INTRODUCTION. 57 of God, the laws of the realm, and the liberty of the subject; compelling learned and godly ministers upon their own oaths, to accuse themselves, and to deprive, degrade and imprison them upon this accusation.. He also offered two bills to the house ; the one against the oath ex officio, the other against the illegal proceedings of the bishops, in which he was warmly supported by Sir Francis Knollys and other famous statesmen. But the queen, by her own arbitrary command, forbad the house to discuss eccle- siastical matters, and charged the speaker, upon his alle- giance, not to read the bills.t Morrie° was, at the same time, seized in the house, and carried prisoner to Tutbury castle, where he continued many years. The parliament having tamely yielded its own liberties and those of the subject, to the tyrannical power of the queen, passed one of the most unjust and inhuman acts for oppression and cruelty, that was ever known in a pro- testant country. It is entitled " An Act for the Punish- ment of Persons obstinately refusing to come to Church ;" and enacts, " that all persons above the age of sixteen, refusing to come to church ; or persuading others to deny her majesty's authority in causes ecclesiastical; or dissuad- ing them from coming to church ; or being found present at any conventicle or meeting under pretence of religion; shall upon conviction be committed to prison without bail, till they shall conform and come to church." But in case such offenders should refuse to subscribe a most debasing recantation, it is further enacted, "That within three months, they shall ABJURE THE REALM and go into PERPETUAL BANISHMENT. And if they do not depart within the time appointed ; or if they ever return without the queen's license, they shall SUFFER DEATHWITHOUT BENEFIT OF CLERGY."t The case of the nonconformistswas by this act worse than that of felons. Herein the queen exceeded the tyranny of Henry VIII. For absolute as that monarch was, he con- tented himself with punishing those who opposed the established religion by some overt act ; but by this new statute, the subjects were obliged, under the heaviest penalty, to make an open profession of the established religion, by a constant attendance on its public service."§ The oppression of this statute fell chiefly upon the Brownists, who renounced all communion with the national D. Ewes's Journal, p. 474. + MS. Remarks, p. 465. 1: D. Ewes's Journal, p. 517.-Burn's Eccl. Law, vol. ii. p. 247,248. § Warner's Mist. of Eng. vol. ii. p. 465.