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gaged, he could not avoid reciting the apostle's creed, and administering the communion; that he never pronounced distinctly the articles of the creed, which concern our Saviour: that he took his texts out of the Psalms, and the Prophet Isaiah ; that the next day, after he had preached upon the second Psalm, without applying it to Jesus Christ, he fell into a fit of madness, as he was singing the seventy-fourth Psalm ; that he was mad when he came to Geneva, and called Jesus Christ an Idol, &c. that it was true, he had affirmed, that the passages of the Old Testament, quoted in the New, were strained, far-fetched, and wretchedly applied; that he had renounced his Baptism, and continued to do so.
Afterwards they shewed him a paper written with his own hand, but not subscribed by him, which contained these words: 'I acknowledge and confess, that Jesus Christ crucified is the true God, Saviour, and Redeemer of the whole world; and that he is the same with the Father and the Holy Ghost, as to his essence, but distinct, as to his person. His answer was : That he had been forced to write that confession; and he disowned the doctrine contained in it. Then the famous passage of Josephus, concerning Christ, was alledged against him; to which he made no answer. Being asked, whether he persisted to renounce his Baptism? He said he did. Being exhorted to confess, whether he had frequented the bawdy-houses at Venice, he answered, that he could make no such confession, and prayed God to discover his innocence; adding, that the most beautiful woman in the world would not have tempted him; and then, bending his head, he intreated God to take pity on him, &c. The first Syndic alledged to him several passages of the Old Testament concerning Christ, and then the prisoner was recommitted.
On the sixteenth of April, he was brought again to the bar. His chief answers were: That he had never dogmatised at Geneva ; that, when he gave the communion in his church at Divonne, he used these words. Remember the death of your Saviour;' that he administered Baptism, as other ministers did ; that he was in the way to salvation, and fully resolved, with God's assistance, to die for the truth of his doctrine.
Whereupon, the Council condemned him, on the the twentieth of April, to be strangled and burnt, and their sentence was executed on the same day. It imports, that • Nicholas Anthoine, laying aside all fear of God, was guilty of apostacy and high treason towards God, having opposed the Holy Trinity, denied our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, blasphemed against his holy name, renounced his Baptism to embrace Judaism and circumcision, and perjured himself. Which arc great and horrid crimes, &c. The above-mentioned letter of M. Ferry had such an effect upon the ministers of Geneva, that they went in a body to the Council, and intreated the magistrates to put off his execution for some time; but it was to no purpose.
SMALL AND SIMPLE REASONS,
IN WALTHAM FOREST,
IN A LECTURE,
THIRTY-THIRD OF MARCH LAST.
BY AMINADAB BLOWER,
Shewing the Causes in general and particular, wherefore they do,
might, would, should or ought, except against and quite refuse the Liturgy or Book of Common-Prayer. Printed, Anno Millimo, Quillimo, Trillimo. Quarto, containing eight pages.
M Y dear beloved and zealous brethren and sisters here assembled in
W this holy congregation, I am to unfold, unravel, untwist, untye, unloose, and undo, to your uncapable understandings, some small reasons, the matter, the causes, the motives, the grounds, the principles, the maxims, the why's and the wherefores, wherefore and why, we reject, omit, abandon, contemn, despise, and are and ought to be withstanders and opposers of the service-book, called by the hard name of Liturgy, or Common-Prayer, which hath continued in the church of England eighty-four years,
I have exactly examined and collected some notes and observations out of the learned Hebrew translated volumes of Rabbi Ananias, Rabbi Ahitophel, Rabbi Iscariot, Rabbi Simon Magus, Rabbi Demas, and Rabbi Alexander the coppersmith, and all nor any of their writings doth in any place so much as mention that book, or any such kind of service to be used at all by them. I have farther taken pains in looking over some Chaldean, Persian, Egyptian, Arabian, and Arminian authors, of which I understood not one word; I also (with the like diligence and understanding have viewed the Turkish Alchoran, and there I found not a syllable concerning either liturgy, commonprayer, or divine service. As for Greek Authors, I must confess I understand them not, or negatively, for which reason I leave them as impertinent; and, touching the Latin writers, they are partial in this case, the tongue being Romanian, and the idiom is Babylonish, which seems to me an intricate confusion.
I, having carefully viewed the tomes and tenets of religion, and books of all manner of hieroglyphicks, writings, scrolls, tallies, scores and characters, and finding nothing for the maintaining of that book or liturgy, I looked into the ecclesiastical history, written by one Eusebius, and another fellow they call Socrates, wherein I found many arguments and incitements to move men to such doctrine as is comprised and compiled in the liturgy. After that I searched into the acts and monuments of this kingdom, writen by old Fox, and there I found that the composers of it were bishops and doctors, and great learned schoolmen of unfeigned integrity, of impregnable cunstancy, who, with invincible faith, suffered most glorioas martyrdom by the papal tyranny, for the writing and maintaining that book, with the true protestant religion contained in it.
Brethren, I must confess, that I was somewhat puzzled in my mind at these things, and I could not be satisfied, till I had consulted with some of our devout brothers. Our brother How, the cobler, was the first I broke my mind to, and we advised to call or summon a synod to be held in my Lord Brook's stable, the Reverend Spencer, the stable groom, being the metropolitan there. At our meeting there was Greene the felt-maker, Barebones the leather-seller, Squire the taylor, with Hoare a weaver, and Davison a bonelace-maker of Messenden, and Paul Hickeson of Wickham taylor, with some four or five bakers dozens of weavers, millers, tinkers, botchers, broom-men, porters, of all trades, many of them bringing notes with them fitting for our purpose; which notes they had taken carefully from the instructions of the demi-martyrs and round and sound confessors, St. B. St. P. and St. B. out of which, with our own capacities and ingenuities to boot, we have collected and gathered these sound and infallible objections against the book of common-prayer, or liturgy, as followeth.
For our own parts, my brethren, it is for the reputation and honour of our holy cause and calling to contest, malign, and cavil, where we are not able either to convince by reasons or arguments; therefore I having traced the book from end to end, and yet, upon the matter, to no end for such ends as we would conclude upon, I find nothing in it disagreeing to God's word or agreeing with our doctrine. The first prayer, called the Confession, is quite contrary to our appetites, and profession, for to confess, that we have erred and strayed like lost sheep,' is to acknowledge ourselves to be silly horned beasts and cuckolds; our children, by that reckoning, should be lambs, our wives ewes, and we, their innocent husbands, must be rams; and every lay preacher or preaching tradesman would be accounted a bell-wether tu the flock or herd.
Neither do we think it fit to make ourselves appear so weak-witted or pusillanimous as to confess, that` We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and done those things which we ought not to have done;' for such a confession will lay open our disloyalty, our intrusion, or transgressions, rebellions, and treasons; we shall therein acknowledge
ourselves, by omitting of duties, and committing of villainies in church and state, to deserve justly the severity of God, and the King's 'laws to be our deserved wages : besides, we hold it to be a retractive diminishing of valour, a popish kind of cowardly effeminate submission, which our stout hearts, stiff necks, and stubborn knees will never stoop and bow to, for the old proverb is, Confess and be, &c.
Concerning the second prayer, called the Absolution, for the remission of sins through Christ; though Christ hath given power and commandment to his lawful ministers, to declare and pronounce in his name, to all true repenting sinners, the absolution and remission of their sins, yet we will not believe it to be available, but esteem it as popish and superstitious.
As for the Lord's Prayer, which the Papists call by the Romish or Latin name of Pater Noster, we must confess it is pithy and short; but, had our advices been at the making of it, it should have been two yards and a half longer, by London measure. Besides, we would like it better, if it were not commanded or enjoined upon us, for our faiths cannot brook to be limited with the compass of any command, decree, edict, law, statute, order, rule, ordinance, government, or authority either of God or the King; besides, in that prayer there is mention made of 'forgiving such as trespass against us,' which our doctrine or natures cannot incline to, for we do never remember a good turn, and very seldom or never forget or forgive an injury. Therefore, for these considerable causes, and many more, we think it requisite to forbear that brief prayer, and zealously to advance the altitude of our spacious ears, to receive the longitude of a three hours repetition, for our fructifying edification.
Thirdly, for the desiring the Lord to open our lips, that our mouth might shew forth his praise:' It is known we can do that extempore, by the spirit, and it helongs to our teacher to open his lips and pray; but it is our parts to give spiritual attention, and not to open our lips, but only at the singing of old Robert Wisdom's madrigal, or the like. And, whereas we are commanded to stand at the saying of Gloria Patri, to avoid that ceremony we hold it best not to say it at all.
As for the xcvth Psalm, (or, O come let us sing, &c.) we object against it for two reasons : The one is of falling down, and worshipping, and kneeling: And the other is, we will neither kneel, fall down, or worship, because it is an expression of humility and reverence, which we utterly refuse to give either to God or man. As for the order of reading the first lesson, we could like it better, if it were not so ordered; it were necessary we had freedom to read what, when, and where we list, for order is odious; and, whereas there is appointed a hymn, called by a Latin name, Te Deum laudamus, we do conceive the matter of it to be very good, but that it was composed by a bishop, one Ambrost, of a city and province in Italy called Milan, and that the said Ambrose was not only a bishop, but, for his godly life and holy writings, he was made a saint ; for these causes we leave him and his hymn tou, as being too much conformable to edification, decency, order, and obedience.
Likewise the second lesson may be read, but not that which is appointed for the day; for, as is aforesaid, we cannot abide any thing that is appointed or ordered by authority, that, our consciences being at liberty, we may the more freely shew ourselves the lawless sons and daughters of confusion.
And, though it hath been a custom very significant, and as ancient as the primitive times of Christian religion, to repeat the articles of the belief standing, our understanding, notwithstanding, doth withstand that kind of posture, for no other reason, but because the church ordained it, and the law commands it; and truly we do know no sense or reason to stand to any saying of faith, for it is one of our principles, that, whatsoever we say, we will stand to nothing.'
Next followeth the Lord's Prayer again (as the protestants call it) and a prayer composed of versicles, wherein the minister and people do (as it were by questions and answers) desire God's mercy, and the granting of salvation,' after which they pray, ' O Lord save the King,' which is, by us, wonderfully disliked and omitted; and, when we are to render the cause of it, we shall not want insufficient answers, which we have studiously pondered in the learned colleges of Amsterdam and New-England. Then there followeth, Give peace in our time, o Lord,' which we utterly detest ; for, if once that prayer be granted, many of us (except the King be more merciful than we deserve) shali be hanged for rebellion and treason, and glad we escape so too; the best, we can look for is the advancing again the protestant religion, and then down go we, with all all our spiritual inspirations, and longwinded repetitions; we shall be silenced (which is a terrible torture) or banished from our zealous sisters ; our collections and contributions will be abrogated and annihilated, our puddings and plum-bruth will be in the forlorn-hope, and ourselves excluded, extirpated, exiled, excommunicated, as extraordinary, extravagant, unexampled rascals and coxcombs; for these considerations of martial validity, weight, and deep consequence (altogether repugnant and malignant to the holy profession of Brownism and Anabaptism) we will neither have peace (although we dare not fight in war) no peace I will pray for; therefore, good brethren, I pray you no prayer for peace.
And for saying, God make our hearts clean within us, and take not thy Holy Spirit from us;' these words are impertinent for us to speak, for we know our hearts to be clear and pure already; and, for the Spirit, it is tied so fast to us, that it cannot be taken from us, or from any that will believe us.
In the Evening Prayer, there is one collect for peace, and another for the enlightening of our darkness; we have already declared our minds, though all the world knows us to be hypocrites; yet we do know, that a godly loyal peace will confound us, therefore we will not hypocritically pray for that which we desire not to have: And for our darkness, though it be palpable to be felt like the darkness of Ægypt, yea, more dark than ignorance itself) yet we have, by instigation, found light in abundance : Our weights are light, our mothers, wives, sisters, aunts, nieces, daughters, and female servants, are light; our invisible horns are light, our words, deeds, thoughts, consciences,