Edward Gellibrand.—This learned and pious divine was fellow of Magdalen college, Oxford, and a person of distinguished eminence among the puritans in that university, lie was much concerned for a further reformation of the church, and ever zealous in promoting the desired object. The letters from the classis in London and other places, were commonly addressed to him, and, by the appointment of the brethren, he usually answered them. January 12, 15S5, he wrote a letter to Mr. John Field, signifying how he had consulted several colleges about church discipline, and a further reformation; and that many were disposed to favour it, but were afraid to testify any thing under their hands, lest it should bring them into trouble. This letter, which, in the opinion of Dr. Bancroft, tended to promote sedition, was the following:—" 1 have," says Mr. Gellibrand, " already entered into the matters whereof " you write, and dealt with three or four of several colleges, " concerning those among whom they live. I find that " men are very dangerous in this point, generally savouring u reformation; but when it comes to the particular point, " some have not yet considered of those things for which " others in the church are so much troubled. Others are " afraid to testify any thing with their hands, lest it should " breed danger before the time. And many favour the u cause of reformation, but they arc not ministers, but " young students, of whom there is good hope, if it be not " cut off by violent dealing before the time. As I hear of " you, so I mean to go forward, where there is any hope; " and to lear n the number, and certify you thereof." The candid reader will easily judge how far this letter tended to promote sedition, being merely designed to effect by the most peaceable means, a more pure reformation of the church.+ He united with many of his brethren in subscribing the " Book of Discipline."!
April 7,1586, Mr. Gellibrand was cited before Archbishop
• Thoresby's Vicaria Leorliensis, p. 65.
+ Bancroft's Dangerous Positions, p. 74, 75.
♦. Neal's Puritans, vol. i. p. 423.
Whitgift, Bishop Cooper of Winchester, Bishop Piers of Salisbury, and other high commissioners. When he was called before their lordships, and the charges alleged against him had been read, the reverend archbishop thus addressed him:—" You have spoken against the ecclesiastical state and governors, as confirmed and established by the laws of this land. You have inveighed against the swelling titles of bishops and archbishops. You are full of pride and arrogancy, and the spirit of pride hath possessed you. And you have preached against the Bishop of Winchester, by which you have discouraged men from doing good to the church." Then said the Bishop of Winchester, " If you had read any of the ancient fathers, or ecclesiastical histories, you could not have been ignorant, that the office of archbishops was from the time of the apostles, though the name be not found in the scriptures. Other churches do not condemn ours, as we do not theirs. This discipline which you dream of, may peradventure be convenient for Geneva, or some such free city, which hath half a dozen villages joining to it; but not for a kingdom. You are a child, yea, a babe."
Mr. Gellibrand, craving leave to answer for himself, replied to these accusations, and said, " Concerning preaching against the Bishop of Winchester, I am guiltless. I was not present at his sermon, nor did I hear of his sermon till after I had preached, according to my oath already taken." And being charged with speaking against the consecration of bishops and archbishops, he replied, " My words were uttered simply as the occasion offered from a note of Beza on Heb. ii. 10. And concerning my exhortation to those who suffer persecution for the sake of Christ, it was neeesrarily deduced from my text, in which the sufferings of christians are called the sufferings of Christ." Then said Dr. Cosin, " Such ifs are intolerable under the government
that you have made discipline a part of the gospel."
The archbishop next charged him with having made a comparison between Jesuits, and nonresidents, saying," You make nonresidents worse than Jesuits, and in this comparison there is neither truth, nor charity, nor honesty, nor Christianity. I myself have been one of those whom you call nonresidents, and have done more good by preaching, partly in my own cure, and partly in other mens', than you will do as long as you live. The church hath not been built by you, nor such as you; but by those whom you
And it is a most grievous thing call nonresidents!!" Upon Mr. Gellibrand's attempting to answer, he was interrupted, and not allowed to proceed. And when Dr. Cosin charged him with speaking against the laws of the land, he replied, " I have long been of this opinion, and so have many others, that nonresidents are allowed by law."
Mr. Gellibrand being charged with seducing her majesty's subjects, and with bringing the archbishop and bishops into contempt, which, it was said, gave much encouragement to papists; he replied, " I never entered upon any discourse about the government of the church, but delivered the true sense of the scriptures." When he was urged to a further consideration of the charges brought against him, and to submit to the court, be was carried out, until the commissioners determined what punishment should be inflicted upon him. After some consultation, he was called in, when the archbishop thus addressed him:—" You deserve not only to be sequestered from your ministry, but to be expelled from your house, banished from the university, and cast into prison; and all this we could inflict upon you; but we will not deal thus with you, if you will revoke your errors, and give satisfaction for your oflenccs." The good man was, therefore, suspended from his ministry, obliged to enter into a bond of a hundred pounds, either to revoke his errors in such form as their lordships should appoint, or to make his appearance at Lambeth at any time by them to be determined, when they would further proceed against him.* But it does not appear whether he recanted, or was brought under additional hardships by the relentless prelates.