« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
university of Cambridge, became, after leaving the university, a member of the legal profession in London, and "a flourishing courtier," "much known in the city and abroad." "Walking in London one Lord's day with one of his companions, he heard a preacher at his sermon very loud, as they passed by the church. Upon which Mr. Barrowe said unto his consort, 'Let us go in and hear what this man saith that is thus earnest.' 'Hush,' saith the other, 'What! shall we go to to hear a man talk?' But in he went, and sat down. And the minister was vehement in reproving sin, and sharply applied the judgments of God against the same; and, it should seem, touched him to the quick in such things as he was guilty of, so as God set it home to his soul, and began to work for his repentance and conviction thereby. For he was so stricken as he could not be quiet, until by conference with godly men and further hearing of the word, with diligent reading and meditation, God brought peace to his soul and conscience, after much humiliation of heart and reformation of life; so as he left the court, and retired himself to a private life, some time in the country and some time in the city, giving himself to study and reading of the Scriptures and other good works very diligently. And being missed at court by his consorts and acquaintance, it was quickly hinted abroad that Barrowe was turned Puritan."* Another account of his conversion, given by one who must have known him as a young man at court, is, that he "made a leap from a vain and dissolute youth to a preciseness in the highest degree,-the strangeness of which alteration made him very much spoken of." This young man did not rest in mere Puritanism, but took the more advanced position of separation from all national churches. His connection with the court and with the legal profession, and the notoriety of his conversion, as well as his talents and his zeal, made him conspicuous among the Separatists; and soon the name of "Barrowist " began to be used instead of " Brownist."
* Bradford's Dialogue, in Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrims, 433, 434. Bacon's Works, Philadelphia. 1842. ii; 249.
Barrowe does not appear to have published anything in that controversy till after he had been imprisoned for his opinions. He was first arrested on a Lord's day, in November, 1586, while visiting his friend John Greenwood, who was already in the Clink prison in Southwark for the same cause. On the same day he was conveyed on the Thames, to Lambeth, and formally examined by the Archbishop in person, concerning his opinions on the points in controversy between the Separation and the national Church of England; and thereupon, he was remanded to prison. He was soon afterwards "convented before the High Commissioners for causes ecclesiastical," sitting at Whitehall. His own account of that second examination may be taken as illustrating both the character of the court and the spirit of the prisoner. Twelve of his brethren, arrested for the same offense, were brought up at the same time; but he was not permitted to speak to them. Being called into another apartment, he found himself in the presence of the Archbishop, (Whitgift), the Lord Chancellor, (Hatton), the Lord Treasurer, (Burleigh), Lord Buckhurst, and the Bishop of London, sitting as the Court of High Commission. He was required to kneel
at the end of the table. "Why are you in prison?" said the Lord Treasurer. "Upon the statute against recusants," he replied. Naturally, the next question was, "Why will you not go to church?" Because," said he, "I think the Church of England, as established by law, not a church of Christ, nor their manner of worship lawful." On this a debate ensued, in which the prisoner's views concerning the difference between the Church of England and a church of Christ were drawn out. At last the Lord Treasurer said, "You complain of injustice, where have you wrong?" "In being kept in prison without due trial," replied Barrowe, "and in the misery we suffer by close imprisonment contrary to law." When Whitgift, in reply to the prisoner's complaint of being kept in prison without trial, suggested the terror of a trial before him for heresy, the answer was, "That you shall never do. grace of God, I will never be." ing that his manner was less
I may err, but heretic, by the The Lord Chancellor, observreverent toward the two pre
lates than toward the other members of the court, asked him, (pointing to the bishops), "Do you not know who those two men are?" "I have had cause to know them," he replied, "but I do not own them for bishops." "What, then, is that man?" said the Chancellor, pointing to Whitgift. "He is a monster," was the answer-" a miserable compound; I know not what to make of him. He is neither ecclesiastical nor civil. He is like that second beast spoken of in the Revelation, ch. xiii."* His Grace of Canterbury seems to have felt that the debate was becoming personal; for rising from his seat, he said, "My lords, will you suffer him?” And thereupon the examination was terminated by the removal of the prisoner.
Greenwood's examination before the High Commission was on another day, at the Bishop of London's palace in the city. To the question whether he was a minister, he answered, "I was one according to your orders," [ordination]. Being asked, "who had degraded [deposed] him," he replied, “I degraded myself, through God's mercy, by repentance." The Commissioners, according to the inquisitorial method of that court, proceeded to interrogate him concerning the Book of Common Prayer; but he refused to answer. "I have been long a close prisoner," said he, "and I, therefore, desire you will show me wherefore I am treated thus, and not entangle me by your law. I see you go about to bring me within the compass of your law by making me accuse myself." Among other questions and answers were these: Question. "What say you of the Church of England; is it a true established church?" Answer. "The whole commonwealth is not a church." Question. Do you know any true established church in the land?" Answer. "If I did I would not accuse it unto you." Question. "Is not the whole land, as now ordered, a true church?" Answer. "No."
Thenceforward to the end of their lives, Barrowe and
* Rev. xiii, 11, 12: "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like unto a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth, and them that dwell therein, to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed."
Greenwood were close prisoners, with some intervals of liberty, either on bail, or, as sometimes happened, by the kindness of the jailer. Yet they were by no means in solitary confinement. Those who, at that period, controlled the government of England, did not deem it enough to persecute such offenders against the ecclesiastical laws as happened to have position and influence-clergymen, lawyers, and courtiers. Simple men as well as gentlemen, men untaught save in the Scriptures, as well as those who had taken degrees in the universities, felt the iron rod of the Queen's supremacy in matters of religion. In the metropolis and its vicinity, the Separatists as a body were by no means formidable in numbers, wealth, or learning. Like the first Christians of Corinth, they were "not many wise, not many mighty, not many noble." Constantly abstaining from attendance upon the established national worship, they held on the Lord's day such meetings as they could for prayer and religious conference. When the season permitted, they met in the fields or woods. "In the winter time," as Dr. Waddington reports, "they assembled themselves, by five of the clock in the morning, to that house where they made the conventicle for that Sabbath day-men and women together; there they continued in their kind of prayers and exposition of the Scriptures all the day. They dined together. After dinner they made a collection for their diet; and what money was left, some of them carried it to the prison where any of their sort were committed. An eye-witness says that in their prayer, one speaketh, and the rest do groan, or sob, or sigh, as if they would wring out tears, but do not say after him that prayeth." (p. 90.) These humble men and their peaceable meetings for worship were not thought to be beneath the notice of the government. As many of them as could be detected in practices esteemed so dangerous to the Queen's supremacy, were arrested and thrown into prison. Some time in the year 1592, they completed their organization as a voluntary church by the choice and ordination of pastor, teacher, and other elders, and of deacons. Then, probably for the first time, the sacramental ordinances were administered among them. No ceremony seems to have been used in ad
mitting members to their communion, other than a simple protestation on the part of the candidate "that he would walk with the rest of the congregation, so long as they did walk in the way of the Lord, and as far as might be warranted by the word of God." In the year 1592, the persecution seems to have been more active than ever before; and many of these poor people, chargeable with no crime but that of worshiping God in their own way, were confined in the various prisons of the metropolis.
Having no hope of justice from the High Commission, the prisoners made their appeal by a petition to the Privy Council. What sort of men they were, let their own language show.
"Upon a careful examination of the Holy Scriptures, we find the English hierarchy to be dissonant from Christ's institution, and to be derived from anti-Christ, being the same the pope left in this land; to which we dare not subject ourselves. We believe that God has commanded all that believe the Gospel to walk in that holy faith and order which he has appointed in his church. Wherefore, in the reverend fear of his name, we have joined ourselves together, and subjected our souls and bodies to those laws and ordinances, and have chosen to ourselves auch a ministry of pastor, teacher, elders, and deacons, as Christ has given to his church on earth to the world's end; hoping for the promised assistance of his grace in our attendance upon him, notwithstanding any prohibition of men or what by men can be done unto us. We are ready to prove our church order to be warranted by the word of God, allowable by her Majesty's laws, and no ways prejudicial to her sovereign power, and to disprove the public hierarchy, worship, and government, by such evidence of Scripture as our adversaries shall not be able to withstand, protesting, if we fail herein, not only willingly to sustain such deserved punishment as shall be inflicted upon us, but to become conformable for the future, if we overthrow not our adversaries-we will not say if our adversaries overcome us.
"But the prelates of this land have for a long time dealt most injuriously, unlawfully, and outrageously with us, by the great power and high authority they have gotten in their hands, and usurped above all the public courts, judges, laws, and charters of this land, persecuting, imprisoning, and detaining at their pleasure our poor bodies, without any trial, release, or bail, and hitherto without any cause either for error or crime directly objected. Some of us they have kept in close prison four or five years with miserable usage, as Henry Barrowe and John Greenwood, now in the Fleet; others they have cast into Newgate, and laden with as many irons as they could bear; others into dangerous and loathsome jails, among the most facinorous and vile persons, where it is lamentable to relate how many of these innocents have perished within these five years,-aged widows, aged men, and young maidens, &c.,-where so many as the infection hath spared, lie in woful distress, like to follow their fellows, if speedy redress be not