84 LIVES OF THE PURITANS. a sermon in Mercer's chapel, which gave great offence to the ruling prelates, letters missivewere issued against him, and he was apprehended by the bishop's pursuivants, and pro- secuted in the high commission. It will be proper to give an account of his puritanism and persecution in his own words :-" I never had a canonical coat," says he, " never " gave a penny to the building of Paul's, took not the " canonical oath, declined subscription for many years before " the parliament, (though I practised the old conformity,) " would not give ne obolum quidem to the contributions " against the Scots, but dissuaded other ministers ; much less 44 did I yield to bow to the altar, and 'at the name of Jesus, " or administer the Lord's supper at a table turned altarwise, " or bring the people up to rails, or read the Book of Sports, " or highly flatter the archbishop in an epistle dedicatory to " him, or put articles into the high commission court against " any, but was myself put into the high commission court, 44 and pursuivants, with letters missive and an attachment, " sent out to apprehend me for preaching a sermon at " Mercer's chapel, on a fast-day, in July, 1640, against the " bishops and their faction ; such a free sermon as, I believe, "never a sectary in England durst have preached in such a " place, and at such a time.". This Mr. Edwards has to say of himself; though it is generally supposed that he never had any stated charge, but officiated as lecturer at various places, particularly at Hertford, and at Christ's-church, London, one of his name in 1643, but whether the same person we cannot ascertain, was vicar of Heinton in Hert- fordshire.t When the parliament declared against King Charles I., he became a zealous advocate for the changes in the civil and ecclesiastical constitution, and supportedwith all his influence the ruling party. He was a most rigid presbyterian, and, with uncommon zeal, defended and supported that discipline and government. This he declares in the dedication of one of his bOoks, to the lords and commons assembled in parliament, as follows : " All my, actions," says he," from the beginning " of your sitting, my sermons, prayers, praises, discourses, " actings for you speak this. I am one who out of choice and judgment have embarked myself, with wife, children, " estate, and all that's near to me, in the same ship with you, to sink and perish, or to come safe to land with you, and " that in the most doubtful and difficult times, not only early " in the first beginning of the war and troubles, in a malls- . Edwards's Gangrwna, part i. p.75,76. Second Edit, + Wood's Atbenw Oxon. vol. ii. p.70.