Billeder på siden

mained, 'that they were two prophets, the one of mercy, the other of judgment, sent, and extraordinarily called by God to assist him in this great work, and were witnesses of these things,' &c.

But Hacket, being apprehended, was brought to the sessions'." house in the Old-Bailey, where, for his said mad pranks, for irreverent speeches against her majesty, and for maliciously thrusting an iron instrument into the queen's picture, he had judgment, and, on the twenty-eighth of July, he was drawn from Newgate to Cheapside, all the way crying out, sometimes Jehovah, Messias, Jehovah, Messias; at other times, saying, "Look, look how the heavens open wide, and the Son of God comes down to deliver me.' When he came under the gibbet, near the Cross in Cheapside, he was exhorted to ask God and the queen forgiveness; but, instead thereof, he fell to cursing her, and began a most blasphemous and execrable prayer against the Divine Majesty of God. They had much ado to get him up the ladder, where he was hanged, and after bowelled and quartered.

The next day, being the twenty-ninth of July, Coppinger, having wilfully abstained from sustenance, as was said, died in Bridewell, and Arthington was long reserved in the Compter of Woodstreet, in hope of his repentance.

[ocr errors]

This Arthington, during his imprisonment, wrote a book, intituled, The Seduction of Henry Arthington by Hacket, in the year 1592,' and dedicated it to the Lords of her Majesty's Council; in which he discourses of two Spirits that he had, the first from the time of his being a protestant, to the death of Hacket; the second from that time forward. His first Spirit he assured himself to be of the Holy Ghost, for that it was founded in the hatred of papists and papistry, whom he held for traitors; it moved him to follow sermons, and particular fasts and exercises; and, besides, he felt himself possessed, to use his own words, with a burning heat within him, and his love and affection greatly placed towards the preaching ministry, &c.

Thus he describeth his first Spirit, which induced him by little and little to join with Hacket and Coppinger, and at last, to believe the one to be Christ, the other a prophet, as you have heard.

Of his other Spirit he discourseth thus, I certainly knew myself to be reserved for salvation in Christ; yea, I did expostulate with God's merciful Majesty, after my fall with Hacket, whether I was a reprobate or no, and presently the Holy Ghost did assure my heart, that I was no reprobate, but that my case, in effect, was much like St. Paul's, &c. I was assured of my Spirit by these tokens following: 1. By experience of God's providence in still preserving me. 2. For that God hath sent his Spirit into my heart to cry, Abba Father. 3. For that God doth still increase my faith. 4. In that I knew my faith to be founded in the fruits of God's Spirit, &c.

This last Spirit he knew to be of God, the other of Satan;

which before he thought to be as much of God as this; and, in truth, he had as much assurance of the one as the other, but only by the mad persuasion of his own frantick brain. You may read more of these three grand Sectaries in an old book, intituled, Conspiracy of pretended Reformation.

Many other examples might be collected out of our historians of this fanatick spirit in former times, which never, till our late horrid rebellion, and anarchical confusion in government, was permitted to grow to so great a head. And from the consideration of these, which have, for the most part, been gathered out of 'Mr. Fox's Acts and Monuments, we may justly charge that author with a great double injury: The first and principal, in canonising a great number of apparent fanaticks and sectaries into the list of protestant saints and martyrs; it being evident to every impartial reader, even by Mr. Fox's own relations, that a very notable part of his sufferers were such; and, if the records of those times were extant, and the examinations of those ancienter fanaticks freely perused, without question a far greater number of such mad saints might be discovered amongst them: Which I am so much the more inclined to believe on the authority of a learned writer, who lived very near those days, and thus expresses their character: They were drunk, says he, with the pride of heresy, and put out of their right senses by the frenzy thereof. Which is just the periphrasis of a fanatick.

The other injury, which I find this author guilty of, is, his immoderate reviling, and sometimes falsly accusing both Queen Mary, and the papists of those days, of greater severities and persecutions than they were really guilty of, though in some cases they certainly were too cruel and rigorous; yet it was no more than what Henry the Eighth and Edward the Sixth, her predecessors, did before her, and what Queen Elisabeth, her successor, did after her.

For proof of this, I find one Greenwood, or Grimwood, of Hitcham, in the county of Suffolk, accused by Mr. Fox to be a perjured papist, and a great persecutor of his martyrs, and therefore had great plagues inflicted on him, and, being in health, his bowels fell out of his body by the terrible judgment of God. Now, for an evident conviction of this falshood, one Parson Prick, not long after the first edition of Fox's Acts and Monuments, and in the twenty-seventh year of queen Elisabeth, took occasion to revile the papists in a sermon, as the custom was, and, in particular, told this story of Greenwood in the pulpit, and cited his author as infallible. But so it happened, that Mr. Greenwood, who was a good protestant, was present at that very sermon, and never was so plagued, but soon after brought his action on the case against Mr. Prick, for calling him perjured person, to which the defendant pleaded not guilty, and, this matter being disclosed upon the evidence, Wray, Chief Justice, delivered the law to the jury, in favour of Mr. Prick, that, it being delivered but as a story (such it seems are too many of Mr. Fox's), and not with any malice or intention to slander any, he was not guilty of the words


maliciously, and so was not found guilty:' And Judge Popham affirmed it to be good in law.

The exact particulars of this case you may find amongst the records of Westminster-hall of that year; and, in a case of like nature betwixt Brook and Montague, 3 Jac. it was cited by Sir Edward Coke, then attorney-general, and is briefly printed in the second part of Judge Croke's Reports, published by the learned Sir Harbottle Grimston, Bart. Speaker of the late Parliament.


Ancient. Thomas Lord Cromwell, Earl of Essex, and Lord-Keeper of the Great Seal (son of a blacksmith of Putney, who was in his latter days a brewer) was first a servant to Cardinal Wolsey, and afterwards a principal Minister of State to king Henry the Eighth; and, among other great offices which he had, he was vicar-general over all the spirituality, though a layman, and sat divers times in the convocation among the bishops; by means whercof, and of his great power, and propension to schism and heresy, he ransacked, dissolved, and subverted many ab. bies and religious houses, and, if he had lived, had a heart inclined to act greater mischiefs, both in church and state; but, on the nineteenth of July, 1540, he was arraigned and condemned of heresy and treason, and, on the twenty-ninth of the same month, was beheaded at Towerhill.

Hugh Latimer, son of a husbandman in Leicestershire, pretended to the office of the ministry, affected a drollish way of holding forth in the pulpit, was a great enemy to bishops and


Oliver Cromwell had, indeed, some advantage over his namesake Lord in the quality of his birth, but none in that of his profession, he being a brother too of the jolly brewhouse, though he far surpassed the other in the mystery of iniquity. In the late rebellion, raised against king Charles the First, of blesssd memory, he began to set up a new trade, and was at first captain of a troop of sectaries; afterwards, by unheard of policy, became general, and, the better to serve his own ambitious ends, on the thirtieth of January, 1648, did most bar. barously murder that good king at his own palace-gate; then made himself Protector of an Utopian Commonwealth, and, on the third of September, 1658, died full of murders, wickednesses, and treasons: His body lay inhumed at Westminster, till the thirtieth of January, 1660, when it was, by order of parliament, hanged at Tyburn, with Bradshaw and Ireton his accomplices; and, finally, bu ried under that gallows.

Hugh Peters, of like mean extraction, usurped the office of the ministry; was used by Oli ver, as a fit instrument in the pulpit, to encourage rebels in their evil ways; had a great


clergy, and as great a patron of fanaticks; and, finally, was burnt at Oxford, the sixteenth of October, 1555.

William Hacket, of Oundle in Northamptonshire, proclaimed himself in London to be Christ Jesus, come with his fan in his hand to judge the earth; and was attended by Edmund Coppinger and Henry Arthington, his two false prophets, the one of mercy, the other of judgment; for which, on the twenty-eighth of July 1590, he was hanged on a gibbet in Cheapside. Coppinger died a prisoner in Bridewell, and Arthington long after in Wood-street Com pter.

John Lambert, of Norfolk, a Zuinglian (in our modern dialect, a fanatick) was accused of heresy, and had the honour to be tried by king Henry the Eighth, and many Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in Westminster-hall; was found guilty and obstinate, and burnt in Smithfield, in the year 1538.

John Tewksbury, of London, leather-seller, obstinately held certain anabaptistical and heretical opinions; for which he was condemned and burnt in Smithfield, in December, 1529.

John Maundrell, of Kevel in Wiltshire, cow-herd, was condemned by the Bishop of Salisbury, for obstinately holding divers heretical and fantastical opinions, and burnt in the year 1556.

William Tyndal, about the


hand in spilling the royal blood, was no better a friend to the hierarchy, than other sectaries are; was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Charing-Cross (the same sixteenth of October) 1660.

James Naylor, of Anderslow in Yorkshire, declared himself, at Bristol, to be the Son of God, and King of Righteousness; where he rode about, pronouncing his blasphemies, attended by Martha Simons, Hannah Stranger, and Dorcas Erbury, representing the three Maries in the gospel, John xix. 25. For which (instead of a thousa nd deaths, which he deserved) he had only his tongue bored through with a hot iron, at the Old Exchange, London, the twenty-seventh of December,


John Lambert, of Yorkshire, a great sectary, a partaker in Oliver's iniquities, had the honour to be judged by king Charles the Second, and his parliament, in the year 1660; was found guilty, but mercifully reprieved during their pleasure.

Praise-god Barebones, of London, leather-seller, was a great anabaptist Commonwealth's-man, a lay-preacher, and of a factious spirit, yet the mercy of the king and parliament has pardoned his errors, in hopes he may grow better.

Giles Prichard, of Islington in Middlesex, cow-herd, was, upon his trial at the SessionsHouse in the Old-Bailey, found guilty of the rebellion, in January, 1660, and hanged in Cheapside.

William Prynne, in the year

[blocks in formation]

The ancient and modern fanaticks agreed exactly in these particulars; First, They pretended the motion and impulse of the Spirit for what they did. Secondly, They declared against kings and magistrates. Thirdly, Against payment of tithes. Fourthly, Against the Whore of Babylon and popish clergy (only our moderns have gone farther, against even all kinds of clergy.) Fifthly, Against swearing in any case; and they alledged scripture for whatsoever they asserted, We will not,' says The Door, of Hope, have any thing to do with the antichristian magistra6 cy, ministry, tithes, &c. which are none of our Lord's appointment, but false and Babylonish.' From such saints, and such martyrs, good Lord deliver our gracious king and all his kingdoms.


« ForrigeFortsæt »