Reformed Church here, and to the bishops and pastors therein, was cast off; and every man became a judge of religion, and an interpreter of the Scriptures to himself.
B. Did not the Church of England intend it should be so? What other end could they have in recommending the Bible to me, if they did not mean I should make it the rule of my actions? Else they might have kept it, though open to themselves, to me sealed up in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, and fed me out of it in such measure as had been requisite for the salvation of my soul and the Church’s peace.
A. I confess this licence of interpreting the Scripture was the cause of so many several sects, as having lain hid till the beginning of the late King’s reign, did then appear to the disturbance of the commonwealth. But to return to the story. Those persons that fled for religion in the time of Queen Mary, resided, for the most part, in places where the Reformed religion was professed and governed by an assembly of ministers; who also were not a little made use of (for want of better statesmen), in points of civil government. Which pleased so much the English and Scotch Protestants that lived amongst them, that at their return they wished there were the same honour and reverence given to the ministry in their own countries. *And* in Scotland (King James being then young) soon (with the help of some of the powerful nobility) they brought it to pass. Also they that returned into England in the beginning of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, endeavoured the same here, but could never effect it till this last rebellion, nor without the aid of the Scots. And it was no sooner effected, but they were defeated again by the other sects, which, by the preaching of the Presbyterians and private interpretation of Scripture, were grown numerous.
B. I know indeed that in the beginning of the late war, the power of the Presbyterians was so very great, that, not only the citizens of London were almost all of them at their devotion, but also the greatest part of all other cities and