Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v1

INTRODUCTION. 65 resolved to transport themselves to Virginia, and settle in that uncivilized country, where they could enjoy the blessing of religious liberty. Some having departed for the new settlement, and the archbishop seeing many more ready for the voyage, obtained his majesty's proclamation, forbidding them to depart without the king's license. The arbitrary court was apprehensive this sect would in the end become too numerous and powerful in America.. The distressed puritans must not enjoy liberty of conscience at home, nor remove to another country, even among uncivilized pagans, where they could enjoy it.-The high commission, says Bishop Kennet, began now to swell into a grievance, of which the,parliament complained. Every man must conform to the episcopal church, and quit his opinion or his safety. That court was the touch-stone, to try whether men were current. 46 This," he adds, " was the beginning of that mischief, which made such a bloody tincture in both kingdoms, as never will be got out of the bishops' lawn sleeves. '+ The parliament, in 1610, was deeply concerned about these proceedings. In their petition to the king, they say, " That divers painful and learned pastors, who have long travelled in the work of the ministry, with good fruit and blessing of their labours, who were ready- to subscribe to the true christian faith and doctrine of sacraments, for not conforming in some points of ceremony, and refusing the subscription directed by the late canons, have been removed from their ecclesiastical livings, being their free- hold, and debarred from all means of maintenance, to the great grief of sundry of your majesty's well-affected subjects."t And in a memorable speech during this parlia- ment, it was said, " The depriving, degrading, and imprisoning learned and godly ministers, whom God hath furnished with most heavenly graces, is the crying sin of the land, most provoking to God, andmost grievous to the subjects."5 A bill was, therefore, introduced against pluralities and nonresidence ; another against canonical subscription ; a third against scandalous ministers ; a fourth against the oath exofficio; and they all passed the commons. II An address was also presented to the king, entitled " An humble supplication for toleration and liberty to enjoy and Rapin's Hist. of Eng. vol. ii. p. 176. + Kennet's Hist. of Eng. vol. ii. p. 681, 682. Calamy's Church and Dissenters, p. 131. MS. Remarks, p. 629. VOL. 9. § Ihid, p. 137,