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Nicolas Rush

Nicolas Rush was fellow of Christ's college, Cambridge, and one of the preachers to the university, but persecuted for his nonconformity. In his sermon at St. Mary's church, September 10, 1609, it is said that he delivered divers opinions contrary to the religion of the established church; for which he was convened before the vice-chancellor, Dr. Jegon, and the heads of houses, and required to deliver up a copy of his sermon. Having complied with their demands, certain offensive opinions were extracted from his sermon, for which he was immediately suspended from preaching, and enjoined to make a public recantation from the pulpit of the above church. This degrading recantation, containing an account of his offensive Crimes, was the following:

" Whereas many christian auditors, wise, godly and " religious, have been offended with many things which I " not long since uttered in a sermon in this place, justly " reprehending not only my great indiscretion, presumption, " unchiiritableness, rash and bold censuring, but also some "strange and erroneous opinions I then was taken to " deliver; I am now come to the same public place (after " sundry conferences had with divers grave and learned «* divines of this university) to acknowledge my fault and (4 make satisfaction.

" And, first, in my prayer, where I used very irreverent " and reproachful speech against the clergy, or some of " them, terming them gorhellied clergy; and also some " offensive speeches, which might be taken to touch autho" rity, or some attending at court, calling them devilish " parasites, in flattering and attributing overmuch to some . «• in higher place: upon better advico, I now acknowledge " my presumptuous boldness therein. Further, in that I u did then deliver three opinions in these words, viz. that " St. Paul and Moses did laulty and err in their desires, it " coming from a scourge and force of a passion too earnest " and hot, and not sufheiently bounded with the true limits " of pure charity. And also even our Saviour Christ's " prayer (Father if thou wilt, let this cup pass from me, yet {t not my will, but thy will be done,) came from nature only.

" without reason attending, his understanding all the while " being otherwise busied, and his reasonable deliberation " not concurring therewith; for it is not necessary that the " reasonable mind should always concur with the tongue, " men speaking in their sleep, and parrots also learning that " faculty. And that his mouth, with all the instruments of " speech, were writhed as it were, and wrested to utter the " same, and substance of his natural instinct and inclination. u And further, that our Saviour Christ's prayer, though it " were uttered by a person reasonable, yet it was nothing " in substance but a nature desired prayer: it being " directly and originally the proper cause of it. Ana " further, that the words of Christ were as the words of a " man in sleep. Whereas in my confutation of Mr. Beza's " judgment, (being that the prayer of Christ came from a " reasonable will,) I uttered these words in answer: 4 As I " take it, it cannot stand; for how could he, without tedious " and untimely troubling and obtruding his Father's ears, " (as I may so speak,) pray that the cup should pass from " him.'

" I now, upon better deliberation, do, with grief and " sorrow of heart, confess before Got! and his angels, and " this whole assembly, that I have greatly erred in my " said opinions publicly delivered, and especially touching " the points about the most holy, earnest, meritorious, and (i heavenly prayer of our Saviour in that bitter agony suf" fered for our sins; wherein my said speeches were not only " erroneous, rash, and presumptuous, but also such as might " be taken to be dishonourable to our Saviour, impious and " profane, giving just scandal both to such as then heard " me, and those to whom the report hath come. Wherefore I humbly beseech, first, Almighty God, and next " you all whom I have offended, to forgive me, promising, " by God's grace, to be more vigilant and circumspect " hereafter in what I shall publicly utter, either in this " or any other place: which, that I may the better perform, " I humbly desire you to pray for me, and now to join with " me in that most absolute form of prayer which our " Saviour Christ himself hath taught us."

Mr. Rush absolutely refused to make this degrading recantation; for which, February 8, 1610, he was expelled from the university ;• and this is' all that we know of him.

* Baker's MS. Collec. vol. ti. p. 189,190.