Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

100 INTRODUCTION. other innocent persons, were dragged to Newgafe, :where they continued eighteen weeks. The rebellion of Venner occasioned a royal proclamation, prohibiting all anabap- lists and other sectaries fromworshipping God in public, except at their parish churches. This, unnatural edict was another signal for persecution. Mr. Biddle was tried atthe public sessions, fined one hundred pounds, and cast into prison, where he soon after died. Mr. John James was .seized in the pulpit, tried, condemned, and beheaded. His bowels were then burnt, and his body being quartered, was placed upon the four gates of the city of London, and his head first upon London bridge, then opposite his meeting- house in Bulstake-alley. In order to crush the puritans in every corner of the land, and strike all nonconformists at once dumb, the famous " Act of Uniformity" was passed, requiring a perfect con- formity to the Book of CommonPrayer, and the rites and ceremonies of the church. This struck the nonconformists with universal consternation. The unmerciful acttook place August 24, 1662, justly denominated the BLACK BA RTHO- LomEw-DAY. By this act, " it is well known, that nearly " 2,500 faithful ministers of the gospel were silenced. And " it is affirmed, upon a modest calculation, that it procured " the untimely death of 3,000 nonconformists, and the ruin of 60,000 families.". And for what purpose were these cruelties inflicted ? To establish an uniformity in all cede- Siastical matters. A charming word, indeed ! for the thing itself is still wanting, even among those who promoted these tragic scenes. But this is the closing period of the present work. These barbarities are sufficiently delineated by our excellent historians.+ Mather's (list. of New England, b. iii. p. 4.-" The world," says Bishop Kennet, " has reason toadmire not only the wisdom, but even the " moderation of this act, as being effectually made for ministerial confor- " miry alone, and leaving the people unable to complain of any imposi- " tion ! !"---Kenners Hist. ofEng. vol. iii. + Calamy's Account and Continuation, vol. iv.-And Palmer's Noneon. Mem. vol. ill.