Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

INTRODUCTION. 59 Morrice, and others ; though the press was shut against the puritans. But Bancroft was their bitterest enemy. In his " Survey" and " Dangerous Positions," he wrote with much fierceness, misrepresentation, and abuse. He re- proached the principles and practices of the puritans, as if they were enemies both to church and state, when they only sought, in the most peaceable manner, to promote a reformation of the ecclesiastical discipline and ceremonies, according to their views of the word of God.. Towards the close of Queen Elizabeth's reign many seve- rities were inflicted upon the nonconformists. Mr. William Smyth was apprehended and cast into prison. Mr. Smythurst was deprived of his living, and treated with great injustice by the high commission. Mr. Rudd was convened before the high commission, suspended, and forced to make a recantation. Mr. Aderster, a Lincoln- shire divine, having endured many sufferings by suspension, deprivation, and other censures, in the high commission at Lambeth, was tried at the public assizes, when Judge Anderson treated him worse than a dog. Mr. Clarke, preacher to the society at Lincoln's-inn, London, and Mr. Philips, preacher at St. Saviour's, Southwark, were both summoned before the high commission ; when the former was deprived, and the latter suspended and coin. mitted to the Gatehouse. Mr. Bradshaw, an excellent divine, was silenced by ArchbishopWhitgift ; and a great number ofministers in Norfolk were under suspension, and their people greatly oppressed in the ecclesiastical courts. Some, indeed, supposed that the puritans were now van- quished, and their number greatly diminished, by the rigorous execution of the penal laws.+ This, however, is contrary to matter of fact. For in the beginning of the next reign, there were at least fifteenhundred ministers who avowed their nonconformity to the national church. The queen died March 24, 1603, having reigned upwards of forty-four years. The puritans of these times were not without their failings, being men of like passions with their adversaries ; yet, while they opposed the episcopal impositions and oppres- sions, if they had accomplished their wishes, there is cause to fear, that theywould have imposed their own discipline. Their notions of civil and religious liberty were confused, and their principles and behaviour sometimes rigid; yet MS. Remarks, p. 461. + Fuller's Church Hist. b. ix. p. 235.