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John Walward

John Walward, D. D.—He was professor of divinity at Oxford, and a man of great learning, but involved in much trouble for nonconformity. He was summoned before the high commission, April 7, 1586, and appeared before Archbishop Whitgift, Bishop Aylmer, the Bishops of Winchester and Sarum, and other commissioners, at Lambeth. And for having taught, that the order of the Jewish synagogue and eldership, was adopted into the christian church, by Jesus Christ and his apostles; and asserting that the same was designed as a perpetual modal of church government, he was enjoined a public recantation, and suspended from his public exercises in the university, till it should be performed. As the whole of this

• Strype's Annals, vol. ill. p. 431.

t Toplady's Historic Proof, vol. ii. p. 201, 202.

affair, attested by the hand of Abraham Hartwell, notary public, is now before me, it will be proper to transcribe it.

The above commissioners decreed, " That the said John "Walward shall, upon some Sunday in the afternoon, deliver a sermon in the parish church of Alhallow s in Oxford, wherein he shall not in any way, either covertly or openly, impugn any part of the government ecclesiastical now received and used in the church of England; but shall stir up all his hearers to unily, peace, obedience, and the good liking of the laws, orders, and present government of this church; and shall, also, in such his sermon publicly and distinctly read, without any addition, diminution, or alteration, the form of words following, signifying that he is so enjoined by authority for his demerits." Then follows the form of his recantation, expressed in these words:

" Whereas I, .John Walward, the 22d of February last, " preaching in this place, amongst other things, did utter, " ' That the order of a Jewish synagogue governed by an " eldership, which I untruly affirmed to be still observed in M Germany and Spain, was established by Jesus Christ and " his apostles to continue for ever, to admonish, to suspend, " to interdict, and to excommunicate in every congregation: " that the same was practised by the apostles, and long after " in the better times of the church : that those who arc put " in authority, according to the laws of this land, by the " bishops and other ecclesiastical persons, to see such " censures executed, are not sufficiently warranted thereto, " but are in danger of God's heavy judgment; therefore, " the pastor of the congregation where the offender dwelleth, " hath an interest, and ought to have a dealing therein.' " And, whereas, I did then also affirm matter to the de" praving of the office of archdeacons, and the canons agreed " upon in the last convocation, and confirmed by her " majesty's authority: and did avouch a necessary, sub" stantial, and unalterable platform of government and dis" cipline to have been left by Christ, for hearing, ordering, " and determining all cases and causes of censure, which I " then said ought of necessity to be by the ministry and u presbytery of the congregation where the offender " dwelleth, to the impeaching of her majesty's authority u in causes ecclesiastical, to the discredit of the present " government of the church of England wherein I live, to u the breach of the unity and peace of it, and to an ill " example and offence to others. And further, whereas I " promised after my said sermon, if I might be suffered to " continue my divinity lecture, I would not meddle in any " matters tending to the disturbance of the peace and unity " of the church, or just offence of any. I did, notwith" standing, shew myself the same man I was before, by " bitter and factious speeches, and complaining that 1 was " thus treated, as I thought, without just desert. I do here, M therefore, in the sight of God, and you, my brethren, " frankly acknowledge, my unadvised dealing herein, and " my oversight in the former points, heartily desiring you " all to be satisfied with this my unfeigned and humble " submission."*

When Dr. Walward appeared before bis ecclesiastical judges, he was obliged to enter into a bond of one hundred

Sounds to make this debasing public recantation; and in case e failed to perform it according to the order and form prescribed, he should not only forfeit his hundred pounds, but within four days appear again at Lambeth, to receive such censure as his case might deserve. For the better execution of the above decrees, a letter was addressed to the vicechancellor of Oxford, requiring and authorizing him to see that they should in all points be duly executed; and in case of Walward's failure in complying with them, to bring him again before the high commission at Lambeth.t This learned divine was thus debased by the tyrannical prelates ! He was compelled to sacrifice the right of private judgment, and the liberty of conscience, at the shrine of their usurped power and authority.