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Burgess
Burgess
310

with Philological Notes and Dissertations on the Syrian Metrical Church Literature,' 2 vols. 1835. 2. 'The Country Miscellany,' 2 vols. 1836-7. 3. 'Poems,' 1850, dedicated to the Marchioness of Bute. 4. Translation of the 'Festal Letters of St. Athanasius,' 1852, a work which, after being long lost in the original Greek, was recovered in an ancient Syriac version, and edited for the Oxford 'Library of the Fathers' by the Rev. H.G. Williams. 5. 'The Reformed Church of England in its Principles and their legitimate Development,' 1869. 6. 'Essays, Biblical and Ecclesiastical, relating chiefly to the Authority and Interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.' 7. 'The Art of Preaching and the Composition of Sermons,' 1881. He prepared the second edition of Kitto's 'Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature,' and he was for some years editor of the 'Clerical Journal' (1854-68) and the 'Journal of Sacred Literature.'

[Times, 16 Feb. 1886; Men of the Time (1884), 189; Crockford's Clerical Directory (1882), 161.]

T. C.


BURGESS, JOHN (1563–1635), who held a unique position in the so-called puritan section of the English clergy, was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, and graduated at that university as B.A. in 1586.

From his having been rector of the small living of St. Peter Hungate in Norwich as early as 1590, when he can hardly have been more than twenty-seven years old, it may be conjectured that he was a Norfolk man. When proceedings were taken against Cartwright and his supporters, and the rigour of the dominant party in the church began to be felt by all except the narrowest conformists, Burgess, whose sympathies were all with the puritan party, threw the responsibility of choosing what course he should adopt upon his congregation at Norwich. For himself he accepted loyally the position which Cartwright had taken up at the first for the surplice and the cross in baptism, they were not unlawful, they were inexpedient. From that position Burgess never departed through his life; with him it was always a question of degree; the ceremonies at one time might be so inexpedient as to be ruinous to the church that adopted them, at another so unimportant the one way or the other that they were not worth disputing about. In the one case it was a man's duty to suffer the loss of all things rather than submit to them, in the other case it was his duty to submit for peace sake and to avoid schism or strife. With this view of the case he left himself in the hands of his congregation; if they would not be scandalised by his wearing the surplice and using the ceremonies, he would conform; if their consciences would be wounded by his submission, he would not. They answered that if he wore the surplice 'they would never profit by his ministry,' and accepting the verdict he resigned. Very soon they all bitterly regretted their decision, but it was too late.

Not long after this Burgess removed into the diocese of Lincoln, and had for his diocesan William Chadderton, who was translated from Chester in 1595. Here he held some benefice the name of which has not been ascertained, and Chadderton seems to have left him unmolested during the remainder of Queen Elizabeth's reign.

Throughout the first year after James I's accession the nonconformist party gave the king no peace. On 16 July 1604 a proclamation was issued requiring all ministers to conform to the new book of ecclesiastical canons before the last day of November following. The nonconforming clergy were much distressed and alarmed, and it is clear that Burgess was regarded as a leading man among the conscientiously disaffected. While the convocation was deliberating on the canons he was called upon to explain the ground he took and to preach before the king at Greenwich on 19 June 1604. Burgess chose his text from Psalm cxxii. 8, 9. The sermon was a poor performance and somewhat offensive in its tone, but one passage seems to have provoked the king beyond measure, though it is difficult to say why. Burgess likened the ceremonies to Pollio's glasses, 'which were not worth a man's life or livelihood,' and for this and other expressions he was sent to the Tower. He was not kept long in prison; on sending a written copy of his sermon with a most humble letter of submission to the king and another to the lords of the privy council, he was released, though he tells us he was 'of mind either to refuse subscription ... or else to be assured by the bishop . . . that there was no such variation in the doctrine or intention of the church as [he] and others suspected.' With this view he drew up his 'Apology,' which was addressed to Bishop Chadderton, and sent to him in manuscript; another copy was presented to the king by Sir Thomas Jermyn of Rushbrook, Suffolk, whom Burgess calls 'mine honorable friend.' Burgess evidently was proud of this performance; the pamphlet was circulated somewhat widely, and Dr. Covell, afterwards subdean of Lincoln, was ordered to prepare an answer, 'and thus,' says Burgess, 'that writing which was private became public without my knowledge of it; but no man can truly say that in