Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v3

42 LIVES OF THE PURITANS. He afterwards describes the prelatical innovations and usurpations, and how he set himself to oppose them, saying, I more and more disliked the prelates' usurpations,, and tyrannical government, with their attempts to set up popery, Therefore I purposely preached upon the second chapter to the Colossians, crying down all will-worship and human inventions in God's service. I began in my practice, as in my judgment, to fall off from the ceremonies. Only I watched for an occasion to tryit out with them, either by dint of arguments, or force of law, or by the king and his council, resolving either to foil my adversaries, though I had no great hope of success ; or, at least discover the mystery of iniquity and hypocrisy, which, like a white vail, they had cast over all their foul practices. This discovery I took to be of no small importance. I saw how every day they got ground in the hearts of the simple and credulous, as if all they did was to maintain the protestant religion ; when under that specious colour, the withered whore of Babylon came in naked at the first, till at length she began to spew her painted face in her superstitions,altar-service, and other garbs. And as they laboured to undermine and overthrow the true protestant religion, and set up popery ; so they did not seek less to overthrow the civil state, with its good laws, and just liberties of the subject, and to introduce arbitrary and tyrannical government". What degree of truth is con- tained in these strictures on the character and proceedings of the ruling prelates, those who are conversant with the history of the times will easily determine; and this will in part appear in the course of the present narrative. Mr. Burton was a great sufferer in, the cause of noncon- formity. He felt the shocking intolerance and cruelties of the ruling prelates, especiallythose of Bishop Laud. In the year 1626, he was convened before the high commission, when he would have received' the censure of the ruling ecclesiastics, had not the judges interposed and granted a prohibition, which they might do according to law, by which he was at that time rescued from his cruel oppressor.t Mr. Burton having published a book entitled, " The Baiting of the Pope's Bull ; or, an Unmasking of the Mystery of Iniquity, folded up in a most pernicious Breave or Bull, sent from the Pope lately into England, to cause a Rent therein, for his Re-entery," 1627 ; though the bookwas wholly against the pope and his dangerous bull, and was licensed by ...Burton's Narration, p. 8, 9. Ileylin's Life of Laud, p. 155.