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written word.

All wAich things considered, as also that wee your Matestie*
sworne loyall subiecte.s aforesaid haue ben now a great manie
Yeres grevously afflicted and molested, defamed, impoverished,
yea and otherwise extraordinarily punished, for no other cause
in the world, but only for our conscience in the matter before
rehersed, w/n'ch yet wee cannot disceme, but that it is a most
Christian, holy, and right opinion. Therfore it may please
yowr gracious Maiesty of your Princly regard towards the glory
of God and vs your ever faithfull subiectes, to tolerate and to
graunt vnto so manie of vs as shall declare that our consciences
are in this respect constreyned and bound before God, to
Assemble togeather somwhere publikly to y® Service & Worship
of God, to vse & enioye peaceably among owr selves alone the
wholl exercyse of Gods worship and of Church Government viz.
by a Pastor, Elder, & Deacons in our [?] severall Assemblie[s]
without any tradicion of men whatsoeuer, according only to
the specification of Gods written word and no otherwise, w/a'ch
hitherto as yet in this our present State we could never enjoye.
Provided alwayes, that whosoeuer will enter into this way,
shall before a Justice of peace first take the oath of your
Maiesties supremacy & royal 1 authority as the Lawes of y®
Land at this present do set forth the same ; And shall also
afterwards keepe brotherly com;/iumon with the rest of our
English Churches as they are now established, according as
the French and Dutch Churches do ; And shall truly pay all
paymentes and dutyes both ecclesiasticall and civill, as at this

11—2



164 Earlji English Dissenters

present they stand botind to pay in anie respect whatsoever;
And if anie trespas be com7;iitted by anie of them whether
Ecclesiastically or Civilly against good order and Christian
obedience ; That then the same pe?'son shalbo dealt withall
therein by anie of your Maiesties Ciuill Magistrates, and by the
same EcdesiasticaW government only wherevnto he ordinarily
ioyneth him self, according as to Justice apperteyneth, and not
to be molested by anie other whomsoever.

Most humbly beseeching your Maiestie with all, to forbid
others to revile vs, & to accuse vs of comitting schisme in this
doing, which iustly wee know they cannot accuse vs of. Con-
sidering that wee doe not pretend herein to haue anie thing
but that which, the Scripture deliuereth even by the opinion of
the learnedest that mislike our desyer, Considering also that
this is the wholl somme of that which wee professe in our
differing from our bretheren, namely that the Scriptures are
absolutely perfect for vs forever in matters Ecclmasticall : And
this wee are well assured is no Schismaticall assertion. Neither
shall it seeme strange wee hope that wee crave here of your
Maiestie, & of your most honorable Counsell this benefit in
Religion only for some, namely for those whose consciences are
perswaded herein ; doing by this practise otherwise then heere-
tofore we have don. For seeing wee see, that numbers of
Christians of all degrees in England are not yet perswaded of
this Article of religion (as wee are, and as, wee in the presence
of God cannot otherwise choose but be) of whome notwith-
standing wee hold our selves bound to think brotherly &
charitably : & because we are vndoubtedly sealed in our
consciences that for vs there is no way of religion to save
our soules by ordinarily but only to waike in this way... in-
stituted by Christ in his word. Therefore wee haue thought
it best humbly & instantly to seek & crave the same for our
selves in maner and forme as is before shewed. Which being
graunted by yo?tr gracious Maiesty and by your said most
honorable Counsaill it shall doubtles giue much comfort and
peace of conscience to manie most loyall subiectes, and shall
preiudice no other Protestant whose iudgment is not herein
yet informed, & shall procure to y® most Excellent Governoitrs



Papers of Henry JacoVs 1603 — 1605 165

of owr State everlasting praise both with God & all good



men.



[Part of a Paper apparently written by Henry Jacob nearly
a year after his Release from the Clink, and defending his book
published in 1604 against the five principal criticisms which
had been brought against it.]

A yeare now allmost past being in trouble for publishing my
little Treatise, intituled Reasons taken out of Gods word & y^
best Humane Testimonies proving a Necessitie of Reforming our
Churches in England, I had this answer given me by men in
great authoritie, that all the grounds of those my Reasons
should be shaken & overthrowen by a man of knowen learning
who (as I vnderstood otherwise also) had taken in hand the
same, & would quickly do it. In y® meane while my Treatise
was sharply censured by sundry of all sorts in divers points.
But specially in these following: 1. Because I resolve vpon
this conclusion, y' Only a particular ordinary Congregation of
Christians, & every such Congregation in y® New Testame?it is
appointed & reckoned to be a visible Church... 2. Because I
aflfirme y* our Ceremonies in controversie in England are parts
of Gods Outward worship & Service, albeit invented by men....
3. Because I expound those words of Christ Tell y*^ Church
math. 18. 17. of a whole Church intirely & properly taken, as it
containeth not only y^ Guides but y*^ people also.... 4. Because
I affirme that No Synod vnder y® Gospell hath power by Gods
ordinance to prescribe & rule Ecclesiastically sundry whole
Churches if they severally consent not... 5. Because in my
Epistle to y® Pastors of y'' Churches in England pag. 81. I vse
these words ; Looke to your charge, fullfill your Ministerie wch
yd^'^ have receaved of if Lord. Wherein som gathered y''
/ exhort y^ Pastors of y^ Severall Ghurches in England who
do hold themselves ^to be rightly <& truly Pastors of their
severall flocks, & 'not y^ Diocesan Bishops Curats <& Substitutes,
but 'themselves to have properly y^ charge of their peoples
Soules ; that they should fullfill their Ministerie, y^ is, set vp
& exercise y® Ecclesiasitcall Discipline among yem whether y®
King will or no. To this last point I will first answer. My



106 Early Einjlish Dissenters

meaning & intent in this place is nothing so. But only to do
ivs in y'' next page I do plainly expresse ; to seeke vnto God by
prayer <C- to our most wise <(: noble King by humble <k earnest
Suit, both for their owne, for their peoples, yea <fc for Christs due
Hght. WAtch indeed if they obtaine not, then to consider how
they can be in such an Office <i' not to do y* Ofice, nor intend to
do it. For so they do not, whosoever remaineth & continueth
therein still not medling with y" holy Discipline & government
meerely Ecclesiasticall touching his more particular flocke. And
yis albeit I answered by mine owne hand writing heeretofore to
y** Archbishop of Canterbury privatly, yet I thought it needfuU
also even in publik to deliver the same. As concerning y® other
severall matters before going I answered then in y* time of my
trouble, y*^ if I should perceave from any man Reasons given
contrary to my present resolution such as should be good d' well
grounded on Gods word, then I would by Gods grace change
my judgment therein. And I promised also, (y'' it might
appeare how ready I was to all Christian reason,) y*- for a time
I would stay my selfe & see what would be brought against
my opinion by any man within halfe a yeare, notwithstanding
it was given out y* out of hand [?] my small treatise should be
shaken to pieces. Nothing whereof is performed, nor so much
as likely to be performed for ought I heare....'

' Later in this MS. Henry Jacob begins an answer to the first four
criticisms of his book mentioned above, but this part of his papers only
covers two pages, and the presence of these MSS. in Lambeth Palace may
indicate that they had been suddenly seized. This document suggests to
me that Jacob may have gone to Holland in 1606, instead of in 1605, as I
state in Vol. I., p. 290.



XIV

AN UNNOTICED LETTER OF THOMAS HELWYS'S

XX VI^^ of September 1608
A note sent by [Thomas] Ellwes [Helwys] one
of thelders of the Brownest
Churche, sent to his bretheme^

I desire to certefie yo" some thinge howe matters goe here [in
Amsterdam] w'*^ vs, and that concerninge the differences betwixt
o'' bretheme and vs, And therefore we Differ in parte in the
mynistrie, worshipp, Goverment, & Treasury [?] Theire ministrie
consisteth of Pastors & Teachers, o''^ of Pastors only, & we ap-
prove of no other ofi&cers in the ministry but of Pastors. They
as partes or meanes of worship read Chapters Textes to preache
on, & Psalmes out of the translation, we alreddy as in prayinge,
so in prophesiinge [?] & singinge Psalmes laye aside the trans-
lacion, & we suppose yt will prove the truth, that All booker even
the originalles them selves must be layed aside in the tyme of
spirituall worshipp, yet still retayninge the readinge, & inter-
pretinge of the Scripturs in the Churche for the preparinge to
worshipp, ludginge of doctrine, decidinge of Controversies as
the grounde of o'' faithe & of o"" whole profession And thus
we refuse not to vse the translation, holdinge them notwtth-
standinge muche inferyor to the originalles. And this we
professe & thereof I desire yo" to take notice, and to give
notice to as manye as possibly yo" can, This I assure yo" is
the truth of o"" causes nowe in controue?'sie, whatsoeuer yo"

^ MS. 709, fol. 117, recto and verso, in Lambeth Palace Library. This
introductory description of the letter is written on the back of it in
another hand.



168 Early English Dissenters

heare to the contrary, And hereof assure yo'' self as farrforth
as yo" thinke there is any truth in me. / Nowe concerninge
the Goverment, they holde that the presbetory Consisteth of
pastors, Teachers, & Rulinge elders Wee holde it Consisteth
of pastors only / For the Threasury they suffer them that are
Without to Comunycate together with them, and doe not
sanctefie theire Almes wt'th prayer, wee make a seperacion of
our Almes from the giftes of Strangers, whiche wee thankfully
receave And wee sanctefie the whole Action by prayer, before
& after, as all the ordena7ices [?] of God ought to be. / of theis
thinge5[?] if God permitte[?] Yo" shall here more at lardge.

[monogram or marks meaning] T H [?]



XV

PAPERS RELATING TO WILLIAM SAYER

The opinions defended & published by William Sayer^
imprisoned in the gaole for the Countie of NorfF[olk], be
hereticall, scismaticall, & disloyall, & so seuerally may
be distinguished.

[Evidently written by "lo: Redmayne", " this xxv*^ of
Nouember 1612."]

1. The Baptisme of Infants is meerely vnlawfull, by the word of
God, for that they have no actuall faithe.

2. A Christian man maye weare weapons and serve in warres at
the Commaundement of the magestrate, against such as be
enemies to the Church of God, which, is only y^ Church of the
separation from the Church of England ; and to beare armes
or serve in warres against any -which are of his opinion is
vnlawfull by y® word of God /

3. That it is vnlawfull to take an oath before any ecclmas^icall
officer, though it be to the detecting of a lesuite, or an heretick,
or making kno\vne his brothers offence being a delinquent

4. That it is vnlawfull to sue in any Criminall cause, before an
ecclmasdcall magestrate ; neither ought any heretique to be
accused or sued for that offence of heresie before any Bishop,
but before the Church, which he sayth are y^ elders.

5. The Kinges majesties auc^^oWtie graunted to Bishops for y^
punishment of offenders, is meerely vnlawfull by y*^ word of
God ; neither can they have any cognizaunce of Criminall
causes, or of any offender therein, though the Cause be of
ecclmasiicall Cognizaunce (as they pretend. / .

1 Add. MS. Mm. 6. 58 (fol. 180), in the University Library, Cambridge.



170 Early Emjlish Dissenters

6. His nuuVstie liath no power by the word of God, to graunte
any Iiirisdiccion for the Cognizaunce of Causes to any prelates
or priestes : And that his aucf/ion'tie therein is vnlawfull & not
warranted by the worde of God.

8. [7.] The Calling of the ministers in the Church of England, is
vnlawfull & not according to the word of God / .

He refuseth to recant & abiure publiquely his first
defence, & publishing of his deniall of the Godhead of
lesus Christe & of the holie ghost; & obstinately
pe7'sisteth in the defence of the former opinions; &
saieth that he will never retreate, recant, & abiure his
deniall of the Godhead of the twoe former persones in
Trinitie before any ecclestasficall ludge or magestrate /

The ludiciall processe vsed against him, have bene often in all
mildenesse & lenitie. Create care had for his better instruccion
by often conference privately, & publiquely by learned & dis-
creete divines but still he continueth obstinate, & will not
submitt him self, or be reformed ; but proudly perue/'teth &
interpreteth all scriptures, for the mainteyning & defence of
his opinions, according to his owne vnderstanding & sense.
And though in some pointes, as touching the lawfull bearing
of armes, taking of an oath, and sueng [sueing] in any Con-
troue?'sye ; he seeme to approve the power & authoritie of
the Civill magestrate yet when he is interrogated whom he
meaneth or taketh for such a magestrate ; he restra3meth that
word, to the elders of the Church of the separation /

[Part of a letter of G:(eorge Abbot, Archbishop of)
Cant:(erbury) to John Jegon, Bishop of Norwich, dated
"Lambithe[?] Dccemb: j. 1612", concerning William Sayer.]^

My very good lo:[rd] I haue receaved yowr XettrG making
mention of one William Sayer a desperate Hereticque, who
out of malice rather then out of vnderstanding mainteineth
manie prophane & scismaticall opinions. Those .8. positions
conteined in the inclosed paper, are the doctrines of the

* Add. MS. Mm. 6. 58 (fol. 181, recto), in the University Library,
Cambridge.



Papers 7'elating to William Sayer 171

Baroists & Separatists of this Age, but ioyned with some

points of the Anabaptists; But it will neuer be assented

to, that hee should burns as an Hereticque, vnlesse hee denie
something expressly conteyned in the three Creeds or in the
foure first Generall-Counsells, I doe finde an obscure mention
in the later pa?^te of youv paper, as if this Sayer had denyed
the Godhead of Christe, and of the Holie ghoste. If hee
pe?-sist obstinately therein, the Lawe will holde of him, as it
did this last yeare vpon Legate, and Wightman, to frie him
at a Stake. But it is not clearly deliuered what hee affirmeth
in those points, and therefore I can giue no certein answer
vnto it.



XVI

DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE HISTORY OF THE
EARLIEST ENGLISH ANABAPTIST CONGREGATIONS

[An undated Letter sent by " Hughe and Anne Brom-
head " to their cousin, (Sir) William Hammerton, at
London, probably written some time in 1609.]'

This Brownists letter idle vile and vayne
I doe protest He nere read or'e againe. / "

Grace with Increase of grace, peace even from the father and
god of peace, with all true comforte and consolation In lesus
Christe be w'*' you beloved Cosen and all yours, and that
forever [?], Beloved Cosen we receyved A letter from you
dated the xiij of lulie wherin you write that you expect an
answer from vs of the said letter. The first pa?-t of your letter
is, that leaving oure Countrie we removed to Amsterdam, w'^^*'
removing was, you hope, but to make tryall of the Countrie.
Cosen we gyve you to vnderstande that though Natura hominis

est novitatis avida, A seconde part of yowr letter is that

you wold perswade vs to returne home into England, which
you make no Question wold be much pleasing [?] to god, but
we make great Question therof yea we[?] hold it w%w'' all
Question, the same [?] should be much and highly displeasing

1 Harl. MS. 360 (fol. 70-1), in the British Museum. Portions of this
MS. are now so faded a.s to be almost illegible. An attempt is here made
to reproduce only certain parts. In Vol. I., p. 236, I assigned this letter
to the autumn of 1608, but that date now appears to be too early. (See
Mr Burgess's "John Smith", London, 1911, pp. 169-70.)

2 This couplet is in a different, but contemporary, hand-writing.
Mr Burgess misreads "alle" for "idle" ("John Smith", p. 169).



Earliest English Anabajjtist Congregatio7is 173

vnto vnto [sic] oure good god and father, that hath in his
mercifull providence brought vs ow*" of Babilon the Mother of
all abhominations the habitation of devils [?] and the holde, of
all foule spirites [?] and A cage of every vncleane and hatefull

birde :

In oure Cosen [?] Nicholas, we can but be

sory and lament his fall wishing him to reme7?iber...and good
vse of the wordes of the apostle paul vnto the gala. .3 .3. \erse
and also of the wordes of the apostle peter in his .2. epistle .2.
10 [?]. 20 21 [?] & 22 [?] verses, yet we hope better thinges of
him and such as accompany Salvation. Concerning the 4 pa?'te
of your letter wherin you seeme to desire to know wherin your
churche might be reformed although I know not herin.. where
to begynne or where to ende, the corruptions therof be so many
and Infinitt [?], yet in some measure to satisfie youv request I
will geve you a vewe and taste of them but before I will geve
you A brief Som7?ie of the causes of oure Seperation and of our
purpose in practised fyrst we seeke above all thinges the peace
and protection [?] of the most high and the kingdome of oure
lorde lesus Christ .2."® we seeke and fully purpose to worshippe
god Aright according as he hath co»imaunded in his most holy
worde .3.''® we seeke the felowshippe of his faithfull and
obedient servantes and together w*^^ the77i to enter Covenant
w*''^ the lorde, and by the direction of his holy Spirit to proceed
to A godly free and right choice of Ministers and other officers
by him ordeyned to the Service of his church .4."® we seeke to
establish and obey the ordina?*ces and lawes of oure Saviour
Christ left by his last will and testame?it to the governing and
guiding of his church w"*ow'' altering, changing, innovating,
wresting, or leaving ow*" any of them that the lorde shall gyve
vs sight of .5.^'^ we puqjose [(]by the assistance of the holy ghost)
in this faith and order to lead oure lyves, and for this faith and
order to leave [?] oure lyves if such be the good will of oure
heavenly father. And 6."® now that oure forsaking and vtter

^ This part of the letter is evidently a citation taken from Barrowe
and Greenwood's "A Plaine Refvtation", 1591 [ed. 1606], pp. 1-2. Mr
Burgess has done well in calling attention to this point ("John Smith",
pp. 172-73).



174 Early Enfflis/t Dissrnfers

abandoning of those disordered assemblies as they generally
stand [?] in England, may not seemc strange or offensyve[?] to
any that will ludgo or be iudged by the word of god, we alledge
and affirme that heinonsh guiltie in these .4. principall trans-
gressions, .i. they worshippe the true god after A false Maner
the worshippe being made of the Invention of Man, even of
that Man of Sinne, erroneus[?] and Imposed vpon them. .2.
for that the prophane, vngodly.-.w'^'^ovv"^-' exception of any one
person, ar w^*" them receyved [?] into, and reteyned in the
Bosome of the church[.] .3. for that they have A false & Anti-
christian ministerie imposed vpon them reteyned w'^ them and
maynteyned by them .4. for that these churches ar ruled by and
remayne in subiection vnd[er] an Antichristian, and vngodly
govermewt, contrarie to the institution of oure Saviour
Christe [. (?)] for the better confirmation of these .4. we have
thought good to add certayne argume/;tes .1. no Apocrypha
must be brought into the publick assemblies, for there [?] only
godes word and the lyvely voice of his owne graces must be
heard in the publique assemblies. But mens writinges and the
reading them over for prayer ar apocrypha, therfore may not
be brought into the publique assemblies[.] .2. argume^jt. we
must; do nothing in the worshippe of god w%w'' waiTant of his
worde. but reMd prayers have no warravit in his worde. Ther-
fore reMd prayers ar not to be vsed in the worshippe of god.
.3. argument we may not in the worshippe of god receyve any
tradition w'^'^ bringeth oure libertie into bondage: Therfore
readd prayer &c. .4. argument because true prayer must be of
faith vtterred w*'' hearte and lyvely voyce, It is presu7nptuous
Ignorance to bring A booke to speake for vs vnto god &c.

5. Argume^it to worshippe the true god after an other maner
then he hath taught, is Idolatrie. but god contmaundeth vs to
come vnto him heavy loaden [?] w'^'^ contrite hartes to cry vnto
him for oure wantes &c Therfore we may not stand reading A
dead letter in steade of po wring foorth [?] oure petitions.

6. argument we must stryve in prayer w*-^ co;(tinuance &c but
we cannot stryve in prayer and be importunate w**' continuance
reading vpon A booke, Therfore we must not reade when we
should praye. 7. argume?it we must pray as necessi[tie ?] re-



Earliest English Anabaj^tist Congregations 175

quireth but stinted prayers cannot be as necessitie requireth,
Therfore stinted prayer is vnlawfull. 8. Argume/it read prayers
were devised by Antichrist and Maynteyne superstition and an
Idoll Ministerie. therfore read prayers and such stinted service
ar intollerable &c. 9. argume?it the prayers of such C[hristian ?]s
and people as stand vnder a false goverment are not acceptable,
not only because they aske [? amijsse, but because they kepe
not his commaundemewts. The prayers of such ministers and
people as be [s]u[bie?]ct to antichrist ar abhominable. Th[o?]s[e?]
ministers and people w°^[?] stand subiect[?] to the [? Bishojppes
and the Courtes[?] ar subiect to antichrist &c therfore the
prayers &c/[?] Touching the last[?] part of your letter w"**
cowcerneth the differences of these dayes, [?] the apostle paul
saith he heareth that there be heresies among them that they
w^^ ar approved amongest them may be knowen, therby
teaching vs that it is no new thing that differences in Religion
ar in the church, for the end therof god often turneth to greater
manifestation of his truthe & the furthering of the same, as
also to the procuring much glorie to his owne Name and to the
good of his church and children so tryed and approved, we
reade in the prophecy of the prophet Isaiah these wordes, My
beloved had a vyneyeard in A very fruitfull hill and he hedged
it and gathered the stones ow*" of it and he planted it w'^ the
best plantes, and he built a tower in the mydest therof and
made a wynepresse therin...he [?] looked that it should bring
forth grapes but it brought forth wilde grapes, and in the
same prophecy in an other place, he calleth them trees
righteousnes the planting of the lorde [sic] that he might be
glorified, now to make vse and application of these testimonies,
if the vyneyearde and church of Israeli w** was of the lordes
owne planting and constitution brought foorth wilde grapes,
what Marvell though your [?] church [^] Englande w'^^ is not of
the lordes owne planting and constitution [?], but of Antichristes
planting and of the constitution of the Man of Synne bring
foorthe wilde [?] grapes... of Christe [?], do men gather grapes of
Thornes or figge*' [?] of thistles [?], every good tree bringeth [?]
foorth good fruite, And A corrupt tree bringeth forth evill
fruite...fruite neither can A corrupt tree bring foo[rth] good



176 Earl II English Dissenters

fruite, thorforc by the«'r[j'] fruitcs ye shall knowe them... As the
said prophet Isaiah spake of the people of the lewes [?] so may
we speake of the churche of Englande, from the Sole of the
foote vnto the head, there is nothing hole therin hut wounds,
and swelling and sores, full of Corruptions, the whole heade is
heavy. And we co«fide/ttly deny that ever the English nation
or any one of oure predecessors were of the king[dome ?] of
Christe, or at any tynie beleved visibly in A true constituted
church, but were come of the race of the pagans, till Rome the
mother came and putt \^on vs her false baptisme worshippe
and ministerie, and so oure [?]... is... paganish and the holy
ghost in the scriptures co/?jpareth vs to the worst kynde of
pagans calling[?] persons aapostating from the true cojistitution



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