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one Wood from his living on the same account. Sir Robert Jermin and sir John Higham, knights, and Robert Ashfield and Thomas Badley, esquires, gentlemen of Suffolk and Norfolk, and of the number of the aforesaid justices, gave in their answer to the bishop's articles in the name of the rest; in which, after asserting their own conformity to the rites and ceremonies of the church, they very justly tax his lordship with cruelty, in keeping men so many years in prison, without bringing them to a trial, according to law; and are ashamed that a bishop of the church of England should be a patron of ignorance, and an enemy to the preaching the word of God. Upon this the justices were dismissed. But though the lord-treasurer, lord North, sir Robert Jermin, and others, wrote to the bishop, that Mr. Handson, who was a learned and useful preacher, might have a licence granted him, the angry prelate declared peremptorily, that he never should have one, unless he would acknowledge his fault, and enter into bonds for his good behaviour for the future.
While the bishops were driving the Puritans out of the pulpits, the nobility and gentry received them into their houses as chaplains and tutors to their children, not merely out of compassion, but from a sense of their real worth and usefulness; for they were men of undissembled piety and devotion; mighty in the Scriptures; zealous for the Protestant religion; of exemplary lives; far remote from the Jiberties and fashionable vices of the times; and indefatigably diligent in instructing those committed to their care. Here they were covered from their oppressors; they preached in the family, and catechised the children ; which, without all question, had a considerable influence upon the next gene-, ration.
The Papists were now very active all over the country; swarms of Jesuits came over from the seminaries abroad, in defiance of the law ;* and spread their books of devotion and controversy among the common people; they had their private conventicles almost in every market-town in Eng
* Bishop Warburton asks here, “ Were the Jesuits more faulty in acting in defiance of the laws, than the Puritans?" and replies, “ I think not— They had both the same plea, conscience, and both the same provocation, persecution.” This is candid and pertinent, as far as it applies to the religious principles of each: but certainly the spirit and views of these parties were very different; the former was engaged, once and again, in plots against the life and government of the queen; the loyally of the other was, notwithstanding all their sufferings, unimpeached.--Ed.
land; in the northern counties they were more numerous than the Protestants. This put the government upon inquiring after the priests; many of whom were apprehended, and three were executed, viz. Edmund Campion, a learned and subtle Jesuit, educated in Cambridge, where he continued till the year 1569, when he travelled to Rome, and entered himself into the society of Jesus, 1573. Some years after he came into England, and travelled the countries to propagate the Catholic faith. Being apprehended he was put on the rack to discover the gentlemen who harboured him, and afterward was hanged, drawn, and quartered, when he was but forty-one years of age. The other two that suffered with him, were, Ralph Sherwin and Alexander Bryant. These were executed for an example, but the rest' were spared, because the queen’s match with the duke of Anjou was still depending. However, the Protestants in the Netherlands being in distress, the queen assisted them with men and money, for which they delivered into her majesty's hands the most important fortresses of their country, which she garrisoned with English. She also sent relief to the French Protestants who were at war with their natural prince; and ordered a collection all over England for the relief of the city of Geneva, besieged by the duke of Savoy:measures which were hardly consistent with her own principles of government; but, as Rapin observes,* queen Elizabeth's zeal for the Protestant religion was always subordinate to her private interest.
About this time  the queen granted a commission of concealments to some of her hungry courtiers, by which they were empowered to inquire into the titles of church lands and livings; all forfeitures, concealments, or lands for which the parish could not produce a legal title, were given to them: the articles of inquiry seem to be levelled against the Puritans, but, through their sides, they must have made sad havoc with the patrimony of the church. They were such as these, What right have you to your parsonage? How came you into it? Who ordained you ? and at what age were you ordained ? Have you a licence? Were you married under the hands of two justices of the peace? Do you read the whole service ? Do you use all the rites, ceremonies, and ornaments, appointed by the queen’s injunctions ?
* Vol. 8. p. 475. # Strype's Ann. vol. 3. p. 114.
Have you publicly read the articles and subscribed them? The churchwardens of every parish had also twenty-four interrogatories administered to them upon oath, concerning their parson, and their church-lande; all with a design to sequester them into the hands of the queen's gentlemenpensioners. This awakened the bishops, who fell upon their knees before the queen, and entreated her majesty, if she had any regard for the church, to supersede the commission; which she did, though, it is well enough known, the queen had no scruple of conscience about plundering the church of its revenues.
To return to the Puritans. The Rev. Robert Wright, domestic chaplain to the late lord Rich, of Rochford in Essex, fell into the hands of the bishop of London last year* ; he was a learned man, and had lived fourteen years in the university of Cambridge; but being dissatisfied with episcopal ordination, went over to Antwerp, and was ordained by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery of that place. Upon his return home, lord Rich took him into his family, at Rochford in the hundreds of Essex, where he preached constantly in bis lordship’s chapel, and no where else, because he could obtain no licence from the bishop. He was an admired preacher, and universally beloved by the clergy of the county, for his great seriousness and piety. While his lordship was alive he protected him from danger, but his noble patron was no sooner dead, than the bishop of London laid hands on him, and confined him in the Gate-house, for saying, that to keep the queen’s birth-day as a 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, insomuch 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 parole; but it happened that Dr. Ford the civilian, meeting him upon the road, acquaivted the bishop with his escape, who thereupon fell into
* Strype's An.. f. 123.
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. “ Oh! my lord (says he), I most humbly crave your lordship’s favour, that I may be delivered from such unpitiful minds; and especially that your lordship will stand a good lord to my keeper, that he may not be discouraged from favouring 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 farther, that in his opinion, every minister was a bishop, though not a lord-bishop; and that his ļordship of London must be of the same opinion, because when. he rebuked Mr. White for striking one of his parishioners, he alleged that text, that a “bishop must be no striker” 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 be 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 is a sun in the sky. In Essex, I can bring twenty godly ministers, all preachers, who will testify that they love me, and have cause to think that I love and reverence them. I preached seven years in the university of Cambridge 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 behaviour.” However, all he could say was to no purpose, the bishop would not allow his orders, and therefore pronounced him a layman, and incapable of holding any living in the church.
The lord Rich and divers honourable 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 diocess ; but his lordship always refused it, because he was no minister, that is, had only been or. dained 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 according 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 license Mr. John Morrison, a Scots divine, who had had no other ordination than what he received from a Scots presbytery, to preach orer 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 ministry, 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 as by right we may, approving and ratifying the form of your ordination and
Strype's Ann. vol. 3. Appendix, no. 23, 24.