Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

Xii PREFACE. ments, and worldly advantages by which they were allured to conformity. They suffered re- proach, deprivation, and imprisonment; yea, the loss of all things, rather than comply with those inventions and impositions of men, which to them appeared extremely derogatory to the gospel, which would have robbed them of liberty of con- science, and which tended to lead back to the darkness and superstitions of popery. Many of them, being persons of great ability, loyalty, and interest, had the fairest prospect of high pro- motion ; yet they sacrificed all for their noncon- formity. Some modestly refused preferment when offered them : while others, already preferred, were prevented from obtaining higher promotion, because they could not, with a good conscience, comply with the ecclesiastical impositions. Nor was it the least afflictive circumstance to the Puritan divines, that they were driven from their, flocks, whom they loved as their own souls ; and, instead of being allowed to labour for their spiritual and eternal advantage, were obliged to spend the best of their days in silence, imprison- ment, or a state of exile in a foreign land. The contents of these volumes tend to expose the evil of bigotry and persecution. When pro- fessed Protestants oppress and persecute their brethren of the same faith, and of the same communion, it is indeed marvellous. The faithful page of history details the fact with the most glaring evidence, or we could scarcely have