Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

20 INTRODUCTION. from the queen's love of outward magnificence in religion, and partly in compliance with the papists.. Many of our excellent reformerswho had espoused the cause of nonconformity, in the days of King Edward, retained their principles, and acted upon them, during their exile in a foreign land, especially those who being driven from Frankfort, settled at Geneva and other places. Nor did they forget their principles upon the accession of Elizabeth. Having settled for several years among the best reformed churches in Europe, they examined more minutely the grand principles of the reformation, and returned home richly fraught with wisdom and knowledge. They wished to have the church purged of all its anti- christian errors and superstitions, and to have its discipline, its government, and its ceremonies, as well as its doctrine, regulated by the standard of holy scripture. On the con- trary, many of the bishops and clergy being too well affected to popery, opposed a thorough reformation, accounting that of King Edward sufficient, or more than sufficient, for the present church of England. Therefore, so early as in the year mentioned above, there were many warm debates betwixt the two contending parties.t In addition to the oath of supremacy, a compliance with the act of uniformity, and an exact observance of the queen's injunctions, a public creed was drawn up by the bishops, entitled , A Declaration of certain principal Articles of Religion," which all clergymenwere obliged to read publicly at their entrance upon their cures. These were, at this time, the terms of ministerial conformity. There was no dispute among the reformers, about the first and last of these qualifications, but they differed in some points about the other two. Many of the learned exiles and others, could not, with a good conscience, accept of livings according to the act of uniformity and the queen's injunctions. If the popish garments and ceremonies had been left indifferent, and some liberties allowed in the use of the commonprayer, the contentions and divisions which afterwards followed, would no doubt have been prevented. But as the case then stood, it was almost miraculous that the reformation did not fall back to popery ; and if some of the nonconforming divines had not its part complied, in hopes of the removal of these grievances at some future period, that would most probably have been the unhappy tt Burnet's Hist. of Refor. vol. iii. p. 305.' + Ibid. vol. ii. p. 407.-Baker's MS. Cotten, vol. xxvii. p. 1ST.