Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v2

60 LIVES OF THE PURITANS. he observes, that the statute was not intended to include such as wrote against the ecclesiastical establishment only. For, in this case, it would condemn many of the most learned protestants, both at home and abroad : but that it relates to persons who, shall defame her majesty's royal person. Whereas he had always written most dutifully of her person and government, having never encouraged sedition or insurrection against her majesty, but the con- trary. Nor had he ever been at any assembly or conven- ticle, where any, under or above the number of twelve, were assembled, with force of arms or otherwise, to alter any thing established by law. Nor was it his opinion, that private persons should, of their own authority, attempt any such thing : he had always spoken and written the contrary. Nevertheless, if he had been guilty of all these, he ought to have been accused within one month of the crime, upon the oath of two witnesses, and have been in- dictedwithin one year; otherwise the statute clears him, in express words.. When he came to the trial, the court, being apprehensive that his declaration wouldoccasion an argument at law, set aside his printed books, and indicted and convicted him upon the contents of his petition and private observations, as already observed. This rendered his case still harder, as he himself represented in a letter to the Lord Treasurer Burleigh, with his protestation enclosed, immediately after his condemnation ; in which he thus expressed himself:- " Vouchsafe, .I beseech your lordship, right honourable, to read, and duly weigh, the enclosedwriting. My days, I see, are drawing to an end, and, I thank God, an uncle- served end, except the Lord God stir up your honour, or some other, to plead my cause, and to acquaint her majesty with my guiltless state. " The cause is most lamentable, that the private obser- vations of any student, being in a foreign land, and wishing well to his prince and country, should bring his life with blood to a violent end ; especially, seeing they are most private, and so imperfect, that theyhave no coherence at all in them; and, inmost places, are no true English. " Though my conscience may stand me in no stead before an earthly tribunal, yet I know that I shall have the reward thereof before the judgment-seat of the great King ; and the, merciful Lord, who relieves the widow and the, Strype'i Whitgift, p. 412, 412.