Christopher Love (1618-51) was beheaded for political, rather,
than religious reasons, and hence is not strictly within the subject matter
of this collection, but I include him here because, like the Protestant
Jacobites, his story reveals just how complex and many-sided the questions
of religion and loyalty really were in 17th century England.
Largely forgotten for centuries, Love was well-enough known in his day, and was recently the subject of Don Kistler, A Spectacle Unto God: The Life and Death of Christopher Love (Soli Deo Gloria, 1995), and the same publisher has published recent editions of his work. His first brush with trouble was under Charles I, when he was gaoled for speaking out against the Book of Common Prayer, in 1641.
When the civil war broke, he found himself in the position of supporting the monarchy, in principle, but opposing Charles I, whom he considered to be a rogue, in practice. This was a somewhat subtle distinction, that got him into trouble in the early stages of the civil war, but he managed to establish his loyalty to the Puritan cause, and went on to become chaplain of a regiment of Roundheads (under Colonel Venn).
It was after the war that events led to Love's undoing. Kistler takes the view that the charges laid against Love in 1651 were largely unfounded, but there does seem to be a fair amount of evidence that he was actually engaged in correspondence with a view to restoring Charles II to the throne. At any rate, Love was accused, tried, convicted and duly executed.
Heavens Glory, Hells Terror. Or, Two Treatises; the one, Concerning the glory of the Saints with Jesus Christ, as a spur to Duty: the other, Of the Torments of the Damned, as a Preservative against Security: By that late faithfull Servant of Jesus Christ Mr Christopher Love, Minister of Laurence-Jury. (London, Printed for John Rothwell at the Fountain and Bear in Goldsmiths-Row in Cheapside, MDCLIII, in two parts, 4to, pp. 6+149+1+120+8.) Contains seven sermons, with a brief introduction signed by Edmund Calamy, Simeon Ashe, Jeremy Whitaker, William Taylor and Allen Geare. A very good copy, with some dampstaining, in a chipped 19th century binding stamped "Society of Writers to the Signet".
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