Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v3

36 LIVES OF THE PURITANS. him. Now the truth is, the church hath no need of such as you, an unlearned, self-conceited hat-maker. It is true, that, in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign, the popish priests and friars being dismissed, there was a scarcity for the present of learned men ; and so some tradesmen were permitted to leave their trades, and betake themselves to the ministry ; but it was necessity that did then constrain them so to do. But thanks be to God, we have now no such necessity; and therefore this practice of you and your comrades casts an ill aspersion upon our good God, that doth furnish our church plentifully with learned men; and it doth also scandalize our church, as if We stood in need of such as you to preach the gospel. This you call preaching, or prophesying ; and thus, as one of them told the lords of the parliament, that they were all preachers ; for so they practise and exercise themselves as young players do in private, till they be by their brethren judged fit for the pulpit, and then up they go, and, like mountebanks, play their part.-Mr. Greene, Mr. Greene, leave off these ways : bring home such as you have caused to stray. It is, such as you that vent their venom against our godly preachers, and the divine forms of prayers ; yea, against all set forms of prayers : all is from antichrist; but that which you preach is most divine ; that comes fresh from the Spirit: the other is an old dead sacrifice, composed (I should have said killed) so long ago, that now it stinks. It is so old, that in the year 1549 it was compiled by Doctor Cranmer, Doctor Goodricke, Doctor Scip, Doctor Thirlby, Doctor Day, Doctor Holbecke, Doctor Ridley, Doctor Cox, Doctor Tailor, Doctor Haines, Doctor Redman, and Mr. Robinson, archdeaconof Leicester; but what areall these ? They are not to be compared to John Greene, a hat-maker; for he thinketh what he blustereth forth upon the sudden, is far better than that which these did maturely and deliberately compose." It is not at all wonderful, that, when the church had lost its power to persecute nonconformists, those who still retained the spirit of persecution should indulge in this kind of defamation and ridicule. However, during this year, Mr. Greene, together with several of his brethren, was complained of to the house of commons, for lay-preaching. He was convened before the house, when he was reprimanded, threatened to be severely punished, if he did not renounce the practice, and then dismissed;* but whether he obeyed their orders, or still Nalsou's Collections, vol. ii. p, 265, 270.