Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

INTRODUCTION. 29 the threatenings and severitiesof the prelates, they continued to meet in their private assemblies, as they foundoppor- tunity; and oftentimes assembled in the fields and the woods in the neighbourhood of London, to avoid the disco- very of their watchful enemies.. But they ventured at length to appear more openly ; and June 19, 1567, having agreed to havea sermon and the Lord's supper at Plumbers- hall in the city, they hired the place, assome one intimated, under pretence of a wedding. Here, the sheriffs and other officers discovered them., and broke up their meeting, when about one hundred were 4ssembled ; most of whom were taken into custody, and sent to Bridewell, the Compter, and other prisons. Having remained in prison nearly two years, and their patience and constancy being sufficiently tried, twenty-four men and seven women were released by an order from the council.+ The puritans of these times had many objections against the established church. They complained of the assumed superiority of bishops above presbyters.=-They excepted against the numerous, pompons titles of ecclesiastical officers.-They complained of the exorbitant power and jurisdiction of the prelates.-They lamented the want of godly discipline.-Theydisliked some things in the public liturgy : as, the frequent repetition of the Lord's prayer, the responses, some things in the office of marriage, the burial of the dead, &d.-They disliked the reading of the apocryphal books, to the exclusion of some parts of ca- nonical scripture.-They disallowed of the cathedral mode of worship.-They disapproved of the church festivals or- holidays, as having no foundation in scripture.-They dis- approved of pluralities, nonresidence, and lay patrons. - And they scrupled conthrmity to certain rites and ceremo- nies : as, the cross in baptism; the promises andvows ; the use of sponsors, to the exclusion of parents ; the custom of confirmingchildren; kneeling at theLord's supper ; bow- ing at the name of Jesus ; the ring in marriage; and the wearing of the surplice, with other ceremonies equally without foundation in scripture:t During the above year the puritans felt the oppressions of the ruling ecclesiastics. Mr. Evans was convened before them and prosecuted, for keeping conventicles. Mr. Law- rence, a Suffolk divine of great eminence, was suspended for nonconformity; anchDr. Handyman suffered deprivation. Heylin's fist. of Pres. p.259. Strype's Grindal, p. 156. Neal's Puritans, vol. i. p. 209-211