178 LIVES OF THE PURITANS. distinct order from priests ; and that they had a superiority over them by divine right, and directly from God." In those times this was new and strange doctrine, even to churchmen themselves. Hitherto it had been maintained, that all the superiority of bishops, over pastors or presby- ters, was wholly of human appointment, devised in the third or fourth century. While his sermon was highly gratifying to most of the ruling prelates, it gave great offence to many of the clergy, and to all the friends of the puritans at court. Sir Francis Knollys 4. told the archbishop, that Bancroft's opinion was contrary to the command of Christ, who prohibited all superiority among the apostles. But this gentleman, not relying on his own judgment, requested Dr. Rainolds to give his opinion of this new doctrine ; which he did in a letter at considerable length. Dr. Rainolds, in this letter, observes, " that all who have laboured in reforming the church, for five hundred years, have taught that all pastors, whether they are entitled bishops or priests, have equal authority and power by God's word : As, the Waldenses, next Marsilius Patavinus, then Wickliffe and his scholars, afterwards Husse and the Hussites ; and Luther, Calvin, Brentius, Bullinger, and Musculus. Among ourselves, we have bishops, the queen's professors of divinity, and other learned men : as, Bradford, Lambert, Jewel, Pilkington, Humphrey, Fulke, &c. But why do I speak of particular persons.? It is the opinion of the reformed churches of Helvetia, Savoy, France, Scotland, Germany, Hungary, Poland, the Low Countries, and our own. I hope Dr. Bancroft will not say, that all these have approved that for sound doctrine, which was condemned by the general consent of the whole church as heresy, in the most flourishing time. I hope he will acknowledge that he was overseen, when he avouched the superiority of bishops over the rest of the clergy, to be God's own ordi- nance. 't About the year 1599, Dr. Rainolds gave up his deanery of Lincoln, and his mastershipof Queen's college, when he was chosenpresident of Corpus Christi college. Though in the last situation he did not continue above eight years, his presidency was rendered eminently useful. In 1603, he Sir Francis Kn011ys was one of her majesty's privy council, a man of distinguished learning and piety, a most able statesman, and a constant patron of the persecuted nonconformists ; on which account he was not well esteemed by some of the prelates.=-Fuller's Abel lied. p. 248. -British vol. iii. p. 371. Strype's Whitgift, p. 292, 293.-Strype's Annals, vol. iii. p. 577, 578.