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6 Oh! my
the Gate-house, for saying, that to keep the Queen's birth-day as an HOLIDAY was to make her an idol. When the good man had been shut up from his family and friends several months, he petitioned the bishop to be brought to his trial, or admitted to bail. But all the answer his lordship returned was, that he deserved to lie in prison seven years. This usage, together with Mr. Wright's open and undisguised honesty and piety, moved the compassion of his keeper, in so much that his poor wife being in child-bed and distress, he
gave him leave, with the private allowance of the secretary of state, to make her a visit at Rochford upon his
purole ; but it happened that Dr. Ford the civilian, meeting him upon the road, acquainted the bishop with his escape, who thereupon fell into a violent passion, and sending immediately for the keeper, demanded to see his prisoner. The keeper pleaded the great compassion of the case; but the bishop threatened to complain of him to the Queen, and have him turned out. Mr. Wright being informed of the keeper's danger, returned immediately to his prison, and wrote to the lord treasurer on his behalf. 6 lord, (says he) I most humbly crave your lordship's fa
vor that I may be delivered from such unpitiful minds; 6 and especially that your lordship will stand a good lord
to my keeper, that he may not be discouraged from fa• voring those that profess true religion.” Upon this the keeper was pardoned.
But the bishop resolved to take full satisfaction of the prisoner; accordingly he sent for him before the commissioners, and examined him upon articles concerning the book of common prayer ; concerning rites and ceremonies; concerning praying for the Queen and the church ; and concerning the established form of ordaining ministers. He was charged with preaching without a licence, and with being no better than a mere layman. To which he made the following answers; That he thought the book of common prayer, in the main, good and godly, but could not answer for every particular. That as to rites and ceremonies, he thought his resorting to churches where they were used, was a sufficient proof that he allowed them. That he prayed for the Queen, and for all ministers of God's word, and consequently for archbishops and bishops, &c.
That he was but a private chaplain, and knew no law that required a licence for such a place. But he could not yield himself to be a mere layman, having preached seven years in the university with licence ; and since that time having been regularly ordained, by the laying on of the hands of the presbyters at Antwerp. The bishop having charged him with saying, that the election of ministers ought to be by their flocks, he owned it, and supposed it not to be an error; and added further, that in his opinion, every minister was a bishop, though not a lord bishop ; and that his lordship of London must be of the same opinion, because when he rebuked Mr. White for striking one of his parish -ioners, lie alledged that text, that a bishop must be no stri. ker: which had been impertinent, if Mr. White, being only a minister, had not been a bishop. When his lordship charged him with saying, there were no lawful ministers in the church of England, he replied,* “ I will be content to "he condemned, if I bring not two hundred witnesses for
my discharge of this accusation. I do as certainly believe, that there are lawful ministers in England, as that there 6 is a sun in the sky. In Essex, I can bring twenty godly • ministers, all preachers, wlio will testify that they love ó me, and have cause to think that I love and reverence
them. I preached seven years in the university of Cam- bridge with approbation, and have a testimonial to produce under the hands and seals of the master and fellows
of Christ college, being all ministers at that time, of my good behavior.” However, all he could say was to no purpose, the bishop would not allow big orders, and therefore pronounced him a layman, and incapable of holding any living in the church.
The lord Rich and divers honorable knights and gentlemen in Essex, had petitioned the bishop of London for a licence, that Mr. Wright might preach publicly in any place within his diocese; but his lordship always refused it, because he was no minister, that is, had only been ordained among the foreign churches. But this was certainly contrary to law; for the statute 13 Eliz. cap. 12, admits the ministrations of those who had only been ordained ac
* Strype's Am. vol. iji. Appendix, No. 23, 21 VOL. I.
cording to the manner of the Scots, or other foreign churches: There were some scores, if not hundreds of them, now in the church; and the archbishop of Canterbury at this very time commanded Dr. Aubrey, his vicar general, to li. cense Mr. John Morrison, a Scots divine, who had bad no other ordination than what he received from a Scots presbytery, to preach over his whole province. The words of the licence are as follow : “ Since you the aforesaid John • Morrison, about five years past, in the town of Garrat, in the county of Lothian, of the kingdom of Scotland, were
admitted and ordained to sacred orders and the holy min• istry, by the imposition of hands, according to the laudable form and rite of the reformed church of Scotland : And since the congregation of that county of Lothian is conformable to the orthodox faith, and sincere religion now received in this realm of England, and established by public authority: We therefore as much as lies in us, and 6 as by right we may, APPROVING AND RATIFYING THE FORM OF YOUR ORDINATION AND PREFERMENT DONE IN SUCU
MANNER A FORESAID, grant unto you a licence and faculty, ' with the consent and express command of the most rev'erend father in Christ, the lord Edmund by the divine
providence archbishop of Canterbury, to us signified, That «in such orders by you taken, you may, and have power in
any convenient places in and throughout the whole province of Canterbury, to celebrate divine offices, to minister the sacraments, &c. as much as in us lies; and we may de jure, and as far as the laws of the kingdom do allow." This licence was dated April 6, 1582, and is as full a testimonial to the validity of presbyterial ordination, as can be desired. But the other notion was growing into fashion ; all orders of men are for assuming some peculiar characters and powers to themselves ; the bishops will be a distinct and superior order to presbyters; and no man must be a minister of Christ, but on whom they lay their hands.*
The behavior of the bishop of London towards the pu* Here bishopWarburton remarks, the puritans were even with ihem; and to the jus divinum of episcopacy, opposed the jus divinum of presby“tery, which was the making each other antichristian." His lordship goes into this conclusion too hastily, and applies it without, nay against,
ritans, moved the compassion of some of the conforming clergy; the Rev. Mr. Wilkin, rector of Danbury in Essex, in a letter to the lord treasurer, writes thus : As some "might be thought over-earnest about trifles, so on the 6 other hand, there had been too severe and sharp punish
ment for the same. Though I myself think reverently of • the book of common prayer, yet surely it is a reverence 6 due only to the sacred writings of holy scripture, to say the authors of them erred in nothing, and to none other é books of men, of what learning soever. I have seen the • letters of the bishops to Bullinger and Gualter, when I was at Zurich in the year 1567, in which they declare, " that they had no hand in passing the book, and had no other choice, but to leave their places to papists, or accept them 6 as they were; but they professed and promised never to
urge their brethren to those things ; and also, when opsportunity should serve, to seek reformation.” How different was the practice of these prelates from their former professions !
But not only the clergy, but the whole country also exclaimed against the bishops for their high proceedings ; the justices of peace of the county of Suffolk were so moved, that, notwithstanding his lordship’s late citation of them before the council, they wrote again to their honors, praying them to interpose in behalf of the injuries that were offered to divers godly ministers. The words of their supplication are worth remembering, because they discover the cruelty of the commissioners, who made no distinction between the vilestof criminals, and conscientious ministers. “ The pain- ful ministers of the word (say they) are marshalled with " the worst malefactors, presented, indicted, arraigned, and 6 condemned, for matters, as we presume, of very slender
moment: some for leaving the holidays unbidden; some • for singing the psalm Nunc Dimittis in the morning; some
for turning the questions in baptism concerning faith, from authority, to the puritans : they never required such as had been episcopally ordained to be re-ordained; but, in the height of their power, declared, “We hold ordination by a bishop to be for substance valid and “ not to be disclaimed by any that have received it." See our author vol. iii. ED.
6 the infants to the godfathers, which is but you for thou; 6 some for leaying out the cross in baptism ; some for leaving out the ring in inarriage. A most pitiful thing it is, to
see the back of the law turned to the adversary [the papists] and the edge with all the sharpness laid upon the sound and true-hearted subject.t
“ We grant order to be the rule of the spirit of God, and desire uniformity in all the duties of the church, accordó ing to the proportion of faith ; but if these weak ceremo
nies are so indifferent, as to be left to the discretion of ministers, we think it (under correction) very hard to have 6 them go under so hard handling, to the utter discredit of their whole ministry, and the profession of truth."
66 We serve her majesty and the country [as magistrates 6 and justices of the peace] according to law; we reverence
the law and law-maker; when the law speaks, we keep 6 silence; when it commandeth we obey. By law we pro6ceed against all offenders ; we touch none that the law spareth, and spare none that the law toucheth; we allow
not of papists ; of the family of love ; of anabaptists, or 6 brownists. No, we punish all these. I
66 And yet we are christened with the odious name of pubritans ; a term compounded of the heresies above men. 6tioned, which we disclaim. The papists pretend to be pure 6 and immaculate ; the family of love cannot sin, they being
deified (as they say) in Gon. But we groan under the burthen of our siuz, and confess them to God; and at the same 6 time we labor to keep ourselves and our profession un
blameable; this is our puritanism ; a name given to such
| Strype's Ann, vol. iii. p. 183, 4. Bishop Maddox observes, the expressions in Strype are stronger.66 We allow not of the papists their subtilties and hypocrisies : we al"low not of the family of love, an egg of the same nest: we allow not “ of the anahaptists, and their communion: we allow not of Broin, the Có overthrower of church and commonwealth! we abhor all these ; no
(we) punish all these.” This, we must own with his lordship, was not he language of real and consistent friends to liberty of conscience. Ed.