Henry Martyn Dexter.

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and I haue gotten a good Benefice or twaine, and am called maister
Parson, and may spend with the best man in our towne, and doe
keepe company with Gentlemen of the c(Hnitrey, in hauking, hunting,
dicing, carding, and take my pleasure all the day long : so that I do
come to the church sometime in tlie morning, and reade a little whiles
dinner bee made readie.

Miles presses for particulars, how he may come to the like, and
Sir Bernarde replies : —

I will tell thee all for obi fellowsliips sake, and I will helpe thee to *
auowe some [to an advowson] for money : and that is the surest way.

* As most ministers had taken their first degree, it became usual to call them
Dominus, or iSir.


But if thou haue no money, then must thou f;uvne vppon some Gentle-
man, that eitlier hath some impropriations, on other Benetices in his
hande, or else by other meanes, to seeke some little <^a'uw \>y it, or
hath some in his gifte. Get his letters to the Bishop, and tliou needest
not to doubt of orders.

He adds, however, that if liis old comrade happens to he in-
fected with the modern strict notions, be would better abandon
them, and warns him : —

There are verie few that can aj^ee to the Geneuians fashion, to
haue nothing in the church but naked walls, and a poore fellow in a
bare gowne, telling a long tale, and brauling and chiding with all liis
auditorie. Nay my Lorde my i\I[etropolitan]. will none of that.
As for my Lorde,' I hearde him say, that he could neuer go, to any of
these Geneuians Sermons, that bee came quiet lu)me, but that there
was euer somewhat, that pricked his conscience, bee thought alway
that they made their whole Sermon against him. But in the bearing
of ilattins, euensong & pricksong - at Paules, or in ray reading of my
seruice in bis cbapell, be sayth, lie feeletb no such thing, for be is
neuer touched, but goeth merilie to bis dinner.

Miles gets the better of his acquaintance ; who admits that
he " cannot reason with Scriptures," though be thinks i)eo])le
" starke fuoles, that wil loose so good linings, for a cappe of
t\A'o shillinges, or a Snrples tliat sliall cost them nothing."
Miles now and then interiects a solemn warninnf, such as : '' Bo-
ware least it be not more casie at the day of iudgmet to the
Sodomits, then to tlie Englisli mock-gospellers ; " and not with-
out some etYect, as Sir Bernarde says : " Me tbinke I smell a
ratte in this geare. All is not golde that glittereth." Sir Ber-
narde later asks whether, in the dearth of educated men, cob-
blers and tailors should be called upon, so that every parish may
have an incumbent, to which Miles replies : —

Yea a great deale better were it so to doe than to place popishe
Priestes, the deuourers of Christes Lambes. For the}T priest crafte,
was the wickedest occupation that euer was in the worlde, and the
most craftic.

^ Tho noblt'inan whose ch.iplain he was.

' An .ancient name for ornato plain-sont,'. The vellum leaves were m.arked with
an instrument called a pricket, so as to enable the stave of four lines to be drawn
thereupon. — Li:e, Glossary.


The "■ Dialogic " is accompanied by an oniuneration of " An Imn-
dred pointes of Poperie, yet reniayning, which defornie tlie Eno-.
lishe reformation," and which are " uothinge but a packe of
poperie, and a pudle of corruption."

In 1570 Dr. Tercival AVyburne — a graduate of St. Jolm's
College, Cambridge, who in Mary's time had fled to Geneva,
and who, on returning, became a canon of Norwich and AVest-
ininster, and later vicar of St. Sepulchre's, London, and had
been deprived for refusing subscription — published a ru joinder
to the attacks upon the Nonconformists.' He jKiints out that
trials always have caused some weak Christians to fall. He then
speaks freely of the bishops. They are *' blinded with estima-
tion of them selues, with desire to please those who are in his^h
authoritie, and with carefull carking, as well to keepe that
which they haue, as also greedily to gather more to it." Thev
"pretende one thing and doe plainlie the contrarie." He also
testifies as to some of the ordinary clergy : —

I knowe double beneficed men that doe nothing els hut eate, drinke,
sleepe, play at dice, cardes, tables [backiranunonj. lunvles, (fcread ser-
uice in the church ; but these infect not their Hockes with false doc-
trine, for they teach nothing at all.

And he ends thus : —

Let vs wey tlierefore wliero the fault is. and who are the cause of
this schisme. P'irst of all sucli liisliops as tied in Queene Maries time,
or els taried here vnder the crosse. had cast of. renounced, and for-
saken all this trumperie. for the which the peace is nowe disturbed,
and aft^nvarde for their jjromotion sake. ])ut them on agavne : vet
no man seuered him selfc from thorn, but liued and lal)Oured'in h.uinij
consent, till such time as thoy, not regarding the jjuace of Gods Charoh.
did tlirust vs their brethren ivn the in : They therefore regard not the
peace but are the authours of this disturbance.

Here we strike the initial and germinaut idea of that >• Ke-
formation within the Keformation " which is known as Puri-
tanism. The fact cannot be understood too distiuctlv, stated
too clearly or remendjered too faithfidly, that the old notion

> A comfortable epistle uritten (as it is thouqht) by Maister D[r.]. W[yboTne],
Doctour o/Diuinitie in his ou-ne lU fence, and [that of ] the brethren that suffer H'^prlua.
tionfor the popish ceremonies urged by the Bishops. — Kepr. in ,-1 Parte of a Jiujisttr
1-12. J J- '


that tlie Puiitims uudortook to supplant the clmrch f^overnment
of England through hishops hy the Preshytcrian system, elaho-
rated at Geneva, shnph', or mainly, for the sake of a change of
j)olity, is an untrntli which wrongs them, while misconcei^^ng
and hellttling history. Doul)tless, some of the jNIarian exiles
liad brought back a liking for Calvin's system, and, other things
being equal, might have preferred it at home. But it is difficult
to find evidence that any one of them revolted from the govern-
ment of bishops, or the discipline of the Church, until driven
to it by the aggi'essions of the government ; or for any other
purpose than to resist the refluent wave of popery and preserve
tlic imperilled essence of godliness.

They insisted that they did not msh to sow schisms, to charge
with impiety things indifferent, or to conceal a disputatious
spirit under the name of conscience : and that all for which
they asked was toleration in obeying their own consciences,
without compelling others to a^-ee with them. And the imiform
advice of their Continental friends, even of Calvin, favored their
continuance, if in conscience they could, with the old Church.
Had the queen and her counsellors sliown moderation and con-
ciliation, to say nothing about sympathy with the evangelical
jjurposc of the Puritans, and gi'anted the little that was asked :
and. as Coverdal-e and his fellows said.^ permitted tliat " in the
dissimilarity of rites they may preserve the sweetest harmony
of spirit and brotherly love." the whole current of English
ecclesiastical history, and, indeed, of American, might have fol-
lowed a different channel.

Here, then, in a nutshell we have the origin of the move-
ment. A few devout men, trained by persecution and exile to
Ix'lieve in the unrighteousness of the Papacy, came home to find
the Established Church only partially weaned from Rome, prac-
tically tolerant of worldly living, and meagrely using, when not
altogether misusing, the ordained means of ^ace. They found
it hedging up, and finally forlndding, all endeavors for reform :
until they were forced to believe that, unless through a revolu-
tionary change, which should sweep the ground bare of all that

* Zur. Lets. I, Ixri; II, li xvii ; I, App., ii, vi ; II, Ivii, Lxi, Ixxv, xcvi, iciv,
ciy, XV, 1.


was aud so make room for the gro\\-th of that whicli ouglit to
be, the effort for a better state of things was hopeless. t>o, in
last resort, braving the misconceptions of many ohl friends, with
the contempt and even bitter hostility of multitudes of often
sincere, but misled and sometimes savage disciples, facing depri-
vation, destitution and imprisonment shouhl they escape Tvliurn
or St. Thomas Watering, these heroic men took their lives in
their hands and deliberately undertook to reform " Reformed "

To their minds the first essential was to discredit before the
popular intelligence the existing unscriptural hierarchv, witli
the corrupt system of which it was the fruit and crown. The
second was to suggest in its place something more scrijitural,
more congenial to a devout piety, more just to the rights of
men and less burdensome to the public treasury.

Naturally, those who were like-minded as to this hehl confer-
ence. Among them was Anthony Gilliy, already named, who
must have been about sixty. Another was Thomas Sampson,
perhaj^s fifty-three, educated at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge,^
trained in the common law in the Inner Temple, London, or-
dained by Ridley, an exile at Strasburg, and resident at Geneva
long enough to become attached to its system. In 15G0 he had
refused the bishopric of Xorwieh and had been installed canon
of Durham, and later Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, where,
after the Act of Uniformity had silenced the Papists, he, with
Laurence Hum])]irey and Andrew Kingsmill, were the onlv
persons who could preach. But he had been ejected and im-
prisoned because he would not conform, and now had just been
appointed Prebendary of St. Pancras in the cluirch of St.
Paul and theological lecturer at Whittington College, London.
Another was Thomas Lever, about fifty, who had been educated
at St. Jolm's, Cambridge ; had preached repeatedly before
Edward VI. and his court, and at Paul's Cross, sermons which
have come down to our time for their bold elocpience ; who took
refuge in Zurich and Geneva, and finally became minister of
the English congregation at Aarau. On his return he was re-

1 See Erook, Lives of Puritans ; Ath. Cant. ; Strypo, etc. Brook says that
Sampson was educated at Oxford.


puted to have influonced Queen ElizaLetli to decline her father's
title, Head of tlie L'hureli. Subsequently he became arelideacDii
of Coventry anil canon of Durham, was deprived for noncon-
formity, but retained the mastershij) of Sherl)urn Hospital, and
continued to preach witliout wearing the habits.

Another was Laurence Humphrey, still under forty-five, who
had studied at both Cambridge and Oxford ; who spent ]\Iarv'.s
reign in Switzerland ; who came back to be api^inted, in lot'.O,
Kegius professor of divinity at Oxford, and the next year presi-
dent of Magdalen College and afterwards Dean of Gloucester
and of A\'inchester. Another was Nicliolas Standen, who had
studied at Cand)ridge antl been rector of St. Margaret's in Eiu>.t
Cheap, London, but had been deprived. Others were John Field
and Thomas Wilcox, graduates of Oxford : one in char^-e of St.
Mary's, Aldermaiy, and the other of Allhallow's, Honey Lane,
London, both of whom had refused the habits and so lost jilace.

These details prove that the leaders of the new reform were
not men of no learning or rei)utation, dissatisfied because of per-
sonal ill-success, and favoring something ncAV in the hope of pri-
vate advantage. So far as this world was concerned, tliev had
everything to lose and nothing to gain by their course.

For some time they counselled together in private in London,
and, as tlieir nund)ers grew, they left their congregations and
assenddod for worship " in priuate houses, in woods, & fields." ^
Their gatherings were contemptuously termed conventicles, but
they i)ref erred the name, Confi'rences.^ In time a considerable
nund)er of able young ministers, wlio afterwards left shining'
records of usefulness, joined the company — sueli as "William
Bonham ; Nicholas Crane, of C\imbridge ; William Chavke, i)f
Peterhouse, Cambridge, who in 1.')1'2 was ejected from the uni-
versity for maintaining the parity of the ministry ; "Walter
Travers, of Trinity, Candjridge, who lived in Switzerland long
enough to agree with its learned divines, was ordained at Ant-
werp by a Presbytery, became Cartwright's assistant there, came

^ R. Bancroft, Davtujerovs Positions and Proceedings, etc., 1593, 4to, G5,
wron^jly iiunibert-d 41 (bis).

^ Soames, IS'*. Cartwrii^lit, Stconil L<pUe of T. C. agaynst ifaister Doctor
Whitgifes Stcjnd ansicr touching the cliurche Discijjliiu:, lolo, xxxviii.


back to be lectuier at tlie Temple Cliurch while Richard Hooker
was its Master, ami became a proniineiit author in favor of the
new discipline, but who, because of persecution, took refuge in
the provostship of Trinity College, Dublin, and at last returned
to die in England ; Kichard Gardiner, also of Cambridge, and
Stephen Egerton. of l)oth universities and preacher at Black-
friars, London. Among them then also were Thomas Burbar,
fellow of St. John's, Cambridge, preacher to crowded congTega-
tions at St. Mai-y-le-Bow in Tjondon, and suspended for refusing
the oath ex of^'rio, who afterwards turned against his comrades ;
and Thomas Edmunds, who, after some years of fidelity to the
new N'iews, at last took the oath.^

There had been no parliament since 1566. But the national
treasury was low, and no resource remained to the queen Init to
summon another. It was called for April 2, 1571. The little
band of associate Puritans drew up, mainly by the hands of
Field and "Wilcox, two 1)rief communications to its members, to
urge them towards further religious reform.^ How far these
were supplied to those addressed does not appear ; but thev do
not seem to have been made public until after the session,^ for
"Whitgift complained ''of tlie neglect. Fuller, who wTongly at-
tributes tlie twin tracts to Cartwright, says that the title gave
some offence. But the writers were in solenui earnest, and the
word selected had a force which, no doubt, both commended it
to their choice and won the favor of serious men to whom it
was addressed.

1 Brook, i : 174. ?.r^2. 420 ; ii : 113, 2.10, 2S0. 314 ; iii : 512, 5!.-. Ath. Cant, n :
80, 23(3. Strvpe, Whil'jift, liiW, App. 274, 277. Bancroft, Dmng. Posits. 07, SO,
121, 123-124.

'^ An Admonition to the Parliament, 1.^71, Itlmo, and A Secondc Admonition to the
Parliament, by T. Caitwri^^ht. l.")72, r2nio. It has been usual, if not universal, to
spe.'ik of these as one, j-et clearly there were two. The first comprised but twelve
pages, duly concluded with '" Finis."' The second covered nineteen, also endinsr for-
mally. \Mjeu republished tog-ether, almost immediately, thoy were intrcduced
thus (1) : —

'' Two treatises yee haue heare ensuing (beloved in Christ)."

And the next year, when Cartwrig-ht wrote what was styled A Seconde Admo-
nition, he said (2) : —

"There were two little Treatises lately sette forth, both tending- to one ende
. . . and . . . they beare one name, that is. An admonition to the parliament."

» May 20.

* license oftht Aunswere to the Admonition, 34.


This " Aclnionition " states squarely in its prelude the proposi-
tion which it proceeds to argue : —

In a few words to saye what we raeane. Either must we haue a
right niiiiistorye of God & a right gouerninent of his churclie, accord-
ing to tlie scrijjtures set vp (hothe whiclie we lacke), or else there can
be no right religion, nor yet for contempt thereof can Goddes plagues
be from vs any while deferred.

And it is declared : —

"We in England are so far off, from hauing a church rightly re-
formed, according to the prescripte of Gods worde, that as yet we are
scarse come to the outward face of the same.

The first tract aims to set forth •* a true platforme of a
Churohe reformed," by way of emphasizing '• the great vnlike-
nes betwixt it & this our english churche." Pure preaching,
sincere sacraments and a faithful discipline are the three out-
ward marks of a true Christian church. Specific criticism of the
State Church is made in regard to each of these.

Then, say they : —

If you will restore the church to his ancient offycors. this you must
do. In stead of an Archhishoj) or Lord liishop, you must make equal-
itie of ministers. In steade of Chauncelors. Archdeacons. Offycialles,
Commissaries, Proctors. .Summoncrs, churchwardens, and such like,
You haue to plat in euery congregation a lawfull and godly seigniorie.
. . . And to these three ioyntly. that is. the ministers. Seniors and
deacons, is the whole regiment of the churche to be committed.

Some discussion follows as to methods of discipline, after which
occurs this deliverance on a vital point : —

Not that we meane to take away the authoritie of the civill ]\Iagis-
trate and chcfe gouernoure . . . hut that . . . the Prince may be
better obeyed, the realme more florishe in godlinesse, and the Lord
himself more sincerely & purely according to his revealed will serued,
then heeretofore he hath bene, or yet at this present is.

This first part ends by direct appeal to Parliament to amend
"these horrilde abuses;" assures its members that, in so doing,
God will deliver and defend them, and asks, "is a reformation
good for France : and can it be euill for Englande : is disei})line
meete for Scotlande : and is it unprofytable for this realme."


The second part details twenty-one Popish abuses which still
remain in the reformed Prayer-Book, and mentions ohjoctions
to the ajipart'l and other matters, appealing again to Parliament
" to reform Gods church according to your duties and eall-
ynges." As for themselves, the authors declare : ^ —

If this can not be obtayned, we will by God's grace addresse our
selues to defend his truthe by suffring. and willingly lay our heads to
the blocke, and thys shall be oure peace, to haue quiet consciences with
our God.

Letters from Beza and Gualter are ajipended to support the
views advanced by the autliority of their gi-eat names ; ^ and the
final page is iiUcel out thus : —

England repent, Bishops relent

retuiue whilu you 1i:uil' .sp:ice,

Time is at hand, by truth to staud,

if you haue any grace.

loyne now in one, that Christ alone,

by scepter of liis word :

May heare the stroke : least you prouoke

his heauy hand and sword.

The authors of this bold appeal soon experienced the " suf-
fring " which they had foreseen. The government regarded the
" Admonition " as " a seditious libel," and, unable to stop its cir-
culation, it being soon reprinted several times, imprisoned Field
and "Wilcox, On September 3 they appealed to Lord Trea-
surer Burgliley, acknowledging that their book demantled the
reformation of aliuscs, but in order that religion, being freed
from Popish superstition, might be restored by Parlianumt with
the queen's approbation. They besought his kind interference,
but they were indicted under tlie statute of uniformity and sent
back into Xewgate. Here they became a rallying point for
many, and before long a new champion took the field.

This was the famous Tliomas Cartwright, not yet turned of
fortj'. A gi-aduate of St. John's, Cand)ridge, and a fellow of
Trinity, he had become a popular preaclier and Lady Margaret

1 Admon. to Pari. 2. 4. 3, 4, 11. 1.3, lo-14, 1G-.30, 31-34. 33, 34.

* Gualter wrote to Cox (Zi/r. Lfts. Eliz. I: App. vii.) that it distressed him th.it
his letter had been published, that lie liad been beguiled into writing as he did
by false accusations, and would make it right soon by a public testimony.


professor of (li\'iiiity, had been dejnived and banished the uni-
versity, and had retreated to Antwerp and Middleberg, where
lie had been chaplain to the English merchants. ]>ut he went
back just then and joined the little Puritan conipany, and
surely did valiant work in their behalf. The archbishop saw the
incxjH'dionov of Iraving the "Admonition" unanswered, and se-
lected John AVhitgift, a fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge, uud
Cartwright's predecessor as Lady ^Margaret professor, who as
^^ce-chancellor had banished Cartwright, to rei>ly. In a few
months he pul)lislu'd his book.^ He begins by wholesale depre-
ciation of that which he, nevertheless, takes pains to answer

He then sti^atizes the logic of the treatise, as so weak as
hardly to need to be met by argument. He goes on, however, to
the extent of 2(38 quarto pages — enlarged in the second issue
of the following year to 332, although the little book to which
he is replying is only a IGmo of fifty-eight pages — to take it
up, sentence by sentence, in order to neutralize its force. Xor
does he forget to npi)end letters from Gualter and Bullinger,
"upon better information" revoking those of Beza and Gualter
which had come out with the •• Admonition."

The character of this " Answere " maybe inferred sufficiently
from what has been said, and from its concluding sentence: —

Wlien you saye, that you stryue for true Roli!,^i()n and gouerneniente
of tlie CImrche, &c. You save, that you dooe that, whyche is to hee
wyshed you slioulde doo : Eut youre doinj^s teiule to the det'achig of
true Kelifpon, and ouertlu'owe of the riglite gouernement of the
Churche, and although you l)e not the head of Antichrist, yet are you
his taile : For the tayle of the beast (as learned in«" say) be false
proplifts, liy])()LTits, sui-h as stiire vp schismes and factions among true
Cliristians, and by i)rett.-nce of zeale, by cloked anel couloured nicanes,
seeke to drawe into the Church Apticluist backeward, as Cacus ^ did
the oxen into liis denne.

Cartwright seems to have been quick to issue another pam-

* An An.tuere to a cnrten Libel {ntitxiUd. An admonition to the Parliamtnt. By
John VVhitgiPe. I), of' Ihninitie, I.")"-, 4to. vii. viii. ix, x, 21)0.

* A fableil ^^.int on Mt. Aventimis, who stole the oxen of Geryon from Her-
cules, Cdiiccaliiit: till' theft by dritririny thcni backwurda into his cave, so that
tbcir tracks seemed to point outwards.


phlet, " A Soconde Admonition to the Parliament." Like the
first it was brief, having but eighty-four small pages. It is
nothing new, he says, to see the divine admonitions rejected by
those who should be first to heed and defend them. After citing
plenty of proofs of this assertion from Scripture, he censures
the severity with which Field and Wilcox were being treated ;
and insists btddly that in the day of judgment it will be easier for
Sodom and Gomorrha. than for a parliament which turns a deaf
ear to such " Admonitions." As for this present '• Admonition,"
as the previous ones had been so short as to have explained not
so much how as what to reform, his purpose is to show how to
do these things, so far, at least, that they " may have sufticient
lyght to proceeds by." The present condition cannot be en-
dured : —

I say that we are so skaree come to the outwarde face of a Churche
rightly reformed, that although some trutli be tauglit by sonic preach-
ers, yet no ])reacher may withoute greate danger of the lawes, vtter all
truthe comprised in the booke of God. It is so circumscribed & wrapt
within the compasse of suche statutes, siiche penalties, suche iniunctions,
euche advertisements, suche articles, suche canons, suche sober caneats
and suche iiiaiiit'uUle j>ani])lilets that in manner it doth but peepe out
from behinde the screene. The lawes of the lamle, the booke of com-
mon prayer, the Queenes Iniunctions, tho Ci>mmissioners aduertise-
ments, the Bishojis late Canons, Lindwoodes Prouincials, euery bishops
Articles in las dioce.sse, my Lord of Canterburit-'s sober caueats in his
licenses to preachers, and liys liinlie'Courte of prerogatiue, or graue
fatherly faculties, these 'together, or the worste of them (as some of
them be too badde) may not be broken or offended against, but with
more daungcr tlien to otfende ac^ainst the Bible. To these subscribimj,
and subscriljini,^ a^aine. and the third sul)scril)iMg, are reqr.ired, for tliese
Preachers and otiiers are endited, are iined. are prisoned, are excom-
municated, are banij.hcd. and liaue worse tilings threatned them : and
the Bible, tliat muste haue no further scope, then by these it is assigned.
Is this to professe God his worde : is this a reformation :

Online LibraryHenry Martyn DexterThe England and Holland of the Pilgrims → online text (page 13 of 65)