the latter years of Henry VIII., was appointed bishop
, he, for a time, refused1
to be consecrated in the vestments which the law required; and his refusal marks the era when the Puritans first existed as a separate party.
They demanded a thorough reform the established church desired to check the propensity to change.
The strict party repelled all union with the Catholics; the politic party aimed at conciliating their compliance.
The Churchmen, with, perhaps, a wise moderation, differed from the ancient forms as little as possible, and readily adopted the use of things indifferent; the Puritans could not sever themselves too widely from the Roman
usages, and sought glaring occasions to display their antipathy.
The surplice and the square cap, for several generations, remained things of importance; for they became the badges of a party.
They were rejected as the livery of superstation—the outward sign, that prescription was to prevail over reason, and authority to control inquiry.
The unwilling use of them was evidence of religious servitude.
The reign of Mary involved both parties in danger,
but they whose principles wholly refused communion with Rome
, were placed in the greatest peril.
, the first martyrs of Protestant England
, were Puritans; and it may be remarked, that, while Cranmer
, the head and founder of the English church, desired, almost to the last, by delays, recantations, and entreaties, to save himself from the horrid death to which he was doomed, the Puritan
martyrs never sought, by concessions, to escape the flames.