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no safety of conscience we can accord unto. They then offer a conference or disputation, as the queen and parliament shall agree, to put an amicable end to these differences, that the church may recover some discipline, that simony and perjury may be banished, and that all that are willing to promote the salvation of souls may be employed; but the queen and bishops were against it.
All the public conversation at this time ran upon the queen's marriage with the duke of Anjou, a French Papist, which was thought to be as good as concluded; the Protestant part of the nation were displeased with it, and some warm divines expressed their dark apprebensions in the pulpit.—The Puritans in general made a loud protest against the match, as dreading the consequences of a Protestant body being under a Popish head. Mr. John Stubbs, a student of Lincoln’s-inn, whose sister Mr. Cartwright had married, a gentleman of excellent parts, published a treatise this summer, entitled, “The gaping gulph, wherein England will be swallowed up with the French marriage;" wherewith the queen was so incensed, that she immediately issued out a proclamation to suppress the book, and to apprehend the author and printer. At the same time the lords of the council wrote circular letters to the clergy, to remove all surmises about the danger of the Reformation, in case the match should take place, assuring them the queen would suffer no alterations in religion by any treaty with the duke, and forbidding them in their sermons or discourses to meddle with such high matters. Mr. Stubbs the author, Singleton the printer, and Page the disperser, of the above-mentioned book, were apprehended, and sentenced to have their right hands cut off, by virtue of a law made in queen Mary's reign against the authors and dispersers of seditious writings: the printer was pardoned, but Mr. Stubbs and Page were brought to a scaffold, erected in the market-place at Westminster, where with a terrible formality their right hands were cut off, by driving a clever through the wrist with a mallet ;* but I remember (says Camden, being present) that as soon as Stubbs's right hand was cut off, he pulled off his hat with his left, and said with a loud voice, God save the queen, to the amazement of the spectators, who
"'This (says bishop Warburton) was infinitely more cruel than all the years under Charles I. whether we consider the punishment, the crime, or the map."-Ed.
stood silent, either out of horror of the punishment, or pity to the man, or hatred to the match. Mr. Stubbs proved afterward a faithful subject to her majesty, and a valiant commander in the wars of Ireland.
At the beginning of the next sessions of parliament, which was January 10, 1580, the commons voted, " that as many of their members as conveniently could, should, on the Sunday fortnight, assemble and meet together in the Templechurch, there to have preaching, and to join together in prayer, with humiliation and fasting, for the assistance of God's Spirit in all their consultations, during this parliament; and for the preservation of the queen's majesty, and her realms."* The house was so cautious as not to name their preachers, for fear they might be thought Puritanical, but referred it to such of her majesty's privy-council as were members of the house. There was nothing in this vote contrary to law, or unbecoming the wisdom of parliament; but the queen was no sooner acquainted with it, than she sent word by sir Christopher Hatton, her vice-chamberlain, that “she did much admire at so great a rashness in that house, as to put in execution such an innovation, without her privity and pleasure first made known to them." Upon which it was moved by the courtiers, that " the house should acknowledge their offence and contempt, and humbly crave forgiveness, with a full purpose to forbear committing the like for the future; which was voted accordingly. A mean and abject spirit in the representative body of the nation !
Her majesty having forbid her parliament to appoint times for fasting and prayer, took hold of the opportunity, and gave the like injunctions to her clergy; some of whom, after the putting down of the prophesyings, had ventured to agree upon days of private fasting and prayer for the queen and church, and for exhorting the people to repentance and reformation of life, at such times and places where they could obtain a pulpit. All the Puritans, and the more devout part of the conforming clergy, fell in with these appointments; sometimes there was one at Leicester; sometimes at Coventry and at Stamford, and in other places; where six or seven neighbouring ministers joined together in these exercises ; but as soon as the queen was acquainted with them, she sent a warm message to the archbishop to suppress them, as being set up by private persons, without authority, in defiance of the laws, and of her prerogative.*
* Heylín, p. 287.
Mr. Prowd, the Puritan minister of Burton upon Dunmore, complains, in a melancholy letter to lord Burleigh, of the sad state of religion, by suppressing the exercises ; and by forbidding the meeting of a few ministers and Cbristians, to pray for the preservation of the Protestant religion, in this dangerous crisis of the queen's marrying with a Papist. He doubted whether his lordship dealt so plain. ly with her majesty as his knowledge of these things required, and begs him to interpose. But the queen was determined against all prayers, except what herself should appoint. We have already taken notice of the petitions and
supplications to parliament from London, Cornwall, and some other places, for redress of grievances; but the house was so intimidated by the queen's spirited behaviour, that they durst not interpose, any farther than in conjunction with some of the bishops, to petition her majesty as head of the .church, to redress them. The queen promised to take order about it, with all convenient speed ; putting them in mind at the same time, that all motions for reformation in religion ought to arise from none but herself.
But her majesty's sentiments differed from the parliament's ; her greatest grief was the increase of Puritans and Nonconformists, and therefore, instead of easing them, sbe girt the laws closer about them, in order to bring them to an exact conformity. Information being given, that some who had livings in the church, and preached weekly, did not administer the sacrament to their parishioners in their own persons, her majesty commanded her bishops in their visitations, to inquire after such half-conformists as disjoined one part of their function from the other, and to compel them by ecclesiastical censures to perform the whole at least twice a year. The Puritan ministers being dissatisfied with the promiscuous access of all persons to the communion, and with several passages in the office for the Lord's supper, some of them used to provide qualified clergyman to administer the ordinance in their room ; but this was now made a handle for their ejectment: inquisition was made, and those who after admonition would not con
* Heylin's Aerius Redivivus, p. 286,
form to the queen's pleasure were sent for before the commissioners, and deprived,
Though the springs of discipline moved but slowly in the diocess of Canterbury, because the metropolitan, who is the first mover in ecclesiastical causes under the queen, was suspended and in disgrace ; yet the sufferings of the Puritans were not lessened; the other bishops, who were in the high commission, doubled their diligence; the reverend Mr. Nash was in the Marshalsea, Mr. Drewet in Newgate, and several others were shut up in the prisons in and about London.—Those that were at liberty had nothing to do, for they might not preach in public without full conformity; nor assemble in private to mourn over their own and the nation's sins, without the danger of a prison.
This exasperated their spirits, and put them upon writing satirical pamphlets * against their adversaries; in some of which there are severe expressions against the unpreaching clergy, calling them in the language of Scripture) dumb dogs, because they took no pains for the instruction
of their parishioners; the authors glanced at the severity of the laws, at the pride and ambition of the bishops, at the 'illegal proceedings of the high-commission, and at the unjustifiable rigours of the queen's government; which her majesty being informed of, procured a statute this very parliamentt , by which it is enacted, that " person or persons, forty days after the end of this season, shall devise, or write, or print, or set forth, any manner of book, rhime, ballad, letter, or writing, containing any false, seditious, or slanderous matter, to the defamation of the queen's majesty, or to the encouraging, stirring, or moving of, any insurrection or rebellion within this realm, or any of the dominions to the same belonging; or if any person or persons shall proeure such books, rhimes, or ballads, to be written, printed, or published (the said offence not being within the compass of treason, by virtue of any former statute), that then the said offenders, upon sufficient proof by two witnesses, shall suffer death and loss of goods, as in case of felony.” This statute was to continue in force only during the life of the present queen ; but within that compass of time, sundry of the Puritans were put to death by virtue of it.
* Bishop Warburton censures Mr. Neal for not speaking in much severer terms of these pamphlets. But he should have adverted to our author's grave censure of them, in chap. viii. and have recollected that “ the writers on the church-side came out behind their adversaries ip buffonery and ridicule.” These were the weapons of the age:
† 23 Eliz. cap. 2.
In the same session of parliament, another severe law was made, which like a two-edged sword cut down both Papists and Puritans; it was entitled, An act to retain the queen's subjects in their due obedience :* “ by which it is made treason, for any priest or Jesuit to seduce any of the queen’s subjects, from the established to the Romish religion. If any shall reconcile themselves to that religion, they shall be guilty of treason: and to harbour such above twenty days, is misprision of treason. If any one shall say mass, he shall forfeit two hundred marks and suffer a year's imprisonment; and they that are present at hearing mass shall forfeit one hundred marks, and a year's imprisonment.” But that the act might be more extensive, and comprehend Protestant Nonconformists as well as Papists, it is farther enacted, “ that all persons that do not come to church or chapel, or other place where common prayer is said, accord. ing to the act of uniformity, shall forfeit twenty pounds per month to the queen, being thereof lawfully convicted, and suffer imprisonment till paid. Those that are absent for twelve months shall, upon certificate made thereof into the King's-bench, besides their former fine, be bound with two sufficient sureties in a bond of two hundred pounds, for their good behaviour. Every schoolmaster that does not come to common prayer, shall forfeit ten pounds a month, be disabled from teaching, school, and suffer a year's im. prisonment.” This was making merchandise of the souls of men, says a reverend author;ť for it is a sad case to sell men a licence to do that which the receivers of their money conceive to be unlawful. Besides, the fine was unmrciful; by the act of uniformity, it was twelve pence a Sunday for not coming to church, but now 201. a month; so that the meaner people had nothing to expect but to rot in jails, which made the officers unwilling to apprehend them. Thus the queen and her parliament tacked the Puritans to the Papists, and subjected them to the same penal laws, as if they had been equal enemies to her person and government, and to the Protestant religion. A precedent followed by several parliaments in the succeeding reigns. * 23 Eliz. cap. 1.
| Fuller, b. 9. p. 131.