A parish looking-glasse for persecutors of ministers ... or, The persecuted ministers apologie published by Richard Culmer ... in defence of his father, Richard Culmer ...

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Title
A parish looking-glasse for persecutors of ministers ... or, The persecuted ministers apologie published by Richard Culmer ... in defence of his father, Richard Culmer ...
Author
Culmer, Richard, 17th cent.
Publication
London :: Printed by Abraham Miller,
1657.
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Subject terms
Culmer, Richard, d. 1662.
Clergy -- England.
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http://name.umdl.umich.edu/A35355.0001.001
Cite this Item
"A parish looking-glasse for persecutors of ministers ... or, The persecuted ministers apologie published by Richard Culmer ... in defence of his father, Richard Culmer ..." In the digital collection Early English Books Online. https://name.umdl.umich.edu/A35355.0001.001. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed June 22, 2024.

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A PARISH LOOKING-GLASSE FOR Persecutors of Ministers.

THe Persecutors of faithfull Ministers in these times, may behold as in a glasse, the vilenesse of their sinne, and the great displeasure of God against them for it: If they look into the Scripture, or later Histories, and dai∣ly experience. We read (2 Chron 36. 14, 15.) And the Lord God of their Fathers sent unto them by his Messengers, ri∣sing up betimes, and sending them: because he had compassion on his house, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the Messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his Prophets, untill the wrath of God arose against his people, till there was no remedy: Therefore he brought upon them the King of the Chaldees, who slow their young men with the sword, in the house of their Sanctuary, &c. And Ahab and Jezabel per∣secuted the Prophets of God, but dogs licked up the bloud of Ahab, after he was slain, and dogs did eat persecuting Jezabel. The chil∣dren which did mock, and miscall Elisha the Prophet and Minister of God, were two and fourty of them torn in pieces by wilde Bears (2 Kings 2.) They were the children of Persecutors of Gods Mini∣sters, and spake their parents language. The Persecutors of the Pro∣phet Jeremiah, said, Come let us devise devices against Jeremiah, let us smite him with the tongue (Jer. 18. 18.) Therefore God delivered up their children to the famine, and their bloud was poured out by force of the sword. Those that persecuted our Saviour the great Shepherd, and did perswade people not to hear him preach, saying, He is mad, and hath a Devil, why hear ye him? (Joh. 10. 20.) and would stone him,

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though he spake as never man spake, and did works which never man did: yet they having begun to persecute him, did sinne against the light of their own conscience, and against the holy Ghost, to make good their begun acts, and hold up their reputation, and did persecute him to the death: What became of those persecutors? Is not their judge∣ment eternal in hell for their unpardonable sinne? Alexender the Coppersmith, and other Persecutors of the Apostles have their woful reward, though they clamoured and articled against St Paul, as a pestilent fellow, a mover of sedition, &c. These things are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come, and teach Ministers now for their comfort what Christ spake, Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you; for so persecuted they the Pro∣phets that were before you; And if they have persecuted me they will also persecute you.

But some men will not be warned by other mens harms, and exam∣ples; therefore they are made examples to others. Our late Bi∣shops and their Adherents are a rare and remarkable president of Gods Judgments on Persecutors of faithfull Ministers, which sin made them ripe for their deserved downfall: But their Persecutions ended at the beginning of the long Parliament: Then the iron teeth of those beasts were knockt out, and the iron yoaks, which they had put on Ministers necks were all pull'd off: But when the Ecclesiastical Courts were taken away, the people took lawlesse liberty to themselves, to put (as it were) a hogs yoak on Ministers necks, and did persecute faithful Ministers sent unto them, as sheep among wolves: Oh what woorying and wearying out most precious Ministers by word and deed, by tearing and tugging, lyings and slanderings, revilings and defraudings, and withholding their maintenance by confederacy! And these Persecutions (especially in point of maintenance) continue very great at this day all the Nation over; people being encouraged hereunto, for want of better Laws for Tything, and of more speedy execution of justice, according to the Laws that are in force. Many hundreds of faithfull Ministers in England may justly write such books against their Persecutors, to awaken the Christian Magistrate, and warn Persecutors, against whom their cries are gone up to Heaven, and have brought down vengeance upon very many: And their complaints and moans by words are daily heard, and may be read, some in print, and in their Bils against thousands in the Court of Ex∣chequer, where relief is certain, but so long waited for, that in the mean time the poor Ministers and their families perish; And oft-times

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the parties, or witnesses, or both die, or the Tyth-robber breaks, and runs the Countrey, which is usuall, before the Cause come to hearing. I could shew Persecutors many very fresh examples of their sinne, and of punishments on people, that have lately persecuted faithfull Ministers in several Parishes, as that of Mr E. K. of Dover in 1644. who came out of his seat, and joyned in the hurliburly made in St James Church against Mr Vincent a godly able Minister, who was sent thither by the Parliament, and persecuted him otherwise: But the Persecutor persecuted himself a little after by laying violent hands on himself, and was a self-executioner by hanging himself. This and many such bleeding examples may be produced touching the hand of God against such Persecutors, enough to fill volumes. But I shall now only instance in the Persecutors of Mr Richard Culmer (hereto∣fore of Magdalen Colledge in Cambridge, Master of Arts, and) now Minister of Mynster in the Isle of Thanet in the County of Kent, whose Persecutors are now very few living in that Parish; but mighty and numerous elswhere; even those of the Popish, Prelatical and Ca∣valier Party that never saw him, because of his activenesse against their Cause. They have printed two libellous Books against him, and often articled against him, and raised Persecution against him to the shedding of his bloud, &c. as the ensuing History shews; And to have their wils against him (if it be possible, to ruine him) they have lately petitioned against him to his Highnesse himself, and since pub∣lickly boasted against him in their confidence now to prevail against him; which hath caused this Apology to be published in his just de∣fence, and for vindication of the truth. This man after he left the free Grammer-school at Canterbury (being senior of all that School, then consisting of above two hundred Scholars, in the time of Mr Ro∣ger Raven, the King of Schoolmasters, as he was deservedly styled at his Funeral, an eminent, godly, learned, yet persecuted and silenced Minister) lived about eight years a Student in Magdalen-Colledge in Cambridge. And being afterwards Minister of Goodnestone in East∣Kent, was persecuted from thence by Arch-bishop Laud, only for refusing to publish the Kings Book for Sabbath-recreations: (See the History of that Arch-bishops Tryal in the Index letter C. Culmer.) And he continued three years and seven moneths silenced before the first Parliament was called; In all which time he got not one farthing by his Ministry, having seven children so little, that he could, and did carry them all at once on his back: And (to adde to his Persecutions by the Prelate) he was persecuted by the Patronesse Mrs P. (whose

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Posterity hath felt some reward of Persecution) who immediately upon his silencing gave his Living away to Mr A. H. who for lucre of that Benefice, did joyn in the Persecution, and did publish that pro∣phane Book in that Parish Church on the Sabbath-day, in the pre∣sence of Mr Culmer; and of the people there: But a year after he lost his goods by fire, and the next year he himself was drowned in the water. And Mr D. (yet living) then Curate to the Bishop of Rochester at Barham, did that Sabbath also publish in the Church at Goodnestone the unjust Decree of Suspension made against Mr Culmer in the Arch-bishops Ecclesiastical Court, by the Arch bishops special Order and Command to Sr N. B. But a little after this, the people of Barham fell to dancing on the Sabbath, and a quarrel arose about a wager between two dancers, and he that won the wager had his brains knockt out that Sabbath.

But at the first coming in of the Scots into England, the persecuting Arch-bishop (who a little after was beheaded at Tower-hill for Trea∣son, &c.) presently absolved Mr Culmer, who might justly say, Gara∣mercy good Scot for his Absolution. And he being at liberty to preach, was presently called by Dr Robert Ausin (now living) to be his Assistant at Harbledown near Canterbury, where he preached di∣vers years, and had very many Auditors from that famous City. But there also he was persecuted for his actings against drunkennesse, and against prophaning the Sabbath by Crickit playing before his door, to spite him, which when he had reproved privately and publickly, they removed that sport to a field near the Woods, where they threw stones at his Sonnes, whom he sent to see if they played there; and up∣on publick reproof, the Church-warden (whose wise was for just cause denied the Sacrament) bought boards to keep the people of Canter∣bury out of the Church Seats. And the grandee Persecutor J. W. used to go with his crew of brawlers and railers, his wife especially, upon the Sabbath to the Parsonage-house, and there did clamour and bawl to the Doctor to move him, that Mr Culmer might preach no more there; and one of them S. S. cried out, saying, It is a shame to speak what he hath done; and being asked by the Doctor, what Mr Culmer had done, the only answer of the accuser was, Why was he turned out of Goodnestone? And being urged to speak what he could say more, he could not alledge any thing else: By this the Magistrate may see, that some people are like a kennel of Hounds, that will bark for company; if one or two bark against a Minister, then presently one and all, right or wrong: as of old they all cried, Not him, they all

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cried, Crucifie him, &c. The upholding of the noise and cry was, Oh our souls, our souls, will you damn our souls! we cannot edifie by one we love not: But when their clamours prevailed not, they writ Arti∣cles against Mr Culmer, as followeth, That he refuseth to administer the Sacrament according to the Church of England: That he raised scandals of the Parish in the Pulpit: That he made differences between Neigh∣bours: That some refuse to hear him, and others declare they cannot edi∣fie by him. These, and only these Articles they exhibited to the Do∣ctor, who having heard all things objected against Mr Culmer, gave them an answer, that what they objected he found either frivolous, or false; And he reproved a rich widow Mrs R, who being asked, Why she clamoured? her only Answer was, that Mr Culmer had said to the Overseers of the poor, that he wondered that she refused to pay her assessement of 2s. 6d. to the poor. But the Doctor being elsewhere provided of a Benefice, wholly left that place to the Patron, who placed a Minister there; And when they were told a little after, that they had made a sorry exchange in the room of M Culmer; It was answered, We care not whom we have, nw we are rid of M. Culmer: But what is become of those Persecutors of M. Culmer is famously known: One of them E. Br. (because M Culmer would not give him the Sa∣crament immediately after he had been drunk, and did pursue his wife with a drawn sword, did thereupon write a Petition against M. Cul∣mer, and went about the Parish to get Subscriptions to it) was a little after found guilty of Felony, and was burnt in the hand at the Sessi∣ons at Canterbury: And you may now finde the Grandee Persecutor J. W. in the Goal at Canterbury (his sonne used to thresh Corn on the Sabbath mornings for fodder:) And now after the death of two Ministers, the third (having little encouragement amongst them) left them destitute. And after M. Culmer lest preaching at Harbledown, he preached in Canterbury; and there he and other Ministers were appointed by Authority or Parliament, to detect, and cause to be demolished the superstitious Inscriptions, and Idolatrous Monuments, in the Cathedral in Canterbury; And when they came to the great high priz'd most idolatrous Window, in the Chappel of Thomas Becket, in that Cathedral (the Labourers, not acting as was desi∣red) M. Culmer laid, If we neglect this opportunity, we may repent it; and thereupon threw off his Cloak, and took a whole Pike in his hand, and went up a Ladder fifty six steps high, and did full executi∣on upon the Idolatrous Monuments there: whereupon some stirres began, a Prebends wife cried out, Save the childe, meaning Christ

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lying in the Manger pictured there; and M. Culmers bloud was then threatned by some that stood without the iron grates, in the body of the Church: But M. John Lade then Maior of Canterbury, sent a file of Musqueteers, who conveyed Mr. Culmer safe home to his own house. And a little after M. Culmer published a Book entituled, Cathedral News from Canterbury, which is a true History of the sins and plagues of that Cathedral Babel; The Title page of that Book is, Cathedral News from Canterbury, shewing the Canter∣burian Cathedral to be in an. Abbey like corrupt and rotten condition, which cals for a speedy Reformation or Dissolution, which Dissolution is already foreshewn, and begun there by many remarkable Passages upon that place, and the Prelates there: Recorded and published by Richard Culmer Minister of Gods Word, dwelling in Canterbury, heretofore of Magdalen Colledge in Cambridge, Master of Arts: If I should hold my peace the stones would immediately cry out, Luk. 19. 40. Imprimatur John White. I have perused this Relation of Cathedral News, and therein observe, that the hand of Providence hath indeed wrought a new thing in our Israel, Worthy to be lookt upon by all, with a due mixture of wonder and thankefulness: And therefore conceive it necessary to be published to the view of all: Jo. Caryl. Printed for Fulk Cliston, &c.

But this Book being the finger in the Bile, and swelling Ulcer of Prelacy and Cathedrals; Immediately upon the first publishing of it, the nest of Cathedral Hornets at Canterbury, and their waspish Ma∣lignant Adherents, flew about M. Culmers ears, bombalizing and toating so loud, that City and Countrey rang of their railing and li∣bellings. They presently published in print two lying Libels against him; One called, The Razing of the Record, or, An Order to forbid any Thanksgiving for the Canterbury News, published by Richard Culmer, Printed at Oxford, in the year, 1644. The other entituled, Antide∣tum Culmerianum, or, Animadversions upon a late Pamphlet, entitu∣led, Cathedral News from Canterbury; Oxford, Printed by H. Hall, 1644.

These Libels of private concernment M. Culmer thought fit to an∣swer only with scorn and contempt amidst so many publick differen∣ces; being confident that no wise man would believe that, which no man doth avow, or set his name to. They publish in the Libels, That he was famous in Cambridge for foot-ball playing and swimming; but never thought to be cut out for a Mercury: But he gave some specimen to the contrary in many publick Acts, in the University; I name only that in print, in the Book, called Lacryma Cantabrigienses, upon the death of Queen Anne, viz.

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Cyxthia Lucisluo conjungitur aurea Phoebo: Phoebeo in terris conjux fuit Anna Jacobo: Ecclipsin patitur Phoebe; Sic deficit Anna: Phoebus in Orbe micat: Sic 〈…〉〈…〉lendet in Ʋrbe Jacobus: Luna praeest undis: Lachrymas tulit Anna Britannis: Sol radiis undas siccat: Splendore Jacobus.

Richard Culmer Col. Mag.

And that report in the Libel, touching his pulling out the spigots in the Colledge-cellar, at Cambridge, and his escape, and running away, and expulsion from the University, is a meer forgery, as many now living, that were of that Colledge, can testifie: That also is a meer slander touching Richard Pising of Canterbury, who is yet living there, and can witnesse the contrary to that which the Libellers publisheth against M. Culmer: And as touching that which they record touching M. Culmers being cast into the Fleet; It was a crying persecution and in∣jury done to him by the Archbishop, which the other Lords knew well, and therefore released him, upon their next sitting, within five dayes: But M. B. may thank Sir J. F. for his head; And may thank his own prating tongue (first and last) for all his trouble then.

Many other silly fictions they invented and published in those rail∣ing Libels; as that M. Culmer tied a rope about his fathers Cows horns to let himself down the Cliff in Thanet to reach Daws.

By such feigned Stories the Cathedrallists endeavoured to confute that true, real History, written by M. Culmer, which caused them to gnaw their tongues for pain, and to put so much Gall in their Ink, in their pretended Confutation of his Book, by those forgeries, which are falsly called, Culmerianum Antidotum: Being deadly poyson to take away the life of his good Name and Reputation: But I am con∣fident, that these ensuing Testimonials, which are not forged, but real, under so many Names of worth, will be a general Antidote, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 against all infection and prejudice to M. Culmers good Name and Reputation from those pestilent Libels, whose Authors are De terra incognita, of the unknown Land, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 namelesse: But these Testimonials are not namelesse.

Civit. Cant. ss.

WE the Maior and Aldermen of the City of Canterbury, and other Inhabitants there (at the request of Richard Culmer of

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the said City Clerk, who hath lived in, or near the said City for many years last past) do hereby certifie, That the said Richard Culmer is a man of exemplary Life and Conversation, and an able and dili∣gent Preacher of Gods Word: In Testimony whereof we have here∣unto subscribed our Names, this tenth day of August, Anno Dom. 1642.

Cleve Carter Maior, Avery Sabin. James Master, wil. wbiting, John Stanly, John Lade, William Bridge, Danicl Masterson, John Terry, John Watson, George Knot, John Pollen. Paul Pettit, Vispa∣sian Harris, Peter Pyard, Richard Juxon, Themas Player, George Yong, Roger Sympson, William Cullen, Francis Maplesden, George Milles, Edward Norden, Thomas Kingsford, Thomas Trusser, John Sympson, Walter Mond, John Routh, Edward Master, John Nutt, William Man, Edward Berry, John James, Henry James, Giles Ma∣ster, Nicholas knight, Henry White, Allen Epps, John Bix, William Russel William Jones, William Master, Robert Beak, George Nichels, William Cullen Sen. William Glover, Matthew Spencer, John Wood∣ware, Richard Hardris, Christopher Harslet, Edmond Crisp, Thomas Den, Robert Lade, Edward Engeham, Edmona Randolph, Edward Aldy Rector of St Andrews in Canterbury, James Nicholson, Philip Delme, Thomas Ventris Rector Sanctae Margaretae, John Player, Thomas Courthop, John Lee, Michael Page, William Taylour, Thomas Ventris.

This is a true Copy of the Original remaining in the Assembly.

Henry Roborough Scriba, Adoniram Bifield Scriba, John Wallis.

To the Honourable Committee of Parliament for Plundered Ministers.

Honourable Sirs,

VVE are bold to move you in the behalf of Mr Richard Culmer, a Minister, who lives in Canterbury; The Burgesses, Maior, and Principal Inhabitants whereof, do give a very good Testimony of him under their hands in writing, whom we also know to be as they testifie of him; And we further testifie, That he hath been a very forward ad∣vancer of the Common Cause, by his Ministry, and otherwise, from the beginning of these distractions; And was long suspended for not publishing the Book for Sabbath sports: But now is altogether unpro∣vided of a setled Ministry. Our earnest request is, That he may be taken into your consideration, and provided for somewhere in these parts: We are very unwilling such men should be discouraged, or

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that the ill-affected should point at them, as unregarded▪ So we humbly take leave, and remain,

Octob 9. 1643.

Your Loving Friends to be commanded, John Lade Maior, James Oxinden, John Boys, William Man, Michael Lewsie, Ri. Hardres, Edward Scot, Thomas Westrow, Mark Dix∣well, Edward Boys, John Boys.

This is a true Copy of the Original remaining in the Assembly,

Henry Roborough Scriba, Adoniram Bifield Scriba, John Wallis.

To the Honourable the Committee appointed by the Parliament for Plundered Ministers.

Gentlemen,

I Do herewith present unto you M. Richard Culmer, a Minister of Canterbury, who though I cannot properly say he hath been plundered, yet hath lost much for not publishing the Book for Sabbath sports: And I have had personal experience from the first of these distractions of his fi∣delity, and great activenesse in the Common Cause. And now seeing a Testimonial under the hands of the Burgesses for Canterbury, and of the Maior, and many well-affected chief Inhabitants there; That he is a man of exemplary life, and an able, and diligent Preacher: And seeing also Letters directed to you in his behalf, from many of the Deputy-Lieu∣tenants of Kent: And for asmuch as I am certified that the Archdeacon of Canterbury hath deserted his Cure at Ickham near Sandwich in Kent: My earnest request to you is, That Mr Culmer may by your Order offi∣ciate that Cure, and be setled in it, if the Archdeacon shall be removed out of it: And I am the rather willing to move you on Mr Culmers be∣half, for that I know the House of Lords (taking him into special consi∣deration) did Order that he should succeed the Dean of Canterbury in the Parsonage of Chartham; but at my motion he sate down, and gave way that my Lord Generals Chaplain should have that Benifice: And so with my affectionate respects commended to you, I rest,

Warwick-house, Feb. 2. 1643.

Your very assured Friend.

WARWICK.

And to proceed, after those Libels were spread abroad in Print: A Libel was written against him at Canterbury, and in the night thrown under the door of the then Maior of Canterbury, who sent it up to the Committee for Plundered Ministers: And (to cause the people to destroy him) they raised a false report against him, that he had

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broken the earthen pots or pipes, which conveyed water to the City, and that he was seen to break them; And that he had said, that all that neither could or would give any thing to the Parliaments proceedings, should be put into a house, and the house fired on them; and that the King would be at Canterbury at such a day, and then Mr Culmer should be hanged, But threatned folks live long. And Mr Culmer be∣ing so recommended to the Committee for Plundered Ministers, as afore-said; they thereupon resolved to place him in the Sequestred Vicarage of Mynster in Kent; But the Malignants and Cathedrallists from Canterbury, and some from Harbledown presently endeavoured to make the minds of the people of Mynster ill affected against him; and it was said often openly in the streets at Canterbury, Blue Dick should be set out of Mynster; And divers Ministers that seemed to be his friends, did him ill offices there, for their own ends: One that aimed at that Living himself, told them, that although the Com∣mittee had voted Mr Culmer the Place, yet if they would stir and shew great opposition against him, they might remove him: An other (when he saw he could not get it for himself) advised them malici∣ously, saying, Clog it with a Lecture, clog it with a Lecture; But after the people had heard Mr Culmer preach there, nineteen of the Parish subscribed, that they were willing to receive him as their Pa∣stor: And one of the chiefest did then give him loving entertain∣ment, but desired him to entertain his brother-in-law Mr P. then Cu∣rate to be his Assistant, and to give him 40lb by the year, which Mr Culmer desired to be excused in, saying, He was able to officiate alone, and that if 40lb per annum Fifts, and as much in Taxes, and 40lb to his Assistant, Were paid out of 200lb, he should have little himself: But the truth is, That Curate was very scandalous, called The Father of Drunkards, because divers Toffe-pots in the Parish cal∣led him Father, and he called them Sonnes: But one day in a Cellar they complained to him, that he called them Sonnes, but gave them no portions: Then he gave them portions; To one Knaves-acre, to another Duns-acre, to another Cuckolds-corner, to another a Patent to hug and buss, to another Meretrix-Hall: He would tipple with them in the Tap-house near the Church every day in the week, and on Holy-dayes, out of the Ale-house to the Church, and from the Church to the Ale-house, and come out hollowing at midnight, and was so drunk that he could not stand: He would bowl with them on the Sabbath, and forced the people by threats openly in the Church to come up and kneel at the Alter rails; And said, Prince Rupert

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came over to right his Ʋncles Wrongs. And when Mr Culmer came to the Vicarage-house, there was a large Picture of a man in the window, and underneath it was written, Salvator mundi, the Savi∣our of the world. But Mr Culmer said before many present, This is not the Saviour of the world, for it cannot save it self, and thereupon dashed it in pieces; But the Curate reviled him, and said, It was there in many Doctors times, and in M. Bromwels time; He had served above twenty years as Curate there, and was well beloved. And his Predecessor Curate would go to Sandwich and fetch Bottles, hanging round under his Priests coat; He was wont to huddle up forenoon and afternoon Service altogether, and tell the people he did it, because there was a merry meeting in the afternoon; And the Priest (as they call'd him) was sure to be present, and it was their glory to have him amongst them, in their drunken courses, and to laugh at the drunken Priest.

Another thing was then propounded to Mr Culmer at his first com∣ing, viz. That he would give under his hand in writing, to take the Tythes as the Sequestred Doctor had them: But he refused to make any composition, whereupon differences arose: And the brother-in∣law to the Curate said, He would spend 500lb to keep out Mr. Culmer, and procured divers others to joyn with him to keep out Mr Culmer, and to bring in some other Minister. But when they saw they could not prevail to bring in whom they would; They went up to the Reve∣rend Assembly of Divines, sitting at Westminster, to get any, they cared not whom, to supplant Mr Culmer; being confident that any Member of that Assembly would carry it from him: There they first met with Dr Smith, who hearkned to them at the first: But having discoursed with Mr Culmer, and seen his Testimonials, and enquired of Mr Herbert Palmer, and others touching him; He came to Mr Cul∣mer and told him, That if his Living were worth 500lb per annum, he would not have it from him, but would assist him against his adver∣saries: But afterwards they surprized one of that Assembly, who ac∣cepted of that place; but when it was moved in the Assembly for his approbation from them to the Committee for Plundered Ministers; Mr Herbert Palmer, who had known Mr Culmer for many years, made a Speech in his behalf of at least half an hour long, as if it had been penned, and (amongst the rest) he said, If M r Culmer be sup∣planted of this Living, I am confident the Malignants in Canterbury will make bonfires for joy: Then Dr Gouge, Mr Wilson, Dr Corpet, and others there, which knew Mr Culmer, spake also in his behalf:

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whereupon the Vote of the Assembly was, That their Brother should be intreated to sit down, and give way to M r Culmer for that Place: And thereupon after that Assembly had certified to the Committee for Plundered Ministers, touching Mr Culmers fitnesse to officiate at Mynster, that Committee granted him their Order of Seque∣stration.

But when news of this came to Mynster, some began to rage at it, saying, Such a devilish Round-headed Priest, that brake the Windows at Canterbury, and refused to give the Sacrament to all at Harbledown, and would not use the Service-Book, should not come there: And it was given out, that a band of women should meet him at Sarwall, and throw him into a ditch: But one Mrs O, that had heard well of Mr Culmer, said to the Gossips in the Church-porch, What band? Who shall be Captain? One named, such a woman; The other replied, Oh she, she was brought a bed a moneth after she was married, we are like to have a good band I hear, either whores, or with childe before marriage. And upon this occasion I cannot but recount what fell out lately in a Vestry there at a Debate about putting out Apprentices, it was vo∣ted by Mr Culmers adversaries, and set down in the Seffe-book, That such a Girl (a Bastard) should be M r Culmers Apprentice: But he afterward addressed himself to the Justices, and desired them, that such an affront might not be put on him, and said further, There were yet but eight bastards since his coming thither, and desired he might be excused until the tenth fell: The Justices smiled, and ordered him ano∣ther Apprentice. I rehearse this, because I hear the accusation against Mr Culmer is his rehearsing of a same of words of the feminine gen∣der. But the band of women never advanced nor charged, but with their sharp tongues.

But the 500lb man, with others, went presently (before Mr Cul∣mer came down with his Order) with a Petition to divers Peers of the Realm, which were then in the Isle, upon pleasure of Hawking and Hunting, and lay there: But when the Earl of Warwick had read their Petition against Mr Culmer, he said, I know Mr Culmer well, he is an honest man, I pray receive him according to Order; If need be, I have a better Living for Mr Culmer; But we must not oppose Authori∣ty, &c. A little after a chief Parishioner of another Parish (brother∣in-law also to the said Curate, since a sequestred Cavalier) went with two of Mynster to Canterbury to a Committee of Deputy-Lieutenants, and there they clamoured against Mr Culmer, who was thereupon sent for to the Chequer-Inne: But after they had heard him speak,

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Sir James Oxinden said, Now we have heard Mr. Culmer speak, all that you have said against him, falls from him as water from a tiled house: And Mr. Boys of Bettishanger (then Knight of the shire for Kent) said, their allegations were of no weight, and would not prevail: and he said, I pray oppose him not; I am confident you will never prevail against him to remove him, he hath been so eminently active for the common Cause, and you have nothing to alledge against him, I pray receive him, he is sent unto you by Authority, I dare ingage for him he will be an honest quiet man amongst you if you will be quiet. But he that was of another Parish said, They had Scouts out against. Mr. Culmer, and would finde enough against him, He were better leave them quietly. And indeed they sent out to all places where Mr. Culmer had lived, or had any dealing, to find matter against him: The chief thing which they then alledged against him was; that he was a contentious man at Harbledowne: where∣upon the Committee sent to Dr Austin, who is an eminent godly Mi∣nister, to know the truth of matters concerning Mr Culmer at Harble∣downe: The Doctor returned them an answer in writing as followeth: Octob. 11. 1644. Whereas I am desired to testifie what I know concerning Mr Culmers carriage and behaviour at Harbledowne, especially for mat∣ters of contention between him and some there; I doe hereby truely testifie, that having heard all that hath any wayes been objected against him, I judged it rather to proceed out of malice, than from any ground of truth: and the contention spoken of, to have been rather out of his zeal to the cause of God, than any private cause of his own: And though they did alledg matters against him, yet I judged them but frivolous; And I have been thanked for his ministry there; which many of the City of Can∣terbury also thought so well of, as they took the pains to travell thither to enjoy it, and that for many years: And I also testifie, That I have had much dealing with Mr Culmer for at least twelve years, yet if he were now mine enemy, I must say, I have never found him but an honest man, both in word and deed: In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my Name, Robert Austin. About that time the Committee of Deputy-Lieute∣nants for Kent, made the Order following, (viz.)

Whereas we are informed, that there is a weekly Lecture at St Johns in the Isle of Thanet, in the County of Kent; we think fit that M r Culmer, being a very well-affected man, and put in by the Parliament into a Cure in the said Isle, shall take his turn in preaching the said Lecture. Alsford 12 June 1645. Richard Hardress, Anthony Welden, Robert Scot, Wil∣liam Miller, John Boys, William Kenrick▪ But after this Order, and Mr Culmers preaching there, that Lecture soon ceased, because (it

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seems) Mr Culmers preaching was not pleasing to the Cavaller party: The Minister there was afterward sequestred for malignancy, and not one of the seaven Ministers of that Isle but was neuter or two pockets at the best, or rather the worst at that time; and could make his Mill goe with any winde. But the ceasing of the Lecture did not satisfie them; but their chief project was to remove Mr Culmer out of that Isle: They (as the event proved) having a designe to raise a new Warre, they knew that Isle to be a fit place for landing an Enemy: There is Ramsgate alias Roman-gate, where the Romans landed when they conquered this Nation: And not far from thence, there is at this day found (after a great rayne) Romane Coyn, with the Title and Ef∣figies of Romane Emperours: And they considered Mr Cul∣mers disposition, activeness, and resolution against them and their Cause: Thereupon they procured divers to go to Sandnich to a Com∣mittee of Deputy-Lieutenants, where Sir Edward Boys (a Parliament man and Governour of Dover Castle) was Chair-man; there at least fourty in their best cloathes, and with their best friends and Sollicitors, did earnestly petition, and clamour as for life, that Mr Culmer might be removed from Mynster. But Sir Edward Boys asked them, What they 〈…〉〈…〉ad to object against Mr Culmer? It was answered, They had no∣thing for the present, but they might have in time:

(Non ame to Volusi. nec possum dicere quare. Hoc tantum possum dicere, non ame tc.)
They clamoured that they could not edifie by him, and desired the Committee to pity their souls, &c. But Sir Edward Boys answered them saying, I have known Mr Culmer many years to be an honest man, and zealous for God in the worst times, and a good Preacher; you do ill to oppose a man sent unto you by Authority without shewing cause: if he should be removed upon such opposition, it would open a flood-gate to ruin all good Ministers, and encourage opposition against them: I am a plainman, and love to deal plainly, I like not these courses, and untill you have matter against him, I shall engage for him, and engage all the friends I have in England for him against you; therefore pray honest men be quiet, untill you have just and sufficient cause to complain of him. At another time they came to a Committee at Eastry, and the 500lb man spake against Mr Culmer a long time; Then Sir Edward replyed saying, He had heard him patiently, and all was in their own commendations, but nothing alledged against Mr Culmer; but (said he,) when you have said all, Mr Culmer hath lent more voluntarily to the State than all your Parish, besides his personall actings: pray trouble us no more with your clamours

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till you have cause. And afterwards Sir Edward Boys (hearing of some potent agents, which they had procured against Mr Culmer at West∣minster) wrote a Letter as followeth.

To the Honourable Committee of the House of Commons assembled in Parliament, for plundered Ministers, present these.

Honoured Sirs, I and many of the Deputy Lieutenants of Kent, have heretofore written earnestly unto you, in Mr Richard Culmers behalf, whom you have since setled in the Vicarage of Mynster in the Isle of Tha∣net in Kent, for which I, amongst others, heartily thank you: Some of which Parish (being men of note for Religion, and activeness in the com∣mon Cause) have this day been with me, earnestly moving me to be a means, that he may be upheld and continued there against a few violent opposers, who, having begun to oppose him, endeavonr to make good their own wills and acts, and leave no stone unremoved to that purpose, although I have once and again shewed my dislike upon good grounds; I doubt not but when you understand the truth of things, you will be sensible of this cause, which is of great concernment, and will be such a president if his ene∣mies prevail, as will be of very ill consequence; and I am certified, that there is no such cordiall opposition in the most of the Parish as is pretended; but if two or three would surcease, all were at an end; his life and Doctrine being such, that it hath prevailed already with divers. I shall not trouble you further, only I intreat this honorable Assembly, to continue him there un∣till be shall give just cause to be removed, or outed in a Legall way; which I presume to crave at your hands, for him▪ that in the worst times suffered under the tyranny of the Archbishop; and for a man which (to my know∣ledg) hath been most famously active for the Parliament many wayes, from the first of these distractions, and for a man so well attested as he is by so many godly Ministers and others. So I rest. Your humble servant Edward Boys. Dover Castle this 27th of January 1644.

A little after this, when Mr Culmer had ended his morning Sermon at Mynster, on the Sabbath day, one R. H. came crouding up to his desk door, and clamoured saying; Neighbours, You that have set your hands against M r Culmer, for a more abler man, pray stand to it against him; we have had no Communion this blessed Nativity, nor Prayers all this Christmas Holydayes: Whereupon one or two clamoured, but Mr Culmer went out presently: and the afternoon Sermon being end∣ed, the clamourer came, and cried out as in the morning; then a chief man of the Parish cryed all, all: and the clamourer said aloud in the Church to the forenamed Scout, who was of another Parish and then present; Captain I hope you will joyn with us: The Scout answered

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aloud in the Church saying, I will both ride and write: but Mr Culmer soon left them clamouring and talking. Not long after that they rai∣sed a slander against him, that he said they were Malignauts: which I have often heard him say, they meerly forged against him, and that he only said, he knew it was a plot of Malignants to incense them against him: Upon this the 500lb man and some others went to the Commit∣tee of the County at Alesford, and there accused him of that saying, which they indeed had forged for their own ends, to strengthen them∣selves to get a Certificate from that Committee, That some of them being of the Trayned bands, did advance towards Arundell, and that they conceived them to be no Malignants. The Certificate was drawn up by the Clerk of that Committee, and upon debate about it, Colonel Blunt said, I see you have cloathed M r Culmers opposers, but you send him away stark naked, one M r Culmer: I dwell far from him, yet I have observed his activeness in the common Cause: and once I made a Speech in the Lords House, and he presently made another there, to good purpose: What say you Gentlemen of East-Kent, who are his neighbours? Where∣upon they cloathed Mr Culmer so well with Commendations, that his adversaries were unwilling to make use of their Certificate. A little after that, Mr Culmer was advised to call the Parishioners together after evening Sermon, and to read his Certificates unto them; which he did accordingly: But so soon as they were read, the 500lb man clamoured saying; Mr Culmer, Mr Culmer, Now the people have heard your papers, they are as much against you as ever they were, if you be not speak ho: whereupon only one man (J. W.) spake, he cried out all, all, all, all: Then the 500lb man and some others spake against Mr Culmer to incense the people against him: The 500lb man fell a jeering him about his little flock at Mynster, because he had mentioned that day, Fear not little flock. And one accused him saying, Mr Culmer, you make dissention in the Parish; you say when you begin your Sermons, you that fear God, hearken to the Word of God; as if some in the Parish did fear God, and some in the Parish did not fear God; and so you divide the Parish, and set us all at difference. Another cried out, Mr Cul∣mer, you may preach, but you get no Tythes of me but by Law, if you can come by them by Law, so it is: Nor of me but by Law, said another, &c. Then said one, Mr Culmer, you gave thanks for a Lye, for taking of Scarborow Castle, which is not yet taken. But Mr. Culmer did indeed give thanks for the taking of Scarborow Town, and regayning of Wey∣mouth. Then the clamourer J. W. said he would take his Oath on it, al∣though it was false which he would so attest against Mr. Culmer. But

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J. W. (that so clamoured all, all, and offered to swear falsly;) about a week after being drunk, fell (in his drunken reel) under the wheels of a wagon laden with 1500 house-tyles, and was crushed to death, vo∣miting up his bloud at his throat and mouth: God is known by the judg∣ments which he executeth. But some notwithstanding continued after that to revile Mr. Culmer, publikely calling him devillish roundheadid Priest; and Ha Blew Dick, the devil break your neck: and roaring out of the Alehouse window, as he went by; You sirra Jack Priest, &c. And some came of purpose from other Parishes to jeer the Priest, and affronted him at his door in such a manner as is unfit to be named, much less committed to paper. And because he used not the Service-Book, they called it the Round-headed kinde of Service. Come, will you hear the Roundheaded kinde of Christning too. And one that was mar∣ried by him, affronted him in the Church at the time of marriage, and told him he did not say right &c. but he had not done right, who had made a whore of the Bride divers moneths before the marriage. And he was much reviled because he did not officiate at the grave: but he said, he would not be Chaplain to the wormes, to say grace to them be∣fore they go to dinner and feed on the dead corps: upon this account he was threatned to be buried alive. He desired them to go into the Church after the corps was interred, and said he would there give them a word of Exhortation, seeing so many were there met together: but their usuall answer was, If we can have nothing at the grave, we will have nothing in the Church. It were well if all Ministeriall speakings at the grave were prohibited, to take away all appearance of evill; for by such officiating of the Minister, there is hardning of popish, ignorant and superstitious people; as if some good came to the dead by the Mini∣sters speaking over the dead at the grave, and as if the devil will not come nigh Holy Priesthood, Holy Church ground, Holy Service: And upon this account there is much enmity raised against good Ministers, because some Ministers practice it out of superstition, and some to hu∣mour and please the people, least they should Article against them, or not pay their Tythes well. At one buriall when they began to raise at Mr. Culmer, because he did not officiate there; one J. D. (a common swearer) fell flat on his belly, and thrust his arm into the grave, and said aloud, We shall have him here, here, here shortly: but this man (a young man) died a little after stark mad, cursing and calling out, the devil, the devil. And one T. D. who had two wives living, and children by them both, who did beat his own aged dearest father, was instrumentall in the persecution of Mr. Culmer, whom he used to

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affront, and said, he had as much to do at the Vicarage as he; and said, he would go no more to the Steeple-house: this man was a little after hanged in Sussex. And when Mr. Culmer gave meat and money to divers poor people, the persecutors told the people, that Mr. Culmer did that in policy to get their good wills, that they should not joyn with the rich men against him; but they should not finde him so liberall afterwards. A Grandee of the faction did use to lead many after him on the Sabbath as they went to the next Parish, which when a worthy Gentleman of that Parish observed; He sent the Grandee word, That it was a badge of malice to leave Mr. Culmer, to come to hear at that Parish, where there was a Preacher, whose gifts were farre inferiour to their own Mi∣nisters: But this is an ordinary persecution of Ministers, as now, when lately in that Isle, a drunken, scandalous, railing Priest was ejected, there comes scarce one of ten to hear the godly Minister, placed in his room. And when Mr. Culmer reproved them for setting up a Tree May-pole, it was told him to his face, That there was a Bough strong enough to hang him on it: And when he preached not on their Christmasse-day, as they call it; He was reviled for it in the Church, and called Rogue, and assaulted in the Church-yard; and it was told him, Such a Minister did preach then, and why not you? The usual saying of the 500lb man, and his faction was, We don't take you for our Minister.

At last the Persecutors plotted to advance their design against Mr Culmer by articling against him, before the Committee for Plun∣dered Ministers, thereby to make publick shews of numerous Witnes∣ses, and to manifest their implacable and violent opposition against him; Only by that pretence of enmity against him, to prevail to re∣move him; because thereupon it would be conceived, That he was not like to do any good amongst them, who acted with such animosi∣ty, charge, trouble, or travel: That was the mystery of the iniquity of all that opposition, a confidence to prevail meerly upon the ac∣count of pretended opposition, and unlikelihood of not edifying by him upon that account: That's the knack of it all the Nation over; when only self-will, and malice, and private interest, and self-ends, are the weights that set all the Wheels a going: For they could not be so sottish, as to imagine to prevail by the merits of the cause. They had a Treasurer (at warre, as I may so say) who kept the money which was collected to defray the Charges in pursuance of those Ar∣ticles, to pay Witnesses, &c. They raised and spent above 300lb, (as appears by their own confession) in prosecuting of him Some

Page 19

of the Articles are verbatim in the printed Libels, viz.

That he was a fantastick narrow brain'd man. That false News was by a Proverb called Culmers News. That he made a popular shew, but gave very little. That he denied to pay Parliament Texis. That he is an impudent man, and did pisse in the Cathedral in Canterbury. That he gave not the Communion at Harbledown as he ought, &c. And (to steel their numerous, frivolous, woodden Articles, and to set an edge on them) they accused him to be a common swearer, and a Protector of Malignants. They carried whole Coaches full of Witnesses through Canterbury, in a triumphant bravado; But at the hearing before the Committee, they could not produce one Witness that ever heard him swear one oath, It is true, that one Wilde of Ʋpstreet (a Ditcher) was fitted with russet-boots, and Yeoman-like, and carried up to Westminster to witness one Oath against M. Culmer; But when he came to the Committee door, his heart failed him: For the truth is, That he had falsly accused Mr. Culmer; whom he met one Morning, and told him, He did ride upon a Round-headed horse; but Mr. Culmer said little to him, using no oath or evil word against him, as Thomas Heath who heard all that was spoken was ready to witness, if Mr. Culmer had been called to his defence: But a little after Wilde fell sick, and consumed, and died in a fearfull manner. And that scandal touching Mr. Culmers protecting of Malignants; It was raised by the persecu∣tors from Harbledown, because he dealt courteously with a Gentleman, who was taken to be the Lord Digby, being found at an Inne there in the night: But the true Lord Digby rid through Canterbury that day, and escaped over Sea. The Gentleman in his frolick put his scarlet cloak on the Can-maker, and he put on the Can-makers lethern apron, and so danced in his gold lace; But upon suspicion) the house was be∣set, and Mr. Culmer (then Minister there) was called up at midnight, and went to the Justice at Canterbury, and did write a Warrant at the Justices bed side, and called up Richard Redwood then Constable: The young Spark kept his room with his naked Rapier, which be thrust thorow the glasse-window: But Mr. Culmer entred in upon him alone, and he yielded and put up his Rapier; whereupon Mr. Culmer promi∣sed him gentle carriage, which was performed: For he went (as he desired with his 〈◊〉〈◊〉 by his side, and with Mr. Culmer alone, and the rabble not near him, and was brough a back way privately to the Justice, and there delivered to the Constable; but he proved no Lord Digby, but, &c. And that Mr. Culmer was no protector of Malig∣nants, his recited Cathedral History, and the Records of the Com∣mittee

Page 20

for Examinations, and of the Councel of State can testifie.

One of Canterbury that said, He would fain go like himself to Westminster, to witnesse against M. Culmer, had about five pounds towards his charges, when he went up to witnesse, where Mr. Culmer made water in a dusty corner behinde old boards and rubbage, in the body of the Cathedral (where afterwards the Ammunition-wagons stood, as in Pauls London, and where afterwards the Dutch prisoners were kept) which Mr. Culmer was necessitated unto, at the time of the de∣molishing the Idols there, when all the doors were shut, and those without ready to knock out his brains, if he had gone forth to make water. And a Gentlewoman (then of Mynster, now of Canter∣bury) being asked by the Chair man of that Committee, What she could witness against Mr Culmer, answered, That she heard Mr. Cul∣mer say, That if her husband William Goldfinch, Would not agree to pay his small Tythes at a rate in money, he expected his Tythes in kinde of T〈…〉〈…〉, Pigs. And she said further, Sir, I told Mr. Culmer at our house, that I wondered that he would not go away from Mynster, and that it did not move his patience to be so hated and houted at. And Sir, his answer to me was, That he was a cholerick man by nature, and soon mo∣ved, but he did wear a hat with broad brims, Which did keep the rain from his collar. This was all she did, or could accuse Mr. Culmer of, as ap∣pears in the Records of that Committee; which Committee said, They found nothing against Mr. Culmer fit for their Cognizance to eject a Minister: And the worthy Chair-man gave them good counsel, and in conclusion bid them Go home and live quietly: Whereupon the fa∣ction to have their wils against Mr. Culmer, then offered a Petition to the Committee, wherein they freely offered to give Mr. Culmer du∣ring his life, the whole revenue of the Vicarage, and to provide a Minister at their own charge, upon condition that Mr. Culmer might be removed from them: And in that Petition it is propounded as an argument to have him cast out, That they had spent in prosecuting him, two hundred and fifty pounds, and clamoured by word of mouth, That they had spent about three hundred pound. But the answer to that was very unpleasing; and Mr. Culmer said, Beneficium propter officium, and Officium propter beneficium. But

Flictere si nequeo superos Acheronta movebo.
Presently after that the Prosecutors, being returned home, two of them stirred up others to confederate to carry away all Mr. Culmers Tythe∣corn that harvest, which they did (almost all) accordingly; One that paid him a little was reproved for it by one of the Confederates, who

Page 21

said to him, You wrong all the Parish in paying your Tythes, seeing we are all agreed to pay none. One (when the Tythes were demanded) an∣swered, saying, Others do not pay, I am loath to foul the Vicarage-barn with our little Tythe-corn. Another said, We have possession, which is eleven points of the Law: The first point in Hawking is hold-fast. Ano∣ther said, I will pay no Tythes, but go along with my Neighbours, as dogs go to Church, and take Neighbours fare, come what will come; But he a little after riding in a Cart, it overthrew and killed the childe that was with him in it, and crushed his own Leg so, that it cannot be cu∣red, but remains with wounds and bruises that he (continuing lame) cannot go along with his Neighbours. A little before that, he (hearing Mr. Culmer say in his prayer, Lord, thy mercy is great to us; there be many in Hell, that never sinned as we have done, and yet are out of it, it is thy mercy we have time to call for mercy; thereupon) vowed, never to come to Church more, if M. Culmer preached: And be∣ing disabled to go elswhere, remains obstinate to this day, and glorieth in keeping his vows: He is called Will Wounds, because of his usual oaths, by Wounds, &c. but now he & others may read his sin in his punishment.

Another (a Sectary Leveller of another Parish) denied his Tythes, and gave this reason of it, saying, I desire the ruine of all the Ministers in England, and know no way better to effect it, than by starving them out, by keeping their maintenance from them; and if it were in my pow∣er, I would sheath my sword in the bowels of all the Ministers in Eng∣land. Another refusing to pay his Tythes, said, If the Parliament set Mr. Culmer on work, if they provide us servants, let them provide them wages. The Tythe robbers servants would cry out in the field, when the Tythe was gone, Ha! the Bird is flown, the Bird is flown, and would hollow and hoop like mad men. Come (said a Sectary) Don't the Priests men want boughs to mark out their Tythes, &c? Some did threaten his servants from off their ground, saying, We know the Law forty thing: By Law you have nothing to do to meddle about setting out the Tythe, we by Law can tythe when we list, whether you be present or absent: His tything servant was knockt down, and beaten, and bruised, and was after stripped before the Justice, who, with others, saw the bruises. They would not Tythe in his servants presence, but some left a little Tythe-corn in their absence, to colour the matter. If his servants waited all day, they would let the corn lie unheaped, and go home at night, and after arise at midnight, and leave what Tythe they pleased, and change the Tythe, and bring bad corn from elswhere, and trash out of the Barn to put in the room of good Tythe: Come Ned arise,

Page 22

we must go and do righteous things; No Knave to the pretended Reli∣gious Knave; No enemy to the pretended, yet false friend: As he that overtook the honest Traveller over night, and supped, and lay with him; but next day morning, when thieves assaulted and robbed the true man, the pretended friend joyned with them.

And many other Tythe-robbing tricks were used, against which tricks there is no-remedy provided in the Law: Whereupon Mr. Cul∣mer printed two Books touching the frauds in Tything, hoping that upon such Discoveries of the Defects of Law and Justice about Tythes, either Ministers should have been left wholly to the charity of people, or that better Laws would be made for their enjoyment of Tythes, which are esteemed as their Livelihood, and in consideration of them they pay Taxes, Fifths, &c. Yet the frauds of the lawlesse Tythe∣robber are such, that upon the matter (though not intended by the makers of former Laws) Tythes in kinde are but a State-cheat, or mock-maintenance, those good Laws being now outplodded by malici∣ous and covetous people: I pray God that those Books, especially that called The Lawless Tythe-robber discovered, may never rise up in judge∣ment against the Higher Powers, or against any other that have read them. But those confederated Tyth-robbers acted so against M. Culmer, that for two years together he had not half so much Tythe-revenue (one way or other) as would pay his Fifths, and Tenths, and Taxes, which were severely exacted of him, when almost all his Tythes were in the peoples hands: He had ten Troopers at a time quartered upon him, horse and man; and was constrained to borrow money of the next Justices Mr. Thomas Paramor and Major Foach to pay his Taxes, which Taxes have been assessed and exacted to the utmost farthing of his Living, and more, when all the Parish was eased a fifth part, some a full half. The Persecutions and oppressions that way have been unparallel'd, and yet he never complained of it, untill they made that injury a rule of other assessements, wherein they ease themselves and burden him. There was then little or no relief for Ministers in Sequestred Livings, though he made many journeys for relief about his Tythes: And the Sesse-book was denied him, that he might see who occupied Marshland, and the Order of the Deputy-Lieutenants slighted by the Persecutors, who answered them at Canterbury, That Mr. Culmer should not see it, but by Law, and so matters rested. And to adde to his oppressions, besides the scoffs formerly rehearsed, it was clamoured to him as he rid in Mynster-street, Look how the Priests horse ears loll, he goes so oft to London, and can get nothing:

Page 23

Yet these men paid their Tythes in corn to the full to the Non-resident Doctor, who had 1s. 6d. per Acre for the Marshland, and Mr. Culmer was contented with 1s, yet could not, nor cannot enjoy that, as the Minister of W. H. in Kent, abated 2d. of 1s. due by custome for the Acre, hoping they would pay that freely, but I heard him say, That if he had abated 10d, and took 2d, he findes they would have been as back∣ward to pay that. And although Mr Culmer have forborn many for five, seven, ten years, and hath not sued them; yet he findes it to redound to his greater losse, and to their, and others hardning, only to avoid contention; least thereby they should prejudice the Gospel; but they now finde by experience, wofull experience, that their for∣bearance hath hardened men to be more unrighteous, as soft fires harden some things: By bearing one injury wicked men are invited to do more injury. A Minister in Essex (Mr Willet) for peace-sake remitted 20lb due to him for Tythes taken from him in Harvest, 1652. and the same Tythe-robber carried away all his Tythe-corn in Harvest, 1653. And Mr. Culmer had the same experience in Mynster, because he sued not those that carried away all his Tythe-corn in Harvest, 1646. they carried away all also in Harvest, 1647. But before Harvest, 1648. The Sword of the Lord, and of Gideon made them pay their dues. Oh blessed Law and Sword of Magistracy, thou pre∣vailest more with wicked men, than the Law of Nature, of Consci∣ence, of Reason, or the Law in judgements of God himself! But this is observable, that there is not one of the wilfull Tythe-robbers then, or now, but are confounded as to their estates, one, and all, to admiration: One being a prisoner at the suit of others had thirty pound forgiven him by Mr Culmer; yet within two dayes after the first Parliaments dissolution, he clapt two Actions on Mr. Culmer, who afterwards had eight pound costs in those Suites; Now their own ears loll in other Parishes, while they make their houses their prison for fear of Lawyers, and have no revenue out of which they may pay Tythes, unlesse it be Tythe lice. And it is to be considered, that these oppressors of Mr. Culmer did not only pay their dues fully and quietly to the Non-resident, but were exceeding bountifull to their be∣loved Curates, and paid a kinde of Tythe or Contribution of Hay and Pease, &c. to him for horse-meat, besides continual gifts and enter∣tainment of him and his wife. And to oppresse Mr. Culmer the more, they regard not the Limits of their Parish that he may know his maintenance, utterly refusing to go the Bounds of it, though he have often privately and publickly intreated them.

Page 24

And besides all these oppressions, one thing more in point of live∣lihood, I thought fit to mention, That Mr Culmer having laid out about 5lb in demolishing the Monuments of Idolatry at Mynster, by special Order according to the Act of Parliament for their demo∣lishing, cannot get his money so laid out. At his first coming thi∣ther he often desired the Churchwardens to do that work according to that Act: But the 500lb man being Churchwarden refused to act, and said, He could not get a Sailor at Sandwich to climb up to the Cros∣ses on the Spire of the Steeple under 15lb. So that that work was left undone about a whole year after Mr Culmers coming thither; But then Mr. Culmer was jeered by a Sequestred Malignant Priest, who said to him, Physician heal thy self; telling him of his actings at Can∣terbury: These words took such deep impression on him, that he would no longer wait the Churchwardens leisure: But a day or two after, being the 5th of Novem. he got up into the Steeple before day, and by Moon-light, got up to the top of the Spire, seven roods or poles from the ground, and did sit on the round Globe there; and did with a rope affix ladders so, that it was then little danger to go up & down from the flat Steeple to the top of the Spire. And then he came down and hired Peter Wotton, and Thomas Austin to go up the Ladder, and demolish the two crosses there: The huge wooden Cross covered with lead under the Vane, and the iron cross above that. And many other Idolatrous Monu∣ments, were demolished, and the Chancel ground levelled, &c. by the Workmen and Masons, whom Mr. Culmer satisfied, but to this day he cannot get one farthing of those charges repayed him, though the Justices have ordered it according to that Act: And although he never demanded any thing for his own actings about that work of Reformation.

And all this oppression did not quench the burning malice of the 500lb man and his faction: They said, The greatest crosse (the Priest) was yet remaining. And they suffered the Churchyard to be without a gate, that the pasture there might be common, and so it continued: at last they put a Wattle or Hurdle, in stead of a Gate, which conti∣nued so for divers years, to the laughter and derision of all that passed by: And they handled the matter so, that none durst help the Sexton to ring the great Sermon-bell on the Sabbaths: But Mr Culmers own Servants did constantly do that service. After that one of the chief of the faction took away the Key of the Church from the Sexton, and kept the doors locked, when about two hundred people (Parishion∣ers and others) were assembled in the Churchyard, on the Sabbath

Page 25

morning, so that they were all constrained to return home without any publick Worship. A Grandee said aloud, The Church-doors shall not be opened: Another crouded up to the door, and said, Let me see who dares break open the Church-door? And the next Sabbath Mr Cul∣mer got into the Church at the broken Chancel windows, which were left unrepaired about half a year by the 500lb man, in hope that Mr. Culmer should pay for all the ruines, which came through the wilfull neglect of the 500lb mans speedy reparations of those win∣dows, which belong'd to him to repair as Parson, according to the said Act of Parliament; There was not at first ten foot of glasse bro∣ken there: And when Mr. Culmer was gotten into the Church, he rung the Bels, and when people were come thither, he unbolted one door, which had no lock, and let them into the Church: But about a quarter of an hour after he had begun the Publick Worship, there came into the Church seven men of the Parish with their hats on, cla∣mouring and yelling like Tygers: Five of them rushed into his Desk: One called him Thief, because he came not in at the door, but at the window: And those five laid hands on him, and thrust him violently, and the other two at the door tugged and pulled him; but they could not move him, untill the Constable Robert Wells (seeing him look pale, as if he were fainting) prayed him to give way: They thrust his ribs on the edge or point of a plank, and bent them, and crushed his body so, that he vomited bloud, and purged bloud: They drag∣ged him by head and shoulders out of the Church; but he did not lift up his hand against them; yet I have heard him say, He could easily have killed them every one with his steeletto: But he often said, He blessed God, who kept his hands from shedding their blouds; and that he admired at the goodnesse of God to him, that gave him such a spirit of meeknesse upon such an occasion, contrary to his natural and usual disposition in his own defence, when violence hath been done him: But when he was gotten out of their clutches in the Churchyard, he presently ran into the Church at the other Church-door, and went on in the Publick Wor∣ship, and anon the Rioters came in again, clamouring with their hats on: But Mr. Culmer went on in his reading of the Chapter, and then many good people were come into the Church: And Mr. Har〈…〉〈…〉is of Birchington, and many Parishioners came out of their seats, one said, They should have his heart-bloud before they should touch Mr. Culmer again: And then they laid hands on the Rioters, who pressed forwards to come at Mr. Culmer: But they were all crouded and tugged in a throng down to the lower end of the Church, where being left, they

Page 26

went out into the Churchyard, to 〈…〉〈…〉 themselves; But while Mr. Culmer was praying before Serm〈…〉〈…〉he Pulpit, they came in again clamouring as before, but 〈…〉〈…〉 presse towards him; But they interrupted him, and said, He should not preach then, though it should cost them their lives: Then said M Culmer, though you will not let me preach, yet (I hope) you will let me read a little Scripture out of the Bible, and I will come down: They yeelded to that: Then he read out of Gen. 19. how they pressed upon Lots door in Sodom, and how fire and brimstone presently consumed them, and he applied it to the Rioters. Then he read Numb. 16. of Corah, Dathan and Abiram; And 2 Chron. 36. 15. They abused his Messengers, &c. Then Jer. 18. 18. and Matth. 23. Oh Hierusalem, Hierusalem, thou that killest the Prophets, &c. Then they clamoured: But Mr. Culmer desired them to hear one Text of Scripture more, and he said, he would come down; whereupon they were silent: Then he read, Rom. 13. All Powers are ordained of God, &c. and he that resisteth receiveth damnation. Then he dismissed the Congregation, and came down.

No marvel if his Highnesse in his Commission for Ejecting scanda∣lous Ministers, and placing Godly Ministers in their rooms, provide against Riots, which, it seems, there was just cause to fear. Such pra∣ctices have been in many other Parishes also, where the Bishops, Non-residents, and ignorant, and drunken Curates have let in the Devil, who, now he is to be cast out in these blessed dayes of the Sonne of Man, rends and tears, as he dealt with the possessed man in the Go∣spel, when he saw he must be cast out: When there was like Priest like people, and where it is so now, and the strong man is in possession, all was and is in peace, and honey-love between Minister and people in many Parishes, where there is no articling or complaint against most scandalous Priests, that humour the people in their superstition and prophanenesse. But if faithfull Ministers be placed in their rooms; then the Devil roars against such Ministers; He moves his Vassals to spend their bodies in journeys, their estates in expences, their souls in Tythe-robbings, lies, slanders, riots, persecutions, to worry out such Ministers; They seem to say, when such Ministers of Christ are sent to them, as the Devils said to Christ himself, Art thou come to tor∣ment us before the time? Neighbours, stand to it against this devilish Round-headed Priest, and either keep him out, or weary him out, or else we shall be weary of our lives, we shall be so plagued with him, with his bawling at Church, and new Round-headed tricks.

But (to proceed) in the afternoon of that rioted Sabbath, they

Page 27

placed a guard of men under the broken Chancel windows, which they had be daubed with filthy sir-reverence; but Mr. Culmer vaulted over the heads of the guard, who had not the hearts to touch him; and (being got into the Church) he tolled the Bels, and unbolted the Church-door, and preached that afternoon, and no Rioters acted against him; But the next Sabbath (when he was got into the Church in the morning, and went to ring) the clappers were all taken out of all the five Bels, so that none of the Bels could speak (as they use to say:) But he went home, and took his wives great iron-pestle, and went up into the Steeple, and tonged the Bels with the pestle, in stead of clappers, and did preach twice that Sabbath.

One of these Rioters, who said Mr. Culmer was a thief, was after that a Pirate, a thief at Sea, being a Cavalier Captain, and was slain at Sea. And another of the Rioters that pulled out the clappers, a lusty young man, was the first of that Parish that wanted a clapper to ring his knell: He used, when he saw Mr Culmer returned from Lon∣don (whether he was necessitated to go often in his own defence, and needs must he runne whom the Devil drives) the Rioter used to swear fearfully, and say, Hath not the Devil broke his neck yet? Is he not hanged yet? And the next Sabbath after the Riot, they sent about the Parish, to warn people from coming to Church, and when any said, They would come, then the Messenger prayed them that they would not tell that they were sent; but now the Messenger is lame, and ano∣ther looks behinde him. At last there came a Warrant from the Committee of Parliament for Plundred Ministers, to the Sheriff to raise Forces and assist Mr Culmer against the Ricters; And some of the Parish, who opposed the Rioters, went to the Earl of Warwick, who was Lord Admiral then, and lay at Walmer Castle; He presently sent his Warrant to have the Peace kept. Afterward two Justices did sit upon the Riot, and the Rioters were bound over to the Sessions; and there indicted and found guilty, and fined each of them fourty shillings, which they received again from their good masters and dames, by a Collection in the Parish. But Mr Culmer did not prose∣cute the Law against any of them for the assault and battery, neither had he his charges expended at the Justices sitting about the Riot, and about journeys, Warrants, &c. about 8lb. He had no recompence for his bloud and bruises, though the Physicians and Chyrurgions bils were costly. When the Justices sate at Mynster upon the Riot, a godly man of the next Parish (St Laurence Parish) where they had no Minister at all, seeing these actings, said, Here is a stirre against a

Page 28

Minister, we would praise God if we had a Minister: Then the 500lb man, and three more (I have their Names in writing) said, Would to God, if it were Gods blessed will, that we were in your case, and had no Minister neither, if it were Gods sweet will and pleasure. At the Sessions the Ring-leader and Incendiary of the Rioters, being called to the Bar, the Judge called him the Trumpeter, because he being decrepid and limping, only clamoured: But he put up a Petition, and these Articles to the Bench against Mr Culmer; These Articles, I say, and only these,

  • 1. That the said Mr. Culmer did preach, That many be like the Dogge in the manger, that will not let the Horse eat, nor eat him∣self.
  • 2. That he preached, That a man was taken up at Sea alive, swimming with a Testament in his bosom, and his flesh soaked, as if sodden.
  • 3. That the Popish-Priest did drink all, supernaclum.
  • 4. That the Papists reserve the Communion bread in a box, and give it to dying men, who die with their mouths full of it.
  • 5. That Satan was a subtil Fox, and was above five thousand year old.
  • 6. That one called him a soul-murtherer, and he took no course to clear himself.
  • 7. That he said in his Prayer, Lord, thou knowest there be many in hell, better than we, which is a dangerous thing to bring weak Christians into the sin of despair.
  • 8. That he prayed, Lord, how long wilt thou avenge our bloud on them that dwell on the earth? Lord, give the scarlet whore plenty of bloud to drink, for she is worthy: We do think it a dangerous thing to meddle with the judgement of God, to direct him how he shall punish sinners.
  • 9. He said the Rebels in Ireland caused a Protestants guts to be wound out alive.
  • 10. That he laid aspersion of Malignants upon some of the Parish.
  • 11. When the Parishioners pitched upon Mr. to be their Mini∣ster, Mr. Culmer said, The poor of the Parish did set their hands, be∣cause he would give two messes of porridge to Mr. Culmers one, which is enough to discourage any Minister from coming amongst us, as if we more regarded the food of our bodies, than of our souls, which are im∣mortal.

These Articles are to be seen under their own hands, they were de∣livered to Mr. Culmer after the Justices had perused them: But the

Page 29

two last Articles were wholly forged against him; And that of the man taken up at Sea, is in the Book of Martyrs. And after this Riot, the Minister of the next Parish dying, most of that place came usually to Mynster Church; And especially two Justices of Peace, and De∣puty-Lieutenants came with their Families constantly, for about two years, untill it did please God to provide a godly Minister for them in their own Parish: But their coming pleased not the faction; for (to use the Gentlemens own words) the style over which they were to come on the Sabbath to the Church, was bedawbed with reaking hot sir-reverence, of purpose by some that waited their coming, so that they were constrained to have a gap made in the hedge to go thorow. And the wife of the 500lb man (who told her husband, She edified most by Mr. Culmer's Ministry, and desired him to carry her no more about to other Parishes with him on the Sabbath) when she was gone home in the Sabbath noon-tide, a sir-reverence was laid in her Pew in the Church: But a stranger (a Gentlewoman of London) coming from the next Parish before her to Church, when Divine Worship was begun, kneeling down suddenly in the Pew, was so bedawbed with that stinking excrement, that she was constrained to strip her white Sattin-peticoat over her feet in publick, in the Church, in the time of divine Worship, and wrapping it up, gave it to her man over the Pew, in the face of all the Congregation. And many other abuses at home and abroad have been put upon M. Culmer for his good affection to the present Powers and Government, enough to fill a volume.

One of the Grandees of the Faction that cried All, All in the Church at Mynster (seeing him in Sandwich when the mock-Prince was there, the day before the Kentish Petitioning with Swords) made a clamour against him in the open streets as he passed by, to incense the numerous crew there against Mr. Culmer, but he then escaped.

And at Canterbury, he coming thither from London about Noon upon the 25th day of December, 1647. called Christmas-day; and being in his Inne, a tumult was made in the streets against godly men which opened their Shops that day; and when Mr. Culmer heard the Maior was knockt down, he was running out to help the Maior: But Mr Joseph Phillips at the sign of the Saracens-head, shut his doors, and he and his men laid hands on Master Culmer, and kept him in, and a little after he was perswaded to ride out at the back gate; But he was not gone half a quarter of an hour, but the Rioters came in, and searched for him, and would not be perswaded but that he was in the house, and swore, They would hang the Round-headed

Page 30

Rogue; and afterward he was informed, they would have hanged him over the Cathedral-gate, where he helped to pull down the large Image of Christ, with the holy Ghost in form of a Dove over his head, in full proportion. And he then riding thorow the back-street, there were few people there: for all were in a tumult in the High-street, after some Plumporridge-Priests (as M. Culmer used to call them) had ended their Sermons: But at North gate street, some women seeing him ride that day with his Cloak bag behinde him, railed at him, say∣ing, Oh Rogue, will not you give Christ his day? he was compelled to escape the dirt thrown at him, to runne the Gantlet, or thorow Pur∣gatory, as they call it. And on Moonday-morning (according to his promise to a friend) he returned to Canterbury, having heard nothing of their search for him the Saturday before: And at North-gate-street there were few people: But two women there asked him, If he were Mr. Culmer, which when they knew, Oh Sir, said they, ride no further, for the City-gates are shut, and they are all together by the ears, and some in Canterbury swore, If they had taken you upon Sa∣turday, they would have stoned you to death, or hanged you: But (being mindfull of his promise) rid on to the midst of Ruttenton-lane; but upon better consideration, he took this as a warning from God, and returned to Forditch, where he wrote a Letter to excuse his not com∣ing according to promise, and then he rode to Sir James Oxendens, where after Dinner the News being seconded of the Rising in Canter∣bury, he and his Sonne (being Deputy-Lieutenants) sent Orders to raise the trained Bands; and a Regiment came from the Wilde of Kent, which quelled the Rioters, who were many of them carried to Leeds Castle: But when Mr. Culmer came to Canterbury at the coming in of those forces, a woman in North-gate said Oh Mr Culmer, there's good quarter for you now in Canterbury. But I cannot conceive for which of Mr. Culmers good works in Canterbury any there should stone him, whose Ministry they enjoyed gratis for many years, and where he en∣deavoured with the hazard of his life, to quench their fires in Dover-lane, and elswhere, and where he hath leaped into a deep whirl-pit, and dived to save life, and fetched up the party from the bottom, when he was Minister at Harbledown, as hundreds there know, being eye∣witnesses thereof.

But in the year 1648. the Scout and the 500lb man, and their Faction, One, and All, All, All, proved themselves Malignants with a witnesse, by their practice and actings in the Kentish Rising, wherein divers of them were Commanders, and were Sequestred; The Scout

Page 31

was a Captain therein. Two dayes before the Rising they summoned a meeting at Church, to sign the Cavaller-Petition, which when Mr. Culmer had read, he earnestly disswaded them from subscribing it; The Petition cried down Taxes, and would have the Army disbanded, &c. But Mr. Culmer shewed them the necessity of Taxes, to defend our selves against the enemies of our Religion, lives, &c. and that wars were chargeable, as Physick in sicknesse, more chargeable than ordinary Diet, and that we were in a Tempest, and at such times men throw their goods overboard, to save their lives, and that these Taxes were not ordinary, but upon necessity; And that the Kings Taxes of Ship-money, &c. were made without a Parliament, and without necessity, and that these illegal pressures were taken away. Then one of the chief of the Faction (who after was a Commander, and an Imprisoner) said, The Parliament hath taken a Flea out of our bosome, and put in a Serpent: And Mr Culmer speaking against the disbanding the Souldiers, said, The Wolves would make peace with the Shepherds, upon condition they would hang up their Dogs; The Shep∣herds desirous of peace, hung up their Dogs, but when the Dogs were gone, the Wolves devoured Sheep and Shepherds too: And this my father applied, shewing, that the Army kept us, Governours and People from bloudy Wolves in Ireland, Papists, Atheists, &c. Many there∣upon refused to subscribe, but the All, All, All-man cried out, Pen and Ink: Then Mr Culmer left them subscribing: And the next day Richard Langley of St Laurence Parish (a very godly man, and active for the State) was set upon, and put to it to flie for his life, and was pursued to Mynster, and murdered there upon Thourn-down: But the Gentleman Cavalier that sent out the pursuers, and furnished them with Horse and Pistols, did afterwards cut his own wife in pieces, and was hanged at Sandwich. This man was a great jeerer at praying by the Spirit, a contemner of publick Ordinances, a great Incendiary against Mr. Culmer, and came to him, reviled and berogued him before hundreds of people at a publick meeting in the Tents at Mynster at a muster. And Mr. Culmer being at home, when the Rising began, knew nothing of it, or of the murder of Langley, untill his servant came home, and told him how matters stood, and that they were arming in the street to fall upon him, and that there was a Court of Guard at Ebbsfleet, and at Sarr: Whereupon he (knowing himself unable to defend himself in his own house) presently escaped out, be∣fore they came to his house; And (night coming on) he went to the River side next Ash, and did swim in his cloaths over the River; and

Page 32

having left his Boots when he took water, he went without shoes on the South of the River, till he was past Ebbsfleet, where the Court of Guard was, on the other side of the River: And then he crossed the Haven again nearer Sandwich, at a place called Little-joy. And who it was shot at him, God knoweth, but he was fain to play the Dydapper, and crossing the Haven again below Sandwich (Mr Wade now Gentleman Usher at White-hall can tell more of this.) Then he travelled bare-foot on the sands to Deal, where he had entertainment at Pilot Culmers house, whither he came at break of day, and there he had a gray Sute, and refreshed himself: But presently there begun a Tumult before the door against him, and they swore, They would hang the Round-headed Priest, and the Rout increased; but by means of Mr Wood a Physician there, and his said Kinsman John Culmer and Mr Potter, he escaped and got safe to Deal-Castle to Col. Rainsborow, which was his intent, when he first set out. The noble Collonel used him very courteously. And Mr ••••lmer of Sandwich (coming newly out of the Isle) told Mr. Culmer how his friend Richard Langly lay in his bloud, and that they said, If they had taken him, he should not have died that death; and that he had no way to escape them, but by swimming. And that day the Collonel carried Mr Culmer aboard with him in his Long-boat, and put him aboard Captain Nubery, in the Hunter Frigot, which was then dispatcht for London, whither M Culmer came one Saturday night late. And the next day he preached in his gray Pilots sute at Mr Whitakers Church, called St Mary Bermonsey, and incouraged the people to stand fast and cleave to the present Cause, &c. And when the Lord Fairfax marched into Kent, he returned home∣ward with the Army, and came safe to his Family and Charge, where they had plundred him of horses and other goods: But in Mr. Culmers absence, the Faction had got a like Priest, like People, and they had Service-Book worship, Gloria Patri, and Dominus vobiscum, &c. Afterwards they compelled Mr. Culmer to pay what they had lavished upon a Malignant Priest in his absence, and he (for peace sake) gave them their demands.

And in his absence a grand Persecutor of his of another Parish (who came to the Ale house at Mynster) incensed them against him, jeering and calling him, The godly, able, orthodox Divine. This man sent word to Mr Paramour (at his first advance in that Rising) That he never did see a Sword scarletted, but he was slain at Wye, and left stark naked lying in his bloud. And a little after that Rising the 500lb man died: And for divers years after Mr. Culmer lived peaceably

Page 33

without disturbance, untill he entred upon the Administration of the Lords-Supper, and refused to give it to all, as all the Island Ministers then gave it. (Hinc illae lachryma) Then some opposed that way pub∣lickly, and a new stir began against him; The Communion-Table Carpet was cut out into Breeches, slanders raised, Tythes detained. And divers did hate him upon other grounds also, because after pri∣vate and publick means used by him in his Ministry to reform abuses in the Parish, and that not prevailing, and all others refusing to act by complaints to the Magistrate, Mr. Culmer complained against di∣vers swearers and drunkards, and prophaners of the Sabbath; And (amongst the rest) he complained of the Scouts prodigious executi∣ons; And he indicted him (with the consent of divers of the Parish) for erecting two new Cottages there, to the great prejudice of the Commonwealth, and of that Parish, which hath been lately charged with above 300lb a year to the poor, who cannot all be imployed there, and will (in all likelihood, if Cottages and Inmates be so in∣creased) pull the rich men out of their houses, as they have done the Minister out of the Church. It is not so proper, I confess, for a Mi∣nister to indict such men, and to attend the publick Sessions, with such complaints, though for the common good, as England finds by ex∣perience, and will finde more need of, and incouragements to such Indictments: but in that Parish none dare act or shew themselves publickly in such things, although the Parish be undone by them: But I heard Mr. Culmer say, He was resolved to wave the scandal, and odium, and prejudice, that came to him by such actings, seeing they were of nei∣cessity for the common good, and all others refuse to act, the conceived him∣self to have a calling from God to do it as a Parishioner there. Upon which account he conceives himself bound in conscience, never to cease such endeavours for the common good, though it much preju∣dice his private. And Mr Culmer indicted the Scout for barring a common sheep-way, for which he had a Verdict against him at the last Summer Sessions at Canterbury.

For these and other actings for the publick, Mr Culmer is hated and persecuted, especially now by the Scout, who (being no Parishioner of Mynster, yet occupying Lands there) to be avenged of Mr. Cul∣mer, hath detained his Tythes for three years last past, and hath pro∣cured five more to joyn with him to put into the Exchequer a joynt Answer with him, wherein they inserted scandalous and false Articles, and did swear, That Mr. Culmer is an enemy to the present State, &c. But the Honourable Barons of that Court, ordered Mr. Culmer five

Page 34

pounds costs meerly for the scandal in their Answer, which they or∣dered to be expunged. Whereupon the enraged Scout, and his Ad∣herents went lately to a Justice of Peace, who is a Commissioner for Ejecting of Scandalous Ministers in Kent, to whom they accused Mr. Culmer, as followeth, viz

That his breath smelt of drink one Evening. That he said, that Pontius was his Christen-name, and Pilate his sir-name. That he preach∣ed on Psal. 51. 18. and said, by Sion was meant the Church, and by Jeru∣salem the Civil State. That he preached. That a Toleration was better than a Persecution. And when the Justice said, He was sorry to hear complaints against a Minister upon such weak grounds: It was replied (by him that first clamoured against Mr. Culmer for want of prayers in his Christmas-holy-dayes, and Trumpeter in the Riot on the Sab∣bath) That if they above had that about a Toleration before them, they would make something of it. This man was lately brought in to be Parish-Clark by the Faction, for his good service done against Mr. Culmer many wayes, especially in being Ring-leader in that Riot, and for railing at Mr Culmer at the Church-wall before and after Ser∣mon, and never going to Church elswhere, only attending that evil work, and affronting Mr Culmer coming and going to Church for divers years, they would have no assistant to the Minister to save charges, so that Mr Culmer besides praying, reading, expounding, and preaching twice every Sabbath, and catechizing constantly, was constrained to name and read the Psalms to the people, for this man reads very false, and now he comes to Church for gain; he useth when Mr Culmer is preaching on the Sabbath to make mows and Apes faces, and laugh, and make other ridiculous gestures in the Church, to move contempt against Mr Culmer, and laughter; which divers godly men make great complaint of, to see Gods name so taken in vain, and his Ordinances and Sabbaths so prophaned, which is no small Persecution of, and grief to Mr Culmer. But the truth is that Mr Culmer said, Pontius was as his Christen-name, &c. And the Scout said openly at the Sessions, (when the Verdict was given against him) Mr. Culmer, you have let my purse bloud, but I will let your bloud to some tune ere long, I'll warrant you; But he may be silent about bloud, if he look home (but I forbear impertinent recriminations.) And (in prosecution of that blood-letting) one of the said Answerers (endeavouring to fill up the measure of his deceased Fathers persecuti∣ons against Mr. Culmer, from whom he hath detained his Tythes for above three years, to a great value, and who is a prophane scoffer at

Page 35

the Communicants, calling them, Mr. Culmer's Disciples: And in opposition leaves the Chancel windows unrepaired, so that the rain dashed into Mr Culmers face lately at that Administration, and rained into the Cup, and wet the bread exceedingly, and the Communion Table-cloath was as wet as if it had been taken out of the water) came lately alone to the said Commissioners house, and offered to put in Articles against Mr Culmer, but he said, He had none written, only he desired to see the Ordinance for the Ejecting of Scandalous Ministers, which was read to him, as to the Scadals therein enumerated, as just causes of the Ejection of such Ministers; and he answered to every Article by it self, That he had nothing against Mr. Culmer touching it. But in conclusion he said, Although I have nothing against M. Culmer, which the Articles will reach, yet I will denl somewhere else against him for words he hath spken of my wife: Whereupon he petitioned and complained of Mr Culmer to his Highness, and thereupon it is since boasted in Canterbury, That Mr. Culmer shall be cast out of Mynster. A quondam Singing-man of the Cathedral, said in the open streets, That he heard Mr Culmer had routed C. S. at the Sessions, but C. S. would rout him out of Mynster; And a Cavalier of Canterbury said to one of Mynster, Nw your Round-headed Priest of Mynster shall be cast out. And they boast of their friends above in the Army. But they need not seek further revenge for that then their own avenging themselves by their calumnies, and false accusations and railings against Mr Culmer; Besides the real wrongs they have done Mr Culmer, especially in keeping his Maintenance from him, and combining to undo him by charges in Law. But it seems nothing will satisfie their malice and rage, but his purses bleeding to death, by taking away his means of Livelihood and Subsistence, by his Ejection or Removal from his place and Station.

But if this project against Mr Culmer should prevail without the merits of the Cause, to have their wils of him at such a cheap rate without their price of near 200lb per annum, or (rather than fail) I suppose so much as Haman offered to pay into the Exchequer for the ruine of Mordecai, and others: Then what triumph would the Cathe∣dral, Prelatical, Cavalier party in Canterbury, and elswhere, make against him, and against all his worthy friends, and against that Cause of God to which he hath constantly adhered? How would they insult, against whom Personally he hath acted, for the suppressing of vice, and brought them to condign punishment? They triumph already in hope and confidence to prevail; but then (no doubt) they

Page 36

would rejoyce, and send gifts one to another, at the ruine of him, who had tormented them; They would make, if not Bonfires, yet Books and Ballads, as they did in the rehearsed Libel, called, The Razing of the Record, viz.

When the strongest was King, there rose up a thing Some call't a Divine for a Cause a, &c.

And there was found in Canterbury, at the beginning of this Parliament, a base jeering, quibling Catch, or Libel, written against Mr Culmer, viz.

And what's the News in Kent? They want a Parliament: I drink to thee Jack Bennet, And what's the News in Tennet? Blew Dick must out of Mynster, His Wife must now turn Spinster: He lov'd the Parliament; But now he doth lament: The Bishops he did hate; But now Dick's out of Date: Cathedral he did maul; But now he spits his gall: He broke the painted-Glass, But now he cries alas: Then drink to me brave Jack, And let the Round-head pack

And if pretences of not Edifying be cause of oppositions, and ge∣neral enmity should prevail to remove a Minister without the merits of the Cause (which I fear is the only ground of the present attempt against Mr Culmer) especially when such a rioting, mutinous, perse∣cuting crew act against him: If they should be so indulged, as to wave the Commissioners and Common-Law; Would not other Pa∣rishes be thereby incouraged to endless unwearied, impudent Perse∣cutions of faithfull Ministers, in hope to prevail and weary him out one way or other, one time or other, especially under that pretence of not Edifying. And many times there is pretence of universal cor∣dial opposition in a Parish, when only one or two lead all the rest, to subscribe Petitions, clamour, &c. against a Minister, and all follow the Ring leaders for company, or other respects, as Sheep follow a Ramme drawn through a gap, or leap out of a Boat, as daily ex∣perience

Page 37

shews, as they at Harbledown did, where they barked for company. It's a sure sign commonly, that a Minister is good, when all the Parish is against him: and commonly when a whole Parish loves a Minister, and speaks well of him, he is stark naught (Woe be unto you when all men shall speak well of you) A like Priest like people; as a Neighbour-Priest to Mr Culmer said to the Parishioners, when he had called them up into the Chancel; Neighbours, I would gladly give you all content, pray do I read too much or too little of the Service-Book? And every Parish hath as much right to have the Minister removed, because they oppose him, as any one Parish, and thereby faithfull Ministers shall be runagates, and wandring Levites, all the Nation over. Besides the very removal of a Minister, which is not volun∣tary, is scandalous and prejudicial to his Ministry, whithersoever he is removed; Mr Culmers Persecution from Goodnestone was taken up as a scandal, and cause of opposition, and clamour against him at Harbledown: And whithersoever M. Culmer is removed, he (above all Ministers) must expect hatred, and opposition, and persecution from ignorant, prophane, disaffected persons, which abound in every Parish; For not only the Persecutors that have their wils of him to remove him, will pursue him, and stir up enmity against him whither∣soever he goes, as they at Harbledowx did incense them at Mynster, and those at Mynster did incense them at Cliff against him, if he had been removed thither, which was endeavoured. But some of the Parliament opposed it for reasons of State, that Mutineers should not be incouraged, &c. It is the nature of persecutors so to pursue the persecuted (read Act. 14. 19.) And he must the rather expect such opposition, because the Ly-bels, printed and published, and spread all the Nation over, have many lyes so loud against him in all places: He was assaulted at Billingsgate in London (in the time of the Kentish Rising after he was fled to London in 1648.) where the people were incensed against him by a Scribe that did belong to the Archbishops Registry at Canterbury, and Mr. Culmer hardly escaped with his life, retreating in Summers-Key with his Rapier-Cane, and Mr Mapsden took him into his house: And about two years since P. K. a debauch∣ed Malignant-Priest, incensed the people against him in the Minories without Algate; but the Gentleman that is now Deputy there, pray∣ed Mr. Culmer to come into his house, lest they should murder him. And an Elder and Preacher of J. T. pretended Separate Congrega∣tion (who is Curate to that Non-resident Pastor, who lives near thirty miles from divers of his scandalous flock at Mynster) meeting Mr Cul∣mer

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lately upon the road, affronted him, and used opprobrious tearms, and cried out, Mr. Culmer, Mr. Culmer, Pray sell me four pounds-worth of the holy Ghost, repeating those words again and again, and said, I know you had enough of the holy Ghost from the Bishop to afford a good penny-worth. And afterwards overtaking Travellers, boasted of this, and told them, How he had handled the Antichristian Priest. And this Sectary said at Sandwich to Mr. Culmer before many witnesses, If you be not all Antichristian Priests then the Devil fetch me away before all this company; And being reproved for his execration, he said, If you be not all Antichristian Priests, then I pray God to command the Devil to fetch me away body and soul before all this company. So that it is now come to passe that M. Culmer may say with St Paul, In journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countreymen, in perils by the Heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wildernesse, in perils in the Sea, in perils amongst false brethren, 2 Cor. 11. 26.

But to conclude, whatsoever the Adversaries of Mr Culmer suggest against him in their secret or publick accusations, and calumnies as if he were such a Pestilent fellow, &c. yet he is still the same man as he was before attested to be, both in his life, and doctrine, and good affection to the present Powers: And of this assertion, I will only set down some late Testimonials, and conclude: One of these Testimo∣nials is from Captain Thomas Wilson, who is the present Deputy Governour of Dover-Castle, and a Commissioner for Ejecting of Scandalous Ministers, as followeth,

For my very Loving Friend Mr. Richard Culmer, Minister of the Word at Mynster in the Isle of Thanet, These.

Worthy Sir,

I have herein inclosed sent you (knowing your active and publick spi∣rit) some of the Armies Declarations, which shew the grounds of the late Acts; pray let Major Foach receive one, with my due respects; and use the best means you can to let them be published, and made known to the ho∣nest people of the Isle, as in your wisdom you shall judge meet. In haste I remain,

Sir,

Dover-Castle, April 24. 1653.

Your assured Friend,

Thomas Wilson.

Another Testimonial is subscribed by nine of the said Commissioners in Kent, as followeth:

We whose Names are here under written, do hereby testifie, that Richard Culmer Minister of Mynster in the Isle of Thanet, in the County of Kent, is of good Life and Conversation, and a diligent Preacher of

Page 39

Gods Word, and hath constantly and eminently shewed his good affection to the State, and to Reformation. Dated the 27th of June, 1655.

Henry Oxenden, John Boys, John Dixwell, Thomas Foach, Thomas Monius, Francis Tayleur Preacher of Christs-Church Canter∣bury, John Durant Preacher there likewise, John Player, John Swan, Nicholas Thorowgood Minister of Muncton, Robert Webber Minister of Sandwich.

Another Testimonial is from the chief Sea-Town in that Isle (where Mr Culmer (with others) preacheth a weekly Lecture gratis) as fol∣loweth,

We Parishioners of S〈…〉〈…〉s in the Isle of Thanet, in the County of Kent, whose Names are here under written, do hereby freely certifie, that Mr. Richard Culmer Minister of Mynster in the said Isle, doth (with others) freely preach a weekly Lecture in the said Parish, to the good liking of the said Parishioners; and that we receive much benefit by his Mini∣stry, to our Edification and Consolation: In witnesse whereof we have hereunto set our hands this ninth Day of August, 1656.

Gregory Parker, Stephen Bishop Churchwarden, Richard Genuey, William Rook, William Prince, John Busher, John Piers, John Tomlyn, Humphrey Pudner, William Grant, Thomas Mussared, William Terry, Roger Wright, Richard Omer, John Biggs, Tho∣mas Watts, &c.

And it may adde something to this Apology and defence, for the continuing and upholding of Mr Culmer in his place, that he being threescore years of age, hath laid out (besides Fifths and Taxes) above 200lb in Reparations, Buildings, Gardens, Orchyards, Pond, Fences, &c. at the Vicarage-house in Mynster, which was an unfit habitation at his first coming thither; There having lived no resident hous-keeping Vicar in fifty years before; And he was at all this cost upon a Sequestred Vicarage, chiefly relying on the Justice & favour of his Highness, knowing that Vicarage to be only in his Highnesses Perso∣nal Patronage and disposal; after the death of the present sequestred Incumbent; And all this Mr. Culmer often said he did, In faith and confidence of Gods continuing to own his own Cause, and the present Go∣vernment under His Highness, whom God preserve. But that which doth especially blast and weaken the project and pretences, for his re∣moval from his place and station (wherein he was setled by Authority, and hath been upheld by the Justice of the Higher Powers, and pre∣served by the special Providence of God) is, that there he hath edified souls; Having (maugre the Devil and all his Instruments) the seal of

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his Ministry there, by the beating down with the spiritual weapons of his warfare the strong-holds of Satan, ignorance, drunkenness, &c. He having by his Ministry there, turned many from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God which the most obstinate Adversaries have confessed in divers places. There was lately one of Canterbury, who being with his Tenant at the Inne at Mynster, heard one railing on Mr Culmer, to whom he said, I have heard you speak evil of Mr. Culmer, I have known him better spoken of: But have you no good to say of him? Pray deal plainly, Doth he no good amongst you? The an∣swer was, We think the Parish is better for him in two things, One is, That there is more knowledge, (because besides his Preaching) he doth constantly c〈…〉〈…〉chise. And the other is, That there is not half so much drunkenness in the Parish, as there was before he came to be Minister here. And if any should maliciously and impudently deny this Seal of his Ministry, and clamour, whisper, or suggest, that he ought to be removed, because he doth no good there, nor never will, because he is opposed, which (as is shewed before) is the usual plea of Persecu∣tors, to have their wils without the merits of the cause, in an arbitrary way, and move the Christian Magistrate to joyn in the Persecution; yet the thing it self doth speak and confute that untruth: For many in the Parish (the chiefest) are convinced by the power of the Word in his Ministry; and are come in freely to the wayes and Government of Jesus Christ in Church-fellowship, giving a particular account of their Christian knowledge; and promising to be willing to be admonished, &c. And the number of visible Saints increaseth in that Parish daily, blessed be God: And there is not only a very great Reformation in that Parish, but in the whole Isle, as to good affection to the Present State, and to Reformation; since the establishing of a Godly, Well-affected Magistracy there, and since the settling of a faithfull Ministry, almost in all the seven Parishes of that Isle, Wherein (as in Zabulon and Napthali) by the way of the Sea, the people that sate in darknesse see great light.

FINIS.
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