Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v2

172. LIVES OF THE PURITANS. perpetual ; and that it was not lawful for persons to follow their studies or worldly business on that day, nor to use such pleasures and recreations as were lawful on other days. The book soon obtained an extensive circulation, and pro, duced a most pleasing reformation in many parts of the kingdom. The Lord's day, formerly profaned by inter- ludes, may-games, morrice-dances, and other sports and recreations, nowbegan to be observed with greater exact, ness, especially in corporations.. " This doctrine," says. Dr. Heylin, "carrying such a fair shew of piety, at least in the opinion of the common people, and such as did not examine the true grounds of it,,induced many to embrace and defend it; and, in a very little time, it became the most bewitching error, and the mast popular infatuation, that ever was embraced by the people of England !"+ In this, the zealoushistorian at once discovers what manner of spirit he was of. Dr. Bound's book had not been long publishedbefore it excited the enmity of persons of a contrary opinion, especially among the ruling clergy. They exclaimed against it, as putting a restraint upon christian liberty, as putting too great a lustre upon. the Lord's day, and as eclipse the authority of the church in appointing festivals. This was a shorter and an easier method of con- tending with an author, than by publishing an impartial answer to his work. And, indeed, though there was so great an outcry against the book, no one even attempted to publish any sort of a reply for several years. The, first who took up his pen against it, was Mr. Thomas Rogers, in his " Exposition of the thirty-nine Articles." In the preface hedeclared, " It is a comfort to my soul, and will be to my dying hour, that I have been the man and the means of bringing the sabbatarian errors and impieties to the light and knowledge of the state."t But, surely, it would have looked as well in a clergyman, and would have afforded him an equal degree of comfort on a dying bed, if, instead of opposing an ' exact regard to the sabbath, he had spent his zeal in recommending a reli- gious and holy, observance of that day !l Fuller's Church Hist. b. ix. p. 227. 1 Heylin's Hist. of Pres. p. 341). Fuller's Church Hist. b. ix. p. 228. Mr. Rogers was beneficed at Horningsheath in Suffolk, and once a professed puritan, when he discovered his zeal for nonconformity. In 1533, he vl as suspendei for refusing subscription to Whitgift's three articles ; but afterwards he altered his mind, and became a zealous con- formist,-MS. Register, p. 437.-Wood's 4thenie Oxon. vol. i. p. 341,