Protestant identification chart

by Nick

This is a bit like the front cover of the Ladybird Book of Protestants. Or maybe one of those I-Spy books with David Bellamy that always had some impossible achievement which scored you 500 points (maybe spotting a Ranter could be this book’s equivalent).

Anyway, it’s actually the frontispiece from a 1641 pamphlet called Five Looks Over the Professors of the English Bible. From the top left going anti-clockwise you have:

  • The Arminian, holding a sword in one hand and trying to pull at the bible in the centre.
  • The Brownist, with a club in one hand and bed sheet in the other.
  • The Anabaptist, again trying to pull at the sheet but with an olive branch in one hand.
  • The Protestant, unarmed but also trying to claim the bible. He is the only one kneeling.
  • In the centre is the Pope, as a warning about what the Church of England could become.

Even from the picture it is fairly clear where the pamphlet’s sympathies lie, a guess which the text proves abundantly correct:

On the right side of the picture you may see an honest-hearted Protestant weeping; whose tender eyes send forth aboundance of teares, meekly kneeling upon his knees; who being grieved to see Religion clouded thus by cavilling, hee labours to know God truely out of his holy word.