Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

12 LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. people had been taught to regard themwith a superstitious feel- ing, and to believe that they were essential to the validity of all religious administrations. What was at first little else than a question of expediency, soon became a question of conscience. Dr. Hooper, one of the most zealous and efficient leaders of the reformation, was imprisoned several months by his brethren, for refusing to accept the bishopric of Gloucester unless he might be consecrated without putting on the Popish habits. That difficulty was at last compromised by the mediation of the Swiss reformers with Hooper, on the one hand, and of the king and council with the ruling prelates, on the other ; and Ridley and Hooper after- wards labored with the same zeal for the truth, and at last suffered with the same patience the pains:of martyrdom. Duringthe per- secution in Queen Mary's time, the controversy was revived in another form. Of the exile's who fled to the Protestant countries on the continent, -many admired; and were disposed to copy, the discipline and worship of the reformed churches ; while others insisted on adhering to the letter of King Edward's service-book. At Frankfort, the congregation at first agreed, with entire unanimity, on certain modes of worship adapted, as they thought, to their ne- cessities ; but afterwards, a new company having arrived, who brought with them a zealous attachment to the liturgy, a schism arose, and a considerable portion of the congregation, with the ministers, left the field to the new corners, and took up their resi- dence in Geneva. On returning to their native country, many of those who had approved the constitution of the Swiss and French Protestant churches, exerted themselves topromote a further refor- mation in England, or at least to secure some libertyin regard to matters which were acknowledged to be indifferent. Their influ- ence as individuals, some of thempersonally connected -with men high in rank and authority, their influence in the universities, where some of them occupied important stations, and their influ- ence by means of the press, was employed to promote, by all lawful means, greater purity of doctrine and of discipline in the Church of England. But, as has already been intimated, unifor- mity, the imposing idea of a whole nation united in one church, with one faith and one form of worship, and subjected to a splendid hierarchy, with the monarch at the head of it,was the idol to which the queen and her counsellors were willing to sacrifice both peace and truth. Other matters besides habits and ceremonies were soon brought into debate. The entire constitution of the English church was called in question. Thus the breach :grew wider. It was evident that the Puritans were not to be put down at a word ; for, to say nothing of the merits of their cause, they were the most learned divines, the most powerful preachers, and