Edward Glover was a nonconformist to the church of England, as well in doctrine, as in ceremonies. He appears to have mixed faith and works in the article of justification, and to have denied the doctrine of t predestination; for which, in the year 1586, he, together with some others, was apprehended by Archbishop Whitgift, and cast into prison. These persons, denominated " a poor handful of free-will men," it is said, could not assemble in a private conventicle, without attracting the rod of ecclesiastical censure, and suffering by means of the archbishop, the rigorous penalty of imprisonment. But whatever were their character and
• MS. Register, p. 801—803.
opinions, they were so far excusable to the Lord Treasurer Burleigh, that he warmly espoused their cause, and wrote a letter to the archbishop in their favour.* In all probability, says Mr. Toplady, Burleigh's humane application to the primate, in behalf of these theological delinquents, procured them a gaol-delivery, and set the free-will men corporally free. This he conjectures from the letter of thanks, which Mr. Glover afterwards wrote to the treasurer. Mr. Glover, says he, lays all the cause of his and his brethren's imprisonment, on their dissenting from Luther's doctrine of justification without works, and from Calvin's doctrine of unconditional predestination; and loudly complains of the "iniquity and tyranny" of their prosecutors: which included a tacit fling at the archbishop himself. Had they not just cause to complain both of iniquity and tyranny ? And was not the archbishop the very person who exercised this cruel oppression ? Without approving of their sentiments, it may be asked, what greater right had he to cast them into prison, merely for difference of religious opinions, than they had to cast him into prison, tor the same cause ? His lordship having the sword in his own hands, will afford no satisfactory answer to this question. But our author further observes, " the bishops had just as much regard for the free-will men, as St. Paul had for the viper he shook into the fire."+ This representation, which contains too much truth, will remain a stigma upon their character, and a reproach to their memory, as long as men are disposed to examine the impartial records of history. i