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[114] late in the evening, he saw a man standing in the moonlight at his door, and knew him to be a bailiff. ‘Hast thou anything against me?’ asked Roberts. ‘No,’ said the bailiff, ‘I've wronged you enough, God forgive me! Those who lie in wait for you are my Lord Bishop's bailiffs; they are merciless rogues. Ever, my master, while you live, please a knave, for an honest man won't hurt you.’

The next morning, having, as he thought, been warned by a dream to do so, he went to the Bishop's house at Cleave, near Gloucester. Confronting the Bishop in his own hall, he told him that he had come to know why he was hunting after him with his bailiffs, and why he was his adversary. ‘The King is your adversary,’ said the Bishop; ‘you have broken the King's law.’ Roberts ventured to deny the justice of the law. ‘What!’ cried the Bishop, ‘do such men as you find fault with the laws?’ ‘Yes,’ replied the other, stoutly; ‘and I tell thee plainly to thy face, it is high time wiser men were chosen, to make better laws.’

The discourse turning upon the Book of Common Prayer, Roberts asked the Bishop if the sin of idolatry did not consist in worshipping the work of men's hands. The Bishop admitted it, as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar's image.

‘Then,’ said Roberts, ‘whose hands made your Prayer Book? It could not make itself.’

‘Do you compare our Prayer Book to Nebuchadnezzar's image?’ cried the Bishop.

‘Yes,’ returned Roberts, ‘that was his image; this is thine. I no more dare bow to thy Common-Prayer Book than the Three Children to Nebuchadnezzar's image.’

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