kingdom impute almost all the distractions and combustions
therein as much to the seditious sermons of the preachers of
3'our faction, as to the contrivances of those persons who set
you on work ? Let your own conscience be your own judge
* Clarendon's Hist. vol. i. p. 161, 162.
+ Walker'ii Attempt, part i. p. 15.
in Ibis matter, and it ^viU tell you, that if all these new
designs should succeed to your wish, and there should
liappen to be a change of government, you would think
yourselves wronged if you should not be acknowledged
very efiectual instruments in thut change. These things
therefore being so, you cannot accuse of uncharitableness
those who think these designs not only unjust, but ruinous
both to justice and religion, if they attribute it to God's
mercy to them, and vengeance on you, if he take such a
fire-brand as you out of the world."*
While this anonymous calumniator thus reproaches
Mr. IMarshall for his zeal in the cause of the parliament,
lie is extremely lavish in the dignified compliments con-
ferred upon his majesty, styling him " God's anointed, and
a most righteous christian king." Wood says, "that, upon
the approach of the troublesome times in 1640, Mr. Mar-
shall, Mr. Calain}', Dr. Burgess, and some others, first
whispered in their conventicles, then openly preached, that
for the cause of religion it was lawful for subjects to take up
arms against the king."f "As to Mr. Marshall," says
Dr. Calamy, " he was an active man, and encouraged
taking up arras for securing the constitution, when it ap-
peared not only to him and his brethren, but to a number
of as worthy gentlemen as ever sat in St. Stephen's chapel,
to be in no small danger; yet I am not aware that he can be
justly charged with any concurrence in those things which
afterwards overthrew the constitution, and tended to con-
fusion. He wrote a defence of the side which he took in our
civil broils, and I cannot hear that it was ever answered.''^
Mr. Marshall, at the same time, took an active part in
the controversy concerning church government. The cele-
brated Bishop Hall liaving published his work in defence of
episcopacy and the liturgy, called, " An Humble Remon-
strance to the high Court of Parliament," 1640, he united
with several of his brethren in Avriiing the famous book,
entitled, "An Answer to a Book, entituled, ' An Humble
Remonstrance:' in Avhich the Orio-inal of Lituro^y and
-Lpiscopacy is discussed, and Queries propounded <x)ncern-
ing both. The Parity of Bishops and Presbyters in Scri})lure
demonstrated ; the Occasion of their Imparities in Anti-
quity discovered ; the Disparity of the ancient anrl our
modern Bishops manifested ; the Antiquity of Ruling
* Letter of Advice, p. 1, 2.
+ Wood's Athenie Oxon. vol. ii. p. 235, S36.
â– J Calamy's CoDtia. vol. ii. p. 737.
S46 , LIVES OF THE PURITANS.
Elrlers in the Church vindicated: the Prclntical Church
bounded. Written by Smectymnuu?:," !641. T!ie word
sinccty mnuus is composed of the initials of iis author.i' n;imes,
who were Stepiien Marsha!!, Edmund Calamj, Thomas
Young, Matdiew Newcomen, and William Spursto^e.
*' The worli," it is said, " is certainly written with great
fierceness of spirit and much asperity in language, con-
taining eighteen sections, in (lie last of which th.e diHor-
ences between the prelatists and puritans are aggravated
with great bitterness." The same author, on the satne page,
says, " it was, indeed, a very well written piece, thcretore
we find frequent reference to it in all the defences and apo-
logies for nonconformity, which have been since published."
Mr. Calamy aiiinns, tliat it "gave the first deadly blow to
episcopacy." The learned Dr. Kippis says, " it was a
production of no small importance in its day: and was
drawn up in a style of composition superior to that of the
puritans in general, and, indeed, of many other writers at
that period." The learned Bishop Wilkins represents it as
*' a c ipital work against episco])acy."*
The book is couciuded by a postscript, in which is con-
tained an historical narrative of (he bitter effects of episco-
pacy, as, pride, luxury, bribery, extortion, rebellion, treason,
&c. ; and the whole is closed thus : â€” "The inhuman butche-
ries, blood-sheddings, and cruelties of Gardin'T, Bonner,
and the rest of the bishops in Queen Mary's days, are so
fresh -n every man's memory, as that we conceive li a thing
alloge'Jier unnecessary to niake mention of them. Only we
fear lest the guilt of the blood then shed should yet remain
to be required at the h-rnds of this nation, because it hath
not quickly endeavoured to appease the wrath of God, by a
general and silemn hum liation for it. What the practices
ol the prelales h've been ever since, from the beginning of
Queen t']!izib t!i to this present day, would fill a volume,
like Ezekiel's roll, with lamentation, mourning, and woe
to record. For it hath been their great design to hinder all
further reformation ; to bri'g iji doctrines of popery, armi-
nianism, and libertinism; to maintain, propagate, and much
increase the burden of human ceremonies ; to keep out, and
beat tiow'n t!ie preachiai; of the word, to silence the faithful
ministers of it, (o oppose a.d per.-ecute the most zealous
professors, and to turn all religion to a pompous outside ;
and to tread down the power of godliness. Insomuch, as
â€¢ Biog. Britan. vol. iii. p. 132, 136. Edit. 1178.
it is come to an ordinary proverb, that ^vhen any thing is
spoiled, we use to say, The bishop's foot hath been in it.
And in this, and much more which might be said, fulfilling
Bishop Bonner's prophecy, which, when he saw that in
King Edward's reformation there was a reservation of
ceremonies and hierarchy, is credibly reported to have
used these words, ' Since they have begun to taste om^ broth,
thetj will not be long ere they xoilt eat our beef.'' "*
LJpori the publication of the above work, Bishop Hall
wrote his " Defence of the Humble Remonstrance against
the frivolous and false Exceptions of Smectymnuus," 1641.
To this, Smectymnuus published a reply, entitled, " A Vin-
dication of the Answer to the Humble Remonstrance, from
the unjust Imputations of Frivolousness and Falsehood :
wherein the cause of the Liturgy and Episcopacy is further
debated," 1641. The learned prelate concluded the dispute
by publishing his piece entitled, " A short Answer to a
tedious Vindication of Smectymnuus," 1641.+
In this year, Mr. Marshall was appointed chaplain to the
Earl of Essex's regiment in the parliament's army. Dr.
Grey, in contempt, denominates him and Dr. Downing
*' the two famed casuistical divines, and most eminent camp-
chaplains ;" and charges them, on the authority of Clarendon
and Echard, with publicly avowing, " that the soldiers lately
taken prisoners at Brentford, and released by the king upon
their oaths, that they would never again bear arms against
him^ were not obliged by that oath ; but by their power
they absolved them, and so engaged those miserable wretches
in a second rebellion. "j This, as well as the foregoing
account, has all the appearance of forgery, with a view to
calumniate the two excellent divines. Priestly absolution
was as remote as possible from the practice of the puritans ;
and they rejected all claims to the power of it with the
utmost abhorrence. The parliament's army, at the same
time, stood in so little need of these prisoners, which were
only 150 men, that there is good reason to suspect the whole
account to be a falsehood. Â§
In the year 1643, Mr. Marshall was chosen one of the
assembly of divines, and was a most active and valuable
member. In this public office it was impossible for Jiim to
escape the bitter censures of the opposite party. One of
* Smectymnuus, p. 77, 78. Edit, 1C5}.
+ Biog. Brilan. jol. iv. p. 2492. Edit. 1747.
J Grey's Examination, vol. ii. p. 10.
\ Neai's Purilanis, vol. iii. p. 3, 4.
248 LIVES OF THE PURITANS.
them, speaking of him as a member of the assembly, says,
*' He quickly grows to be master, and is so called by all.
They sit, not to consult for the reformation of religion in
things that are amiss, but to receive the parliament's com-
mands to undo and innovate religion. In which work, or
rather drndgery of tlie devil, our active Stephen needs
neither whip nor spur: tooth and nail he bemis himself to
the overthrow of the hierarchy, root and branch."* Ur.
Heylin, with his usual modesty, calls him " the great bell-
wether of the presbjteriansf'f and alhrms, that though he
had the chief hand in compUing the directory, he married
his own daughter by the form prescribed in the Book of
Common Prayer ; which he had no sooner don(* than he
paid down five pounds to the cliurchwaidens of the parish,
as a fine for using any other form of marriage than that
contained ui the directory. t The truth of this representa-
tion of so excellent a person as Mr. Marshall, e.peciaily
from the pen of Dr. Heylin, is extremely doubttui, if not
unworthy of the smaUest cr* dit.
Mr. Marshall frequently united with his brethren in the
observance of public fasts, when the servic< s were usually
protracted to a very great length. O.k onr of thesi^ occa-
sions, it is said, " that Dr. Twisse having commenc^'d the
public service with a short prayer, Mr. Marshail prayed in
a wonderful, pathetic, and prudent manner for two hours.
Mr. Arrowsmith then preached an hour, tlien th y sung a
psalm ; after which Mr. Vines prayed nearly (wo hours,
Mr. Palmer preached an hour, and Mr. Soaman prayed
nearly two hours. Mr. Henderson then spoke of the evils of
the time, and how they were to be remedied, and Dr. Twisse
closed the service with a shoit praycr."Â§
* Lifeof Marsliall, p. 11,
+ Dr. Peter Heylin, preanhing at Westminster abbey, before Bishop
Williams, and endeavouring to justify the church in tiie imposition of
doctrine and ceremonies, and So censure the nitnconformists, he said, " In-
stead of hearken inj^ to the voice of the church, every man hearkens to him-
self, and cares not if the whole miscarry so that he himself may carry his
own devices. Upon which stubbirn hcighf of pride, what quarrels have
been raised ? what schisms in every corner of the church ? â€” To inquire no
further, some put all into open tumult rather than conform to (he lawful
government derived from Christ an! his aposiies." On expressing these
words, the bishop, sitting in the great pew, knocked aloud with his staff
upon the pulpit, saying, " No more of that point, no more of that point,
Peter." To whom Heylin immediately answered, " I have a little more to
say, my loid, and then I have done ; w hen he proceeded to finish his subject.
Biog. Britan. v.>l. iv. p. 239T. Edit. 1747.
X Heylin's Examen Historicnm, p. 264.
S Biog. Britan. vol. i. p. 51S. Edit. 1778.
In the year 1644, be atteiifled the commissioners of par-
liament at the treaty of Uxbridge. In J04o, he was chosen
one of the committee of arconnnodation, to secure the peace
of the church, and promote, as far as possible, the sfitisfac-
tion of dl parti' s. The year followiiig, lie was appointed,
together wlh Mr. ,fos(ph Caryl, ch'ipiain to the commis-
sioners who were sent to the king at Newcastle, in order to
an accommodation for peace. Renoving thence, by easj
journies, to fl'hiiby-house in Northamptonshire, the two
chapkiins performed divine worship there ; but his majesty
never aft; nded.* tie spent his Lord's day in private ; and
though they waited at tabh;, he would not so much as allow
them to ask a blessing. The Oxford historian, who men-
tions this rircuinsta ce, relates the following curious anec-
dote : â€” " It is said that Marshall did, on a tune, put himself
more forward than was meet to say grace; a,:d, while he
was long in forming his chaps, as the manner was among the
saints, arul making ugly faces, his majesty said grace him-
self, and was fallen to his meat, and had eaten up some part
of his dinner, before Marshall had ended the blessing ; but
Caryl was not so impudent."f
About the above period, Mr. Marshall and Mr. Nye were,
by order of the parliament, appointed to attend the commis-
sioners to Scotland, whose object was to establish an agree-
ment with the Scots.t In their letter to the assembly, they
assure their brethren, that the ministers in the north are
wholly on the side of the parliament. They conclude their
canting letter, as Dr. Grey calls it, in the following Avords :
<< We scarce ever saw so much of Christ for us as this
day, in the assembly's carrying of this business: such
weeping, such rejoicing, such resolution, such pathetical
expressions, as we confess hath much refreshed our hearts,
before extremely saddened with ill news from our dear coun-
try ; and hath put us in good hope that this nation (which
sets about this business as becometh the work of God and
the saving of the kingdoms) shall be the means of lifting
up distressed England and Ireland. "Â§
In the year 1647, Mr. Marshall was appointed, together
* Dr. Grey, on the authority of " An Apologry for the Bishops," says,
that Mr. Marshall having once petitioned the king for a deanery, and at
another time for a bishopric, and being refused, his majesty tofd him at
llolmby, that he would on tliis account overthrow all.â€” Grew'* Exam.
â–¼ol, i. p. 392.
+ Wood's Athena; Oxon. vol, ii. p. 375.
t Clarendon's Hist. vol. ii. p. 232.
S Grey's Examination, vol. ii. p. 94.
250 LIVES OF THE PURITAZ'J'S.
with Mr. Vines, Mr. Caryl, and Dr. Seaman, to attend the
commissioners at the treaty of the Isle of Wight, when lie
conducted himself with great ability and moderation. The
house of commons having now many important affairs under
consideration, Mr. Marshall and Mr. Nye, by order of the
houhe, December 31, 1647, were desired to attend the next
morning to pray with them, tliat they might enjoy the
direction aivd blessing of God in tlieir weighty consulta-
tions.* In the year 1654, when the parliament voted a
toleration of all who professed to hold the fimdamentals of
cliristiauity, Mr. Marshall was appointed one of the com-
mittee of learned divines, to draw up a catrdogue of fun-
damentals to be presented to the house. + About the same
time he was chosen one of the tryers.
A writer already mentioned, who employs thirty quarto
pages in little else than scurrility and abuse, gives the
following account of him : " Because the church could not
be destroj'ed without the king, who was more firmly
wedded to it than Mr. Marshall was either to his wife or his
first living ; the king, and all who adhered to him, and the
church, must be destroyed together : to whose ruin Mr.
Marshall contributed not a little. His thundering in all
pulpits; his cursing all people who were backward in
engaging against him ; his encouraging all those whose
villany made them forward in undertaking that great work,
warraiiting them no small preferment in heaven if they
would lay down their lives for the cause ; his menaces and
private incitatlons, becoming drum-major or captain-general
to tlie army, praying from regiment to regiment at Edge-
hill. His religion stood most in externals: in a Jewish
observation of the sabbath, praying, preaching, fasts, and
thanksgivings. Under these specious shews," adds the un-
worthy biographer, " the mystery of iniquity lay hid."t
Mr. Echard, with his usual candour, denominates him
*' a famous incendiary, and assistant to the parliamentarians ;
their trumpeter in their fasts, their confessor in their sick-
ness, their counsellor in their assemblies, their chaplain in
their treaties, their champion in their disputations;" and
then adds, " This great SJiimei, being taken with a des-
perate sickness, departed the world mad and raving /""S than
which there never was a more unjust aspersion. Mr. Baxter,
* Whiilorke's Mem. p. 220, 287, 336.
f Sylves(er's Life of Baxter, part ii. p. 197â€”199.
X Life of Marshall, p. 13, 17.
^ Eciiard's Hist, of Eng. toI. ii. p. 783.
who knew him well, calls him " a sober and worthy man ;"*
and used to observe, on account of his great moderation,
that if all the bisliops had been of the same spirit as
Arclibishop Ush(r, the independents like Mr. Jeremiah
Burroughs, and the prebyterians like Mr. Stephen Marsliall,
the divisions of the clnirch would soon have been healed.
He w;is, indeed, taken ill, and oblig, d to retire into the
country tor the ben* fit of the air, ^vhen the Oxford Mercury
piiblislied to the world that he was districted, and in his
rage conslantly cried out, that he was damned for adhering
to the parliament in their war against the king. But he
lived to refute the unjust calumny, and published a treatise
to prove the lawfulness of defensive war, in certain cases
of extremity. Upon his retirement from the city, he spent
his last two years at Ipswich. His last words when upon
his death-bed, according to Mr. Petyt, were, Kuig Charles,
King Charles^ and testified much horror and regret tor the
bloody confusion.^ he had promoted. + This representation
appears to be void of truth, and only designed to repioach
his memory. For Mr. Giles Firmin, who knew him in liiie,
and attended him in death, observes, in a preface to one of
Mr. Marshall's posthumous sermons, " That he left behind
him few preachers like himself; that he was a christian in
practice as well as profession ; that he lived by faith, and died
by faith, and was an example to the believers, in word, in
conversation, in charity, in faith, and in purity. And when
he, together with some others, convers( d with him about his
death, he replied, ' I cannot say, as one did, I have not so
lived that I should now be afraid to die; but this I can say,
I have so learned Christ, that I am not afraid tq die."'t He
enjoyed the full use of his understanding to the last ; but, tor
some montlis previous to his death, he lost his appetite and
the use of his han.'s.
He was justly accounted an admired preacher ;Â§ but, to
* Sylvester's Life of Baxter, part ii. p. 199.
+ (irej's Examination, vol. iv. p. 146.
% Neal's Puritans, vol. iv. p, 19.
\ Mr. Marshall was certainly a useful as well as admired preacher, of
'which the followins; instance is preserved on record : â€” Lady Brown, wife
io an eminent member of the long parliament, was under great trouble
about the salvation of her soul. For some time she refused to attend upon
public worship, though it had formerly been her great delight. She asked
what she should do there, and said it would only increase her damnation !
In this state of mind she was persuaded, and almost forced to hear Mr,
Marshall; when the scrraon was so exactly suited to her case, and so
powerfully applied to her mind, that she returned home in transports of
joy. â€” Calainy's Contin, vol, i, p. 467.
â€¢252 LIVES OF THE PURITANS.
refute this account of his character, Dr. Grey quotes several
passages from his sermons preached on public occasions ;
among which are the following: â€” " Beloved, our days are
belter than they were seven years ago ; because it is better
to see the Lord executing judgment, than to see men work-
ing wickedness ; and to behold people lie wallowing in
their blood, rather than apostatizing from God, and era-
bracing idolatry and superstition, and banishing the Lord
Christ from amongst men. â€” Carry on the work still. Leave
not a rag that belongs to popery. Lay not a bit of the
Lord's building witli any thing that belongs unto anti-
christ's stuff; but away with all of it, root and branch,
head and tail ; throw it out of the kingdom. â€” I could easily
set before you a catalogue of mercies. You have received
many peculiar to your own persons, to your souls and bodies,
your estates and families, privative mercies, positive mer-
cies. You eat mercies, drink mercies, wear mercy's clothes,
are compassed about and covered with mercies, as much
as ever the earth was in Noah's flood."* These sermons,
of which this is a specimen, so abound with striking com-
parisons, and contain so pointed an appeal to the hearers,
that though they are not suited to the taste of modern elo-
quence, it is easy to conceive how they might gain great
admiration in those times. The doctor's refutation, there-
fore, refutes itself.
Another author endeavours to expose Mr. Marshall to
public contempt, on account of his sentiments delivered in
his sermons before the parliament. We give these senti-
ments in his own words, as transcribed from his sermons :
'' Christ," says he, " breaks and moulds commonwealths at
his pleasure, fie ha(h not spoke much in his word how
long they sh;dl last, or what lie intends to do with them :
only this, that all kings and kingdoms that make war against
the church, sljall be broken in pieces; and tliat, in the end,
all the kingdoms of the world bliall he the kingdoms of our
Lord and his saints; and they sliall reign over them. Did
ever any parliament in England lay the cause of Christ and
religion to heart as this hadi done ? Did ever the city of
London, tiie rest of the tribes, and the godly party tlirough-
out the land, so willingly exhaust themselves, ihat Clirist
might be set up ? Let all England cry that our blood, our
poverty, &c. are abundantly repaid in this, that there is
such a concurrejice to set the Lord Christ upon his throne,
* Grey's Examination, vol. iii. p. 183 â€” 185.
to be Lord and Christ over this our Israel."* There is
more to the same purpose ; but this contains a sufficient
Newcourt calls him " The Geneva-Bull, and a factious
and rebellious divine ;"t and Wood styles him " a notori-
ous independent, and the archflamcn of the rebellious rout."^:
The fact however is, he never was an independent, but lived
and died an avowed presbjterian. And Avith respect to his
rebellion, what is observed above will afford every impartial
reader a sufficient refutation of the charge. Fuller has
classed him among the learned writers of Emanuel college ;^
and gives him the following character : " He was a minister
well qualified for his work; yet so supple, that he did not
break a joint in all the alterations of the times. Although
some suspected him of deserting his presbyterian principles;
yet upon his death-bed he gave full satisfaction of the con-
trary. "|| He died in the month of November, 1655, when
his remains were interred with great funeral solemnity in
Westminster abbey, but were dug up, together with many
others, at the restoration.^ Mr. Ilugh Glover, ejected in
1662, was his successor at Finchingfield.** Mr. Marshall
wrote with considerable ability against the baptists, and
published many sermons preached before the parliament,
tlie titles of some of which we have collected.
His Works. â€” I. A Sermon preached before the Honourable Honsc
of Commons, at their public Fast, Nov. 17, 1640 â€” 1641. â€” 2. A Peace-
Offering to God, a Sermon (o the Honourable House of Connnons, at
their public Thanksgivhis. Sept. 7, 1641â€” 1641.â€” 3. Meroz Cursed r
or, a Sermon to the Commons at their late solemn Fast, Feb. 2.3, 1641
â€” 1641. â€” 4. Reformation and Desolation; or, a Sermon tendivig to
the Discovery of the Symptoms of a People to whom God will by us
be reconciled, preached before the Commons at their late public Fast,
Dec. 22, 1641â€” 1642.â€” 5. The Song of Moses the Servant of God,
and the Song of the Ijamb, opened in a Sermon before the Commons
at their late solemn Day of Thanksgiving-, June 15, 1643 â€” 1643. â€”
6. A Copy of a Letter written by Mr. Stephen Marshall to a Friend,
of his in the City, for the necessary Vindication of himself and his
Ministry, against the altogether groundless, most unjust, and ungodly
Aspersion cast upon him by certain Malignants in the City, 1643. â€”
7. A Sermon of the Baptizing of Infants, preached ui Abbey-church.
* L'Estrange's Dissenters' Sayings, part ii. p. 40, 55.
+ Newcourt's Repert. Eccl, vol.ii. p. 265.
$ Wood's Athena;, vol. ii. p. 375, 715. Â§ Hist, of Cam. p. 147.
II Fuller's Worthies, part ii. p. 52, 53. t Kennet's Chronicle, p. 536".
** Palmer's Noncon, Mem. vol, ii. p. gOO.
25i: LIVES OF THE PURITANS.
Westminster, at the Morning Lecture appointed by the Honourable
House of Commons, 1644. â€” 8. The Churches Lamentation lor the
Good Man's Loss; delivered in a Sermon lo the Right Honourable
the two Houses of Parliament and the Reverend Assembly of
Divines, at the Funeral of that excellent Man, John Pym, esquire,
a late Member of the Honourable House of Commons, 1644. â€” -
9. God's Master-Piece, a Sermon tending to manifest God's glorious