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delivered to queen Elizabeth, soon after her accession to the throne.

“ It was not enough for these unnatural English tormentors (says Mr. Hailes), these tyrants and false Christians, to be lords of the goods, possessions, and bodies, of their brethren and countrymen; but being very antichrists and enemies of the cross of Christ, they would be gods also, and reign in the consciences and souls of men. Every man, woman, and child, must deny Christ in word openly, abhor Christ in their deeds, slander him with word and deed, worship and honour false gods as they would have them, and as themselves did, and so give body and soul to the devil, their master : or, secretly flee, or, after inward torments, be burnt openly. O cruelty, cruelty, far exceeding all the cruelties committed by those famous ancient tyrants, Herod, Caligula, Nero, Domitian, &c. &c. whose names, for their cruel persecution of the people of God, have been, and ever will be, held in perpetual hatred. If any man would undertake to set forth particularly all the acts that have been done these full five years by this unnatural woman (rather say, this monster covered with the shape of a woman), as it is necessary for the glory of God, and the profit of the eburch, and of this realm, that it should be done, he will find it a subject sufficient for a perfect and a great history, and not to be contained in an oration to be uttered at one time by the voice of man. But to comprehend the sum of all their wickedness in few words, behold, whatever malice in mischief, covetousness in spoil, cruelty in punishing, tyranny in destruction, could do; that, all this poor English nation, these full five years, either suffered already, or should have suffered, had not the great mercy of God prea vented it."*

Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne in the year 1558; and, though a decided enemy to Popery, or, more properly speaking, to the authority of the pope, yet, such was her blind and bigoted determination to enforce a uniformity of worship among all her subjects, that the Baptists were called to no small share of suffering for conscience? sake, during the whole of her reign. The complexion of her reign, however, was very different from that of her sister. The fires of Smithfield were not lighted up in such

Oldmixon, p. 293.

profusion; but the same sanguinary laws remained in force; and all who disclaimed huinan authority in the kingdom of Christ--who maintained the word of God to be the only rule of faith and duty, were either compelled to temporize and conceal their convictions, or were subject to great pains and penalties. The queen, says sir Francis Walsingham when sketching the features of her government, “ laid down two maxims of state: one was, not to force consciences -the other was not to let factious practices go unpunished, because they were covered by pretexts of conscience.” The strictures which Mr. Neal has passed on these maxims of government, vol. 1. p. 115-120, are so exceedingly pertinent that it is needless here to enlarge on them. Bishop Burnet tells us that she did not at first revive those severe laws which were passed in her father's time, by which the refusal of the oath of supremacy was made treason, but left her subjects to the freedom of their thoughts, and only made it penal to extol a foreign jurisdiction. She also laid aside the title “ supreme head,” of the church, and those who refused the oath were only disabled from holding benefices during their refusal. But after the twentieth year of her reign, the political posture of affairs compelled her, we are told, to adopt a different line of conduct. “Then, pecuniary punishments were inflicted on such as withdrew from the church; and in conclusion she was forced to make laws of greater rigour.--As for the Puritans, as long as they only inveighed against some abuses, such as plurali. ties, nonresidents, or the like, it was not their zeal against those, but their violence, that was condemned. When they refused to comply with some ceremonies, and questioned the superiority of the bishops, and declared for a democracy in the church, they were convived at with great gentlenessbut they set up a new model of church-discipline, without waiting for the civil magistrate, and entered into combinations; then it appeared that it was faction, and not zeal, that animated them. Upon that, the queen found it necessary to restrain them more than she had done formerly.” Such is bishop Burnet's apology for the intolerant proceedings of this reign.

The share which the Baptists had in these severities, will appear from the mention of a few instances. Dr. Wall relates, that about the sixteenth year of queen Elizabeth,

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à congregation of Dutch Antipædobaptists was discovered without Aldgate, in London, of whom twenty-seven were taken and imprisoned; and the following month one man and ten women of them were condemned.* Another writer informs us, that it was at Easter, 1575, that this took place, and that four of them recanted at Paul's cross, on the 25th May, and that the rest were banished the king. dom.f The following is the form of their abjuration.

“ Whereas, we being seduced by the devil, the spirit of error, and by false teachers, have fallen into these most damnable and detestable heresies, that Christ took not flesh of the substance of the Virgin Mary—that the infants of the faithful ought not to be baptized; and that a Christian man may not be a magistrate, or bear the sword and office of authority; and that it is not lawful for a Christian man to take an oath : now, grace

of God, and by the assistance of good and learned ministers of Christ's church, I understand the same to be most damnable and detestable heresies; and do ask God, before his church, mercy for my said former errors, and do forsake, recant, and renounce, them: and I abjure them from the bottom of my heart, protesting I certainly believe the contrary. And farther I confess, that the whole doctrine, established and published in the church of England, and also that which is received in the Dutch church in London, is found true and according to God's word: whereunto in all things I submit myself, and will be most gladly a member of the said Dutch church ; from henceforth utterly abandoning and forsaking all and every Anabaptistical error.”+

This abjuration-oath, which was administered by Dr. Delaune, then minister of the Dutch church, Austin Friars, sufficiently indicates the arbitrary and intolerant spirit of the age. Fuller, the historian, mentions the same facts, with some additional circumstances. “ Now began the Anabaptists (says he) wonderfully to increase in the land; and as we are sorry that any countrymen should be seduced with that opinion, so we are glad that the English as yet were free from that infection.”. He then goes on to relate the apprehension of the twenty-seven Baptists at Aldgate, and adds that two of them were so obstinate, that orders were issued for their being committed to the flames in Smithfield. This induced the celebrated John Fox, the martyrologist, to interpose in their bebalf, supplicating her majesty to reprieve them. The letter was written in Latin, but Mr. Crosby has furnished us with the following translation of it:

* History of Infant Baptism, book 2. p. 212. + D’Assiguy's Mystery of Auabaptism, p. 368.

Crosby, vol. 1. p. 68.

“ Most serene and happy princess-most illustrious queen, the honour of our country, and ornament of the age., As nothing has been farther from my thoughts and expectations, than ever to disturb your most excellent majesty by my troublesome interruption; so it grieves me very much, that I must break that silence which has hitherto been the result of my mind. But, so it now happens by, I know not what infelicity, that the present time obliges me, contrary to my hope and opinion, to that which of all things in the world I least desired : and though hitherto I have been troublesome to nobody; I am now, contrary to my inclination, constrained to be importunate, even with my princess: not in any matter or course of my own, but through the calamity brought upon others. And by how much the more sharp and lamentable that is, by so much the more I am spurred on to deprecate it.

- I understand there are some here in England, though not English, but come hither from Holland, I suppose both men and women, who having been tried according to law, publicly declared their repentance, and are happily reclaimed. Many others are condemned to exile-a light sentence, in my opinion. But I hear there are one or two of these, who are appointed to the most severe of punishments, namely, burning, unless your clemency prevent it. Now in this one affair, I consider there are two things to be considered; the one is, the wickedness of their errors ; the other, the severity of their punishment. As to their errors, indeed, no man of sense can deny that they are most absurd; and I wonder that such monstrous opinions could come into the mind of any Christian; but such is the state of human weakness, if we are left never so little awhile des titute of the divine light, whither is it that we do not fall? And we have great reason to give God thanks on this account, that I hear not of any Englishman that is inclined to this madness. As to these fanatical sects, therefore, it is certain, they are by no means to be countenanced in a commonwealth, but in my opinion ought to be suppressed by proper correction. But to roast alive the bodies of poor wretches, that offend rather through blindness of judgment than perverseness of will, in fire and flames, raging with pitch and brimstone, is a bard-hearted thing, and more agreeable to the practice of the Romanists than to the custom of the Gospellers : yea, it is evidently of the same kind as if it had lowed from the Romish priests, from the first author of such cruelty, Innocent III. O, that none had ever brought such a Phalarian bull into the meek church of Christ! I do not speak these things, because I am pleased with their wickedness, or favour the errors of any men; but seeing I am myself a man, I must therefore favour the life of man--not that he should err, but that he should repent. Nay, my pity extends not only to the life of man, but even to the beasts.

For, it is perhaps folly in me; but I speak the truth, that I can hardly pass by a slaughter-house where cattle are killing, but my mind revolts with a secret sense of their pains. And truly I greatly admire the clemency of God in this, who had such regard to the mean brute creatures, formerly prepared for sacrifices, that they must not be committed to the flames, before their blood had been poured out at the foot of the altar. Whence we may gather, that in inflicting punishments, however just, we must not be over rigorous, but temper the sharpness of rigour with elemency. Wherefore, if I may be so bold with the majesty of so great a princess, I humbly beg of your royal bigbness, for the sake of Christ, who was consecrated to suffer for the lives of many, this favourat my request, which even the divine clemency would engage you to, that if it may be, and what cannot your authority do in such cases, these miserable wretches may be spared ; at least, that a stop may be put to the horror, by changing their purishment into some other kind. There are excommunications, and close imprisonment; - there are bonds; there is perpetual banishment, burning of the hand, and whipping, or even slavery itself. This one thing I most earnestly beg, that the, piles and flames in Smithfield, so long ago extinguished by your happy government, may not now be again revived. That if I may not obtain this, I pray with the greatest earnest

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