Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

68 INTRODUCTION. habits.-That no one be allowed to preach without perfect conformity.-And that no preacher shall maintain any point of doctrine not allowed by the church of England."... The distressed puritans felt the iron rod of their cruel persecutors in various parts of the court-try. Messrs. Ball, Nicholls, Paget, and many others, in the diocese of Chester, were often cited before the high commission, when attach- ments were issued to apprehend them, and commit them to prison. Theywere obliged to conceal themselves, and heavy fines were laid upon them for their nonappearance, and were aggravated from one court day to another; till their case was returned into the exchequer, when, to their unspeakable injury, they were obliged to compound. ' Mr. Bradshaw had his house searched by the bishops' pursui- vants, and he was suspended. Mr. John Wilkinsonwas several times spoiled of his goods, and kept many years in prison by the furious prelates. Mr. Hildersham was suspended a fourth and a fifth time. He was afterwards summoned before the high commission, and, refusing the oath ex officio, committed first to the Fleet, then to the King's-bench, where he continued a long time. Having obtained his liberty, he was censured in the ecclesiastical court, upon themost glaring false witness, and fined £ 2,000, pronounced excommunicate, degraded from his ministry, ordered to be taken and cast into prison, required to make a public recantation in such form as the court should appoint, and condemned in costs of suit. His two friends, Mr. Dighton and Mr. Holt, being committed, one to the Fleet, the other to the Gatehouse, were fined .R10,000 each, excommunicated, ordered to be publicly denounced, to make their submission in three different places, con- demned in costs of suit, and sent back to prison. The learned Mr. John Selden, for publishing, his " History of Tithes,", was summoned before the high commission, and obliged to sign a recantation.t To prevent the growth of puritanism, the king, in the year 16 l 8, published his " Declaration for Sports on the Lord's-day," commonly called the Book of Sports. It was procured by the bishops, and all ministers were enjoined to approveof it, and read it in time public congregations ; and those who refused were brought into the high commission, Ileylin's Life of Laud, p. 72. + Mr. Selden was justly denominated the glory of England for his un- comma. learning. Archbishop Usher used to say, ` I am not worthy to carry his books after him."