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to whom first this rule was geuen were careful! no doubt to

keep yt according to the meaning of owr Sauyor Christ. But

they did not tye themselues to these wordes, but prayed as

they had seuerall occasyons according to this rule, as appeareth

by their prayers expressly mencyoned in the scripture quoted a ^ i 04 *

in the margin, and when they wryte vnto others exhorting 4. 24.

them vnto this heauenly duty of prayer they neuer in all their ^n^j'^y'

Epistles chardge them when they pray to say ouer the Lordes necessary con -

prayer, wAi'ch doubtlesse they would haue done yf so yt had phu. 4. e.

bene the will of Christ to haue yt vsed, but they teach and ^P^- ?• }^'

-' . •' lam. 0. 13.

exhort them according to their seuerall necessyties and occasyons 1. Thes. 5[?].
in all thinges to shew their requester vnto God in all maner of j^^ ^ ^^ jg
prayer and supplycacion in ih^ spyryt with geuing of thankes 16.

76 Early English Dissenters

and herevnto to watch with all pcrseuerancc, for this is the will
of God in Christ Ihesus. Fiftly, Christ hath geuen an expresse
Commaundmewt. When you pray say. &c. But to breake the
Conimaundme«t of Christ is synne, therforeyf Christes meaning
were to tye them or vs to this fourme of wordes, yf they or we
pray at anie tyme and not vse these wordes yt is synne : But
before yt appeareth that th'apostles [?] prayed and vsed not
these wordes and yet synned not, and so we doubt not do all
Christians dayly according to their dyvere occasyons and
Conditions. Fynally. If Christes meaning were to haue vs vse
these very wordes yt were great and intollerable presumption
to offer vnto God any other, seing all thinges whatsoeuer we
need aske for our selues or for others are here comprehended,
& seing Christ hath enioyned when you pray say. Our father

Article ,12. — Item. They affirme that our Communyon
booke is blasphemy against the maiesty
of God.—

Answer.— The primitive Churches, wAich by th'apostles were taught and

setled in all tho. ordynances of owr Lord Ihesus, were neuer tyed

1. Cor. 4. 17. to any sett prayers or devised wayes of ministracton, but were

*• ■ taught to worshipp God and to administer his holy thinges

Mat. 28. 20. according as he had prescrybed in his Testament, w/iich he

Bom. 16. 17. sealed with his blood, and this only we hold yt owr dutyes to

follow as the Lord enableth vs, as for their booke of Common

prayer wherein is prescribed the whole worshipp and rules of

administration, let them first consyder what the best preachers

Admon. to the haue wrytten of yt aboue 20 yeares sythence to the Parliament

ar . rea . . ^•^. r^^^^^ y^ jg qj^ vnperfyt booke culled and picked out of that

Admon to r/ie . , , *^ p n c i i

Pari, treat. 1. ropish dunghill the masse booke, mil oi abhomynations, that

they prophane the holy scriptures, that in all this order of
seruyce there is no edification according to the rule of the
apostle but confusion, and againe, that that fourme ys not
commaunded of God. That in the. Primitiue Churches the
ministers were not so tyed to any fourme of prayers inuented
by man, but as the spirit moued them, so they poured forth

Documents relating to John Penry 77

harty supplications to the. Lord, but that now they are bound

of necessytie to a prescript order of servyce and booke of

Common prayer, in which a great number of thinges contrary

to God his word are conteyned : patched yf not alltogether, yet

the greatest peece out of the popish portise [portasse] : When

these thinges stand thus, euen in the Confession of the godlyest

preachers and professors of these assemblies, let them selues

next consider how meet this is for the Mai'estie of God, and

how acceptable vnto him to whom notwithstanding they dayly

offer yt in the mediation of Ihesus Christ, who hath geuen Eph.4 . 8.

giftes vnto men for the worke of his ministery, and maketh his

Church an holy priesthood to offer vp spyrytuall sacryfyces i Peter. 2. 5.

acceptable to god through him, neyther doth he or the father

accept anie other sacryfyce, worshipp or worshippers, whatsoeuer

men do deeme or ymagine.

Article .13. — Item, to reade any but the Canonycall scripture
is Sacrilegious

We ground out faith only vpon the Canonycall scriptures, being Answer.—

assured thai they were geuen by inspiracion of God, and that pro. 30. 5. 6.

they conteyne the whole reuealed will of God, vnto wAi'ch none

may add, and from which none may take away, and therfore

also we reade them only when the Church meeteth together

for the seruyce of God, and to edifie in our most holy fayth : Act. 13. 15.

Yet notwithstanding in our pryvate howses and studyes, we

reade and vse any other bookes and helpes w/?ich through the

blessing of God may further vs vnto the better vnderstanding

of this word of God. But yt seemeth our aduersaries would

insynuate [?] that [yt] is Lawfull in the Church for the edification

thereof to reade the Apocrypha bookes aswell as the Canonycall

scryptures. We are not ignorant that this indeed is their

practise, yea that they haue published that they leaue some of Book of Com-

tho, Canonycall scriptures vnread as lesse edyfying, and Av/a'ch J^e'r,^brick of

might better be spared meaning the booke of the revelation reading the

partycularly, whereof yet the spyryt of God wyttnesseth saying. °'^'^ "'^^^

Blessed is he that readeth and they that heare the word

of this prophecy, and kepe those things which are

written therin. — Let themselues therfore consider how

78 Early Encflish Dissenters

a. ludi. 9. 2 directly they go against the spiryt and word of God herein.

w^ith Gen. Moreouer let them know that in the Apocrypha bookes there is

Machab. 14. a Contradiction with the Canonicall scriptures, blasphemy,

wi'thExod. Magick, errors and lyes, and therfore not lawfull to reade them

20. 13. jjj ij^Q publike assemblies of the Church.

Esther ^

Apocr. 12. 5. with Ester Canon. 6. 3. bt?]. Tob. 12. 15. with Renel. 8. 2. 3. 4. Hebr.

3. 9. 24. C[?]. Tob. 6. 7. 8. d. Ecclesiast. 26. 20. Comp. with Esay. 57. 2. A ReueL

14.13. AlsoinToby 12. 15[?]. withToby. 5. 12. ludith. 10. 12. A 9. 13.

Article. 14 — Item, they deny the Queen to be supreme head
of the Churches of England and Ireland.

Answer.— The word of God teacheth that God hath made all thinge*

1 Con 15. 27. subiect vnder Christes feet and hath appoynted him ouer all

Eph. 1 22. & thinges to be the head to the Church w/jich is his body, euen

Coloss. 1. 18./ the fuUnes of him that filleth all in all thinge*.

Article .15. — Item they make a question of her Majesties
legitimacy, and therfore they are enemyes
to God and Traytors to the Queen. God
eyther conuert them or cutt them of
Amen. —

Answer.— We pray the readers not to be offended, yf in grief of our
loh. 8. 44. soules we be coTistreined to say to our aduersaries as yt is
wrytten. Ye are of your father the deuyll who was a lyar and
murtherer from the beginning. God is wittnes, that we gladly
acknowledge her Maiestie to be owr Lawfull and Soueraigne
Prince by right descent from the vndoubted right kinges of
theis realmes her royall Progenitors, wAi'ch the king of kinges
from heauen hath also sealed and assured by his nmst wonder-
full and mightie delyverances of her Mat&stie from so many
trayterous conspyracyes and wicked purposes entended against
her both by forreine and home enemies, so as we may iustly
Psal. 21. 1. 8. say. The Qweene shall reioyce in thy saluation thy hand shall
find out all thine and her enemyes. Thou shalt make them as
a fyery oven in tyme of thine anger, the Lord shall destroy
them in his wrath and the fire shall deuoure them. —



-nd for 0!/r Enemies who drew and spread these false &
slanderous artycles against vs, we must needes say, that they

Documents relating to John Penry 79

could neuer come from a hart and mind loyall to her Matestie.
We pray God that her Maiestie and Counsell may more and
more disceme betwene such false dissembling hypocrytes and
her true and faithfull Subiectes, And we pray God be mercy-
full to OUT Aduersaries, forgeving their synnes in Ihesus Christ
to whom be praise for euer. Amen. —

[John Penry 's Confession of Faith and Apology prepared
not long before his death in 1593.]^

I lohn Penry do here (as I shall answer before the
Lord my God in that great day of iudgment) sett
downe summaryly, the whole truth and nothing but
the truth of all that I hold and professe at this hower
eyther in regard of my fayth towardes the Lord my
God, or touching my allegiance to her right Excellent
Mamtie my most gracyous and deare Soueraigne
Qweene Elizabeth, vnto whom only of all the Potentates
in the world I owe all duty, reuerence and submyssion
in the Lord

First, because my allegeance vnto her Maie-stie is chiefly called
in question, I protest I am not at this day, nor yet euer was in
all my life eyther guilty or privy vnto any purpose, consultacion,
or intent of any sedition against, or disturbance of her Matestt'es
royall State and peaceable gouernme»t and yf I were privy to
any such godlesse, wicked, and vndutyfull accions or purposes,
as might any way impayre or disquyet the peaceable State of
my natiue Prince and Cuntry, I would reueale, disclose and
withstand the same to the vtterraost of ray power in all persons
forraigne and domesticall of what profession or Religion so euer
they were.

Her supreme authorytie within her Realmes and Dominions
I acknowledge to be such ouer all persons in all causes, as no
person eyther Civile or ecclesiasticall may exempt himselfe or
his cause, from the power & censure of her lawes and word.
I do also acknowledg, That her Matestie hath full authorytie
from the Lord by her royall power to establish and enact all

1 Add MS. c. 303 (fol. 204-207 verso) in the Bodleian Library.

80 Early Englhh Dissenters

Lawes both ecclesiasticall and Civile amongst her Subiecte*,
In the enacting whereof the Lord requireth, that her ecclesi-
asticall be warranted by her wrytten word, which expressly
conteyneth fully whatsoeuer belongeth to the true worshipp of
his Maiestie : Her Civile be grounded vpon the rules of
Common equyty and lustyce, the which, bondes are so farr from
weakening the authorytie of kinge.s and Princes, as they are the
only inexpugnable walles thereof

This Soueraigne authorytie and prerogatiue of her highnes,
I am most most [sic] willingly readie to defend against all the
States, persons & cretures vnder heauen to the losse of my life.
1000 tymes yf yt be needfull.

And I take the Lord to record, that that daye hath not passed
ouer my head (doth not I am sure) synce the first tyme that
the Lord vnder her gracyous raigne brought me vnto the
knowledge of his Ghospell, wherin I haue not and do not pray
for the blessing of my God both inwardly and outwardly to be
powred with a full home vpon her right excellent Matestie, her
throne, regiment and dominions euen for ever, and that he
would eyther conuert or speedyly ouerthrow in his wrath all
his & her enemyes with their enterpryses whether they be
home or forrayne. Hereof I call the searcher of the hartes as
a wyttnes of truth against myne owne soule, yf eyther I dissemble
or feigne in the premisses.

Secondly touching my faith, I do beleue wtth my hart and
confesse with my mouth, that there is no God but that true
God only, w^tch the holy wrj'tten word doth shew to be one in
substance and three in person, the Father, the sonne, and the
holy Ghost, three distinct persons of one and the selfe same Deitie.
This most hye God, who also is my God in Ihesus Christ,
I beleue to be the. Creator, preseruer, raaynteyner, Soueraigne
Lord and supreme commaunder of all creatures in heauen and
earth, of men and Angelles, good and bad [.] I do beleue that
nothing doth or can come to passe eyther in heauen or earth
but by the forebounded and determinate will, purpose, Counsell
and direction yea without the most wyse and most vpright
commaundment of this euerlasting and true God who worketh
all thinges after the Counsell of his owne will.

Documents relating to John Penry 81

All men by nature I beleue to be the Children of wrath and
saued only by grace through the sufferinges and righteousnes of
Christ Ihesus apprehended by a true and lyvely faith.
Christ Ihesus in regard of his natures I beleue to be God and
man, euen God aboue all blessed for euermore, and in respect
of his ofiyce, to be the only king, Priest and Prophet of his
Church, the wAz'ch his offyces he so fully accomplished in ih&
daies of his flesh, by the manifesting the whole will of his father
through his preaching and teaching the full redemption of his
Church by his death & resurrection and the receyuing of full
and absolute power in heauen and earth from his father in such
sort, as he is not to receyue a successor in any of these his
offyces, but is consecrated alone to them all for euermore
True Fayth I beleue to be that persuasion of the hart, wherby
the soule is truly assured of remission of synnes, and imputation
of righteousnes through Christ [.] This true Fayth, belongeth
only to Gods elect, and hath perseuerance vnto the end ioyned
with yt : with this true Faith also is vnseparably ioyned (as the
fruytes thereof) a dying vnto s)rQne, and a lyuing vnto righte-
ousnes in such sort as the members of Christ haue a contynuall
battaile within them against synne, the which by the power of
Christen death is so wounded, as the same in some measure
decayeth more and more in them vntill at the length yt be
vtterlie consumed, when the bodies and soules are separated
and not before.

By the quyckening power of Christ, I do beleue, that his
members here vpon earth are drawen more and more to like of
his blessed will, and to practize the same yea to giue their lyves
rather then to dishonor their God in the voluntarie and willing
denyall of his truth, and the breach of his law and will reuealed
to them[.] His reuealed will, I beleue to be perfectly conteyned
in the wrytten word of the old and new Testament geuen by
the holy Ghost for the instrucczon and comfort of his poor
Church, so long as the same is a Pilgrim here vppon earth.
This Church, I beleue to be the Companie of those whom the
word calleth Saintes w^i'ch do not onlie professe in word that
they know God, but also are subiect vnto him, vnto his lawes
and ordinances indeed : With this Church, I do beleue that the

B. II. 6

82 Early English Dissenters

Lord God of his meer fauor hath entred into Couenant that he
wilbe their God and that they shalbe his people. The seales of
this Couenant are two only — Baptisme and the Supper of the

This Church here vpon earth I do beleue not to be perfect,
(although in regard of the order which the Lord hath appointed
for the same yt be most absolute) but to haue many blemishes
and wantes in yt, yet assuredly that all th& true members
thereof shall at the day of iudgment receyue their perfect
consumwiation by Ihesus Christ, and be crowned in him
with etemall glory, of his meer grace and not of any meryt of

Of w/iich blessed, free, and vndeserued reward, I professe my
selfe to rest in most vndoubted and gloryous hope through the
mercyes of my God, and therfore I am most willingly content
to vndergoe any trobles in this life for his names sake, who be
gloryfyed of me both in soule and body, and of all his Saintes
for euermore Amen

I detest all heresies, secte^ and schysmes and errors whether
new or old, by whomsoeuer they haue bene inuented. as
Puritanisme, Donatisme, Anabaptisme, Libertinisme
Brownisme, all the dreames and dotages of the famylie of
loue, but especyally all Popery, that most dreadfull Religion of
Antichrist, the great enemye of the Lord Ihesus, and the most
pestilent aduersary of the thrones of kinges & Princes[.] So
that I abhorre from my sowle, that whole body and euery part
of that Romish religion, called the sonne of perdition by the
spiryt of God, because the Lord hath determyned to consume
yt by his appearing in the brightnes of his Ghospell before his
second coming.

I detest that prowd superiorytie of that man of synne, wherby
(as the Apostle forespake) he either exalteth himselfe in his
members and their power to beare rule and raigne ouer the
truth and members of Christ, euen ouer all that is called holy,
or opposeth himselfe as a most bloody aduersary against all
those truthes and seruantes of the Lord, w/ii'ch will not suffer
him with his said infernall power to raigne ouer them in stead
of Ihesus Christ in his blessed ordynances

Documents relating to John Penry 83

I detest in regard of their offyces (I speake not of the mens
persons touching the Lordes election) the head of that body the
Pope, his cursed triple Crowne, his vsurped iurisdiction of
eyther of both swordes [sic\

I detest the rest of the. Lymmes of that body and their
spyrytuall power, as Cardinalles ArchBishopps Lord Bishopps,
Sufifraganes, Abbottes, Pryors Deanes, Archdeacons, Commys-
aryes, Chancellors, Offycialles, Monkes, Fryars, Chanons, Preb-
bendes, Priestes, Deacons, I detest the invented maner of
calling wherby they are placed in their cursed offyces, their
devysed workes wherein they are employed by reason of their
offyces, as the false doctrine and false worshipp of that
kingdome, with the lyving and mayntenance wherby they are
mainteyned in their offyces.

And forasmuch as the members of Christ must haue no
Communion of or with any of these cursed inventions, insomuch
as they can haue no lawfull vse or spirytuall communyon of or
with any of these offyces, callinges, workes, and maintenance,
because they cannot lawfully be subiect vnto any part of the
ecclesiasticall power of these offyces, Therfore yt is, that I
dare not participate in those assemblies or with anie of these
offycers bere rule ecclesiastically, and intermeddle with the
holie thinges of God wherein any of these devised callinges
(and none els) workes and maintenance are to be found:
For I am forbidden to haue any Communyon with those vn-
fruytfiill workes of darkenes, though yt be vpon pretence of
enioying the truth and Sacramentes of Christ, vpon paine of
everlasting tormentes daye and night for euermore.
And yf I may not be subiect to the Ceremonies of Moses, as
Circumcysion &c w^i'ch were soinetymes the Lords owne sacred
ordinances, how dare I or any other creature be in bondage to
those inuentions of Antichrist the great enemy of our Lord
Ihesus whereof the Saintes of God neither can neither yet euer
could haue any sanctified vse.

The truth of the doctrine touching the holy Trinitie, touching
the natures and offyces of our Sauyor, lusty fying fayth, Sacra-
mentes, eternall life &c. established by her Mazesttes Lawes, and
professed by her selfe, their Honors, and such as haue knowledge


84 Early English Dissenters

in the assemblies of this Land, I acknowledge from my hart to
be such, as yf I mainteyned not the vnitie and held not the
Communyon of the same doctrine with them in these pointes,
I could not possibly be saued. For out of the vnion of
the true profession w^ich her Maiestie hath established in
these and in the like truthes there is no hope of saluation
left : But to ioyne notwithstanding with the publike worshipp
in these assemblies of this Land I dare not for the former

I do moreouer willinglie confesse, that many both of the teachers
and also of the professors in these Parish assemblies, haue so
embraced the truth of doctrine established and professed in this
land, as the Lord of his infinite goodnes hath graunted them
the fauor to shew outwardly many tokens, wherby in regard of
the Lordes election, I professe before men and Angelles that I
doe iudge them to be members of that bodie, whereof the sonne
of God Christ Ihesus is the head, only herein the lord be mercy-
full to them as vnto my selfe in regard of my synnes, that they
are not vnder that outward order wAich Christ Ihesus left in
his Church, but instead thereof are first subiect vnto many of
the forenamed offyces, Secondlie, haue Communion with their
false manner of calling vnto their oflFyces, Thirdly partycipate
with a great part of their devysed Avorkes where offycers are
employed, Fourthly with the false maintenance and lyvinges
sometyme, consecrated to Idolatrie for the most part, wherby
these offycers are mainteined, Fiftly, are mingled with the
knowen prophane, ignorant, and disordered persons, wAt'ch are
ioynt members with them of these assemblies.
This is the Somme of my faith and allegeance vnto my God and
Prince. Here is the Somme of that whole difference that is
betwene me and the Clergy of this Land, and the somme of
that whole cause for the which I and dyvers other of my poore
brethren are iudged to be Schysmatikes, Felons, Heretickes &c.
If this may come vnto the royall handes of my Soueraigne and
to the view of their honors, I doubt not by the mercyes of my
God, but her Maiesties hart and their hordshi-ps wilbe soone
induced, that neither I, nor any that hold not the same
profession with the aforenamed offycers of assemblies in this

Documents relating to John Penry 85

land, do deserue the shortening of our dayes by her Maiesttes
sword for these thinges.

And there is all that euer we hold : For as touching that error
concerning the not repeating of the Lordes prayer whervvith
we are charged, Far be yt, euen farr be yt that we should deny
the same or any the like scriptures, to be an holy fourme of prayer,
conteyning not only an exquisyte patterne of doctrine, according
to wAich all our prayers are to be squared, but also a fourme of
petition request and wordes, wAich a Christian soule may vtter
not only lawfully, but also with great comfort : The vse for
wAich yt was geuen, we hold indeed to be rather for doctrine
then for praier, the abuse in the often repetition thereof we
condemne, and this I am sure was the iudgment in this point
of those holy seruantes of Christ [i.e., Henry Barrowe and John
Greenwood], who now rest from their labors.
The good w/it'ch this land getteth outwardly, by these false
offyces aforenamed and the lyuinges belonging to them, is,
That the trayterous lesuytes and semynary Priestes are drawen
by the hope they haue of possessing this this \sic] Babylonish
gold, to become the vnnaturall betrayers of their Naturall
Prince and Cuntrie into the handes of strangers, whereas yf
these offyces and livinge* were by publike authorytie once
remoued and conuerted to her Maiesties Civile vses, the Pope
would haue no occasyon to send ouer these Locuste^, there
would be no baytes to allure them hether, and the home
Papistes would be vtterlie voyd of hope to see their expected
daye. So that the mainteyning of those offyces and lyvinges,
and their devised worker and callinges w/a'ch would fall with
them, is ioyned with that contynuall danger of her Maiesties
Royall person and the whole State of the land. I do but
point at the inconuenyence wAich in Conscyence towardes her
Maiestie and my Cuntry, I am bound to showe, they that are
wise will thinke of the cause with seryousnes, and will not
(I hope) thinke me worthie to be smytten for shewing the

Whatsoeuer I hold of these pointes controuerted, I hold the
same of meer conscyence towardes my God, and of that meer
detestation wAich in Conscyence I am bound to haue of all the

86 Early English Dissentet's

inventions of man and Angell in Religion, and of that care in
conscience I ought to haue of the saluation and safegard of her
Maiftstie (whom the Lord presenie for euermore) and of my

I haue for my warrant in all these thinges not only the
wrytten word, which is suffycyent, but also in these causes
of greatest moment, the doctrine of the Church of England,
established by her Maiesties authorytie, and confirmed by the
Wrytinges Testimonies and blood of these famous seruante*
and Martyrs of Christ, viz m'. Wickliff M' Brute, m' Aston,
m'. Purvey, m^ Whyte, m' Thorp &c, with many other the
holy wittnesses of the Lord in former tymes as m' Tyndall,
m' Lambert m' Barnes, m*" Latymer, m' Ball, and the famous
seruantes of God in this latter age together with the vnitie and
consent of the refourmed Churches at this day in the pointes
(I saye) of specyall weight.

My soule is so resolued by the power of God in all of them as I
am readie to yield my lyfe by the aide of my God for the truth
of this my testymonie and the testimony of the forenamed
servantes of God, and holy martyrs and Churches of Christ.

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