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tional establishment, he said, "These men, instead of this gross antichristian government which is now manifest and odious unto all men, would bring in a new adulterate forged government in show (or rather in despite) of Christ's government."*
This work called forth a reply by George Giffard, " minister of God's word in Malden." Giffard was a Puritan who had himself been cited before the High Commission and suspended for his non-conformity. He was neither rector nor vicar, nor even a curate, but only a "lecturer." His reply was written in the interest of the Puritan or Reforming party in the national church; and the main argument by which he attempted to overthrow the Separatists, was of a sort often resorted to in theological controversies. To brand an opponent with some odious name from ecclesiastical history is sometimes a convenient substitute for logic; and to the Puritan George Giffard it seemed wise to call the Separatists not only Brownists but Donatists-" the Donatists of England." Another reply was made by Robert Some, D. D., who was master of one of the colleges in Cambridge; and who dated his "godly treatise," as he called it," from my Lord's Grace of Canterbury his house in Lambeth." Dr. Some thought it equally convenient and more efficient to call the Separatists by a name which was not only more reproachful theologically, but more alarming to the secular power. He called them Anabaptists. Both these works were published in 1590. Within a few months, Barrowe and Greenwood, notwithstanding their imprisonment, published their defense of themselves and of their brethren against both assailants-the Puritan and the "Pontifical." In an "epistle dedicatory" addressed to Lord Burleigh, they made an efficient statement of the wrongs which they were then enduring.
"Hitherto, Right Honorable, have our malignant adversaries had their full scope against us, with the law in their own hands, and have made no spare or contrivance, to accuse, blaspheme, condemn and punish us, nay, to pronounce and publish us as damnable heretics, schismatics, sectaries, seditious, disobedient to princes, deniers and abridgers of their sacred power,' to the ears and eyes of all men, openly in their pulpits, and in their printed books published by the consent
* Hanbury i, 39-47.
and approbation of their church. No trial all this while, upon any suit or complaint, is granted us; either civil that we might know for what cause and by what law we suffer, (which yet is not denied the most humble malefactors and offenders); or ecclesiastical, by the word of God-where place of freedom might be given us to declare and plead our cause in sobriety and order, that so the means appointed of God for our recovery might be used, and we, wherein we should be found to err or transgress, might be convinced to our faces by the Scripture, and left inexcusable.
"But instead of this Christian cause, they have shut us up now more than three years, in miserable and close prisons, from the air; from all means so much as to write, (ink and paper being taken and kept from us, and a diligent watch both by our keepers held over us, and also continual searches made upon one pretense or other); where we were rifled, from time to time, of all our papers and writings they could find. And being thus straitly kept and watched from speaking or writing, (their conscience yet giving them no rest in all their prosperity and pleasures, whilst we, the Lord's poor witnesses against their sins, breathed), not to speak of their secret and indirect means whereby they sought to take away our lives-they suborned, amongst sundry others, two special instruments, Mr. Some and Mr. Giffard, to accuse and blaspheme us publicly to the view of the world; each of them in two books, the one laboring to prove us Anabaptists, the other Donatists. Wherefore we addressed ourselves, by such means as the Lord administered, and as the incommodities of the place, and the infirmities of our decayed bodies and memories would permit, to our defense, or, rather, to the defense of that truth whereof God hath made and set us his unworthy witnesses, though as signs to be spoken against, and as monstrous persons in this sinful generation."
To this epistle the two confessors subscribed their names, "Henry Barrowe and John Greenwood, for the testimony of the gospel, in close prison."
In the preface which followed the dedication, they explained their position, and apologized for the unavoidable imperfections of a work composed under such difficulties. The aim of their work, as announced in its title, was to expose "the forgery of the whole ministry, the confusion, the false worship, and the anti-Christian disorder of these parish assemblies, called 'the Church of England.'" It was "not for some faults in the calling of the ministry," that they separated from those parish assemblies, "but for having and retaining a false and anti-Christian ministry imposed upon them. Such," said they, "we here prove their whole ministry to be, in office, entrance, and administration. In like manner, we forsake not their assemblies for some faults in their govern
ment or discipline, but for standing subject to a Popish and anti-Christian government, and such we here prove theirs to be in the offices, courts, proceedings. Neither refrain we their worship for some light imperfections,' but because their worship is superstitious, devised by men, idolatrous.” They announced that it would be their endeavor "to make proof and evident demonstration" of the charges which they preferred against the ecclesiastical establishment, and from which they "had all this time suffered under the tyrannous hands" of its rulers; and to do this "in all charity, truth, and good conscience, as so variable and infinite a matter will permit." "And if," said they, "there be found, or rather abound, any imperfect or redundant sentences, let these be imputed ... partly to the inconvenience of the place, the continual tossings and turmoils, searches and riflings, and no peace or means given us either to write or revise what we had written." The author who works in a prison for what is to him God's truth, and who cannot "keep one sheet by him while he is writing another," has an ample apology not only for "imperfect or redundant sentences," but for some measure of severity in his judgment of those under whose tyranny he suffers.
What the relation was, at that time, between the Separatists and the Puritans-in other words, between the parties afterwards known as Independents and Presbyterians—is sufficiently manifest from the asperity on both sides of the controversy between Giffard and his imprisoned opponents. Greenwood described a certain class of Puritan preachers in terms which, though unwarrantably censorious, might seem to have been used with a prophetic reference to some successors of the Puritans. He was indignant at what seemed to him "their counterfeit shows of holiness, gravity, austereness of manners, preciseness in trifles, large conscience in matters of greatest weight, especially of any danger." He could not endure their "straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel,”— their "hatred and thundering against some sin, tolerating, yea, coloring some other in some special persons;" their "holding and withholding the known truth of God in respect of times,
places, and persons,-dissembling, hiding, withholding it in their public ministry and doctrines where it may draw them. into any trouble or trial; yea, balking, if not perverting the evident Scriptures as they arise against any public enormity of the time, under the color of peace, Christian policy and wisdom." The two great parties in the Church of England, he described as "schisms and sects." On one side were "these 'preachers' which make show as though they sought a sincere reformation of all things according to the gospel of Christ, and yet both execute a false ministry themselves, and they, together with all their hearers and followers, stand under that throne of Antichrist,-the bishops, their courts and accomplices, and all those detestable enormities which they should have utterly removed and not reformed; and these are hereupon called 'Precisians,' or 'Puritans,' and now lately, 'Martinists.' The other side are the 'Pontificals,' that in all things hold and jump with the time, and are ready to justify whatsoever is or shall be, by public authority, established; and with these hold all the rabble of Atheists, dissembling Papists, cold and lukewarm Protestants, Libertines, dissolute and facinorous persons, and such as have no knowledge or fear of God." To him the division between those two great parties seemed to resemble "that ancient sect of the Pharisees and Sadducees;-the one in preciseness, outward show of holiness, hypocrisy, vain glory, covetousness, resembling or rather exceeding the Pharisees; the other, in their whole religion and dissolute conversation, like unto the Sadducees, looking for no resurrection, judgment, or life to come,-confessing God with their lips, and serving him after their careless manner, but denying him in their heart, yea, openly in their deeds, as their whole life and all their works declare."*
It was evident enough that the Separatists were not to be subdued by the government without some greater severity. Men who had shown that when imprisoned for their opinions they could not be hindered by the watchfulness of their keepers from writing and in some way publishing books
Hanbury, I, 49–71.
against the deepest foundation of the Queen's ecclesiastical establishment-men who would pray and preach, even in the jails in which they were confined for that identical offense of praying and preaching—were dangerous to the entire system of Church government which Elizabeth had set up in England, and was determined to maintain. Neither the High Commission nor the Privy Council, neither the Archbishop nor the Queen, could tell whereunto this would grow. The spirit of Wycliffe was abroad again. The Lollards and Gospellers, whom centuries of persecution under the Papacy had not been able to exterminate, and who had fallen in for a while with the general movement of the national revolt against the see of Rome, and had been the most earnest of Protestants, were reappearing under a new name, and reassuming their old relations to the government; because the Reformation, as managed by the government, had not been what they expected. Either the principle must be surrendered by which the Church of England had been reformed from a dependence on the Pope to a dependence on the Queen,-the great principle that all Englishmen were to believe and worship according to the dictation of Elizabeth Tudor, or some effective measures must be taken to check the progress of the Separation.
It was under the pressure of this necessity, that Barrowe and Greenwood, with three other prisoners, were indicted, "for publishing and dispensing seditious books." On the 21st of March, 1593, only two days after the indictment, they were found guilty and sentenced to be put to death on the morrow. From a report of the Attorney-General to the Lord Keeper, it appears that one of the five prisoners, "with tears, affirmed himself to be sorry that he had been misled." He was consequently pardoned. "The others," said the AttorneyGeneral, "pretend loyalty and obedience to her Majesty, and endeavor to draw all that they have most maliciously written and published against her Majesty's government, to the bishops and ministers of the Church only, and not as meant against her Highness; which being most evident against them, and so found by the jury, yet not one of them made