INTRODUCTION. 75 appears, however, to have been followed with no good effect. By silencing so many learned and useful ministers, there was a great scarcity of preachers, and a famine of the word of God in every corner of the land ; while igno, ranee, superstition, profaneness, and popery, every where increased.. The sufferings of the people for want of the bread of life continually increasing, a number of ministers and gentlemen formed a scheme to promote preaching in the country, by setting up lectures in the different market towns. To defray the expence, a sum of money was raised by voluntary contribution, for purchasing such impropriationsas were in the hands of the laity, the profits of whichwere to be divided into salaries of forty or fifty pounds a year, for the support of the lecturers. The moneywas deposited in the hands of the following persons, as FEOFFEES : Dr. George, Dr. Sibbs, Dr. Offspring, and Mr. Davenport, ofthe clergy; RalphEyre, Simon Brown, C. Sherland, and John White, esqrs. ; and Messrs. John Gearing, Richard Davis, George Harwood, and Francis Bridges, citizens of London. Most people thought the design was very laudable, and wished them good success; but Bishop Laud looking upon the undertaking with an evil and a Jealous eye, as if it was likely to become the great nursery of puritanism, applied to the king, and obtained an information against all the feoffees in the exchequer. The feoffment was, therefore, cancelled, their proceedings declared illegal, the impropriations alreddy purchased, amounting to five or six thousand pounds, were confiscated to the king, and the feoffees themselves fined in the star- chamber.+, Ifthe persecuted puritans at any time ventured to except against the proceedings of this fiery prelate, they were sure to feel his indignation. Mr. Hayden having spoken against them from the pulpit, was driven out of thediocese of Exeter, but afterwards apprehended by Bishop Harsnet, who took from him his horse, his money, and all his papers, and caused him to be shut up in close prison for thirteen weeks. His lordship then sent him to the high commission, when he was deprived, degraded, and fined, for having preached against superstitious decorations and images in churches. Mr. Hayden venturing afterwards to preach occasionally, was again apprehended by Bishop Laud, Prynne's Cant. Doome, p. 385. + Ibid. p. 385-381.