Walter Travers, B. D.—This celebrated divine was educated in Trinity college, Cambridge; where he took his degrees in arts, and was incorporated in the same at Oxford. Afterwards he travelled to Geneva, where he formed an intimate and abiding acquaintance with Beza and other learned divines. Upon his return to Cambridge, where he remained for some time, he took his degree in divinity. In 1572, he was member of the first presbyterian church in England, erected at Wandsworth in Surrey.^ While the prelates rigorously imposed subscription upon ministers, and required an exact conformity to the established church, many learned persons, who had conscientious objections against the English mode of ordination, went abroad to Middleburg, Antwerp, and other places, and received ordination according to the foreign reformed churches; which, in their opinion, was much more agreeable to the word of God. Among those whose convictions led them to adopt this course was Mr. Travers, who went to Antwerp, and was there ordained by the presbytery. His honourable testimonial, dated May 14, 1578, is the following:+—" For as much as it is just and reasonable, " that such as are received into the number of the ministers " of God's word should have a testimonial of their voca" tion; we declare, that, having called together a synod of "twelve ministers of God's word, and almost the same " number of elders, at Antwerp, on May 8, 1578, our very " learned, pious, and excellent brother, the reverend Doctor " Gaulter Travers, was, by the unanimous votes and ardent " desires of all present, received and instituted into the " ministry of God's holy word, and confirmed according " to our accustomed manner, with prayer and imposition " of hands; and the next day after the sabbath, having " preached before a full congregation of English, at the " request of the ministers, ne was acknowledged and u received most affectionately by the whole church. That u Almighty God would prosper the ministry of this our " reverend brother among the English, and attend it with " great success, is our most earnest prayer, through Jesus " Christ. Amen.
" Given at Antwerp, May 14, 1578, and signed,
" Johannes Taffinus, V. D. M.
" LogELERIUS VlLEMUS, V. D. M.
u Johannes Hochelcus, V. D. M."
• See Art. John Held. t Fuller's Church Hist. b. I*, p. 214.
Mr. Travers, soon after his ordination, became assistant to Mr. Cartwright, then preacher to the English merchants at Antwerp. He was a person highly distinguished for prudence, learning, and piety; and, therefore, upon his return to England, the Lord Treasurer Burleigh made choice of him for his domestic chaplain, and as tutor to his son Robert, afterwards Earl of Salisbury. The treasurer was, indeed, a constant friend and patron of the nonconformists, and discovered his affectionate regard for them through the whole of his lite.* In the face of the whole nation, therefore, he countenanced this learned and excellent divine, and received him into his family, notwithstanding his nonconformity. Mr. Trnvcrs could not conscientiously subscribe; on which account he was incapable of any considerable preferment in the church, which, we may suppose, his noble patron was ready to bestow upon him. The lecturer's place at the Temple becoming vacant, the learned gentlemen of that society invited him to accept it; and, as no subscription was requisite for that office, he complied with their invitation.
In the year 1584, a short time before Dr. Alvey, master of the Temple, closed his eyes in death, the doctor, with the learned gentlemen of that society, recommended Mr. Travcrs for his successor. Dr. Alvey the master, and Mr. Travers the lecturer, lived together some years in great amity and love. They mutually united in carrying on the work of reformation in the place; and, with much zeal, wisdom, and resolution, they joined in promoting true christian piety among the learned benchers, by whom they were both very highly esteemed.t The above recommendation was presented to the treasurer, who communicated the same to the queen, signifying to her majesty his approbation of their choice. But, by the powerful endeavours and superior influence of Archbishop Whitgift, he was rejected, and Mr. Richard Hooker, author of " Ecclesiastical Polity," was nominated to the office. Whitgift most vi- • gorously opposed the admission of Mr. Travers, and signified to the queen, " that he was one of the principal authors of dissention in the church; that he contemned the Book •of Common Prayer, and other orders as by authority established; that he sought to promote innovation; and that he was only ordained abroad, and not according to the form of the church of England." Mr. Travers, however,
justified himself against all the false: charges which were brought against him, and proved, at some length, the validity of his ordination.*
During the above year, our learned divine was engaged in a public conference holden at Lambeth. The first day's conference, December 10th, was betwixt Archbishop Whit
fift and the Bishop of Winchester, on the one part; and Mr. 'ravers and Dr. Thomas Sparke, on the other, in the presence of the Earl of Leicester, Lord Gray, and Sir Francis VValsingham. The subject of discussion was confined to those tilings in the Book ot Common Prayer which appeared to require a reformation. The conference was opened by the following declaration made by the archbishop:—" My lord of Leicester having requested, for his own satisfaction, to hear what the ministers could reprove, and how their objections might be answered, I have granted his request. Let us then hear what things in the Book of Common Prayer you think ought to be mended. You now appear before me, not judicially, nor as called in question by authority, but by way of conference. You shall, therefore, be free (speaking in duty) to charge the book with those things in which it is faulty."
Though the conference is of considerable length, the substance of it will, no doubt, be gratifying to the inquisitive reader. Whitgitl, therefore, having finished, Dr. Sparke replied as follows:—" We give most humble and hearty thanks to Almighty God, and to these honourable persons, that after so many years, wherein our cause could never be admitted to an impartial hearing, it hath pleased God of his gracious goodness so to order things, that we now enjoy that equity and favour, before such honourable personages, as may be a worthy means with her most excellent majesty, of promoting a further reformation of such things as are needful: and that it is now lawful for us to declare freely, for the satisfaction of those in authority, what things ought to be reviewed and reformed in the public service of God. As the favourable issue depends on the blessing of God, I desire, before we proceed further, that we may seek his gracious direction and blessing." Then attempting to begin to pray, the archbishop interrupted him, saying, " You shall make no prayers here. You shall not turn this place into a conventicle."
The two chief points which these divines urged
against the Book of Common Prayer, were, " Its appointing certain apocryphal writings to be read in public worship, in which were several errors and false doctrines, and omitting many parts of canonical scripture: and, the doctrine of the sacraments." Concerning the first, they observed, that to appoint various parts of the apocrypha to be read publicly in the church, and omitting many parts of the Old and New Testament, made the apocrypha equal, and even superior, to the canonical scriptures; to which the archbishop made the following reply:
Archbishop. The books called apocrypha, are, indeed, parts of the holy scripture. They have been read in the church in ancient times, and ought to be now read among us.
Travers. The title of holy scripture is that by which the Holy Ghost distinguished the canonical scriptures from the apocrypha, and all other writings. This appears from Romans i. And such are the holy scriptures alone, as were given by the inspiration of God. This appears from 2 Tim. iii., 2 Pet. i.
A. The apocrypha was given by the inspiration of God; as were also whatsoever the heathens have written well.
T. In the general sense of the word inspiration, what you have said of the apocyrpha is true. For no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. But the question relates to such an inspiration as moved and governed the holy men of God, in reporting and setting down those things in which they could not possibly err; and in this sense, the scriptures of the Old and New Testament are holy, and given by the inspiration of God. Herein they widely differ from the apocrypha.
A. You cannot shew that there is any error in the apocrypha. And it has been esteemed a part of the holy scriptures by the ancient fathers.
T. If the apocrypha could not be charged with error, yet its authors were not so far directed by God, that they might not have erred; and it has not always had that credit in the church which you have represented. Jerome declareth that it was the opinion of the church, in his time, as well as his own opinion, that some things were fictitious. 1 A. Let us hear some of ' the errors in the apocrypha.
Sparke. We mention Eccl. xlvi., where the writer, having commended Samuel for his numerous worthy deeds, addetn in the conclusion, that he also prophesied after he was dead. This is contrary to the sacred story, which declnrcth it not' to have been Samuel, but a spirit raised by the witch, assuming the appearance of Samuel.*
Bishop. It it be no error in the canonical scripture calling that which was raised up Samuel; then it could be ho error in Ecclesiasticus calling it Samuel.
T. In the holy story it is plain that the spirit is called Samuel, beause it appeared like him, as declared out of Peter Martyr; but in Ecclesiasticus it is quite the contrary. For the whole chapter is employed in commendation of the true Samuel, for his famous and worthy actions while he lived; and then, to finish the praise due to so good a man, it is added, that he also prophesied after his death. This, therefore, could not apply to a spirit assuming his likeness; but to Samuel himself, however contrary it is to sound gospel doctrine, and the true story of scripture.
Earl of Leicester. Is the chapter giving this account of Samuel one of those appointed by the Prayer Book to be read in public worship 1
A. Yes, it is.
Lord Gray. What error will the people be in danger of, who hear this read, and believe it ? And is it an error to think that witches have power to raise the bodies of the dead?
A. Whether they have or have not, such power is a question among the learned.
S. In Judith, chap, ix., the doings of Simeon and Levi are commended, which is directly contrary to Genesis xlix.; where Jacob utterly condemns what they did. There must, therefore, in such repugnancy against the canonical scriptures, necessarily be an error in the apocrypha.
B. Judith commends only the manner of the deed, and Jacob condemns only the deed itself.
T. Jacob condemned what they did, not only in substance, but in every circumstance, as wicked and abominable. It was murder committed in wilful opposition against the eternal law of God; and the circumstances under which it was committed, as well as the number who suffered, greatly increased the aggravation of their crime.
B. Comparing the words of Judith, where it is said, «« God gave them the sword," with the case of Nebuchadnezzer, who is called the servant of God, they did not deserve to be condemned.
* Here the archbishop, in reply, read out of bis note-book the oploloa of Peter Martyr, who said, that the spirit in the sacred story was called, Samuel, because it teemed to be Samuel.
T. The cases are very different. In the one, Simeon and Levi, being private men, rose up against the magistrates; but in the other, Nebuchadnezzer, coming to destroy Jerusalem, was their king, to whom they were tributary, and to whom they swore obedience. In the one case, they were sojourners in a strange country, and rose up and killed both the people and the magistrates of the country; but, in the other, the king Nebuchadnezzer only punished those who rebelled against him.
S. Private baptism appears, in several respects, not agreeable to the word of God. It is private, and performed by laymen, yea, even by women; and the doctrine it implies, even that children dying unbaptized are in danger of damnation, and that outward baptism saveth the child that is baptized.
A. The place is not of the substance of the ordinance^ It has been administered privately in time of persecution,
T. That is no part of the question. We are now speaking of baptism to be administered in time of peace.
A. The persons, in like manner, are not of the substance of baptism; and in time of persecution, as well as in some other cases, private men have baptized, and may do it again. As for the baptism of women, though I would not allow them to baptize, neither doth the book appoint them so to do; yet I will not deny their baptism to be lawful. I would rather have a child so baptized than die without baptism. Though I do not affirm that children dying without baptism, will certainly be lost; yet, because I should fear and doubt the safety of their state, I would have them baptized by a woman, rather than not at all.* (Here the first day's conference closed.)
On December 12th they assembled again, when the lord treasurer and the archbishop of York were added to their number. When the company was assembled, Archbishop Whitgift rehearsed what had been discussed on the first day, and then ordered Mr. Travers and Dr. Sparke further to enumerate their objections. But the recapitulation being very partial and imperfect, Dr. Sparke made some amendment, by adding what his lordship had omitted. This being done, they proceeded as follows:
A. Ciprian and some other of the fathers vouch the apocrypha as part of the holy scripture.
T. Some of the fathers having alleged the apocrypha to belong to the holy scriptures, is not so strong a proof that it does belong to them, as the total silence of Jesus Christ and his apostles is, that it does not.
Lord Treasurer. That is no good argument. You can never make a syllogism of 'hat.
T. Whatsoever our Saviour and his apostles alleged not, (allowing that they alleged all the prophets,) is no part of the prophetical writings. But it is true that our Saviour and his apostles alleged all the prophetical writings, and yet never alleged any ot the apocryphal. Therefore, the apocryphal writings are no part of the prophetical. All the prophets from Samuel, and those that follow after, as many as hare spoken, have foretold the days of Christ.
S. Romans, chap, iv., is so far mistranslated, that the meaning of the apostle is wholly perverted. For where the apostle saith, " Cometh this blessedness upon the circumcisian only, or upon the uncircumeisian also?" the book appointed to be used readeth the contrary: and Psalm cv., which in the original, and in all good translations, it is, " They were not disobedient to his word : but in the Book of Prayer it is, " They were not obedient," which is its very opposite.
A. There may be some ambiguity in the Hebrew word. This I cannot tell, having no knowledge of the language. You can tell.
T. and S. There is no ambiguity at all in the word.
A. In baptism there is nothing of the substance of that sacrament, but the element and the word. With regard to the place, you will allow, that in time of persecution it is not unlawful to baptize in private places.
T. The question applies to a peaceable state of the church, as that now enjoyed in the church of England.
A. In like manner the person is not of the substance of the sacrament; but at some times, and in some cases, laymen, yea, even women, may baptize. May not a christian baptize in time of persecution, or when living in the West Indies ?
T. Your remarks are not pertinent. The question relates to a time of peace, and a christian country. But even in the cases you have supposed, it is not lawful for any one to minister the sacraments without some extraordinary call from God, or some ordinary call from the church. This appears from Hebrews v.', where it is said, " No man taketh this honour to himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron."
A. May not a person, being a layman, administer the communion to himself?
T. He cannot: nor could that be deemed a sacrament, because he is no minister. They who administer this ordinance according to its nature, and agreeable to the will of God, must have the authority and commission of God so to do; otherwise they are not within the promise of God, and there can be no sacrament.
Archbishop of York. I disallow of private baptism altogether, and have forbidden the use of it in all my diocese. I have spoken to the queen about it, and I will not suffer it.
A. Calvin held that baptism was necessary, and reproved the anabaptists for deferring it so long.
T. Calvin did not otherwise account baptism necessary than it might not be omitted through neglect or contempt. He never acknowledged any other necessity, nor did any of the reformed churches abroad.
S. Circumeision was the same to the Jews as baptism is to us, which, by the appointment of God, was not to be performed till the child was eight days old; and if that sacrament was so necessary as some suppose, the child was all this time in great danger. If the want of the sacrament of baptism expose the child to endless misery, it were better to have it administered as soon as the child is born.
A. As to the doctrine charged upon the necessity of private baptism, it is so guarded in the articles, as will sufficiently clear the church of England of those errors.
T. The doctrine in the articles is good and holy; but the necessity of baptism, as laid down in the Prayer Book, is so great, that in a private place, by a private person, yea, by a woman, in a settled and peaceable state of the church, it may be administered, when, at the birth of the child, there is not so much time as to repeat the Lord's prayer, lest the child should be dead; nor, in some cases, hardly so much time as even to pour the water upon it, and to repeat those words, J baptize thee in the name of the Father, &c. To reconcile all this with the doctrines of scripture, appears impossible.
S. The interrogatories proposed in baptism, and another person's saying for the child, J believe, being a thing which the child cannot do, is extremely repugnant to scripture.
A. Augustin says, " The child may be said to believe, because it receives the sacrament of faith." vol,. II. Y
S. The question in baptism is asked before the sacrament is received.
A. Because the child is in the action of receiving, it may be said to have received.
T. This question and answer in baptism is an untruth ; because the sponsor professeth,'iri the name of the child, ' that the child believeth, when in all ordinary cases it does
( not, and cannot believe.
A.~~The interrogatories are ancient; and it was the custom in the primitive church to have sponsors, who, in the name of the child, did promise and profess that the child did believe.
T. Can it then be credible to any man that children newly V \ born do believe ? How can they believe that which they ■ have not heard ? And if they had heard, how could they ' so understand, as with the heart to believe unto righteous* , ncss ? ~ And concerning the cross in baptism, and other y j ceremonies, were they ever so ancient, or ever so good in - the institution, if they be now abused to idolatry, and , unnecessary, or of 'no use in the church, they ought to be abolished. This appears from the case of the brazen /serpent, which, though set up originally by the command / of God, and a monument of his special favour; yet, being abused to idolatry, was afterwards broken in pieces ana utterly destroyed; and all this was done according to the will of God. So the cross, being never of any use in bap,jt tism, and being as much abused to idolatry as ever the i ' brazen serpent was, and always tending to promote superstition'and give offence 'to persons of tender consciences, surely it ought toT5e*abolishecl. To impose the necessity of the cross in baptism, is not only unsupported by scripture, / and wholly founded in superstition, but a dangerous human i appendage added to what God has wisely arid "graciously ( appointed. And this is not my opinion only, but'the \ opinion 'of the foreign reformed churches, as appears from the Harmony ofConfcssions.
—AVTfou 'are wont to find fault with dumb ceremonies, and you blame those which have any signification. But in the use of the cross, the learned Beza left the churches to their own liberty.
~~Treasurer. That was wisely done.
T. Beza would not condemn the churches for using the cross, nor oppose their liberty. But his opinion is, that it ought to be abolished; nay, he adviseth the ministers to forego their ministry, rather than subscribe to the allowance of it.
f Leicester. It is a pity that so many of the best ministers, ' and those who are the most painful preachers,'have stood to
be deprived for these things. ' '
T. My lord,' we acknowledge that the peace of the church ought to be dearer to us than our lives. But with i your lordship's favour, I must say, in conscience towards God, and in the duty I owe to her excellent 'majesty, to j your good lordships, and to the whole church and slafe,~ I that the nuifislers, in so doing, have acted well. The things to which they were required to subscribe being so grievous, theyought not to have yielded, though they were deprived of their ministry.
A. From the letter of Dr. Ridley, now read to you, you ee that he approved of the habits.
S. Mr. Fox, in his " Book of Martyrs," reporteth that Ridley, at his degradation, scorned the habits, saying, " They are foolish and abominable, and too fond for a vice in a play."*
A. You will call in question the authority and jurisdiction of the bishops, as well as many other things.
T. We object against the Prayer Book, because it allows and attempts to justify an insufficient ministry, directly contrary to the word of God. This appears from 1 Tim. ill. and Titus i.
Treasurer. What scripture is there to prove that he who administers the sacraments should also preach ?
T. " Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them," &c. And Jesus Christ having joined these things together, it is not lawful for men to put them asunder. This is not our opinion only, but the opinion and practice of all the foreign reformed churches.
A. The apostolic rule which you have alleged, is an idea of a minister.
T. To make it merely an idea would overturn the religion of God's word; because, for the same reason, the duties of magistrates, churches, parents, children, and all others, might be made duties merely in idea.
Treasurer. That is impossible.
T. If the churches, even in times of bloody persecution, have observed this order, that they who minister the sacraments shall also preach; it cannot be difficult for us in a
* See Fox's Acts and Monuments of Martyrs, vol. iii. p. 487.
state of peace. (Here the conference closed, and the company departed.)*
Mr. Strype observes of this conference, that the ministers .were convinced of their error, and persuaded to conform; but it is evident he knew not the persons, and he even acknowledges that he never saw the debate. + Mr. Travers continued a decided nonconformist to his death; and Dr. Sparke appeared at the head of the nonconformists at the Hampton-court conference, nearly twenty years after this period, t
Mr. Travers continued lecturer at the Temple, with Mr. Hooker the new master, about two years, though with very little agreement, the former being a strict Calvinist, and the latter a man of larger principles; after which, he was at length brought into trouble. Many of their sermons were upon points of controversy, relative to the doctrine, discipline, and ceremonies of the church. The forenoon sermon often spoke the language of Canterbury, and the afternoon that of Geneva.^ Fuller observes of Mr. Travers, " that his utterance was agreeable, his gesture graceful, his matter profitable, his method plain, and his style carried in it the flowings of grace from a sanctified
• MS. Register, p. 508-514. + Strype's Wbilgifl, p. 170.
t Dr. Thomas Sparke was born at South Somercoates In Lincolnshire, and was chosen perpetual fellow of Magdalen college, Oxford. He wai afterwards presented by Lord Gray to the rectory of Bleachley In Buckinghamshire, where be was held in great esteem on account of his piety and diligence. About the year 1575 he became chaplain to Bishop Cooper of Lincoln, who preferred him to the archdeaconry of Stow ; but this he resigned " for conscience sake," and contented himself with his parsonage. He was a learned man, a solid d/vine, well read in the fathers, and much esteemed for his gravity and exemplary life and conversation. He united with the leading puritans in subscribing the " Book of Discipline." For writing a book upon the succession, in the days of Queen Elizabeth, he was brought into trouble; but, on the accession of James, " bis majesty gave him a must gracious countenance fur what he had done." He died at Bleachley in the year 1616, when his remains were interred in his own church. Wood denominates Dr. Rainolds and Dr. Sparke " the pillars of purilanism, and the grand favourers of nonconformity." But Sparke afterwards renounced his nonconformity, and published a book upon the subject, entitled, " A Brotherly Persuasion to Unity and Uniformity in Judgment and Practice, touching the received and present Ecclesiastical Government, and the Authorized Rites and Ceremonies of the Church of England," 1607. This was answered by " The Second Part of the Defence of the Ministers' Reasons for refusal of Subscription and Conformity to the Book of Common Prayer," 1608. Also by a work entitled," A Dispute upon the Question of Kneeling in the Act of receiving the Sacramental Bread and Wine,"&c. 1608.—Wood's Athcntr Oxon. vol. i. p. 290, 351, 358—Seal's Puritans, vol. i. p. 423.
S Walton's Life of a Hooker, p. 90. Edit 1665.
heart."* This is certainly a very high character from a zealous conformist.
The sermon in the morning was oftentimes controverted in the afternoon, and again vindicated the following Lord's day. Mr. Hooker, therefore, complained of this usage, when Archbishop Whitgift, without the least warning, silenced Mr. Travers from preaching at the Temple, or at any other place in the kingdom. The manner in which the archbishop proceeded to inflict this heavy sentence, proved no small reproach to his episcopal character, and gave great offence to most men of wisdom and moderation. For as Mr. Travers was ascending the pulpit to preach on the Lord's day afternoon, Whitgift's officer served him with a prohibition on the pulpit-stairs; upon which, instead of a sermon, he acquainted the congregation with his suspension, and dismissed them. The reasons given for this proceeding were, " That Mr. Travers was not ordained according to the rites of the church of England.—That he had preached without a license.—That he had broken the orders of the queen, ' That disputes should not be brought into the pulpit.' "t But the chief reason, says Mr. Strype, was the first.
Mr. Travers, in vindication of himself, presented "A Supplication to the Council," in which he complains of being judged and condemned before he was heard; and of being silenced, which to him was the most grievous of all, before he was examined, contrary to reason and equity. He then proceeds to answer the objections alleged against him in the prohibition as follows:
" First, it is said, that I am not lawfully called to the ministry, according to the laws of the church of England.
" To this, I answer, that my call was by such methods as are appointed in the national synods of the foreign reformed churches, testimonials of which I have shewn to my lord of Canterbury; so that if any man be lawfully called to the ministry in those countries, I am.
" It is further said, that I am not qualified to be a minister in England, because I am not ordained according to the laws of this country.
" I beseech your lordships to weigh my answer. Such is the communion of saints, that whatever solemn acts are done in one true church of Christ, according to his word, are held lawful in all others. The making of a minister,
being once lawfully done, ought not to be repeated. The pastors and teachers in the New Testament hold the same kind of calling that I had. To repeat our ordination would make void our former ordination; and, consequently, al} such acts as were done in virtue of it, as baptisms, marriages, &c. By the same rule, all people coming out of a foreign land ought to be rebaptized and married over again. Be-: sides, by the statute of I3 Eliz., those who have been ordained in foreign protestant churches, upon their subscribing the articles therein specified, are qualified to enjoy any benefice in the kingdom, equally with those who have been ordained according to the laws now in force; which, seeing it comprehends all who are priests according to the order of the church of Rome, must necessarily be as favourable to ministers who are ordained among foreign protestants. In consequence of this law, many Scots divines are now in possession of benefices in the church; as was Mr.Whittingham, who, though he was called in question in this case, enjoyed his benefice as long as he lived.
" It is, moreover, said, that I preached without presentation or license.
" To this, I answer, that the place in which I exercised my ministry required no presentation, nor had I a title, nor did I reap, any benefit by law ; but only received a voluntary contribution, and was employed in preaching only: and as to a license, I was recommended to be minister of that place, by two several letters from the Bishop of London to the gentlemen of the Temple, without which letters, those gentlemen would not have permitted me to officiate.
" I am charged with indiscretion, and want of duty to Mr. Hooker; and with breaking the queen's order against bringing disputes into the pulpit.
" As to want of duty, I answer, though some have suspected my want of good-will to Mr. Hooker, because he succeeded Dr. Alvey in that place which I desired for myself; this is a mistake, for I declined the place, because I could not subscribe to my lord of Canterbury's late articles, which I would not do for the mastership of the Temple, or any other place in the church. I was glad the place was given to Mr. Hooker, as well for the sake of old acquaintance, as because there is some kind of affinity between us, hoping we should live peaceably and amicably together, as becometh brethren. But when I heard him preach against the doctrine of assurance, and for salvation in the church of Rome, with all its errors and idolatry, I thought myself obliged to oppose him. And when I found it occasioned a pulpit war, / declared publicly that I would concern myself no further about it, though Mr. Hooker went on with the dispute.
" It is said that I should hare complained of him to the high commission.
" To this, I answer, that it was not out of contempt or neglect of lawful authority; but because 1 was against all methods of severity; /and, therefore, I declared my resolution to trouble the pulpit with those debates no more.
" Upon the whole, I hope it will appear to your lord-, ships, that my behaviour has not deserved to severe a punishment as hath been inflicted upon me; and, therefore, I humbly pray that your lordships would restore me to my ministry, by such means as your wisdoms shall think fit: this will lay me under further obligations to pray for your temporal and eternal happiness. But if your lordships cannot procure me this favour, I recommend myself to your lordships' protection, under her majesty, in a private life; ' and the church to Almighty God, who in justice will punish the wicked, and in mercy reward the righteous with a blessed immortality."*
Mr. Hooker wrote an answer to the above supplication, addressed to Archbishop Whitgift, his patron, in which he takes no notice of Mr. Travers's ordination, but confines his remarks to his objections against his doctrine; some of which he attempts to refute, and complains in other cases of misrepresentation. " But let all be granted that he would have," says Mr. Hooker, " what will it advantage him ? He ought to have complained to the high commissioners, and not have refuted me in the pulpit. Schisms and disturbances will arise in the church, If All Men Mat Be
TOLEIt ATED TO THINK A8 THEY PLEASE, AND PUBLICLY
Speak What They Think. Therefore, by a decree agreed upon among the bishops, and confirmed by her majesty, it was ordered, that if erroneous doctrine was taught publicly, it should not be publicly refuted, but complained of to such persons as her majesty should appoint to hear and determine such causes; for the breach of which order, he is charged with want of duty; and all the faults which he alleges against me can avail nothing in his own defence."t The lords of the council, to whom Mr. Travers presented
* Travel's Supplication, printed 1612.—And annexed to Hooker'i Eccl. Polity. Edit. 1631. I + Hooker's Answer annexed to Eccl. Polity.
bis supplication, did not, however, choose to interfere, but left him wholly to the unmerciful controul of the archbishop, who could never be prevailed upon to remove his suspension, or license him to preach in any part of the kingdom. Mr. Travers had, indeed, many great and powerful f riends at court, and even the lords themselves were greatly divided in their sentiments about his case; and all who opposed Whitgift's intolerant measures were his zealous friends. But all power was in the hands of the archbishop, " whose finger," as it is humorously expressed, "moved more in ecclesiastical matters than all the hands of all the council besides; therefore, no favour must be afforded to Travers on any terms."*
Mr. Travers had a principal hand in writing and publishing the celebrated work, entitled, " De Disciplina Ecclesiastica ex Dei verbo descripta," commonly called the " Book of Discipline." It was designed as a platform of church discipline, and subscribed by Mr. Travers and many of his learned brethren.t It was translated into English, and printed at Cambridge; but the vice-chancellor obtaining intelligence of it, caused the whole impression, or the greatest part of it, to be seized, and announced the same to the f hancellor, who communicated it to Archbishop Whitgift : upon which his grace returned the following answer: " That ever since they had a printing press at Cambridge, be feared that this and greater inconveniencies would follow. Though the vice-chancellor was a very careful man, and in all respects greatly to be commended; yet he might be succeeded by one of another temper, not so well affected to the church, and that if he (the chancellor) thought fit to continue that privilege to the uersity, sufficient bonds with heretics ought to be taken by the printer not to print any books unless they were allowed by lawful authority; for," says he, " if restraint be made here, and liberty granted there, what good can be done?"} This zealous prelate was always a violent enemy to the liberty of the press. It may be proper here to observe, that, in the year 1644, when the Book of Common Prayer was abolished by order of the parliament, the Book of Discipline was republished, and appointed to be observed in all ecclesiastical matters. It was printed under this title, " A Directory of Government anciently contended for; and, as far as the time
• Fuller't Church Hist. b. iz. p. 218.
+ Nut's Puritans, vol. i. p. 483.
% Biog. Brltan. vol. til. p. 4246.
would suffer, practised by the first nonconformists in the days of Queen Elizabeth, found in the study of that most accomplished divine, Thomas Cartwright, after his decease, and reserved to be published for such a time as this."
About the time that Mr. Travers was silenced at the Temple, he was invited, together with Mr. Cartwright, to become divinity professor in the uersity of St. Andrews; which he modestly refused, but returned his humble and thankful acknowledgments for so dignified an offer.* His celebrity was uersally known, both in England and in other countries; therefore, Dr. Loftus, archbishop of Dublin and chancellor of Ireland, who had been his colleague at Cambridge, and who knew his great worth, invited him to accept the provostship of Trinity college, Dublin. Mr. Travers having no prospect of a restoration to his beloved ministry, or any further public usefulness in his native country, accepted the invitation. He was greatly admired in his new situation, and had for one of his pupils Mr. James Usher, afterwards the famous archbishop of Armagh, who entertained the highest esteem for him. Nor did this esteem wear out by time, or decline by a change of circumstances; for after Usher was preferred to a bishopric, and Travers was grown old and poor, the pious and learned prelate paid him several visits, offering him presents of money, which the good old man thankfully declined to accept, t
Mr. Travers continued provost of the above college several years; but upon the commencement of the wars in Ireland, he was constrained to quit his station, when he returned to England, and spent the remainder of his days in silence, poverty, and obscurity. He was living in the year 1624, as appears from the following curious fact: Mr. John Swan, of Cannock in Staffordshire, a religious man, left in his last will and testament the sum of fifty pounds, to be given, by direction of Mr. Hildersham, to ministers silenced for nonconformity. From a manuscript receipt now before me, it appears that Mr. Travers partook of the bounty. It is in these words: " March 5, 1624, received of Mr. Arthur Hildersham, five pounds, being part of a legacy of John Swan. I say, received by me,
" Walter Travers."!
• Fuller's Church Hilt. b. Ix. p. 815, 816. + Ibid. p. £18.
t MS. Chronology, Vo1, ii. p. 431. (12.)
It does not appear how long Mr. Travers survived the above period. He was a learned roan, a polite preacher, an admirable orator, and one of the most celebrated divines of the age: but all these excellent endowments could not atone for the single sin of nonconformity. His name is enrolled among the eminent persons and learned divines of Trinity college, Cambridge.* He gave part of his library, and plate worth fifty pounds, to Zion college, London. Many persons of the greatest respectability were his constant friends. In addition to the lord treasurer, who was his advocate and his patron, we ought not to oprit Sir James Altham, a member of parliament, and a person eminent for religion and learning, who manifested the highest esteem for him; as did Sir Edward Cook, a zealous advocate for a further reformation of the church, and a constant patron of the puritans.t
His Works.—1. A Justification of the Religion now Professed in England.—2. An Answer to the Epistle of G. T. for the pretended Catholics.—3. De Disciplina Ecclesiastica ex Dei verbo descripta.