66 INTRODUCTION. observe the ordinances of Jesus Christ in the ministration of his churches, in lieu of human constitutions." It was published by those whoapprehended the church of England to be fast approaching towards the church ofRome.. But all these endeavours proved ineffectual to obtain a further reformation of the church.+ Archbishop Bancroft died November 10, 1610, and was succeeded by Dr. George Abbot, an avowed enemy to all the superstitions of popery$ King James, to shew his zeal against heresy, had now an opportunity of exercising it upon two of his own subjects ; who, in the year 1611, were burnt alive for their hereticalopinions. One was Bartholomew Legatt, a native of the county of Essex. He was a man of a bold spirit, a fluent tongue, well skilled in the scriptures, and of an unblameable conversation. He denied the divinity of Christ, and a plurality of persons in the Godhead. The king himself, and several of the bishops, conferred with him, and endeavoured to convince him of his errors.§ Having continued a long time prisoner in Newgate, he was at length brought before the king, many of the bishops, and many learned divines, in the consistory of St. Paul's; where he was declared a contumacious and obdurate heretic, and delivered over to the secular power. The king having signed a writ de heretico comburendo to the sheriff's of London, he was carried to Smithfield, March 18, and, before an immense number of spectators, was burnt to ashes. Pardon was offered him at the stake if he would have recanted, but he firmly refused.o Mr, Edward Whiteman of Burton-upon-Trent, was, at MS. Chronology, vol. ii. p. 619. (2.) + The puritans were now oppressed by every means that could be devised. Mrs. Venables, a lady of great liberality and exemplary piety, being deeply concerned for the numerous persecuted servants of Christ, bequeathed in her last w ill £5000, to be distributed among the suffering nonconformist ministers. This was no sooner known at court, than the money was seized, and given to such ministers as were conformable. Such Was the fraud and barbarity of the times ! Remarks, p. 585. t Bishop Kennet styles Archbishop Bancroft " a sturdy piece," and says, " he proceeded with rigour, severity and wrath, against the puritans." -Kennet's Hist. of Eng. vol. ii. p. 665. The attempt of the king to convince Legatt having utterly failed, he arose in a passion from his chair, and, giving him a kick with his royal foot, said , " Away, base fellow, it shall never be said, that one stayeth in my presence, that bath never prayed to our Saviourfor seven years. " -Fuller's church Hist. b. x. p. 62. I! lie had a brother, called Thomas Legatt, who, at the same time, for holding certain heretical opinions, as they are called, was committed to Newgate, where he died under the pressures of his confinement.-Jessop't Discovery of .cfnabaptists, p.77. Edit. 1623.