Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

26 INTRODUCTION. wishing him to put a stop to such severe measures. They observe that multitudes of pious and learned men thought in their consciences, that the use of the garments was utterly unlawful ; and that the imposition of them upon all in the university, would compel these worthy persons to forsake the place, which would leave the university very destitute. Such an imposition of conformity, say they, will prove exceedingly detrimental to the preaching of the gospel, as well as to good learning.* The chancellor being a man of great prudence and circumspection, and loath togive offence by using severities, made some demur, with which the archbishop was displeased. Those who refused conformity reminded the chancellor, that they had cast away the cere. monies, not out of malice, for vain glory, an affection for popularity, contempt of laws, or any desire of innovation, but out of love to the truth. They could call the Searcher of Hearts to witness, that in what they had done, they had sought to enjoy peace of conscience, and the true worship of God. They prayed, therefore, that their consciences might not be brought into a state of most grievous bondage and exquisite torment, by being forced to observe the ceremonies.t The proceedings of the prelates in censuring so many ministers of high reputation, was very afflictive to the foreign reformed churches. Therefore the famous Beza. wrote a letter this year to Bishop Grindal, exposing the evils attending the imposition of conformity. He observes, that " if they do offend, who choose to leave their churches, rather than conform to rites and vestments against their consciences ; a greater guilt is contracted by those who choose to spoil these flocks ofable pastors, rather than suffer those pastors to make choice of their own apparel ; or, choose to rob the people of the food of their souls, rather than suffer them to receive it otherwise than on theirknees."4: Heobserves also, that this intended conformity designed " toadmit again, not only those garments which are the signs of Boat's priests, but also certain rites, which are degenerated into the worst of superstitions : as the signing with the cross, kneeling at the communion, and such like."§ The church of Scotland wrote, at the same time, a most Among those who subscribed this Ietter was even Dr. John Whitgift, afterwards the celebrated archbishop. This man was now a zealous friend of the nonconformists ; but soon after as zealous a persecutor of them. -Strype's Parker, p. 194. + Ibid. p. 192,194,196. Ileylin's Hist. of Pres. p. 39. § Strype's Griodal, p. 113.