Robert Hawkins.—This zealous puritan was beneficed in London, but endured many troubles for nonconformity. In the year 1566, conformity to the habits and ceremonies being enforced with great rigour, especially in London and its vicinity, and many of the nonconformable ministers being silenced, and their friends treated with great severity, they came at length to a determination to form themselves into a separate congregation; and they assembled together privately, in various places in the city, as they found opportunity. It is observed from Mr. Strype, that the refusers of the orders of the church, who by this time were commonly called puritans, were now grown into two factions. The one was of a more quiet and peaceable demeanour, who indeed would not use the habits, nor subscribe to the ceremonies, as kneeling at the sacrament, the cross in
the church, and willingly and devoutly joined in the common prayer. There was another sort, who disliked the whole constitution of the church, charging it with many gross remainders of popery, and that it was still full of antichristian corruptions, and not to be tolerated. These separated themselves into private assemblies, meeting together not in churches, but in private houses, where they had ministers of their own. They rejected wholly the Book of Common* Prayer, and used a book of prayers framed at Geneva for the congregation of English exiles lately sojourning there. This book had been revised and allowed by Calvin and the rest of the Geneva divines. At these private assemblies, they had not only prayers and sermons, but the Lord's supper likewise sometimes administered. This gave great offence to the queen, who issued her letters to the ecclesiastical commissioners, to this effect: " That they should move these nonconformists by gentle means to conformity, or else for their first punishment to lose their
• The author has seen a MS. cop; of this work, but it not certain whether it was ever published.
baptism, the ri
but held the communion of freedom of the city, and afterwards to suffer what should follow."*
Mr. Hawkins was a leading person among these separatist, and an active and a zealous preacher. Several other ministers were members of the congregation. Having kept their assemblies for some time more privately, to elude the notice of the bishop's officers, they at length ventured to come forth more publicly; and June 19,1567, they agreed to have a sermon and the Lord's supper at Plumbers-hall, which they hired for the day, as some one gave it out, under pretence of a wedding. Here the sheriffs of London discovered them, and broke up their meeting, when about one hundred were assembled together. Most of them were taken into custody, and sent to the Compter. These were the first puritans who accounted it unlawful to hold communion with the church of England, and who totally separated from it. They did not separate, however, till after their ministers were silenced; and they appear to have been the first who were cast into prison, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, for not coming to their parish churches, and for holding conventicles. They deserved more humane treatment, especially when it is recollected, that they only imitated the worthy protestants a few years before, in the time of Queen Mary; who, to the great hazard of their lives, assembled in private
?laces ; and some of them were, indeed, the same persons, 'hey were harassed and persecuted, while the papists continued unmolested.t
The day after their imprisonment in the Compter, Mr. Hawkins, and Messrs. William White, Thomas Bowland, John Smith, William Nixson, James Ireland, and Richard Morecraft, were brought before Bishop Grindal, Dean Goodman, Archdeacon Watts, the lord mayor, and other commissioners. The bishop charged them with - absenting themselves from the parish churches, and with setting up separate assemblies for prayer, preaching, and administering the sacrament. He told them, that by these proceedings, they condemned the church of England, which was well reformed according to the word of God, and those martyrs who shed their blood for it.i To this charge, Mr. Hawkins replied in the name of the rest, as follows; and would have said more, but was interrupted.
Hawkins. We condemn them not. We only stand to the truth of God's word.
• Biograpbia Britan. vol. iv. p. 2432. Edit. 1747.
t MS. Remarks, p. 213. j Parte of a Register, p. 23, 24.
Bishop. Have you not the gospel truly preached, and the sacraments duly ministered, and good order preserved; though we differ from other churches in indifferent ceremonies, which the prince has power to command for the sake of order ? What say you, Smith, as you seem the ancientest ?
Smith. Indeed, my lord, we thank God for reformation; and that is the thing we desire, according to God's word.
White. I beseech you, let me answer.
Bishop. Nay, White, hold your peace. You shall be heard anon.
Nixson. I beseech you, let me answer a word or two.
Bishop. Nixson, you are a busy fellow. I know your words. You are full of talk. I know from whence you came.
Hawkins. I would be glad to answer.
Bishop. Smith, you shall answer.
freely preached, and the sacraments administered without the use of idolatrous gear, we never assembled in private houses. But when all our preachers, who could not subscribe to your apparel and your laws, were displaced; so that we could not hear any of them in the church for the space of seven or eight weeks, excepting father Coverdale, who at length durst not make known unto us" where he preached ; and then we were troubled in your courts from day to day, for not coming to our parish churches; we considered among ourselves what we should do. We remembered that there was a congregation of us in this city, in the days of Queen Mary ; and a congregation at Geneva, which used a book and order of preaching, ministering the sacraments and discipline, most agreeable to the word of God. This book is allowed by the godly and learned Mr. Calvin, and the other preachers at Geneva, which book and order we now hold. And if you can, by the word of God, reprove this book, or any thing that we hold, we will yield to you, and do open penance at Paul's cross; but if not, we will, by the grace of God, stand to it. Bishop. This is no answer.
Smith. Would you have me go back from better to worse ? I would as soon go to mass as to some churches, and particularly to my own parish church; for the minister is a very papist.
Dean. He counteth the service and reformation in the days of King Edward, as evil as the mass.
Smith. So long, indeed, as we
Bishop. Because he knoweth one that is evil, he findeth fault with all. You may go to other places.
White. If it were tried, there would be found a great company of papists in this city, whom you allow to be ministers, and thrust out the godly.
Bishop. Can you accuse any of them of false doctrine ?
Nixson. Yes, I can accuse one of false doctrine, who is even now in this house. Let him come forth, and answer to the doctrine which he preached upon John x.«
Dean. You would take away the authority of the prince, and the liberty of christians.
Bishop. Yes, and you suffer justly.
Hawkins. It does not belong to the prince, nor to the liberty of christians, to use and defend that which appertained to papistry and idolatry, as appears from Deuteronomy vii. and other parts of scripture.
Dean. When do you hear us maintain such things in our preaching?
Hawkins. Though you do not defend them in your preaching, you do it by your deeds, and your laws. Vou preach Christ to be a prophet and priest, but not to be a king; nor will you suffer him to reign in his church alone, by the sceptre of his word; but the popes canon law, and the will of the prince, must be preferred before the word and ordinance of God.
Dean. You speak irreverently of the prince, before the magistrates. You were not required to speak, and therefore might hold your peace.
Hawkins. You will suffer us to make our defence, seeing you persecute us.
Bishop. What is so preferred ?
Nixson. Your laws, your copes, and your surplices; because you will suffer none to preach, except they wear them, and subscribe.
Bishop. No! what say you of Sampson and Lever, and others ? Do not they preach ?
White. Though they preach, you have deprived and forbidden them; and though you suffer them, the law stands in force against them. But for what cause you will not suffer others, whom you cannot reprove by the word of God, I know not.
* This was one Bedall, then present, who immediately held down his head, but said nothing. The bishop and other commissioners, at the same time, looked upon one another, as if they knew not what to do, but proceeded no further.—Parte of a JReguter, p. 26.
Bishop. They will not preach among you.
White. Your doings are the cause.
Hawkins. And they will not join with you. One of them told me, " he had rather be torn in a hundred pieces, than communicate with you." We neither hold nor allow any thing that is not contained in the word of God. But if you think we do not hold the truth, shew unto us, and we will renounce it.
Smith. And if you cannot, we pray you, let us not be thus used.
Dean. You are not obedient to the authority of the prince.
White. Yes, we are. For we resist not, but suffer whatsoever authority is pleased to lay upon us.
Bishop. Thieves likewise suffer, when the laws are laid upon them.
White. What a comparison is this ! They suffer for evil doing, and you punish us for serving God according to his word.
Nixson. The prince, as well as ourselves, must be ruled by the word of God: as we read, 1 Kings xii., that the king should teach only the word of God.
Bishop. What! should the king teach the word of God ? Lie not.
Nixson. It means that both king and people should obey the word of God.
Bishop. It is indeed true, that princes must obey the word of God only. But obedience consisteth of three points.—1. That which God commandeth may not be left undone.—2. That which God forbiddeth may not be done. —3. That which God hath neither commanded nor forbidden, and consisteth in things indifferent: such things princes have authority to appoint and command.
Prisoners. Prove that. Where find you that ?
Bishop. I have talked with many persons, and yet I never saw any behave themselves so irreverently before magistrates.
White. I beseech you, let me speak a word or two.
Bishop. White, stay a little. You shall speak anon.
Hawkins. Kings have their rule and commandment, Deut. xvii., not to decline from the word of God, to the right hand or the left, notwithstanding your distinction.
Smith. How can you prove those things to be indifferenty which are abominable.
Bishop. You mean our caps and tippets, which, you say, came from Rome.
Ireland. They belong to the papists, therefore throw them to them.
Watts. You would have us use nothing that the papists Hsed. Then should we use no churches, seeing the papists used them.
Hawkins. Churches are necessary to keep our bodies from the rain; but copes and surplices are superstitious and idolatrous.
White. Christ did cast the buyers and sellers, and their wares, out of the temple, yet was not the temple overthrown.
Bishop. Things not forbidden of God, may be used for the sake of order and obedience. This is according to the judgment of the learned Bullinger. We, therefore, desire you to be conformable.
Smith. What if I can shew you Bullinger against Bullinger, in this thing ?
Bishop. I think you cannot, Smith.
Smith. Yes, that I can.
Bishop. Though we differ from other reformed churches, in rites and ceremonies, we agree with them in the substance of doctrine.
Hawkins. Yes, but we should follow the truth in all things. Christ saith, " Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." But you have brought the gospel and its ordinances into bondage to the ceremonies of antichrist; and you defend idolatry and papistry. You have mingled your own inventions with every ordinance of Christ. How do you address godfathers and godmothers in baptism ?
Walts. Oh! a wise reason.
Bishop. How say you of the church at Geneva ? They communicate with wafer cakes, which you are so much against.
Nixson. Yes, but they do not compel any to receive it so and in no other way.
Bishop. Yes, in their parish churches.
White. The English congregation, while residing there, did minister the sacrament with loaf bread.
Bishop. Because they were of another language.
White. It is good to follow the best example. But we must follow them only as they follow Christ.
Dean. All the learned men in Europe are against you.
Watts. You will believe no man.
Smith. Yes, we reverence the learned at Geneva, and in all other places. Yet we build not our faith and religion upon them.
Bishop. Will you be judged by the learned at Geneva ? They are against you.
Hawkins. We will be judged by the word of God, which shall judge us all at the last day, and is, therefore, sufficient to judge us now. But how can they be against us, seeing they know not of our doings ?
Bishop. Here is a letter from Geneva; and they are against you and your doings, in going from us. They tremble at your cause.
Hawkins. The place is against you. For they tremble at your case, and the case of the prince ; because, by your severities, you drive us to a separation against our wills.
Bishop. Then you enter into judgment against us.
Hawkins. No; we judge not. But we know the letter well enough; for we have it in our houses. It maketh nothing against us.
Bishop. We grant it doth not. Yet they account the apparel, in its own nature, indifferent, and not impious and wicked; and, therefore, counsel preachers not to give up their functions, or leave their flocks, for these things.
Hawkins. But it is said, in the same letter, u that ministers should give up their ministry, rather than be compelled to subscribe unto the allowance of such things."
Nixson. Let us answer to your first question.
Bishop. Say on, Nixson.
Nixson. We do not refuse you for preaching the word of God; but because you have tied the ceremonies of antichrist to your ministry, and set them before it, seeing no man may preach or minister the sacraments without them. Before you used this compulsion, all was quiet.
Bishop. So you are against things indifferent, which for the sake of order and obedience may be borne with.
Mayor. Well, good people, I wish you would wisely consider these things, and be obedient to the queen's good laws; that you may live quietly, and have liberty. I am sorry that you are troubled; but I am an officer under my prince, and therefore blame not me. The queen hath not established these garments and other things, for the sake of any holiness in them, only for civil order and comeliness; and because she would have ministers known from other men, as aldermen are known by their tippets, judges by their red gowns, and noblemen's servants by their liveries. Therefore, you will do well to take heed and obey.
Hawkins. Philip Melancthon, upon Romans xiv. hath these words: " When the opinion of holiness, or merit, or necessity, is put to things indifferent, they darken the light of the gospel, and ought always to be taken away."
Bishop. These things are not commanded as necessary in the church.
Hawkins. You have made them necessary, and that many a poor man doth feel.
Nixson. As you say, my lord, that the alderman is known by his tippet, even as by this apparel were the masspriests known from other men.
Dean. What a great matter you make of it!
Hawkins. The apostle Paul would not be like the false apostles in any such things; therefore the apostle is against you.
Bishop. There were good men and good martyrs, who, in the days of King Ldward, did wear these things. Do you condemn them ?.
Nixson. We condemn them not. We would go forward to perfection. The best of them who maintained the habits, did recant at their death: as did Dr. Ridley, bishop of London, and Dr. Taylor. Ridley did acknowledge his fault to Hooper, and when they would have put the apparel upon him, he said it was abominable and too fond for a vice in a play.*
Bishop. Do you find that in the Book of Martyrs ?
Hawkins. It may be shewed from the book of the " Monuments of the Church," that many who were burned in the time of Queen Mary, died for standing against popery, as we do now.
Bishop. I have said mass. I am sorry for it.
Ireland. But you go still like one of the mass-priests.
Bishop. You saw me wear a cope or surplice in St. Paul's. I had rather minister without them, only for the sake of order and obedience to my prince.
Nixson. Your garments, as they are now used, are accursed.
Bishop. Where do you find them forbidden in scripture ? Nixson. Where is the mass forbidden in the scriptures ? Bishop. The mass is forbidden in scripture thus:—It was thought meritorious. It took away free justification. It
• What is here observed relative to the worthy reformers, is abundantly confirmed by the concurrent testimony of our historians. Fox's Acts and Monuments of Martyr; vol. iii. p. 143, 168, I7S, iZl.—Heytin't Hilt, of Jtsfor. parti, p. 93.—i»nW» Chrtn. Hitt. vol. i. p. 217.
was made an idol: anil idolatry is forbidden in the scriptures.
Hawkins. By the same argument, I will prove your garments to be forbidden in the scriptures. In Psalm cxxxviii. it is said, that " God hath magnified his word above all his name." And 2 Cor. x. it is said, " The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringeth into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." But you have brought the word of God into captivity to the popes garments and his canon law. Therefore they are forbidden in the scriptures. " And," says Christ, " that which is highly esteemed amongstmen, is abomination in the sight of God." Luke xvi.
White. Reprove what we hold, and prove what you would have us to observe, by the scriptures, and we will yield to you. But if you cannot do this, why do you persecute us.
Bishop. You are not obedient to the prince.
Dean. Doth not St. Peter say, " Be obedient unto every ordinance of man ?"
White. Yes, so far as their ordinances are according to the will of God.
Nixson. It hath always been the practice of popish bishops, when they could not defend their cause by scripture, to make the mayor and aldermen their servants and butchers, to execute punishment. • But you, my lord, seeing you have heard aud seen our cause, will take good advertisement concerning the same.
Mayor. How irreverently you speak before my lords and us, in making such a comparison!
Bishop. Have we not a godly prince ? Or, is she evil ?
AVhite. What the answer to that question is, the fruits do shew.
Bowland. Yes, the servants of God are persecuted under her.
Bishop. Mark this, my lord.
" Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread ?"
Dean. Do we hold any heresy ? Do we deny any article of faith ? Do we maintain purgatory or pilgrimage ? No; we hold the reformation that was promoted in the days of Kin? Edward.
White. You build much upon the time of King Edward. And though it was the best time of reformation, all was confined to one prescript order of service, patched together out of the popish mattins, even-song, and mass-book ; and no dicipline, according to the word of God, might be brought into the church.
Nixson. Yet they never made a law, that none should preach, nor administer the sacraments, without the garments, as you have done.
Hawkins. It can never be proved, that the ceremonies of antichrist, and the pope's canon law, are clean to christians. For the apostle saith, there is no fellowship between Christ and Belial, and light and darkness.
Dean. All the learned are against you.
White. I delivered a book to Justice Harris, containing the order which we hold. Reprove the same by the word of God, and we will renounce it altogether.
Bishop. We cannot reprove it. But to gather yourselves together disorderly, and to trouble the quiet of the realm, against the will of the prince, we like not.
White. We hold nothing that is not warranted by the word of God.
Hawkins. That which we do, we do in obedience to the command of God. " Now, I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them."
Dean. Yes; but what you hold is disorderly, and against the authority of the prince.
Hawkins. That which is according to the word of God is truth, whoever holds it; unless you make the truth of God subject to the authority of the prince. It were better for us never to have been born, than to suffer the word of God to be defaced by the pleasure of princes.
Bishop. All the learned are against you. Will you be tried by them ?
White. We will be tried by the word of God, by which we shall all be judged at the last day.
Dean. But who will you have to be judge of the word of God?
Hawkins. That was the cavil of the papists, in the time of Queen Mary. I have myself heard them say, when the truth was defended by the word of God, " Who shall judge of the word of God ? The catholic church must be judge."
White. We will be tried by the best reformed churches. The church of Scotland hath the word truly preached, the sacraments truly ministered, and discipline according to the word of God: these are the marks by which a true church is known.
Dean. We have a gracious prince.
Prisoners. May God preserve her majesty and council.
White. That which God commandeth, ought to be done; and that which God forbiddeth, ought not to be done.
Bishop. Yes; and so say I.
White. It is manifest that what God commandeth to be done, is left undone; and what God forbiddeth, is done by authority. God says, " Six days shalt thou labour, and do all that thou hast to do: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God." But the law of the prince saith, " Thou shalt not labour six days, but shalt keep the popish holy-days."—Christ commandeth discipline to be used in his church, Matt, xviii., and it was practised by the apostles: but in the church of England, that is set aside, and none used but the popish discipline. And Christ saith, " If any man shall add unto those things which he has revealed, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in his book: and if any man shall take away from the words of his book, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city." Rev. xxii. How will you avoid this ?
Bishop. Why, is it not well to hear a good sermon or two on the holy-days ?
White. We arc not against that. But what shall we do when the sermons are ended ? If we do any work, we are commanded to appear in your courts.
Bishop. You may be well employed in serving God.
White. So we are, when we are at our work, as God commandeth.
Dean. Then you would have no sermons, nor prayers, all the week.
White. I think he is no christian who does not pray and serve God every day in the week.
Nixson. You can suffer bear-baiting, bowling, and other games, both on the sabbath and your holy-days, without any trouble for it.
Dean. Then you would have no holy-days, because the papists have used them ?
White. We ought to do what God commandeth.
Dean. Then you must not use the Lord's prayer, because the papists used it; and many other prayers, because the papists used them. You would have nothing but the word of God. Are all the psalms which you sing the word of God?
White. Is every word delivered in a good sermon the word of God ? Dean. No.
White. But every word and thing agreeing with the word of God, is as the word of God.
Bishop. There hath been no heretic, but he hath challenged the word of God to defend himself.
White. What is that to us.' If you know any heresy that we hold, charge us with it.
Bishop. Holy-days may be well used.
Hawkins. Bishop Hooper, in his Commentary upon the Commandments, saith, " that hojy-days are the leaven of antichrist."*
In the conclusion, the prisoners not yielding to the conformity required, were sent to Bridewell, where they, with their brethren, and several women, were kept in confinement two years. During this period, the famous Mr. Thomas Lever had a conference with them, and, by their desire, wrote them a letter to comfort and encourage them under their present trials, giving his opinion of those things for which they suffered. In this letter, dated December 5, 1568, he declares, that by the grace of God% he was determined never to wear the square cap and surplice, nor kneel at the communion, because it was a symbolizing with popery. Yet he would not condemn those who should observe these things.t The celebrated Mr. John Knox wrote, also, a most affectionate and faithful letter to certain prisoners confined for nonconformity; urging them to hear the ministers who preached sound doctrine, though they conformed to the habits and ceremonies of the church. This letter, written about the same time, was most probably addressed to the same persons.}
The patience and constancy of Mr. Hawkins and the rest of the prisoners, being at length sufficiently tried, an order at the motion of Bishop Grindal, was sent from the lords of the council to release them. Therefore, in the month of April, 1569, after admonition to behave themselves better
* Parte of a Register, p. 24—87.
t MS. Register, p. 18,19. $ Ibid. p. 20, 21.
in future, twenty-four men, and seven women, were discharged.* Bishop Maddox insinuates that these persons were guilty of disloyalty; and adds, " that it was no wonder they " were not more respectful to the queen, since their whole
* The names of the men were, Robert Hawkins, John Smith, John Roper, James Ireland, William Ninon, Walter Hinkesman, Thomas Bowland, George Waddy, William Turner, John Nash, James Adderton, Thomas Lidford, Richard Langton, Alexander Lacy, John Leonard, Robert Tod, Roger Hawksworth, Robert Sparrow, Richard King, Christopher Coleman, John Benson, John Bolton, Robert Gates, and William White, t Several of them had been beneficed ministers in the church, the rest were religious and worthy laymen, but all sufferers in the same cause. Among the latter was Mr. William White, a substantial citizen of London, whom Fuller, by mistake, calls a minister. He was oftentimes fined and tossed from one prison to another, contrary to law and justice, only for not going to his own parish church. Having been examined before the Bishop of London, he wrote his lordship a most bold and excellent letter, now before me, dated December 19,1569; in the conclusion of which, he subscribes himself, " Yours in the Lord to command, William White, who joinetb with you " in every speck of truth, but utterly detesteth whole antichrist, head, " body, and tail, never to join with you, or any, in the least joint thereof i " nor in any ordinance of man, contrary to the word of God." J An abstract of this letter is preserved by Mr. Neal.^
January 18, 1573, Mr. White appeared before the commissioners, who treated him neither as men, nor as christians. He was examined in the presence of the Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls, the Master of the Requests, the Dean of Westminster, the Sheriff of London, the Clerk of the Peace, and Mr. Gerard. Some others having been dispatched, Mr. White was brought forth, whom his lordship accosted as follows:—
L. C. J. Who is this ?
White. White, if it please your honour.
L. C.J. White ! as black as the devil.
White. Not so, my lord, one of God's children.
L. C. J. By whom were you released ?
White. By the commissioners, I suppose.
L. C. J. That is well, indeed, if we shall commit, and other* set at liberty ! White. They did no more than they might do. L. C. J. By which of the commissioners were you delivered ? White. I know not. There were the hands of four or five commissioners set to the warrant.
L. C. J. But who were they ?
White. I suppose Sir Walter ——— and my Lord Mayor were two of them.
Master of Requests. How were yon delivered ?
White. Upon sureties.
M. Requests. How long is it since you were delivered i
White. Since the birth-day of our Lord.
L. C. J. How often, during this time, have you been at your parish church ?
White. I could not go to any church, being myself, with sureties, bound to be a true prisoner in my own house. L. C. J. Oh I you were glad of that.
White. Not so, my lord ; for if I had been at liberty, I would have frequented the place of public preaching and prayer.
" scheme of church government appears to be calculated for " the overthrow of monarchy."* We are at a loss to say whether this calumny discovers greater ignorance or bigotry. The twofold charge is asserted without the least shadow of
Gerard. When were you bound to appear ?
White. At any time, I suppose, when I should be called.
Gerard. You are now called : you must then answer.
White. I acknowledge it, and am here to answer.
L. C. J. Why will you not come to your parish church ?
White. My lord, I did use to frequent my parish church before my troubles, and procured several godly men to preach there, as well as other places of preaching and prayer; and since my troubles, I have not frequented any private assemblies, but, as I have had liberty, have gone to my parish church. Therefore, they who have presented me, have done it out of malice; for if any of the things can be proved against me, or that I hold all things common, your lordship may dismiss me from hence to the (allows.
Gerard. You have not usually frequented your otcn church.
White. I allow I have more used other places, where I was better edified.
Gerard. Then your presentation is in part true.
White. Not so, if it please you ; for I am presented for not coming at all to my parish church.
Gerard. Will you then come to prayers when there is no sermon ?
White. I crave the liberty of a subject. But if I do not publicly frequent both preaching, prayer, and the sacraments, deal with me accordingly.
Master of the Rolls. You must answer yes or no.
White. You know my mind, how that I would avoid those things which are a grief to me, an offence to others, and disturb the quiet state of the church.
Dean. You disobey the queen's laws.
White. Not so, if it please you.
Dean. What fault do you find in the common prayer ?
White. Let them answer to whom it appertains; for being in prison almost a whole year about these matters, I was indicted upon a statute relating to that book; and before I came to liberty, almost outlawed, as your worship Mr. Gerard knoweth.
M. Requests. What scripture have you to ground your conscience upon against these garments ?
White. The whole scriptures are for destroying idolatry, and every thing belonging nnto it.
M. Requests. These things never served to idolatry.
White. Shough ! they are the same as those which heretofore were used for that purpose.
M. Requests. Where are they forbidden in scripture?
White. In Deuteronomy and other places, the Israelites are commanded, not only to destroy the altars, groves, and images, with all thereto belonging, but also to abolish the very names. And God by Isaiah commanded! us not to pollute ourselves with the garments of the image, but to
M. Rolls. Inese are no part of idolatry, but are commanded by the prince for civil order; and if you will not be ordered you shew yourself disobedient to the laws.
White. I would not willingly disobey any law, only I would avoid those things which are not warranted by the word of God.
• Maddox's Vindication, p. 210.
evidence, excepting what might arise in his lordship's episcopal imagination. Mr. Hawkins and several others bad been beneficed ministers in London, but were now silenced and persecuted for nonconformity. The rest were
M. Requests. You disobey the queen's laws; for these things are com manded by act of parliament. «j
Dean. Nay, you disobey God; for God commandeth you to obey your prince. Therefore in disobeying her in these things, you disobey God.
White. I do not avoid those things of contempt, but of conscience. In all other things I am an obedient subject.
L. C. J. The queen's majesty was overseen not to make thee of her council, to make laws and orders for religion.
White. Not so, my lord. I am to obey laws warranted by God's word.
L. C. J. Do the queen's laws command any thing against God's word?
White. I do not say so, my lord.
L. C. J. Yes, marry, you do; and there I will hold you.
White. Only God and bis laws are absolutely perfect. All men and their laws may err.
L. C.J. This is one of Shaw's darlings. I tell thee what, I will not say any thing of affection, for I know thee not, saving by this occasion ; thou art the wickedest, and most contemptuous person, that has come before me, since I sat in this commission.
White. Not so, my Lord ; my conscience doth witness otherwise.
M. Requests. What if the queen should command to wear a grey frize gown, would you then come to church ?
White. That were more tolerable, than that God's ministers should wear the habit of his enemies.
L. C. J. How if she should command them to wear a fool's coat and a cock's comb ?
White. That were unseemly, my lord, for God's ministers.
Dean. You will not be obedient to the queen's commands.
White. I am, and will be, obedient.
M. Requests. Yes, you say so. But how are you obedient, when you will not do what she commandeth?
White. 1 would only avoid those things that have no warrant in the word of God, that are neither decent nor edifying, but flatly the contrary, and condemned by the foreign reformed churches.
M. Requests. Do the church and pews edify? And because the papists used these, will you, therefore, cast them away ?
White. The church and pews, and such things, are both necessary and profitable.
Gerard. White, you were released, thinking you would be conformable, but you are worse than ever. White. Not so, if it please you. L. C. J. He would have no laws.
White. If there were no laws, I would live like a christian, and do no wrong, though I received wrong. L. C. J. Thou art a rebel. White. Not so, my lord; a true subject.
L. C. J. Yea, I swear by God, thou art a very rebel; for tbou wouldst draw thy sword, and lift up thy hand against thy prince, if time served.
White. My lord, I thank God, my heart standeth right towards God and my prince; and God will not condemn, though your honour bath so judged.
L, C. J. Take him away.
worthy, religious persons, but great sufferers in the same cause. These proceedings against zealous protestants, of pious and sober lives, excited the compassion of all unprejudiced beholders, and brought many over to their interests. It was, indeed, a great grief to the prelates, to see persons
•White. I would speak a word, which I am sure will offend, and jet I must speak it. I heard the name of God taken in vain. If I had done it, it had been a greater offence than that which I stand here for.
Gerard. White, White, yon do not behave yourself well.
White. I pray your worship, shew me wherein, and I wiH beg your pardon and amend it.
L. C. J. I may swear in a matter of charity.
White. There is no such occasion now.
Gerard. White, you do much misuse yourself.
White. If I do, I am sorry for it.
M. Requests. There is none here but pitieth tbee.
White. If it be so, I praise God for it. But because it is said, that at my last being before you, I denied the supremacy of my prince, I desire your honours and worships, with all that be present, to bear witness, that I acknowledge her majesty the chief governor, next under Christ, over all persons and causes within her dominions, and to this I will subscribe. I acknowledge the Book of Articles, and the Book of Common Prayer, as far as they agree with the word of God. I acknowledge the substance of the doctrine and sacraments of the church to be sound and sincere; and so 1 do of rites and orders, as far as they agree with the word of God.
Dean. Are not all things in tne Articles and the Book of Common Prayer, taken out of the word of God ?
White. Though they were; yet being done by man, I may not give them the same warrant as the writings of the Holy Ghost.
Dean. You will not then allow of sermons.
White. We are commanded to search the scriptures, and to try the spirits; therefore, we must allow of sermons as they agree with the scriptures.
L. C. J. Take him away.
White. I would to the Lord Jesus, that my two years' imprisonment might be a means of having these matters fairly decided by the word of God, and the judgment of other reformed churches.
h. C.J. You shall be committed, I warrant you.
White. Pray, my lord, let me have justice. I am unjustly prosecuted. I desire a copy of my presentment.
L. C.J. You shall have your bead from your shoulders. Have him to the Gatehouse.
White. I pray you to commit me to some prison in London, that I may be near my house.
L. C. J. No, sir, you shall go thither.
White. I have paid fines and fees in other prisons: send me not where I must pay them again.
L. C. J. Yes, marry shall you. That is your glory.
M. Requests. It will cost you twenty pounds, I warrant you, before you come out.
White. God's will be done.
The good man was then carried to the Gatehouse; but bow long he remained in a state of confinement, we are not able to learn. These severe proceedings, instead of crushing, greatly promoted the cause of puritanism. The sword of persecution was always found a bad argument to convince men of understanding and conscience.—MS. Regitttr, p. 176—178,
going off from the first establishment of the protestant religion, concluding the service book to be unlawful, and the ecclesiastical state antichristian; and labouring to set up another kind of church government and discipline. But who drove them to these extremities? Why were not a few amendments made in the liturgy, by which conscientious persons might have been made easy; or, even liberty given them to worship God in their own way ? How J#r these proceedings were justifiable by the laws of God, or consistent with that uersal rule of conduct given by Jesus Christ, Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to Ihem, is left with the impartial reader to determine.