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under arrest. In January, 1572, the duke was tried for these offences before the Earl of Shrewsbury, and 26 lords triers, and found guilty of high treason. Though no one fell by a sentence more amply merited, or the execution of which was more indispensable, his trial was not conducted in a manner that we can approve; such was the nature of state persecutions in that age. His execution did not take place before the 2nd of June, 1572.*
II. ELIZABETH'S TREATMENT OF THE PURITANS.
18. Origin of Puritanism. But in addition to the Catholics, Elizabeth had to contend with another class of religionists, less dangerous, indeed, and inimical to her government than the Romanists, but equally as vexatious and determined. These were the Puritans, a party which sprang up in the reign of Edward VI., and held the strict notions of Calvin. Luther, when he Calvinist established his churches, did not retrench many of the and re exterior ceremonies of the Roman church; and crucifixes, formations. images, tapers, and priestly vestments, even, for a time, the elevation of the host and the Latin mass-book, were retained. The disciples of Zuingle and Calvin, on the other hand, carefully eradicated these things as popish idolatry and superstition. Cranmer and Ridley, the founders of the English Reformation, justly deeming themselves independent of any foreign master, adopted a middle course between these two extremes, and they retained in the church a few ceremonial usages, such as the copes and rockets of bishops, and the surplice of officiating priests. The general tendency, however, of the reformers was towards the simpler forms; Bucer and Martyr, and the other foreign reformers in England, and Calvin and Bullinger in Switzerland, expressed their dissatisfaction at seeing these habits retained, and complained of the backwardness of the English Reformation; and Hooper, an eminent divine, having been elected Bishop of Hooper. Gloucester, refused to be consecrated in the usual dress. Instead of permitting him to decline the dignity, the council sent him to prison till the matter should be adjusted, and thus those troubles began which afterwards made such havoc of the peace of the church.
During the persecutions of Mary's reign, the most eminent Protestant clergymen took refuge in various cities of Germany and Switzerland, where they were received by the Calvinists with hospitality and brotherly kindness, but the Lutherans neglected
* Lingard, VIII,, 78-91; Mackintosh, III., 148-150; Hallam's Const. Hist., I., 134.
and insulted them. Divisions soon arose among these exiles about the use of the English service, the chief scene of these disturbances being at Frankfort, where Knox headed the party which desired to alter the service, and Cox, afterwards Bishop of Ely, stood up for the original liturgy. These disagreements were by no means healed when the accession of Elizabeth recalled both parties to their own country, "neither of them very likely to display more mutual charity in their prosperous hour, than they had been able to exercise in a common persecution."*
The first mortification which they endured on their return was, to find the Reformation so backward. This delay was owing to
The Marian exiles.
an extreme reformation
In the first place, the Queen's council found it necessary to proceed with prudence and caution in making any essential changes. The Romanists were still a numerous Obstacles to party, and comprehended the far greater portion of the beneficed clergy; "and all those who, having no turn for controversy, clung with pious in England. reverence to the rites and worship of their earliest associations."† Elizabeth's ministers, therefore, probably may have considered that it was by far the wisest policy, and one certainly more accordant with Christian charity, to win such persons over by retaining a few indifferent usages, which gratified their eyes, and took off the impression of religious novelty, than to drive them still more into the arms of popery, by destroying at once all the ancient landmarks of reverence. Another obstacle to the progress of the Reformation was Elizabeth's religious opinions. Though resolute against submitting to the papal authority, she was opposed to many of the Protestant tenets, and loved a more splendid worship than her brother had established. She contended chiefly for the retention of images, and especially the crucifix, which she retained with lighted tapers before it in her chapel, although the ecclesiastical visitors of 1559 were instructed to remove them from the churches. She was also exceedingly averse to the marriage of the clergy, and would never consent to the repeal of the statute passed in her sister's reign against it; so that until the first year of James I., when the statute was repealed, the children of the married clergy were not, in legal strictness, legitimate.
19. The first appearance of Nonconformity. These things exceedingly annoyed the exiles, intent as they were upon framing the services of the English church after a simpler model. Jewell, Grindal, Sandys, and Nowell, and all the most eminent churchmen, were in favour of leaving off the surplice, and abolishing what were called the popish ceremonies, viz. :—the observance "Popish " of saints' days, the sign of the cross in baptism, and the retained. ring in matrimony; kneeling at the communion, the use of organs and musical instruments, and the chanting of the psalms; the repetition of the Lord's Prayer, the responses of the people, and the reading of lessons from the Apocrypha. A proposition to abolish most of these usages, was rejected in Convocation only by a majority of 1; the numbers being 59 to 58 * Hallam's Const. Hist., I., 172. + Ibid, I., 177.
(1562). The repugnance felt by many of the Protestant clergy to these and other ceremonies with which Elizabeth would not dispense, showed itself in irregular transgressions of the Act of Uniformity. Some wore the habits, others laid them aside; the communicants received the sacrament sitting, standing, First or kneeling, according to the minister's discretion; some symptoms baptised in the font, others in the basin; some used the conformity sign of the cross, others omitted it. In London and other towns those who observed the prescribed order were insulted, and many of the bishops connived at the deviations; some because they disapproved of the ceremonies omitted; others, while not objecting to them, because they did not consider them essential. This latter opinion led to the most important conclusions; and the objections to conformity became grounded on the principle, that the civil power has no right to prescribe compulsory regulations in the church. This doctrine went to overthrow the Queen's supremacy; a prerogative of which she was extremely tenacious; and it was altogether opposed to the principle on which the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity were based, viz. :-that the church is subordinate to, and dependent upon, the temporal constitution. This unsettled state of external religion continued till 1565, when Archbishop Parker, instigated by the Queen, determined to put a stop to all irregularities in the public service. He Beginning issued a book of discipline for the clergy called "Adver- secution. tisements; " Sampson, dean of Christ Church, and Humphrey, president of Magdalen College, Oxford, two leading Nonconformists, were summoned before the ecclesiastical commission, and the first was deprived; and 37 out of 98 clergymen in London were suspended. This act of rigour, instead of producing uniformity, led to an open schism; the Nonconformists abandoned the churches, and began to form separate "conventicles." But the archbishop was determined not to tolerate these private meetings, and in June, 1567, a company of more than 100 was apprehended at a meeting in Plumber's Hall, and 31 of them were sent to prison. They behaved on their examination before the High Commission Court with a rudeness and self-sufficiency which had already begun to characterise the Puritan faction.
20. Beginning of Presbyterianism. These acts of severity led the persecuted to consider the national system of ecclesiastical government as in fault; and they transferred the dislike they felt for some of the prelates, to the institution of episcopacy itself. The reputed founder of this new school, was Thomas Cartwright's Cartwright, the Lady Margaret's professor of theology, at doctrines.
Cambridge; who began, in 1570, to inculcate the unlawfulness of any form of church government except what the Apostles had instituted, viz., the Presbyterian. Being a man of ardent zeal, and inflexible self-confidence, and possessing a vigorous, rude, and arrogant style, he soon became a formidable leader among the Puritans. He distinctly declared in his celebrated "Admonition to the Parliament" (1572), that the church was independent of, and superior to, the state; that the civil officer has no right whatever to have any authority in the church, but that he ought rather to submit himself to it. The termination of this unhappy contest was now farther off than ever; the hour for liberal concessions had passed away, and Cartwright was deprived of his professorship.
The Puritans, however, were a far more formidable party than the church of England party, which Hallam thinks to have been the least numerous of the three religious parties of this reign. The lord keeper Bacon, Walsingham, Sadler, Knollys, parliament. Leicester, and several others in Elizabeth's council, inclined to them; and in the House of Commons they had a decided majority. This is seen in the proceedings of 1571. Mr. Strickland, "a grave and ancient man of great zeal," introduced seven bills for the reformation of church abuses, for which the Queen ordered him to withdraw from the house, and attend the pleasure of the council. But the Commons, perceiving his absence, moved that he should be called to the bar of the house to account for it; and the language they used was so unusually bold, that it was deemed prudent to allow him to return to the house, where he was received with loud cheers.
There was a very powerful reason which at this time operated upon Elizabeth's ministers in inducing them to protect the Puritans. This was the precariousness of the Queen's life, and the unsettled prospects of the succession. While the victory between Protestantism and Popery was so uncertain, the council perceived that it would be extremely unwise to strengthen the enemy by disunion in their own camp; and Walsingham used his influence both with the Puritans not to separate from the church, and the bishops not to aggravate the contest by harsh persecution. But the haughty spirit of Parker would not abate its rigour, and he continued to persecute the Puritan ministers.*
21. Persecutions by the High Commission Court. The clergy in several dioceses had set up, with the sanction of their bishops, certain religious exercises called lectures, prophesyings, and exercises. They met at appointed times to expound *Hallam's Const. Hist., I., 195.
and discuss together in public, particular texts of Scripture, under the presidency of a moderator, appointed by the bishop, who finished by repeating the substance of their debate, with his own determination upon it.* These discussions supplied in some degree the deficiences of learning among the clergy, many of whom had been hastily admitted to orders in a moment of need; and whose failings were so glaring, that the Catholics contemptuously called them "the ignorant mess-Johns of Elizabeth."+ The Queen disliked these assemblies, and she ordered Parker to put them down.
In 1575, Grindal, bishop of London, succeeded Parker in the primacy, and he at once suspended the persecutions, and connived at the prophesyings. When the Queen ordered him to suppress them, he refused, and he bore the whole brunt of her displeasure till his death, in 1583, when Whitgift, Bishop of Worcester, a stern opponent of the Puritans, was appointed to restore unity to the church. He was at once placed at the head of the High ComHigh Commission Court, which was armed with new powers and authority.
armed with new powers
This court was commissioned to execute all the Queen's ecclesiastical jurisdiction which the Act of Supremacy gave to the crown, and hence its name. Several temporary commissions had sat under the provisions of the act, but now (1583) a new court was established. It consisted of forty-four commissioners, bishops, privy counsellors, clergymen, and laymen; who were empowered to inquire into all offences and acts done in violation of the Statute of Uniformity and Supremacy, and some others; and to inquire into all heresies, heretical books, conspiracies, &c., contrary to those laws. All persons absent from church; all beneficed persons holding doctrines contrary to the Thirty-nine Articles; all incests, adulteries, and other similar offences; all persons who refused to take the oath of supremacy, or to obey the orders of the court, might be examined and punished by any three of the commission, provided one was a bishop, who could also alter and amend the statutes of colleges, cathedrals, schools, and other foundations.
Armed with these tremendous powers, the commissioners demanded from every member of the church subscription to three points, (1) the Queen's supremacy, (2) the lawfulness of the Common Prayer and Ordination Service, and (3) the truth of the Thirty-nine Articles.
Another tremendous power which the High Commission Court exercised was, the exaction of the oath ex-officio, the taker The oath of which was bound to answer a series of interrogations ex-officio. "so comprehensive as to embrace the whole scope of clerical uniformity, yet so precise and minute, as to leave no room for evasion." This proceeding was so clearly repugnant to the spirit of the English law, one great maxim of which is, that no * Hallam's Const. Hist., I., 196. + Mackintosh, III., 164
Hallam's Const. Hist., I., 201.