His parents being in low circumstances, and incumbered with a large family, he was sent, at twelve years of age, to the monastery of Carmelites in Norwich; and from thence to Jesus College, Cambridge. He was educated in all the superstitions of the Romish church; but afterwards he became a most zealous and distinguished protestant. The account of this change in his sentiments is from his own pen, therefore we shall give it in his own words:—” I wandered,” says he, “in utter ignorance and blindness of mind both there (at Norwich) and at Cambridge, having no tutor or patron; till, the word of God shining forth, the churches began to return to the pure fountain of true divinity. In which bright rising of the New Jerusalem, being not called by any monk or priest, but seriously stirred up by the illustrious the Lord Wentworth, as by that centurion who declared Christ to be the Son of God, I presently saw and acknowledged my own deformity; and immediately, through the divine goodness, I was removed from a barren mountain, to the flowery and fertile valley of the gospel, where I found all things built, not on the sand, but on a solid rock. Hence I made haste to deface the mark of wicked antichrist, and entirely threw off his yoke from me, that I might be partaker of the lot and liberty of the sons of God. And that I might never more serve so execrable a beast, I took to wife the faithful Dorothy, in obedience to that divine command, Let him that cannot contain, marry.” Bishop Nicolson, with great injustice, insinuates, that a dislike of celibacy was the grand motive of Bale’s conversion. He was converted,” says this writer,” by the procurement of Thomas Lord Wentworth; though, in truth, his wife Dorothy seems to have had a great hand in that happy work.”

Bale no sooner experienced the power of converting grace, than he publicly professed his renunciation and abhorrence of popery. In one of his books, speaking of the idolatrous and superstitious worshippers in the Romish church, he pathetically adds: “Yea, I ask God mercy a thousand times; for I have been one of them myself.” Having felt the power of divine truth on his own mind, he conferred not with flesh and blood, but began, openly and fervently, to preach the pure gospel of Christ, in opposition to the ridiculous traditions and erroneous doctrines of the Romish church. This exposed him to the resentment and rsecution of the ruling clergy; and for a sermon which preached at Doncaster, in which he openly declared against the invocation of saints, he was dragged from the pulpit to the consistory of York, to appear before Archbishop Lee, when he was cast into prison. Nor did he meet with more humane treatment in the south. For a similar offence, he experienced similar usage from Stokesly, bishop of London. But by the interference of the celebrated Lord Cromwell, who had the highest opinion of him, and was then in high favour with King Henry VIII., he was delivered out of the hands of his enemies. Upon the death of this excellent nobleman, and the publication of the Six Articles, with the shocking persecution which immediately ensued, he could find no shelter from the storm, and was obliged to flee for safety. He retired into Germany, where he became intimate with Martin Luther and other distinguished reformers, and continued with them about eight years. While in a state of exile, he was not idle, but diligently employed in his own improvement, and in writing and publishing several learned books, chiefly against the popish superstitions.

After the death of King Henry, and the accession of Edward VI., Bale was invited home, and presented to the benefice of Bishopstoke in Hampshire. While in this situation, as well as when in exile, he wrote and published several books against the errors of popery. In the year 1550, he published a work, entitled “The Acts and unchaste Example of religious Votaries, gathered out of their own Legends and Chronicles.” Mr. Strype calls it a notable book; and says, he designed to complete this history in four books, which should detect the foul lives and practices of the monastics, both men and women. He published the two first parts, which he dedicated to King Edward, and intimated that the other two should presently follow; but it is supposed they never came forth. He, at the same time, published ” An Apology against a rank Papist, answering both him and the Doctors, that neither their Vows, nor yet their Priesthood, are of the Gospel, but of Antichrist.” This was also dedicated to the king. The Apology begins thus: A few months ago, by chance as I sat at supper, this question was moved unto me, by one who fervently loves God’s verity, and mightily detesteth all falsehood and hypocrisy: Whether the vows expressed in the xxxth chapter of Numbers give any establishment to the vow of our priests now to live without wives of their own?” This piece was answered by a certain chaplain; and Bale published a reply. During the above year, he likewise published his “Image of both Churches,” being an exposition of Revelation. Also, “A Dialogue or Communication to be had at table between two Children.” And “A Confession of the Sinner, after the Sacred Scripture.” By these and similar productions of his pen, he so exposed the delusive superstitions and vile the party; and Bishop Gardiner, the cruel persecutor, complained of him to the lord protector, but most probably without success,

During Bale’s abode at Bishopstoke, where he lived retired from the world, he waited upon the king, who was then at Southampton. His majesty, who had been informed of his death, was greatly surprised and delighted to see him; and the bishopric of Ossory, in Ireland, being then vacant, he summoned his privy council, and appointed him to that see. Upon which the lords wrote the following letter to our author:

To our very lovinge friende Doctour Bale. After our “heartye commendacyons. For as much as the kinges “majestie is minded in consideracyon of your leariiinge, wysdome, and other vertuouse qualityes, to bestowe upon ” yow the bishopricke of Ossorie in Irelande presently “voyde, we have thought mete both to give yow knowledge ” thereof, and therewithall to lete you understands, that his majestie wolde ye made your repayre hyther to the “courte as soon as convenientley ye may, to thende that if ” ye be enclined to embrace this charge, his highnesse may ” at your comynge give such ordre for the farther pro” ccdings with yow herin, as shall be convenient. And “thus we bid yow hartcly farewell. From Southampton, “the 16 daye of August 1552. Your lovinge frendes, W. “Winchestre, F. Bedford, H. Suffblke, W. Northampton,” T. Darcy, T. Cheine, F. Gate, W. Cecill.”

Bale, at first, refused the offered preferment, on account of his age, poverty, and ill health; but the king not admitting his excuses, he at length consented, and went soon after to London, where every thing relative to his election and confirmation was dispatched in a few days, without any expense to him. He was consecrated by the Archbishop of Dublin, assisted by the Bishops of Kildare and Down; and Hugh Goodacre, a particular friend of his, was, at the same time, consecrated Archbishop of Armagh. There was, however, some dispute about the form of consecration. Dr. Lockwood, dean of the church, desired the lord chancellor not to permit the form, in the Book of Common Prayer lately set forth by the parliament in England, to be used on this occasion, alledging that it would cause a tumult, and that it was not consented to by the parliament of Ireland. The lord chancellor proposed the case to the archbishop and the bishops, who agreed in opinion with the dean. Dr. Goodacre wished it might be otherwise, but was unwilling to enter into any disputation about it. But our author positively refused being consecrated according to the old popish form, alledging, that as England and Ireland were under one king, they were both bound to the observance of the same laws. Upon which, the lord chancellor ordered the ceremony to be performed according to the new book, and afterwards entertained the bishops at dinner.

This celebrated divine having entered upon his new charge, did not become indolent, nor yet rise in worldly grandeur, but was constantly employed in his beloved work of preaching the gospel, labouring to the utmost of his power to draw the people from popery to Christ. He spent a great part of his income in the purchase of books, manuscripts, and records, for the purpose of publishing certain learned works which he had then in contemplation.

Upon the accession of Queen Mary, and the return of popery, Dr. Bale was again exposed to the resentment and cruel persecution of his popish adversaries. All his endeavours to reform the manners of his diocese, to correct the lewd practices and debaucheries of the priests, to abolish the mass, and lo establish the use of the new Book of Common Prayer set forth in England, were not only rendered abortive by the death of King Edward, and the accession of Mary, but exposed him so much to the fury of the papists, that his life was frequently in the utmost danger. At one time in particular, they murdered five of his domestics, who were making hay in a meadow near his house; and he would in all probability have shared the same fate, if the governor of Kilkenny had not seasonably interposed by sending a troop of soldiers to his protection. This, however, served only as a defence against the present outrage. It did not in the least allay the fury of his adversaries, who were implacably enraged against him for preaching the doctrines of the gospel. He could find no permanent security among them, and was obliged to flee for safety. He did not, indeed, withdraw from the storm till after his books and other moveable articles were seized, and he had received certain information, that the Romish priests were conspiring to take away his life.

Dr. Leland’s reflections are not at all favourable to the memory of our prelate. After calling him the violent and acrimonious oppugner of popery, and relating his rigid and uncomplying conduct at his consecration, he adds: “That Bale insulted the prejudices of his flock without reserve, or caution. They were provoked; and not so restrained, or awed by the civil power, as to dissemble their resentments. During the short period of his residence in Ireland, he lived in a continual state of fear and persecution. On his first preaching the reformed doctrines, his clergy forsook him, or opposed him; and to such violence were the populace raised against him, that five of his domestics were slain before his face; and his own life saved only by the vigorous interposition of the civil magistrate. These outrages are pathetically related; but,” he adds,” we are not informed what imprudencies provoked them, or what was the intemperate conduct which his adversaries retorted with such shocking barbarity.”

When Dr. Bale fled from the fury of his enemies, he went first to Dublin, where, for some time, he concealed himself. Afterwards, a favourable opportunity offering, he endeavoured to make his escape in a small trading vessel, bound for Scotland, but was taken prisoner by the captain of a Dutch man of war, who rifled him of all his money, apparel and effects. This ship was driven by distress of weather into St. Ives in Cornwall, where our author was taken up on suspicion of treason. The accusation was brought against him by one Walter, an Irishman, and pilot of the Dutch ship, in hopes of obtaining a share of Bale’s money, which was in the captain’s hands. When our author was brought to his examination before one of the bailiffs of the town, he desired the bailiff to ask Walter, How long he had known him? and what treason he had committed?” These interrogatories being proposed, Walter replied, that he had never seen him, nor ever heard of him, till he was brought into their ship. Then said the bailiff, “What treason have you known by this honest gentleman since? For I promise you he looks like an honest man.” “Marry,” said Walter, “he would have fled into Scotland.” “Why,” said the bailiff,” know you any impediment why he should not have gone into Scotland? If it be treason for a man, having business in Scotland, to go thither, it is more than I knew before.” Walter was then so confounded, that he had nothing more to say. The captain and purser deposed in favour of Bale, assuring the bailiff’ that he was a very honest man, and that Walter was a vile fellow, deserving no credit. This they did, lest they should be deprived of the money and other articles which they had taken from our author.

Dr. Bale being honourably acquitted, the ship sailed, and, in a few days, arrived in Dover road, where he was again brought into danger by false accusation. One Martin, a Frenchman by birth, but now an English pirate, persuaded the Dutch captain and his crew, that Bale had been the principal instrument in pulling down the mass in England, and in keeping Dr. Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, a long time in the Tower; and that he had poisoned the king. With this information the captain and purser went ashore, carrying with them our author’s episcopal seal, and two letters sent him from Conrad Gesner and Alexander Alesius, with commendations from Pellicanus, Pomeranus, Melancthon, and other celebrated reformers, who were desirous to become acquainted with the doctrines and antiquities of the English church. They also took from him the council’s letter of his appointment to the bishopric of Ossory. All these things served to aggravate the charge. The episcopal seal was construed to be a counterfeiting of the king’s seal; the two letters were heretical; and the council’s letter a conspiracy against the queen. When the captain returned to the ship, it was proposed to send Bale to London; but, after some consultation, they resolved to send two persons, with information to the privy council. This determination, however, was relinquished, upon Bale’s strong remonstrances to the captain, and offering to pay fifty pounds for his ransom, on his arrival in Holland.

He was carried into Zealand, and lodged in the house of one of the owners of the ship, who treated him with great civility and kindness. He had only twenty-six days allowed him for raising the money agreed upon for his ransom, and could not obtain the liberty of going abroad to find out his friends. In this state of perplexity and distress, he was sometimes threatened to be thrown into the common gaol, sometimes to be brought before the magistrates, sometimes to be left to the examination of the clergy, at other times to be sent to London, or to be delivered to the queen’s ambassador at Brussels. At length his kind host interposed, and desired the captain to consider, how far he had exceeded the limits of his commission, in thus using a subject of England, with which nation they were at peace. This produced the desired effect, and the captain was willing to take thirty pounds for his ransom, as he should be able to pay it, and so discharged him.

Dr. Bale having obtained his liberty, retired to Frankfort, where he and the other English exiles were favoured by the magistrates with the use of one of their churches. Having obtained so great a privilege, their next object was to agree to certain forms of worship: driven from their own country, and now comfortably settled in a foreign land, they thought it their duty to make certain improvements upon the reformation of King Edward. They entered, therefore, into a mutual and friendly consultation upon the subject, and agreed to the following things:—”Having perused the ” English liturgy, it was concluded among them, That the ” answering aloud after the minister should not be used; the ” litany, surplice, and many other things also omitted, ” because in the reformed churches abroad such things ” would seem more than strange. It was further agreed ” upon, that the minister, in the room of the English confession, should use another, both of more effect, and also ” framed according to the state and time. And the same K ended, the people to sing a psalm in metre in a plain tune, ” as was and is accustomed in the French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and Scottish churches: that done, the minister to pray for the assistance of God’s Holy Spirit, and to proceed to the sermon. After the sermon, a general prayer “for all estates, and for our country of England, was” devised: at the end of which prayer was joined the Lord’s prayer, and a rehearsal of the articles of belief; which “ended, the people to sing another psalm as afore. Then “the minister pronouncing this blessing, The peace of God, &c. or some other of like effect, the people to depart. And as touching the ministration of the sacraments, sundry ” things were also by common consent omitted, as supersti” tious and superfluous.”

Our learned and pious divine undoubtedly took an active part in the formation of the church at Frankfort. The pious exiles having comfortably settled their new congregation, entered into a friendly correspondence with their brethren who had settled at other places. In their letter addressed to the exiles at Strasburgh, signed by John Bale, William Whittingham, John Fox, and fourteen others, they conclude by saying: ” We have a church freely granted to preach ” God’s word purely, to minister the sacraments sincerely, ” and to execute discipline truly. And as touching our “book, we will practice it so far as God’s word doth assure it, and the state of this country permit.” They wrote also to their brethren who had fled to other places, signifying how comfortably they were settled, and inviting them to Frankfort. Upon the arrival of Dr. Cox and his friends, who broke through the conditions of the new-formed church, interrupted the peace of the congregation, and, in effect, drove them from the city, they lied to other places. Dr. Bale retired to Basil in Switzerland, where he remained until the death of Queen Mary. The church at Basil was also exercised with contentions, of which our author, in a letter to one of his friends, gives a very deplorable account, severely censuring those who were of a contentious spirit.

Though we have already mentioned Dr. Bale as an author, it will be proper to renew the subject. He published a celebrated work, containing the lives of the most eminent writers of Great Britain. It came out at three different times. He first published his “Summarium illustrium majoris Brytanniae Scriptorum,” Wesel, 1549. This was addressed to King Edward, and contained only Jive centuries of writers. Afterwards he added four more, and made several additions and corrections through the whole work. The book thus enlarged, was entitled ” Scriptorum illustrium majoris Brytanniae, quam nunc Angliam et Scotiam vacant, Catalogus; a Japhcto per 3618 annos usque ad annum huuc Domini 1557,” &c. It was completed and printed at Basil, while the author was in a state of exile. The writers, whose lives are contained in this celebrated work, are those of Great Britain, including England and Scotland. The work commences from Japhet, one of the sons of Noah, and is carried down through a series of 3618 years, to the year of our Lord 1557. It is collected from a great variety of authors: as, Barosus, Gennadius, Bede, llonorius, Boston of Bury, Frumentarius, Capgrave, Bostius, Burellus, Trithemius, Gesner, and our great antiquary John Leland. It consists of nine centuries, comprising the antiquity, origin, annals, places, successes, and the most remarkable actions, sayings, and writings of each author, in the whole of which a due regard is had to chronology; and with this particular view, ” That the actions of the reprobate as well as the elect ministers of the church may historically and aptly correspond with the mysteries described in the Revelation, the stars, angels, horses, trumpets, thunderings, heads, horns, mountains, vials, and plagues, through every age of the same church.” There are appendixes to many of the articles; also an account of such actions of the contemporary popes as are omitted by their flatterers, Carsulanus, Platina, and the like; together with the actions of the monks, particularly those of the mendicant order, who, he pretends, are meant by the locusts in Revelation ix. 3, 7. To the appendixes is added a perpetual succession both of the holy fathers and the antichrists of the church, with instances from the histories of various nations and countries; in order to expose their adulteries, debaucheries, strifes, seditions, sects, deceits, poisonings, murders, treasons, and innumerable impostures. The book is dedicated to Otho Henry, Prince Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of both Bavarias, and Elector of the Roman Empire; dated from Basil in September, 1557. Our learned divine was, therefore, laboriously employed while in a foreign land.

In the month of February, 1559, he published a new edition of this celebrated work, with the addition of Jive more centuries, making in all fourteen; to which is prefixed an account of the writers before the deluge and the birth of Christ, with a description of England from Paulus Jovius, George Lilly, John Leland, Andrew Althamerus, and others. This impression is dedicated to Count Zkradin and Dr. Paid Scalechius of Lika.

On the accession of Queen Elizabeth, Dr. Bale returned to England, but not to his bishopric in Ireland. The queen, during her minority, and while exercised with troubles under her sister Mary, shewed the highest respect for him, and even honoured him by sending him a book which she had translated into French. It was too manifest, however, that she afterwards drew her affections from him: but whether this was on account of the puritanical principles which he imbibed while abroad, or from some other cause, we do not undertake to determine. During the few years that he lived under her majesty’s government, he contented himself with a prebend in the church of Canterbury, where he continued the rest of his days, still refusing to accept of his bishopric. ” One may wonder,” says Fuller, ” that being so learned a man, who had done and suffered so much for religion, higher promotion was not forced upon him; seeing about the beginning of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, bishoprics went about begging able men to receive them,

It ought to be recollected, that many of the pious reformers, while in a state of exile, and living among foreign protestants, were led to examine more minutely the grand principles of the reformation; and they acted upon those principles, as we have already observed, while dwelling in a foreign land. Nor did they forget their principles on their return to their native country. Notwithstanding their want of success, they constantly endeavoured, as the times would permit, to obtain a more pure reformation of the English church. This was the case with Dr. Bale, and was undoubtedly the reason of his refusing to accept his former preferment. Though it does not appear that he gave his reasons for this refusal; yet it is evident, says our author, that, while he was a zealous opposer of the Romish superstitions, he was a leading person among the nonconformists, and was against the use of the English rites and ceremonies: he opposed the divine institution of bishops, and was a zealous advocate for the discipline of the foreign reformed churches. It was a settled principle with him, that the government of the church by bishops, did not exist till the beginning of the seventh century. These are his own words:—” In the year 607, the church “began to be ruled by the policy and government of” bishops, which government was especially devised and u invented by the monks.” From the above facts, Dr. Bale, with great justice, stands first on the list of our puritan worthies. He was summoned to assist in the consecration of Archbishop Parker, but refused to attend, no doubt on account of his puritanical principles.t He died at Canterbury in the month of November, 1565, aged sixty-eight years; and his remains were interred in the cathedral at that place. Several of our historians are greatly mistaken in both the time and place of his death.

The character of no man has been more variously represented than that of our author, as will appear from the different testimonies concerning him. Bishop Montague censures him for his unjustifiable freedom in speaking and writing; yet he thinks him of credit and weight in many things. Valerius Andreas calls him an impious wretch and a wicked apostate; but at the same time allows him his merit as a writer. Vossius charges him with disingenuity in his accounts of ancient writers. But of all the authors, who have censured Bale, no one has fallen upon him with greater severity than his follower John Pits. The following are some of those invcnomed arrows which he has shot at him:—” This writer,” says he, ” did not so much enlarge Leland’s catalogue, as corrupt it in a monstrous manner. For he has stuffed it full of lies and calumnies, and spoiled Leland’s work, by his own barbarous style. He says many things worthy, indeed, of the mind and mouth of an heretic, but absolutely void of all civility and moral honesty, some things plainly unworthy of a christian ear.—If we except his slanders against men, and his blasphemies against God, the poor wretch has nothing of his own, which deserves our notice.—I hoped to have found at least some gem of antiquity in that dunghill: but more unlucky than Esop’s cock, I was disappointed in my expectation.” He brands him with the name of Baal, and calls him an apostate Carmelite monk, and a married priest. Such are the foul accusations brought against our divine, by this bigotted papist. Wharton charges Bale with paying very little regard to truth, provided he could increase the number of enemies to the Romish church; and adds, that, for the most part, he settled the chronology of the English writers with his eyes shut. Bishop Nicolson says: “The ground-plot of his famous work was borrowed from Leland; and the chief of his own superstructure is malicious and bitter invectives against the papists.”

It will be proper on the contrary to observe, that Gesner denominates Bale “a writer of the greatest diligence;” and Bishop Godwin gives him the character of a laborious inquirer into the British antiquities. Dr. Lawrence Humphrey says, that Vergerius, Platina, and Luther, have discovered many errors and frauds of the papists; but that Bale hath detected them all. Valentine Henry Vogler says, “it will be less matter of wonder, that Bale inveighs with so much asperity against the power of the pope, when it is considered that England was more grievously oppressed, by the tyranny of the holy see, than any other kingdom. Though he rendered himself so odious to the papists, his very enemies could not help praising his Catalogue of English writers.”

It is generally allowed that Bale’s sufferings from the popish party, is some apology for his severe treatment of them: He wrote with all the warmth of one who had escaped the flames. Granger observes, that his intemperate zeal often carries him beyond the bounds of decency and candour, in his accounts of the papists. Anthony Wood styles him “the foul-mouthed Bale; but, the above writer adds, some of his foul language translated into English, would appear to be of the same import with many expressions used by that writer himself. Perhaps some allowance ought to be made not only for his resentment of what he had suffered, but for the age in which he lived. It would be doing him great injustice, to form our ideas of him from the popish authors, many of whom were exceedingly exasperated against him, on account of the vehemence with which he had attacked the errors and superstitions of the papal see.

Dr. Bale’s writings are prohibited by the church of Rome, among those of the first class of heretical books. The Index Expurgaloriui, published at Madrid in 1667, calls him a most impudent and scurrilous writer against the see of Rome, the Mass, the Eucharist, and one that is perpetually breathing out poison; for which, it forbids the reading of his works for ever.

Edward Deering, B. D.—

This learned and distinguished puritan was descended from a very ancient and worthy family at Surrenden-Dering, in Kent; and having been carefully brought up in religion, and the rudiments of sound learning, completed his education in Christ’s college, Cambridge. Here he made amazing progress in valuable knowledge, and became an eminently popular preacher. He was fellow of the house, was chosen proctor in 1566, and Lady Margaret’s preacher the year following. This, indeed, was not sufficient to protect him from the fury and persecution of the prelates.

In the year 1571, being cited before Archbishop Parker and other commissioners, he was charged with certain assertions, which, it is said, he maintained and subscribed before them. These assertions were the following:     “That breaking the laws of civil government is, in its own nature, no sin, but only on account of scandal.—That Christ’s descent into hell relates only to the force and efficacy of his passion; but that neither his body, nor his soul, went to that place.—That it is lawful to take oaths, when the forms are written or printed, to determine the sense of the imposer; but to make use of the book, as a circumstance of solemnity, is a sacrilegious addition.—That the clerical garments, which are derived from popery, are full of offence, and appear to me directly against the truth.” It does not appear, however, what punishment was inflicted upon him for these assertions.

Mr. Deering was domestic chaplain to the unfortunate Duke of Norfolk, (who, in the above year, lost his head on Tower-hill,) and was tutor to his children. In this situation, he conducted himself with great propriety, and much to the satisfaction of his noble patron. When the duke was imprisoned for his treasonable connections with the Queen of Scots, Mr. Deering thus addressed him: “You once earnestly professed the gospel; but now dissimulation, ambition, and hypocrisy hath bewitched you. You know how many times I dissuaded you from your wicked servants, your popish friends, and your adulterous woman. Alas! my lord, your high calling hath so bridled my words, that I could not speak to you as I would: my words were too soft to heal so old a disease.”

In the year 1572, he became lecturer at St. Paul’s, London; where, on account of his great learning, ready utterance, and uncommon boldness, he was amazingly followed. This being grievous to certain ecclesiastical persons, it was deemed most proper to silence him. This was accordingly done the very next year. Our historian intimates, that he was a great enemy to the order of bishops. This was, indeed, the case with most of the puritans. They generally looked upon the episcopal office, as appointed in the church, to be equally a popish invention, and contrary to its original design, according to the New Testament. He further informs us, that Mr. Deering was intimately acquainted with the Lord Treasurer Burleigh, with whom he often interceded, in behalf of the suffering nonconformists.

While he was lecturer of St. Paul’s, he was charged with having spoken certain things, which, by interpretation, were said to reflect upon the magistrate, and tend to break the peace of the church. Therefore, by an order from the council, his lecture was put down. Persons were appointed to watch him continually, to take advantage of what he delivered; and when he was brought under examination for delivering certain things offensive to the ruling powers, he utterly denied that he had said any such thing, and declared that the charges were mere slanders. Indeed, upon his appearance before the attorney-general and the bishop of London, the bishop frankly acknowledged that he could not accuse him. What a pity then was it, that so excellent a preacher as he is denominated, who had so large a congregation, and when such preachers were much wanted, should be put to silence!

In September this year, he wrote to the treasurer, requesting that he might no more appear before the council, but be judged by the bishops themselves, at any time and place they should appoint. In order to the restoration of his lecture, he requested that judgment might not be deferred ; that be might be charged with some impropriety, either in his words or actions; and that upon the knowledge of which, his honour might himself be able to judge what he deserved. He beseeched his lordship to inquire into his character, and examine his actions, till he could find only two persons who had heard him speak evil: but if such evidence of his ill behaviour could not be obtained, he intreated him to become his friend, He urged further, that his lordship would either believe his own judgment, having himself sometimes heard him, or the report of multitudes, who were his constant hearers. And if his lecture might not be restored, as he was persuaded it was his duty to seek the good of souk, he earnestly prayed that he might have liberty to preach in some other place.

Though the treasurer was undoubtedly willing and desirous to serve him, he obtained no redress; but was cited to appear before the court of the star-chamber, when several articles were exhibited against him. But before his appearance to answer these articles, he wrote a long letter to Burleigh, dated November 1, 1573, in which he addressed him with great spirit and freedom, concerning his own case, and several important points of controversy. This letter was as follows:

“Grace and peace from God the Father, &c.

“Bear with me, I beseech your honour, though I trouble you; and let the cause of my grief be the discharge of my ” boldness. It behoveth me to discharge myself from “slander, lest the gospel should be reproached in me. and “it behoveth you to obey this commandment, Receive no “accusation against a preacher without good and sufficient witness. I know, my lord, you will not do it. I have good evidence of your equity in this behalf. Yet I am “bold to put you in mind of the word of Christ, which you cannot possibly too often remember. I ask no more than “what is due to me, even from her majesty’s seat of government and justice. If I have done evil, let we be punished: “if not, let me be eased of undeserved blame. I crave no partiality, but seek to answer, and to make you (including the other lords of the council) judges of my cause; before “whose presence I ought to fear, and the steps of whose feet I humbly reverence. If, before your honours, I “should be convinced of these pretended crimes, with what “shame should I hide my face all the days of my life! “Where were the rejoicing that I have in God, in all things that he hath wrought by me? Where were their comfort, “who have so desirously heard me? Where were the good “opinion of many, and all the good-will you have shewed me? I am not so ignorant, that I see not this. Therefore ” persuade yourself, that I am on sure ground. Trial shall teach your eyes and ears the truth. And to persuade your “heart, I give unto you my faith, I cannot accuse myself “of any thought of my mind, in which I have not honoured “the magistrate, or word of my mouth, in which I have not “regarded the peace of the church. And I thank God, “who of his unspeakable mercy, hath kept for me this con” science against the day of trouble.

“If you muse now, how these slanders have risen, you “may easily know, that the malice of satan is great against “the ministry of the gospel. I know I have given no cause, more than I have confessed; and with what words “I have spoken, I desire to be judged by the hearers. And so much the more bold I now speak to you, because my “lord of London, of late told me, before Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor, that he could not accuse me of any “such thing. As I was glad to hear this discharge, so I should have been much more glad, if, upon so free a confession, he would favourably have restored me to my “lecture. Though it be somewhat strange to punish a “man before he offend, lest hereafter he should offend; yet “I am contented with it, and leave it unto them, who “should be as much grieved as myself to see so great a congregation dispersed.”

Mr. Deering next proceeds to prove the lordship and civil government of bishops to be unlawful, and contrary to scripture. “The lordship and civil government of bishops,” says he, “is utterly unlawful. The kingdom of Christ is “a spiritual government only. But the government of the church is a part of the kingdom of Christ. Therefore, the government of the church is only a spiritual government. What the kingdom of Christ is, and what “government he hath established in it, learn not of me, but of God himself. What can be plainer than the words of Christ? My kingdom is not of this world? How plainly doth St. Paul say, The weapons of our warfare are not “carpal? Let him, therefore, who is the King of kings, “have the pre-eminence of government. And let him, “whose dominion is the kingdom of heaven, have the sword” and the sceptre that is not fleshly. Let not a vile pope, in “the name of Christ, erect a new kingdom, which Chris” never knew: a kingdom of this world, which, in the ministry of the gospel, he hath condemned. This kind of “rule hath set all out of order, and in confusion, mingled “heaven and earth together.—As the minister hath nothing “to do with the temporal sword, so it much less becometh “him to be called lord. The reason is plain from scripture. “Ministers are called fishers of men, labourers in the harvest, “callers to the marriage, servants of the people, workmen, stewards, builders, planters, &c. In all of which, they are “removed from a lordship over the people. And again, they are called fellow-elders, fellow-helpers, fellow-workmen, fellow-soldiers, fellow-servants, fellow-travellers, &c. In which names, they are forbidden lordship “over their brethren. And, surely, it must be great rashness to refuse so many names, which God hath given us, and “take another, which importeth dominion over others. Can “we doubt then in the question of lordship? We appeal to “Christ, and the words of his mouth, to decide the controversy. The disciples had this contention, as well as “ourselves. They strove much, who should be highest; “against which strife, our Saviour Christ pronounceth this ” sentence, He that is greatest among you, let him be as the least. And whosoever of you will be the chief, shall be “servant of all. This is a brief account of the superiority “in the ministry. And this shall for ever determine the controversy, though all the wisdom in the world reply to “the contrary. If a lord bishop find his titles given him “here, let him rejoice in his portion. If he have them not” hence, he shall not have them from us: we will not so “dishonour him who hath given the sentence.”

Afterwards, speaking of bishops in the primitive church, and those in modern times, he makes the following distinctions : “The bishops and ministers then, were one in degree: “now they are divers.—There were many bishops in one “town: now there is but one in a whole country.—No “bishop’s authority was more than in one city: now it is in many shires.—:The bishops then used no bodily punishments: now they imprison, fine, &c.—Those bishops ” could not excommunicate, nor absolve, of their own ” Authority: now they may.—Then, without Consent, they ‘ could make no ministers: now they do.—They could ” confirm no children in other parishes: they do now in ” many shires.—Then they had no living of the church, but “only in one congregation: now they have.—Then they “had neither officials, nor commissaries, nor chancellors, ” under them.—Then they dealt in no civil government, by ” any established authority.—Then they had no right ill alienating any parsonage, to give it in lease.—Then they  had the church where they served the cure, even as those “whom we now call parish ministers.”—This bold and excellent letter contains many other interesting particulars, too numerous for our insertion. Upon the appearance of Mr. Deering in the star-chamber, the following charges were brought against him : “That he had spoken against godfathers and godmothers.—That he had asserted that the statute of providing for the poor was not competent to the Object.—That he had said, he could provide for them in a better way, by committing them to be kept by the rich.— That, at a public dinner, he took off his cap, and said, ‘Now I will prophesy, Matthew Parker is the last archbishop that shall ever sit in that seat;’ and that Mr. Cartwright said, Accipio omen.”

To acquit himself of these charges, he presented an address, November 28th, to the lords of the council, who constituted the above court. In this address, he proves his innocence, and establishes his own reputation. He says here, “Against godfathers and godmothers, save only the name, I spake nothing.—That I said the statute of provision For the poor was not competent to the object, or any such words, I utterly deny: I commended the statute.—That I said I could provide for the poor, I utterly deny, as Words which I never spake, and thoughts which were never yet in my heart. And if I had spoken any such thing, I had spoken wickedly, and accordingly deserved punishment. And thus much I profess and protest, before the seat of justice, where I dare not lie.—In the last place, I am charged With taking off my cap, and saying, Now I Will prophesy, Matthew Parker is the last archbishop that shall ever sit in that seat: and that Mr. Cartwright said, Accipio omen. To this I answer, that I have confessed what I said; and here I tend it, witnessed by the hands of those Who heard ft. I put off no cap, nor spake of any prophesy.”

However before Mr. Deering could be restored to his beloved ministerial work the bishop or the archbishop required him to acknowledge and subscribe to the four following articles:—” 1. I acknowledge 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.”

In reply to this, he excepted against the article of the consecration of bishops and archbishops, as contained in the said book. “To what purpose,” says he, “is this article put in? What reason is there to make all subscribe unto it? Who dare make so bold an addition to the word of God, as to warrant these consecrations to be tied unto it? Let him allow of it, who hath the profit of it: and he that liketh it not, let him have no bishopric. I would, therefore, gladly make this exception. Also, the article touching homilies, to which, because they are made by man, I dare not give my absolute warrant, that they are, in all things, according to the word of God. And when I set my hand unto it, I must needs avow that which I know not. I would, therefore, make this addition, As far as I know.”

“2. That the queen’s majesty is the chief governor, next under Christ, of the church of England, as well in ecclesiastical, as civil causes.”—”The second article,” says he, “I freely acknowledge.”

“3. That in the Book of Common Prayer, there is nothing evil, or repugnant to the word of God; but that it may be well used in this our church of England.”

To this he excepts, “That in the book, there are many phrases and hard speeches, which require a favourable exposition. There are many things, though well meant, when first appointed, which were certainly ill devised, being first used by papists. And, therefore, being still kept in the Prayer Book, they are offensive.—That day in which there is no communion, certain prayers are to be said after the offertory. What this offertory is, and what it meaneth, I cannot tell. And to account our prayers as offertories, I dare not warrant that it is according to the word of God.— In this book, we are commonly called by the name of priests; which name, besides importing a popish sacrificer, and so is sacrilegious, cannot possibly be given to us, and to our Saviour also.—On Christmas-day, we say, ‘Thou hast given us thy Son this day, to be born of a virgin.’ The same words we use all the week after, as if Christ had been born anew every day in the week. If it be said, this is but a trifle, the more loath I am to subscribe, that it is according to the word of God.—In one of the prayers, we 6ay, ‘Grant us that, which, for our unworthiness, we dare not ask.’ These words cannot be excused. They fight directly against our faith. We must come boldly to the throne of grace, and doubt not of obtaining mercy, in whatever God has promised. These and such other things, thus standing in the prayer book, make many fearful- of subscribing, that every part of it is according to the word of God.”

“4. That, as the public preaching of the word, in the church of England, is sound and sincere; so the public order, in the ministration of the sacraments, is consonant to the word of God.”

Upon this he observes, “How can I tell, that all preaching in England is sound and sincere, when I hear not all preachers? And sometimes those whom I do hear, preach neither soundly, nor sincerely: but this is the fault of man. —And that the public order, in the ministration of the sacraments, is according to God’s word, I cannot simply confess. There is an order how women may baptize. All reformed churches have condemned this, and how can I allow it? All learned men write against the questions and crossings in baptism; and why should I, with my hand, condemn all their doings? The wafer cake in many churches, is thought intolerable; and our own act of parliament for avoiding superstition, hath appointed other bread: what then if I should dislike it?

“Another reason why I cannot subscribe both to this article and the first, is the one contradicting the other. In the first I must subscribe to all the homilies: in this, to all the ceremonies; and yet our homilies condemn many of our ceremonies. In the homilies it is said, ‘That the costly and manifold furniture of vestments lately used in the church, is Jewish, and in a kef h us the more willingly, in such apparel to become Jewish.’ If I subscribe to this, how can I subscribe to the ceremonies used in cathedral churches, where the priests, deacon, and subdeacon, are in copes and vestments? In the homilies, it is said, ‘That piping, singing, chanting, playing on organs, &c. greatly displease God, and filthily defile his holy temple.’ If 1 must subscribe to this, then I must not subscribe to the contrary, even that all our ceremonies are good, and according to the word of God. -How can I say, that our doctrine, our, sacraments, our prayers, our ceremonies, our orders, even that all is according to the word of God? A person having a conscience, or no conscience, must needs be tried here: and blessed is he that is not offended. See, I beseech you, what wrong I sustain, if I be urged to this subscription. While any law bound me to, wear the cap and surplice, I wore both. When I was at liberty, surely I would not wear them for devotion. I never persuaded any to refuse them, nor am I charged with ever preaching against them. Thus, according to my promise, I have set down how far I would yield in these articles which your worship sent me. If I seem curious, or to stand upon little points, conscience, it should be remembered, is very tender, and will not yield contrary to its persuasion of the truth. I have sent you these articles, subscribed with mine own hand, and sealed with my heart, even in the presence of God ; whom I humbly beseech, for Christ’s sake, to give peace unto his church, that her ministers may rejoice, and her subjects be glad. I conclude, desiring God to make you rich in all grace, to his honour and glory. December 16, 1573.” Here we see the evil of requiring subscription to articles and creeds of human composition. To yield in such a case as this, would rack the conscience of every honest man. .

Twenty other articles were, about the same time, presented to Mr. Drering in the star-chamber; to each of which, he gave a particular answer. These articles were designed, says Mr. Strype, to make exact inquiry into his principles and opinions, concerning the church, its usages, practices, and clergy, and the queen’s authority; and he might, with truth, have added, that it assumed all the appearance of a tyrannical and cruel inquisition. Mr. Deering, in the preface to his answers to these articles, thus expressed himself:—”I most humbly beseech your honours, to remember my former protestation, that I have never spoken against the book of prayers; and in my book in print, I have spoken openly for the allowance of it. I resort to common prayers; and sometimes, being requested, 1 say the prayers as prescribed. If I be now urged to speak what I think, as before an inquisition, there being no law of God requiring me to accuse myself, I beseech your honours, let my answer witness my humble duty and obedience, rather than be prejudicial and hurtful to me. This I most humbly crave; and under the persuasion of your favour, I will answer boldly, as I am required.” These articles, which so much discover the spirit of the times, and the answers which Mr. Deering presented to the court, though at some length, we here present to the curious and inquisitive reader. They were the following:

Article 1. Is the book entitled u The Book of Common Service,” allowed by public authority in this realm, to be allowed in the church of God, by God’s word, or not?

Answer. The similitude of this book, to that form of prayer used by the papists, leads me to think it declineth from those laws, Deut. vii. 25., xii. 30., xviii. 9. Also, its great inconvenience in encouraging unlearned and indolent ministers to conclude, that the mere reading of the service is sufficient. These are some of the reasons why I cannot subscribe, that all the book is allowable by the word of God. Some other things, the bishops themselves confess to be faulty.

  1. Are the articles set down by the clergy in Synod, and allowed by public authority, according to God’s word, or not?

I confess, as I am persuaded, that the articles of faith are good. I think the same of the articles about traditions, an oath before a judge, the civil magistrate, the doctrine of the homilies, &c. But that which relates to the consecration of archbishops and bishops, I can by no means confess as godly, and according to the word of God.

  1. Are we tied in all things, by God’s word, to the order and usage of the apostles and primitive church, or not?

No doubt we are bound to whatsoever was the usual order of the apostles. When St. Paul had said to Timothy, “Thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose,” &c. &c. he adds, continue in the things which thou hast learned. And he chargeth the Philippians, Those things which ye have both learned and received, and heard and seen in me, do.

  1. Is there any right ministry, or ecclesiastical government, at this time, in the church of England, or not?

If, by right, you mean such a calling as the word of God requireth: as, I Tim. iii. 2., Acts i. 23., xiv. 23,. 1 Tim. iv. 14., I am sure you will confess it is not right. If you mean a right ministration of the doctrine and sacraments, I humbly confess, that no man ought to separate himself ‘from the church. Concerning government, see the seventh article.

  1. May nothing be in the church, either concerning ceremonies, or government, but that only which the Lord in his word, commandeth?

Such ceremonies as do not necessarily appertain to the gospel of Christ, may be changed; observing always that which St. Paul hath commanded, Phil. iv. 8., 1 Cor. xiv. 26.

  1. Ought every particular church or parish in England, of necessity, and by the order of God’s word, to have its own pastor, elder, and deacons, chosen by the people of that parish; and they only to have the whole government of that particular church, in matters ecclesiastical?

Wherever this government hath been, the choice hath been by certain persons, with the allowance of the people, so far as I ever read. But what is most requisite at the present time, I leave to those whom God hath set in authority.

  1. Should there be an equality among all the ministers of this realm, as well in government and jurisdiction, as in the ministration of the word and sacraments?

That all ministers are called to the preaching of the word, arid the ministration of the sacraments, no man, I think, will deny. Touching government or governors, the Holy Ghost calleth them fellow-ministers, fellow-elders, fellow-officers, fellow-soldiers, fellow-labourers, fellow-servants: and St. Peter expressly forbids them being lords over God’s heritage. St. John evidently condemneth the lordly dominion of Diotrephes, in commanding and excommunicating by his own authority. Our Lord himself, refused to exercise any lordly dominion; and when his disciples strove for superiority, he expressly forbad them, and reproved them for aspiring after it. Though ministers are worthy of double honour, singular love, great reverence, and all humble duty, I dare, by no means, make them lords in the ministry, nor give to any one of them authority above the rest.

  1. Are the patrimonies of the church, such as bishops lands, the lands belonging to cathedral churches, the glebe lands, and tithes, by right, and God’s word, to be taken from them?

Render unto Caesar, the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God, the things that are God’s, is a rule always binding. Every prince who feareth the King of kings, must make sufficient provision for the ministry, then for the poor, then for schools and the universities, in such a degree as may supply the wants of the ministry; without which the spoil of the church is most unnatural sacrilege.

  1. Are the ministers of this realm, of whatsoever calling, now in place, lawful ministers; and their administration, and ecclesiastical actions, lawful and effectual?

This article, so far as I can see, is the same as the fourth.

  1. Is it not convenient at a marriage, to have the communion, and the newly married persons to communicate; and, at a funeral, to have a sermon?

I would have communions at such times as the church appoints. On those days, if there be a marriage, it is meet that the parties communicate. As to the funeral sermons, they may be used. Yet, if there be any inconvenience, by hurting or offending the church, they ought to be omitted.

  1. Is it lawful for any man to preach, besides he who is a pastor; and may a pastor preach out of his own flock without a license?

None may preach but a pastor, and he, on just occasion, being requested, may preach out of his own flock. But, surely, if he have no license to preach, he hath no license to be a pastor.

  1. Is it better and more agreeable to God’s word, and more for the profit of God’s church, that a prescribed order of common prayer be used, or that every minister pray publicly, as his own spirit shall direct him?

An ordinary prayer is very necessary, that it may be familiar to the people: but, as every parish will have its occasions and necessities, so it is necessary, that the minister be able to pray in the congregation, according to the necessities of the people.

  1. Are the children of parents, who are perfect papists, and have they faith?

If parents are obstinate, and perfect papists, wanting nothing of the spiritual wickedness of antichrist, and are so accounted by the church, their children are not to be admitted to this sacrament, though we exclude them not from the election of God: but if the parents be not cast out of the church, we may admit the children; yet riot as having that faith which cometh by hearing, but as being within the covenant: I am their God, and the God of their children.

  1. May any ecclesiastical persons have more ecclesiastical livings than one?

For one man to have many parsonages, where he cannot possibly reside, is great wickedness. And seeing Christ hath purchased his church with his own blood, whosoever enjoys several livings, considers very little the words of St. Paul: Take heed unto all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God. I, therefore, humbly beseech your honours, to have this carefully reformed.

  1. May one be a minister, who has no particular flock assigned him? And may an ecclesiastical person be exercised, also, in a civil function?

A minister can no more be without a charge, than a king .without a kingdom. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life. And I am sure whatsoever person seeketh after civil offices, wanteth that love which should most abound. Our Saviour refused to be judge in the division of lands. Yet 1 judge not him, who, on special occasions, seeketh to do good to others.

  1. Are all the commandments of God needful for salvation?

All the commandments are necessary for all men in all places, and are ever to be observed. And as Christ was minister, not of earthly things, but heavenly; so the observance of all his commandments is necessary to salvation; and the breach of the least of them, if imputed to, us, hath the just recompence of eternal death.

  1. Has the Queen of England authority over the ecclesiastical state, and in ecclesiastical matters, as well as civil?

Let every soul be subject to the higher powers, whether he be an apostle, or evangelist, or prophet, or whatsoever he be. This subjection is not against his calling. Princes have full authority over all ecclesiastical and civil persons, and equally over both, to punish offenders, and to praise well-doers. Only this is the difference in the sovereignty over both. The commonwealth cannot be without the magistrate; but if all magistrates fall from the church, we must still hold this article, “I believe in the catholic church.”For Christ, and. not the christian magistrate, is the life and head of the church. In the commonwealth, the prince maketh and repealed! laws, as appears most for the safety of the state, and the benefit of the people; but in the church, there is only One Lawgiver, even Jesus Christ.

  1. Is the Queen of England the chief governor under Christ, over the whole church and state ecclesiastical in this realm, or but a member of it? And may the church of England be established without the magistrate?

This is answered under the seventeenth article.

  1. Is the Queen of England bound to observe the judicial laws of Moses, in the punishment and pardon of criminal offences?

We are sure that the law of Moses, was, to the people of Israel, an absolute and a most perfect rule of justice; so that all laws ought to be made according to its equity. Yet, to decide on all particular cases, dare I not. It belongeth to the Lord to say, I will pardon, or I will destroy.

  1. May the Queen of England, of herself, and by her own authority, assign and appoint civil officers?

I never knew a man who doubted this article. And sure I am, that her majesty, in her wisdom, may do as she thinketh best.

These were the articles proposed to Mr. Deering in the star-chamber, and this was the substance of those answers which he presented to the court in writing. In these answers, says Mr. Strype, he made very ill reflections upon the reformation and religion of the established church. Whether this remark be consistent with christian liberality, or even common justice, every reader will easily judge. What could be the design of the commissioners in proposing such inquiries? Some of them relating wholly to matters of state, seem designed to ensnare him. Others were evidently intended to draw him either to approve, or to censure, the corruptions of the church. And in general, it is extremely manifest, that they were put to him, to rack his conscience, and to get something out of him; to make him an offender by his own confession. “For my part,” Bays Mr. Peircc, “when I consider the abominable tyranny of all such proceedings, and the barbarous wickedness of sifting the secrets of mens’ hearts, about those matters, of which perhaps they never spoke any thing in their lives; I heartily bless my God that he did not cast my lot in those days, but reserved me for times of greater equity and freedom”.

During Mr. Deering’s suspension, the Bishop of London, oat of good nature, it is said, interceded with the treasurer, to procure the consent of the council for his liberty to preach again at St. Paul’s; upon these conditions, that he taught sound doctrine, exhorted to virtue, dissuaded from vice, and meddled not with matters of order and policy, but left them to the magistrate: and, he said, he believed Mr. Deering would be brought so to do. He thought these gentle dealings the best, for the present, and would quiet the minds of the people. He thought a soft plaster, in such a case, much better than a corrosive. But the treasurer, we are informed, disliked the advice, and sharply reproved the bishop for living it. At length, however, he prevailed; got Mr. Deering’s suspension taken off, and, notwithstanding his puritanical answers to the above articles, procured his restoration to his lecture.

The lords of the council having restored him to his beloved work of preaching, the archbishop and several of the bishops were much offended. Dr. Cox, bishop of Ely, wrote a warm letter to the treasurer, signifying his great disapprobation of the conduct of the council in restoring him, even as a man sound in the faith, and by their own authority, without consulting spiritual men, whose business it was to determine in such cases: and that they ought not to have determined a matter relating to religion without the assistance of those who belonged to the ecclesiastical function. Mr. Deering was, indeed, restored in consequence of the answers he gave to the articles, which articles, it seems, were collected out of Mr. Cartwright’s book against Whit-gift. Though Bishop Cox said his answers were fond and untrue, the lords of the council thought otherwise, and were satisfied with them. The bishop urged, that in these matters they ought to have consulted the judgment of learned divines, adding, “In all godly assemblies, priests have usually been called, as in parliaments and privy councils.” And in the warmth of his zeal, he seemed inclined to move the queen’s majesty to oppose and recall the decree of the council: but he trusted that the treasurer would, in his wisdom and godly zeal, undertake to do it himself, t Our author further adds, that when Mr. Deering and three of his brethren were first cited into the star-chamber, the Bishop of London remained silent, for which the queen afterwards bitterly rebuked him.

Although Mr. Deering was again allowed to preach, his troubles were not ended. The Bishop of London, by whose influence he had been restored, appeared soon to repent of what he had done. When he wailed upon the bishop, informing him that the council, by their letters, had restored him to his lecture, his grace said he would see the letters, or he should not preach, and added, “That unless he preached more soberly and discreetly than before, he would silence him again.” Mr. Deering replied, “If you do forbid me, I think I shall obey.” His obedience was, indeed, soon brought to the test; for the bishop silenced him presently after. He brought complaints against him in the star-chamber, and urged the treasurer to procure an order from the queen to put down his lecture. He wrote also to the Earl of Leicester, signifying how much he disliked Mr. Deering’s continuance. This was going the right way to work, and he was sure of success. Accordingly, the business was brought before her majesty, who commanded him to be silenced; and a warrant being sent to the bishop for this purpose, he was again suspended.

In the year 1574, the famous Dr. Thomas Sampson being laden with old age and infirmities, was desirous of Mr. Deering succeeding him in his lecture at Whittington college, London, for which there was a stipend of ten pounds a year. The company of cloth-workers had the power of nomination, and the archbishop had the allowance. Dr. Sampson had no doubt of the company’s approbation, but doubted the favour of the archbishop. And, indeed, his doubts were not without foundation; for his grace being moved to allow of Mr. Deering, in case he should be nominated by the company, he utterly refused. Dr. Sampson, however, wrote to Burleigh, the treasurer, earnestly intreating him, in this case, to use his influence with the archbishop. In this letter, he observed, that though the archbishop did not himself like to take pains in the congregation, he should not hinder or forbid others, who were both able and willing. He could say of Mr. Deering, that his grace of Canterbury could find no fault with him, either in his doctrine or his life. Also, that it was no great promotion, but a place in which, by the labours of Mr. Deering, he doubted not that her majesty’s subjects would be much profited. It was all to no purpose. The archbishop remembered his former nonconformity, but especially his puritanical answers to the articles in the star-chamber; and, therefore, remained inflexible, and would not admit him.

At length, Mr. Deering being worn out by hard labours and manifold troubles, fell sick; and perceiving his dissolution to approach, he said to his friends, “The good Lord pardon my great negligence, that, while I had time, I used not his precious gifts more for the advancement of his glory, as I might have done: yet I bless God, that I have not abused those gifts to ambition and vain studies. When I am dead, my enemies will be reconciled to me; excepting such as knew me not, or such as have in them, no sense of the truth. I have faithfully, and with a good conscience, served the Lord my God, and my prince.” A brother minister standing by him, said, “It is a great blessing to you, that you shall depart in peace, and be taken from many troubles, which your brethren shall behold and suffer.” To whom he replied, “If the Lord hath appointed that his saints shall sup together in heaven, why do I not go to them? But if there be any doubt or hesitation resting on my spirit, the Lord reveal the truth unto me.” Having for some time lain still, a friend who attended him, said, that he hoped his mind had been employed in holy meditation; to whom he thus replied: “A poor wretch and a miserable man that I am, the least of all saints, the chief of all sinners! yet I trust in Christ my Saviour. Yet a little while, and we shall see our hope. The end of the world is coming upon us; and we shall quickly receive the end of our hope, which we have so much looked for. Afflictions, diseases, sickness, and grief, are only parts of that portion which God hath allotted us in this world. It is not enough to continue some time in his ways; we must persevere in the fear of the Lord to the end of our days. For in a moment we shall be taken away. Take heed, therefore, that you do not make sport of the word of God, nor lightly esteem so great a treasure.

Blessed are they who, while they have tongues, use them to God’s glory.”

As the hour of his dissolution approached, being raised up in bed, his friends desired him to say something to their edification and comfort. The sun shining in his face, he thus addressed them: “As there is only one sun in the world, so there is only one righteousness, and one communion of saints. If I were the most excellent creature in the world, equal in righteousness to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, yet would I confess myself to be a sinner, and that I expected salvation in the righteousness of Jesus Christ alone: for we all stand in need of the grace of God. As for my death, I bless God, I find and feel so much comfort and joy in my soul, that if I were put to my choice, whether to die or live, I would a thousand times rather choose death than life, if it was the holy will of God.” He died soon after, June 26, 1576.

Fuller denominates Mr. Deering a pious man, a painful preacher, and an eminent divine; but disaffected to bishops and ceremonies.t Mr. Strype says, he was disliked by the bishops, and some other great personages, as a man vain and full of fancies, because he would tell them of their common swearing and covetousness. He would not associate with persecutors; and was much grieved when the benefice of a great parish was given to an unpreaching minister. Yet, says he, it was Mr. Deering’s common fault to tell lies. Does not this look like a slander? What did the excellent Dr. Sampson say of him, as already noticed, who knew him well? Surely, if this had been his common fault, having so many enemies constantly and narrowly watching him, his sin would have found him out. Granger gives a very different account of him. “The happy death,” says he, of this truly religious man, was suitable to the purity and integrity of his life.’% He is classed with the other learned writers and fellows of Christ’s college, Cambridge.

Mr. Deering was a man of great learning, and a fine orator; but in his sermon before the queen, February 25, 1569, he had the boldness to say, “If you have sometimes said (meaning in the days of her sister Mary,) tanquam ovis, as a sheep appointed to be slain; take heed you hear not now of the prophet, tanquam indomica juvenca, as an untamed and unruly heifer.” For this, he was forbidden preaching any more at court; and surely, says Fuller, the queen still retained much of her former disposition, at a sheep, in not inflicting a greater punishment, for so public a reproof.

Mr. Clark relates the following anecdote, shewing the amiableness of his truly christian spirit. Mr. Deering being once at a public dinner, a gallant young man sat on the opposite side the table, who, besides other vain discourse, broke out into profane swearing; for which Mr. Deering gravely and sharply reproved him. The young man taking this as an affront, immediately threw a glass of beer in his face. Mr. Deering took no notice of the insult, but wiped his face, and continued eating as before. The young gentleman presently renewed his profane conversation; and Ir. Deering reproved him as before; upon which, but with more rage and violence, he flung another glass of beer in his face. Mr. Deering continued unmoved, still shewing his zeal for the glory of God, by bearing the insult with christian meekness and humble silence. This so astonished the young gentleman, that he rose from the table, fell on his knees, and asked Mr. Deering’s pardon; and declared, that if any of the company offered him similar insults, he would stab them with his sword. J Here was practically verified, the New Testament maxim, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” Titus 2:11
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