Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

INTRODUCTION. 13 he was entirely knit to him, though in some circumstances of religion they had formerly jarred a little ; wherein it was Hooper's wisdom, and his own simplicity, which had made the difference.". All the severe persecution in this queen's reign, did not extinguish the light of the English reformation. Great numbers were driven, indeed, into exile, and multitudes suffered in the flames, yet many, who loved the gospel more than their lives, were enabled to endure the storm. Congregations were formed in various parts of the kingdom. There was a considerable congregation of these excellent christians, at Stoke, in Suffolk ; with whom, on account of their number and unanimity, the bishops were for some time afraid to interfere. They constantly attended their private meetings, and never went to the parish church. An order was at length sent to the whole society, requiring them to receive the popish sacrament, or abide by the consequences. But the good people having assembled for the purpose of consultation, unanimously resolved not to comply. In about six months, the Bishop of Norwich sent his officers, strictly charging them to go to church on the following Lord's day, or, in case of failure, to appear before the commissaryto give an account of their conduct. But having notice of this, they kept out of the way to avoid the summons. When they neither went to church, nor appeared befOre the commissary, the angry prelate suspended and excommunicated the whole con- gregation. And when officers were appointed to appre- hend them, they left the town, and so escaped all the days of Queen Mary.t The most considerable of these congregations, was that which met in and about London. Owing to the vigilance of their enemies, these people were obliged to assemble with the utmost secrecy ; and though there were about 200 members, they remained for a considerable time undis- covered. Their meetings were held alternately in Aldgate, in Blackfriars, in Pudding-lane, in Thames-street, and in ships upon the river. Sometimes they assembled in the villages about London, especially at Islington, that they might the more easily chide the bishops' officers. To Prince's Citron. Hist. vol. i. p. 211.-Bishop Ridley was a famous disputant against the papists. Ile forced them to acknowledge, that Christ in his last supper, held himself in his hand, and afterwards eat himself.-Granger's Biog. nisi. vol. i. p. 159. 1. Clark's Martyrologie, p. 515.