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From the Diary of John Evelyn, Christmas Day, 1657

"I went with my wife &c: to London: to celebrate Christmas-day, Mr. Gunning preaching in Exeter Chapel, on Micah 7:v2. (The good man is perished out of the earth; and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net). After the Sermon ended, as he was giving us the Holy Sacrament, the Chapel was surrounded with soldiers, All the Communicants and assembly surprised and kept prisoners by them, some in the house, others carried away.

It fell to my share to be confined to a room in the house, where yet I was permitted to dine with the master of it, the Countess of Dorset, Lady Hatton, and some others of quality who invited me.

"In the afternoon came Colonel Whalley, Goffe, and others from Whitehall to examine us one by one; some they committed to the Marshal, some to prison. When I came before them, they took my name and abode, examined me why, contrary to the ordinance made, that none should any longer observe the superstitious time of the Nativity (so esteemed by them), I durst offend, and particularly be at Common Prayers, which they told me was but the Mass in English, and particularly pray for Charles Stuart; for which we had no Scripture. I told them we did not pray for Charles Stuart, but for all Christian kings, princes, and governors. They replied, in so doing we prayed for the King of Spain, too, who was their enemy and a Papist, with other frivolous and ensnaring questions, and much threatening; and, finding no colour to detain me longer, with much pity of my ignorance they dismissed me.

These wretched miscreants held their muskets against us as we went up to receive the Sacrament, as if they would have shot us at the altar, but yet suffering us to finish the office of Communion, as perhaps not in their instructions what they should do, in case they found us in that action.

So I got home late the next day, blessed be God.

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