48 LIVES OF THE PURITANS. their congregation, in a house near Smithfield, but he knew not whose the house was. He, at the same time, refused to attend thepublic service of the parish churches ; because, he tljought, they had not a true ministry.4,--This was the result of the inquisition of his spiritual judges; but it does not appear how long he remained in prison : most probably he was released upon the general banishment of the puritans. JOHN PENNY, A. M.-This distinguished puritan was born in Brecknockshire, in the year 1559, and educated first at Cambridge, then at St. Albans-hall, Oxford, where he took his degree of Master of Arts in 1586. " When he first went to Cambridge," says Wood, " he was as arrant a papist as ever came out of Wales, and he would have run a false gallop over his beads with any man in England, and help the priest sometimes to say mass at midnight." Admittinghe was then much inclined to popery, being only about eighteen years of age, we need not wonder, espe- cially when it is recollected, that the country whence he came was then wholly overspread with popish darkness. However, as our author intimates, he soon renounced popery ; and, after taking his degrees, became an esteemed preacher in both universities, where he was accounted " a tolerable scholar, an edifying preacher, and a good man." This, from so bitter an author, is certainly a very high character of so rigid a puritan. 44 But," he adds, 46 being full .of Welsh blood, and of a hot and restless head, he changed his course, and became a notorious anabaptist, and in some sort a Brownist, and a most bitter enemy to the church of England."t He was, undoubtedly, an enemy to the hierarchy, and the persecution of the prelates, and a zealous promoter of a further reformation. Upon Mr. Penry's leaving the university, he settled for some time at Northampton, where he was most probably employed in the ministry. About the year 1587, he entered upon his sufferings in the cause of nonconformity, being convened before Archbishop Whitgift, Bishop Cooper, and other high commissioners. The charge brought against himwas, that in a book he had published, he had asserted, " That mere readers, meaning such as could not, or would not preach, were no ministers. Reading homilies only, or Baker's MS. Collec. vol. xv. p. 108. i- Athena p. 227.