THE CABBULA, OR AN HISTORY OF THE NON-CONFORMISTS. From Aug. 24. 1662. to this present May, 1663.
April 6. 1663. At a Close-Committee of the well-affected and ejected Ministers.
It was Ordered,
THat whereas Baronius hath written Martirologies for the Christians under the first ten Persecutions; and whereas Bonsarchius hath written a Catalogue of such faithful Witnesses as suffered for the Testimony of Jesus, as hath Illyricus, &c. Whereas the persecuted Waldenses, Bohemians, and other faithful ones, have their history: And whereas Mr. Fox that good man hath writ∣ten the sufferings of such as held the Word of God patient∣ly under that great Tryal in Queen Maries daies; and wor∣thy Page 2 Mr. Clark hath added to that a famous Martirology of those, such as suffered since in France, Ireland, and England, especially of sundry eminent men that suffered under the late Bishops, as we do now; and that eminent Patriot Mr. Prynne hath taken great pains to publish his own and his Brethrens sufferings in those elaborate pieces, whereof the one is called the Tyranny of Lordly Prelacy; and the o∣ther is called Canterburies Doom for the promotion of the Holy Cause, the advancement of the Gospel, the strengthen∣ing of the hand of those that are weak, the convincing of gain-sayers; Mr. Clark, Mr. Vicars, and Mr. P. be desired to exercise their gift of History, in a faithful relation of what hath happened among them that are faithful, from the 24 day of August, 1662. to this present time.
- G. Griffith,
- Ph. Nie,
- Jo. Goodwyn,
- Ri. Venning,
An additional Order April 6. in the afternoon by the same Committee.
Whereas Josephus hath given several rules for a true Hi∣storian, as that he should conceal no truth out of fear, nor ut∣ter no falshood out of favour: It is ordered, 1. That our Hi∣storians be wholly guided by Mr. Poole, Mr. Addersley, Mr. Brooks, and the rest of the Committee for that purpose appointed, and that they vary nothing from the sense of the Brethren. 2. That an officious Lye may be allowable for the advancement of the Holy Cause. 3. That the infirmities of some weak Brethren under this great Tryal, may be passed by with that charity that covereth a multitude. 4. That the Books of Wonders, the antipathy of Lordly Prelacy, the holy Martyrs, the century of scandalous Ministers, Wil∣sous History, bloud crying under the Altar, and all those godly books that carried on the cause twenty years ago, be consulted by the Historians. 5. That when there is an holy Cheat to be expressed, let it be told in Scripture phrase, let the Cause of God be expressed in the Word of God. 6. That Mr. Clark be sent to the Baudy Courts to search Records, and see what Brethren and Sisters have done penance this Page 3 last year of persecution. 7. That the heathenish names of moneths, days, &c: be reformed throughout the History.
- T. Goodwyn,
- Jo. Brice,
- W. Bridges,
- Ed. North.
The twentieth of the sixth moneth commonly called August, it was ordered, That there should be Letters sent to the Churches, and the several Pastors thereof, to incourage them to be stedfast and unmoveable, that they be not soon sha∣ken in mind, or troubled, neither by word, nor by letter; and that Mr. Mantou, Mr. Jacomb, Mr. Poole, and Mr. Lye, draw that Letter.
The 21 of the sixth moneth, commonly called August, the foresaid Letter was read by Adoniram Bifield to this effect:
Brethren, and Beloved in the Lord,
IT was much upon our spirit to have setled a Communi∣on between us and the Churches of Christ through out the Land, especially against the time of Persecution that is now approaching, and as an earnest of that Communion, we unanimously agreed upon these Letters, whereby you are given to understand, that our good L. H. C. our Lord A. R. S. H. M. at Court, whom we waited upon, with your great sense of their favour to, and care of the Holy Cause, and the twenty thousand pound you presented them with, and our good Brother the E. N. together with our good friends the Catho∣liques, have perswaded us that it was our interest to give way to the Act of Ʋniformity in Parliament, where our opposition did but exasperate our Adversaries to a greater severity then they were inclined to, and stand against it every man of us in our places, that we and the world may know our strength and power, not doubting but that our considerable number and interest, which Page 4 will appear by the publick and general dissent to that Ʋniformity enjoyned, may gain us an indulgence that will vacate and make void all former Laws; and being confident of his Majesties promise from Breda for Li∣berty to tender Consciences, and withall of that cle∣mency and mercy which we wrought upon in his Father, not forgetting that we can make it appear to his Maje∣sty that there are not Miuisters to supply our places: and in the mean time, in our Petition for peace, and our ac∣count of the accommodation endeavoured at the Savoy, we shall satisfie the people that offered all that we can for Peace and Liberty, to exercise our Ministry for the salvation of their souls, and that if we be torn a∣way from our Beloved Flocks, its long of unreasonable men: By these and other attempts, we doubt not but to prevail with his Majesty and his Councel to dispence with the said Act, and with the Parliament in the next Session of it (by that time we have incensed the Gentry and Commonalty against the Bishops) to grant such an Indulgence as may in effect repeal it: There∣fore Brethren, as we pray the God of all Grace to settle, strengthen, and establish you, so we beseech you to stand fast in the Faith, and not to be moved from the hope of the Gospel, to be faithful to your principles, and stedfast in your Covenant: Cast not away your confidence which hath great recompence of reward, for ye have need of patience; for yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry; now the just shall live by Faith, but if any man draw back, our souls shall have no pleasure in him: But we are not of them that draw back to Perdition. Brethren fare∣well in the Lord.
- Ja. Robotham,
- Adoniram Bifield.
Page 5 The 22 of the sixth moneth by the people called August, it was ordered, That Mr. Lewis, Mr. Bifield, Mr. Hickman, Mr. Evans, Mr. Eilis, Mr. Conyers, be sent with these Letters as Messengers to the several Churches, with instructions how to settle that correspondence and communion that may maintain a good understanding during the time of persecution: As
1. That there be an account taken in each County of all the faithful Ministers that can suffer rather then sin, what their abilities are, how useful they may be in the present exigent, according to their several capacities and interests, what their charge is, and of what value their livings are out of which they have been ejected.
2. That there be an account taken of the well-affected Gentry, Nobility, and Commonalty, whose hearts the Lord may open to lay out themselves in the Cause of God, and of the sums they are ready to contribute towards the relief of his faithful servants in the work of the Ministry, which account is to be returned to a Grand Committee for that purpose appointed in London.
3. That there be Treasurers and Receivers in the respe∣ctive Counties, consisting in each County of two suffering Ministers, and three well-affected Gentlemen to dispose of the foresaid charitable Contributions so gathered, as they shall judge most necessary and advantagious to the advance∣ment of the Common Cause, and that there be Commis∣sioners of Inspection that may look into their Qualificati∣ons, who may claim the benefit of the said benevolence and contribution.
The 2• of the sixth moneth,
It was ordered. That Mr. Calamy, Mr. Case, Mr. Bates, Mr. Spurstow, Mr. Gough, &c. do meet to morrow about the twelve thousand pound gathered among the Brethren, to gratifie the Right Honourable and the well-affected, who own the Cause of God in Court and Parliament, and that it should not be called a bribe, but the humble acknow∣ledgement that the people of God make to the Honourable personages that stand in the breach at such a time as this, Page 6 and that Mr. Cradocker, Mr. Jackson, and Mr. Brice, do look into Newmans Concordance for three or four opposite Texts of Scripture wherewith this money may be savingly delivered. And it is further ordered, upon Mr. Spurstows motion, that Act. 12. 20. be one of those Texts consulted: And Herod was highly displeased with the men of Tyre and Sidon, but they came with one accord to him, having made Blastus the Kings Chamberlain their friend: And upon Master Jenkins his motion, Act. 24. 2, 3, 4. was ordered to be an∣other, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this Nation by thy providence, we ac∣cept always, and in all places, most Noble Faelix, with all thank∣fulness; notwithstanding, that we be not further tedious unto thee, well may thee accept of this.
The 23 of the sixth moneth.
It was agreed upon, that a List of those thousands that must now lye down in heart breaking sorrow upon the re∣moval of their faithful Guides, be prepared for his Maje∣sties view, that he may see the strength of our party, and may be convinced that the people of God is his greatest strength.
The 22 of the same moneth,
It was agreed upon, that would be for the advancement of the Cause, if they would take the occasion of some fare∣well Sermons to promote it, provided, that those discour∣ses should be very quickning: And 1. That Ma∣ster Lye was to bid them beware of Episcopal Di∣vines, * of Ceremonies of Popery, and to weep a quarter of an hour: 2. That Mr. Jenkins per∣swade the people that any place is as holy as the * Church, and that two or three met together in a private house, might do as well as a thousand in the publick Congregation. 3. That Mr. Caryl being to ex∣pound that place in the Revelation about them that walked with the Lamb in white, should take that occasion to speak against Surplices. 4. That Mr. Watson may give twenty Rules which may be his Congregations Directory, and a∣mong other Rules this may be one; That seeing they can∣not Page 7 have their Ministers, they may yet read their books; so that if they cannot preach, they may yet live by writing. 5. That Mr. Case do cry two hours together next Lords day for the abominations of Service-book, Altar-worship, Lordly Prelacy, &c.
The same day it was Enacted, That some well-affected Stationers do gather all the Farewell Sermons in City and Country to one volum, and that they scatter them through∣out the Nation for the propagation of the Gospel, the Cause will not be a little promoted by the dying words of the faithful Pastors; and because the twelve Apostles are painted before the Bible, though we otherwise allow of no Images, yet it may be very convenient that twelve Reverend persons heads may be set before the Sermons; and though Mr. Serman urged, that their heads set there would give occasion to the prophane, to compare them to the Tray∣tors heads at London-bridge, or to that row of heads set be∣fore that prophane book called Montelion last year, yet it was voted unanimously, that they were not so fearful as not to dare shew their heads, they were ready to die, as well as to be reproached for the Truth: But when it was ur∣ged, that Mr. Loves head might be amongst them, Mr. Ca∣lamy, Mr. Case, and Mr. Jenkins, stood up, and voted it down as ominous.
The 23 of the sixth moneth, heathenishly called August, there was an offer made by several well-affected Citizens of Mr. Seamans, and other Congregations that were ready to oppose that Mass book, commonly called the Service-book, but it was over-ruled, that those Eminent persons be excused that service, and be reserved for more honorable service, and that the work of the day be carried on by the Apprentices, who with such success helped the Lord against the Mighty in the beginning of the wars, that sure the presence of the Lord was still amongst them; whereupon Mr. Greenhil held forth upon those words of the eighth Psalm (Out of the mouth of Babes and Sucklings hast thou ordained strength, because of thine enemies, that thou mightst still the Enemy and the Aven∣ger:) Out of Mr. Meads Diatriba, three quarters of an Page 8 hour by Shrewsbury-clock, as Sir John Falstaffe speaks, in the third of Edward the fourth and the fifteenth.
It was offered by Mr. Jenkins, that the Lord had often forsaken the Prentices, as in 48. with Colonel Brown and Massey, and in 59. in Hewsons businesse: to which Mr. Caryl replied, that it might be, their strength might fail them when they raised tumults against their brethren, and the servants of God: but if you mark it, said he, the text saith, the enemy and the avenger.
The same day in the afternoon was brought in by Mr. Gurnall, Mr. Ford, &c. and other Latitude men, the humble Petition of several young men, that had not taken the Covenant, for leave to conform as their Reverend Fa∣thers had done before the Warrs: Whereupon Mr. Case rose up in a great fury, and said, If Baal be God serve him, if God be God serve him.
But Mr. Owen and Mr. Caryl, More moderation becomes you, you know conscience is a very large thing, and you know not how far it may reach.
Saith old Mr. Jackson, Brethren, it is necessary that there be some seed-plots laid for the next Generation: Had not the Lord left us a remnant among the old Conformists, we had been as Sodome, and we had been like unto Gomorrah: We know not but that these young men may live under the Government to cast it off as we have done; they may be through Reformers. Brother Calamy, brother Ash, had not we become all things to all men we had gained none: In the Episcopal times we were Episcopal, that we might gain the Episcopal men; in the Presbyterian times we were Presbyterians, that we might gain and rule over the Presby∣ters; and in the times of Anarchy we were moderate, that we might gain them that pretended to moderation.
You shall see, saith Tho. Goodwyn, the power of Godli∣nesse root up and swallow all Forms; you shall see the Formalities and Ceremonies of the Prelatists flee and va∣nish before the Spirit, the life and the power that is hid in a few faithful ones: You know the Church is sometimes compared to an Oak, whose substance is in her; i. e. whose Page 9 heart and pith is found, though its outside may seem to fade and decay: the outside of Professors may look dead, formal, and ceremonious, by compliance in the outward Dispensati•ns with the Laws of the place they live in, yet the root of the matter may be in them; there may be that inward spirit and life, that upon opportunity may devoure all form and ceremony.
Verily (saith Mr. Wild) I think these young men may be dispensed with upon the same terms that Pope Sextus Quintus dispensed with the Catholicks here in England, in the beginning of Queen Elizabeths reign (mi fili da mihi cor tuum) O ye young man, ye may give the Prelatists your hands, but give us your hearts.
Brethren (saith Philip Nie) it is necessary we leave some in the Ministry, i. e. to make a division among the ministry and the people: that the people may have honest men to follow, under which pretence they may leave the Church of England and Ministers.
It were very well, Mr. Meriton did conform at Martins in the Field, to propagate the truth at the Court among the choicest Nobility and Gentry.
Mr. Venning hath done a great deal of service at Olaves, which one Maggot may undo, unlesse young Meriton (not∣withstanding he hath prayed, and cried, and preached a∣gainst these times) succeed him, and hold those people in play with his short Sententia pueriles, Jingles, and quib∣bles.
It were well, Mr. Glendon, Parker, Phillips, &c. did con∣form, that they may go to law, quarrel with, and vex all the Episcopal men in England.
Mr. West would do well to stay in, to instruct all the young men of his acquaintance, that are turned out of Ox∣ford, to follow the Lord fully, and to be faithful to the end.
Mr. Bucke my Lord Bradshaw's Chaplain, and Mr. Hib∣bard, having been faithful upon all occasions, I think, may be trusted with the Common-prayer.
Page 10 But saith honest Doctor Bates, how can they in consci∣ence read the Common-prayer.
Alas said Mr: Nie, that may be done by Readers and Cu∣rates, and when they are enjoyned to read it, they may read it as they do Briess, or some other impertinent things in the Church: And it will be no mean service to our Cause to have the service-booking by the slight reading of it.
Mr. Lye said, that in vain do we provide for one or two places, when all the rest were taken up by Episcopal Di∣vines.
Mr. Manton replied, never fear that, you know the Epi∣scopal Divines will preach but once a day, and if the good people will have an Afternoon-Lecture, they must pay for it, and therefore in reason they must choose, and you know they will be directed by us in their choice, so that the After∣noon and Weekly-Lectures shall be as effectually and pow∣erfully performed as formerly.
But the wicked will call that engrossing of Lectures, saith Mr. Dolittle, as Pluralities.
Yea, saith Mr. Greenhill, Mr. Griffith, that one man of six places, and Mr. Manton that had eight places at once, God seeth no iniquity in Jacob, he observeth no perversenesse in Israel: these are the spots of Gods children: We ask only against Pluralities of Parsonages, a man may have as many Lectures as they say Doctor Downes hath Lectures and Coracies, and they say he hath twelve; or as Mr. Hardy hath Preferments, and they say he hath nine; or as Doctor Pory, who hath, as is reported of him (how truly, let others an∣swer for it) sixteen places at least.
Verily and in good sooth, say both Mr. Meritons, we de∣sire no more then three Lectures apiece, with our Parsona∣ges, and a private Living in the Countrey that no body heareth of.
Committee. Take you no further care, all the Lectures in Town shall be furnished with confiding and well-affected persons.
Page 11 25. of the 6th moneth, 1663.
It was agreed upon, That now his Majestie saw the incli∣nation of the people by the late tumults, he should be peti∣tioned in the behalf of the faithful Ministers to this effect.
May it please your most excellent Majesty,
WHereas we are many, and our party very considerable for their Interest with God and Men, as you wou'd enjoy peace and tranquillity in your Kingdomes, or any quist in your Throne, we must intreat you to let us do what we please, and to set no Law or Government over us, for we cannot endure them; and upon condition we have what we desire, your Petitioners shall pray for you.
- Ed. Calamy,
- Laz Seaman,
- W. Spurstow,
- Mattth. New∣comen,
- Jo. Brice,
- Jo. Owen,
- Tho. Goodwyn,
- H. Wilkinson,
- W. Cooper.
The first of the seventh moneth.
Upon the Report of his Majesties resolved Answer, it was agreed upon, that the monethly Fast be revived, and that at each Fast there be six appointed to carry on the work of the day, whereof the first is to confesse their apostacy to the Royal Party, who they knew would deceive them and their folly in trusting in the arm of flesh, viz. my Lord Monke, my Lord Chamberlain, my Lord Chancellor, &c.
2. The second is to pour out Supplications to God to turn the Kings heart, and to overthrow the counsels of the men of this generation.
3. The third is to pray for a blessing upon the several Councels, that are managed for the advancement of Reli∣gion, and the good old Cause.
4. The fourth is to be wail the neglect of the many op∣portunities put into their hands to make all sure, and to in∣treat the Lord to trust them with the Sword once more, and to unite all those that fear the Lord into one body against the common Enemy, that now prevaileth.
5. The fifth is, to strengthen the weak against Popery.
Page 12 6. The sixth is, to gather up all the Intelligence, and thence to observe such providence as tend towards a deli∣verance; especially that of wonders, miracles, apparitions, and conjunctions, that portend so much alteration in the Christian world.
At the same time it was ordered, That there should not meet above twenty at a time in a meeting; therefore Mr. Jacomb was very much blamed for entertaining above two hundred the other day at the Countesse of Exeters; and that the number met, have their table laid ready, that if any surprize them, they may say, they only go to dinner or supper: and it was thought convenient, that there were a Boy ready to read a Chapter, that if they be interrupted they may give out, a man cannot read a Chapter in his house as the times go now, but they are in danger of being called in question about it.
About this time Mr. Baxter moved, that seeing he and others were silenced, their soul-saving Works might be im∣mediately reprinted, viz. Smectymnuus, Lex Rex, Holy Commonwealth, Antica Valieryme, with most of Milton and Mr. Goodwyn's Papers, and all the Sermons preached upon publick Fasts and Thanksgiving-dayes, before the long Parliament, and other Parliaments, from the year 1640. to the year 1658. together with Mr. Cartwrights writings, and all the godly Books published in Queen Elizabeth and King James his time; and because Doctor Hammond, Doctor Taylor, Doctor Heylin, Bishop Nicholson, Bishop Gauden, have written so much of late of Episcopacy and Liturgy, it were to be wished, that Doctor Owen were intreated from this Committee, to write a Discourse of Liturgies, when they were first composed, and when imposed, which may be privately conveyed from hand to hand, for the strengthen∣ing of the Brethren in that point: and that Mr. Caryl should write another Treatise of Separation: But least Mr. Caryl should state the businesse of Separation so, that he should set up Independancy, i. e. a separation as well from Presbytery as from Episcopacy, Mr. Crofton may be intreated to state the case so, as that the Ministry withdraw Page 13 from their Ministry under Bishops, though the people ought not to withdraw from their duty under them; that though the Minister do not read the Liturgy, yet the people may hear it; and that the people ought not to divide from the Church for any corruptions, though the Ministers may.
Mr. Jacomb, that this motion was very seasonable, be∣cause our adversaries observations, and our own experi∣ence taught us, that by the same reasons that we perswaded the people to avoid communion with the Church of Eng∣land formerly, the Sectaries perswaded them to avoid com∣munion with us; and therefore we must by all means hold the people to the Church under the Bishops, that they may hold to it under us; we must leave the Church, least Pres∣bytery be swallowed up of Episcopacy; the people must not leave the Church, least Presbytery be brought to no∣thing by Independency.
It was put to the question by Mr. Seamor, Whether the good people should hear those Ministers that were sent them by the Bishop? Whereupon Mr. Baxter stood up and said, It was dangerous to teach the people to forsake the publick Assemblies. Why saith Mr. Brooks, why should they hear the Antichristian Clergy? Nay, replyed Mr. Baxter, if we teach the people to leave the Episcopal Ministers be∣cause they are Antichristian; the Sectaries may easily per∣swade them to leave us because we are Antichristian. Nay, said Doctor Manton, we need not trouble our selves about that, there be many honest and sober men in the City, there is confiding Mr. Hibbard, sweet Mr. Meriton and his Reader at Islington, honest Mr. Buck and his Lecturer at &c. Nich. Acon, precious Mr. Neast, and many more, yea all the Le∣ctures, and places to be bestowed by the people, are to be filled up with hopeful young men.
The seventh of the seventh moneth.
There was Addresses from the City Dames to the Reve∣rend the Committe of faithful Ministers, congratulating their stedfastnesse in the Cause and Covenant, with a Reso∣lution to stand by them with their lives and fortunes, and Page 14 an assurance of their kindnesse for them as formerly, pro∣vided they held forth to them Liberty of Conscience, to do what they list in spight of their Husbands, who pretend to be Kings in their Families, as they take Liberty of Consci∣ence to do what they will in spight of King and Parlia∣ment; withall offering, whether they have any design to which they may be instrumental, in perswading their Hus∣bands, which they praise the Lord they have done hitherto very inccessfully, as Eve, the Mother of all the Living, did her Husband Adam, and the zealous Women have done in all ages; and particularly, whether they should perswade their Husbands to pay Baals Priests no Tyths?
To this Address it was ordered, that Mr. Venning should reply, out of his Epistle to that Lady, to which he dedicates Mr. Stongs Works; and Mr. Watson, out of his Epistles to the Baronesse of Tilbury, and the Countesse of Clare. And likewise it was ordered, that they should be stiled, the ho∣nourable Women that were stirred up, as it is written in the 19. of the Acts, and that this passage should be inserted into the Answer, viz. That whereever the Gospel was preached this which they had done should be spoken of throughout the world: Which Reply being perused and drawn up with these Greetings; Greet Prissilla and Aquila, our helpers in Christ Jesus, Rom. 6. 13. Greet many who bestoweth much labour on us. Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord, ver. 6. 12. Salute one another with an holy kisse, ver. 16. All the Saints salute you. Whereupon the holy Sisters deputed Mrs. Winstanley, Mrs. Gayre, Mrs. Fouke, Mrs. Allen, Mrs. Ʋnderwood, to invite the Reverend Men to enjoy the Creature at a Banquet at Gains mine Host in Gra∣cious-street, as it is written Rom. 16.
As to the matter of Tythes, Mr. Baxter went over the sheet he writ three or four years ago, for the Ministry and the whole Committee pleaded for the divine right of it, and concluded it very dangerous to insinuate to the people that they may withdraw their Tyths at their pleasure, upon the least dislike of their Minister, for as Mr. Glendon,Page 15 Mr. Case, Mr. Sheffield, Mr. Crofton, observed very well, it may be our turn next; and who knoweth what a day may bring forth? it may be our own case. Yet it was agreed, that the Sisters should send in their Husbands on that day seven-night. When they came, and by agreement all the old were burned, and new agreed upon to be shewed the new Incumbents; with which if they rest satisfied they have not half their dues, and so cannot live; if they will not be satisfied, but endeavour to restore the Church to her just rights, they shall be wearied out with Suits of Law maintained by common stock, (for Acts 2. 44. as it is written, those that believe are together, and have all things in common) and withall shall be publickly loaded with the sad aspersions of covetousness and contention.
Hereupon, upon Mr. Neast, Mr. Raworth, and Meriton's Reader, that preacheth now at Islington, and many more good mens motion, it was agreed by the confiding Citizens, and the well-affected Ministers, that new tables of duty should be drawn, for the use of the respective well-affected Parishes.
Whereupon the ninth of the seventh moneth this ensu∣ing table was presented, and approved.
1. For every Funeral-Sermon to the godly and well-affected Ministers, shall be gven by the Master or Dame, 5 li. with a Gown, Mourning; if the party can afford it: (for so it is written the Israelites robbed the Aegyptians.)
2. To a formal Prelatical man, an Angel in clipped half-Crowns, with a pair of Sheepskin-Gloves, sent by the meanest Servant, for his good will, that a precious man may preach or speak.
3. For every Burial without Common-prayer, twenty shillings,
4. For a Burial with Common-prayer, a shilling, and a box of Sweet-meats.
5. For a baptizing without the superstitious sign of the Crosse, and without God-fathers, and God-mothers, an Angel, with Gloves and Sweet-meats, and an invitation to the Gossipping.
Page 16 6. For the usual Baptisme a shilling.
7. For being buried at Mr. Neasts, Mr. Raworths, Mr. Meritons, or at Laurence Jury, especially near the Pulpit, ten pound.
8. To the Lecturers of St. Antholines, for giving the Lord thanks for the Sisters great deliverance in child-birth, in a Prayer of a quarter of an hour long after Sermon, to save the charge of that they commonly called Churching, five shillings a piece, and that the rather, that godly women may not against their consciences be compelled to come to Church.
9. To every moderate man, who is willing to comply with such tender consciences as can sit, but cannot kneel at the Communion of Christs body and bloud; as likewise to every tender and sober man, who for the ease of tender con∣sciences doth not require them to come up to the Popish Rails, but wait upon them in their own Protestant seats, a gratuity of an Angel, instead of that superstitious stipend, by the people called, Easter-offering.
10. For every Communion at an holy Meeting, admi∣nistred according to the Directory, a gathering, not less then twenty pound, as it is written, Act. 2. 45. And they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need, and they brake bread from house to house.
11. For a Brotherly visiting of those who lay under any affliction in body or mind, especially if according as it is, any send for the Elders, and they spend an hour or two with them out of Mr. Baxters directions, for the setling of a troubled Conscience, his Saints Rest, the Last Enemy, the bruised Reed, the Souls Conflict, the Godly Mans Ark, Crums of Comfort, learn to live, and learn to die: The four last things, Boltons direction for comfort, with some heart-breaking, Ah me! ah Lord! and a prayer, accord∣ing to the Directory picked out of Wilkins gift of Prayer, an Angel and a Peasant to the Ministers Wife; but if the formal Priest of the Parish will needs trouble the Brethren or Sisters, let them have a glass of Wine, and a pipe of To∣bacco, and a grinning God-buy-a good Sir.
Page 17 12. Although Matrimony be a civil Contract which a Brother and a Sister may make between themselves and the Lord (as Sister Edwards and Brother Williams took one an∣others word the other day) yet because we judge it conve∣nient that every solemn action of our lives should be per∣formed with prayer, and a blessing therefore for every Mar∣riage performed, according to the Directory, without a Ring twenty shillings, and a fringed pair of Gloves, with an invitation to crave a blessing upon the Wedding Dinner, otherwise only two shillings.
The twelfth of the same moneth, the Citizens and their Wives made an humble Address to the Committee, to ex∣plain the word well-affected in the Table of Duties, and who are the well-affected Ministers; whereupon, by Order of the Committee, Mr. Lye explained that particular thus: Beloved, a well-affected Minister is one that in conscience was called to the Ministry by the Elders, but in prudence was since called by the Bishops, who useth indeed the last Call and Ordination, but relieth wholly on the first, who indeed complieth with the publick Injuction of the Church, yet professeth they are a burthen and a grief to him.
Secondly: Beloved, a well-affected person, is he that being weary of reading Common prayer, prevails with the Brethren to hire a Reader for that tedious work, and then preacheth and prayeth himself three hours by Shrewsbury Clock.
Thirdly: Beloved, he that savours of your former faith∣ful Minister, and are endued with their spirit; and to that purpose preach those Notes they have taken from them; as honest Mr. Cave, who preacheth and prayeth as like Mr. Me∣riton, under whom he read, as if he had his Note: Ah! make much of those Elisha's, that have the Spirit of your Elijah's that are taken from you.
Mr. Allen, verily we have many gracious persons that are not defiled with the white Surplices, nor abridge the Liberty of their Conscience by a Superstitious Girdle, that bow not the knee to Baal, that visit our sick after the Di∣rectory, Page 18 baptize our Children by the Spirit, and bury our dead by the gift of Preaching; that will offer something for the present Government in publick, but make amends for all in some holy and private conferences about the good Old Cause; these are a precious Remnant left us, for whom we are bound to bless the Lord.
Sister Priscilla; verily Mr. Lewis, Mr. Cave, Mr. Neast, &c. do preach up the comfortable Doctrine of Assurance, the Soul-saving Doctrine of Christ in Believers, the heart-sup∣porting truth of the in-dwelling of the Spirit, which are great refreshings to us, who can hear nothing elsewhere but good works, repentance, obedience, and other legal doctrines of men unacquainted with the sweet Mysteries of the Gospel.
The seven of the seventh moneth;
Mr. Neast moved, That it might be one character of a well-affected person, that he can improve a godly Sermon, and havea piece for it at his own Church, an Angel at a Lecture, five pound for it at a Funeral Sermon, and a Col∣lation at a godly Meeting.
A good woman of Islington the same day petitioned, that their godly Minister might pass for well-affected, see∣ing he had no Humane Learning, no superstitious Hebrew, Greek or Latin, but savoured so much of precious Master Gurnalls, sweet Mr. Jenkins, holy Mr. Ambrose, &c. that as she said, you could scarce discern his Sermons from their works.
The tenth of the seventh moneth:
That since all men that are setled are tyed from such e∣difying discourses, as may promote the good Old Cause by their subscriptions to the utter quenching of the Spirit, it is ordered; that forty or fifty young and unsuspected persons be maintained by the Brethren, and be at liberty to go up and down, and hint such things as may promote the Cause of God; and that they, together with other Latitude men, repair to Mr. Edmund Calamy, or to the President of the Provincial Assembly for the time being, for such instructi∣ons that may be thought necessary from time to time; in∣somuch Page 19 as September 12. Mr. Nie in the behalf of the well-affected moved, we have but one door of hope open before, viz. the choice of faithful Lecturers, it might please the Committee to draw up some characters whereby the well affected might be guided in their choice of these Lecturers; whereupon these following Characters were a∣greed upon: 1. That he have a mortified coun∣tenance, * with a black Cap, and a white one un∣der it. 2. That he go in Quirpo. 3. That he be turned out of another mans Fellowship, or Living. 4. That he prayeth extempore three quarters of an hour before Ser∣mon, and half an hour after, and mention neither King nor Bishop directly in neither, and sometimes without the Lords Prayer. 5. That he use four ab Lords, and hus in't a time. 6. That he preach moderation, bewail the sins of the times, and threaten Antichrist, and tell them of what is done abroad, but the good man is sorry for it; that he presse inward sincerity when the Law calls for outward conformity; that he say, keep holy the Sabbath-day, when the Church saith, observe Holy-dayes. 7. That he deliver the flowings of milk and honey; that he pour out refresh∣ing comforts, when carnal men preach moral honesty, uni∣versal obedience, and good works. 8. That he have a Cer∣tificate from Mr. Calamy, Mr. Jenkins, Mr. Case, Mr. Seaman: That he is a confiding person, fearing God, ill-affected, to the present Government. 9. That he comply not with the Minister of the place, but if occasion be, he set up his Inte∣rest against him: and that what the Minister of the place will not do he may, for the case of tender consciences.
Notice being given at a Provincial meeting of the well-affected, that St. Antholines Lectures were to be chosen at the time superstitiously called Michaelmas, and that the high Priest of London had a design to furnish it with men whom the ignorant call Orthodox and peaceable, and upon mature consideration, that those Lecturers were the seed-plots of the good old Cause: It was ordered, that all the honest Page 20 men that are left should be picked up to stand for those pla∣ces, that the holy Sisters may have still in a morning some saving truth, which may, after their Caudle, lye next their heart; and that by the opportunity of those Exercises, Saints may be propagated from generation to generation, and by Gods blessing on a morning Exercise, Babes of grace may be multiplied; for Tantlyns is beyond Tunbridge, and Morning-meetings beyond Epsum waters: but because the hard Laws of this Land tie men to read the Word of God, to pray unto God, and to praise him before they make their own Sermons, It was ordered, that some poor Readers should be picked up, who might excuse them that toyl, that they may be reserved wholly for their own Exercises. The same day is being taken into consideration, whether the faithful should be present at the reading of the Service: It was ordered, that they might hear the Common-prayer, provided they did think according to the Directory: Bre∣thren, said Mr. Calamy, I shall say to you in that case as the Pope did in the same case in Queen Elizabeths dayes, You may be present, you may hear, but Son, give me thy heart.
But saith Mr. Case, That you may be distinguished from the prophane, and the precious be separated from the vile, use the liberty of your gesture, and where the Church saith stand, sit ye down for the ease of tender consciences; where it saith kneel, stand, that you may not be brought into sub∣jection to any man; and least your thoughts should be en∣tangled with the abominations of the wicked, while they are at their Porridge, feed you on the Crumbs of Comfort, or Milk for Babes, or The best Wine left until last; or you may sleep, and say with the Spouse, I sleep, but my heart waketh, till you are awakened by a soul-searching, and sinner-rou∣sing Sermon.
Truly, said Mr. Jenkins, it is safer staying at dore, or at home, untill you hear the good man in the Pulpit; for what communion hath light with darknesse? what com∣parison is there between a soul-suing Sermon, and a formal and dead prayer?
Page 21 September 15.
There was a Committee appointed to take the names of the faithful Pastors, who suffered for their Consciences throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland, and withall of all the well-affected, who are ready to contribute for their subsistance, that we may understand the Interest of the good people of this Land, and withall how many confiding persons could keep a Minister in their houses, to instruct them and their Tenants, and confirm them in the faith. From which Committee there was this Report brought in a while after, That London would contribute 4563 l. 10 s. 5 d yearly, besides, that several would entertain the respective ejected Ministers at their own tables.
Besides, that it was reported from the close Committee, That the holy Sisterhood would raise among themselves, without their Husbands knowledge; 1251 l. 3 s. 4 d. besides other tokens of their love and kindnesse. And withall there was read an Order of the same close Commit∣tee, That in the time of exigence and distress, all the holy Maids and faithful Widows should marry the faithful Bre∣thren now under persecution, forasmuch as the Apostles in the same condition, led about Sisters for their Wives.
- R. Venning,
- H. Hurst,
- T. Harrison.
- Will. Allen,
- Jo. Godolphin,
- Chr. Pack,
- P. Barebone.
The same day the several persons were named, who were to bring in the Countrey Contributions, with the names of their respective suffering Ministers; with their conditions, and effectual Certificates concerning both; and for the more effectual carrying on of the work, It was ordered, that two noble Patriots in each County be desired to assist the foresaid Ministers, for the maintenance and support of the Cause.
It was taken into consideration, that all Burroughs, Cities, & Corporations, which have been hitherto supplied Page 22 by men of honest principles be looked after, and that such moderate men as have a Licence from Mr. Baxter, Mr. Ca∣lamy, Dr. Manton, and Mr. Burgesse, to conply, may from time to time be put in those places; for which Mr. Jen∣kins offered two Reasons: 1. it is very expedient, for so we are sure to command the choice of honest Parliament men; for wherever we are, we must preside in that case, as zealous Mr. Fouke at Reading, discreet Mr. Boules at York, publick spirited Mr. Baxter in Worcester-shire, and you know the Burgesses and Citizens are for the major part of the House of Commons, and an honest majority among the Commons, with a moderate House of Lords, may be healing of our breaches, and restorers of paths.
Let me add, said Mr. Boules, that Towns, Cities, and Cor∣porations, being well affected, have the greatest advantage of fellowship, communion, and correspondence with them∣selves and the adjacent neighbourhoods.
2. Saith Mr. Jenkins, beloved, the settlement of well-affected men in Towns, Cities, and Corporations, is very easie, for considering the great pains that must be taken there, and the little stipend that is legally settled there, the Orthodox, as they call them, will not look after those pla∣ces, but our good Friends, you know, can labour in the Word and Doctrine, and withall get more by the benevo∣lence of the well-affected then is settled upon any by the Law of the Land, the Rulers Wives, and honourable Wo∣men administring unto them of their substance; this was the way that was taken by the first Reformers in 39, and 40 of blessed memory.
The same day came an Express by Mr. Bagshaw from Ireland, concerning their resolution there to promote a Re∣formation, according to the Covenant, and a government bottomed upon English Interest, as to which great affair they did not doubt of their brethren in England and Scot∣land concurrence with them, with their advice, interest, mo∣ney and correspondence in all other necessary particulars; particularly whether they should admit of those forreign supplies, offered them for the relief of Ireland, by a Letter from Rome to this effect
X. X. X.
Dearly beloved in one common cause,
IT is no little grief to us, to hear how you are relapsed to your former state of slavery and bondage, and that your great design of Liberty of Conscience, where∣in you had our prayers, and best assistance, failed you, to the great grief of many of our and your way, who are like now to feel one common persecution, and we may say, in one common cause, viz. the power of the Magi∣strate in religious causes, or over religious persons, which we and you equally deny: if you have any remainder of your former courage and noblenesse, and if you en∣tertain any honourable thoughts for your rescue, and you may think we or our Allies may serve you, impart the same, we intreat you, to Seignior Bellarini, a person of ability and faithfulnesse, whom we intrust with full power to treat with you in that particular.
Fr. d. Gomora S. S. C. Ec. S. P. R.
Verily, said Mr. Jackson, I see so little hope of successe, so few Armes, so little money, so few friends, that I am not clear in it that they have a call from God to this work at this time; and in good sooth I alwayes thought some hope of successe the only call of God.
Nay said Mr. Watson, it is not the good successe we must look to, but the good Cause.
However said Mr. Baxter, a good cause cannot be mana∣ged successfully by ill means: Do you not know that Popish assistance blasted all the late Kings undertakings? what communion hath Christ with Belial?
Page 24 Verily saith Mr. Rutherford, we may make use of the wicked, as the Israelites did of the Gibeonites, to how wood and to draw water for the Cause; Esau may serve Jacob: besides that, they indeed of Rome are well affected to our cause, we are for Liberty of Conscience, so are they, we would restrain the overgreat power of Kings, so would they; they would have the Kings accountable for their actions, so would we; they are for an Irish Interest, we are for an English one, both is one, the priviledge of the subject, the interest of the People: Whereupon it was left to the Irish Commissioners discretion, whether they would treat with the Seignior any further or no.
And it was further thought fit, that the plot should be dis∣covered, and that impertinent thing, my friend Bagshaw, should be secured; for indeed the whole design looked only like a trepan upon the holy Cause, and a surprize upon the brethren.
This day was a full Assembly, it being a day of fasting and humiliation, and seeking the Lord, for a right way in the present distresse and exigence. Mr. Nye, Dr. Goodwyn, Mr. Th. Owen praying, Mr. Slater, Mr. Griffith, and Mr. Seaman preaching.
Hereupon it was the day following considered, where lay the treasure and trade of the Nation, and a Committee to that purpose appointed; having taken a view of both, returned this account, viz. That of thirteen millions and a half, which is supposed the current stock and treasure of the Nation, we are masters of seven millions and a half and above, which being taken up and carried to forreign parts, must stop the trade here, and engage this sinful Nation in need, discontent and trouble: And withall it was offer∣ed by the same Committee, that they that had any Interest in Ireland, would repair thither, or resign it to such active and publick spirits, as were qualified for the management of a common Interest: And withall it was offered, that there might be at least a present accommodation of all the persecuted Interests, and that (all differences apart) all be Page 25 owned as brethren, that are spirited for an English and a Christian Liberty.
The same Committee offered, that an Envoy be dispatch∣ed to Mounsieur Coirt, to expedite the bargain of Dunkirk, and in case the Christian King should think it too dear, to assure him, that there are some Christian friends here, that will advance 45620 li. provided they may have Liberty of Conscience there, in case of persecution here; and to that purpose they added, That our honourable Friend should promote the said bargain at Court.
Not long after, Dr. Manton and Dr. Jacomb reported, that they had it from some very good Christian Friends, that it pleased God (upon the news of Liberty of Trade and Religion allowed by the most Christian King of France) to move the Kings heart (which is in Gods hand as a River of water) to think of a gracious Declaration, about Liberty of Religion and Trade: Whereupon the thanks of the Assembly was returned to the Committee, for tran∣sportion of tender Consciences to Dunkirk, New England, Amsterdam, &c. And the fifth of November was observed as a Thanksgiving-day, for a door of hope opened in his Ma∣jesties gracious Inclination. When Mr. Fouler enlarged upon this subject; And the fear of them came upon all the people. And Dr. Goodwyn upon this, And be reproved Kings for their sakes, saying, Touch not mine anointed ones, i. e. as he well opened it, my people. And Dr. Owen on this, Stand fast in the Liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free. Dr. Ja∣comb scrupled that the fifth of November should be a Thanksgiving-day for toleration of Popery, and all other Religions. You are very dark, saith Dr. Owen, as to the language of the present Dispensation, which seems to speak nothinglesse, then a most absolute deliverance from Anti∣christian slavery. Yes said Mr. Brooks, Old things are passed away, and all things are become new. It may be, saith Mr. Ca∣ryl, this was done, that we may say no more, the Lord liveth, which delivered us from the usurpation of Rome, but the Lord liveth, which hath delivered us from tyranny and op∣pression of our own Laws. Really, said Mr. Bates, we have Page 26 great respects and kindness from my Lord Digly, and as we are beholding to him for that passage of his against this Church, which we quoted from his Letter to Sir K. Digby in the latter end of our jus divinum ministerii, so we are obliged to him for the excellent Reasons for Christian Li∣berty, he hath offered in our behalf and our brethren the Catholicks, not long ago in a very solemn Assembly.
A while after it was judged convenient, that some per∣sons of integrity that attend at Court, should look into the bottom of that affair, and see whether Indulgence was likely to go on: Whereupon Mr. Seaman and Dr. Goodwyn offer∣ed this, viz. That there was no way better to try the Kings pronenesse to indulgence, then to make use of their Christi∣an friends aforehand at some holy meeting, or if that were not publick enough, at one of those many Churches that are at our disposal. And immediately Mr. Calamy was ordered, to watch an opportunity at Aldermanbury, and go up and preach, Very fit this, agreed upon by the whole company, for either the King would wink at it, and then we are sure he hath a kindness for us, and the world may think that we are considerable in his eyes, and that we have over-ruled the Law, or it may be he punisheth it, however we have honourable Friends, that shall bring Mr. Calamy off, and it may be five hundred pounds in his way. Well said Mr. Brice, we have a price put into our hands, the Lord give us hearts to use it; let us redeem the time, that hour, Mr. Calamy had need be well spent. Mr. Calamy, Mr. Caryl, Mr. Lye, withdrew to consider what subject he should preach upon; and they reported, that none was more seasonable then this, either Ichabod the glory is departed, or The Ark is departed. Whereupon Mr. Calamy was desired to insist on all the hints of fears, jealousies, and surmizes, which had already possessed the people concerning the departure of the Gospel. And it was ordered, that since notice should be given of this extraordinary mercy, and that Mr. Calamy, being thanked by the City for his great paint, should be desired to print and publish his Sermon for the common good.
Page 27 And in the mean time let us promote a strict Act for regulation of Printing, that no Orthodox books, as they call them, be published but with much difficulty as may be wrought upon by money, that as soon as we understand the method of the Law, we may understand the method of affronting the Law.
It being represented to the Reverend the Committee of ejected Ministers, that there are so few honest men left that the people are at a losse is to publick meetings; It was or∣dered, that there should be twenty or thirty young men to supply by turns some carelesse Episcopal mens Pulpits, to keep the root of the matter in the good people; and that there be Messengers to invite the good people to these soul-searching Sermons from Dan to Beersheba; that the same course be taken as to Lectures, that may be preached upon week-dayes, especially at Aldermanbury, Allhallows-Bread∣street, and Laurence-Jury; and likewise as to Fun•ral Ser∣mons, which the well-affected must take care, that they be preached by none but the honest men.
About this time, notice being sent from honourable friends, that the Bishops resolved upon their respective Visitations, it was ordered, that the platform of Govern∣ment offered at, agreed upon in London, Cambridge, and Northampton, by Mr. Cartwright, Mr. Travers, Mr. ••all, &c. and other discount enarced Ministers in Queen Elizabeths time, and petitioned for by the thousands of Israel in King James his time, and offered to the Parliament by the As∣sembly of Di•ines in King Charles his time, should be drawn up and agreed to, and immediately exercised in opposition to that Antichristian way of Bishop: but the brethren of the Congregation alway making some difficulty of sub∣mitting to the Pattern in the Mount: it was agreed however for the present, that two Elders grave and apt to teach should be designed for each County, to confirm the bre∣thren, and as Barnabas, to exhort them to cleave to the Lord with full purpose of heart; and to that end it was Page 28 thought fit, that the discourse concerning Liturgies, and their Imposition, Mr. Case and Mr. Crofton of the Covenant, Baines and Ames against Ceremonies, together with the Province of Londons discourse about Presbytery, be reprinted to be bestowed by them in their respective charges, together with the books of Miracles, Mr. Brooks's Gods Consolations for Saints in affliction, and Mr. Alliband's Nubecula est & cit• transibit, The Ministers Case; for said Mr. Watson, when they may not hear us they may read us, when they have not us they may have our books.
At the same time it was resolved among the brethren of the baptized way, That Mr. Jessey and Mr. Knowles should go and visit their friends, and edifie the respective members of their Congregation all over England, with Letters of salutation from the [Friends in London, thus directed, Jer. Ives, &c. a Servant of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve Tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
It was reported on the 24th, of the seventh moneth, to the Provincial Assembly, then seeking the Lord by fasting and prayer, that the union among them of the Congrega∣tional way was now finished, and that a great design was going on; whereupon Mr. Case pressed, that they should be unanimous, now Gebul, and Ammon, and Amaleck, the Philistines, with them of Tyre were joyned together; And not long after there was an overture of accommodation between them, upon the terms of the Covenant; only some other time was reserved for explaining the words, Herefie and Schisme: As to the Design on foot, it was judged un∣likely, that so unconsiderable a part of the Nation could do any good; and therefore answer was made by the mem∣bers of the Assembly to the brethren of the Congregational way, that they would wait upon providence, i. e. see if their undertakings prospered, if not, they would disown it; for (as one said very well) experience had taught them the method of overturning this Government; and that me∣thod is this, to keep the City, and get a major part in Par∣liament; this Government must be insensibly overturned by possessing the major part of the people with such di∣scourses Page 29 as most accommodates their thoughts and con∣sciences.
Therefore seeing there was no likelihood of dissolving this Parliament, it was offered, that the vacancies by death in Parliament should be observed, and that the people be prepared upon all these occasions to make a choice accord∣ing to the Lords mind, of men •earing God, and loving and tender towards his people, and well affected to the good old Cause; for which purpose it was judged expedient to improve the spreading discontent about Chimney-money and other Impositions, for which we are much engaged to the discretion and faithfulness of our good Friends, who observing the necessities former times have run the Govern∣ment into, promoted these unusual supplies, at once to ob∣lige his Majesty to our party for our care of his Revenue, and to enrage the people against the Parliament for their profuseness of their money and neglect of their interest, suggesting the danger of a French government, or a Nor∣man slavery, whereby the Nobility and Gentry shall with∣draw their necks, and leave the poor Commonalty to the charge and slavery of subjection; with which a groan or two must be interposed touching the Ark, tender Conscien∣ces, and the Gospel in the purity of it, and how all good people that have an interest therein should be affected there∣with; it being the great interest of the good people to keep the thoughts of the departure of the Gospel warm upon the spirits and consciences of believers, conscience being the strongest tie upon reasonable souls in the world.
It was withall agreed, that two active persons should observe all the failings of State, and report them to a Committee appointed to improve and agravate them, as might most conduce to the good old Cause, especially by engaging the people in conscience against the government, and in passion against the Governours, and in contempt against both, and keep this worm upon their hearts, that the cause is Gods.
Page 30 The fourth of the eighth moneth.
It being represented that there was some miscarriage in Mr. Carly's meeting, so that the persecutors had them before Governour, and imprisoned them. It was agreed. 1. Here∣after that there should be no private meeting of the bre∣thren upon any time of publick meetings. 2. That not above twelve should meet together. 3. That their meet∣ings should be in Dining-rooms, where the Tables should be set so, that if any body came they were only there refresh∣ing themselves with the good creature. 4. That the meet∣ings should be as often as may be in some Officers house, who by his place may not be suspected, and if discovered, may lay it upon his Wife. 5. That at most meetings there may be a Sacrament, which may be an obligation to secrecy and faithfulness. 6. That the meeting consist of these exercises: 1. That there be an account of all transacti∣ons since the last meeting. 2. That there be a prayer poured forth suitable to the dispensation. 3. That a Scripture may be opened that may speak to the present providence. 4. That every brother may open his doubt and scruple to be resolved by the brethren if it be possible, if not, to be re∣served for the great Congregation. 5. That after due re∣freshment of our selves we forget not the afflictions of Jo∣seph, but send portions to the poor distressed Ministers and people; for it was very well observed by Mr. Seaman, that the King and Church have lost most of their friends by neglecting to make a competent provision for them; for it is Interest, saith he, that governeth the world; the greatest prop to our Cause was our care of disposing places and Delinquents Lands to the well affected, where by a hundred thousand families were engaged to live and die with us.
A bill was brought in of some well-affected persons, that would go through all the Qualifications to be prescribed by King or Parliament to promote the honest Interest in their several capacities, as Common-councel men, and other Officers of the City; provided alwayes, that upon any Page 31 scruple they repair to Father Calamy, and father Clarke, to be resolved; and the bill was brought to be registred to father Clarke, that in his next Volume of Martyrology he may record them as the great Patriots of their Country, friends to the holy Cause, and restorers of paths to dwell in.
But said Deputy Ash, What if all Officers for the ensu∣ing year must renounce the Covenant?
Alas, saith Mr. Nye, have not we all renounced it long ago? have not we all taken the Engagement, and was not the Engagement a renunciation of the Covenant? Beloved, did not the long Parliament, the famous long Par∣liament, that were I am sure at the making of the Cove∣nant, and knew sure as well as anybody how far it did bind us, lay it aside as an Almanack out of date: an beloved said he, you must do more for the Cause then renounce a Covenant that hath been this many a day out of date.
It was moved by some well affected Citizens that did lye lyable to the Bishops, that some confiding Lawyers were consulted about their power, whether in all cases they might not escape them by appealing to the Common Law, where the whole Cause will fall to the ground for want of prosecutors: and how far Church wardens might act without the necessity of taking an Oath; and what power they had in Vestries and other Parish matters without their Minister, that they might understand what advantages they have in their places, for promoting the discountenanced In∣terest of the Lord and his servants, and whore a man might get in with some Officers, under whose wings they may safe∣ly serve their Friends and the good old Cause.
The same day Mr. Baxter offered seventeen Considerati∣ons touching the conveniency of More-fields, Islington, Hackney, &c. for habitations to the ejected Ministers, and withall produced the history of Philip Nerius father of the Oratorians among whom it was agreed, that the zealous Christians should meet a-dayes in St. Jeromes Oratory, and Page 32 there a religious meeting should be held after this manner: first silence being made, they began with Prayer, and one of the brothers read some pious Lessons, at the reading of which the Father used to interpose upon occasion, explain∣ing more fully, enlarging and vehemently inculcating on the minds of the Auditors the things read, continuing his discourse sometimes a whole hour (to the great satisfacti∣on of the hearers) dialogue-wise, asking some of the com∣pany their opinions of such a thing; afterward by his ap∣pointment one of them went up into the Desk raised upon steps, and made an Oration without flourish or varnish of Language, composed out of the approved and choice lives of Saints, sacred Writ, and sentences of holy Fathers: he that succeeded him discoursed after the same manner, but on a differing matter: then followed the third, who related some part of the Church story in the order of its several ages; every of these had his half hour allotted to him, and performed all with marvellous delight and approbation; then singing some Hymne, and going to prayers again, the company broke up. Which way, together with some ad∣ditions of his own, sutable to the present occasion, he offered to their consideration.
The eighteenth of the eighth moneth.
A confiding Lawyer brought word, that notwithstand∣ing the Act for Uniformity, there was Liberty left yet for the suffering brethren, to undertake the most advantageous employment to them and their Cause, viz. teaching of School, which (said he) may be done thus; an inconsi∣derate person that hath conformed may be hired to take care of a School in a brothers house, and the brother under the notion of boarding may instruct them himself in all parts of learning and godliness: All applanded this moti∣on, not only as a present provision for their persons, but a likely advantage to their Cause: Which if we cannot, said Mr. Nie, promote in our time, yet by this meanes it may be restored in the next generation; they that are Ma∣sters of the children in this age, may be Masters of the men in the next.
Page 33 Having given order for translating the Farewell-Sermons into Dutch, for the propagation of the Gospel among the reformed Churches, and the keeping up of the dying cause in the world; and settled their correspondence among the neighbours abroad and at home, and established the way of supply for money and other occasions, the Collectors, Trea∣surers, Registers, and all other Officers, and having disposed the several Brethren to their respective charges of confirm∣ing, confuting, and comforting, throughout the Churches, they broke up, and adjourn'd until the twenty five of De∣cember, which is appointed to be a day of fasting and hu∣miliation, and of seeking the Lord in the behalf of his di∣stressed Cause and Servants, and particularly, for that there is not the same spirit among us now that was in the begin∣ning of these times: Where are our Vines, our Hists, our Marshals, our Strongs, our Bowles, our Loves, our Jeanes, our Prophets? where are they our Fathers, do they live for ever? It being ordered beforehand, that Mr. Needham, Mr. Ascham, Mr. Canne, Mr. Walker, have their liberty to invent and publish such things as may amuse the people as to the right state of things, and improve our Cause and Interest, and that they watch all publick transaction, that if any thing fall out amiss, they may make the best of it to the good people, to keep up their hearts these desponding times; however that fears and jealousies be continued, and decay of Trade: for as a Brother held forth out of my Lord of St. Albanes,
The ninth day of the ninth moneth.
A Welch Curate, or a Son of the Church of England, that goeth in Welch-frize and a russet Cloak, ycliped Lewis, a soul-saving-searching-awakening Usurer, Broker, Briber, and Monopolist of Livings and Lectures, a Servant of Jesus Christ in the work of the Gospel, holding forth at the Meeting-place of Allhallowes in the Wall, and Pastor of a Church there, was called before the Reverend the Commit∣tee of ejected Ministers, where Mr. Calamy, being in the Chair, told him of several misdemeanours, whereby he was a scandal to their Cause: Particularly, that under pretence of the promise made to them to reserve his Pulpit for any well-affected Brethren not conforming, who would take pains to confirm the Disciples, and to establish them in the faith, he had admitted Fifth-monarchy men, Anabaptists, and others to his Pulpit, to the great disparagement of the holy Cause, which may be thought to countenance those Factions and wayes. Whereunto the Anabaptist, Indepen∣dent-Presbyterian Son of the Church replyed; That 1. he desired to become all things to all men. 2. That though the Brethren of the baptized way differed from us in some points, yet they heartily agree in the main, viz. zealous op∣position of the tyranny, superstition, and prophaness of these times, which he understood to be the present Interest. 3. That because no body would hear him before these times, he must now please every body to gain a Congrega∣tion. Mr. Calamy urged against him further, that he being appointed to look out all opportunities of employment, and so bring in his destituted brethren to his Church, allow∣ing Page 36 them what he gained abroad, only reserving two shill∣ling in ten for his own pains, he snatched up all that was to be got in Town, and employed his brethren, but allowed them little or nothing. He replied, that he knew not how soon he should be out of all, for the High Priest of London threatned him every day; and he desired to be excused if he lay in something against an evil day. Another of the Com∣mittee urged against him the forty pounds it cost him in the Maids business, where he was caught in Shoreditch. To which he replied, that the spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak; his heart was right, he intended to propagate the Gospel. When they told him he should marry and not burn; he answered, I suppose that it is good for the present distress, I say, it is good so to be. After complaint of seve∣ral misdemeanours, the Curate tells them, that if they would anger him any more he would be Episcopal, for saith he, I was an Anabaptist, and they being too busie with me, I turned Independent; the Independent troubled me in Wales, I came to London, and was Presbyterian, and if you will not let me alone, I will even turn, and be a Son of the Church. Whereupon Mr. Manton said, we should not nar∣row our Interest, nor offend the brethren, besides, Mr. Lewis is the most thorow-paced Nonconformist in Town.
And if it please you, said Lewis, I shall offer you twelve things for the propagation of the good old Caus which I do.
1. I read little or no Common-prayer.
2. I not use the Surplice.
3. I preach Mr. Jenkins, Mr. Watsons, Mr. Gurnal, Mr. Manton, and others Works, so that while I preach they are not silenced.
4. I am in the morning at a Church, and in the after∣noon at a Meeting.
5. At a Lecture I pray an hour, and preach two houres, wherein I hint many things effectually for the good old Cause.
6. Where I do one office at Church according to the Common-prayer, I do five at home by the Directory, especi∣ally in visiting the sick, and baptizing the faithful children.
Page 37 7. Upon the 30. January and May 29. I hold a private Fast, and have no Sermon at Church, unless it be a Sermon at night for preparation to the Sacrament, or so, for I ob∣serve that custome still.
8. I watch every vacancy in Town by sickness, absence, and I bring in either my self, or some well-affected brother to that place, whereby, as the Scripture saith, we take no small advantage.
9. I keep two Registers, one for children baptized ac∣cording to the Directory, which I have at home, and the other for children baptized according to the Common-prayer that I have at Church; one for people I marry with∣out licence, whereof I have married many of our dear Bre∣thren and Sisters, the other for one or two in a year I marry with a licence, which licence I keep to shew for any body that is married.
10. I bring in all the Intelligence that is stirring among the Episcopal Divines, as they call them, who take me for one of themselves, and accordingly admit me to their Le∣ctures and Meetings.
11. I have a convenient Chamber for private Meetings and affairs at Sion Colledge, where I can do no little service.
12. I receive to my Church all such tender Consciences as cannot keep their own Churches, being enjoyned reverence, and order, and decency, as they call it; and I let them do what they will, for I tell them, if the heart be right all is well; if they will keep on their hats they may, if they will receive the Communion fitting they may, which is a great ease to good men.
13. Whereas there is nothing but bitterness abroad, and railing, and reflecting upon the late times, I offer now and then a word of comfort in that particular, intimating the good of the late Cause, the holiness of the people engaged in it, with a word of being faithful to the Covenant.
Upon this the Committee dismissed him, and wished him to walk circumspectly, and be wise as a Serpent.