Christ. Tell the Church ! <tcy Matt, xviii 17. Printed in the year
of our Lord 1611, 4.
At the beginning of this Work, he says :
The occasions that have moved me hereunto, are not unknown
to many others besides myself : and I need not speak of them in
After that the Burgomasters decided that the Meeting
House belonged to members of Ainsworth's Church; the
Franciscans migrated, in 1613, to Emden: apparently to
their great impoverishment. Then, for the next three or four
years, we know very little about them.
In November 1614, Doctor William Ames, in his Pr^ace to
WiLliam BradshaVs Th>e Unreascynableness of the SeparcUion
<Â£rc., Dort, 1614, 4, writes :
Think not evil 1 if thou meanest well. We intend not to insult
over him that is down, or to pursue a man that is flying of himself :
but to lend him a hand, that knoweth not well which way to take.
Master Johnson indeed is rather to be pitied than much opposed.
1 26 The Ancient Church at Amsterdam.
We need but stand still as lookers on. He falleth willingly on his
Then come Johnson's printed Recantation^ his death
and burial at Amsterdam; as told by Matthew Sladb
at pp. 129, 130.
Then Francis Blackwell, acting on the resolution which
the Leyden Church had already come to, leads forth the
remnant of the Franciscans to emigrate to Virginia. Gk>vemor
Bradford tells us the sad story at pp. 277-279. See also
pp. 290, 291. How, being caught by the Bishops, they threw
over their principles; and rather than be baulked of their
voyage, caved in to them : so that Blackwell goes off with
Archbishop Abbot's blessing. How they mutually cursed
one another in the streets of Gravesend. How they were
packed in the ship like herrings. Lastly, how Blackwell
and most of them died before ever they saw Virginia.
TTruly, Francis Johnson's Church was buried in the
The Peophets of the " Holy Discipline," and theib
COMICAL proceedings. 1602 â€” 1612.
[AWNE gives us two accounts of these Prophets.
Thomas Cockt and Jacob Johnson were
Prophets in the united Church, before the
Falling into variance one with another, one of them brings in
before the Church, a Ust of fifteen lies, wherewith he charged the
other. The other again, to requite his pains, brings in, at the
next turn, against him, a list of sixteen lies. Betwixt them both,
they make up the sum of thirty-one lies. The 'profane Schism
dtc., p. 83.
At the Split, Cockt became an Ainsworthian.
At pp. 58, 59 of the same Work, there is the following
The Ancient Church at Amsterdam. 127
Statement by W. Simson, a member of Ainswobth Church ;
who was troubled with
(1) Our rejecting communion with all the Beformed Churches
on earth; and all true Christians in the same. \H(yw oonirary thUy
to the practice of the Pilgrim Church f]
(2) Our own manner of Exercise on the Lord's Day is with such
confusion, and contradicting one another ; so that even our own
profession of Separation is indeed quite overthrown thereby.
For example, Thomas Cocet, in his prophesy, witnessing against
England, saitb, Their Ministry is antichnstian : and being so,
they can beget no true faith ; and no true faith can have no true
salvation : and so consequently in the Church of England is taught
no salvation. A fearful sentence in my judgement.
Again, our beloved Master [Jban] db l'Ecluse, in his doctrine
of prophesy, laboured to prove Separation from a true Church for
art^ corruption obstinately stood in. This doctrine was, by another,
in prophesying, then shewed to be absolutely contrary to that
place of Bev. ii 24. Which how unsoundly it was concluded by
our Teacher [the Rev, Revet Ainsworth] was then observed by
many. The profane Schism dbcy pp. 68, 69.
What an idOfront to the Divine Majesty, in the very act of
worship, all this was, need not be dwelt upon.
Thb fiendish cruelty of Richard Mansfield.
[E next come to the case of Richard Mansfield.
Lawnb tells us, at pp. 32-41 of The profome
Schism Sc,f that be was an Ainsworthian : and
therefore leads us faintly to hope that atrocious
indignities and unheard barbarities to which this brute
subjected the unfortunate Maidens of the Separation of that
Congregation, were not earlier than the Split on the 15/25
December 1610: otherwise the duration of his horrible
brutalities is not indicated.
Had this monster been living now, his life would not have
been worUi five minutes' purchase, outside a prison.
128 The Ancient Church at Amsterdam.
The Ancient Church is an abomination to the
CITIZENS OF Amsterdam. 1605 â€” 1612.
'N proof of this, Lawne, in The profane Schism <kc.,
p. 21, cites the two following facts.
The testimonjf of the Dutch Church
conoemtng the Brownists.
When as they sent their messengers, with some questions, unto
the Dutch Eldership : they received this answer from them, That
they did not acknowledge their Assembly to be an Ecclesiastical
Assembly, or a lawful Church.
And when Master Johnson and others of them, were instant
[urgent'] to hear reasons of this answer from them : it was further
answered. They would do it, if they saw it needful ; or if they
found anything that was worthy of answer.
The testirrumy of the Magistracy of Amsterdam^
concerning the Brovmists,
The Magistratesâ€” both, of old, [in the Suit] against Master
[Thomas] White [in 1606] ; and now, of late, in [the] Suit about
their Meeting House [in 1611] â€” when they sought to lay in their
Action in the name of the Church : they were repelled by the
Magistrates that are members of the Dutch Church. They would
not receive complaint from them, in the quality or name of a
Church ; or [in] the name of any Elder or Deacon : but as from
private men. The Magistrates told them. That they held them,
not as a Church ; but as a Sect
This only confirms what the Rev. Thomas Whi^e had
written so far back as the 20/30 July 1605, There is no
Sect in Amsterdam, though many, in such contempt for
immoral life, as the Brownists are. The profane Schism tScc,
The Ancient Church at Amsterdam. 1 29
Thb divine blessikq upon the Pilqeim Chubch.
I LL this while, though they had troubles of their
own (as who has not?), one seems to see the
Divine blessing resting upon the Pilgrim Church.
The Children of Peace receiyed peace. It was as
if the Almighty would try the Pilgrim Fathers, as he tried
Abraham ; and then bless them, as he blessed him : so that
a mighty nation has sprung from their loins. Has he not
multiplied their seed "as the stars of the heaven; and as
sand which is upon the sea shore 1 "
And just as the Amsterdam people were going further
and further from the mother Church at home ; so the Leyden
Church was drawing nearer and nearer to it.
The death-bed Recantation of the Rev. Francis
OW we come to the death-bed acknowledgment of
the Rev. Francis Johnson, that his whole life
had been one long mistake. " If the blind lead
the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."
MATTHEW SLABS TO SIR DUDLEY CARLBTOK.
AMSTERDAM ; SATURDAY, 10/20 JANUARY 1617/1618.
This day we have buried Master Francis Johnson, a roan that
hath, many years [Â«tVuÂ» September 1597], been Pastor of the
Browmsts : and (having cast himself, and drawn others, into great
troubles and miseries, for their opinions and schism) did, a few
days before his death, publish a Book;* wherein he disclaimed
* This book was probably published in the previous December, and
therefore would bear the date 1617. It is certainly not A ChritUan
Plm Â«Â£-e., which JomreoN published in that year. Eren the Title of this
Recantation is not known, so utterly has the book perished. â€” E. A.
The Pilgrim Fathen. i
130 The Ancient Church at Amsterdam.
most of his former singularities, and refuted them. To which
Work, he hath also annexed a brief Befutation of the Fwt Articles.
[f of the Synod of Dort].
a P., Holland. Bundle 123.
The influrnce or the Separation.
>F we ask ourselves, What effect had all this Separ-
ation upon the Church of England 1 the answer
must be. Nothing at all. The Anglican Church
went on to its way, heedless of the Separatists.
The struggle between the King and the Hierarchy on the
one side, and the lower Clergy with the spiritually-minded,
liberty-loving Laity on the other, intensified as time went on ;
especially after Laud became the Primate in 1633. The
Separation, the Forlorn Hope of Puritanism, was a sign of
the Times ; nothing more.
One sees now so clearly how inevitable the great Civil War
was. In some shape or other, it was bound to come. The
regeneration of the British Constitution and of British society
was not possible without that great political thunderstorm.
The Rev. John Smyth, Preachbb op the city of
Lincoln; afterwards Pastor of the Church at
Gainsborough; then Pastor of the Brethren
of the Separation of the Second English
Church at Amsterdam; and lastly,
THE Se-Baptist. 1603â€”1612.
I^HE Bibliography of the Separation is most
difficalt. This is partly because so few copies
of these Works have survived. For instance,
if a Londoner would see all the known copies of
the first editions of the Rev. John Smyth's Works, he must
travel first to Oxford, and then to Cambridge, and thence to
York ; and so back to London : a journey of some four
hundred miles. It is also difficult because the Separatists
hardly ever printed the month or day on which they finished,
or printed, their books ; but only the year.
So likewise, although Dr H. Mabtyn Dexter has done
much to clear the way in The true Story of John Smyth,
the Se-Baptiat, Boston, Massa., 1881, 4, the biography of this
Separatist is as difiicult to write as that of any Englishman's
of that Age could now possibly be. We are able to supplement
Doctor Dexteb in some respects ; but cannot but feel that
what follows, is but a mere sketch. We have not space here
for a full treatment of this subject.
There are two solid facts to go upon : '
1. The Rev. Francis Johnson, while a Fellow of Christ's
College, Cambridge, was his Tutor. Therefore Smtth was of
132 Smyth and the Gainsborough Church.
Doctor Dexteb would identify him with the John Smtth
who matriculated as a Sizar at Christ's College on the 26th
November 1571. But that is too early, as it would make him
senior to his Tutor in the College : for Francis Johnson
matriculated as a Pensioner in that College and University on
the 1st April 1679.
2. The Rev. Richabd Bbbnard tells as (P^oin Ewdeneesj
page 21) that Smtth was ordained a Clergyman by William
Wickham; who was Bishop of Lincoln between the 20th
November 1584 and the 22 February 1595.
He is therefore apparently the John Smith of Christ's
College, who took his M.A. in 1593 ; and not the man of the
same name and College who took his B.A. in 1593, and his
M.A. in 1597. If this be correct ; he would have gone up to
the University about 1686, and was probably bom somewhere
about 1572 ; and would therefore be somewhere about forty
years of age, when he died in August 1612.
In his later years at any rate, he and those he came in
contact with always spelt his name Smtth : but many of his
opponents spelt it Smith, as he did himself at first.
We must therefore be on our guard in this matter. For
he had two contemporaries, of the name of John Smith, both
Clergymen, and who also wrote upon Prayer. Curiously
enough, though not related to each other, they were both of
the same College ; St John's College, Oxford :
John Smith, of Berkshire, Vicar of St Laurence's, Reading,
Berkshire ; and author of The Doctrine of Prayer in general
for all men, London, 1595, 4.
John Smfih, of Warwickshire, Vicar of Clavering, Essex,
from 1692 to 1616 ; and author of The Subetanee and Pith of
Prayer. His collected Works were printed in 1629, under
the title of The Eisex Dove dsc.
The next point is to prove that John Smith the Preacher
of, or Lecturer in, the city of Lincoln from 1603 to 1605, is
Smyth and the Gainsborough Church. 133
tbe same man as John Smtth the Se-Baptist, that appears in
our literature from 1608 to 1613.
In the libraiy of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, there is a
copy of the following Work, that is believed to be unique. Its
Prm-mark is 7. 5. 76.
The bright Morning Star, or the Besolution and Exposition of
Uie 22nd Psalm ; preached publicly in four Sermons at Lincoln.
By John Smith, Preacher of the City.
Printed by John Lboat, Printer to the University of
And are to be sold at the Sign of the Crown in Pftul's
Churchyard by Simon Watbrson.
The following entry was made at Stationers' Hall,
22 Martij .
Master Man Entered for their copy vnder the hands of the
Senior, wardens A books called A pateme of true Prayer
Thomas Man or expoeicon vppon the lords prayer Done by John
Junior. Smtthb &c. of Lincoln . vjd
K Arbbr. Trofnscript Sc, iii 285, Ed. 1876, 4.
Every copy of this first edition of 1605 has apparently
disappeu^. The Work however was reprinted in 1624, with
the following Title.
A Pattern of True Prayer. A learned and comfortable
Exposition or Commentary upon the Lord's Prayer ; wherein the
doctrine pf the Substance and Circimistances of true Invocation is
evidently and fully declared out of the Holy Scriptures.
By John Smith, Minister and Preacher of the Word of GOD.
London. Printed by I. D. for Thomas Man [the Junior in the
above entry at Stationen^ HaU\ ; and are to be sold by William
hxffard, John Bsllamt, and Benjamin Fishbr. 1624.
It is a considerable Work ; running, besides the introductory
matter, to 452 octavo pages. The opening lines of the Epistle
Dedicatory to Edmund Sheffield, Lord Sheffield ; afterwards
Earl of MuLORAVE, are as follows :
'' It is neither ambition, nor covetousness. Bight Honourable,
tiiat moveth me to publish this Treatise to the view of all ; which,
T34 Smyth and the Gainsborough Church.
not long since, I delivered to the ears of a few : being the Lecturer
in the city of Lincoln. . ."
British Museum Press-mark, 873, f . 36.
Now RicHABD Bernard tells us, in both his Works, Nob.
2 and 12 of this Controversy, that the Writer of A Pattern of
true Prayer was John Smyth, the Se-Baptist. We will here
further confirm this testimony by the witness of John Cotton
As for Master Smith, he standeth and falleth to his own
Master. Whilst he was Preacher to the city of Lincoln, he
wrought with GOD then. What temptations befell him after, by
the evil workings of evil men, and some good men too ; I choose
rather to tremble at, than discourse of.
(1) The Bloody Tenant washed &c.
(2) A Bepli/ to Master [Roger] Williams' Answer to Mast^
Cotton's Letter, p. 58.
London, [15 May] 1647, 4. British Museum Press-mark, E. 387 (7).
See also pp. 14, 15 of Roger Williams " Master Cotton*s Letter,
lately printed. Examined and Answered." London, [5 Feb.] 1644, 4 :
where T. Ptgott's account of the death of the Se-Baptist [see
page 140] is referred to by Cotton. British Museum Press-mark,
E. 31 (16).
Therefore so late as on the 22 March 1605, the Rev. John
Smyth was still at Lincoln ; and was still a Conformist. It
was later, at Gainsborough, that, after doubting there for nine
months, he threw off the Church of England, embraced the
Separation, and became Pastor of the Church at Gainsborough.
This could not have occurred earlier than 1606; unless
he doubted after he became Pastor, and then the date
might possibly be 1605 : but we think 1606 the more
likely date : and that once he decided, he did not afterwards
We also believe that the Gainsborough Church went to
Amsterdam about the same time as the Pilgrim Church, in
1608. If so, it had a very short existence in England; a
couple of years or so.
Smyth and the Gainsborough Church. 135
This Church was not organised on the lines of the '< Holy
Discipline " ; but upon Smy thian principles. Its Pastor held
that Scripture knew of but one kind of Elders : in opposition
to the " Holy Discipline " theory of the three separate Offices
of Pastor, Teacher, and Elder.
We have shown at page 55 that so long as the Gainsborough
and the Scrooby Churches were in England, they printed
nothing. They only began to publish when they came into
contact with Uie continental printers : and this was not till
the year 1608.
On the 17th October 1608, the Second Volume (3rd and
4th Decades) of Bp. Joseph Hall's Epistles was entered for
publication at Stationers' HalL The first Epistle in this
To Master Smfth and Master Eob[ikson], Ringleaders of
the late Separation. At Amsterdam.
The coupling thus of these two names together, favours
the idea that they migrated about the same time.
Clearly then both of these Churches were settled at
Amsterdam before the 17th October 1608 : but how much
earlier than that date, Stmth's Congr^ation arrived there,
in that year, has yet to be ascertained.
The printed Controversy against this fresh Separation
began with the following Works.
1. The Sermon preached at the Cross [i.e. PauC% Cros$^ Lofidon],
February 14, 1607 [-8]. By William Crashaw, B.D. and
Preacher at the Temple, London. 1608, 4.
Entered for publication at Stationers' Hall on the 19
April 1608. (E. Arbeb, Transcript dsc, fii. 375, 1876, 4.) :
but the Preface is dated. The Temple, May Slst 1608.
2. Hev. BicHARD Bernard. Christian Advertisements and
Counsels of Peace. Also Dissuasions from the Separatists'
Schism, commonly called Brownism. Ix>ndon, 1606, 8.
136 Smyth and the Gainsborough Church.
The Preface is dated, '* At Worksop in Nottinghamshire,
June 18  : '' on which day also this book was entered
at Stationers' HaiL
This date is very important, because Bernard wrote this
book in reply to a letter which John Shtth, '* Pastor of the
Church t,t Gbinsborough,'' had written to him, in three days,
some six or seven months previously; or in November or
December 1607 : and therefore the Gainsborough Church had
not migrated to Holland at those dates. This letter, Smyth
printed in his Parallels dhc. in 1609. As we know that the
Pilgrim Church migrated to Holland between October 1607
and August 1608 ; it would again seem that the two Churches
went over about the same time: but whether together or
separately, cannot at present be said.
Then comes, in the order of time,
3. Bishop Josi&PH Hall's Epistle to Sxtth and Robinson ; in
his Epistles, The Second Volume. London. 1608, 8.
We hold that Smtth could get nothing printed until he
came to Holland; and therefore we place the next book,
which is both anonymous and undated, in 1608.
4. Principles and Inferences concerning the Visible Church
&c, 32 pp. 16 mo.
The only known copy of this "little Method," as he calls it at
page 11 of his ParaUeU <tc,y is in York Minster Librazy.
It was at one time thought that the Gainsborough Church,
on its arrival at Amsterdam, joined the Ancient exiled
Church there, a% the Scrooby Church certainly did: but it
is clear from the next Work that this was not the case.
Besides, the Gainsborough Church, on its settling in that
city, threw off the Calvinistic doctrines; and embraced
Arminfanism. This was enough, of itself, to make a bottomless
gulf between the two Churches.
Smyth and the Gainsborough Church. 137
In the following Work, Smyth called the ^ Ancient exiled
Church " there, the '' Ancient Brethren of the Separation " ;
and his own Community he calls 'Hhe Brethren of the
Separation of the Second English Church at Amsterdam.
5. Bev. John Smtth. The Differences of the Churches of the
Separation. 1608, 4.
There is a copy of this Work in the Bodleian Lihrary, Oxford.
Press-mark, Pamph. 6 (1).
6. H. A. [HsNRT AiKSWOBTH.] Couuterpoison. 1608, 4. A
Beply to Crashaw, No. 1 ; and Bernard, No. 8.
This Work, at page 41, states that the colleague of
Robert Browne, ''Master [Biohabd] Harbison returned
not unto your Church of England ; but died at Middelburg
in this faith that we profess." This is quite a new fact.
Events seemed to have moved rapidly in the Gainsborough
In the year 1608, John Smtth baptized himself; and so
became the Se-Baptist of Church History.
On some date in 1609, before the 12th March (Doctor
Dexter \The tru4 Story dtc, page 37] has verified this date,
12th March 1609 [iT.iSi.], by a reference to the original
manuscript in Amsterdam) ; and therefore within four years
of the foundation of the Church ; the Rev. Thomas Hblwts,
William Ptoott, Thomas Sbambr, John Mubton, and
the majority cast out from among them, the following
thirty-two persons: who shortly after applied to the
Mennonite Church, Amsterdam, for membership; making
the following Confession of Error.
The names of the English people who confess this their error,
and repent of the same, viz. That they undertook to baptize
themselves ; contrary to the order laid down by Christ. Who
now therefore desire to get back into the true Church of Christ
as speedily as may be. We are of one accord in the desire to have
this our wish signified to the Church.
138 Smyth and the Gainsborough Church.
B. Evans, D.D.
Early English Bap-
tists, 1244,245, Ed.
1862, 8. H. M.
Dexter, D.D. The
true Story dtc,y 36,
Ed. 1881, 4.
This application for membership was, at some date after
8/18 July 1610, declined by the Meimonite Church.
This ejection notwithstanding, the Se-Baptist vigorously
replied to Bernard, in
7. Rev. John Smyth. Parallels, CcDsures, and ObBervations.
Printed 1609, 4.
This is a print of the above mentioned Letter of November or
December 1607 ; with Observations and Comments.
Then the Ancient exiled Church replied to Smyth's
Differences dke., No. 5, in the following Work.
8. Bev. Henry Ainsworth (a) A Defence of the Holy
Scriptures, Worship, and Ministry used in the Christian
Churches separated from Antichrist.
(b) A few Observations upon some of Master Smyth's
Censures in his Answer [Parallds d^c] made to Bernard.
Amsterdam Giles Thorpe. 1609, 4.
Meanwhile, in March 1608 [i.e. 1609], the Se-Baptist was
engaged in another controversy with a member of the Ancient
exiled Church, the Rev. Richard Clyfton, on the subject of
Infant Baptism, which he called The Mark qf the Beast. The
following books should always be read together.
Smyth and the Gainsborough Church. 139
9. The Character [i.e. Marh^ or Sign] of the Beast Published
bj the Bev. John Smtth. 1609, 4.
There is a copy of this Work in the Bodleian Library.
Press-mark, Pamph. 7.
10. The Plea for Infants and Elder People concerning
their Baptism. Published by Bev. Bichabd Cltftok.
Amsterdam. Qiles Thorpe. 1610, 4.
In this year, 1609, must have appeared the Pilgrim
Pastor's first book : now, in its original edition, utterly lost.
11. Bev John Bobikson. An Answer to a censorious Epistle.
In reply to No. 3. Bp. Hall reprinted it in his
Common Apology dbc.
On the 18th December 1609, there was entered to William
Welby the Publisher, Contemplative Pictures tpith wholesome
Precepts dtc.^ by Richard Bernard (E. Arber, Transcript <fcc.,
iiL 426, Ed. 1876, 4.) No book, with such a title, is known
to have been written by Bernard. We therefore take it to
be the entry of the following Work, also published by Welby.
12. Bev. Bichard Bernard. Plain Evidences: the Church
of England is apostolical ; the Separation, schismatical.
London, 1610, 4. In reply to Nos. 6 and 7.
In this book, Bernard tells us that he had heard of the
following Work, but that he had not yet seen it : so we will
place it next.
13. Bev. John Bobinson. A Justification of Separation from
the Church of England. 1610, 4. In reply to No. 2.