John Wilson was born in the parish of Kildwick in Yorkshire, and ordained deacon according to the order of the church of England; when he obtained a license from the Archbishop of York to preach at Skipton, in the same county. He was a pious, faithful, and useful preacher, but endured much severe usage for nonconformity. Archbishop Sandys receiving complaints against him, sent his pursuivant with all haste to apprehend him, and bring him before the high commission. Upon his appearance before their lordships, and inquiring what charges were alleged against him, he was told that he must obtain two sureties to be bound in two hundred pounds for his future appearance. Accordingly, he obtained the securities demanded, and,
and other commissioners at Bishopsthorp, when he underwent the following examination:
Archbishop. You are brought before us for certain disorders, contempts, and disobedience, by you committed, to which you must answer as they shall be objected against you.
Dean. You must answer as truly as if you were sworn.
A. He must be sworn, and answer upon his oath. Hold him a book, and let him take the oath.
Wilson. If the law require me to be sworn, I am contented. But I think it doth not compel a man to accuse himself; and I hope I shall not be urged to do more than the law requireth.
A. If you refuse to be sworn, answer as you will; but be sure, if I prove any thing against you which you deny, you shall smart for it.
W. Let me have the law, and spare not. But because I mean to deny no truth objected against me, whether I be sworn or not, I am, therefore, contented to answer upon my oath. (He then took the oath.)
A. Read the first article against him.
Fathergill. You have taken upon you to execute the office of a minister for the space of three years, without any warrant so to do.
January 9, 1587, appeared
before the archbishop W. I know not what law maketh known the minister's
duty. I must, therefore, be informed of this, before I can answer.
A. Tell him.
Hudson. It is to say service, to preach the word, to minister the sacraments, to marry, and to bury the dead.
W. I have not done all these things without the law.
A. What warrant of law have you ?
W. I have the orders for the office of a deacon, according to law.
A. Shew unto us your orders. (Here Mr. Wilson produced his orders, which was read by the deaii, but nothing was observed.)
W. Write, Mr. Proctor, that I am deacon, according to law.
A. What say you of your preaching ? At what churches have you preached ?
W. At all the churches near Kildwick.* Mr. Proctor, record this.
A. You must always have that refuge to fly to.
W. My lord, I am sworn. There may be more, though I do not remember them. I dare not upon mine oath set down an uncertain thing as certain; therefore, I say, these are all, so far as I recollect.
A. What authority then had you to preach ?
W. I had your grace's authority in writing.
A. That was only upon condition that the people would receive you, and be willing to hear you.
W. I know not what was the condition. I followed the direction under the hand of Mr. Cock, in which I am sure no such thing was expressed.
Cock. My lord, I wrote that it was your grace's pleasure that he should preach at Skipton, until your return from London, if he behaved himself according to law.
A. I ordered you to write no such thing, unless the people would receive him willingly, as Mr. Palmer said they would.
C. My lord, they are ill-natured people, and would willingly receive none.
A. You have said service without surplice, and not according to the Book of Common Prayer.
W. That is not true.
A. You have not used the surplice in reading the service.
* Here Mr. Wilson, by request of the archbishop, named, as far aft b* could recollect, all the churches in which be bad preached.
W. I have no pastoral charge. I said service only in the absence of the pastor, which was very seldom; and, on those occasions, I thought I was not bound to use it.
A. You say not the service according to the book.
W. I do.
H. You use a prayer of your own at the beginning.
W. That is not true, Mr. Proctor.
A. Let me know the order you have observed.
W. I first read one of the portions of scripture appointed, and then exhorted the people to the confession of their sins. That being done, I read some of the Psalms, after that two chapters, and then the sermon.
A. Then you say not according to the book.
W. Yes, my lord, that which 1 read is according to the book.
A. But you omit many things.
W. And so I may according to law, especially when there is preaching, or any more profitable exercise.
A. More profitable exercise! that is, your talking.
W. I am sure that preaching is more profitable than reading. And I am sure your lordship will not deny, that my talking, being out of the word of God, is more profitable than saying service.
A. Nay, you have your tongue at your will. What is the next article ?
F. When you should say the epistle and gospel, according to the book, you will not call them the epistle and gospel, but the portion of scripture.
A. Have you never administered the sacraments ?
H. Did you never christen ?
W. Some few times, though very seldom.
A. Did you use the sign of the cross ?
W. No, my lord, I said the words, but did not use the cross.
A. Did you say, " I sign thee with the sign of the cross ?"
A. Tell me then what words you used.
W. " We receive this child into the congregation of Christ's flock, that hereafter he shall not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified upon the cross."
H. Did you never minister the communion?
H. What, neither the bread, nor the cup ? W. Yes, I have ministered the cup by the appointment of the pastor, being warranted in this by law.
A. Did you ever receive the communion ?
W. Yes, my lord.
A. At whose hands ?
W. At the hands of the pastor.
W. At the last communion, if I remember right.
A. You must ever take this advantage.
W. My lord, seeing I answer upon mine oath, you should not think the worse of me, because I am so careful not to speak wrong, or that which is not true.
H. You do not bury the dead according to the book.
W. I do.
H. You do not meet the corpse at the church-stile, and walk before it into the church.
W. Though I have sometimes done this, the book doth not bind me to do any such thing.
H. You do not read the prayers and places of scripture appointed.
W. I do.
H. You omit the prayers.
W. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I do not.
A. What is the next article ?
F. You have gone from your own ordinary, without his consent, and have received orders from another bishop.
W. My own ordinary giveth no orders ; but if his consent be his dimissary, I had his consent.
A. If you have his dimissary, shew it us.
W. See, it is here, my lord.
A. What is the next article ?
F. You have taken upon you to say service without any authority by license or toleration from your ordinary.
W. I have all the authority which the orders of a deacon can give; and 1 hope that is sufficient to say the service.
F. You confess yourself that you were born in Kildwick parish.
F. Do you acknowledge yourself to belong to this diocese, and submit yourself to the authority of your diocesan ?
W. I acknowledge all this.
A. You have a haughty and a proud spirit.
W. I confess, my lord, I am not free from any one sin; but I hope that sin hath not so great a power over me as you represent.
A. Nay, you care not for mine authority. W. My lord, I reverence your authority. Swinborn. That is not likely, Mr. Wilson, seeing you have so much disobeyed.
W. And that disobedience is no likely argument to disprove my reverence of his authority. If your argument were good, few subjects would be found who reverence even the queen's authority.
what say you of your calling ? The scripture mentions only the offices of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and doctors. Which of these then have you ?
W. The office of a doctor or teacher.
A. Where do you exercise it ?
W. At Kildwick.
A. Who called you ?
W. The minister and the people of that place earnestly entreated me to teach and instruct them.
A. Tush! that is nothing.
W. But it hath been something in time past.
A. Lo! this fellow would have ministers to be elected by consent of the people!
W. My lord, the word of God is plain enough upon that point, and this you know well enough yourself. Your grace made this sufficiently manifest in refusing me to be at Skipton, unless the people would consent to receive me.
A. That I did, because I would not intrude you upon them.
W. Then it follows, that you think intrusion is not the right calling; and on the contrary, that the right calling is by the consent or choice of the people.
A. There is no end to your talk.
W. Yes, my lord, but I had the license of your own word for that place.
A. That is true; but it was a donor.
W. And when the donor came, I stayed.
A. Yes, but you have preached there since that time.
W. I have, indeed, preached there once; which, I hope, is not so great a crime, but that your grace will deal favourably with me, and thus cause me the more to revere and esteem you.*
Mr. Wilson's first examination being concluded, the good man was taken away and sent to prison, where he remained
warrant you. But
• MS. Register, p. 782—784.
for some time. At length, he was brought to a second examination at Bishopsthorp, when the archbishop opened the business by affirming, that Mr. Wilson had been guilty of the most wilful disobedience, and malicious contempt. His lordship used very opprobrious language, as if he had been arraigned for treason or rebellion, exulting, at the same time, in his own favourable dealing with him. Also, he declared that before Mr. Wilson should be discharged, he should confess both in open court, and publicly in the church, how greatly he had offended; to which Mr. Wilson made the following reply:
W. My lord, I hope you will find it more difficult to prove me guilty of those odious crimes which you say I am guilty of, than to charge me with them. And as to your favour, when I find it, I shall acknowledge it. Hitherto I have felt nothing but extremity, bringing my ministry into open disgrace, and my person into public reproach.
A. You see the stubbornness of this fellow. I purposed to have discharged him, the second day of his imprisonment, and would have done it, if he had sued for it. And though he hath now been a week in prison, the pride of his heart would not let him once sue for his liberty.
W. It was neither my pride, nor my stubbornness, as you uncharitably misrepresent, and slanderously magnify against me; but my ignorance of the prisoner's duty, that I did not sue to your grace for liberty.
A. We shall never make an end, if we babble with him thus. Will you yield to the conditions ?»
W. My lord, I beseech you consider those conditions with impartiality, and, I hope, your grace will not urge me. My imprisonment will greatly injure my ministry, and bring reproach upon my person; but to do open penance before the people, will be worse than all. Therefore, I beseech your lordship not to reward one evil, by inflicting another which is much greater.
A. These are only your imaginations. Tell us plainly: Will you subscribe the bond ?
W. My lord, I must take all the care in my power to preserve my ministry from the contempt of the wicked. And seeing how much harm it would be likely to do to the church of God, I cannot in any wise subscribe unto it.
* The conditions here referred to, and afterwards often mentioned, were, that he should confess before the archbishop, and publicly in the church where he had preached, the great offence be had committed, and enter into a bond to fulfil the same.
A. See again the stubbornness of this arrogant fool! But I tell thee, thou may and shalt subscribe unto it.
W. And I answer, that, by the help of God, I neither may, nor ever will, subscribe unto it. Such unmerciful and cruel dealings are too bad among professing christians. The Lord grant me patience, and 1 shall be satisfied.
A. I always thought what a stir we should have with him. But thou persuadest people to meetings and private conventicles.
W, My lord, you now remind me of a duty which 1 have hitherto neglected; but by the grace of God I will remember it hereafter, and will exhort the people of God to meet together, and to edify and comfort one another with what they have learned. And this, by the help of God, I mean to do; though I hear that for so doing, one of the Lord's servants is committed a close prisoner.
A. Will you then defend his doings to be lawful ?
W. I will defend the lawfulness of God's people meeting together, to confer upon the points of religion or the doctrines taught them out of the word of God, to sing psalms, and to pray together. I hear of no other things for which he was committed. And I am sure your grace will not deny these things to be lawful.
A. But he gathered night-assemblies, contrary to law. Will you defend them also ?
W. Certain religious householders requested him and others to meet at night in their houses. Shall we then say that he collected night-assemblies ? I do defend by the word of God, that to meet together for the above purposes, whether in the night or the day, is lawful. Yet I would have persons to satisfy the law of the realm, as much as they can with a good conscience.
A. If we follow him thus, we shall never come to an end. Will you subscribe the bond ?
W. I have answered that already. I refuse not to do any thing that is lawful. If you can prove out of the word of God, that I may do it with a good conscience, I am ready to yield; otherwise I cannot, and I will not, subscribe. I will be bound, however, to leave your province in a fortnight.
S. You had then better go out of his grace's province to make your submission.
W. That is more than I say, Mr. Swinborn: but I would rather go out of his province and twenty others; yea, out of the world, and this soul out of this body, than I would subscribe to that submission.
A. I hear that in prison thou hast great liberty, and that thou Iovest it. It is that which maketh thee so bold and stubborn, but I will remove thee thence.
W. J have no cause to complain of my keeper. And as to my liberty, it is confined within the walls of the castle. I know not how you would have mc handled, unless you would have me into the lower prison, where you would soon have my skin for your fees: But you can do nothing, except it be given you from above.
A. I tell thee plainly, that if thou wilt not yield, I will remove thee to Hull jail, and afterwards to other places.
W. My lord, the word of God will strengthen and comfort me, more than your threatenings can hurt me or make me afraid. I care not for all your prisons. Remove me where you please. God will strengthen me against all your extremities. I will not yield so long as I live, and so long as the word of God. persuades me to the contrary.
A. Thou art an arrogant puritan.
W. Gross errors and slanderous abuses have been cast upon the godly in all ages. Your charges against me are uncharitable and unjust.
A. Thou art a rebel, an enemy to her majesty, and an underminer of the state.
W. These speeches savour not of the spirit of God. I am as true a subject, and as good a friend to her majesty and the state, according to my ability, as you are.
A. I tell thee, the queen said, that these puritans are greater enemies to her than the papists.
W. What just cause she had so to say, all the world knoweth; and the Lord will one day judge the numerous traitorous conspiracies that have been detected. When did any, who are slanderously called puritans, give the least cause of any such suspicion ? Their lives and writings testify to all the world, how far they are from such things. Therefore, they who charge them with these things, have the greater sin.
A. If we suffer thee to prattle, thy tongue will never cease. Therefore, that we may make an end of it, I counsel thee to admit the conditions proposed.
W. If your grace will shew me the least warrant from the word of God, I am ready to submit. Though you call my answers by what name you please, they are not deserving of your reproach.
A. Will you yield to the conditions ? ° W. My mind is so well settled already, that I can see no reason to alter it. Therefore, I cannot yield to the conditions.
A. Perhaps you think it is very hard dealing to be tied to read it. Will you then yield, if we give you liberty to use your own words ?
W. I strive not about the manner, but the mailer/ and I utterly refuse to do any such thing, either in my own words or any others.
A. What! surely you can say two words, even that you have preached without license. In so doing, you shall have my favour more than you think of.
W. My lord, let me have your favour only according to my behaviour in a good and just cause; but the word of God will persuade more than either your threatenings or
in the present case, I will never yield to speak two words, nor even one word, to any such purpose.
A. Choose then for yourself, whether you will be excommunicated out of my diocese, or return to prison, or yield to the conditions required.
W. My lord, I hope that christian charity and brotherly dealing will not bring me into any of those extremities. A. No! but you shall observe one of them.* Mr. Wilson's second examination being thus concluded, he was immediately sent back to prison. After confinement for some time, by the appointment of the archbishop, he appeared before the commissioners at the dean's house in the city of York, his grace being absent. Upon the commencement of his third examination, a new bond was produced, in which he was required not to exercise any part of his ministry within the archbishop's province, without further license; nor, during his silence, allowed to come within Kildwick church, the place of his ordinary labours. This being read, he was addressed as follows: D. Mr. Wilson, what say you of this ? W. I say it is marvellously strange dealing, that one extremity must drive out another. Excommunication from Kildwick church must drive out the public confession before required. Will you neither suffer me to preach
• MS. Register, p. 784—786.
there, nor to hear others ? This is very hard dealing. God willing, I will never yield unto it.
W. I was born and brought up in that parish, and I am bound to attend there by the laws of the realm. Do you then sit here to execute the law, and will you bind me to act contrary to the law ?
Palmer. Erase it, erase it, for shame! It is a thing never before heard of, that a man should be bound from attending at his own parish church.
Proctor. I will put this in its place, " that he shall never come there to preach."
W. Will you put in that, Mr. Proctor ? Will you first exclude me from his whole province, and then exclude me from that particular place ?
D. What else have you for him to do ? P. He must confess that before us, which he would not acknowledge publicly in the church. D. Then read it unto him.
W. I will confess these things neither publicly, nor privately. But if you allow me, I will separate those things which are true, from those which are false.
D. Give him the paper.
He then took the paper, and told them what was true, and what was false. This being done, and the good man having bound himself to preach no more in the archbishop's province, he was released, ascribing honour and praise to God for his merciful deliverance.*
Mr. Wilson having obtained his liberty, though excluded from all usefulness in the province of York, went to London, and, during the same year, frequently preached at Alhallows in Thames-street. Also, by the allowance of the minister of St. Michael's, Cornhill, he delivered a sermon there; for which Bishop Aylmer silenced him the very next day, and summoned him, and the church-wardens of Alhallows, to appear before him the Saturday following. Mr. Wilson not seeing the bishop's ofiBcer when he left the information at his lodgings; nor knowing what warrant he had for what he did, refused to appear. But one of the church-wardens appeared, when, though the bishop was not present, Dr. Stanhope pronounced upon them both the sentence of excommunication; upon the one for not appearing, and upon the other for suffering Mr. Wilson to
Do as you please.
• MS. Register, p. 784—786.
preach without a license. This excellent minister was thus exercised with tribulations in the south, as well as in the north.
At length, our divine finding that the high commissioners, with Aylmer and Whitgift at their head, were anxious to apprehend him; that they had issued several warrants for this purpose; that a printed order was sent to all the churches in London and its vicinity, that none should preach without a license; and that his name, with several others, was particularly mentioned,* he wisely concealed himself for a season, and retired into the north. Towards the close of the year, he returned to London; and after his arrival, Mr. Glover and Mr. Weblin, two of his cordial friends living in the parish of Alhallows, waited upon Archbishop Whitgift at Lambeth, soliciting his favour in behalf of Mr.Wilson. They had no sooner mentioned his name, than his lordship asked, " What that factious fellow who intruded himself into the church in Cornhill, and there delivered a seditious sermon ?" " Yes," said Mr. Glover, " that is the man; but he hopeth to clear himself of all faction, intrusion, and sedition." " Let him then come to me any day after tomorrow," said the archbishop, " and I will say more about him." Therefore, December 1st, Mr. Wilson and his friends
* The worthy divines whose names accompanied this order, were Mr. Wilson, Mr. Davison, Mr. Barber, Mr. Wigginton, Mr. Gilford, Mr. Canew, and some others. The order itself, dated August 16, 1387, being descriptive of the spirit of the times, was the following:—" Whereas sundry " ministers, preachers, have lately come into the city of London and "the suburbs; some of them not being ministers, same having no sufB" cient warrant for their calling; and others having been detected in " the country, have taken upon them to preach publicly in the city, to the " great infamy of their calling : and some of them in their preaching, " have stirred up the people to innovation, rather than sought the peace of " the church. These are, therefore, in her majesty's name, by virtue of " her high commission for causes ecclesiastical to us and others directed, " strictly to enjoin, command, and charge, all parsons, vicars, curates, and " church-wardens, of all churches in the city of London and the suburbs " thereof, as well in places exempt as not exempt, that neither they nor " any of them, do suffer any to preach in their churches, or to read any " lectures, they not being in their own cures; but only such whose licenses " they shall first have seen and read, and whom they shall find to be " licensed thereto, either by the queen's majesty, or by one of the uer" sities, or by the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, or the Bishop of " London, for the time being. And that this may be published, and take " the better effect, we will that a true copy thereof shall be taken and " delivered to every curate and church-warden of all the churches afore" said. Signed,
" John Canterbury, Ed. Stanhope,
" John London, Ric. Coiins."
" Vau Dale,
MS. Register, p. 834.
waited upon his grace at Lambeth ; and upon their appearance, after asking Mr. Wilson his name, where he was born, and where educated, the archbishop thus addressed him:
Archbishop. Did not you intrude yourself into a church in Cornhill, and there preach a seditious sermon ?
"Wilson. That I preached there is certainly true; but there was nothing seditious. And as to intrusion, I will prove upon the oath of honest men, that I had the minister's consent, both before and after I came into the church.
A. Did you not then intrude yourself ?
W. I will prove, I say, upon the oath of honest men, that it is an impudent falsehood.
A. Say you so. I did not know this before.
W. It is malice that hath propagated these things.
A. But why did you not remain in your own country ?
W. Because I cannot and may not place myself where I please, much less in mine own country; for I must go where I am called, and be placed where the Lord shall appoint.
A. If you will then be placed here, you must subscribe to certain articles.
W. I will subscribe to any thing that is lawful.
A. Do you mean any thing according to law ?
W. Surely, I dare very well say so. But I meant the law of God, which is the only rule of conscience.
A. You must subscribe to those articles.
W. I must first see them, and then I can answer you.
A. There is good reason why you should see them ; and therefore I refer you to my lord of London. If he will allow you, I will not disallow you. But you Londoners, (speaking to Mr. Glover and Mr. Weblin) are so much given to novelty, that if there be one man more new than others, him you will have.
Glover. Surely, my lord, we cannot be justly accused of novelty. For we have had neither new nor old at our church since I knew the place, having now only a drunken reader, who can do us no good.
A. Well, you know my mind about this matter.
Stanhope. You must be sworn.
W. To what must I be sworn.
S. You shall know that afterwards.
W. No, by your leave, sir, I will see the articles before I take any oath.
S. No, you may not see them till you are sworn.
W. I will not swear.till I see them. It is hard dealing to make men swear to they know not what. You may ask me things which it is not lawful for me to make known.
W. It is against the law of the land, that a man should be sworn to accuse himself. And by this oath, you may urge me to disclose the. secret things of my heart, or the secrets of my friends, both of which are unnatural and unlawful. Such dealing is intolerable and cruel. Let me see the articles; and if I may lawfully answer them, I will do it upon my oath.
S. Let him then see the articles.
W. Setting aside all circumstantial questions, I will answer these articles upon my oath.
S. Well, all other matters shall be set aside.
W. I will make a true answer to these articles, so help me God.»
S. I can tell you, Mr. Wilson, if you mean to preach here, you must also minister the communion, at least thrice every year.
W. There is one to do that in the place already.
S. That is no matter. You must join him in that action, to shew that you do not divide your ministry.
W. My ministry shall be to preach the word only.
S. The laws of the realm allow of no such ministry.
W. But the laws of God do.
S. But I am set to examine the laws of the realm.
W. And I am set to maintain the laws of God, and to declare the truth of them.
S. It must be as I tell you. And that is not all: you must subscribe to certain articles.
W. What are those articles ?
S. I think they are here. Read them, and tell me what you think of them.
W. I think it is unlawful to subscribe to them.
S. What is there you dislike? i .
W. Many things, and the second article altogether.
S. Shew me this at large.
* These articles, nineteen in number, consist of certain things professedly collected from his sermon at Cornhill. They are said to have been his expressions, and are mostly against pluralities, nonresidents, and idle, ungodly, and nonpreaching ministers. In one of them he is charged with having said of such ministers, " Tbey eat up the sins of the people." And in another, " That by tbe word of God, it is necessary that every congregation should have a preaching minister." This is a specimen of the treasonable charges brought against Mr. Wilson; but tbe whole, together with his answers, is too long to be inserted..—MS. Register, p. 829—831.
W. I fear you seek some advantage against me.
S. I promise you, that you shall have no hurt for any
W. I dislike private baptism by laymen or women. S. You know my lord of Canterbury denies that the book alloweth any such thing.
W. It is too plain to be denied. And though he do deny it, he alloweth that if a woman or any private person perform the action, it is a sacrament, and is not to be renewed by the minister. Where there no other things, this is sufficient to keep me from subscribing.
S. But if you may have favour in that point, will you yield to the rest ?
W. I wish they were such things, that I could yield to them.
S. What else then do you dislike.
W. The book of making bishops and ministers.
S. Why so?
W. Because I find no such thing done by one man, and in that manner, in the word of God. S. Then I can say nothing to you. W. But I could say something to you, sir, if you would patiently hear me.
S. What is that ? Say what you please. W. If you can shew me any statute, now in force in England, which requireth me to subscribe to the Book of Common Prayer, to the book of making bishops and ministers, and to the whole book of articles; I will promise before you and these people, that I will subscribe. But if I offer my hand to subscribe, as far as any statute doth require, why is the offer not admitted ? or by what law can it be rejected ?
S. There is a statute which alloweth these tilings. This, I think you will not deny.
W. I do not deny it. But where is the statute which commandeth subscription to them ?
S. The bishops have a commission from her majesty, to deal in these matters according to their own discretion.
W. But neither their commission, nor their discretion, may oppose the discreet laws made by her majesty and
Crliament. If they do, I dare boldly say, that they abuse r majesty, her subjects, and their own commission. S. Take heed what you say. You must yield to this subscription, or you cannot be admitted. Besides, you are no proper minister, and were never authorized to preach.
W. That is a slander. For I am a deacon, and was licensed to preach by the present Archbishop of York.
S. What think you of the titles of grace, lord, and others of the same kind ?
W. I think the law doth require them.
S. Do you take them to be lawful ?
W. Yes, they are lawful, if you mean according to law.*
Here the conversation closed, when Mr. Wilson was suspended, and admonished to appear before the Bishop of London and other commissioners, on the Tuesday following. This was the unkind usage he met with, though at the beginning of the conference, he was promised that no evil should befall him for what he might say. The reader will here see how little such persons were to be trusted. However, according to appointment, the good man appeared before the bishop, Dr. Stanhope, Dr. Walker, Mr. Mullins, and others. When he was called, his lordship said
the other commissioners, when his former opponent thus addressed him:
S. Mr. Wilson, you remember certain articles exhibited against you, as collected out of your sermon preached at St. Michael's in Cornhill. You also confessed that you were not a minister, but a deacon, and licensed to preach by the present Archbishop of York, and not by my lord of London.
W. I remember these things well, and many others.
Mullins. It was not necessary that all things should be set down.
W. Neither was it necessary he should mention only those things, when I spoke many others.
S. Weir, sir, you remember I did suspend you from preaching, which sentence, by the judgment of the court, must stand. As for other matters, Dr. Walker and Mr. Mullins will attend unto them next term.
W. It is hard dealing to keep a man so long in suspense, and for so small a matter. I am chargeable either to myself, or friends, or both. I have been almost a month in town already, and now I must be put off so long a time. This is more than christian charity would do. Therefore, I pray you, sir, that I may have a more speedy dispatch.
S. You may apply to them, and they will perhaps make greater haste in this matter. (Mr. Mullins having read the charges against Mr. Wilson, thus addressed him:)
M. What are these things ? Who is the accuser ? And •who is accused ?
W. Who is the accuser, I know not; but they say they are articles objected against me.
M. Who troubleth us with such things ? There is no accuser; and no man accused. There is no man or thing particularly mentioned, but all is expressed in general terms. What can we do with such things ?
W. I cannot tell. But I suffer the greater wrong, being carried up and down, and tossed to and fro, for nothing.
M. Who began this matter ? And who bade you follow it ?
W. Who began it, I know not. But I am appointed to desire you to make an end of it. I have been much troubled in your courts; and my friends have been much charged in paying money, I cannot tell for what.
M. I wish their money was in their bellies.
W. I wish rather it was in their purses. But, T pray you, sir, let the case be ended.
M. I have other business to mind.
W. If my case be of so small a moment, you may soon finish it. I pray you, therefore, let charity move you to make an end of it, that I may be no more troubled about it.
Walker. The more we consider your case, the worse wc find it. There are such words and ssiyings as become a railer, rather than a sober preacher.
W. The words and sayings are not mine, but the malicious accuser's, who set them down thus to make me the more odious.
Walk. Why then do you confess them to be yours, in your answer ?
W. I do not confess the words, but the substance of the matter. For the register would not take down my answers in mine own words, but would write them as they are there.
Walk. I tell thee they are full of bitterness, malice, and slander.
W. Sir, I came for your certificate to make an end of it, as you promised me.
Walk. I tell thee, thou shalt have none of our certificate. The register shall have it, and not shew it thee till the next term.
W. That is very hard dealing.
Walk. What toyest thou ? Do we do thee any wrong ?
W. Yes, sir, even you.
Walk. What sayest thou, boy ? Thou hast neither learning, nor manners in thee.
W. I Lave no less for what you say. And as to manners, you have no great cause to find fault.
Walk. Thou art an ass; thou art a dolt; thou art a beardless boy. Thou hast neither learning, nor humanity in thee.
W. Your words, sir, do not make me worse. We must and do bear these things at your hands, and have never requited you with the like.
Mr. Wilson having received the above abusive language, was obliged to depart without the examination of his case, and without obtaining his certificate, though his ecclesiastical judges had promised to give it him. He waited upon them repeatedly for the same purpose, but with no better success; and it appears extremely doubtful whether he ever obtained it, or whether he was ever restored to his ministry.*