Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

52 INTRODUCTION. many years. such were the proceedings of that arch- bishop who is said to have been eminently distinguished for Jpis mild and excellent temper.. The suffering puritans, during this year, presented a petition to the convocation, tending to promote a recon- ciliation betwixt the conformists and nonconformists, but most probably without the least effect.+ They also made another effort to obtain a redress of their grievances from the parliament, by presenting an humble supplication to the house of commons , in which they say, It pierces our hearts with grief to hear the cries of the people for the word of God. The bishops either preach not at all, or very seldom. And others abandon their flocks, contrary to the charge of Christ, feed my sheep. But great num- bers of the best qualified for preaching, and of the most industrious in their spiritual function, are not suffered quietly to discharge their duties, but are followed with innumerable vexations, notwithstanding they are neither heretics nor schismatics, but keep within the pale of the church, and persuade others so to do, who would have departed from it. They fast and pray for the queen and the church, though they have been rebuked for it, and diversly punished by officers both civil and ecclesiastical. They are suspended and deprived of their ministry, and the fruits of their livings sequestered to others. This has continued many years ; and last of all many of them are committed to prison, when some have been chained with irons, and continued inhard durance a long time. " To bring about these severities, the bishops tender the suspected persons an oath ex officio, to answer all interro- gatories to be put to them, though it be to accuse them- selves ; and when they havegot a confession, they proceed upon it to punish them with all rigour, contrary to the laws of God and, the land. Those who refused have been cast into prison, and commanded there to lie without bail, till they would yield. The grounds of these troubles are not impiety, immorality, want of learning or diligence in their ministerial work, but not being satisfied in the use of certain ceremonies and orders of the church of Rome, and for not being able to declare, that emery thing in the Book of Common Prayer is agreeable to the word of God."4-, Two bills were at the same time brought into the house of commons, for the abolition of the old ecclesiastical laws, as Paula's Life of Whitgift, p. 37. + Parte of a Register, p. 323, MS. Register, p. 672.