An answer of Humphrey Chambers, D. D. rector of Pewsey, in the county of Wilts, to the charge of Walter Bvshnel, vicar of Box, in the same county published in a book of his entituled, A narrative of the proceedings of the commissioners appointed by O. Cromwel for ejecting scandalous and ignorant ministers, in the case of Walter Bushnel, &c. : with a vindication of the said commissioners annexed : humbly submitted to publick censure.
Chambers, Humphrey, 1598 or 9-1662.
Page  1

AN ANSVVER to a CHARGE against the Commissioners, for ejecting scandalous and ignorant Ministers, in the County of Wilts, published in Print by Walter Bush∣nel Vicar of Box, so far as it concerns Humphrey Chambers, Rector of Pewsey, submitted to publick cen∣sure.

ALthough I have no fear, that what Mr. Bushnel hath written, will impair my Reputation, with those to whom wee are both known (who are not a few) seeing wee were born, and for divers years lived within few miles one of another; And though I de∣sire not to put Mr. Bushnel to bestow a∣ny more of his invention and eloquence upon mee, by re∣plying upon what I shall write, yet being told by one who is a common and real friend* both to Mr. Bushnel and my self (before I had read this Book) That I was so deeply concerned in the Charge contained therein, that if I did not some way vindicate my self, Religion would suffer greatly through mee; and finding the same appre∣hension in some other Christian friends, I was induced to write this Answer for my self, leaving others to clear themselves from the crimes objected, as they shall see occasion, which I conceive without much difficulty they may do.

* Mr. Bushnel saith, that hee had no revengeful thought, nor had hee in the publication of his Narrative, any aim to asperse those of whom hee wrote, which if any (who reading his book) can beleeve to bee true, I shall not per∣swade Page  2 them to the contrary: Certain it is, that hee is with∣out hesitation, to bee credited in his whole Narrative, if what hee writeth in his Epistle Dedicatory were true, viz. I have not charged them with a syllable which I am not able by proofs to make good upon them. This brings the business to a direct and short issue, which I heartily desire it may bee put upon, as far as I am concerned in it; and wish for no other Judges, than those Honourable Gentlemen to whom Mr. Bushnel hath dedicated his Narrative. I do not intend to varnish or puzzle the business with multitude or affectation of words, but with affected brevity and plainness, to lay down Mr. Bushnels Charge against mee, that hee may apply his proofs to the several branches of it, and then let all wise and good men judge between us.

*So it was, that some of the Commissioners, Ministers, Witnes∣ses and others, who have eaten my bread, have, and do still, upon all opportunities offered or sought, report mee to the world for such a one, so scandalous and ignorant, as altogether unfit either to return to my own living, or to bee admitted to any other.

* This I say is utterly and wholly untrue as to my self, and it resteth upon Mr. Bushnel to prove,

1 That I did ever eat a bit of his bread, yea, I bless the Lord I know not that (in the late Troubles) I was ever possessed of what any other man had a legal right to, unto the value of one penny.

2 That I did ever (to bate him that of all opportuni∣tis offered or sought) report him to bee so ignorant, and so scandalous, as to bee altogether unfit to return to his own, or to bee admitted to any other Living; I am well assured that no such words ever passed from my mouth.

*These respective persons▪ I shall charge, and make good this Charge upon them: First, The Ministers, that they were ever medling with that which they had nothing to do withall. And page 216, 217. It may bee upon this very account, might the Doctor, and Mr. Byfield intrude so much and act so fiercely as the did in matters of that cognizance which they had nothing to do withall: And after, All which notwithstanding none tookPage  3so much upon them in matter of scandal, as these two.

* This, as to my self, is a palpable and thorow untruth, as all the Commissioners, the Council, and the Officers, who attended the business, can well testifie: I have many a time left the Commissioners, when there was no busi∣ness of examination about insufficiency before them, and have hardly spoken in a whole day to any matter of scan∣dal, when I have been present. It lyeth on Mr. Bushnel to prove the contrary, to make his words good, which I am sure hee can never do.

*I charge them all, Commissioners, Ministers, Clerk, for coun∣tenancing and incouraging infamous persons, such who had for∣sworn themselves, and touching some of themselves, in their hea∣ring, &c.

* This I utterly deny as to my self, and am confident hee will never bee able to prove it, against my self, or any the Commissioners, which will bee better tried, when wee come to particulars included in this general.

* Writing of John Trevers, (who exhibited the first Ar∣ticles gainst him) as a mercinary wretch, saith, And, for some such kinde of man was hee looked upon by Mr. Chambers himself when hee first delivered in these Articles against mee, who (as hee hath reported) called for the Articles, with a purpose to have torn them, because they were exhibited by such a hand.

* I trust Mr. Bushnel intended not this as any part of his Charge against mee, seeing it pleadeth strongly and truly for mee, that I had no evil intention against him, nor thought of promoting any Articles to his prejudice, as indeed I had not, and was greatly troubled in my spirit, that such a fellow as I had heard Trevers to bee, should bring in Articles against a Learned Minister, as I then took Mr. Bushnel to bee.

*And here (for an introduction to the honesty and discretion of the Doctor) I shall observe this unto thee, that (as I have been told) hee observed it, that although there were several names subscribed, yet they were all written in the same hand, from which it must needs follow, that by the Doctors confession, Page  4 the whole writing, both Articles and hands, might bee all forged, as indeed they were; so that mee thinks, the Dr. hath very much over-shot himself in point of discretion, for hee looks upon the Articles the more, because subscribed with such and so many names, and yet hee acknowledgeth all the names to bee written with one hand, which would have made any sober man the more to have suspected it.

* And upon this ground I did the more suspect the paper, and openly declared my dissatisfaction, as to the tender of these Articles by Trevers; And for my part (I con∣ceive) they were then looked upon by the Commissioners, as of no value, and do still conceive, that they were not the Articles which were insisted on by the Commissioners; But that another paper of Articles was afterwards by o∣ther hands exhibited against him, which were read unto him as his charge: What cause therefore hee had in this place to make such an out-cry about my honesty and dis∣cretion, Let others judge.

*But yet the Doctor had an evasion for this, for at my appearing before them at Calne, some of those whose names were subscri∣bed, desired a sight of the paper, that they might know who had thus abused them, which they could not obtain, yet the Doctor (that wee might not prove his friends guilty of forgery) indeavours to preserve their Reputation with a Salvo to some such purpose, That their names were written onely by way of a Memorandum, that in case they were called upon, they could depose to these Articles, that that might bee done without their knowledge (I think hee added) that it was an usual course in the proceedings of these Commissioners.

* This appeareth to bee no strange Relation, being onely of words spoken by mee to some such purpose, and depending onely on Mr. Bushnes, I think; And indeed I cannot say what I then spake, but I beleeve, if Mr. Bushnel do well re∣call himself, whatever I spake, it was spoken in a by-dis∣course to him, and those with him; I am confident hee can never prove, that I was unwilling that they whose names were subscribed, should have had a fight of the pa∣per, or willing to give any countenance to that paper, Page  5 or the hand which delivered it, or the persons who contrived it, who are wholly unknown to mee, and e∣ver were.

*But now I must tell thee, that many of them whose names were subscribed unto those Articles did touching my self, first under their own hands, certifie to these Commissioners the quite contra∣ry to these Articles, and afterwards being before them and sworn, were so far from testifying any thing to the sense of the Articles, as that all they said was to my vindication, all which was in∣dustriously declined by the Dr. and his Commissioners.

* Passing by your tart, groundless and frequent jear of my Commissioners, Try, if you can prove this Syllable, that I did industriously decline your vindication by your witnes∣ses; prove that I was active, and stirring in that way, ei∣ther in your case, or any other case, which was ever be∣fore the Commissioners, I am sure you will never prove it.

*Reporting that one who was summoned for a witness, appre∣hended that two of the witnesses sworn against him, spoke out of malice; Mr. Bushnel writes, which (said hee) the Commissio∣ners having more understanding than wee, must needs perceive, and so they did some of them, and one of them a Minister* too, (to the Doctors credit bee it spoken) And yet, which is strange in this man, although hee discovered their leaven, and so must know them to act from base principles, and with reference to a base end, yet hee alwaies vouchsafed to these men whom hee knew thus to act, his favourable countenance and furtherance.

* That I may at once draw this, and all charges of the like nature in the Narrative to a plain issue, that Mr. Bush∣nel may see what hee is to apply his proofs unto; I will here briefly relate, according to truth, how far I was in∣teressed in this business of Mr. Bushnel. At the first ten∣dring the Articles by Trevers, I was disquieted, and much unsatisfied, and expressed my apprehension therein, as before appeareth: Afterwards, when William Pinchin, and Obadiah Cheltnam (altogether without any thought or knowledge of mine) tendred Articles against Mr. Bushnel, which were read to him, I did then (if hee call himself to remembrance) go from the table to Mr. Bushnel, as Page  6 owning his acquaintance, and hee and I exchanged some friendly words, hee expressing a great defiance of the Articles, and sense of the vileness of them (if they could bee proved) and then and there it was that I said to him, (hee calling for witnesses to prove the Articles) That the several parties should bee brought face to face, as hee truly reports, pag. 4. At that time I looked on Mr. Bushnel as a friend, from whom I should have expected, and who might have expected from mee, any common friendly courtesie, there having never been any unfriendly passage between Mr. Bushnel and my self all our daies. After this William Pinchin, and Obadiah Cheltnam came to mee, as be∣ing both known to mee, to speak with mee about Mr. Bushnels business; They well know with what earnestness I pressed them both, to take heed what they did, and to look carefully to it, upon what grounds, and to what end they moved therein, telling them, that if from private discontents, malice, covetousness, or any such wretched grounds they did prosecute this Charge against the said Mr. Bushnel, the Lord would surely require it of them; Whereupon they did with extraordinary earnestness pro∣test to mee, that they had no enmity against Mr. Bushnel, nor desire or thought of making advantage by his remo∣val, but that they did minde the good of their own (and others) souls in what they were doing, saying, that hee preached in such a Scholar-like way, that his Parishioners were little profited by him, and that the scandalous mis∣carriages charged in the Articles would bee fully proved against him; Upon this (being prevailed upon by their often and earnest protestations.) I left them to do what they thought fit, onely I did take knowledge of them when they appeared before the Commissioners, as persons known to mee, but never opened my mouth in their commendation, nor to further them, or any witness which they brought to prove the Articles against Mr. Bushnel: The Articles of scandal (as Mr. Bushnel often and truly in∣timateth) I had nothing to do with, being no Commissio∣ner; Neither did I take upon mee to stickle about them Page  7 one way or other; And as for Mr. Bushnels last appearance at Lavington, when the Order was drawn up against him for his ejectment, as hee tells us, pag. 223. I was not then present, nor know I what was passed against him.

And at Sarum, when the order of Ejection was publish∣ed against Mr. Bushnel, how very unwilling I was to have had any thing to do in the examination of him, they who were present know, and with what fair respect I managed that part of his examination which fell to my share, Mr. Bushnel may, and if hee do not, others do very well re∣member. Thus having made a true Relation how far I was concerned in Mr. Bushnels business; That which rests upon him to prove in the former Charge, is,

1 That I did know that Pinchin and Powel (the two wit∣nesses) did act from base principles, and to base ends, which I utterly deny.

2 That I afforded unto them furtherance in what they did, whereas Powel I knew not, nor spake I any thing (that I know) to the furtherance of Pinchins testimony, but left it according to my place, to the Commissioners to consider of it.

But now having related how able and ready hee was to prove horrid and barbarous crimes acted by Pinchin a∣gainst his Father,* and other his nearest Relations (to take off the force of his testimony) None, saith Mr. Bushnel, was more forward to withstand and oppose this, than Dr. Chambers, who knew much of it to bee true, but was not willing ('tis like) that it should come to the knowledge of these Gentlemen, for fear that hee should thereby have* lost so precious a witness, or per∣haps for fear*that hee should have heard something which would have meerly reflected on himself; This Dr. then acknowledging that there had been some small differences between them, pray∣ing that no more words might bee made of it; together with an intimation that all differences were now composed, or to some such purpose.

Ans. The last words (or to some such purpose) evidence that Mr. Bushnel doth not well remember what I said, neither indeed do I; But this I am confident of, that I did never Page  8 speak those words, wherein the main weight of this Charge lieth, viz. That there had been some small differences be∣tween William Pinchin and his Father: for though I never knew so much of the difference between them, as Mr. Bushnel hath here expressed, yet by what I had heard a∣bout William Pinchins wicked and horrid carriage towards his Father, I did in my heart greatly loathe it, and could never mince it under the name of small differences, possi∣bly I might (though I do not now remember it) upon William Pinchins earnest protestation which hee made to mee, of his desire of becoming a new man, say some∣thing of that business as a matter that was then past, but that I did colour it over with the name of small differences, or words to any such purpose, I assuredly beleeve is not true, nor will ever bee proved, and shall gladly imbrace Mr. Bushnels counsel laid down, pag. 73. In these words, I could advise Mr. Chambers to admonish William Pinchin, that hee would sadly consider of it in this his day.

* Upon the recital of Jane Hendyes deposition in his be∣half Mr. Bushnel addeth, But now William Pinchin, at La∣vington boldly interposes, and tells the Commissioners, that his Mother (this Jone Pinchin) had told him that this Jane Hendy had said so much to her, on which Mr. Chambers adds, that if Goodwife Pinchin had said so, hee was bound to beleeve her. And again at Marleborough, May 8. When there were papers delivered in by William Pinchin, written by him∣self, wherein it was affirmed under her mark, that Jane Hen∣dy should say so, the Doctor adds again, That if Goodwife Pinchin said so, hee was in conscience bound to beleeve her: Now by the Doctors leave, I conceive these words of his, I am bound, and I am bound in conscience to beleeve her, were not spoken by him, either with discretion or charity.

* I am yet to learn that I transgressed the Rules, either of discretion, or charity, in saying of a woman, whom I had for many years often conversed with, and taken to be a stayed Christian woman, that I was bound, and bound in conscience to beleeve, what shee said and attested under her hand; But Mr. Bushnel adds.

Page  9Not with so much advisedness or discretion: For it is well known that William Pinchin had that power over his Mother, that shee dared not but to say, and to do as her son would have her, I beleeve so well known, that the Doctor himself could not bee altogether ignorant of it.

*To beleeve that I would say that I was bound in con∣science to beleeve a woman of whom I knew that her son had power over her to make her say or do what hee pleased, I take it doth savour of little charity in Mr. Bushnel, I hope I durst not (whatever Mr. Bushnel beleeves of mee) upon any tearms have said, that I was bound in conscience to beleeve Goodwife Pinchin, if I had known, or in the least suspected her to have been so little a Christian, as to bee under the power of her son, to make her say and do what hee please: I did fully beleeve it was otherwise with her, when I shewed my beleef of what shee spake.

*And why might not the Dr. bee mistaken in her, (viz. Good∣wife Pinchin) as well as hee hath been in many others (Wo∣men I mean, for there his acquaintance did especially lye, and these, many of them such, who had the hand over their hus∣bands) who have followed him as far, and as oft as Jone Pinchin, and yet are now fallen off both from his Doctrine and Acquaintance.

* I know nothing in any man which may exempt others from a possibility of being deceived in him, whilst hee hath the deceitful heart of man in his bosome: No doubt therefore I might bee deceived in Goodwife Pinchin; but I was so far perswaded of her Christianity at that time, when I spake, that I had good ground to beleeve, that she would not wilfully speak and swear against her own knowledge; And I am still bound to beleeve as much of her, until I see the contrary proved upon her, by some who afford her liberty to answer for her self: That my acquaintance did e∣specially lye with women, as Mr. Bushnel doth here confidently and jeeringly (in another Character, for fear it should not bee noted) affirm, is utterly untrue, as the whole coun∣try (where I then lived) knows, wherein I had the happi∣ness to bee intimately acquainted with very many men of Page  10 best repute in all ranks, who afforded mee a large share in their loving respects. It is true, that my Ministry found acceptance with divers Christian women, whose acquain∣tance I have no cause to bee ashamed of; if any of them, (for no doubt Mr. Bushnel greatly outlasheth in the word many) had the hand over their husbands, it was matter of grief to mee, wheresoever I saw it; and if many who used to hear mee, bee fallen oft from my Doctrine and Acquain∣tance, I hope their defection cannot bee charged upon mee, as my crime. The Lord shew them mercy, and return them into the way of truth.

And now for Dr. Chambers (a man of so much reve∣rence and learning) to say (when it had been good manners in him to hold his peace) that if Goodwife Pinchin had said so,* hee was in conscience bound to beleeve her, was (upon the mat∣ter) to say to this Jane Hendyes face, that shee had twice fore∣sworn her self.

* Here again Mr. Bushnel puts in his jeer of, a man of so much Reveence and Learning, in other Characters, fearing belike that his Readers would bee so thick-sented, as not to smell the sweetness of his tart Sarcasm, without some sig∣nal Indication, for which end, belike, hee thought the mentioning of good manners, immediately after, would not bee sufficient: Whether this bee dealing suitable to a Mi∣nister of the Gospel let others judge: But as for what hee publisheth as an evidence of want of chariy in mee to∣wards Jane Hendy I am confident all the Logick in A∣ristotles Organon, will never joyn his Premises and Con∣clusion together; For what Jane Hendy sware and Good∣wife Pinchin said, and confirmed by oath, may be all true, and no contradiction bee found between their two oaths; for Jane Hendy swore cautelously, that shee did not remem∣ber that shee ever spake of any such thing to Jone Pinchin, which Jone Pinchin sware shee did speak to her, and both oaths may be true, for it may (possibly) bee true, that Jane Hendy did speak something to Jone Pinchin, which shee did not at that present remember; so that I might say, that I was in conscience bound to beleeve Goodwife Pinchin,Page  11 and yet not say (upon the matter) that Jane Hendy had twice for sworn her self; And therefore what I said, did not at all amount to what Mr. Bushnel collects from my words, and makes a horrible out-cry upon, pag. 95. That I did pronounce one of them infallible, and the other perjured: They did both swear according to truth, for ought I know, I am sure they might do so, and my charity in∣clines mee to think that they did so, for I know no suffi∣cient ground why Mr. Bushnel should peremptorily af∣firm, that the testimony of these two women are contra∣dictory, and that one or other of them must needs bee for sworn.

*And now I shall add further, that I beleeve that this, and many other false oaths had never been taken, had not the Doctor by those words, I am bound in conscience, hinted unto them a kinde of faculty, or dispensation of swearing, and that now they might bee bold.

* I refer it to the judgement of any rational Christian to determine whether my saying of Goodwife Pinchin, that I was bound in conscience to beleeve what shee said, upon upon that perswasion which I had of her, that shee was a consci∣entious Christian, did hint a dispensation to her, and much more to any other, whom I had no knowledge of, to swear falsly: I am confident Mr. Bushnel will never bee able to shew any rational ground of his beleef, that my saying that I was bound to beleeve Goodwife Pinchin, did contain in it an incouragement or dispensation for her, or any other, to swear falsly.

*And one thing further, this oath being false (as I am confi∣dent it was) and (as it is very probable) this oath being caused by such an invitation, I am bound in conscience, if an incou∣rager, or an abetter, or a perswader bee an Accessary, I cannot acquit some body (the Dr. may guess whom I mean) from being guilty of this and many following perjuries.

* Here Mr. Bushnel is peremptorily confident, that Good∣wife Pinchins oath was false, and that the perjury lies with her, as before hee expressed himself; had I said so much of Jane Hendy, I should have heard of want of charity on Page  12 both ears: But I shall leave Mr. Bushnel to consider whe∣ther there bee not some want of charity in this his confi∣dence: But that my saying, I am bound in conscience to be∣leeve what Goodwife Pinchin said, being spoken in relati∣on to what she had said and testified under her hand, should bee in any probability a cause and invitation to induce her to swear what shee did, is a most senseless and irrational conjecture, because I spake the words after shee had fully declared what shee could and would swear; The relation of what shee would swear, given under her hand, caused mee to say, as himself relates it, pag. 89. That I was bound in conscience to beleeve what shee testified: And therefore it is not onely improbable, but utterly impossible that my words should bee a foregoing cause, and invitation to her Oath. But that my saying of one whom I lookt upon as a Christian woman of great-fidelity, that if shee would swear, I were bound in conscience to beleeve her, should make mee an Incourager, an Abetter, and Accessary to her false Oath, in case shee should swear falsly, and much more to the perjuries of others (as Mr. Bushnel doth here in a ca∣lumniating injurious way charge mee to bee) I am con∣fident will seem rational to no intelligent person whatso∣ever; And therefore this high and groundless calumny, being built upon such a false and sandy foundation, I do not fear, but it will fall of it self, without any derogation from my good name.

*Now I must tell the Reader, That not long before this, shee, (viz. Goodwife Pinchin) having some discourse with several persons, ever acquitted mee, saying, That shee beleeved that I was wronged, or to that purpose; but now shee changes her note, and saies. Shee cannot judge: Doubtless her own son William, or the Doctor (for I have heard that hee was at her house betwixt April 28. and June 4.) had instructed her, and taught her to fall short, and why might hee not make the whole, as well as alter a part of it?

* By what Mr. Bushnel here relateth of Goodwife Pinchin former words, it appeareth, That there were some re∣ports then going of what Goodwife Pinchin testified, that Page  11Jane Hendy spake about Mr. Bushnels carriage towards her, But then Goodwife Pinchin (as hee relates it) beleeved hee was wronged in those reports; I leave this wholly as not being concerned in it: Whereas Mr. Bushnel layeth it down as an undoubted truth, that either William Pinchin or I, and leaveth it doubtful, whether hee or I, instructed Goodwife Pinchin, and taught her upon her oath, to fall short of what shee knew, and had formerly spoken; I de∣ny and defie this charge, as most untrue and injurious; if Mr. Bushnel can make the least proof, or shadow of proof of it, I require him to do it, as hee tendereth the being free from the blot of a false and malicious Accuser: I acknow∣ledge that I called at Goodwife Pinchins house (the high way lying close by her door) as I rode by, and spake with her as an antient Christian friend, but that I instructed her, or taught her to swear against her knowledge, is a spight∣ful and most untrue insinuation, which must bee answered for at the appearance of the Lord Jesus.

*Mr. Bushnel writeth, that it was testified against one Wil∣liam Cottle, who was a witness against him, amongst other things, that hee should say, that your Parsons were greedy, and that hee would trust none of them all, no not Mr. Chambers, who had left Claverton, and was gone to Pewsey: And when Cottle (being still upon his Oath) denied these words to bee spoken by him, after they were testified and sworn to his face, hee acknowledged that hee had spoken them, adding further, why? what if I did say so? The truth is, that the thing being barely considered in and of it self, it mattered not, if hee had said so, for it was true as hee said; Mr. Chambers had left Claverton (nor was this the first time hee had left it) and was gone to Pewsey, and this to his great advantage too, for the re∣port goes that hee is three hundred pounds a year gainer by this Re∣move.

* That I left Claverton before I came to Pewsey, & afterwards came to Pewsey, with a considerable advantage as to out∣ward state, I do freely acknowledge; Nor was I ever offen∣ded with any, who before they had heard what account I could give of my Removal, had spoken of it, as importing Page  14 some earthly-mindedness in mee; But not to trouble the world with tedious relations about personal businesses, if Mr. Bushnel be pleased to afford mee a private occasion, as divers Christian friends have done, to discover to him the grounds and reasons of my removal from Claverton, and coming to Pewsey, I doubt not, but I shall so far satisfie him, as to cause him to desist from making this a matter of publick reproach and defamation against mee.

*It were not amiss to tell thee that John Trevers, sitting by, during this debate, and hearing and noting all the passages, observed it (and so did others besides) and (as I have heard) hath reported it elsewhere with some complacency, that Mr. Chambers did hang down his head the while; Now wee know, that hanging down of the head doth usually signifie that there is shame and sorrow in the heart.

—pudet haec opprobria nobis
Et dici potuisse & non potuisse refelli.

And whereas shame doth usually produce either an amend∣ment in the person so exposed; or else indignation, which the per∣son so exposed conceives against him whom hee looks on as the cause of this exposal; I have some conjecture, that this wrought af∣ter the latter and worser way with Dr. Chambers; and that hee did for this, store up a good turn for mee against hee had an opportunity; of which the Readers shall have some account in due time and place.

* It is very strange that Mr. Bushnel, being present all the time of this debate, and being a diligent observer of all my words and carriages (as appears throughout his Narra∣tive) did not himself take notice of my hanging down my head, if it were so considerable as hee would have the world beleeve it was, from the testimony of Trevers, and other unn med witnesses; But to speak this once for all to Cottles words concerning mee, though Mr. Bushnel makes often use of them for his purpose, I bless the Lord I have so much quiet in my own heart, as concerning my Remo∣val from Claverton, and coming to Pewsey, that I was never Page  15 ashamed to hear of it in any place, or to bee called to shew my grounds for it; whether I held down my head, when Cottles words were proved upon him by oath, I know not; This I am most assured of, that it was not out of any shame which surprized mee upon the hearing of Cottles words, in relation to my self: I was so little affected with the words, that though upon Mr. Bushnels Relation, I do beleeve that it was attested upon oath, that such words were spoken by Cottle, yet this I can truly take my oath of, that I had utterly forgotten it, and did not in the least remember any such passage; And as for Mr. Bushnels un∣charitable conjecture, that I did store up a good turn for him, by reason of those words of Cottle, I call the great God to witness, who can onely testifie in this Case, that I never had, nor have I, the least indignation against Mr. Bushnel, in regard of Cottles words; if hee knew my heart, hee would beleeve mee.

*Having called the witnesses which appeared against him, the Doctors, Mr. By fields, and Mr. Blissets witnesses, Mr. Bush∣nel adds; Nor can these men have any just cause to distaste mee, that I call them their witnesses, when I have given my reasons of it. I have told thee already, that I beleeve that many a one which hath appeared before them, and have been sworn against mee, had never so done, had it not been for their invitation and countenance, which as before, so at this time appeared most visible.

* What hath before been produced by Mr. Bushnel, to prove mee an Inviter and Countenancer of the witnesses a∣gainst him, hath been answered by mee, and I leave it to the censure of the judicious Reader. Now it seems by his words hee hath met with a most visible Evidence in the Case, which is next to bee considered.

Having named the solicitors against him, Mr. Bushnel adds, And in their addresses (neglecting the Gentlemen to whom alone of right this business did belong.) Their Applica∣tions were to Mr. Chambers, and Mr. Byfield, John Tre∣vers, and William Pinchin, at the upper end of the Table stand∣ing at the Elbow of the Dr. and Obadiah Cheltenham to∣wards Page  16 the lower end, waiting upon Mr. Byfield: And this I conceive to bee reason enough wherefore I call them their witnes∣ses.

* I dare not return Mr. Bushnel any jeers, but in good ear∣nest, it is strange to mee, that Mr. Bushnel being (as I know him to bee) a Scholar, and a Logician, should think there is sufficient strength in this Reason why hee should call the solicitors, Mine, Mr. Byfields, and Mr. Blis∣sets witnesses, because two of them stood at my elbow, and one by Mr. Byfield: For if this bee the reason why hee calleth them our winesses, then by the same reason, they should not bee called Mr. Blissets witnesses, because never a one of them stood at his elbow, or waited upon him: But if Trevers and Pinchin did stand by mee, which is more than I can tell: Did I entertain any friendly discourse with them? Did I take any special notice of them? Did I speak a word in favour of them or their business? Of this here is, Altum Silentium, which wee may bee sure proceeded not from any willingness in Mr. Bushnel, to sup∣press any thing which hee had any hope might make a∣gainst mee.

* Upon the Relation of the Testimony of Henry Sheyler, upon oath, that hee was told by one Nowell (who with his wife had depsed something against Mr. Bushnel) that Tre∣vers and Pinchin made profers and promises of mony to him, if hee would appear and swear against Mr. Bushnel, it followeth: I must tell thee further, that soon after this de∣position of Sheyler was taken, Nowells wife (being before at a window, and hearing what had passed) comes towards the Dr. (for unto him were the most especial addresses made) and after a long and a low courtesie, adds, yea, surely if Mr. Bushnel had not to pick a thank with Coll. Eyre, told him of my Husbands Gun, and said, that therewith hee used to kill Hares and Pigeons, wee would not have been here to day to have sworn against him. And still continuing * courtesing to Mr. Chambers (who then turned his head a∣bout, Page  17 and looked towards her) shee adds further, That hee had known her of a long time.

* By this it appeareth, that Nowells wife claimed acquain∣tance with mee (and indeed her Father was my Clerk when I lived at Claverton) But did I take any special no∣tice of her? or shew her any special favour? by this story it seems I did not, who did not suddenly turn my head to∣wards her, and when I did, though shee spoke to mee, yet here is no intimation of any thing I said to her, which would have been the Principal Verb in the Sentence, if any such thing could have been alledged against mee. And now Christian Reader, judge indifferently what reason Mr. Bushnel had to write, page 139. that Nowell and his wife conceiving themselves injured formerly by him, ha∣ving this opportunity, and countenance of the Dr. her antient acquaintance (which is written in the jeering cha∣racter) they were resolved to bee revenged on us both (I mean the Collenel and my self.)

* Having related four depositions taken against one San∣ders, who was a witness against him, to prove the said Sanders to bee a very vicious person, Mr. Bushnel adds; It must not bee forgotten, that before these three last deposit ons were taken at Marleborough, the Dr. (belike having before either instructed William Pinchin what was to bee done, or else having been informed by William Pinchin what hee had done) beckning to William Pinchin with his hands, and twinkling of his eyes, it seems as doubting that William Pinchin had for∣gotten himself. Whereupon William Pinchin approacheth, and with a low congee, delivers to the Dr. a peece of Paper, which the Dr. conveyes to Mr. Blisset, with some such words; There is a Testimony of this mans (meaning Sanders) behaviour; which was by Mr. Blisset read accordingly. The business was but short, and my thoughts so much upon this Doctor, that I little noted it; onely I remember there were the names of some whom I knew, set to it, and the names of others which I have heard of.

* Because Mr. Bushnel maketh much ado about this San∣ders, as if I had been under great guilt in relation to him, Page  16〈1 page duplicate〉Page  17〈1 page duplicate〉Page  18 I will relate all that I know about the business of San∣ders: This Sanders is one whom I never knew, nor had heard a word of him, till the time that hee appeared as a witness before the Commissioners: William Pinchin came to mee in the Chamber before the sitting of the Commis∣sioners, and shewed mee a Certificate in the behalf of the said Sanders, subscribed by the hands of some men of ho∣nesty and credit in Chippenham, whose Reputation prevail∣ed with mee to think it to bee of some credit, and it is likely, as Mr. Bushnel relateth it (though it bee gone out of my memory) that I might becken to William Pinchin to have the Certificate from him, and give it to Mr. Blissett to bee read, when Sanders name was in question: not out of any purpose to bolster up Sanders in any wick∣edness, but onely that it might bee weighed by the Com∣missioners, whether Sanders were a man any way to bee credited, yea, or no, wherein I was able to say nothing: This is all I know about Sanders, which whether it amount to a guilt, let the Reader judge.

*I shall tell thee here, that William Sanders being questioned for the Sacriledge (mentioned, but now) fled, and that hee stands answerable for this Sacriledge even to this hour. And was it not a handsome thing for the Dr. to countenance this man (against the Minister) that had robbed the Church.

* I am beholding to Mr. Bushnel for an answer to this Charge, which else my memory would not have helped mee unto: Hee tells us, that before the three last deposi∣tions were taken against Sanders, I handed the Certificate in his behlaf from William Pinchin to Mr. Blissett; now one of those three last Depositions concerneth the Sacrilege here spoken of, and therefore if hee will needs interpret my de∣livering in the Certificate for a countenancing of this man (which is more than it amounteth unto) yet I am free from countenancing a Church-robber against a Minister, seeing the Deposition concerning Sanders Sacriledge was not given in, neither had I ever heard a word of it when I handed the Certificate to Mr. Blissett.*

Having related the wicked and fraudulent course (sup∣posing Page  19 it to bee as hee relateth) which was taken for the obtaining the Certificate for Sanders from the Chippenham∣men, Mr. Bushnel adds: Now I do not wonder that William Pinchin, Nicholas Spencer, William Sanders, and Obadiah Cheltenham should contrive and practise such unworthy courses; My wonder is, that the Doctor should so demurely put to his helping hand for the promoting of them; nay, that hee should bee more forward than William Pinchin, and readier to call for it, than William Pinchin was to deliver it. But doubtless the Caln-business did yet stick in the Doctors stomach; there were a generation of men heretofore great pretenders to godliness, that were touchy, and very implacable; and perchance before I make an end of this discourse, I shall make some* observes to the Dr. of the Agagite in the Old Testament, and the Scribes and Phari∣sees in the New.

* I do from my soul abhor all such false and fraudulent waies▪ as Mr. Bushnel makes mention of in the relation of the getting the Certificate for Sanders: If I had had the least knowledge or jealousie the Certificate had been in such wise obtained, I would never have taken it into my hand, unless it had been to tear, or burn it: But the names subscribed to it, did keep mee off wholly from such a suspicion, and was the onely cause why I delivered it. And as for Mr. Bushnels saying, that doubtless the Caln-business stuck in my stomach, doubtless hee can make no proof of that, and the Lord knows it is utterly false, and against the Rule by which I make conscience to walk, which is to forgive others, as I desire to bee forgiven of God: But as for Cottles words, I can truly say, I never va∣lued them more than a puff off wind.

*I have told thee, that at such time, as (amongst other notorious Infamies) wee had proved Sanders to have fallen upon his own Father, to have thrown him down, and beaten him, saying, Hee would make an end of the old Rogue, Mr. Chambers calls for a Certificate, and promoteth it in this Sanders behalf: And this is the second time that hee shewed himself very forward, either to countenance, or defend such as by the Law of God had forfei∣ted their lives.

Page  20*Mr. Bushnel may remember what hee hath told us, that I had delivered the Certificate to Mr. Blisset before Sanders his cursed violence offered to his Father was testified upon oath by one of the three last witnesses, and so before I had the least thought of any such execrable carriage of his, and therefore Mr. Bushnel doth very injuriously charge mee with countenancing or defending such as by the Law of God were adjudged to death: I could willingly give my voice for the reviving of that Law, and the Lord knows Mr. Bushnel doth mee open wrong, when pag. 161. hee writes that the Doctor did look upon a sons couzen∣ing, cursing, frequent beating of his Parents, after a barbarous manner, throwing them down, laying hands upon them, taking of them by the throat, drawing his knife upon them, calling them old Rogue, and threatning to make an end of them, as onely some small differences, or matters, not much to bee noted, or easily to bee excu∣sed: No, no, Mr. Bushnel, there is one that knoweth this to bee a very false and injurious accusation, before whom you and I shall one day stand with open hearts, when not hee that commendeth himself shall bee approved, but hee whom God commendeth.

*I had at this time, and before, several witnesses with mee, which I desired might bee examined upon such Queries as should have been proposed unto them; but a word of exception against them from William Pinchin (the Solicitor) and Mr. Byfield (the Advocate) soon silenced, or put them all by; and thus they served no less than four at this time, some whereof would have told pretty stories of William Pinchin, John Tre∣vers, Obadiah Chelenham, William Cottle, William Sanders, yea (perchance) of the Doctor too, if they might have been heard.

* Mr. Bushnel doth not here accuse mee of stopping the Examination of his Witnesses, and therefore to that I shall say nothing; But I desire Mr. Bushnel not to Lye in the clouds, and raise blind suspicions of unknown crimes a∣gainst mee: If hee knows any that knew any secret actings of wickedness whereof I am guilty, let them speak out, Page  21 that I may know what to answer to. Though I know so much of no mans sinfulness, as I do of mine, own, yet (I bless the Lord) I have no cause to fear the Testimony either of friends, or foes against mee, as to such crimes as come under the worlds condemnation and censure.

*Mr. Bushnel writing of Col. Eyre, saith, All which, not∣withstanding all these men, by Collonel Eyre thus proceeded a∣gainst for several Infamies, are by Mr. Byfield, the Doctor, and their friends at Marleborough encouraged to testifie a∣gainst him to his reproach, and yet hee not permitted to say any thing in his defence.

* This as to my self I avow to bee a notorious untruth, and require a proof of it: Col. Eyre hath ever been my lo∣ving, and I beleeve my intire friend, and I am sure I have, and do unfeignedly desire his welfare in all kinds, nor will it ever bee proved (I am sure) that I have trans∣gressed the Rules of Love▪ so far towards him, as to en∣courage any to testifie any thing to his reproach; I am sure it hath occasioned trouble of heart unto mee, when I have heard any reports of that nature carried about of him.

*I was told that one neer related to the persons and practices of the Commissioners, should say to this purpose, seeing us come in to Town, That Mr. Bushnel had brought such and such along with him, but that it was to no purpose for hee could not stay at Box, because that place was appointed for another man, &c. As to mine own particular, I shall say onely this; 1 That by their own confession, my place was appointed for another man; which 2 I beleeve was the man who hath since my ejectment held it, viz. Mr. Sterne, who lived formerly in a Living sequestred of Mr. Walkers at Chilmark, and it may bee was there as a kinde of a Curate to Mr. Sanger, Dr. Chambers Brother-in-law: But at this time was destitute and therefore right or wrong, a place must bee provided for him elsewhere.

* This passage maketh it evident, that any groundless and improbable probability is sufficient for Mr. Bushnel to build vehement complaints upon, against mee and the Com∣missioners: For here is an uncertain tale taken up at a dist∣ance from one, who told another, who told Mr. Bushnel, Page  22 something to this purpose, that Mr. Bushnel must not stay at Box, because that place was appointed for another man; I cannot but think, that if this tale were brought back to the first Author of it, hee would disclaim it as spurious; But bee it as it may bee, doth this tale (if true) warrant Mr. Bushnel to note from it, 1 That by their own confes∣sion his place was appointed for another man; where is any such Confession of the Commissioners? who ever heard it? what if hee that first spake the words (related) spake without book, or upon some uncertain conjecture, than which no∣thing is more frequent? doth this prove a Confession of the Commissioners themselves in the case? Hee is very willing to beleeve, that taketh such proofs; And as to Mr. Bush∣nels second note upon this uncertain story, wherein hee thinks (belike) hee hath paid mee home, hee may know that Mr. Stern was never any kinde of Curate to my brother Sanger, nor any way related to mee, nor had I any spe∣cial cause in the world to look after his settlement. And therefore Mr. Bushnel doth mee and himself open wrong, to write, that because Mr. Stern (it may bee) was a kinde of Curate to my brother Sanger; Therefore (being destitute of a place) right or wrong a place must bee provided for him, and so, which is the Conclusion driven at, I and the Com∣missioners must needs bee guilty of prejudging Mr. Bushnels case. Let any rational man judge whether Mr. Bushnels passion did not here put him quite out of his Argumenta∣tive faculty.

*I was told likewise, that there were heavy exceptions taken against mee, that I came not amongst them, Mr. Chambers Mr Byfield &c. and that I did not make one at their meetings, That I did not associate, but rather, that I not onely neglected but despised them, or to some such purpose.

* If any one spoke these words▪ or to some such purpose, to Mr. Bushnel, certainly hee abused Mr. Bushnels eares, by putting a most notorious falshood into them which can never bee proved, And therefore I cannot but stand a∣mazed at what Mr. Bushnel adds.

Page  23And doubtless with the Dr. and Mr. Byfield, this was enough to make a man scandalous in the highest degree.

* Doubtless this is a most notorious untruth, as may bee proved by many instances of divers persons not associating, yet dearly loved, and highly prized, both by Mr. By∣field and my self.

*Shewing some reasons why Mr. Bushnel did not associate with us, hee saith one reason was, Because the persons who were the leading men amongst them were as fierce and rigid in their way as are any (I beleeve) on this side or beyond Tweed.

* If Mr. Bushnel doth beleeve this, then I am sure, hee be∣leeveth as utter an untruth as was ever told: The men hee aims at, I know, are profest enemies to fierceness and ri∣gidness in their way, and desire nothing more than that Brethern of several perswasions may walk in a way of Christian moderation:

* Relating how Mr. Byfield insisted upon the Order, that none might bee present at the Examination but the Com∣missioners and thir assistants, hee writes, And what if they had heard or known them? Were your questions such that you were ashamed to have them known; or was it for fear the Country should (hearing your questions and my answers) think better of mee than you were willing?

* It is well known that I earnestly moved, that all that would might bee present at your examination, and had prevailed therein, had not the fore-going Order obstruct∣ed it.

* Speaking of the time when the order of ejection was published against him, Mr. Bushnel writes; I observed that while my sentence was reading Mr. Chambers had pulled down his hat somewhat low on his face, but the residue of his face which might bee seen looked very big, and possibly might say within himself, That now hee had taught mee to bring a man of 〈◊〉 it upon the stage, to make him the discourse and laughter of the Country for leaving Claverton and going to Pewsy.

* I easily beleeve Mr. Bushnel that hee did observe mee, at this, as at all times, most watchfully, if hee might possibly Page  24 espy any thing in mee to be complained of: But whereas hee saith, that hee observed mee, that whilst his sentence was read, I pulled down my hat somewhat low upon my face, but for the residue of my face which might be seen, I looked very big; any man without much observation may see much irrational spite in this relation, which can hardly, if possi∣bly bee made to consist with it self; For if I pulled down my hat somewhat low upon my face, how could I then at the same time look bigg with a little part of my face? I suppose that, in common understanding, bigge looks are such, when men do not cover their faces somewhat low, as men ashamed, or afraid, but do, if possible, make more of their faces, than they are, by high looks, that they may out-face such persons or things as are before them. I am confident in true reason before unbiassed Judges) there is a more palpable contradiction between the two parts of this Relation, than between the two oaths of Jone Pinchin, and Jane Hendy, upon which Mr. Bushnel doth, tanto hiatu, tragediate, pag. 94, 95. And as for that spiteful, jeering, groundless, and most uncharitable comment which hee made upon my looks, and wherein hee seems to have a fa∣culty of looking into my heart, which I could wish hee had, when hee wrote, and possibly hee might say within himself, That now hee had taught mee to bring a man of his me∣rit upon the stage, to make him the discourse and laughter of the Country for leaving Claverton, and going to Pewsey; I defie it, and such revengeful thoughts as it most injuriously fa∣thers upon mee, whereas they were conceived and born in his own breast, and begotten of his own revengeful ima∣gination; and I further say, that the coining of such cross comments upon the carriages of others, is a most unwar∣rantable practice, unbecoming a Christian, and much more a Minister of the Gospel. I can never sufficiently bless the Lord that it is beyond the reach of Mr. Bushnel, and his witnesses, to make mee (though a most unworthy ser∣vant of Jesus Christ) the discourse and laughter of the Country, though possibly some prophane persons, and scoffers at godliness,* on an Ale-bench, may make them∣selves Page  25 very merry with Mr. Bushnels jeering relation con∣cerning mee.

*Nay more, should I have chanced to have met your Dr. on the way, I should have given him) not such reverence as hee looks for, but) such respect as I thought fitting: and upon some such weighty Accompt, I have been told that hee was distasted at mee; and so was Haman the Agagite against Mordecay.

* Mr. Bushnel might do well to keep in his bitter revilings, till hee have some ground of truth, upon which to bring them forth: doubtless his nameless reporter informed him of a wretched untruth, who told him that I was distast∣ed at him, for want of shewing respect to mee, and hee himself wanted some graines of Charity in mentioning great reverence, as that which I lookt for from him or any other under pain of Discontent: If I know my self, a very little Reverence and Observation will content mee, but if I bee mistaken in my self, let all that know mee, speak, though I finde Mr. Bushnel in his Narrative, often rubbing (as hee thinks) upon that sore of my loving to bee reve∣renced.

*Now Mr. Chambers hearing Henry Sheyler (for so was his name, that made this proer) promising one hundred pounds, and having heedfully eyed him all the time, asks, (belike, fea∣ring that the Commissioners should have forgotten so necessary a Question) Whether hee were sufficient? ('tis like hee meant) to pay the rent, which hee proffered: And here to see how these Doctors, Mr. Byfield, and Mr. Chambers, concurr'd in que∣stions (fundamentals) What is your Living worth a year, quoth Mr. Byfield? Is hee sufficient to pay the rent, quoth Mr. Chambers? This business did in no wise concern Mr. Cham∣bers, unless hee mistook the Examination of the sufficiency of the Tenant, for an Examination of the sufficiency of the Mini∣ster.

*For Henry Sheyler, a man that I had never any thing to do with in my life, why I should so heedfully eye him, as Mr. Bushnel reports, I cannot imagine, But whether I did, or did not, possibly sitting by, and hearing the discourse about renting the Living, such a speech might fall from Page  26 mee; Is hee sufficient? you may bee confident I said no more, nor pressed it any further, if I had, Mr. Bushnel doubtless would not have made little of much, who makes so much of so little spoken by mee; And whether it gives ground to such a loud (jeering) out-cry about Funda∣mentals, as Mr. Bushnel here makes, let the Christian Rea∣der judge.

*The Dr. must give mee leave to tell him, that I have read of such, who were of this judgements. That right and propriety to a thing were founded in grace; and that all men were Usurpers who were not of the godly. Now wee know well to whom this E∣pithet Godly hath been by some men appropriated in these latter years, and for what purposes: And therefore might the Dr. bee so fierce against mee, as one (I being not of their mark) on whom even an Alms were cast away.

* That I was fierce against Mr. Bushnel, will never bee proved by him, unless hee hath an Art to prove an untruth. That propriety is founded in grace, is (I know) an er∣rour that hath met with entertainment in too many, which Mr. Bushnel doth very injuriously in a way of sly insinua∣tion, charge on mee. As for the inclosing the name Godly, within the pale of particular parties, I have ever abhorred it as a very unchristian practice: And as for Mr. Bushnel (for all his words) I never did, nor will take upon mee to judge him; to our own Master, hee and I must stand and fall, and the Lord give him and mee grace impartially and duly to judge our selves, that wee bee not judged of the Lord.

*Writing most bitterly (after his manner) of Mr. Byfield, hee saith, I beleeve, that were hee living, hee would confess that hee did mee as much mischief as hee could; and yet I beleeve that one of the same tribe did mee more, although hee were more se∣cret in it.

* For Mr. Byfield (of the integrity of whose heart in what hee did, I have ground to bee much assured) I cannot hin∣der Mr. Bushnel from beleeving of him what hee pleaseth; But if I bee the other of the same Tribe which hee here speaketh of, in beleeving that I did him more mischief Page  27 than hee did, who (as hee saith) did him as much mischief as hee could, hee beleeveth that which the day of manifesta∣tion will shew to bee an utter uncharitable, unjustifiable untruth.

Christian Reader, I will now onely offer to thy view, two or three of Mr. Bushnels scurrilous passages (amongst many) wherein hee maketh mee his But, and whereby hee thinks to cast shame upon mee, and then leave it to thy judgement to consider, whether it bee credible that hee had not in the Publication of his Narrative any alm to asperse mee (amongst the rest.)

*Which is much worse than those worst of men, the hypocritical Pharisees and Scribes, The Godly of those times Mr. Chambers.

*Why may not the Doctor bee mistaken in her, as many hundreds have been mistaken in the Doctor?

* William Pinchin, and John Trevers have their varieties of baits, and flyes suitable to the appetites of their fish. Wee know that Cataline had such heretofore, yea, Mr. Chambers, the chief Priests and Elders made use of the like, Mat. 26. 61. compared with Luk. 23. 2.

By these amongst others his sly and cutting scoffs the Reader may judge, whether Mr. Bushnel had not a design to asperse mee in his Narrative.

After all these reproaches, and most slanderous irrational insinuations, I finde not in the whole Narrative the least intimation of any dram of charity which Mr. Bushnel hath for mee; For although hee pretends to have a little good beleef of Mr. Byfield,* if he were living, yet all things therein and almost every line thereof, speaks forth the highest de∣spight and contempt of mee; yet all the revenge that I will take of him, is to pray for him as for my self, that the Lord would forgive him all his trespasses, and renew his heart by his grace, and guide him with such faithfulness and tenderness in relation to precious souls, to fulfil the work of the Ministery, that hee may give up his account with com∣fort to the great Shepherd of souls in the day of his glorious appearing.

FINIS.