xiv PREFACE. pany they sighed much, and seldom, or never laughed. They sought the commendation of the people;. and thought it an heinous offence to wear a cap and surplice, slandering and backbiting their brethren. As for their religion, they se- parated themselves from the congregation, and would not communicate with those who went to church, either in prayer, hearing the word, or sacraments ; despising all, who were not of their sect, as polluted and unworthy of their coin- pany."* Dugdale denominates them " a viperous brood, miserably infesting these kingdoms. They pretended," says he, " to promote religion and a purer reformation ; but rapine, spoil, and the destruction of civil government, were the woeful effects of those pretences. They were of their father the devil, and his works they would do."t A modern slanderer affirms, " that they main- tained the horrid principle, that the end sanctifies the means ; and that it was lawful to kill those who opposed their endeavours to introduce their model and discipline."T Surely so much calumny and falsehood are seldom found in so small a compass. Bishop Burnet, a man less influenced by a spirit of bigotry, and intolerance, gives a very dif- ferent account of them. " The Puritans," says he, " gained credit as the bishops lost it. They put on the appearance of great sanctity and Strype's Annals, vol. ii. p. 5. t Dugclale's Troubles of Eng. Pref. Churton's Life of Nowell,p. 215.