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being rejected from having a hand in dur reformation, returned them an answer to their mind; and charged the liturgy with retaining much of the dregs of popery, and consisting of many tolerable fooleries, which oughi to be better corrected, and some things clean taken away. This letter of his inflamed the factious spirits of the party; and having set Knox, whom they had fetched from Geneva, at their head, they mangled and defaced the English service, and intermixed so much of the French and Geneva order with what they retained, that the beauty of the public worship was lost; every graceful rite, and primitive usage being discharged, to make way for their novel singularities.
The news of this was a sensible affliction to Dr. Cox: it pierced bim to the soul to have the excellent service of our church so unworthily despised ; and that noble army of martyrs, who at the stake had expressed so high an esteem of the liturgy, and sealed it with their blood, traduced as favourers of superstition : and he was resolved, let the danger of the enterprize be what it would, to go and vindicate the liturgy against all opposers; and if possible to reclaim these zealots from their prejudices against it.
He came to Franckfort on the thirteenth of March, 1555; and brought with him several other learned men, well affected to the English service, and ready to concur with any method that should be thought expedient for its restitution. Their first attempt was, to introduce the repetition of the responses after the minister, which had been prohibited by the new order: this occasioned great clamours among the puritan faction, who sent to Dr. Cox to admonish him to desist; 'but he replied, that he would not recede from the English liturgy; and that he would have the face of an English church established there. Accordingly, the Sunday following, he directed one of the English clergymen to go into the pulpit, and say the litany; he and the rest of the friends to our church, responding in a devout and regular manner. This set Knoxin a flame; and it being his turn to preach in the afternoon, he declaimed intemperately against the liturgy, calling it superstitious, impure, and imperfect; and presumptuously affirming, that the present persecution was a judgment on the church of England for their slackness in reforming. For these unworthy reflections on our excellent bishops, and the constitution of our ehurch, he was severely reproved by Dr. Cox; who
answered all his objections, and made it' evident, that how great soever his zeal was, it was not according to knowlege.
These differences being come to a great height, it was thought proper to fix a day when both sides inight have an impartial hearing. Tuesday following was the day appointed, and when they were assembled, a motion was made that Dr. Cox and his companions might be allowed the privilege of voting in the congregation. The Puritans opposed this with vehemence, and insisted that the present controversy should be first decided; and that they should be obliged to subscribe the.discipline before they were allowed that privilege. They also pretended that some of Dr. Cox's company lay under the suspicion of having been at mass in England, and that others had subscribed the doctrines of the church of Rome : by which malicious slander they thought so to incense the congregation against them, that they should not be allowed a farther hearing. But this calmuny was soon confuted, the first part of the charge being wholly false, and the latter affecting none but Mr. afterwards Bishop Jewell, whose repentance was as public as his offence. And therefore, though this idle aspersion had at first made such impression on the congregation that they withstood the admission of Dr. Cox and his friends, yet when they had been allowed to speak in their own vindication, they cleared themselves so satisfactorily from that imputation, that Knox himself intreated to have them admitted. And now the majority being on their side, they declared for the immediate restitution of the English liturgy; and forbad Knox, if he continued obstinate in his opposition to it, to officiate any longer in the congregation.
Upon this Whittingham, a leading man among the Puritans, made his complaint to the Senator Glauberge, by whose means they had obtained the license for a church, and he interposing in the dispute, commanded two of the most eminent of each side to be selected to consult and agree upon a decent order for the public service; and when they had settled it, to make a report of their proceedings to him. On the Church-side were appointed Dr. Cox and Mr. Lever, and for the Puritans, Knox and Whittingham. But when they came to a conference, before they had gone through the morning-service, their differences grew so high, that the committee was forced to break up without effect. The Puritans immediately addressed the Senate, making grievous con
plaints against the church-party, and reflecting severely on the obstinacy of Dr. Cox. By this address they so far prevailed, as to obtain an order from the magistrates that the congregation should conform in doctrine and ceremonies to the French, and that those who refused should quit the town,
Dr. Cox, who saw it was but lost labour to strive against the stream, consented to comply with this injunction of the magistrates, till he could have an opportunity of laying before them a clear account of things, and convince them of the justice of his cause. It was not long before he had the happiness to effect this; and because Knox, by his fawning and dissembling, had worked himself into their good esteem, and pretended to be more zealously affected towards them than any on the church-side, be thought it expedient to detect his hypocrisy, and give them a true idea of the man. This he did by shewing them a book wrote by Knox, intitled, An Admonition to Christians; in which he had bitterly reviled the emperor, calling him a worse enemy of Christ than Nero; and speaking many obnoxious things bordering on treason. The magistrates being willing to act impartially sent for Whittingham, Knox's friend, and giving him the book with the passages coinplained of marked out, they commanded him to bring them an exact version of those passages in latin. When they had received his version and considered it, after a short deliberation they sent Knox a command to depart the city, otherwise they let him know they should be obliged to deliver him up to the emperor.
The banishment of Knox was a fatal blow to the Puritan faction, and they lost ground considerably, for a petition being presented to the magistrates, signed by a number of divines and others, for the establishment of the English liturgy, it was received in a gracious manner, and the liturgy was commanded to be used by all the English exiles: and particular orders were given to Whittingham and his party not to opposeit. Whittingham replied that he was willing to let them who had such a foud esteem for the book, enjoy the use of it, but that he hoped that himself and his frievds might have the liberty to join some other church. This indulgence Dr. Cox foresaw would be of pernicious consequence, and therefore requested that it might not be allowed. At this Whittingham took fire, and challenged him to a public disputation, but the magistrates, who knew Whittingham's iemper, refused to
suffer it. "The Puritans, extremely mortified at these proceedings,applied again to Glauberge to interpose in their behalf, but he knew them too well to be misled by their artifices again, and gave them a flat denial.
On the twenty-eighth of March, Dr. Cox sent for all the English clergy, and acquainting them with his success, proposed to them to settle the church after the English order, and to appoint and fix church-officers. The Puritans exclaimed against the reception of the liturgy, and murmured at the persons appointed to be officers in the church, but they were told that the Common-Prayer was established by the magistrates, under whose protection, as long as they continued, it was their duty to obey them in all things lawful, and that the church was not to be left unsettled to gratify their peevish humours. When the affairs of the church were regulated, Dr. Cox proceeded to form a kind of university, and appointed a Greek and Hebrew lecturer, a divinity-professer, and treasurer, for the contributions remitted from England.
As soon as things were thus settled he sent to Calvin an account of bis proceedings. The letter was subscribed by fourteen of the chief of the congregation. Calvin in his answer railed at the church-ceremonies, condemned their adherence to the liturgy, and pressed them to comply with the scruples of the dissenting party: And indeed what other answer could be expected from a man, who always was severe in his censures upon whatever himself had not a principal hand in ? But this answer taking no effect, the Puritans began to think of removing, and setting up separate congregations in another place, and to vindicate themselves from the guilt of schism with which they were charged, they wrote to the congregation, desiring to have the cause referred to four arbitrators, to whose decision they would stand. This they were told was a most unreasonable request; and that it would be great folly, when every thing was settled in a regular order to refer the decision to arbiters. Dr. Cox farther told them, that there was more of obstinacy in these pretended scruples of theirs than real conscience, and he exposed their ridiculous proposal of referring controversies in religion to arbiters. He asked what they would think of those, who in the disputes concerning the sacraments, predestination, and free-will, should agree to chuse four arbiters, and to beleive in those points, whatever they should determine? and whether it was not as absurd to refer the public worship of God, and the dise
cipline of the Church, to the same method of decision! after this, some warm words passed on both sides; and the Puritans departed in a rage to Basil and Geneva.
Dr. Cox hoping that all things were well settled at Franck fort, and that by their departure all future occasion of religious disputes would be removed, withdrew to Strasburgh, for the satisfaction of conversing with Peter Martyr; with whom he had contracted an intimate friendship at Oxford.
After the death of Queen Mary, he returned to England, and was one of those divines who were appointed to review the liturgy: and when a disputation was to be held at Westminster between the Papists and the reformed clergy, he was the chief champion against the Romiske bishops. He preached often before Queen Elizabeth in Lent, and in his sermon at the opening of her first parliament, in most affecting terms exhorted them to restore religion to its primitive purity, and discharge all the Popish innovations and corruptions. These discourses, and the great zeal he had shewn in defence of the English liturgy at Franckfort, so effectually recommended him to the queen's esteem, that she rewarded his great services by nominating him to the see of Ely, vacant by the deprivation of Thirlby. Before his consecration he joined with Dr. Parker, the elect Archbishop of Canterbury, and the elect Bishops of London, Chichester, and Hereford, in a petition to the queen, against an act lately passed for the alienating the lands and revenues of the bishops: and sent her divers arguments from scripture and reason against the lawfulness of it, observing withal, the many evils and inconveniences both to church and state, which would be the fatal consequences thereof. He was consecrated at Lambeth, on the twenty-first of December, 1559
This see be enjoyed twenty-two years, and was all that time one of the chief pillars and ornaments of our church. He was very serviceable both 10 Archbishop Parker, and his successor Grindal; and by his prudence and industry, contributed to the regular restitution of the church, to that beauty and good order, which it had before enjoyed in the reign of King Edward. He was indeed no great favourite of the queen, but that is to be imputed to his zealous opposition to her retaining the crucifix on the altar of the royal chapel, and his strenuous defence of the lawfulness of the marriages of the clergy, against which the queen bad contracted a most inveterate prejudice.