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William Negus

William Negus was minister at Leigh in Essex, but suspended by Bishop Aylmer in the year 1584. Mr. Negus gives us the following account of this ecclesiastical censure: —" The cause of.my suspension," says he," was this: being convened before the bishop at Waltham, and he demanding whether I had worn the surplice since my coming to Leigh, my answer was, that I hatl it not, so I had not refused it. There was none offered me, nor was there a surplice in the parish. He then inquired whether I would wear it, when there was one provided. My answer was, that I desired his favour to procet-d in my ministry, until a surplice was procured; and that he knew my unwillingness to wear it. He was not satisfied with this answer, but urged me to say that I would, or that I would not wear it. But 1 abiding by my former answer, and desiring that I might be accepted, he thus concluded: ' Seeing you will not promise to wear it, we suspend you until you do promise.' "* The good man was thus silenced for refusing to wear the clerical garment.

Having received the episcopal censure, twenty-eight of his parishioners, who subscribed themselves his hungry sheep now without a shepherd, signed a most affectionate and pressing letter, earnestly beseeching him to wear the surplice. Though they wished that the linen garment were utterly abolished, they anxiously desired him, for the sake of their advantage, to conform. But he found it impossible, with a good conscience, to wear that garment in the public worship of God, which to him appeared wholly founded in superstition, and the very badge of antichrist; and so he quietly submitted to be deprived. +