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martyi-es of this land(wherof[?] some are privileged
by hir matesties authority) and also by the
doctrine of y® reformed churches.

A conferenc wee are most willing to yeald vnto.
Our humble request vnto hir mate^tie & their
honours is that yf it may so stand with their
pleasure, wee may have but this aequity yealded
vnto vs in it.

1 That the questiones one [on] both sydes layed
downe in writing, the reasons briefly annexed
vnto them, the awnswers also may with y*' lyke

» Harl. MS. 6849, foL 209-210.

Vnlawfull \

Documents relating to John Penry 65

brevity bee returned in writing, & so every thing
wilbe the more deliberatly sett downe & all bye
speaches & matters shalbe avoyded.

2. That such of vs as are scollers one [on] the one
syde, may conferr together (having also the vse
of bookes) about the awnswers & replyes that
wee shalbe to make [sic\

3. That those of the ecclesiasticall state with
whome[?] wee are to deale may bee but partyes [?]
in this conferenc & not judges. And that some
of the civill state may bee appoynted by their
honours (yf their Lordshipes will not tak y*
hearinge of y® cause them selves wAtch wee had
rather &ernestly crave) to see that both partyes [?]/
do contayn them selves within boundes : least
otherwise eyther the holy truth of god should
not bee so delt in as it beseemeth the same : or
so holy & necessary an action should bee vn-
profitablie broken of, by the infirmytyes or other
greater wantes of eyther partyes [?].

lohn Penry.

[A Letter concerning John Penry s Confession of Faith and
Apology dated, "Mon. 6. 12. 1593."]i

Right honowrable,...! am bolde allso to sende to yowr 'Lordship
a shorte confession of faith, and an Apologie, drawe/i by y''
faithfull wittnes of Christe, our brother Penry, before his death.
By wAi'ch plainely appeareth, what his fayth was towards god,
& nowe is partaker of y*" crowne of life wAich is promised by
Christe to all them that are faithfull vnto deathe. /. The poore
remnauwte of poore christians (who are falsely called Brownistes)
doe all of vs generally agree with y*" owr faithfull brother in y''
confession of faith and allegiauwce to god & her maiestie as we
have often declared to y® worlde, in other lyke confessions,

1 Harl. MS. 6849, fol. 143. Dr John Waddington in his "John Penry",
1854, pp. 279-80, indicates that the original of this letter was written by
Francis Johnson to Lord Burleigh.

B. II. 5

66 Early English Dissenters

-which now I have not by mee, to sende allso to your hardship
as otherwise I woulde have donne,...

[John Penry's Answer to Fifteen Slanderous Articles, written
not long before his death.] ^

A short and true answer to the
partycular slanders conteyned in
these — 15 — most false and maly-
cyous Artycles w/«ich lately were
cast abroad in reproch of the true
Christians whom they vnChristianly
call Brownistes. And first to ther
tytle as is in that Copy that came
to OUT hande*.

The tytle to the slanderous An abstract of the opinions which
Artycles. — the Brownists do mainteyn

That you call true Christians by the name of Brownistes we
a. Acts. 24. 5. meruaile not for we find that the Apostles were said to be of
b.[?] Acts. 24. ^YyQ Sect of the Nazarites and therfore with them also we do


confesse that that way which you call a sect, and Brownisme,
we worshipp God the father of our Lord Ihesus Christ beleeuing
all thinges that are wrytten in the Law, the Prophettes and
Apostles and whatsoeuer according to this rule is published by
this State, or holden of any refourmed Churches abroad. These
opynions therfore -which are falsely [?] and malycyously fathered
upon vs, we vtterly renounce them as none of owrs, because
they agree not with the word of God which is the rule of truth,
nor with the allegeance -which in the Lord we owe, and are
carefully to perfourme to her Maiestie her Counsell, and this
State, and we retume them vpon the detractors themselues as
the true fathers of such blasphemous lyes and slanders, which
are the brood and ymaginations of their own corrupt hartes, as
shall more fully appeare by this short but true answer to the
partyculars — .

• Add. MS. c. 303 (fol. 200-203 recto), in the Bodleian Library.





table Expoficion or Comrrientarie vpon
the Lords Prayer ; whc;reinthcDo»5trincof
the fubftanceand circumflances of true
inuocation is euidently and fully v ^
declared out of the holie . ""^S^Mt
r^,Y/- Scriptures. (^ WCT^"

/ * WordofGod.. " ' ■•

;.'./, AT LONDOK

Imprinted by F^ix Kyn'^Hoh^ox Thomjis lMm, and
' arc to be fold athiiiliopin Patfi-nollcr row
t St the figac of the Talbot, i/^^j.

Trn.K-i'ACK. (Size of original 0;} in. x4i in.) See Vol. I.,
pp. 227-9 and Preface, p. xi.

Documents relatiTig to John Penry 67

Article .1. — Inprimis they affirme that there is no true
Catholik Church in all the world but theirs, and
that all Churches elce whatsoeuer are the
Synagogues of Sathan. /

We beleue and confesse that the Catholique Church consisteth Answer.—
of the faithfull and elect wAich haue bene or shalbe vpon the ^^^^ ^ 9 '
earth from the beginning to the end of the world, of all nations,
people kindred and tongues, so far are we through the mercy
of God from this palpable ignorance wherwith yt seemeth our
aduersaryes are blynded, who as yet haue not learned to
distinguish betwene a partycular Congregation and the Catho-
lique that is the vnyversall Church [.] We hold a Christian and
reuerend iudgment of the East Churches and of the refourmed
Churches in this part of the world, and are so farr from affirming
them to be the Synagogue of Antichrist, as we doubt not but
they haue refused and cast of the Antichristian Prelacy Priest-
hood, Tyranny and superstitions, and endeuor to obey our Lord
Ihesus Christ in his owne ordynances as by their owne publike
confession and practyze yt appeareth. But let ouv aduersaryes
looke vnto yt how they account of the refourmed Churches
abroad seing they haue denyed such to be sufFycyent and
lawfull Ministers of the Ghospell of Christ, who haue bene of M"- Whyting.
those Churches allowed & ordayned therevnto and on the other ^j, wdghT
syde (as the Papistes themselues report) haue allowed & receyued
such as were of late made Priestes at Roome or Rhemes vpon
recantation of some of their Popish opynions to be ministers Tyrrell &
here of these assemblyes in England, without any other ordina- ^y*'^^^-
tion then they there had receyued before —

Article .2. — Item, That they haue power to excommunicate
all that will not be of their faction or (as they
terme yt) of their Church, and that whosoeuer
shalbe by them excommunycate, is damned
vnlesse he shalbe by them absolved. —

No Church hath power to Excommunycate any but such as are Answer.—,
members of the same Church, for can they excommunycate 1. Cor. 5. 11.
such as haue neuer bene in Com?nunyon with them, and what
haue they to doe to iudge them that are without. So as here


68 Early Eiujlish Dissenters

againe[?] our adversaries while they belye vs, laye open their
owne grosse ignonince in the matters of God. If any member
of the Church deseruing to be excomwunycate do refuse to
heare the Church, obstinatly persisting in his knowen and
greeuous Schysmes or synnes, and therevpon is by the Church
Mat. 18. 17. 18. cast out in the name and power of the Lord Ihesus according
to his word then Christ hath said let him be to thee as
a heathen, verely I say vnto you whatsoeuer ye bind &c. —
And doth not also the Apostle wryght vnto the Churches of
Corinth, that they should forgyue and Comfort him vpon his
repentance of whom before he had wrytten to them, that in
2. Cor. 2. 7. regard of this synne, he hauing bene a brother, they should
1 Town's 4! 5! ^^^"g gathered together by the power of Christ delyuer him
vnto Sathan for tho, destruction of the, flesh that &c. That in
the Pryde of theyr hartes they call the Church of Christ
a faction we leaue vnto God who iudgeth. —

Article .3. — Item that they haue excommunicat \sic\ the
Churches of England & Ireland aswell the
Queen as the Counsell and all others, and
therfore she and all the rest of her subiects are
damned vnlesse they wilbe absolued by them
and so admytted into the Church. —

Answer.— Such is OUT Innocency herein (blessed be God) as we do appeale
to God to whose eyes all ihinges are naked and open after
thexample of Dauyd when he was likewyse falsely accused and
slaundred by Cush, saying. O Lord our God, yf we haue done
this thing if this wickednes be in our handes, nay yf yt entred
into our thoughtes, let thenemy persecute owr soule and take
yt, yea let him tread our lyfe downe vpon the earth, and lay
our honor &c. Aryse Lord and lift vp thy selfe against the
rage of our enemyes, and awake for vs according to the iudgment
w^ich thou hast appoynted. ludge thou vs Lord according
to our righteousnes, and according to our ynnocency. let
the malyce of the wicked come to an end, but guyde thou the
iust, for the righteous God tryeth the very harte* and reynes.
Our defence is in God, who preserueth the vpright in hart.
Furthermore we acknowledge, that yt were greeuous synne for

Documents relating to John Penry 69

vs to Condemne any, and therfore (as we ought) we leaue all

others and our selues to the iudgment of God in that day, when 1. Cor. 4. 5

all flesh shall appeare before him to receyue according to that ^q ' ^^' '

they haue done in their bodyes whether yt be good or euyll [.] P^il- l- 6. 7.

And in the meane tyme (as yt becometh vs to iudge) we are

perswaded that her Maiestie and many thowsandes of her

Subiectes, (who as yet differ in iudgment amongst themselues

and from vs in many thinges) are the deare Children of God,

and he3a'es of saluation through faith in Christ Ihesus, and

according to our duty (God being wyttnes to our soules) we do

dayly acknowledge, and do dayly prayse God for the great and

wonderfull thinges wAtch God by the most gracyous gouernment

of her most excellent Maiestie and her honorable Counsell hath

brought to passe both for the matters of God in relyg}^on, and

for the matters of the land in the Peace and safetie thereof.

And we pray God to encrease the same every day more and

more to the prayse of his most gloryous name and to the honor

of owr Prince to whom we wish the dayes of Methuselah yf yt Gen. 5. 27.

be the will of God, that she may be an ancyent mother in " ^' ^'

Israeli, to the comfort of her Subiectes in protecting them that

do well, and taking vengeance on them that do euyll. —

Article .4. — Item, that the ministers of the Church of England
are not true and lawfull ministers, but they are
the hirelings of Antichrist and that the B. B.
[Bishops] are the forerunners. —

The ministers of these assemblies haue bene often and earnestly Answer.—
intreated to shew out of the scriptures their ministery in their
offyce, and execution of their offyce, according to the rules of
the Testament of Christ, which hetherto they haue not done,
neither are able to do, Moreouer euen themselues haue taught
and published that owr Lord Ihesus Christ hath in his word for
the administracton of holy thinges, appoynted the offyces of
Pastor, Doctor Elders, and Deacons to contynue to the end of
the world together with their lawfull entrance and execution of
their duties, that his Church may be instructed, and gouerned,
and holpen according to his owne ordynance, to w^tch only he
hath promysed his presence and blessing. Also that they haue


Early English Dissenters

2 treat./ sect.

Act. 20. 17. 28.
cum. 14. 23.
Tit. 1. 5. 7.
1, Tim. 5. 17.
Phil. 1. 1. 2.
Rom. 12. 7. 8.

Answer. —

Answer. —
a. barmo. of
conf. sect.

not this ministery, but thut they haue (w/iich are their owne
wordes) an Antichristian Hierarchy, and a Popish ordering of
Ministers, strange from the word of God, and the vse of all the
refouniied Churches in the world [.] If that which is here
spoken of B B, be meant of the Bishop})s wAich were in the
Primitiue Church, then we hold no such thing of them as is
here ymagined, For those Bishopps were eyther Pastors,
Doctors, or ruling Elders, whom the holy Ghost by the im-
mediate calling of the Church, made ouerseers not of whole
Prouynces and Shires but of their partycular flock and Church
as is evident by the scriptures noted in the margin and by
these expresse wordes kut €KKXr)<Tcav. Kara in euery Church
and euery Cyttie and such like. If they meane of tk^ Prelates
of this age let themselues be their owne ludges. —

Article ..5. — That for stealing a man ought not to be put to
death, because his body is the temple of the
holy ghost distinguishing sophistically betwen
[sic] fur & latro [.]

We do acknowledge that by the word of God in some cases of
stealing a man may be put to death, as If one sett vpon a man
in the hye way, If a thief be found breaking into a howse in
the night or such like, but that euery stealing should be
punished with death, the lawes of the land do not requyre, as
appeareth by the other punishmente^ sett downe, of whipping,
boring through the eare, marking the handes and such like, as
when a man stealeth a little to satisfie his soule because he is
hungiy. Sophisticate distinctions are their owne, we do not
vse nor acknowledge them for ours —

Article .G.^Item. That all we that are baptized, are not
baptized rightly & therfore must be baptized
againe. —

We confesse with the French Church who haue published yt,
that they which are baptized in Papisticall assemblies need not
to be baptized the second tyme, no more then the Circumcysion
w^ich was had in the defection of Israeli and false ecclesiasticall
constitution with them, and euen as those sinned greeuously

Documents relating to John Penry 71

wAtch abode and had their children Cyrcumcysed in that
defection of Israeli, So in that case they hauing indeed plaid
the harlott and forsaken God (whatsoeuer they pretend) and
God having cast them away and geuen them a bill of diuorcement, ler. 3. 8.
the Sacramentes and seales of God his couenant do not belong
vnto them, neyther do those where they vse [sic\, seale vnto
them in that estate the Couenant of grace. And farther how
they administer or receyue baptisme aright without a true and
lawfull rainistery, yea sometymes by a woman and in pryvate
houses with a devised Litargie, Idolatrous crossing, and pro-
pounding questions to the Infant -which, vnderstandeth not
wherto the Godfathers and Godmothers must make answer,
and such like, we leaue to the3T [?] owne examynations by the
scriptures, and their owne publike wrytinges. —

Article .7. — Item, we receyue the Sacrament of the Lordes
Supper not rightly as Christ did constitute the
same & therfore we receyue to condemnation. —

It doth not follow that yf any receyue the Supper of the Lord Answer.—

not rightly that he shalbe condemned, for yt is a synne wAtch

God pardoneth as other the synnes of his Children. The

Church of Corinth synned greeuously in not receyuing this i. Cor. 11. 20.

Sacrament aright according to the institution of Christ, and

were therfore indeed chastyzed of God, some by sicknes, some l. Cor, li. 32.

by weaknes, and some by death, and yet the Apostle saith

expressly they were thus corrected of God, that they might not

be condemned with the world. No Lutheran w/ach holdeth

consubstantiation can in that error receyue this Sacrament

aright according to Christ his institution, yet we doubt not but

many of them w/itch erre herein, are the elect of God and saued

by his grace. What is yt then ? surely when they eate of that

bread and drinck of that Cupp vnworthylie and not aright they

eate and drinke iudgment vnto themselues. But as we said,

such is the mercy of God to his Children, as washeth away this

with their other infinite synnes, in the blood of that immaculate

Lamb the Lord Ihesus Christ, w/n'ch yet should not encourage

any in the same, but seing there is such infinite mercy with Psal. ISO. 4.

God, the more to feare him, and to stry-ue by all meanes to eate

72 Early English Dissenters

of that bread and to drinke of that Cupp worthely. But how
these assemblies in this State can receyue yt aright according
to Christ his institution, let them selues iudge, when as by
Ailmon. u> r/ie their owne Confession and practise all their ministers are Arch-
Bishoppa, Ijord Bishopps, and Priestes or Deacons made and
ordeyned by these Prelates, so as they haue not that true and
Lawfull ministery, w/i?ch Christ in his last Testament hath
appointed for the adniinistracion of his holy thinges there
bequeathed vnto his Church, when as also themselues being
wyttnesses they vse not the wordes of Christ his institucion.
Take, eate, this is the body &c. Not to speake here of
their pryvate Communyon stinted Litargie, Epistles. Ghospells
and such like, all which in that vse, Christ neuer instytuted

Article .8. — Item. They hold a communyty of goodes. —

Answer.— We hold no Anabaptisticall Communytie of goodes at all, only
such communyty as the Apostles and Primitiue Church held and

Act. 11. 29. vsed. We confesse yt to be our duties and the dutie of all Chris-
tians to hold and vse the like (that is) that euery one according to
his ability as God hath prospered him be ready to minister succor
vnto the Brotherhood, and to distribute to their necessyties as
is wrytten Iho. 3. 17. Whosoeuer hath this worldes good
and seeth his brother haue need and shutteth vp his
compassion from him, how dwelleth the loue of god in
him?. Other communytie hold we none, but as the Apostle
said to Ananius. Whilst yt remayned appertayned yt not
to thee? and after yt was sold was yt not in thy power?
So we also hold, that the right and propertie of whatsoeuer any
possesseth, appertayneth vnto him who is the owner and
possessor thereof only he is carefully to looke vnto yt that he
be a good and faithfuU Steward of that w/nch God hath
commytted vnto him, doing good to all, but chiefly to them

Gal. G. 10. which are of the houshold of faith.

Article .9. — Item. He that wilbe a brother, must geue for
his admission into their fellowship the tenth
penny of his goodes, to which he must be
awome. —

l.Cor. IG. 12
Rom. 12. 13

Documents relatmg to John Penry 73

We do no such thing, but our aduersaries haue framed this as Answer.—
the rest, of their owne Corrupt hartes : we are perswaded yt is
the free and gracyous worke of God to add to the Church from
day to day such as shalbe saued. Tything became the, lewes
priesthode better then the ministery of the Ghospell, yf we
marke the manner of mayntenance that was in the Apostles
tymes : And indeed we thinke that her Maiestie might greatlie
gloryfy God, and bring much peace to her Subiectes, in taking
the Lordly revenewes of the Prelates and Priestes into her owne
handes, to employ them otherwyse as her Matestie shall thinke
good to her highnes owne vse, and the benefyte of the land.
Only for this error and for endevoring to serue Christ and obey
him in his own ordynance ecclesiasticall, do the Prelates oitr
great aduersaryes persecute vs, although they do yt vnder
another colour. —

Article .10 — Item. Baptisme must be administred with
rayne water. —

We hold no such thing, but this also hath the father of lyes by Answer.—

these his ministers forged as the rest. Indeed the scryptures

say that vpon the wicked god will rayne snares fire and P«al. 11.6.

brimstone and stormy tempest, the portion of their

cupp. Let our aduersaries fear (yf they repent not) that they

shalbe babtized with this baptisme of rayne, because the Lord

of hostes hath determyned yt and who shall disanuU yt ?

Article .11. — Item That all set prayer is blasphemous, and
therfore the Lords prayer printed [.]

We thanke God we are so farr from thinking blasphemously Answer.—

any manner of way of that most absolute fourme of prayer

called the Lordes prayer, as we doubt not to affyrme, that

whosoeuer holde yt to be blasphemous they are horrible wicked

men, worthie to be cutt of from the face of the earth. As for

oxiv selues we hold yt Canonycall scripture, that yt is a most

abolute fourme and rule of all trew [?] prayer, that no Angell or

man whatsoeuer are able to sett downe the like, that yf they

should sett downe anie other, yet all Christians ought to pray jr t 6 9

only by this rule w/a'ch Christ out Sauyor the wisdome of the Luk. ii. 2.


Early English Dissenters

M' Beza
M' VrsinuB

father hath prescribed. That herein he hath taught V8 .1. to
whom to pray, that is, to God only, and not to any Angell or
Saint whatsoeuer .2. with what affeccion, that is, with faith and
confidence of his willingnes to heare and help vs as being out
father and of his abilitie thereunto as being in heauen, that is
(as the Scrypture expoundeth yt) able to do whatsoeuer he will.

3. To what end. That God in and ouer all may be gloryfyed.

4. For what thinges to pray. According to the seuerall
occasyons and necessyties wAich God ministreth and layeth

♦ This is the vpon VS, here being in few wordes comprised* but indeed fully
M^'caluvn comprehended all the occasyons and necessyties that euer haue
bene or shalbe offered of prayer vnto God by the Church or
anie member thereof, in any age place or State whatsoeuer, as
may appeare by this, that all the prayers sett downe in the
scriptures, which the men of God vpon so manie seuerall
occasyons offered vp vnto God, are all comprised in this most
absolute patteme, who yet did not vse these very wordes, so as
it is plaine that our Sauyor Christ himselfe did not tye his
disciples or thers to the vse of these wordes, w^tch yet men
now a dayes in their ignorance & superstition are not ashamed
to do. If yt be obiected that Christ said. \e7eTe. say Our
fiither &c. We answer first that the scrypture yt selfe
sheweth his meaning herein to be, not that the disciples
or others should be tyed to vse these very wordes, but that
in prayer and geuing of thankes they should followe his
direction and patterne which he had geuen them, that they
might know to whom, with what affeccion and to what end
to pray as yt is expresslie sett downe in these wordes.
After this manner therfore pray ye, and not as men will now
haue vs. Say ouer these very wordes. Secondly we doubt not
but we may vse anie of these wordes as others applying them
to our seuerall necessyties as we see Christ himselfe did when
he prayed. O my father yf this cupp cannot passe from
me but that I must drinke yt, thy will be done where yt
is plaine that Christ himselfe who gaue the rule doth shew vs
how to vse yt, to weet, not in a superstitious saying ouer those
very wordes but in praying according to that rule as our
specyall necessyties shalbe, whether we vse any of these wordes

Luk. 11. 2.

Mat: 26. 42.

Documents relating to John Penry 75

or other, or pray with sighes & groanes that cannot be expressed.

And here thirdly we would gladly know of our aduersaries yf

Christ hath tyed vs to say these wordes when we praye and

that such saying of these wordes be true prayer, how they will

reconcyle vnto [sic] the assertion of the Apostle, wAi'ch sayth.

We know not what to pray as we ought, but the spyryt yt selfe Bom. 8. 26.

maketh request for vs with grones that cannot be expressed.

For we might haue answered the Apostle yes we know what to

pray, to weet the Lordes prayer : neyther needed the sp)n'yt to

make request with sighes that cannot be expressed, for the

saying of these wordes is enough, conteyning whatsoeuer we

need to aske [.] And againe, it would be knowen how that

same Apostles question in another Epistle will stand where he

sayth. When thou prayest or geuest thankes in a

strange tongue (for of that he speaketh) how shall he that l Cor. 14. 16.

occupieth the room of the vnlearned say Amen at thy

geuing of thankes? seing he knoweth not what thou

sayest. For yf they had bene tyed to the very fourme of the

wordes of the Lordes prayer, or to any sett stinted wordes, yt

might haue bene answered. Yes I know what he sayth when

he prayeth or geueth thankes, he sayth the Lordes prayer, or

some stinted or prescribed fourme of prayer wAich I know

before hand, and therfore to yt, though yt be said in a strange

tongue I can say Amen. Fourthly the Apostles, and disciples

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