Henry Martyn Dexter.

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his sorrow for that wliich he was forced to do."

2 .-In Abridgment of that Booke which the Ministers of Lincoln Diocess ddiuered' to
his Mniestie upon the jirst of December last, being the frst part of an Apologise for
themselues and their Irrethren that refuse the subscription, and conformitie which, is
required. U'lt'"), 4to. Passim and 49.

8 S. P. Dom. Jas. I. xi : 69, 95, 74.
« S. P. Dom. Jas. I. xiii : 63.


Considerable discussion followed. Thomas Hutton — a fellow
of St. John's, Oxford, who latei" became vicar of St. Kew, in
Cornwall, and a prebendary of Exeter — published two volumes ^
against the Nonconformists, condemning them severely, A ^^go^-
ous reply ^ came out speedily from some unnamed author,
who denies and disproves Button's imputations. It is needless
to cite all the volumes which this discussion soon produced,
although a glance at some titles ^ suggests the extent and the
character of the popular feeling. The deprived ministers had
reason to complain of great injustice indirectly sho^\^l them,
as well as in their exclusion from their livings. One of them
spoke thus : * —

"Whereas our not approving by Subscription the former faultes is
one and a cheefe cause for which so many of us are turned out . . .
yet in the sentences of our suspensions and deprivations, in pulpits,
in courts, and in al places, by al sorts, and meanes, we are cried out
on, as me7i that suffer iustly and for evil doing, for our disobedience to
lawful authority in thinges laufid and iyidifferent.

^ Seasons for Refvsall of Svbscription to the booke of Common praier, vnder the
handes of ctrtaine Ministers of Deuon and Cornwall, etc., Itl0">, 4to.

The Second and Last Part of JReasonsfor Eefusall of Subscription to the Booke of
Common praier, etc., IGOtj, 4to. 259.

^ The Remoouall of certaine Imputations laid vpon the Ministers of Deuon and Corn-
wall by one M. T. II. and in them, vpon all other ministers els where, refusing to Sub-
scribe, 1G06, 4to, G6.

' For example : —

G. Powel. A Consideration of the Depriued and Silenced Ministers arguments, for
their Bestitution to the vsc and lihertie of their Ministerie, etc., 4to.

Certaine Arguments to perswade and provoke the most honorable and High Court of
Parliament, etc. to promote and advance the sincere Ministerie of the Gospell. as also
Zealously to speakefor the Ministers thereof now degraded, deprived, silenced or ad-
monished, or afterward like to be called into question for subscription, ceremonyes, etc.,

[W. Bradshaw.] A Myld and lust Defence of certayne argvments, at the last session
of Parliament directed to that most Honorable High Court, in behalf of the Ministers
suspended and deprived, etc., Ifi0(5. 4to.

J. Sprint. Considerations touching the points in difference between the godly minis-
ters and people of the Church of England and the seduced brethren of the Separation,
1607, 4to.

J. Sprint. Arguments: That the best Assemblies of the present Church of England
are true visible Churches ; That the Preachers in the best Assemblies of England, are true
ministers of Christ, 1C07, 4to.

G. Powel. .1 Rejoindfr unto the Myld Defence, etc., IGOT, 4to.

* S. Hieron. A Defence of the Ministers Reasons for Refusall of Subscription, etc.,
1607, 4to, iv.


In this discussion William Bradshaw ^ was conspicuous on the
Puritan side. A graduate of Emanuel, Cambridge, he had been
tutor in the family of the governor of Guernsey, where he was
leavened by Cartwright. He was a Puritan but no Separatist.
Two of his books gained wide notice. One condemned the use
of the cross in baptism, as the unlawful religious use of a Popish
idol. Tlie next year this was answered ^ by Leonard Hutton. D. D.,
of Christ Church, Oxford, and vicar of Weedon Beck, North-
amptonshire, in a very long but not specially important vol-

Bradshaw, in the " Myld and lust Defence " attributed to
him, pursued the censurer of the petition of the deprived clergy-
men along every blind lane and over every high fence of his
argument. His chief distinction, however, is that, in 1G05,
he first stated definitely,^ as related to the general faith, the
opinions of the Puritans, which he did because so many "■ absurd,
erronious, scismaticall and Heriticall opinions " were attributed
to them.

In his first chapter he affirms that they hold that the word
of God is "of absolute perfection," and therefore that only
forms of worship should be practised which it prescribes or
directly warrants. In the second he defines a church and its

^ The following are attributed to him : —

A Treatise of Divine Worship, etc, lCO-4, lOmo.

A Shorte Treatise of the Crosse in Baptisme, etc., 1G04. 16mo.

A Consideration of Certain Positions ArchiepiscopaU, 1604, 16mo.

A Treatise of the Nature Sf Use of Things Indifferent, etc., 1605, 16mo.

English Puritanisme : Containeing : The maine Opinions of the rigidest sort of
those that are called Puritanes in the Realme of England, 1605, 16mo.

A Protestation of the Kings Supremacie, made in the name of the afflicted minis-
ters, etc., 1605, 16ruo.

A Proposition Concerning Kneeling in the very act of Beceitiing, etc., IGOo, Ifimo.

Twelve General Argimients Proning that the Ceremonies Imposed upon the Minis-
ters of the Gospel in England by our Prelates, are vnlauful, 1605, 16mo.

^ An Answere to a Ccrtaine Treatise of the Crosse in Baptisme, etc., 1605, 4to.

* Eng. Pur. ii: ."l, 4, 5-12, 12-21, 22, 24-32. .34. In 1610 a Latin version of this
tract, translated and prefaced by Willi.am Ames, w.is printed at Frankfort, as :
Puritanisinus Anglicanvs, Hive Praeripua Dogmata eoruin, qui inter vnlgo dictos Puri-
tanos in Anglia, rigidiores habentur, 16nio. Tliis often has been reputed to be Ames's
treatise, and is reprinted as such in his ouii Opera Omnia (ii (2) : 471-506). Why
it should have been appropriated thus does not appear. More than a century later
Increase Mather {Disquis. Concern. Eccles. Councils, 1716, K. vi) declared the
book to be " perfect Congregationalism."


obligations, etc., agreeing substantially \\'ith Eobert BrowTie. The
third chapter deals with pastors and their duties, holding that
they are the highest spiritual officers known to the Church ; that
no pastor should bear civil office, to preach being his highest
function ; that he must interpret the Bible like any other book ;
that every church also should have a doctor [teacher] , especially
to instruct the ignorant, etc. In the fourth chapter it is ex-
plained that, in order to prevent a minister's being *' as it
were a Pope," the congregation is to choose elders, some of its
" Grauest, Honestest, Disereetest " men, " as Assistants unto
the Ministers in the spiritual regiuient of the Congregation."

The fifth chapter considers the censures of the Church. The
keys are by Christ "■ committed to the aforesaid spirituall Officers
and Gouerners, and unto none other." The extremest censure
is not to be administered without the free consent of the whole
congi-egation ; church officers being as amenable as others to all
censures, and the civil magistrate having jurisdiction over him
who forsakes spiritual communion with the Church. The sixth
chapter defines more distinctly the weak spot of this polity, the
relation of the civil magistrate to the Church. He has supreme
power over all the churches. Yet he liimself is a member of some
particular church, and is as amenable to its government as the
meanest subject. Apparently to make a point against Bancroft's
new jure divino doctrine of the episcopate, Bradshaw insists
that whoever holds that doctrine and denies the king's power to
remove all the bishojis, and to dispose of all their temporalities
at his own pleasure, denies "• a principal part of the King's

To add to the confusion there were many men of many minds,
even among those reluctant to conform. One of these, Henoch
Clapham, issued a plea ^ for peace. Good jDCople can manage to
hear such as have subscribed. They preach the same gospel as
before. Scruplers can take the sacrament safely, for it will not
hurt them if unfit people commune at the same time with them.
As to the genuineness of the Church, he urges : —

Pastorall preaching, administration of Sacraments, and publique

1 An Epistle to such as be distracted in mynd in respect of present styrres in the
Church, etc., IGOo, 4to, 3, 4, 5.


exercise of discipline, doe appertaine to the beeing of a perfect estab-
lished Church. But before such establishment or Constitution, there is
a true Church of beleeuers ; & before such a Church also, there is tJom
one, two or three visible Christians. A true visible Christian is one
thing. A true visible Church a second thing : and a Church perfectly
constituted, is a third thing.

From a different angle came an accordant plea, by Dr
Thomas S})arks, of Bletcliley, Bucks, already mentioned. He
was one of the very small nmnber who obtained '^ satisfaction "
from the Hampton Court Conference. Hence this volume, which,
endeavoring to minimize the differences until they should amount
to little or nothing, reaches its climax in an exhortation to " vnitie
of iudgment, and VTiiformitie of practise."

A vigorous anonymous utterance ^ against the procedures of
Bancroft and the Council also came from the diocese of Worces-
ter. After a manly ap])eal to the Privy Council, there is a
picturesque likening of the Church to a building shaken by a
tempest, and the substance of the tract is expressed thus : —

Not to weare a Surplice in the ministration of Divine serulce, not
to make a crosse in Baptlsme, & not to subscribe, &c, in it selfe, is
not a sinne against any commandment of God, nor a thing scandalous
vnto the people : And seeing also the Parsons who refuse to weare and
vse the same, be in euery respect men of good note, condition, fame,
qualitie and behauiour, . . . we may lawfully (as we tliinke) conclude
in their behalfe, that . . . they ought to be respected and tolerated,
rather tlien for their refvsall meerly standing vpon their consciences . . .
to be suspended, excommunicated or deprlued, yea and in so generall
and doubtful! a case of conscience, vpon so slender a ground of perlury
or contem})t. vpon persons every way so peaceable & well qualified, and
wherein no Scandall hath ensued, we suppose it can not be shewed
among all the decrees and sentences recorded, among all tlie Popish
canonists, that euer any Popish ordinaries, in any age haue vsed the
like iudiclall rigour against any their Popish Priests.

The worm will turn. And one of these silenced ministers,
John Bui'goss, who had been sent to the Tower for something
said in a sermon at Greenwich, addressed to Bishop Chaderton

1 A Brotherly Perxwasion to Vnitie, and Vniformitie in Ivdgement, and Practise,
etc., ir,OT, 4to. Sl-S:].

^ Certfiine Cunsidi-rallons Drawne/rom the Canons oj" the last Sinod,and other the
Kings Ecdesiasticall and statute law, etc., 1(30"), -Jto, xv, ."j1.


an " Apologie," ^ which seems to have been circulated in manu-
script. Dr. Covell was ordered to answer it, and printed it para-
graph by paragraph that he might do so. Burgess insists that
he already has subscribed four times, and lawfully may refuse to
subscribe again. So he says to his bishop : ^ —

I Now beseech your Lordship to remember, that most of us have
beene peaceable in Israeli ; . . . And say we cannot conforme in
euerie poynt ; you know who said * the varietie of Ceremonies did
commend the ynitie of faith : and would God you would thinke that
our labom- in the Church might doe more good in one yeare, then the
Ceremonies wiU while the world standeth : and though in your wise-
domes you thinke the retayning of them to make vnto the Churches
increase and benefit, is it vnpardonable that we should thinke another
course better ? . . . O my good Lord will it not bee enough to keepe
safe and wellfenced your iurisdietions and personall dignities ? not
enough to deuide the honors to your selues, and labours to us ?

To this Covell replies that, if anything contrary to the word
of God were imposed, the fact should be proved, assuming that
such proof cannot be offered, adding ^ that, if the ceremonies
seem uula-wf ul, even then to obey is better than to offer sacrifice,
and that disobedience is rebellion.

About this time Dr. William AVilkes, a royal chaplain, joined
the discussion.^ So far as he offers reasoning, he founds it upon
the statement that

the iust constitutions of lawful Princes, are the setled boundaries of
duty vnto their Subjects, and doe confine euery man within the lists
of his particular obedience, as the land-markes in the fields doe limit
out their inheritance.

In 1G06 several Scotch clergymen, who had offended the
king, were summoned to Hampton Court, where, as a means of

^ Iteason.i by way of an Apologie, deliuered to the Zf Bp. of Lincolne, etc., Ms.

^ As printed by Covell in A Briefs Answer vnto certaine Reasons by way of an
Apolo'jie, etc., lOoG, 8vo, 1."j3.

' Just who is meant is not clear. Possibly the apostle Paul (Eph. 4). Gregory
the Great said (Lib. I., Epis. 4:1) : " In una fide, nihil ojficit sanctae Ecclesiae con-
tuetudo diversa ; " and Ridley said (Reply to Hooker on the Vestment Contruv. Litters
of Bradford. Parker Soc. ii : 3*^9) : " Ancient authors do agree and say that
these be reasonable causes, why ceremonies may vary, and that the variety thereof
ought not to break the unity of faith."

* Briefe Ans. 15(5-157.

' Obedience or Ecdesiasticall Vnion, etc., 1605, 4to, iii : 3.


grace to them, four English prelates were ordered to preach to
them what are known as the Hampton Court Sermons.^ Bishop
Barlow, of Lincoln, from Acts xx : 28, labored to prove from
Scripture and the Fathers the superiority of bishops over pres-
byters and the inconveniences of parity in the Church. Bishop
Buckeridge, of Rochester, from Rom. xiii : 5, maintained the
royal supremacy in ecclesiastical matters, and offended the
Scotch by classing Pope and Presbyterians together in the
matter of encroachment upon princes. Bishop Andrewes, of
Chichester, from the somewhat fanciful text, Num. x : 1, 2,
Mahe thee, two Trumpets of Silver, of one whole peece shalt
thou make them, etc., tried to prove a king's authority to con-
vene Councils.

Dean King, of Christ Church, came last, and his text was
even more remote from his subject. Starting with the words,
Solomo7i had a vineyard at Baal-hatnon : he let out the vine-
yard unto keepers, etc.. Cant, viii : 11, he argued that lay elders
were unknowu to the early Church, and that the Genevan
scheme lacked warrant from either inspiration or precedent.
Somehow the hard-headed Scotchmen strangely failed of useful
conviction from these discourses.

Mingling with all these clerical voices of conflict were a few
from secular sources. In 1C04 Lord Bacon, then forty-three,
published a small volume - without his name, and dedicated to
the king with an obsequiousness remarkable from such a man
to such a man. It mattered little to the Puritans that he urged
that reforms doubtless were needed ; that church government
ought to be varied to suit " time, & place, and accidents ; " that,
while the substance of doctrine is immutable, rites, ceremonies, and

^ One of the foure sermons preached before the King's Majestic at Hampton Court
[Sunday, Sept. 21, IGOG]. This concerning the Antiquitie and Superioritie of Bishops,

A Sermon on Eom. riii : 5 preached at Hampton Court [Tuesday, Sept. 23],
before the Kings Maieslie, lOOti, 4to.

A Sermon preached hefure the Kings Maieslie nt Hampton Court Concerning the
Sight and I'oirer of calling Assemblies. On Sunday Sept. JS, U'lOO, 4to, 54.

The fourth Sirmon preached at Hampton Court on Tuesday the last of Sept. 1606,

* Certaine Considerations touching the better pacijication, and Edification of the
Church of England, 8vo, 4, 5, S, 11, 12, 43.


" the perticular Hierarcliies, policies, and disciplines of Churches "
should be " left at large ; " that he wisely doubted many things
to which, so long as the law covered them, he still in conscience
would adhere ; and that he anticipated gi-eat increase of pros-
perity, if but " the sword of the Spirit were better edged, by
strengthening the authoritie and suppressing the abuses in the
Church." It was something that such a man should concede
even so much, but his concessions were not likely to have any
practical influence.

A more impressive judgment survives from a man who hardly
might be remembered but for his connection with this subject.
Among the books printed anonymously abroad in 1607 is one
of his.^ It states that Thomas Lad, a Yarmouth merchant, was
charged with attending a conventicle because, on a Sunday after
service, he, living in the house of one Jackler, lately a preacher
there, had joined with Jaelder in repeating the substance of the
sermons preached that day in church. Lad was arrested and
forced to make oath as to wliat took place at this pretended
conventicle ; and, ha\"ing answered twice on that oath before
the Chancellor, was taken before the Ecclesiastical Commission-
ers to make further reply upon a new oath. He refused, unless
allowed to see his former answer, being accused of perjury.
For this refusal he was imprisoned without bail until brought
to bar by a writ of habeas corpus from the King's Bench.
Richard Maunsel,^ a preacher, also was charged with ha\'ing
been concerned in a petition to the lower house of Parliament;
and, for refusing to take the oath ex officio, he too was jailed
without bail by the Commissioners until brought to bar by a
similar writ. Nicholas Fidler pleaded for both.

He argued that their imprisonment plainly was in defiance
of the statutes, and that even the statutes relied upon had no
longer any legal force. He also em])hasized the atrocity of the
oath ex officio. But his plea did not avail.

' The Argument of Master Nicholas Fvller, in the case of Thomas Lad, and
Bichard Mavnsell, his Clients, etc., 1007. 4to, 1, 2, 3, etc.

^ Minister of Y.irmouth (Brook, ii : 18:3), and author of The Viilawfulnes of
Reading I'raijer, or, the Answer of Mr. Richard Mavnsel. Preacher, vnto certain
arguments or Reasons, etc., 1619, Svo. It shows that, if a Puritan, he was not a


Francis Mason — Archdeacon of Norfolk — in 1607 entered
the lists for the Establishment. Having preached at Norwich,
on June 16, 1605, from I Cor. xiv : 40, he was induced to ex'
pand his sermon into a treatise.^ He writes like a good man,
but he mixes metaphors amusingly, and his logic is not stron^.
One of his urgent reasons why all should conform is that Non-
conformity helps the Brownists. Perhaps the weightiest sug-
gestion m the book is under its forty-fourth head :

We all acknowledge him [the king] to be supreme gouernour ouer
all persons, & causes ecclesiasticall and temporall : is he gouernoour of
all persons, and shall he not gouerne you ? Do you acknowledge him
gouernour ouer aU causes, & shall he not appoint you whether your
garments shall be blacke or white, round or square ? Shall wee teach
the people obedience, and be our selues examples of disobedience ?

About this time " Thomas Wheteuhall Esquier " also pub-
lished a book 2 which notes that the seven churches of Asia were
true churches of Christ, although many corruptions had crept
into them even then, and quotes, with comments, from seventy-
six authors, in proof of the need of reformation. He answers
one main objection thus : —

Tlie Kings Majestie ... is peswaded that the governement and
State of the Church wherein it was left in Q. EUzabethes time .
is fittest to remaine ifc continue in this Reahne of England. But I
would aske, who hath perswaded the King so, but the Lord bishops
whose great livings & pompous estate they are so loath to leaue.
To whom I will but deliver the wordes of M. Calvine, . . . That the
Churches of the ichole Kingdome of Eyigland are not tjet brought into
so good order as all good men doe wish and desire, and at the first
had good hope it would haue ben done, that I assure you doth exceed-
inglie grieue mee, but to the overcoming of all impediments it is need-
full to haue an uniceriable indeauour. Bat now it is convenient
and a matter of very necessity, that the Queene should know aiul
vnderstand that you doe willinglie remitt, and from your selues vxter-
lie reiect whatsoever sauoureth of earthly Lordship, that vnto the
exercisinge of your spirituall function ye may sted fasti y Jceepe a law-
full author it ie and such as is giuen you of God. Now therefore if

1 The Authoride of the C/ivrch in mnkiug Canons and Constitutions concerning
things indifferent, and the obedience thereto required, etc., 1G07, 4to. iv : 15, G8, t3(i.

2 A Discourse of the Abuses now in Question in the Churches of Christ, etc.,' 1006.
4to, 1-4, 188. . . ,


my Lords the Bishopes, according to 21. Calvins advise would ioyne
to gether and first crie vnto God for the salvation of their soules, and
then on their knees to desire his Maiestie to pardon their former
offence, and humbly request him to take from them their great lyuings
and pompous estate and vnlawfuil sujierioritie over the Churches and
make them like their fellow-ministers ; His Maiestie would surely say ;
now it is evident to all me and out of all doubt, that you seeke Gods
gloiy and not your oune.

It harclly need be added that no mention occurs of any episco-
pal acceptance of this suggestion.

Under the relentless lead of Bancroft, Convocation now
enacted a series of extraordinary canons, and defended them in
a set treatise.^ But the king disliked some things about the pol-
itics treated therein, and forbade the treatise to be offered for-
mally for his assent. It still remains, however, and is significant
of the spirit in which the Church of England then dealt with

As before, in Martin Mar-prelate's time, the weapon of ridi-
cule also was tried against the Puritans. A play ^ was written
by one Wentworth Smith, but it is vulgar and prosaic. It de-
scribes a Puritan widow^ smiling iipon a possible second husband
while her cheeks still were wet with tears for her first. The
sneers at the Puritans are put into various mouths, yet have
but one voice. For example : —

De sooner expect mercy from a Vsurer when my bonds forfeited,
sooner kindnesse from a Lawier when my mony's spent : nay sooner
charity from the deuiU, then good from a Puritaine ?

And again : —

He [the dead husband] would eate fooles and ignorant heires cleane


And had his drinck, from many a poor man's browe,

E'en as their labour brewde it ?

He would scrape ritches to him most ^^liustly ;

The very durt betweene his nailes was Ill-got :

And not his owne. . . .

* This does not seem to have been published in full until 1090, when Arch.
Sancroft printed it under the title of Bishop Overalls Convocation Book. MDCVI,
etc., 4to.

* The Pvritaine, or the Widdow of Watling-Streete. Acted by the Children of
Paules. Written 6y W. S., 1607, 4to, 6, 14, 24, 27.


Oh ; — a Seniions a fine short cloake of an houre long, and wil hide
the vpper-part of a dissembler, Church. I [Aye], he seem'd al Church,
& his cuscience was as hard as the Pulpit !

And a nasal-voiced servant, when his master took off his gold
chain, " sneakt it away, by little & little, most Puritanically."

The difficulties and the diligence of the early Nonconformists
are indicated again by a volume ^ written by Robert Parker,- a
fellow of Benet College, Cambridge, afterwards beneficed in AVil-
ton, AVilts., who wrote earnestly against the cross in baptism.
Being obliged to fly to Holland, he did the best he could, lack-
ing " bookes and conference," and published there, in 1607, in
two parts, a folio of 370 pages. The first part argues that the
use of the cross in baptism is idolatry, superstition, hypocrisy
and impiety. The second part accuses this practice of injustice,
soul-murder, spiritual adultery, etc. Those for whom he speaks,
however, are no Brownists, Anabaptists, or " Ne\\'fanglistes."
His great urgency is : —

Whereas all meanes of Saboth pollution must be abolished, as God
him selfe doeth giue example, in taking the Manna out of the way,

Online LibraryHenry Martyn DexterThe England and Holland of the Pilgrims → online text (page 36 of 65)