INTRODUCTION. 35 generally profaned. Many were mere heathens, epicures, or atheists, especially those about the court; and good men feared that some sore judgment hung over the nation.. In the year 1573, the queen issued her royal proclama- tion, " strictly commandingall archbishops and bishops, all justices of assizes, and all others having authority, to put in execution the act of uniformity ofcommon prayer, with all diligence and severity, neither favouring, nor dissembling with any one person, who doth neglect, despise, or seek to alter the godly orders and rites set forth in the saidbook." Theproclamation requires further, " that all who shall be found nonconformable in the smallest matter, shall be imme- diately apprehended and cast into prison ; all who shall forbear coming to the common prayer, and receiving the sacraments, according to the said book, shall be immediately presented and punished ; and all who shall either in private houses, or inpublic assemblies, use any other rites of com- mon prayer and administration of sacraments, or shall maintain in their houses any persons guilty of these things, 'shall be punished with the utmost severity."+ This, from the supreme gOvernor of the church, inspired the zealous prelates with new life and courage. They enforced sub- scription upon the clergy with great rigour. Though the forms of subscription varied in different dioceses, that which was most commonly imposed was the following: " I ac- "knowledge the book of articles agreed upon by the clergy " in the synod of 1563, and confirmed by the queen's " majesty, to be sound and according to the word of God.- "That the queen's majesty is the chiefgovernor, next under " Christ, of this church of England, as well in ecclesiastical " as civil causes.-That in the Book of CommonPrayer, " there is nothing evil or repugnant to the word of God, but " that it may well be used in this our christian church of " England.-And that as the public preaching of the word " in this church of England is sound and sincere, so the " public order in the ministration of the sacraments is con- " sonant to the word of God."4.- Upon the rigorous imposition of these forms, many minis- ters not being able with a good conscience to comply, were brought intogreat trouble. Messrs. Deering and Cartwright, together with Dr. Sampson and other excellent divines, endured much cruel usage for nonconformity.§ Dr. Wyburn, and Messrs. Brown, Johnson, Field, Wilcocks, Strype's Parker, p. 395. + Sparrow's Collee. p. 169, 170. t. Parte of a Register, p. 81. § Strype's Annals, vol. ii. p. 265-282.