Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v3

COTTON. 155 ecclesiastical ceremonies." Bishop Laud having got the reins of government into his own hand, by his arbitrary influence, letters missive were sent down to apprehend Mr. Cotton and bring him before the commission ; but he wisely concealed himself. Great intercessions weremade for him by the Earl of Dorset and others, but all to no purpose. This worthy earl sent him word, " That if he had been " guilty of drunkenness or uncleanness, or any such lesser " crime, he could have obtained his pardon : but as he was " guilty of nonconformity and puritanism, the crime was " unpardonable. Therefore," said he, " you must fly for " your safety.". So it was undoubtedly from painful experience, that Mr. Cotton afterwards made the following complaint : " The ecclesiastical courts," said he, " are like the courts of the high-priests and pharisees, which Solomon, by a spirit of prophesy, styleth, dens of lions, and mountains of leopards. Those who have had to do with them have found them to be markets of the sins of the people, the cages of uncleanness, the forgers of extortion, the taber- nacles of bribery, and contrary to the end of civil govern- ment ; which is the. punishment of evil-doers, and the praise of them that do well." As this holy and excellent divine had no prospect ofever enjoying his liberty in his native country, he resolved to transport himself to New England. Upon his departure from Boston, he wrote a very modest and pious letter to the Bishop of Lincoln, dated May 7, 1633, signifying his resignation of the living.t Dr. Anthony Tuckney, after- wards silenced in 1692$ who had for some time been his assistant, became his successor in the pastoral office. Mr. Cotton's resolution to remove into a foreign land was not hasty and without consideration : the undertaking was the result of mature examination, and founded upon most sub- stantial reasons. He observed, that the door of public usefulness was shut against him in his own country ; that our Lord commandshis disciples, when they are persecuted sr Mather's Hist. b. iii. p. 19.-While this pious, learned and useful divine was treated with great severity, persons guilty of drunkenness and other foul crimes, very common among the clergy of those times were very seldom noticed. One instance, however, it may be proper here to mention. The mayor of Arundel, in the year 1634, imprisoned a clergy- man for notoriousdrunkenness and misbehaviour, though he continued only one night under confinement. But, surprising as it may appear, thg mayor, for this act of justice, was fined and censured by the high com- mission at Lambeth.-Huntley's Prelates' Usurpations,p. 164. + Massachusets' Papers, 249-251. t Palmer's Noneon. Mem. vol. i. p. 964.