Nicholas Bound, D. D.—This learned and religious divine was educated at Cambridge, where he took his degrees, and was afterwards beneficed at Norton in the county of Suffolk. A divine of the same name was rector of Wickford in Essex; but whether the same person, we cannot fully ascertain.! In the year 1585, when subscription to Whitgift's three articles was rigorously imposed upon the clergy, about sixty worthy ministers in Suffolk refused to subscribe, and were, therefore, suspended from the exercise of their ministry. Dr. Bound was one of those who received this ecclesiastical censure."
That which rendered him most famous, was the publication of his book, entitled " Sabathum veteris et novi Testament!; or, the true Doctrine of the Sabbath," about the year 1595. In this book, he maintained that the seventh part of our time ought to be devoted to the service of God; that christians are bound to rest on the Lord's day, as much as the Jews were on the Mosaical sabbath, the commandment about rest being moral and
• Strype's Parker, Appen. p. 116. + MS. Register, p. 585.
1 Clark's Lives annexed to Martyrologie, p. 158.
S MS. Chronology, vol. i. p. 129.(2.1.)
| Wood's Athens Oxon. vol. i. p. 834.
1 Newconrt's Repert. Eccl. vol. ii. p. 658.
••MS. Register, p.436,437.
perpetual; and that it was not lawful for persons to follow their studies or worldly business on that day, nor to use such pleasures and recreations as were lawful on other days. The book soon obtained an extensive circulation, and produced a most pleasing reformation in many parts of the kingdom. The Lord's day, formerly profaned by interludes, may-games, morrice-dances, and other sports and recreations, now began to be observed with greater exactness, especially in corporations.* " This doctrine," says Dr. Heylin, " carrying such a fair shew of piety, at least in the opinion of the common people, and such as did not examine the true grounds of it, induced many to embrace and defend it; and, in a very little time, it became the most bewitching error, and the most popular infatuation, that ever was embraced by the people of England !"t In this, the zealous historian at once discovers what manner of spirit he was of.
Dr. Bound's book had not been long published before it excited the enmity of persons of a contrary opinion, especially among the ruling clergy. They exclaimed against it, as putting a restraint upon christian liberty, as putting too great a lustre upon the Lord's day, and as tending to eclipse the authority of the church in appointing festivals. This wits a shorter and an easier method of contending with an author, than by publishing an impartial answer to his work. And, indeed, though there was so great an outcry against the book, no one even attempted to publish any sort of a reply for several years. The first who took up his pen against it, was Mr. Thomas Rogers, in his " Exposition of the thirty-nine Articles." In the preface he declared, " It is a comfort to my soul, and will be to my dying hour, that I have been the man and the means of bringing the sabbatarian errors and impieties to the light and knowledge of the state."f But, surely, it would have looked as well in a clergyman, and would have afforded him an equal degree of comfort on a dying bed, if, instead of opposing an exact regard to the sabbath, he had spent his zeal in recommending a religious and holy observance of that day 1%
• Fuller's Church Hist. b. is. p. 827. + Ileylin's Hist, of Pres. p. 340. t Fuller's Church Hist. b. ix. p. 928.
^ Mr. Rogers was beneficed at Horuingiheath in Suffolk, and once a professed puritan, when he discovered his zeal for nonconformity. In 1583, be was suspended for refusing subscription to Whitgift's three articies ; but afterwards he altered bis mind, and became a zealous con* formist.—MS. Register, p. 487.—Weed'i Athtna Oxtn. Voi, i. p. 341.
Dr. Bound might carry his doctrine too bigh by advancing the Lord's day in all respects to a perfect level with the Jewish sabbath. But it was certainly unworthy the character of divines, to encourage men in shooting, fencing, bowling, and other diversions on the Lord's day, especially as they were sufficiently forward in such practices without the countenance and example of their spiritual guides. Nevertheless, in the year 1599, Archbishop Whitgift called in Dr. Bound's buck, and commanded that it should not be reprinted; and the year following, the Lord Chief J usticc l'opham did the same. These, indeed, were good remedies, says Dr. Heylin, had they been soon enough applied: yet not so good as those which were formerly applied to Copping and Thacker, who were hanged at Bury, for spreading Brown's books against the church.* Did Dr. Bound then deserve to share the same fate, for writing in defence of the sabbath ? This, however, was the shortest way of refuting his arguments. They both declared, that the doctrine of the sabbath agreed neither with the doctrine of the church of England, nor with the laws and orders of this kingdom; and that it disturbed the peace of the church and commonwealth, and tended to promote schism in the one, and sedition in the othcr.'l' Nothing, surely, could appear more absurd, or more contrary to truth. Notwithstanding all this care and labour to suppress the book, it was read and circulated in private more than ever. Many persons who never heard of it when printed, inquired for it when prohibited.
The archbishop's head had not long been laid in the dust, when Dr. Bound prepared his book for another impression; and in 1606, he published a second edition with large additions. And, indeed, such was its reputation, that scarcely any comment or catechism was published by the stricter divines, for many years, in which the morality of the sabbath was not strongly recommended and enforced.*. But to counteract the influence of this sabbatarian doctrine, about twelve years after the above period, came forth the Declaration for Sports upon the Lord's day. This, having the sanction of public authority, opened a flood-gate to all manner of licentiousness.
His Works.—1. The Holy Exercise of Fasting, in certain Homilies or Sermons, 1604.—2. A'Storehouse of Comfort for the Afflicted in Spirit, in Twenty-one Sermons, 1604.—3. The Unbelief of St. Thomas the Apostle laid open for Believers, 1608.
* Heylin's Tracts, p. 491. + Slrype's Whitgift, p. 531.
t Fuller's Church Hist. b. Ix. p. M9.