Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v2

F. JOHNSON. 8. He, having been a close prisoner a long time-before the said statute was made, cannot be lawfully convicted of having broken it.". These reasons, however, prevailed not. Whether the treasurer made any use of them, we are not able to learn. But Mr. Johnson was brought to trial ; and though his crime was merely that of writing against the established church and the olipressions of the prelates, and was corn- milted even some time before the statute was made, he was found guilty by the said statute, and condemned to perpetual banishment from his country. Messrs. Barrow, Greenwood, Penry, and some others, having suffered death on account of their firm attachment to their religious sentiments, Archbishop Whitgift and the other ruling prelates, who were the chief promoters of these barbarous proceedings, became, at length, ashamed of hanging -men for propagating their religious principles, and contrived this engine to have the Brownists and other puritans swept out of the land. This act, therefore, condemned them to banishment without discrimination ; and the gaolswere soon cleared of them. Yet the overbearing, tyrannical prelates took care to have them filled again in the following year.+ Mr. Johnson being.condemned to suffer perpetual banish- ment, retired to Amsterdam, many of his friends accom- panying him. There he formed a church after the model of the Brownists, having the learned Mr. Henry Ainsworth fbr its doctor or teacher. The grand principle on which this churchwas founded, may be expressed in Mr. Johnson's own words. " The church," says he, " ought not to be governed by popishcanons, courts, classis, customes, or any human inventions,but by the laws and rules which Christ bath appointed in his Testament."t " Every particular church, with its pastors, stands immediately under Christ, thearch- pastor, without any other ecclesiastical power intervening ; whether it be of prelates, synods, or any other invented by man."§ In 1598, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Ainsworth drew up a confession of their faith in Latin, which they dedicated' to the universities of St. Andrews, Leyden, Heidelbery, Geneva, and the other universities of Scotland, Holland, Germany, and France. It was afterwards translated into English, and does not differ much in doctrine from the 4 Harmony of Confessions." 11 Strype's Annals, vol. iv. p. 13i, 138. + Ainsworth's Counterpoyson, p. 40. f Paget's Church Gov. p. 211. Dailie's Dissuasive,p. 35. N Life of Ainsworth, p. 12.