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Tracts on Liberty by the Levellers and their Critics Vol. 1 (1638-1643) (2nd ed)

Tracts on Liberty by the Levellers and their Critics, Volume 1 (1638–1643)
(2nd. revised and enlarged Edition)

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T.78 [1646.10.12] (3.18) Richard Overton, An Arrow against all Tyrants and Tyranny (12 October 1646).

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Tracts from 1638-1643 (Volume 1)

 

T.2 (1.2.) John Lilburne, A Light for the Ignorant (1638).

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T.2 [1638.??] (1.2) John Liburne, A Light for the Ignorant (1638).

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John Lilburne, A Light for the Ignorant or A Treatise shewing, that in the new Testament, is set forth three Kingly States or Governments, that is, the Civill State, the true Ecclesiasticall State, and the false Ecclesiasticall State.

Mat. 15.13. Every plant which my Heavenly Father hath planted shall be rooted up.

Seene and allowed, Printed in the yeare, 1638.

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1638 (no month given).

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Editor’s Introduction

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Text of Pamphlet

The Epistle to the Reader,

VVell affectionated Reader. It is (as thou knowest) a divine precept, that we should giue Honour to whom honour is due: Jmplying therein, that no honour is due either to Persons or things, but in a lawfull and right way. And hence it is that many of Gods deare Servants both haue and still doe, refuse to yeeld any Reuerence, Honoor, Service, &c. vnto Archbishops Bishops: and their dependent Offices; I say, as they are Ecclesiasticall persons & doe administer in their Spirituall Courts as they terme them: in regard they have assumed such a State as is to speake properly and truely of it, neither Iure Divino nor jure Humano, warrented by the word of God. But of this I shall not need to say any more, in regard thou shalt find what here I say cleared & proved sufficiently: viz. that their calling is not from God, either in a divine or humane respect, but according to the scripturs after mentioned: altogether & every way from the Devill. And therfore look unto it whosoever thou art, that thou (like Mordecay) bow not the knee to any of these Amaleks, but on the contrarie Feare God and honour the King, and give reverence Only to such ordinances as God binds thy Conscience too, either in respect of nature or grace, and soe doeing thou shalt Give vnto Cæsar the things that are Cæsars, And give vnto God, those things that are Gods. And that thou mayst so doe, the Lord sanctifie both this and all other good meanes and helps to thee.

A LIGHT FOR THE IGNORANT OR A Treatise shevving, that in the nevv Testament, is set forth three Kingly States or Governments, that is, the Civill State, the true Ecclesiasticall-State, and the false Ecclesiasticall State.

THere are in the new Testement of Christ Iesus three Kinglie States or Governments. The Civill State. The true Ecclesiasticall State. And the false Ecclesiasticall State. Two of them are of God, and the third is of the Divill. They all consist of these Seven particulars following.

In the First, place these three pollitique Regiments hath each of them a King or Head over them.

Secondly, They haue each of them authoritie power or state pollitique.

Thirdly, They haue books and Charters, wherein their statutes, Lawes, and Cannons are writen.

Fourthly, Each of these make themselves Citties Corporations or bodies politique.

Fiftly, They haue Officers and deputies who are their seuerall Ministers to and in there bodies or Corporations.

Sixtly, They have Lawes, ordinances, and administrations for these officers to administer to their subjects, according to there severall functions in the name and by the power of their proper King, and head; from whom they haue received their authority & in whose name they administer.

Sevenlie, and lastlie, they haue subjects or members governed by and in their seuerall pollitique States and powers vnder their severall beads.

The First particular Handled.

These haue each of them a King or Head over them.

The Civill State.

The First is the State of Magistracie or civill State, that wherein Cesar is to haue his due as King and head, these Kings & heads are to be prayed for of all Gods people, as their Heads and gouernours Rom. 13. 1. 2 1. Tom. 2. 2.

The true Ecclesiasticall State:

This state is Christs the annointed Psa. 2. 6. Acts. 2. 26. whome God the Father hath set upon the Throne of David, Jsay, 9. 6. 7. and he is King of Saints Rev. 15, 3. Yea the King of Kings & Lord of Lords. Rev. 17. 14. & 19, 16.

The False Ecclesiasticall State.

The third is the helish state of the Beast, his Kingdome or state of Rome, which in the 13. Rev. v. 2. is said to haue his power from the Devill; also he is said to haue a Throne: therefore hee is a King 11. c. He is called the King of the Locusts which is there said to bee the Angell of the bottomleste pit. v. 11.

Secondly, these haue each of them a Kingly state or power pollitique

The Civill State.

This power or Civill state is of God, and is the Charracter of Gods soveraigntie over man; is displaid by his Communicating the same unto Kings & such as are in authority under them, for which cause hee hath said yee are Gods; and God must and is obeyed by stooping and submitting to this power and state, and he that resisteth this power resisteth the ordinance of God Rom. 13. c.

The true Ecclesiasticall State.

Likewise this state is of God; for it is the Kingdome of his deare Sonne, & is not the Civill state but the Ecclesiastical state of Christ his Church, or power which he received of his Father Mat 28. 18, after that he rose again from the dead, by which power he authorised his Apostles & sent them on his errand or message to al the world, Mat. 28. which power the Apostles vsed in planting Churchs and Church Officers, which power Christ gives to all the Churches of the Saints to the end of the world, it is the power given to them to bind and loose too, and from the Devill, and to right each others wrongs Mat. 18. it is the same power and state the Churches had comitted to them by the Apostles who reproved the Churches for not using it to suppresse sinne and sinners 1 Cor. 5. with the seuen Churches in Asia. Rev. 2. 3. c. these and many more are the severall vses the Lord hath made of this true Ecclesiasticall or Church state, and Goverment.

The False Ecclesiasticall State.

This Angell of the Bottemlesse pit Rev. 9. 11. the King of the Locusts hath a state, throne, power, and great authority. Rev. 13. 2. & in the same Chapter it is said, he hath power to continue 42 moneths, v. 5. that is 126. dayes as c. 12. 6. counting each day for a yeare (as the Lord doth in numbers, 14. 34. and Ezec. 4. 6,) it is 1260. yeares that is the length or time of his Raigne, that one and the same time which Christs Kingdome vnder the name of the holie City shal be trod under foot Rev. 11. 2. Likewise that is that power or state that the woman or great whore sits or aids uppon: whereby shee is able to Raigne Rev. 13. 16. & c. 17. as a Queene over the Kings of the earth. And Lastly, this state is soe great that it Captiuates all Kings Princes & Emperours, yea all the world of vngodly men Rev. 13. 7. 8. wonders, followes; and worships this state, or beast, and if they will not he hath such power and authority that hee will compell high and low, rich and poore, bond and free, to submit unto him, & to kill all those that are found refractory to his state and power. Rev. 13. 15. 16. 17. This is the False Ecclesiasticall state and power.

Thirdly, these haue each of them bookes and Charters to declare their minds to their Subjects.

The Civill State.

Thirdly, all Kings & governours haue Bookes, statutes, and Records, wherein are recorded their Lawes Articles, Acts of Parliament, likewise to Citties and townes Corporated they give Chartors whereby they haue power and preuilidge from their King, & head, in his name and power to instate themselves into divers previledges for their mutuall good.

The true Ecclesiasticall State.

Even soe in the next place Christ Jesus hath given his lawes vnto Iacob & his statutes to Israell, his statute Books are the Holie Scripture of the Old and New Testament, he is faithfull in all his house as was Moses Heb. 3. 2. 6. the acts of his last Parliament which hee called for the establishing of his Kingdome, when hee was 40. daies with his Disciples giving them lawes through the Holy Ghost, even till hee was taken vp into Heaven in their sight, as wee may see in Acts. 1. chapt. Those bookes called the Acts of the Apostles, with-all the Epistles and the Revelation, in these the Cities and Charters of the new Jerusalem is to be found with the previledges thereunto belonging.

The False Ecclesiasticall State.

This smoaky pollitique State of the Crowned Locusts or Roman Clergie Rev. 9. 3. 7. hath distinct bookes from the other two states that are of God, for this State or power hath Bookes of Cannons, Counsels; bookes of Articles, bookes of Ordination of Priests and Deacons; with the booke of Homilies, and the Booke of Common-prayer, and the power and state of this Beast, doth more narrowly looke that all be agreeable to these bookes then the other two states doth (as is manifest by that strict eye that is had ouer all in every parish) not onelie in forraigne Lands, but even in this our Kingdome of England, for they of this Kingdome of Darkenesse are wiser & more diligent in their generation them the children of light.

Fourthly, by vertue of these Charters, these three states make Citties and Corporations, according to their proper & distinct state & power pollitique.

The Civill State.

In the next place the loyall Subjects of this Regiment vnder their King & Head, by vertue of these Charters, become famous Citties, & other inferior corporations agreeable to the tenour of their severall Charters that they received from their Head, & when they received their Charters then & by that means they received the State & power to become a Citty or Corperation vnder that Head, & when they haue vnited or incorporated themselvs into a Bodie they are a Citty constituted, and this state & power they are entered into, is their for me and being, and nothing else doth distinguish them from their former state and condition but that power and state, that is, their state wherein they live moue and haue their being pollitiquely.

The true Ecclesiasticall State.

In like manner the Subjects of this heavenlie regiment or King dome of Christ, by power from him their Head, doe become visible Churches and bodies incorporated together in his name & power Mat. 18. therefore the Church hee left behind him of 120. were of one accord Acts 1. and to them were vnited or joyned 3000. in the next chapt. so the saints at Antioch, became a body or Church whose constitution or incorporation wee may see to bee a joyning themselves to the Lord Acts. 1. 2. 23. soe all the Churches of the Saints became bodies pollitique, and therefore Gods visible Churches are called Citties or the City of God Psal. 46. 4. Psal. 48. 1. 2. 8. & Psal. 87. 2. 3. Therefore the Saints are called Cittizens Ephes. 2. 19. Inhabitants of the Living God Heb. 12. 22. This holy Cittie is troden under foote 42. Moneths Re. 11. 2. the time of the Raigne of the Beast (Re. 13. 5.) whose Raigne is just so long & this Holy Citty is the new Jerusalem that comes downe from heaven in great glory Rev. 21. the forme or beeing of his divine Citty or spirituall Bodie is the state and power pollitique instituted by Christ and given to his Saints Jude, 3. v. Psal. 133. and thus under Christ as their King they live, moue and haue their being pollitiquelie.

The False Ecclesiasticall State.

So the power of Satan the Devil by hath the wisdome of the second Beast, or false Propher, not only made to himselfe a great Citty whose power killed Christ Rev. 11. 8. Thereby pointing vs to the Roman power that still kills his Saints, for this Citty is soe powerfull that she Raigns over the Kings of the earth, & maks them to drinke of the cup of her fornications, till they be so drunke thereby that they become her servants Rev. 17. 2. 18. & 18. 2. And by this false Ecclesiasticall power & state, there are made lesse Citties called the Citties of the nations of (nation Churches) & are of the same nature Re. 16. 9. as Daughters to the whore & Mother of fornication of the earth, this false great Catholique Church is distributed into nations, provinces, and into every diocesse and parrish, as liuely and apparent as the Civill state, is in every parrish and in every House therein, soe that they live moue and haue their beeing as Royallie from this Beastlike power as the Saints doe by Christ, or subjects under their King, this is plaine by the daily troubles the poore saints suffer in every parrish if they worship not as this power commands.

Fiftly These haue each of them proper and distinct officers belonging to each pollitique State.

The Civill State.

In the first place these Cities by vertue of their Chartors, injoy their owne officers, Majors, Shirrifes, Alderman, and other inferiour Officers as their Lord and King hath allotted them, and also inferiour corporations according as is granted to them in their Chartor, and they that obey these doe well and please God in keeping the first Commandement.

The true Ecclesiasticall State.

Likewise the Citty of God by vertue of their chartor haue right to enjoy their owne Bishops, ouerseeres or Elders Acts, 14. 23. and chap, 20. Titus, 1. 5. 7. Which are not many, yet Wisdome that hath built her house hath found them to be sufficient: which are these, Pastors, Teachers, Elders, Deacons, Widdowes, Rom. 12. 7. 8. Ephe. 4.-11. 12. Phi. 1. 1. 1 Tim. and they that obey these and these onely serve Christ and obey God in keeping the 2. and 3. Commandements, these only being the officers which God by his Holy Apostles hath set up, instituted and placed in his Church to the end of the world: therefore, in Hearing, and obeying these we heare & obey Christ that sent them Luke. 10. 16. Math. 10. 40.

The False Ecclesiasticall State.

In like manner hath this whorith City, or Citties, the False Prophet, or Body of false prophets attending upon their forged divises, & humane administrations, which are almost innumirable to reckon from the Pope to the parish clark or Parstor whosoever obyes these or any of these breaks the three first Commandements, for in hearing & obeying these they hear & obey the Dragon, Beast, & whore, that sent them and gaue them their authority and Office, that as Realie as wee Heare and obey the King by stooping and submitting to a Constable who sees not this.

These haue each of them proper and severall lawes, statutes, ordinances, and administrations for their severall officers to attend vpon.

The Civill State.

Sixtly, In this state or in these Citties are the lawes and ordinances of men, that the saints must obey in the Lord, for though in the time of Christ and his Apostels there were no Christian Kings, yet the Churches of the Saints were commanded to obey their Lawes, Religious Lawes they could not bee, Because the Magistrates were all infidells, therefore the Apostle Peter distingusheth them from the Divine, by calling them the Ordinances of men, due vnto Caesar as divine obedience is unto God,

The true Ecclesiastcall State.

Even so this Cittie of God with their officers are to obserue what soever Christ hath commanded them Math. 28. 20. the Church of Corinth kept them 1 Cor. 11. 2. and Paulls Charge to Timothy is to teach the Church to obserue all without prefering one before another, as he would answer it before Christ Iesus and his Elect Angells. These divine things are due to Christ Iesus, and to him & to him onely, belongs this visible worship Ioh. 4 21. 22. 23.

The false Ecclesiasticall State.

The Lawes & administrations of this whorish Church, are partly their owne Inventions, contained in the Bookes formerly named, with some divine truthes which vsurped they injoy, which truthes they vse as, a help to set a glose vpon their inventions: that they may passe with a better acceptation but both Divine and devised are consecrated & dedicated by the Beast, and are administred by his Officers and power.

Seauentlhy, All these three haue their subjects or people which their pollitique Bodies consist of.

The Civill State.

Lastly, this State hath Subjects, which are the Kings alleiged people, and are bound to him their Head, by the Oath of alleigence, & as any of them do purchase a Charter from him to become a Cittie or Corporation, they are bound by vertue of their Charters to walke submissiuely to him their pollitique head, and in that relation are by duty bound to keepe the Lawes of their Charters in his name & power, which is their pollitique obedience.

This Ciuill State is Gods Ordinance, and is here borrowed to Jllustrate, manifest, and set forth the other two in the former perticuler, and soe we leaue it.

The true Ecclesiasticall State,

Soe in the last place, the Subjects of this State are only Saints & noe other, that is such as by the Rule of the word are to be Judged one of another to be in Christ, otherwise they haue no right to this Kingdome 1 Cor. 4. 20. Chapt. 5. 13. But are intruders lud. 4. verse and soe not of the Kingdome, though in the Kingdome, 1 Iohn 2. 19 and the Saints are out of their places till they come within this Holy Citty.

To this State all Gods people are Called, both out of this world and all false Churches, especially from this Regiment of darkenesse there discribed 2. Cor. 6. 17. & Rev. 18. 4.

The False Ecclesiasticall State,

Lastly, the Subjects of this Kingdome of darkenes are all the Inbabitans of the Earth, Kings & subjects Rev. 13. 16. & Chap. 18. 3. Yea it, hath a commanding power, bond and free, to receive a mark of subjection and servitude, there is none soe bad but will serve his turne, if any proue too good hee casts them out, kills and destroys Rev. 11. 7.

This is the State and Kingdome of darkenes: with which the Devill hath deluded all nations from which all Gods people & Servants are bound in duty to seperate, that soe they may bee free from that wrath of God which shall fall upon the Kingdome of the beast to the Ruine & ouerthrow thereof Rev. 18. 4. 5. & 19. 20. & 14. 9. 10, 11.

Leaving the premises let every one note these ensuing differences or disproportions, that are betwene the Ecclesiasticall States, for thir different natures.

The true Ecclesiasticall State

The First disproportion betweene the true and False State is, in the Originall from whence they arise. The true State came from Heaven and is the house of wisdomes building Pro. 9. 1. wherin the sonne of God, the wisedome of his Father, Heb. 1. 3. hath beene as faithfull as was Moses in the former Heb. 3. 2. 6. & is that Heaven discribed Rev. 12. 1. and that Citty said to come downe from Heaven Rev. 21, and is an habitation for God to dwell in, and for all his people to come into: to dwell with God their Saviour, for the name of the Citty is, the Lord is there Ezec. last Chap. and last ver.

The False Ecclesiasticall State.

Likewise it is no hard Mistery to know the Originall of this False Ecclesiastical State, for the Clargie, (as Goodwins Catologue of Bishops Fox his Booke of martyrs, & Rev. 9. & 13 ch.) & by their Preaching & writing hath taught vs plainly that Antichrist the man of sinne, the sonne of perdition is seated in Rome, & the same Clergy doth also teach us: that their Ministery & Goverments of Bishops & Arch Bb. successiuely proceedes from thence, & for our confirmation here in we read that Gregory the first of that name, Pope of Rome about 1000 yeares since, sent Austin the Monke into Englund & consecrated him first Arch B. of Canterbury, and he consecrated the rest of the Bb. and established the Ecclesiastical state, which state & platforme remaines vnaltered to this day; notwithstanding the Head thereof be changed. This state then being the man of sinne, it is said to arise out of the Bottomles pitt Rev. 9. 1. & is called the King of the Locusts Rev. 9. 11. & is said to come by the effectuall working of Sathan 2 Thess. 2. 9. and as he is the sonne of perdition v. 3. and the Mistery of Iniquity v. 7. so shall he come to confusion by the mouth of the Lord v. 8. & go to perdition Rev. 17. 8. as the sonne & heire thereof, & he shall haue the company of his Fatther the great Dragon the Devill and Satan, with the yonger Brother the False Prophet, that deceiued them that worshipped him, these three shall dwell in the tormenting lake of Gods wrath forever and evermore Rev. 19. 20. & 20. 10. And thus wee see Originally from whence hee came and whither he must goe.

The true Ecclesiasticall State,

A Second disproportion is betweene the true power and the false. The true power which Christ our King hath received of his Father Math. 28. 18. and hath comunicated to his Saints 1 Cor. 5. 4, 12. and Psal. 119. and to them onely; This is that Dominion that the Antient of dayes hath giuen to his Saints Dan. 7. 14. compared with ver. 22. 27: and with Revel. 5. 10. & being lost hee will recover it againe vnto them as Daniell speakes, & in the New Testament is giuen to every Particuler visible Church or Assembly of Saints Math. 18. 17. 19. 20. and 1 Cor. 5. 12. In which point of Power, we are to note two things. Fust the Subject or place where it doth recide, that is in the Body or Assembly of the Saints, as the former scriptures largely declare. Secondly, that they were not forced nor compelled to submitt to their power, but as the loue of God shed abroade in their hearts, & the Doctrine of the Apostles by the power of the spirit caused them freely and willingly to submit themselves unto it Acts 2. 41. for Christ and his Apostles never used any means to bring his saints into his Kingdome.

The False Ecclesiasticall State.

Soe in Like manner the Dragon that Old Serpent Rev. 12. [Editor: illegible word] gave to his son of perdition the Beast, his power & throne & great authority Rev. 13. 2. And this man of sinne hath conveyed to all his Clergie his power; by vertue wherof, they are all rulers & men of authority in all nations where he hath established them, as is declared Rev. 9 Chapter & 10 First Verse: wher it is said, they haue Crownes upon their heads like gold, that is counterfit power and authoritie, & by vertue of this power pollitique; are made one intire body pollitique, under one head & King soe called vers. 11. and are distinct from the Layety, living in & by the practise of this power, with reference to that Head, though they bee never soe farre disperced or remote from him; this beeing observed, the disproportion will appeare in these two particulers.

First, the subject place where this power doth recide, it beeing in the body of the Clergy, the Layety being excluded though never so high or great in place, as Iudges, Iustices, Lords & Knights &c, they refusing it as a matter not belonging to them, but to the Clergy.

Secondly, this power compells all in all nations, will they nill they to come under this Government, and to obey his power and authority Rev. 13, 8. 16. where it is said, he made all great and small, rich and poore, free and bond, to submit to him, else they should not buy, nor sell nor live ver. 17. and ch. 11. 7.

The true Ecclesiasticall State:

A Third disproportion shall appeare in this, Every Kingdome or pollitique state whether Civill or Ecclesiasticall, hath their severall bookes and Charters: wherein is contayned the Platforme of there severall governments, soe every Church is knowne by its owne articles, Cannons, and Constitutions, so that they that will know what Church, Ministery and worship Christ and his Apostles hath planted in the new Testement after the Ceremoniall was abolished; they must read the Acts of the Apostles with the Epistles Acts, 6. 4. 1. Cor. 14. 37. Revel. 22. 18. 19. Yea the whole new Testement, and there they shall finde Jesus Christ our Lord and King, his Bookes of Cannons, Articles and Ordination, to guide and direct the Churches of the saints in his Kingdome vnto the end of the world.

The False Ecclesiasticall State

Also in the False State, they that would know what goverment, Church, Ministery, and worship, the man of sinne hath established, he must viewe his Platforme contayned in his Booke of Cannons, Articles, and Ordintion of the Priests & Deacons, his Bookes of homilies and Common Prayers, for in them is contayned those institutions, Lawes and ordinances that he hath established, but how contrary to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testement; they that are Spirituall in part doe know, and how obedience to them is inforced and divine Lawes omitted and laid aside, the poore saints doe finde, and [Editor: illegible word] to there smart.

The true Ecclesiasticall State

A Fourth Disproportion. This State makes not Nationall nor Provinciall pollitique Bodies, but only particuler Congregations or assemblies of Saints, as in Judea one Nation; yet divers Churches Gal. 1. 22. Soe Galatia one nation yet many Churches ver. 3. likewise Asia hath seaven seuerall Churches ver. 1. 11. and where there was but one the Holighost speakes in the singuler number, as the Church at Rome, another at Corinth, another at Collossia, another at Thessalonica, and the like.

Secondly, the Congregations of our Lord Christ come freely and willingly as so many living stones 1 Pet. 2. 4. 5. volluntarily vniting themselues together, whereby they become A Spirituall house and a Royall Priesthood ver. 9. and are hereby capable of performing the publique worship of the New Testament, wherein they are to offer as Living sacrifices their Soules and Bodies Rom. 12. 1. and by faith to haue Communion with their Mediator Heb. 12. 24. as he hath promised to all such assemblies gathered in his name and power Rev. 21. 3. Math. 18. 19. 20. which is the forme and beeing of this their visible and pollitique vnion & communion Eph. 2. 20. 21. 22. Coll. 2. 19. Thirdly, the visible Churches of Christ are independent Bodies; there is Equallity or apparity amongst them: that is, they are all a like in Iurisdiction & authority, they are all Golden Candlestickes Rev. 1. 20. they are every one of them a Ierusalem compact together within it selfe Psal. 122. 3. compared with Heb. 12. 22. hauing each of them whole Christ for their mediatour, that is, Priest, Prophet; and King; and thereby enjoy all his power and all his promises, and all his Lawes and ordinances, with all his liberties and previledges.

Fourthly and Lastly; in the vse of their liberty which they enjoy from and vnder Christ their Head, and dwels in the whole body, in the vse whereof they are inabled to exclude sinne and sinners and ought that offends God or them, 1. Cor. 5. 13. 2 Thes. 3. 14 Acts 3. and to establish among them such Officers, Ordinances, and Admistrations as their Lord & King hath given them for their comfort and profit, by this power they can examine and try False teachers Rev. 2. 2. they can reproue and admonish proud ones and exhort the negligent Cor. 4. 17, thus their power and liberty from Christ their head, becomes a great benefit and a great good to the whole body, in these and divers others perticulers of great weight.

The False Ecclesiasticall State.

But this False State brings ten Kingdomes into one pollitique body Rev. 17. 12. 13. 15. & hath set heads over nations to bring them into pollitique bodies Ecclesiasticall, as for example, England is one pollitique body Ecclesiasticall, (as well as Civil) vnder one Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, and Pope of Lambeth, and by the sinewes and bonds of his Ecclesiasticall power the whole hand as one body is knitt and bound to that Ecclesiasticall Head, by vertue of that Romish authority that hee successively doth exercise, and hath received from Austin the Monke, who consecrated, authorized & sent into this Land to establish this power according to Pope Gregorius his will wisdome and power.

Farther, this False State hath left noe liberty nor power to any person good or bad Rev. 13. 7. 8. but compels and forces all in the name and power of Antichrists successours; will they nill they, haue they faith or no, conscience or no conscience, this beast will be served and obeyed of all states degrees and conditions, of all people in the world ver. 15. 16. 17. soe that there is noe Ecclesiasticall body of his making whether it be the great Catholique Babylon, Revel. 16. 19. or Nationall, or Provinciall; or Perrochiall bodies, but this Beast first made or framed them, and still by the force of the same authority doth compell them to assemble and worship in his name and power, which power is the tome and being of their visible & pollitique vnion and Communion.

Againe the visible Churches which are in the Kingdome of the Beast, are neither independent nor free bodies, therefore the great Citty is called by the Holy ghost; Sodome & Egypt: for her filthynes & bondage Rev. 11. 8. so that there hath not in Europe one parrish beene found free from spirituall Egyptian bondage inflicted upon them by some taske Master of the Clergy, as the Person and Church-Wardens, who force and drive (by spirituall tyranny ouer the consciences of men) to their falsely so called spirituall Courts, to whom they are in bondage, and vpon whom they do essencially depend, & so are not independent, neither haue they any power, or liberty to procure truth or abandon Errour in their publicke worship.

And Lastly, these poore Captiuated slavish assemblies haue noe liberty or power of Christ among them; but a great power ouer them that keepes them in a spirituall bondage, and there assemblies consists of sinners of all sorts, for they haue noe power of reproving or excluding sinne or sinners, they must take such officers as the Bishops sends them be they never soe bad; and they have noe power to exclude or refuse them, and if they proue good they haue no power to keepe them neyther, canne they keepe themselves there, except they submit to, and practise such ordinances, Lawes & administration, as are the inventions of men and will worship, and so breake the second commandement, so that they haue no power to do themselves any spirituall good, or to exclude from themselves any spirituall evill or hurt, but being injoyned by there spirituall taske-masters to assemble to Church, they goe, and when they present them to their Courts, they runne, & being commanded to do this or that in there publick worship, they doe it, though it bee contrary to God and there own consciences. In these and divers other particulers this power, that is ouer them is to their exceding great hurt & damage.

The true Ecclesiasticall State.

The Fift Disproportionly sin their Officers or ministers, which we are to observe thus.

First in there number, Christ Iesus our Lord and King hath instituted and ordayned onely siue; which are specified Rom. 12. 7. 8. Phil. 1. 1. 1 Tim. 5. for though our Lord hath ordained in his Church for the Foundation thereof; himselfe being the Chiefe corner stone, Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelists, yet not successivelie continued; but these Five onelie are to continue to the End of the world.

Secondly, these Officers and Ministers of Iesus Christ, haue not onely there authority from the particuler congregation, but do originally and naturally arise out of the same Acts, 1. 23, 26, and 6. 3; & 14. 23. Note that in the new Translation the word Election is left out of the 23. verse. For before there be any Officers in the Church there is instituted by the Holy Ghost divine offices; functions or odministrations; as voyd and empty roomes. Psa. 122. 5. Rev. 4. 4, & cha. 20. 4. for the saints which dwell in that Citty of God to supply with fit & able persons, to performe those severall administrations, which God hath ordayned and commanded them, and for the authorising of their Officers, they haue Christ walking amongst them as in one of his golden Candlesticks, holding them in the right hand of his Kingly authority, Rev. 1. 16. by these divine deputies he rules them as a King, teacheth them as a Prophet, and feedes them as a Priest with his most sacred body and bloud.

The false Ecclesiasticall State.

But the officers of this false state are the whole body of the Clergy almost innumerable if we should reckon their severall orders & distinction of degres, as Pope, Cardinals, Patriarchs, Primates, Metrapolitans, Arch-bishops, Lord-bishops, Deanes, Chancellars, Vicar-Generals, Praebendes, Arch-deacons, Subdeacons, Doctors, of the Civill Law, Doctors of Divinity, Proctors Registers, Cannons, Petty-Cannons, Chanters, Preists, Iesuits, Parish-Preists, Parsons, Vicars, Curats, Deacons, Vestremen, Church Wardens, Swornemen, Sidemen, Parish Clarks, Sextons, Pursonants, Summinours, Apparitors, with a-multitude more which would tire a man to reckon them al up their being well nie sixscore in all of this rabble, and as Iesus Christ & his Apostles never knew them nor approvedly spoke of them, but rather gave warning to the Saints that they should take heede of such, for such were to come 2 Pet. 2. 1. Mat. 24. 24. and the Saints haue wofull experience that they are come: for they haue been plagued with them this thousand yeares & more, Yet the time approcheth and is neere when they shall bee consumed with the Breath of his mouth and brightnesse of his comming 2 Thess. 2. 8, that rides vpon the white Horse Rev. 19. 11, 12, 15, for their Kingdome is momentary, and his is Everlasting.

Likewise these offices rise not out of the particuler assemblies, neither haue the assemblies any offices or functions, properly in them nor any power or authority to produce or raise officers out of them selves, for the Clergy are a perticuler body distinct from the Layety hauing their consecrations; Offices and authority from and amongst themselves, and soe sent by their Ecclesiasticall Heads, and bring their Office and authority with them, as matters not belonging to the assemblyes, and so by vertue of that Ecclesiasticall power rule ouer them as Lords and teacheth them as that power allowes, and commands them, vsurpedly administreth spirituall foode vnto them, and soe by Imitation beguileth the simple and affronts the Administration of the mediatourship of Christ Iesus.

The true Ecclesiasticall State.

A Sixt Disproportion is the difference betweene there Lawes and Administrations, as euery Citty and Corporation haue there Lawes amongst themselues by vertue of their Charters from their King, Even soe hath every [Editor: illegible word] Church from Christ there King, by vertue of their Charter, which is the New Testament, in possession amongst themselves all Lawes & ordinances as Christ by his Apostles Mat. 28. 20. hath committed to them, Charging them vnder acurse to keep from adding or diminishing to or from these divine Lawes Act. 1. 2. 2. 1 Cor. 1 1. 3. 2 Thes. 2. 15 Rev. 22. 18. 19.

Secondly, as the difference is great in the number of there Officers, the true being few & the False being innumerable, so of necesity must the difference be in the lawes and administrations agreeable to the number of Officers; which particulers I must omitt as a matter to large for this place, yet note this by the way: that one of the first laws in Christs Church is the ordinance of Prophecie 1 Cor. 14. 1. to the end of the chap. that is, that it is not only the liberty, but the duty of every man in the Church that is able to teach & preach to the edifying of the body, so to do (provided he keep the proposition of faith; that is the boundes of his owne knowledge Rom. 12. 6.

The False Ecclesiasticall State.

But as hath beene formerly said; the false Church hath no power nor Charter nor office, for all these things are locked up within the body of the Clergie, soe is it as true that they are distitute of all lawes or administrations, amongst themselves, so that all they haue at any time is brought to them by these Crowned Stinging messengers of that authority, as Commonsence and reason proveth: that the Clergie being apollitique and distinct body of themselves from the Layety; hauing all power and authority Ecclesiasticall in themselues, must of necessity haue all lawes ordinances and administrations in themselves, whether they bee divine, (which they haue by vsurpatõ) or humane, by their own Inventiõ, they only posesse them and haue power to vse them not fearing adding, or detracting, the Lay congregations being altogether passive herein til their Jnjuntion make them active.

Soe the lawes and ordinances of this state being innumerable (as their officers are) J must omit for to name them, as their severall false holy things: Kneeling in the & of receiving, Signeing with, the Crosse in Baptisme, Churching of women, Reading Prayers, with the Consecrating of Dayes, Times, Places, Persons, Garments, with their Anoynting of the Sicke and unholy. Orders of consecration, with other innumerable inventions, not worthy a-place in Christians thoughts, onely note the opposition of their law against the law of Christ, in vehement prohibiting and strongly barring all (Lay men as they call them) from preaching, that let Christ giue never soe great abillities or guifts to lay men: they are never suffered to make any publique vse of them, but it is horrible prophanesse and sacrelegious presumption soe to doe, and this prohibition of the Clergie is and hath been so vniuersall: that it reacheth to the foure Corners of the earth, and with holdeth this spirituall winde of Christ Jesus in the mouth of his Saints that it shall not blow upon them that are in the earth Revel. 7.

The true Ecclesiasticall State

A Sevevth Disproportion is betwixt their subjects or members, the subjects or members of Christs Kingdome or Church must, be beleeving Disciples, they must bee Saints by Calling & sanctified in Christ Iesus 1 Cor. 1. 2. they must be liuing stones to build his house withall 1 Pet. 2. 5. such as these and these onely are enjoyned to observes whatsoever he commands them, to these only is his Kingdome and dominion given, these be they that are crowned as Kings, anoynted as Priests, the mediatour himselfe being theirs, & he hath committed the administration of his mediatorship in his Church to them. But to the Wicked saith God, what hast thou to do with these things. Psa 50. 16. Thou hast not a wedding garment therefore binde him hand & foote & cast him out as leaven dangerous to hurt the body 1 Cor. 5. 7. For without shall be & dogges inchanters and those that loue & make lyes Rev. 22. 15. But within there shall be noe vncleane thing. Revel. 21. 27.

The False Ecclesiasticall State.

But the Subjects of this foule body are all vncleane and hatefull birds, Revel. 18. 2. the Cage that holds them being the Ecclesiasticall state of Rome, is become the habitations of Devils & the hold of every foul spirit, so that the vnfittests members which they can least indure or suffer amongst them, are the conscious saints, they are the soonest turned out, cut of and killed by them Revel. 13. 15, but yet if the saints; or Christ himselfe can by temptations or compulsion bee drawn to worship the Devill, he will haue it of them Mat. 4. 9. for he will haue all the world to worship him, if high and low, rich and poore, bond and free, be all the world, he will compell them to bee subjects or members in his black Regiment Revel. 13. 16. 17.

For these dwell and rule make & change lawes and times in this their habition which is the bottemlesse pit, as the Father Sonne & holy Ghost do in their habitation, which is the New Jerusalem.

The true definition of a true visible Church of Iesus Christ.

1. THat every true visible Church of Christ, are a company of people called and seperated out of the world, (a) By the word of God, Ioyned (b) together in the fellowship of the Gospell by volentary (c) profession of fayth and obedience of Christ (a) Levit. 20. 26. Nehe. 10, 18. Ezeche. 44; 7. 9. 1 Pet. 2. 9. 10. Act, 2. 40. Act, 19. 9. 1 Cor. 1. 12 2 Cor. 6. 17. Revel. 18. 4. (b) Act. 11. 21. 23. Ier. 50. 4, 5 (c) Act. 2. 41.

2 That every true visible Church of Christ, is an independent body of it selfe Revel. 1. 3. chapt. & hath power from Christ her head Coll. 1. 18. 24. to bind & loose; to receive in & cast out by the Keys of the Kingdome Mat. 18. 17. 18. Psa. 149. 8. 9. 1 Cor. 5. 4. 5. 12. 2 Cor. 2. 7. 8.

3 That Jesus Christ hath by his Last wil and Testament given vnto and sett in his Church, sufficient ordinary Officers: with their quallifications Callings and worke, for the Administration of his holy things, and for the sufficient ordinary Instruction, Guidance and service of his Church to the end of the world. Rom. 12. 6. 7. 8. Ephe. 4. 11. 12. 13. Heb. 3. 2. 6. 1 Tim. 3. 2. 8. & Chapt. 5. 9. 10. Act. 6. 3. And that all the Officers in the Church are but onely five and noe more namely Pastor, Teacher, Elder, Deacons,

Widdows. Rom. 12. 7. 8. Ephe. 4. 11. Phil. 1. 1.

1 Tim. 3. 1. & Ch. 5. Tit. 1. 5. 7.

 


 

T.3 (1.3.) John Lilburne, A Worke of the Beast (1638).

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T.3 [1638.??] (1.3) John Liburne, A Worke of the Beast (1638).

Full title

John Lilburne, A Worke of the Beast, or A Relation of a most unchristian Censure, Executed upon John Lilburne, (Now prisoner in the fleet) the 18 April 1638. With the heavenly speech uttered by him at the time of his suffering. Very usefull for these times both for the encouragement of the Godly to suffer, And for the terrour and shame of the Lords Adversaries.

Heb. 10.36. For you have neede of patience, that after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promises.
Heb. 11.36. And others had triall of cruell mockings, and scourgings yea moreover of bonds and imprisonments.

Printed in the yeare the Beast was Wounded 1638.

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1638 (no month given).

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Not listed in TT.

Editor’s Introduction

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Text of Pamphlet

The Publisher to the Reader.

Tender hearted Reader.

OF The wicked it is truely said in Iob. their Light shalbee Put out: Now wee see, in a Candle, beeing almost extinguished, that after it hath glimmered a while, it rayseth some few blazing flashes, and soe suddenly vanisheth.

To speake what I thinke, my minde gives me, that the Lord is now vpon extinguishing the bloody Prelates out of our Land: For whereas they have not, in some late yeares shewed the cruelty which they did before, but now increase in persecution: me thinkes this is a cleere foregoing signe, that (like a snuffe in the socket) their end and ruine is at hand.

I write this, to have thee the more patient, contented, and comforted, when thou either hearest, seest, or readest of their barbarous crueltie; besure their condemnation sleepeth not, but when their wickednes is full, I say when they haue once filled up the measure of their iniquity (the which I trust they haue allmost don) then will the Lord send back’ these locusts to the Bottomlesse pitt, from whence they came.

In the meane time feare not their faces, but stand in the trueth, and let Gods house and his ordinances bee deare to thy soule; And know, that as the Lord gaue strength to this his Servant to suffer joyfully for Christs cause; soe he will to thee and me and all others of his saints,

if he count us worthy to be called thereto.

Thine if thou be Christs, and a hater of the English Popish Prelates.
F. R.

A WORKE OF THE BEAST, OR A Relation of a most unchristian Censure, executed vpon IOHN LILBVRNE, (Novv prisoner in the fleet) the 18. of Aprill 1638 vvith the heavenly speech vtter by him at the time of his suffering

VPon Wednesday the said 18 of Aprill, Hauing noe certaine notice of the execution of my Censure, till this present morning, I prepared my selfe by prayer unto God, that he would make good his promise, to be vvith me & enable me to undergoe my Affliction vvith joyfullnes & courage: and that he vvould bee a mouth and vtterance vnto mee to enable me to speake that vvhich might make for his greatest honour. And in any meditations my soule did principally pitch vpon these Three places of Scripture.

First, That in Jsay. 41. 10. 11. 12. 13. Feare thou not for I am with thee, be not dismaid for I am thy God, I will strengthen thee, yea I will helpe thee, yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousnes. Behold all they that were incenced against thee shall be ashamed and confounded, they shall be as nothing, and they that striue with thee shall perrish. Thou shalt seeke them & shall not finde them, even them that contended with thee, they that warr against thee shall be as nothing & as a thing of nought. For I the Lord thy God will hold thee by thy right hand, saying vnto thee, feare not, J will helpe thee, Feare not thou worme Jacob, and yee men of Israell, I will helpe, thus sayth the Lord and thy Redeemer the Holy one of Israell. &c.

Secondly, that place in Isay. 43. 1. 2. Where God speaks thus to his Elect. Feare not for J have Redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters J wilbe with thee, and though the rivers they shall not over flow thee, when thou walkest through the fire thou shalt not bee burnt, neither shall the flame kindell vpon thee.

Thirdly, that in Heb. 13. 5. 6. In these words For he hath sayd I will never leave thee nor for sake thee, Soe that we may boldly say the Lord is my helper, J will not feare what man can doe to me.

With the consideration of these and other gratious promises, made to his people, I being one of his chosen ones, did claime my share & interest in them, and the Lord of his infinite goodnes enabled me to cast my selfe upon and rest in them, knowing and stedfastly beleeving that he is a God of faithfullnes and power, whoe is able and willing to make good these his promises to the vtmost, and (to his praise be it spoken I desire to speake it) my soule was that morning exceedingly listed up with spiritual consolation: and J felt within me such a divine supportation, that the basenesse of my punishment J was to undergoe did seem as a matter of nothing to me. And I went to my suffering with as willing and joy full a heart as if J had been going to solemnize the day of my maraige with one of the choysest Creatures this world could afford. The Warden of the Fleete hauing sent his men for my old fellow souldler Mr. Iohn Wharton, and my selfe being both in one Chamber, wee made our selues readie to goe to the place of execution. I tooke the old man by the hand and led him downe three payre of stayers, and soe along the yard till we came to the Gate. And when we came there George Harrington the Porter told me J must stay alitle, and after our parting (commending one another to the protection of our alsufficient God) I was bid goe to the Porters Lodge, noe sooner was I gone in, but came Iohn Hawes, the other Porter to me vsing these words.

Mr. Lilburne, I am very sorie for your punishment, you are now to undergoe, you must stripp you, and be whipt from hence to Westminster.

I replied, the will of my God be done, for I knowe he will carry me through it with an vndaunted Spirit; But I must confesse it seemed at the first a little strange to me, in regard I had no more notice given me for my preperation for soe sore a punishment. For I thought I should not haue been whipt through the streete but onely at the Pillory: And soe passing a long the Lane being attended with many Staves and Halberts, as Christ was when he was apprehended by his Enimies and led to the High Priests Hall. Mat.-26, we came to Fleete-bridge where was a Cart standing ready for me. And I being commanded to stripp me, I did it with all willingnes and cheerefullnes, where upon the executioner tooke out a Corde and tyed my hands to the Carts Arsse, which caused me to vtter these words, Wellcome be the Crosse of Christ,

With that there drew neere a Yong man of my acquentance, and bid me put on a Couragious resolution to suffer cheerfully & not to dishonor my cause for you suffer (said he) for a good cause, I gaue him thanks, for his christian incouragement, J replying I know the cause is good, for it is Gods cause, & for my own part I am cheerful & merry in the Lord, & am as well contented with this my present portion as if I were to receiue my present liberty. For I knowe my God that hath gone along with me hither to, will carry me though to the end. And for the affliction itself, though it be the punishment inflicted upon Rogues. yet I esteeme it not the least disgrace, but the greatest honour that can be done unto me, that the Lord counts me worthy to suffer any thing for his great name;

And you my Brethren that doe now here behold my present condition this day, be not discouraged, be not discouraged at the waies of Godlinesse by reason of the Crosse which accompanies it, for it is the lot and portion of all which will lius Godly in Christ, Iesus to suffer persecution,

The Cart being readie to goe forward. I spake to the executioner (when I saw him pull out his Corded whipp out of his pocket) after this manner, Well my friend doe thy office. To which he replyed I haue whipt many a Rogue but now I shall whip an honest man. but be not discouraged (said he) it will be soon over.

To which I replyed, J knowe my God hath not onely enabled me to beleeve in his name, but alsoe to suffer for his sake, Soe the Carman drove forward his Cart, and I laboured with my God for strength to submit my back with cheerfullnes unto the smiter. And he heard my desire & granted my request, for when the first stripe was giuen I felt not the leaft paine but said; Blessed be thy name O Lord my God that hast counted mee worthy to suffer for thy glorious names sake; And at the giving of the second, I cried out with a loud voice Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Glory, Honour, and Praise, bee given to thee O Lord forever, and to the Lambe that sitts vpon the Throne. Soe wee vvent vp Fleetstreete, the Lord enabling me to endure the stripes vvith luch patience and cherefullnes, that J did not in the least manner shevv the least discontent at them; for my God hardened my backe, and steeled my reynes, and tooke a vvay the smart and payne of the stripes from mee.

But J must confesse, if I had had no more but my owne naturall strength, I had suncke vnder the burden of my punishement; for to the flesh the paine was uery grevious & heavy: But my God in whom I did trust was higher and stronger then my selfe, whoe strengthened and enabled mee not onely to undergoe the punishment with cherefullnes: but made me Triumph & with a holy disdaine to insult over my torments.

And as we went along the Strand, many friends spoke to me & asked how I did, & bid me be cherfull, to whom I replied, I was merry and cheerfull: and was upheld with a diuine and heauenly supportation, comforted with the sweet consolations of Gods spirit. And about the middle of the Strand, there came a Friend and bid me speake with boldnesse. To whom I replied, when the time comes soe I will. for then if I should haue spoken and spent my strength, it would haue been but as water spilt on the ground, in regard of the noyse and presse of people. And alsoe at that time I was not in a fitt temper to speake: because the dust much troubled mee, and the Sunne shined very hot vpon mee. And the Tipstaffe man at the first vvould not let mee haue my hatt to keepe the vehement heate of the Sunne from my head: Alsoe hee many times spake to the Cart man to driue softly, Soe that the heate of the Sunne exceedingly peirced my head: and made me somwhat faint. But yet my God vpheld me vvith courage, and made me vndergoe it vvith a joyfull heart. And vvhen J came to Chearing Crosse some Christian friends spake to me and bid me be of good cheere.

Soe I am (said I) for I rest not in my ovvne strength. but J fight vnder the Banner of my great and mightie Captaine the Lord Jesus Christ who hath conquered all his Enemies, and I doubt not but through his strength I shall conquer and over come all my sufferings, for his power upholdes mee, his strength enables mee, his presence cheeres mee, and his Spirit comforts mee, and I looke for an immortall Crowne which never shall fade nor decay, the assured hope and expectation where of makes, mee to contemne my sufferings, and count them as nothing, ffor my momentany affliction will worke for me a farre more exceeding Crowne and weight of glory. And as I went by the Kings pallace a great Multitude of people came to looke vpon me. And passing through the gate vnto Westminster, Many demanded what was the matter.

To whom I replied, my Brethren, against the Law of God, against the law of the Land, against the King or State haue J not committed the least offence that deserves this punishment, but only J suffer as an object of the Prelates cruelty and malice; and hereupon, one of the Warden of the Fleets-officers, beganne to interrupt me, and tells mee my suffering was just and therefore I should hold my tongue; Whom J bidd meddle with his owne businesse, for I would speake come what would, for my cause was good for which I suffered, and here I was ready to sheb my dearest blood for it.

And as we went through Kings Street many encouraged me, and bidd me be cheerefull; O thers whose faces (to my knowledge) I never sawe before; and who J verilie thinke knew not the cause of my suffering, but seeing my cheerefullnes vnder it, beseeched the Lord to blesse me and strenthen mee.

At the last wee came to the Pillary, where I was unloosed from the Cart, and having put one some of my cloathes wee went to the Taverne, vvhere J staid a prittie vvhile vvaiting for my Surgeon.

vvhoe vvas not yet come to dresse mee. Where vvere many of my Friends, whoe exceedingly rejoyced to see my courage. that the Lord had enabled me to vndergoe my punishment soe willingly.

Whoe asked me how I did. I tould them, as well as ever I was in my life I blesse my God for it. for I felt such inward joy and comfort, chearing vp my soule, that I lightly esteemed my sufferings.

And this I counted my weding day in which I was married to the Lord Iesus Christ: for now I knowe he loues me in that he hath bestowed soe rich apparrell this day upon me, and counted me worthie to suffer for his sake. I hauing a desire to retire into a private roome from the multitude of people that were about me, which made me like to faint: I had not been ther long but Mr. Lightburne the Tipstaffe of the Star-Chamber, came to me saying the Lords sent him to me, to knowe if I would acknowledge my selfe to be in a fault and then be knew what to say unto me. To whom I replied, Haue their Honours caused me to be whipt from the Fleet to Westminster; and doe they now send to knowe if I wil acknowledge a fault. They should have done this before I had beene whipt; for now seeing I have vndergone the greatest part of my punishment, I hope the Lord will assist me to goe through it all, and besides, if I would haue done this at the first I needed not to haue come to this, But as I tould the Lords when J was before them at the Barre. Soe I desire you to tell them againe, that I am not conscious to my selfe of doing any thing that deserues a submission, but yet I doe willingly submit to their Lordships pleasures in my Censure. He told me if I would confesse, a fault it would saue me astanding on the Pillary otherwise I must undergoe the burden of it.

Wel, (Said I) J regard not alittle out ward disgrace for the cause of my God, I haue found alreadie that sweetnesse in him in whom I haue beleeued, that through his strength I am able to undergoe any thing that shalbee inflicted on me; But me thinks that J had verie hard measure that I should be condemned and thus punished vpon two Oaths, in which the party hath most falslie soresworne himselfe: and because I would not take an Oath to betray mine owne innocency; Why Paul found more favour and mercy from the Heathen Roman-Governors, for they would not put him to an Oath to accuse himselfe, but suffered him to make the best defence he could for himselfe, neither would they condemne him before his accusers and he were brought face to face, to justifie and fully to proue their accusation: But the Lords haue not dealt so with me, for my accusers and I were neuer brought face to face to justifie their accusation against me: it is true two false Oathes were Sworne against mee: and I was therevpon condemned. and because I would not accuse my selfe. It is true (said hee) it was soe with Paul but the Lawes of this Land, are otherwise then their Lawes were in those dayes. Then said I, they are vvorse and more cruell, then the Lawes of the Pagans and Heathen Romans were. whoe would condemne no man without wittnesses and they should be brought face to face; to justifie their accusation. And so hee went away, & I prepared my selfe for the Pillary, to which J went with a joyfull courage. and when I was vpon it, I made obeysance to the Lords, some of them as (J suppose) looking out at the Starr-Chamber-window, towards mee. And so I putt my neck into the hole, which beeing a great deale to low for me, it was very painfull to me in regard of the continuance of time that I stood on the Pillary: which was a bout two houres, my back also being very sore, and the Sunne shining exceeding hot. And the Tipstaffe man, not suffering mee to keepe on my hat, to defend my head from the heat of the Sunne. So that I stood there in great paine. Yet through the strength of my God I vndorwent it with courage: to the very last minute. And lifting vp my heart and spirit vnto my God,

While I was thus standing on the Pillary. J craued his Powerfull assistance: with the spirit of wisdome and courage, that I might open my mouth with boldnesse: and speake those things that might make for his greatest glory, and the good of his people, and soe casting my eyes on the multitude, I beganne to speake after this manner.

My Christean Brethren, to all you that loue the Lord Iesus Christ. and desire that hee should raigne and rule in your hearts and liues, to you especially: and to as many as heare me this day: I direct my speech.

J stand here in the place of ignominy and shame. Yet to mee it is not so, but I owne and imbrace it, as the Wellcome Crosse of Christ. And as a badge of my Christian Profession. I haue been already whipt from the Fleet to this place, by vertue of a Censure: from the Honourable Lords of the Starr Chamber hereunto, The Cause of my Censure I shall declare unto you as briefly as I canne.

The Lord by his speciall hand of providence so ordered it, that Not long agoe I was in Holland. Where I was like to haue settled my selfe in a Course of trading, that might haue brought me in a pretty large portion of earthlie things; (after which my heart did too much runne) but the Lord hauing a better portion in store for mee, and more durable riches to bestow vpon my soule. By the same hand of providence: brought me back a gaine. And cast me into easie affliction, that there by I might be weaned from the world, and see the vanitie and emptines of all things therein. And he hath now pitched my soule vpon such an object of beautie, amiablenessc: & excelencie, as is as permanent and endurable as eternitie it selfe, Namely the personall excelencie of the Lord Iesus Christ, the sweetnesse of whose presence, no affliction can ever be able to wrest out of my soule.

Now while J was in Holland, it seemes ther were divers Bookes, of that Noble and Renowned Dr. Iohn Bastwicks sent into England, which came to the hands of one Edmond Chillington, for the sending over which I was taken, and apprehended, the plot being before laid, by one Iohn Chilliburne (whom I supposed) & tooke to be my friend) servant to my old fellow souldier Mr. John Wharton living in Bow-lane (after this manner.)

I walking in the Street, with the said Iohn Chilliburne, was taken by the Pursevant and his men, the said Iohn as I verily beleeve, hauing given direction to them: where to stand, and he himselfe was the third man that laid hands on me to hold mee.

Now at my Censure before the Lords: I there declared vpon the word of a Christian that I sent not over those Bookes, neither did I know the Shipp that brought them, nor any of the men that belonged to the Shipp, nor to my knowledge did I ever see, either Shipp: or any appertaining to it, in all my dayes.

Besides this, I was accused at my examination before, the Kings Atturny at his Chamber, by the said Edmond Chillington Button Seller Iiving in Canon street neere Abchurch Lane, and late Prisoner in Bridewell & Newgate, for printing 10. or 12. thousand Bookes in Holland, and that J would haue printed the Vnmasking the mistery of iniquitie if I could haue gott a true Copie of it, and that I had a Chamber in Mr. John Foots house at Delfe where hee thinkes the bookes were kept. Now here I declare before you all, vpon the word of a suffering Christian: that hee might haue as well accused mee of printing a hundred thousand bookes, and the on been as true as the other; And for the printing the Vnmasking the Mistery of Iniquity, vpon the word of an honest man I never saw, nor to my knowledge heard of the Booke, till I came back againe into England: And for my having a Chamber in Mr. John Foots house at Delfe, where he thinkes the Bookes were kept. J was soe farre from having a Chamber there, as I never lay in his house, but twice or thrice at the most, and upon the last Friday of the last Tearme I was brought to the Star-Chamber Barre, where before mee was read the said Edmond Chillingtons Affidavit, vpon Oath, against Mr. John Wharton and my selfe. The Summe of which Oath was, That hee and I had Printed (at Rotterdam in Holland,) Dr. Bastwicks Answer, and his Letany, with divers other scandalous Bookes.

Now here againe I speake it in the presence of God, & all you that heare mee, that Mr. Wharton, and I never joyned together in printing, either these or any other Bookes whatsoever. Neither did I receive any mony from him, toward the printing any.

Withall, in his first Oath, hee peremtorilie swore that wee had printed them at Rotterdam. Vnto which I likewise say, That hee hath in this particular forsworne himselfe, for my owne part, I never in all my daies either printed, or caused to be printed, either for my selfe or Mr. Wharton any Bookes at Rotterdam. Neither did I come into any Printing house there all the time I was in the Citty.

And then vpon the Twesday after he swore, against both of us againe. The summe of which Oaths was, that I had confessed to him (which is most false) that I had Printed Dr. Bastwicks Answer to Sr. John Banks his Information, and his Letany; & another Booke called Certaine answers to certaine Objections; And another Booke called The vanity & impiety of the old Letany; & that J had divers other Bookes of the said Dr. Bastwicks in Printing, & that Mr. Wharton, had beene at the charges of Printing a Booke called A Breviae of the Bishops late proceeding; and another Booke called 16. new Queries, and in this his Oath hath sworne they were Printed at Rotterdam, or some where else in Holland; & that on James Oldam, a Turner keping Shop at Westminster hall-gate disperced divers of these bookes. Now in this Oath he hath againe forsworne himselfe in a high degree, for wheras he took his Oath that I had printed the Booke called The Vanitie and impiety of the old Letany, I here speake it before you all, that I never in all my daies did see one of them in print, but I must confess, I haue seen & read it, in written hand, before the Dr. was censured, & as for other books, of which he saith I haue diverse in printing. To that I answer, that for mine owne perticuler I never read nor saw any of the Drs. Bookes: but the forenamed foure in English, and one little thing more of about; two sheetes of paper, which is annexed to the Vanity of the Old Letany, And as for his Lattine Bookes J never saw any but two: Namely his Flagellam, for which he was first censured in the High-Commission Court: and his Apologeticus, which were both in print long before J knew the Dr. But it is true, there is a second edition of his Flagellam, but that was at the presse aboue two yeares agoe: namly Anno 1634. And some of this impression was in England before J came out of Holland,

And these are the maine things for which I was Censured and Condemned. Being two Oaths in which the said Chillington, hath palpably forsworne himselfe. And if hee had not forsworne himselfe. Yet by the law (as I am given to vnderstand) I might have excepted against him, being a guilty person himselfe and a Prisoner, and did that which hee did against thee for pvrchasing his owne liberty which hee hath by such Iudasly meanes gott and obtained. Who is also knowne to bee a lying fellow, as J told the Lords I was able to proue and make good.

But besides all this, there was an inquisition Oath tendered vnto mee (which J refused to take) on foure severall daies; the summe of which Oath is thus much. You shall sweare that you shall make true answer to all things that shall be asked of you: So helpe you God. Now this Oath I refused as a sinfull and vnlawfull Oath: it being the High-Commission Oath, with which the Prelates euer haue and still do so butcherly torment, afflict and vndoe, the deare Saints and Servants of God, It is also an Oath against the Law of the Land, As Mr. Nicholas Fuller in his Argument doth proue, And also it is expressly against the Petition of Right an Act of Parlament Enacted in the second yeare of our King. Againe, it is absolutely against the Law of God, for that law requires noe man to accuse himselfe, but if any thing be laid to his charge: there must come two or three witnesses at the least to proue it. It is also against the practise of Christ himselfe, who in all his examinations before the High Priest would not accuse himselfe: but vpon their demands, returned this answer: Why aske jea mee, go to them that heard mee.

With all this Oath is against the uery law of nature, for nature is alwaies a preserver of it selfe and not a distroyer. But if a man takes this wicked Oath he distroyes and vndoes himselfe, as daily experience doth witnesse. Nay it is worse then the Law of the Heathen Romans, as we may reade Act. 25. 16. For when Paull stood before the Pagan Governours, and the Iews required Judgement against him, the Governour replyed, it is not the manner of the Romans to condemne any man before his accusers & hee were brought face to face to justify their accusation. But for my owne part, if I had beene proceeded against by a Bill, J would haue answered & justified all that they coulde have proved against me, & by the strength of my God would have sealed whatsoever I have don with my bloud, for I am privy to mine own actions, & my conscience beares me witnes that I have laboured ever since the Lord in mercy made the riches of his grace known to my Soule, to keep a good conscience and to walke inoffensably both towards God, & man. But as for that Oath that was put unto me I did refuse to take it, as a sinfull and unlawfull Oath, & by the strength of my God enabling me I wil never take it though I be puld in peices with wilde horses as the ancient Chritians were by the bloudy Tirants, in the Primitive Church; neither shall I thinke that man a faithfull Subject, of Christs Kingdome, that shall at any time hereafter take it, seeing the wickednes of it hath been so apparently laid open by so many, for the refusall wherof many doe suffer cruell persecution to this day. Thus have J as briefly as I could; declared unto you, the whole cause of my standing here this day, I being upon these grounds censured by the Lords at the Starr-chamber on the last Court day of the last tearme to pay 500. põ. to the King and to receive the punishment which with rejoicing I hane undergon, vnto whose censure I do with willingnes & cheeresulnes submit, my selfe.

But seeing I now stand here at this present, I intend the Lord assisting me with his power, and guiding me by his spirit, to declare my minde unto you.

I haue nothing to say to any mans person, and therefore will not meddle with that. Onlie the things that I have to say in the first place, are concerning the Bishops & their calling. They challeng their callings to be Iure Divino, & for the oppugning of which, those three renovvned living marters of the Lord, Dr. Bastwick M. Burton & M. Prinne: did suffer in this place, and they have sufficientlie proved, that their, Calling is not from God, which men I love and honour, and doe perswade my selfe their soules are deere and precious in the sight of God, though they were so cruellie and butcherlie dealt with by the Prelates, and as for Mr. Burton and Mr. Prynne they are worthie and learned men, but yet did not in manie things write so fullie as the Dr. did, who hath sufficientlie & plentifullie set forth the wickednes, both of the Prelates themselves & of their callings. (as you may reade in his Bookes) that they are not Jure Divino, which noble and reverend Dr. I love with my Soule, and as he is a man that stands for the truth and Glorie of God, my verie life and hart blood I will lay downe for his honour, and the maintaining of his cause, for which he Suffered, it being Gods cause. As for the Bishops, they vsed in former times to challeng their jurisdiction, Callings, and power from the King. But they haue now openly in the High Commission Court renounced that, as was heard by many, at the Censure of that Noble Dr. And as you may fullie read in his Apollogeticus. And in his Answer to Sr. Iohn Bankes his Jnformation. Novv J will here mantaine it before them all. That their Calling is so farre from being Iure Diuino (as they say they are) that they are rather Iure Diabollico. Which if I be not able to proue, let me be hanged vp at the Hall Gate. But my Brethren, for your better satisfaction, read the 9. & 13. Chapters of the Reuelation, and there you shall see, that there came Locust out of the Bottomlesse Pitt, part of vvhom they are, and they are ther liuely discirbed. Also yon shall there finde, that the Beast (which is the Pope, or Roman State and Goverment,) hath given to him by the Dragon (the Devill) his Power and Seate, and great authoritie, Soe that the Popes authoritie comes from the Devill, and the Prelates, and their Creatures in their printed Bookes, do challenge their authoritie jurisdiction and Power, (that they exercise over all sorts of people) is from Rome.

And for proving of the Church of England to be a true Church, their best & strongest argument is: that the Bb. are lineally discended from his Holines (or impiousnes) of Rome: as you may read in Pocklingtons Booke, called Sunday no Sabboth. So that by their own confession they stand by that same power and authoritie that they haue receaved from the Pope. Soe that their calling is not from God but from the Divill. For the Pope cannot give a better authoritie or calling to them, then he himselfe hath. But his Authoritie and Calling is from the Devill: Therefore the Prelates Calling and authoritie is from the Devill alsoe. Revel. 9. 3. And there came out of the smoake, Locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power as the Scorpions of the earth haue power to hurt: and vndoe men, as the Prelates dailie doe. And also Revel. 13. 2. And the Beast which I sawe (saith S. Iohn) was like unto a Leopard, and his seete were as the seete of a Beare, and his mouth as the mouth of a Lion, and the Dragon (that is to say the Devill) gaue him his power, his seat, and great authority. and ver. 15. 16. 17. And whether the Prelates as well as the Pope, do not daily the same things: let every man that hath but common reason judge.

For do not their daily practises and cruell burdens, imposed on all sorts of people, high and low, rich and poore: witnesse that their discent is from the Beast, part of his state and kingdome. Soe also Revel. 16. 13. 14. All which places do declare, that their Power and authority being from the Pope, (as they themselues confesse) Therefore it must needes originally come from the Devill For their power & callings, must of necessitie proceede either from God, or else from the Divill, But it proceeds not from God, as the Scriptures sufficiently declares: Therefore there calling and power proceeds from the Devill, as both Scripture and there owne daily practises doe demonstrate and prove. And as for that last place cited Rev. 16. 13. 14. Jf you please to reade the Second, and third parts of Dr. Bastwicks Letany, you shall finde, he their proves that the Prelates practises doe every way suite with, and make good that portion of Scripture to the vtmost. For in their Sermons that they preach before his Majestie: how doe they incense the King & nobles against the people of God, labouring to make them odious in his sight & stirring him up to execute vengance vpon them, though they be the most harmelesse generation of all others.

And as for all these officers that are vnder them & made by them, for mine own particular I cannot se but that their callings are as unlawfull as the Bishops themselves, and in particular for the callings of the ministers, J do not, nor will not speake against their persons, for I know some of them to be very able men, and men of excellent guiftes and quallifications, and I perswade my selfe their souls are very deare and pretious in the fight of God.

Yet not withstanding, this proves not their Callings to be ever the better. As it is in civill government. If the King (whom God hath made a lawfull Majestrate) make a wicked man an officer, hee is as true an officer and as well to be obeyed, comming in the Kings name, as the best man in the world comming with the same atthoritie, for in such a case, he that is a wicked man hath his calling from as good authority as the godliest man hath: And therefore his calling is as good as the others.

But on the other side, if he that hath noe authoritie make officers, though the men themselues be never so good and holie. Yet their holines makes their calling never a whitt the truer, but still is a false a calling: in regard his authority was not good nor lawful that made [Editor: illegible word] & [Editor: illegible word] so the ministers, be they never so holy men: yet they haue one and the same calling with the wickedest that is amongest them, their holines proues not their callings to be ever the truer: seeing their authority that made them ministers is false, and therefore they haue more to answer for then any of the rest: by how much the more God hath bestowed greater guifts vpon them then vpon others, and yet they detaine the truth in vnrighteousnesse from Gods people: and do not make knowne to them as they ought, the whole will and counsell of God.

And againe, the greater is their sinne if their callings be vnlawfull, (as J verily beleeve they are) in that they still hold them and doe not willingly lay them downe & renounce them, for they do but deceiue the people and highly dishonour God, and sinne against their owne soules, while they preach vnto the people by vertue of an Antichristian and vnlawfull Calling, and the more godlie audable the Minister is that still preaches by vertue of this calling, the more hurt he doth, for the people that haue such a Minister will not be perswaded of the truth of things, though one speake & informe them in the name of the Lord; but will be ready to reply, Our Minister that preaches still by vertue of this Calling, is so holy a man, that were not his calling right & good: I do assure my selfe be would no longer preach by vertue thereof, And thus the holines of the minister is a Cloake to couer the unlawfulnes of his calling, and make the people continue rebells against Christs his Scepter and Kingdome, which is an agreuation of his sinne. for by this meanes the people are kept off from receiving the whole truth into their soules, & rest in being but almost Christians, or but Christians in part. But Oh my Brethren, it behoues all you that feare God, and tender the Salvation of your owne Soules, to looke about you & to shake of that long security & formality in Religion, that you have layne in. For God of all things cannot indure Lukewarmenes Revel 3. 16. And search out diligently the truth of things, and try them in the Ballance of the Sanctuary. I beseech you take things no more vpon trust, as hitherto you haue done, but take paines to search and finde out those Spirituall and hidden truthes that God hath enwraped in his sacred Booke, and finde out a bottom for your owne soules. For if you will haue the comforts of them, you must bestow some labour for the getting of them, and you must search dilligently before you finde them Pro. 2. Labour also to withdraw your neckes from vnder that Spirituall and Antichristian bondage, (unto which you haue for a long time subjected your soules) least the Lord cause his plagues and the fearcenesse of his wrath to seize both vpon your bodies and soules: seeing you are now warned of the danger of these things.

For hee himselfe hath said Revel. 14. 9. 10. 11. That if any man worship the Beast and his Image, and receiue his marke in his forehead or in his hand. The same shall drinke of the wine of his wrath: which is powered out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, and he shal be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy Angels, & in the presence of the Lambe, and the smoake of their Torment ascended, vp for ever and ever, and they have noe rest day nor night, who worship the Beast & his Image, and whosoever receiveith the marke of his name. Therefore as you loue your owne soules and looke for that immortall Crowne of happines in the world to come, looke that you with draw your selves from that Antichristian power & slavery that you are now vnder, even as God himselfe hath commanded and injoyned you in Rev. 18. 4. saying Come one of her my people that you bee not pertaker of her sinns and that yee receive not of her Plagues, for her sinnes have reached vnto heaven; and God hath remembred her mignities. Here is the voyce of God himselfe commanding all his chosen ones, though they have lived vnder this Antichristian slavish power and estate along time; yet at last to withdraw their obedience, and subjection from it. My Brethren, wee are all at this present in a very dangerous and fearefull condition; vnder the Idolatrous and spirituall bondage of the Prelates, in regard wee have turned Traytours vnto our God, in seing his Almighty great name and his Heavenly truth troden under foote, and soe highlie dishonoured by them, and yet wee not onely let them alone in holding our peace, but most slavishlie & wickedly, subject our selves unto them; fearing the face of a peece of durt more then the Almightie great God of Heaven and earth, who is able to cast both body & Soule in to everlasting damnation.

Oh repent; I beseech you therefore repent, for that great dishonour you have suffered to bee done unto God by your fearfullnes, and cowardlines, & for the time to come, put on couragious resolutions like valiant souldiers of Iesus Christ; and fight manfullie in this his spirituall battell, in which battell some of his souldiers haue allready lost part of their blood, and withall; Study this Booke of the Revelation; and there you shall finde the mistery of iniquitie fullie vnfolded and explaned; and also you shall se what great spirituall battels haue beene fought betwixt the Lambe & his Servants, and the Dragon (the Devill) and his vassals, and some are yet to fight.

Therefore gird on your Spirituall armour Spoken of Ephes. 6. that you may quit your selves like good & faithfull Souldiers, and feare no coulors the victory and conquest is ours allready; for wee are sure to have it, (I do not speake of any bodily and temporall battell but onelie of a spirituall one) and be not discouraged and knoct of from the study of it, because of the obscurity and darkenes of it, for the Lord hath promised his enlightening Spirit unto all his people that are laborous and studious to know him aright, and also he hath promised a blessing and pronounced a blessednes vnto all that read and labour to keape the things contayned in this booke Rev. 1. 3. My Christian Brethren, in the bowels of Iesus Christ I beseech you doe not contemne the things that are delivered to you, in regard of the meanesse and weaknesse of mee the instrument, being but one of the meanest and unworthiest of the Servants of Jesus Christ, for the Lord many times doth great things by weake meanes, that his power may be more seene, for wee are to ready to cast our eye vpon the meanes and instrument: not looking up unto that Almighty power that is in God, who is able to doe the greatest things by the weakest meanes, and therefore out of the mouthes of Babes & Sucklings he hath ordayned strength Psal. 8. 2. And hee hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weake things of the world to confound the things which are mighty, & base things of the world, & things which are dispised hath God chosen; Yea things which are not, to bring to nought things that are 1. Cor. 1. 27. 28. And he giues the reason wherefore he is pleased so to do. That no flesh should glory in his presence.

So you se God is not tyed to any instrument & means to effect his own glory, but hee by the least instrument is able to bring to passe the greatest things.

It is true, J am a yong man and noe Scoller; according to that which the world counts Scollership, yet I have obtayned mercie of the Lord to be faithfull, & hee by a divine prouidence hath brought me hither this day, & I speak to you in the name of the Lord, being assisted with the spirit & power of the God of Heaven and earth, & I speake not the words of rashnes or inconsideratenesse; but the words of sobernes, and mature deliberation, for I did consult with my God before I came hither, and desired him that he would direct and enable me to speake that which might be for his glory and the good of his people, And as I am a Souldier fighting under the banner of the great and mightie Captaine the Lord Iesus Christ, and as J looke for that Crowne of immortality which one day I know shall bee set upon my temples, being in the condition that I am in, I dare not hold my peace, but speake unto you with boldnes in the might and strength of my God, the things which the Lord in mercy hath made knowne unto my Soule, come life come death.

When I was here about, there came a fat Lawier, I do not know his name, & commanded me to hold my peace & leave my preaching. To whom I replied and said, Sr. I will not hold my peace but speake my minde freely though I be hanged at Tiburne for my paines. It seemes he himselfe was gauled and toucht as the Lawiers were in Christ time, when hee spake against the Scribes & Pharisees, which made them say, Master in saying thus thou reutlest us alsoe. Soe he went away and (I thinke) complained to the Lords, but J went on with my speech and said,

My Brethren, be not discouraged at the waies of God for the affliction and Crosse that doth accompany them, for it is sweete & comfortable drawing in the Yoake of Christ for all that, and I haue found it soe by experience, for my soule is fild so full of spirituall and heavenlie joy, that with my tongue J am not able to expresse it, neither are any capeable (J thinke) to partake of soe great a degre of consolation but onelie those upon whom the Lords gracious afflicting hand is.

And for mine owne part I stand this day in the place of an evill doer, but my conscience witnesseth that I am not soe. And here about I put my hand in my pocket, and puld out Three of worthie Dr. Bastwicks Bookes and threw them among the people and said. There is part of the bookes for which I suffer; take them among you, and read them, and see if you finde any thing in them, against the Law of God, the Law of the Land, the glory of God, the honour of the King or state.

I am the Sonne of a Gentleman, and my Friends are of rancke and quality in the Countrie where they live, which is 200. miles from this place, and I am in my present condition deserted of them all, for I know not one of them dare meddle with me in my present estate, being J am stung by the Scorpions (the Prelates) and for anything I know, it may bee J shall never haue a fauourable countenance from any of them againe, and withall, I am a yong man and likelie to haue lived well and in plentie, according to the fashion of the world. Yet notwithstanding, for the cause of Christ, and to doe him service, I haue and doe bid adue to Father, Friends, Riches, pleasures, case, contented life and bloud, and lay all downe at the Footstoole of Iesus Christ, being willing to part with all rather then I will dishonour him, or in the least measure part with the peace of a good conscience, & that sweetnesse and joy which I haue found in him, for in naked Christ is the quintisence of swetnes & I am so farr from thinking my affliction and punishment which this day I haue endured and still doe indure and groane under (a disgrace) that I receive it as the welcome Crosse of Christ, and doe thinke my selfe this day more honoured by my sufferings then if a Crowne of gold had beene set upon my head, for I haue in some part beene made conformable to my Lord and Master, and have in some measure drunke of the same Cupp which he himselfe drank of, while he was in this sinfull world, for he shed his most precious bloud for the salvation of my poore soul, that so I might be reconsiled to his father, therfor am I willing to undergo any thing for his sake; & that in ward joy & consolation within me that carries mee high aboue all my pains & torments, & you (My Brethren) if you be willing to haue Christ, you must owne him and take him upon his own tearmes, & know that Christ and the Crosse is inseperable, for he that will live godlie in Christ Iesus must suffer persecution and affliction, it is the lott and portion of all his chosen ones, through many afflictions & trials we must enter into glorie and the Apostell saith, that if we be without afflictions whereof all are partakers, then are yee Bastards and, not Sonnes. And therfore if you will haue Christ sit down & reckon before ever you make profession of him what he will cost you; least when you come to the triall you dishonour him, and if you bee not willing and contented to part withall; and let all goe for his sake, you are not worthy of him.

If Parents, husband, wife or children, lands or livings, riches, or honours, pleasure, or ease, life or blood, stand in the way, you must be willing to parte with all these and to entertaine Christ naked & alone, though you haue nothing but the Crosse, or else you are not worthy of him Math. 10. 37. 38.

Oh my Brethren there is such sweetnes and contentednes in enjoying the Lord Iesus alone, that it is able where it is felt, to make a man goe through all difficulties & endure all hardshipps that may possiblie come vpon him. Therefore if hee call you to it, doe not deny him nor his truth in the least manner, for he hath said, Hee that denies him before men, him will hee denie before his Father which is in Heaven. And now is the time that wee must shew our selves good Souldiers of Jesus Christ, for his truth, his cause and glorie lies at stake in a high degree, therefore put one couragious resolutions, and withdraw your necks and soules from all false power and worship, and fight with courage and boldnes in this spirituall Battell, in which Battell the Lord befor your eyes hath raised vp some valiant Champions that fought up to the eares in bloud, therefore be couragious Souldiers and fight it out bravely, that your God may be glorified by you, and let him onelie have the service, both of your inward and outward man, and stand to his cause, and loue your owne Soules, and feare not the face of any mortall man, for God hath promised to bee with you and uphold you that they shall not preuaile against you, Isay 10. 111. But alas, how fewe are there that dare shew any courage for God and his cause, though his glorie lies at the Stake, but thinke themselves happy and well, and count themselves wise men if they can sleepe in a whole skinn, when Christ hath said, "Hee that will saue his life shall loose it, and hee that will loose his life for his sake shall finde it, What shall it profit a man if he gaine the whole world & loose his owne Soule?"

Therefore is it better for a man to bee willing and contented to let all goe for the enjoying of Christ and doing him service, then to sit downe and sleepe in a whole skinne, though in soe doeing hee gaine all the world and see him dishonoured, his glorie and truth troden under foot and the bloud of his Servants shed and Split?

Yes without doubt it is. But many are in these times so far from suffering valientlie for Christ, that they rather disswade men from it, and count it a point of singularitie and pride, and selfe ends for a man to put himselfe forward to doe God service; asking, what calling and warrant any private man hath thereunto, seeing it belongs to the Ministers to speake of these things. Yes soe it doth, But alas they are so cowardly and fearfull that they dare not speake;

And therfore it belongs also to thee, or mee, or any other man, if thou beest a Souldier of Iesus Christ, whatsoever by place or Calling thy rancke or degree bee, bee it higher or lower, yet if hee call for thy service, thou art bound though others stand still, to mainetaine his power and glory to the utmost of thy power and strength, yea to the shedding the last drop of thy blood; for he hath not loued his life vnto the death for thy sake, but shed his precious blood for the redemption of thy soule, hath hee done this for thee, and darest thou see him dishonoured and his glory lie at the stake, and not speake on his behalfe, or doe him the best service thou canst?

If out of a base and cowardlie Spirit thus thou dost, Let me tell thee here and that truly to thy face, thou hast a Dalila in thy heart which thou louest more then God, and that thou shalt on day certainly finde by wofull experience. Alas if men should hold their peace in such times as these, the Lord would cause the verie Stones to speake to convince man of his cowardlie basenesse.

Having proceeded in amanner thus farre by the strength of my God, with boldnes and courage in my speech, The Warden of the Fleete came with the fatt Lawier, and commanded mee to hold my peace. To whom I replied, I would speake and declare my cause and minde, though J were to bee Hanged at the gate for my speaking. And he caused proclamation to be maid upon the Pillary: for bringing to him the Bookes. So then he commanded me to be gagged, and if I spake any more that then J should bee whipt againe upon the Pillary.

So I remained about an houre & a halfe gagged, being intercepted of much matter which by Gods assistance I intended to haue spoken, But yet with their cruelty I was nothing at all daunted, for I was full of comfort and courage, beeing mightily strengthned with the power of the Almightie which made me with cheerefullnesse triumph umph over all my sufferings, not shewing one sad countenance or a disconted heart.

And when I was to come downe having taken out my head out of the Pillarie, I looked about mee upon the people and said. I am more then a conquerer though him that loved me. Vivat Rex. Let the King live for ever, and soe I came downe, and was had backe againe to the Tavern, where I to gether with Mr. Wharton, staid a while till one went to the Warden to know what should be done with me, who gaue order wee should be carried back againe to the Fleete, and as I went by land through the streetes, greate store of people stood all along to behold me, and many of them blessed God for enabling me to undergoe my sufferings with such cheerefullnes and courage as I did, for I was mightily filled with the sweete presence of Gods Spirit, which caused me notwitstanding the paines of my sufferings to go along the streets with a joyfull countenance not shewing the least discontentednes, as if I had beene going to take possession of some great treasures.

After J came back to the prison, none were suffered to come at me but the Surgiõ to dresse me, & I feeling my self somwhat Fevorish I went to bed, & my Surgion doubting the same also, gaue me a Glister, and appointed to come the next morning & let me blood, but when he came, he could not be permitted to come at me: nor any else, for the Porter kept the key, and lockt me vp very close: saying the Warden gaue him straight command so to doe. Wherevp on I desired the Surgion to go to Westminster to the Warden & certifie him how it was with me, (being very ill) & that he might haue liberty to come at me to let me blood and dresse mee, which could not be obtained till the Warden himself came home. About one of the clock John Hawes the Porter came to me, to knowe what I had to say to the warden, to whom I said, Mr. Hawes, this is very cruell & harsh dealing, that after so sore whipping my Surgion shal not be admitted to come & dresse me; nor any other be suffered to administer to my necessities, having not eaten all this day nor the last evening but a little Candle, I hope the Lords will be more mercifull then after the undergoeing the extremity of my Censure to take my life from me, by letting mee perish for want of looking to, therefore J pray speake to Mr. Warden, that he would be pleased to give leave to my Chirurgion to come dresse me and let mee bloud; otherwise I was in danger of a Feaver, which might take away my life; So he wished me to have written to the Warden; J told him, if he would helpe me to Penne Inke and Paper, so I would. No (said hee) I dare not doe that; Then I desired him to deliver my mind to the Warden by word of mouth; who then went away, and after I was in my bedd, he came to me againe, and said thus unto me: Mr. Lilburne I have one suite to you. What is that, said J? It is this, said he, that you would helpe me to one of those Books that you threw abroad at the Pillary, that I might reade it, for J never read any of them; I speake not for it to doe you any hurt, only I have a great desire to reade on: of them. Sir, I thinke you doe not (said J) but I cannot satisfie your desire, for if I had had more of them; they should yesterday have all gone. J verily beleeve you, said he, and so we parted.

And in a very little while after, came the Warden himselfe with the Porter, and J being in my bedd, hee asked me how J did? Said J, I am well, I blesse my God for it, and am very merry and cheerfull. Well (said hee) you have undone your selfe with speaking what you did yesterday, Sir (said I) I am not sorry for what I said, but am hartely gladd that the Lord gave mee strength and courage to speake what I did, and were I to speake againe, I would speak twice as much as I did, if J could have liberty, though I were immediatly to loose my life after it, wouldst thou so, said he? Ey indeed Sir would I, with the Lords assistãce, said I, for I fear not the face of Man; And concerning what I yesterday spake, J did not in the least manner speake against any of the Lords, but did openly declare, that I did willingly with all contentednes submitt my selfe to their Censure; and as for the Bishops, I said nothing against any of their persons, but only against their callings. Ey, said the Warden, and thou saidst their calling was from the Devill. Yes Sir so I did, said I, and J will prove it, and make it good, or else I wil be willing to loose my dearest blood; For if you please to reade the 9. & 13. chap. of Rev. you shall there finde, that the Beast which ascended out of the bottomlesse Pitt (which is the Pope and Roman State, hath his power and authority given him by the Dragon; (the Devill) So that all the power which the Pope hath and doth exercise, originally comes from the Devill: If you reade also some Bookes lately set forth by the Prelates themselves and their Creatures, you shall there finde, that they claime their jurisdiction, standing, and power from the Pope: Now, if their power and calling be from the Pope, (as they themselves say it is) then it must needs be from the Devill also; For the Popes power and calling is from the Devill; And he cannot give a better power and calling to them then he himselfe hath; and I pray Sir, if the Bishop of Canterbury be offended at that which J spake yesterday, tell him I will seale it with my bloud; And if he please to send for me, I will justifie it to his face, and if I be not able to make it good before any noble man in the Kingdome, let mee loose my life. By, but it had been a great deale better, said he, for thine owne particular good to have beene more sparing of thy speech at that time. No Sir, said I, nothing at all, for my life and bloud is not deare and precious to me, so I may glorifie God, and doe him any service therewith, I assure thee, said he, I was exceedingly chidd about thee; and also there were old businesses rubd up against mee concerning Dr. Laiton and Mr. Burton, for that Liberty that they had. Wherefore were you chidd for me, said I? About the Bookes, said he, that you threw abroade, in regard you were close Prisoner, and yet had those Bookes about you; I would aske you one question: Did you bring those Bookes to the Fleete with you or were they since brought to you by any other? I beseech you Sir pardon me for revealing that said I. Then he would have knowne who they were that most resorted to me. I desired I might be excused in that also. By, but you must give me an answer, said hee, for I must certifie the Lords thereof. Then, said I, I pray you tell their Honours, I am unwilling to tell you. What were those Bookes, said he, that you threw abroade, were they all of one sort? Those that have them, said I, can certifie you of that. I my selfe have one of them, said he, and have read it, and I can finde no wit in it, there is nothing but railing in it. Sir, said I, J conceive you are mistaken, for the Booke is all full of wit; it is true, this Booke which you lighted on, is not so full of soliditie as other of his Bookes are; but you must understand, that at that time when the Dr. made that Booke, hee was full of heavines and in danger of a great punishment, for the Prelates had breathed out more crueltie against him for writing his Apology; And at that time also he was compassed about on every side with the Pestilence; Therefore he made that Books to make himselfe merrie. But, said he, hee doth not write any thing in it to the purpose against the Bishops callings. Sir, said I, I must confesse, you lighted on the worst of the 3. And it is true, there is not much soliditie and force of argument in it but only mirth; But the other two are as full of soliditie as this is of mirth. What, were they of 3. lotts said he? Yes Sir, that they were, said I. What were the other two called, said he? The one (said I) was his Answer to Sr. John Banks his Information; The other is an Answer to some Objections that are made against that Booke which you have; But if ever you reade his Latine Bookes, you shall there finde soliditie enough, and the wickednes and unlawfulnes of the Bishops Callings and practises set forth to the full. What Latine Bookes be they, said he? His Flagellum, for which hee was first Censured, said I. What, hath hee been twice Censured, said he? Yes, said I, he was Censured in the High-Commission Court, for writing his Flagellum; And after that he wrote his Apology; and that little Booke which you have, which were the cause of his Censure in the Starr-Chamber. But hast thou any more of those Bookes, said he? Sir, said I, if I had had 20. of them more, they should all have gone yesterday. But, hast thou any more of them now, said he? Sir, said I, I verily thinke, that if I should tell you, I had not, you would not beleeve me, and therefore if you please, you may search my Chamber. So I must (said he) for the Lords have commaunded me so to doe, therefore open your Trunke. Sir, said I, it is open alreadie. Search it John Hawes, said he. So he search it, and found nothing there. Open the Cubbard, said he. So I gave the Porter the key of my Cubbard, to search it, and he found nothing there but my victuals. Search his pocket said the Warden. Indeed Sir, said I, there is none in them; Yet he searched them, and found as I said. Then he searched all my Chamber over, but found nothing at all. Well Sir, said I, now you can certifie the Lords how you finde things with me; But I pray Sir, must I still be kept close Prisoner? I hope, now the Lords have inflicted their Censure on me, they will not still keepe me close. No, said hee, within a little time you wilbe eased of it; So we tooke our leaves each of other, and hee went away.

And the next day, being Fryday, and a Starr-Chamber-day, J hoped I should have had the Libertie of the Prison; But in stead thereof, newes was brought me at evening, that I must be removed to the Common Gayte, or a worse place, and that J must bee put in Irons. Well, for all this my God enabled me to keep my hold still, and not to let my confidence goe; For (blessed be his name for it) this newes did not in the least manner trouble me.

And upon Saterday morning Iohn Hawes the Porter came with the Woman that looked to mee to my Chamber, to stand by her that none might speake with me till she had made my bedd, and done other things for me; And he told me, hee was sorrie to heare such newes as he did concerning me. VVhat is it, said J? I heare, said he, that the Lords have ordered, that you must be put into the Wards, and kept close Prisoner there, and lie in irons, and none must be suffered to come at you to bring you any thing; but you must live upon the Poore Mans Box. Sir, that’s verie hard, said J, but the will of my God be done; For mine owne part, it nothing at all troubles me; For I know in whom I have beleeved, and I know, not one Haire of my Head shall fall to the ground without his providence; And I have cast up my account alreadie what it will cost me; Therfore J waigh not any thing that can be inflicted on me; For I knovv, that God, that made Paul and Silas to singe in the Stocks at midnight, will also make me rejoyce in my Chaines; But it is verie much that they wil let none com to me, to bring me any thing; it seemes, they wilbe more cruell to me then the verie Heathens and Pagan Romans were to Paul; who when he was in Prison, did never refuse to let any come to him, to administer to his necessities; But I vvaigh it not, for I knovv my God is and vvill be with me, to make me goe through all my afflictions with cheerefulnes, for I feele his power within me so mightily supporting and upholding me, that no condition in this World can make me miserable; And for mine owne part, I doe no more sett by my life and blood in this cause, then J doe a peece of bread when I have newly dyned.

Afterwards the VVoman telling mee shee hoped I should not have so sore a punishment laid on me, but that I might have things brought me from my Freinds, J told her I did not much care how it went with me, for Ieremies Dungeon, or Daniels Denn, or the 3. Childrens Fornace, is as pleasant and welcome to me as a Pallace; For wheresoever I am I shall finde God there, and if I have him, that is enough to me; And for victuals, J told her J did not doubt but that God that fed the Prophet Eliah by a Raven, would preserve me, and fill me to the full by the way of his providence; And if no meate should be brought me, I knew, if they take away my meate, God would take away my stomack; Therefore I wayed not their crueltie; And thereupon uttered to her these 4. Verses:

  • I doe not feare nor dread the face of any mortall man,
  • Let him against me bend his povver, and doe the vvorst he can,
  • For my vvhole trust, strength, confidence, My hope, and all my aide
  • Is in the Lord IEHOUAHS, sence, vvhich Heaven and Earth hath made.

The rest that I intended by the strength of my God to have spoken (if J had not beene prevented by the Gag) I now forbeare to set downe, in regard I heare J am to come into the Feild againe to fight a second battell, unto which time I reserve it, if the Lord so order it that I may have Libertie to speake; I doubt not but by the might and power of my God, in whom I rest and trust, valiantly to display the weapons of a good Souldier of Iesus Christ; Come life, come death; And in the meane time to what I have here said and written, I set to my name, by me JOHN LILBVRN, being written with part of my owne bloud; The rest of which by the Lords assistance I will willingly shed, if hee call for it, in the maintaining of his Truth and Glory; and that which I have here said and written by me

IOHN LILBURNE.
My verses are to follovv here.
  • I Doe not (a) feare the face nor power of any mortall man,
  • Though he against me rise, to doe the worst he can,
  • Because my (b) trust, my hope my strength, my confidence and aide’
  • Is in the Lord Iehovahs power, both now and ever staide.
  • Therefore my soule shall never cease, Triumphantly to sing,
  • Thou art my Fort, (c) my sure defence, my Saviour and my King,
  • For in my (d) strayts and trials all, thou well with me hast delt,
  • Thy mercies and (e) upbearing hand, most sweetly I have felt.
  • Thou hast in my (f) distresses great, my stripes and bitter smart
  • So held my soule as from thy truth, I never once did start.
  • But to thy truth with cheerfulnesse, and courage have I stood,
  • Though tortur’d for it were my flesh, and lost my dearest blood,
  • When from Fleet-bridg to Westminster, at Carts Arsse I was whipt,
  • Then thou with joy my soule (g) upheldst, so that I never wept.
  • Likewise when I on Pillary, in Pallace-yeard did stand,
  • Then by thy helpe against my foes, J had the upper-hand,
  • For openly I to their face, did there truely declare,
  • That from the Pope our Prelates all, descended still they are,
  • And that I might for what I said, make confirmation;
  • J nam’d Chapters the 9. and 13. of Revelation.
  • Likewise I then did fearelesly, unto the people shew
  • That what Pocklington hath writ, is sound now very true
  • Namely, that they com lineally, from (h) Antichrist his Chaire,
  • Even to him that now doth raigne, the great Arch-Bishop here.
  • All which I did on Pillary, there offer to make good,
  • Or else I would loose willingly, my best and dearest blood;
  • Moreover there to Gods people, I did most plainly shew
  • That we have been, and so are still, rul’d by a Popish crew;
  • Therefore against them valiantly, we must (i) fight in the feild
  • And to their Lawes at any hand, not ever once to yeild,
  • But from their (k) Yoake without delay, we must our neckes outdraw;
  • If that we will true Subjects bee, unto our Saviours Law; (l)
  • Therefore my Freinds, it that you will, Christ Iesus here (m) enjoy,
  • Withdraw your selves from these vile men, and every Popish toy,
  • And (n) naked Christ be willing still, and ready to embrace;
  • Though for the same you suffer shame, and wicked mens (o) disgrace
  • Because in him is more content, more full and (p) sweeter blesse
  • Then can be sound in any (q) thing; that in the world now is
  • And this I have by (r) triall found, what here I doe declare
  • That to the comforts of our God, the Earthly nothing are,
  • And he that will not(s) quite denie, all things for Iesus sake,
  • The joyes of Christ he neither heare, nor(t) after shall partake;
  • Therefore my freinds if you, your Soules, will Reallie preserve,
  • (v) Reject their Antichristian Lawes, and from Christ never swerve,
  • Because the Lord hath said on those, his(x) wrath shall surely come,
  • His sorest ire, his greatest stroakes, his deepest plagues and doome,
  • That doe on hand or head receive, the Hell-marke of the Houre,
  • Or doe the Beast and his image, not cease for to adore
  • Thus and much more on Pillarie, there openlie I saide,
  • Till at the last my mouth was gagd, and by them baselie staide;
  • And threatened there once againe, that my backe should be wipt,
  • If that my tongue but one word more, against Romes Preists let slipt
  • Thus with a straight Gagg in my mouth, about an houre stood I,
  • Having my God to comfort mee, in all my miserie;
  • And having stood a long time there, J was at length downe brought,
  • Most sweetly cheered with(y) his blood, that had my poore soul bought;
  • And when I was come downe, J cheerefully did lay,
  • I am more then a Conquerer,(z) through Christ that is my stay.
  • Hallelujah,(a) all blessing, glorie, honour, laud and praise,
  • Be rendered to thee my God, of mee(b) and thine alwaies,
  • For though that I was in my selfe, a Creature poore and(c) weake,
  • Yet was J made through thy great strength, with boldnes for to speake
  • It was(d) thou Lord, that didst uphold, with mercie and thy grace,
  • My feeble(e) flesh so that I did, rejoyce in my disgrace,
  • Thou fildst my soule so full of joy, and inward feeling peace
  • As that my tongue thy praise to tell, no time shall ever cease,
  • And now, O Lord, keepe thou my(g) soule, most humblie I thee pray,
  • That from thy just(h) Commandements, I never runne a stray,
  • But unto thee, and to thy Truth, my heart may still be fast,
  • And not offend in any(i) thing, so long as life doth last,
  • And as thou hast in mee(j) begunne, the saving worke of grace,
  • So grant, that I thy poore servant, may still therein increase,
  • And when I shall lay downe this House, of fraile mortalitie,
  • Then let thy Angels bring my soule, sweet Iesus unto thee.

These Verses were my Meditation the next day, after the Executio of my Censure; after the Warden of the Fleet had been with me; from the Lords of the Counsell; and had searched my Chamber, it being after noone, and I being not well, writ them in my bedd.

By me JOHN LILBVRNE.
FINIS.

 


 

T.1 (1.1.) John Lilburne, The Christian Mans Triall (12 March 1638, 2nd ed. December 1641).

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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.1 [1638.03.12] (1.1) John Liburne, The Christian Mans Triall (12 March 1638, 2nd ed. December 1641).

Full title

John Lilburne, The Christian Mans Triall: or, a True Revelation of the first apprehension and severall examinations of John Lilburne, With his Censure in Star-Chamber, and the manner of his cruell whipping through the Streets: whereunto is annexed his Speech in the Pillory, and their gagging of him: Also the severe Order of the Lords made the same day for fettering his hands and feet in yrons, and for keeping his friends and monies from him, which was accordingly executed upon him for a long time together by the Wardens of the Fleet, with a great deale of barbarous cruelty and inhumanity, etc.

Rev. 2.10. Behold, the Divell shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tryed, and you shall have tribulation ten dayes: be thou faithfull unto death, and I will give thee a Crowne of life.
Matth. 10.19. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how, or what you shall speake, for it shall be given you in that houre what you shall saye.

The second Edition, with an addition.

London, Printed for William Larnar, and are to be sold at his Shop at the Signe of the Golden Anchor, neere Pauls-Chaine, 1641.

Estimated date of publication

12 March 1638, 2nd ed. December 1641.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

The Thomason Tracts collection begins in 1640. There is information about the 2nd edition of this work in 1641. TT1, p. 52; Thomason E. 181. (7.)

Editor’s Introduction

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Text of Pamphlet

TO THE READER.

CHristian Reader, here is presented to thy view, a part of these cruell and grievous sufferings imposed upon this Author, by the malignant malice of the Prelacy and that faction, wherein thou mayest likewise see the wonderfull gracious dealings of a good God, carrying this Author through them all, with boldnesse and courage, being not daunted, neither at their frownes nor whippings, nor pillories, nor close prisons, no nor yrons; so that we may see the faithfull promises of our God before our eyes made good in this young man, who hath promised to be with his people in six troubles, and seven; and to hew himselfe strong in the behalfe of all those whose hearts are perfect before him, that so hee might out of the mouthes of Babes and Sucklings perfect his owne praise, to the astonishment of all those who shall lift up heart or hand against him, or the least of his holy ones; and to the comfort and encouragement of all the Saints, who, from the consideration of the sweet, supporting power of God, appearing to others in their bonds, are the more encouraged publiquely to hold forth their profession of the truths of the Lord Iesus with much more boldnesse and confidence, as knowing that that God which hath appeared to others of the Saints in times of offerings, even before their eyes, will also appeare to them in the like condition; and therefore wee may a little see and take notice of the follyes of wicked mens wisdomes, who thinke by their hellish wits, to raze downe Syon and the truth of God to the ground, and therefore they labour by the imprisonments and tortures of some to dash the rest out of heart, that they should feare to shew any countenance to such a persecuted way, whereas indeed the Saints have by this meanes a fairer object to pitch their faith and confidence upon, namely, the power and wisedome and grace and mercy of their God appearing in a more fuller vision before their eyes; for the afflictions and persecution that are imposed by wicked men upon the Saints, causeth them to see a Spirit of glory resting upon them, even in this condition: here 1 Pet. 4. 13. 14. and a massive weight of glory provided for them hereafter, 1 Cor. 4. 18. So that we may daily see the God of heaven fulfilling of his owne Word, even in this thing, which is that hee will confound the wisedome of the wise, and bring to nought the understanding of the prudent, and catch the wicked in their owne snares, making the rage of man turne to his owne praise his peoples comforts and their ruins, wherefore let the servants of God comfort one another with these words: That we may not feare the feares of men, which, that we may be the more strengthened against them, let us consider the cloud of witnesses which hath gone before in a way of suffering, even in these our times, amongst whom the Author of this booke hath had his share with the deepest of them, and therefore to this end hath he published to the world this Truth, that he might keepe alive to all posterities the goodnesse, and mercy and love of God manifested to him under those cruell barbarous and tyrannical dealings of the prelaticall hierarchie, that so all the Saints of God may hate that wicked calling and power of theirs, and never give over crying to God and men, till it be razed downe to the ground, that so the Lord Iesus may be set up as Lord and King, which ought to be the desire and endeavour of all the chosen ones of God, and is the desire of him who desires the good of the servants of God, in all things, love for Christ.

WILLIAM KIFFEN

This is the first Part.

A CHRISTIAN MANS TRIALL.

VPon Tuesday last the 11 or 12 of December, 1637 I was treacherously and Judasly betraied (by one that I supposed to be my friend) into the hands of the Pursevant with foure of his assistants, as I was walking in a narrow lane, called Super-lane, being walking with one Iohn Chilliburne, servant to old Mr. Iohn Wharton, in Bow-lane a Hotpresser. Which Iohn had laid the plot before for my apprehension, as I am able for to prove and make good, that he shall not be able with truth to deny it. And at my taking the Pursevants were very violent cries and having by force got me into a shop, they threw me over a Sugar-chest, to take my Sword from me, and cried out for helpe, and said he had taken one of the notoriousest dispersers of scandalous bookes that was in the Kingdome, for (saith he) he hath dispersed them from one end of the Land to the other.

And from thence I was had to the Bole-head Taverne neere to the Dr. Commons, where the Pursevants called freely for wine to make themselves merry, thinking they had got a great prise; Being not long there with my Pursevant Flamsted, who apprehended me, in came Bonntrange, the great Prelates Pursevant, and he looking upon me, said Mr. Lilburne, I am glad with all my heart that wee are met, for you are the man that I have much desired for a long time to see. To which I replied are you so? And for my owne part, I am not much unglad, But you thinke, you have got a great purchase in taking me, but it may be you may be deceived. Come (saith he) give us some wine, and with that he swore an Oath, he would give me a quart of Sacke, for joyfulnesse of our meeting, and so he called for it and dranke to me: And I told him, I would drinke no wine. To which hee replied, and said in these words: Come (said he) be not sad, you are but fallen into the Knaves hands. To which I said, I am not sad in the least, and for my falling into Knaves hands, I verily beleeve without any questioning, that which you have said. And then he swore another Oath, and said, it was true enough.

(So good Christian Reader, take notice of thus much by the way, that the Prelates and their Creatures are a company of Knaves by Bonntrange his own Confession.)

That night I was kept at Hamstedds house where I blesse God, I was merry and cherefull, and nothing at all danted at that which had befalne me. And about twelve of the clocke the next day, I was committed to the Gatehouse, by Sir John the Prelate of Canterburies Chancellour with others without any examination at all, for sending of factious and scandalous Bookes out of Holland into England. And having not beene at the foresaid prison above three dayes, I was removed, by a Warrant from the Lords of the Counsell to the Fleet, where I now remaine. And after my being there some time, I drew a Petition to the Lords of the Counsell for my liberty: and their answer to it was, that I should be examined before Sir John Bankes, the Kings Atturney: The Coppy of which examination thus followes.

Upon Tuesday, the 14 of Ianuary, 1637 I was had to Sir John Bankes the Attorney General’s Chamber (now Lord chiefe Justice of the Court of Pleas) and was referred to be examined by Mr. Coilibey his chief Clerke; And at our first comming together, he did kindly intreat me; and made me sit downe by him, and put on my hat, and began with me after this manner: Mr. Lilburne, what is your Christian name? I said, Iohn, Did you live in London before you went into Holland? Yes, that I did. Where? Neare Londonstone. With whom there? With Mr. Thomas Hewson. What Trade is he? A dealer in Cloath, I told him. How long did you serve him? About five yeares. How come you to part? After this manner: I perceiving my Master had an intention to desist his Trade, I often moved him that I might have my liberty, to provide for my selfe, and at the last hee condescended unto it; and so I went into the Country, to have the consent of my friends; and after that departed into Holland. Where were you there? At Rotterdam. And from thence you went to Amsterdam? Yes, I was at Amsterdam. What Bookes did you see in Holland? Great store of Bookes, for in every Bookesellers shop as I came in, there were greate store of Bookes. I know that, but I aske you, if you did see Dr. Bastwicks Answer to my Masters Information and a Book called his Letany? yes, I saw them there, and if you please to goe thither. you may buy an hundred of them at the Bookesellers, if you have a minde to them Have you seene the Unbishopping of Timothy and Titus, the Looking glasse, and a Breviate of the Bishops late proceedings. Yes, I have, and those also you may have there, if you please to send for them. Who Printed all those Bookes? I doe not know. Who was at the charges of Printing of them? Of that I am ignorant. But did you not send over some of these Books? I sent not any of them over. Doe you know one Hargust there? Yes, I did see such a man. Where did you see him? I met with him one day accidentally at Amsterdam. How oft did you see him there? Twise upon one day. But did not he send over Bookes? If he did, it is nothing to me, for his doings is unknowne to me. But he wrote a Letter over by your directions, did he not? What he writ, I know no more than you. But did you see him nowhere else there? Yes, I saw him at Rotterdam. What conference had you with him? Very little; But why doe you aske me all these questions; These are besides the matter of my imprisonment, I pray come to the thing for which I am accused, and imprisoned. No, these are not besides the businesse, but doe belong to the thing for which you are imprisoned. But doe you know of any that sent over any Bookes? What other men did, doth not belong to me to know or search into, sufficient it is for me to looke well to my owne occasions. Well, here is the examination of one Edmond Chilington, doe you know such a one? Yes. How long have you beene acquainted with him? A little before I went away, but how long I doe not certainely know: Doe you know one Iohn Wharton? No. Doe you not, he is a Hot-presser: I know him, but I doe not well remember his other name: How long have you beene acquainted with him: And how came you acquainted? I cannot well tell you: How long doe you thinke? I doe not know: What speeches had you with Chillington since you came to Towne? I am not bound to tell you: But Sir (as I said before) why doe you aske me all these questions, these are nothing pertinent to my imprisonment for I am not imprisoned for knowing and talking with such and such men: But for sending over Bookes: And therefore I am not willing to answer you to any more of these questions because I see you goe about by this examination to insnare mee, for seeing the things for which I am imprisoned cannot be proved against me, you would get other matter out of my examination, and therefore if you will not aske me about the thing laid to my charge, I shall answer no more: but if you will aske me of that I shall then answer you, and doe answer, that for the thing for which I am imprisoned, which is for sending over Bookes, I am cleare for I sent none. And of any other matter that you have to accuse me of, I know it is warrantable, by the Law of God, and I thinke by the Law of the Land, that I may stand upon my just defence, and not answer to your intergatorie; and that my accusers ought to be brought face to face to justifie what they accuse me of; And this is all the answer that for the present I am willing to make: And if you aske me of any more things I shall answer you with silence. At this he was exceeding angry, and said: There would be course taken with me to make me answer. I told him, I did not way what course they would take with me; onely this I desire you to take notice of: that I doe not refuse to answer out of any contempt but onely because I am ignorant what belongs to an examination, (for this is the first time that ever I was examined) and therefore I am unwilling to answer to any impertinent questions for feare that with my answer I may doe my selfe hurt. This is not the way to get liberty. I had thought you would have answered punctually that so you might have beene dispatched as shortly as might be. So I have answered punctually to the thing for which I am imprisoned and more I am not bound to answer, and for my liberty I must waite Gods time. You had better answer, for I have two examinations wherein you are accused. Of what am I accused? Chillington hath accused you for printing ten or twelve thousands of Books in Holland, and that they stand you in about eighty pound, and that you had a Chamber at Mr. Iohnfoots at Delft, where he thinks the Bookes were kept, and that you would have printed the Vnmasking of the Mystery of Iniquity, if you could have got a true Copy of it. I doe not beleeve that Chillington said any such things and if he did, I know, and am sure, that they are all of them lies. You received money of Mr. Wharton since you came to Towne, did you not? What if I did? It was for Bookes? I doe not say so. For what sorts of bookes was it? I doe not say it was for any, and I have already answered you all, that for the present I have to answer and if that will give you content, well and good, if not, doe what you please. If you will not answer no more (here I told him if I had thought you would have insisted upon such impertinent questions, I would not have given him so many answers) wee have power to send you to the place from whence you came. You may doe your pleasure, said I. So hee called in anger for my Keeper, and gave him a strict charge to looke well to me. I said they should not feare my running away. And so I was sent down to Sir Iohn Bankes himself. And after that he had read over what his man had writ he called me in, and said, I conceive you are unwilling to confesse the Truth. No Sir, I have spoken the Truth. This is your Examination, is it not? What your man hath writ I doe not know. Come neare and see that I read it right. Sir, I doe not owne it for my Examination for your man hath writ what it pleased him, and hath got writ my answer, for my answer was to him, and so is to you, that for the thing for which I am imprisoned (which is for sending over bookes) I am cleare, for I did not send any, and for any other matter that is laid to my charge, I know it is warrantable by the Law of God, and I thinke by the Law of the Land, for me to stand upon my just defence, and that my accusers ought to be brought face to face, to justifie what they accuse me of. And this is all that I have to say for the present. You must set your hand to this your Examination. I beseech you Sir pardon me, I will set my hand to nothing but what I have now said. So he tooke the Pen and writ, the examined is unwilling to answer to any thing but that for which hee is imprisoned. Now you will set your hand to it? I am not willing in regard I doe not owne that which your man hath writ, but if it please you to lend me the Pen, I will write my Answer, and set my hand to it. So he gave mee the Pen, and I begun to write thus: The Answer of me Iohn Lilburne is, And here hee tooke the Pen from me, and said he could not stay, that was sufficient. Then one of my Keepers asked him if they might have me backe againe? And he said yea: for he had no Order for my inlargement, and so I tooke my leave of him, and desired the Lord to blesse and keepe him, and came away.

And then about ten or twelve dayes after, I was had forth to Grayes Inne againe, but when I went, I did not know what they would doe with me there: And when I came there, I was had to the Starre-Chamber Office; and being there, as the Order is, I must enter my appearance, they told me, I said, to what, for I was never served with any Subpoena; neither was there any Bill preferred against me that I did heare of. One of the Clarkes told me, I must first be examined, and then Sir Iohn would make the Bill: it seemes they had no grounded matter against me for to write a Bill, and therefore they went about to make me betray my owne innocency, that so they might ground the Bill upon my owne words: but my God shewed his goodnesse to me, in keeping me, (a poore weake worme) that they could not in the least intangle mee, though I was altogether ignorant of the manner of their proceedings: And at the entrance of my appearance, the Clarke and I had a deale of pritty discourse; the particulars whereof for brevity sake I now pretermit but in the conclusion he demanded mony of me for entring of my appearance: and I told him I was but a young man, and a prisoner, and money was not very plentifull with me and therefore I would not part with any money upon such termes. At which answer the man began to wonder that I should speake so to him and with that the whole company of the Clarkes in the Office began to looke and gaze at me. Well (said he) if you will not pay your fee I will dash out your name againe. Doe what you please (said I) I care not if you doe. So he made a complaint to Mr. Goad, the Master of the Office, that I refused to enter my appearance. And then I was brought before him, and he demanded of me what my businesse was? I told him, I had no businesse with him, but I was a prisoner in the Fleete, and was sent for but to whom and to what end I doe not know, and therefore if he had nothing to say to me, I had no businesse with him. And then one of the Clarks said, I was to be examined. Then Mr. Goad said, tender him the booke. So I looked another way, as though I did not give eare to what he said; and then he bid me pull off my glove, and lay my hand upon the booke, What to doe Sir? said I. You must sweare said he. To what? That you shall make true answer to all things that is asked you. Must I so Sir? But before I sweare, I will know to what I must sweare. As soon as you have sworne, you shall, but not before: To that I answered. Sir, I am but a young man, and doe not well know what belongs to the nature of an Oath, and therefore before I sweare, I will be better advised. Saith he, how old are you? About twenty yeares old, I told him. You have received the Sacrament, have you not? Yes that I have. And you have heard the Ministers deliver Gods Word, have you not? Yes, I have heard Sermons. Well then, you know the holy Evangelist? Yes that I doe. But Sir, though I have received the Sacrament, and have heard Sermons, yet it doth not therefore follow that I am bound to take an Oath, which I doubt of the lawfulnesse of. Looke you here, said he; and with that he opened the booke, we desire you to sweare by no forraigne thing, but to sweare by the holy Evangelist. Sir, I doe not doubt or question that onely I question how lawfull it is for me to sweare to I do not know what. So some of the Clarks began to reason with me, and told me everyone tooke that Oath; and would I be wiser than all other men? I told them, it made no matter to me what other men doe; but before I sweare, I will know better grounds and reasons than other mens practises to convince mee of the lawfulnesse of such an Oath, to sweare I doe not know to what. So Mr. Goad bid them hold their peace, he was not to convince any mans conscience of the lawfulnesse of it, but onely to offer and tender it; Will you take it or no, saith he? Sir, I will be better advised first; with this there was such looking upon mee, and censuring me for a singular man, for the refusing of that which was never refused before: whereupon there was a Messenger sent to Sir Iohn Bankes, to certifie him, that I would not take the Star-Chamber Oath. And also to know of him what should be done with me. So I looked I should be committed close prisoner or worse. And about an houre after came Mr. Cockshey, Sir Iohns chiefe Clarke, what (said he) Mr. Lilburne, it seems you will not take your Oath, to make true answer? I told him, I would be better advised before I took such an Oath, Well then (saith he) you must goe from whence you came and then I spoke merrily to my Keepers, and bid them, let us be gone, we have beene long enough here. Thus have I made a true Relation of that dayes worke.

But before I proceede, I desire to declare unto you, the Lords goodnesse manifested unto me in being my counsellour and director in my great straights. The Prelates intendment towards me was carried so close that I could not learne what they would doe with me, onely I supposed they would have mee into the Star-chamber, in regard I was removed by the Lords of the Counsell; and also tidings was brought unto me by some friends, what cruelty their Creatures did breath out against me, but I incouraged my selfe in my God, and did not feare what man could doe unto me, Esay 51, 12, 13, for I had the peace of a good conscience within me, and the assurance of Gods love reconciled unto me in the precious blood of his Sonne JESVS CHRIST: which was as good as Shield and Buckler unto me, to keepe off all the assaults of my enemies, and I was, as it were, in a strong walled Towne, nothing dreading but lightly esteeming the cruelty of my Adversaries, for I knew God was my God, and would be with me, and inable me to undergoe whatsoever, by his permission they could inflict upon me, and to his praise I desire to speak it: I found his gracious goodnesse and loving kindnes so exceedingly made known unto me, that he enabled me to undergoe my captivity with contentednesse, joyfulnesse, and cherefulnesse: And also was pleased, according to his promise, to be a mouth unto me, whensoever I was brought before them, and gave me courage and boldnesse to speake unto them, his holy and blessed name be praised and magnified for it.

Vpon the Fryday next, after this, in the morning, one of the Officers of the Fleete came to my Chamber, and bid mee get up and make mee ready to goe to the Star-Chamber barre forthwith, I having no time to fit my selfe, made me ready in all haste to goe; (yet when I came there, the Lord according to his promise was pleased to be present with me by his speciall assistance, that I was inabled without any dantednesse of spirit, to speake unto that great and noble Assembly, as though they had beene but my equalls;) And being at the barre, Sir Iohn Bankes laid a verball accusation against me, which was, that I refused to answer, and also to enter my appearance, and that I refused to take the Star-Chamber Oath: and then was read the Affidavit of one Edmond Chillington, Buttonseller, made against Mr. Iohn Warton and my selfe; The summe of which was, that he and I had Printed at Rotterdam in Holland Dr. Bastwickes answer, and his Letany, and divers other scandalous Bookes. And then after I had obtained leave to speake, I said: My noble Lords, as for that Affidavit, it is a most false lie, and untruth. Well, said the Lord-keeper, why will you not answer? My Honorable Lord (said I) I have answered fully, before Sir Iohn Bankes to all things that belongs to me to answer unto, and for other things, which concerne other men, I have nothing to doe with them. But why doe you refuse to take the Star-Chamber Oath? Most Noble Lord, I refused upon this ground, because that when I was examined, though I had fully answered all things that belonged to me to answer unto, and had cleared my selfe of the thing for which I am imprisoned, which was for sending bookes out of Holland, yet that would not satisfie and give content, but other things was put unto me, concerning other men, to insnare me, and get further matter against me, which I perceiving refused, being not bound to answer to such things as doe not belong unto me; and withall I perceived the Oath to be an Oath of inquiry; and for the lawfulnesse of which Oath I have no warrant, and upon these grounds I did, and doe still refuse the Oath: with this some of the Kings Counsell, and some of the Lords spoke, would I condemne and contradict the Lawes of the Lands and be wiser than all other men to refuse that, which is the Oath of the Court, administred unto all that come there? Well, said my Lord-Keeper, render him the booke. I standing against the Prelate of Canterburies backe, he looked over his shoulder at me & bid me pull off my glove, and lay my hand upon the book. Unto whom I replied, Sir, I will not sweare; and then directing my speech unto the Lords, I said: Most Honorable and Noble Lords, with all reverence and submission unto your Honours, submitting my body unto your Lordships pleasure, and whatsoever you please to inflict upon it yet must I refuse the Oath. My Lords, said the Arch Prelate (in a deriding manner) doe you heare him, hee saith, with all reverence and submission he refuseth the Oath. Well, come come (said my Lord Keeper) submit your selfe unto the Court. Most Noble Lords, with all willingnesse I submit my body unto your Honours pleasure, but for any other submission, most Honourable Lords, I am conscious unto my selfe, that I have done nothing, that doth deserve a convention before this illustrious Assembly and therefore for me to submit is to submit I doe not know wherefore. With that up stood the Earle of Dorset, and said: My Lords, this is one of their private spirits; Doe you heare him, how he stands in his owne justification? Well my Lords, said the great Prelate; this fellow (meaning me) hath been one of the notoriousest disperser of Libellous bookes that is in the Kingdome, and that is the Father of them all (pointing to old Mr. Wharton.) Then I replied, and said, Sir, I know you are not able to prove and to make that good which you have said. I have testimony of it, said he. Then said I produce them in the face of the open Court, that wee may see what they have to accuse me of; And I am ready here to answer for my selfe, and to make my just defence. With this he was silent and said not one word more to me: and then they asked my fellow Souldiour old Mr. Wharton, whether he would take the Oath, which hee refused, and began to tell them of the Bishops cruelty towards him, and that they had had him in five severall prisons within this two yeares, for refusing the Oath. And then there was silence, after which was read a long peece of businesse how the Court had proceeded against some that had harboured Jesuits and Seminary Priests (those Traitors) who refused to be examined upon Oath, and in regard that we refused likewise to be examined upon Oath, it was fit they said, that we should be proceeded against, as they were, so they were the president by which we were censured, though their cause and ours be much unlike, in regard theirs were little better than Treason; but our crime was so farre from Treason, that it was neither against the glory of God, the honour of the King, the Lawes of the Land, nor the good of the Commonwealth: but rather for the maintaining of the honour of them all, as all those that read the bookes without partiall affections, and prejudicate hearts, can witnesse and declare, and if the bookes had had any Treason, or any thing against the Law of the Land in them, yet we were but subposedly guilty, for the things were never fully proved against us; indeed there was two Oathes read in court, which they said was sworne against us by one man but he was never brought face to face, and in both his Oathes he hath forsworne himselfe, as in many particulars thereof wee both are able to make good. In the conclusion, my Lord Keeper stood up and said, My Lords, I hold it fit, that they should be both for their contempt committed close prisoners till Tuesday next; and if they doe not conforme themselves betwixt this and then to take the Oath, and yeeld to be examined by Mr. Goad, then that they shall be brought hither againe, and censured, and made an Example; Unto which they all agreed; and so we were committed close prisoners, and no friends admitted to come unto us.

And upon Munday after we were had to Grayes Inne, and I being the first there, Mr. Goad said to me, according to the Lords Order upon Friday last, I have sent for you to tender the Oath unto you. Sir, I beseech you, let me heare the Lords Order. So he caused it to be read unto mee, and then tendered mee the Booke. Well Sir, said I, I am of the same minde I was, and withall I understand, that this Oath is one and the same with the High Commission Oath, which Oath I know to be both against the Law of God, and the Law of the Land; and therefore in briefe I dare not take the Oath, though I suffer death for the refusall of it. Well, said he, I did not send for you to dispute with you about the lawfulnesse of it, but onely according to my place to tender it unto you. Sir, I dare not take it, though I loose my life for the refusall of it. So he said, he had no more to say to me; and I tooke my leave of him and came away. And after that came the old Man, and it was tendered unto him, which he refused to take: (and as he hath told me) he declared unto him how the Bishops had him eight times in prison for the refusall of it, and he had suffered the Bishops mercilesse cruelty for many yeares together, and he would now never take it as long as he lived; and withall told him, that if there were a Cart ready at the doore to carry him to Tiburne, he would be hanged, before ever hee would take it. And this was that dayes businesse.

Upon the next morning about seven a clocke, we were had to the Star-Chamber-bar againe to receive our Censure; and stood at the Bar about two houres before Sir Iohn Bancks came; but at the last hee began his accusation against us, that we did still continue in our former stubbornenesse: and also there was another Affidavit of the foresaid Edmond Chillingtons read against us, the summe of which was that I had confessed to him that I had printed Dr. Bastwickes Answer to Sir Iohn Bancks his Information, and his Letany; and an other booke, called, An Answer unto certaine Objections; and another booke of his, called the Vanitie and Impiety of the old Letany; and that I had divers other bookes of Dr. Bastwickes a Printing; and that Mr. Iohn Wharton had beene at the charges of Printing a booke called A breviate of the Bishops late proceedings; and an other booke, called Sixteene new Queries, and divers other factious bookes; and that one James Ouldam, a Turner in Westminster-Hall, had dispersed divers of these bookes. So it came to me to speake; and I said after this manner: Most Noble Lords, I beseech your Honours, that you would be pleased to give me leave to speake for my selfe, and to make my just defence; and I shall labour so to Order my speeches, as that I shall not give your Honours any just distaste; and withall shall doe it with as much brevitie as I can. So having obtained my desire, I began, and said, My Lords, it seemes there was divers bookes sent out of Holland, which came to the hands of one Edmond Chillinton, which made this affidavit against us: and as I understand, he delivered divers of these bookes unto one Iohn Chilliburne, servant to this old Man Mr. Wharton (I, said he, my Lords, and I had given him a strict charge, that he should not meddle with any,) and his Master being in Prison, he dispersed divers of them for the foresaid Chillingtons use, whereupon the bookes were taken in his Custody, and he being found dispersing of them, gos to one Smith, a Taylor in Bridewell (as I am informed) & desires him to get his peace made with the Bishops, whereupon he covenants with some of the Bishops Creatures, to betray me into their hands, being newly come out of Holland, which (as he said) did send over these bookes. So my Lords, he having purchased his owne libertie, layes the plot for betraying me, and I was taken by a Pursevant and foure others of his assistance, walking in the streets with the foresaid Iohn Chilliburne, who had laid and contrived the plot before (as I am able to make good) and the next morning I was committed by Sir Iohn Lamb to the Gate-house, (now my Lords, I doe protest before your Honours in the word of a Christian, that I did not send over these bookes, neither did J know the Ship that brought them, nor any that belongs to the ship, nor to my knowledge did never see with my eyes, either the ship or any that belongs unto it.

(But before I proceede with my Speech, I desire to digresse a little, in regard that Iohn Chilliburne doth yet stifly maintaine, that he did not betray me, nor laid the plot, and therefore I doe him wrong for accusing him, he saith. To which I answer, and say, in this, he is worse than Iudas himselfe; for after he had betrayed Christ, he came and confessed his sinne, and said, I have sinned in betraying the innocent blood; and this man hath betraied Christ in betraying me his member, for what is done to his servant he takes it as done to himselfe: but he is not so good as Iudas, who confessed his fault, but he hides and justifies his sinne, and therefore I will declare my Grounds and Demonstrations, whereupon I am sure he was the Judas: The first is thus, He and I appointed to meete one day upon the Exchange at two a clocke, unto which place I came, and staid long for his comming, but hee came not: and I verily thinke, he sent two or three in his place, two of them being Arminians, living in Cornehill, which J my selfe knew, who passed againe and again by me, vewing very narrowly my apparell, visage and countenance, as J thinke for that end that they might know mee againe: and when J sat downe, they would passe by, and goe a little from me and sit downe and fix their eyes upon me, insomuch that J was afraid that J should there have been taken, which forced me to depart. And at our next meeting J told him of it, and how that (unlesse J had knowne him well) J should have beleeved he had betrayed me. Unto which hee gave me no satisfactory answer, but put it off, and said his libertie was as precious as mine; and if he should betray me, he must betray himselfe, and therefore J needed not to doubt any such thing: the Lord having blinded my eyes. J could not see into his treacherous heart, but tooke this for a currant answer, J knowing that he had had a deepe hand in the dispersing of bookes, and therefore J gave credite to that which he had said, as being a reall Truth, the Lord having a secret hand of providence in it. (J hope at the last for his glorie and my good) did so Order it, that I should not take notice, or perceive his perfidiousnesse, though I had an incling given me of it before by some friends, yet J could not beleeve it till the event manifested it, for that day J was taken, he hearing (by what meanes I doe not know) that I was to meete one at the Temple, and understanding that I had a desire to see his Master at his owne houre (being newly let out of prison) we came towards the Temple, and had some discourse there, in which he put me forward to goe see and speake with his Master, unto whom I declared, how fearefull I was to goe thither (in regard I heard they laid waite for me) least I should be taken; but he made all things cleare, and contrived a way, by meanes of which he said, I might without any feare goe speake with him. So we parted, and appointed to meete at the staires that goes from Bridewell to Black-Fryers. I came to the Staires, and stood a great while, but he came not, till I was a comming away; and I expecting him to come out of Bridewell, I having sent him in thither, to speake with one, unto whom I thinke he did not goe, but yet he told me, he was with him; but rather he went to Flamsted the Pursevant to get him in a readinesse, for he came to me from Flamsteds-houseward, downe from Black-Fryers, being a cleane contrary way to that I sent him. So we went towards his Masters house, and parted againe, and appointed to meet at Tantlins-Church; and when I came there, I saw one walking with him, which I verily beleeve was one of the five that tooke me; and when I came to him, I declared unto him that comming downe Soper-lane, I saw a fellow stand in a corner, very suspiciously, who looked very wishfully at me, and I at him; and therefore I desired him to goe, and see who it was, and whether I might goe safely to his Masters or no. So he went, and came backe, and told me his Master was come to the doore, and I might goe without any danger, and as we went, I declared unto him my fearefulnesse, to goe to his Masters; and I told him, I would halfe draw my sword, that I might be in a readinesse; and he went before towards his Masters; and I doe verily thinke acquainted them how it was with me; and I going after him in the narrow Lane, I passed by two great fellowes suspecting nothing; and by and by they seazed upon my backe and shoulders, and cried out in the Kings Name for helpe, they had taken the Rogues Whartons men, and Iohn was the third man that seized upon me, laying fast hold of my left shoulder, and they three pulled my cloake crosse over my armes, that so, though I had my sword halfe drawne, yet by no meanes could I get it out; which if I had, and got my backe against the wall, I doe not doubt but I should have made them be willing to let me alone; for though they had fast hold of me, they quaked and trembled for feare, and though they were five or sixe, yet they cryed out for more helpe to assist them, I being but one, and when they all seased on me, then they called me by my name, and though we were in the darke, yet they knew my habit, that I was in as well as my selfe, and shewed me their warrant with my name in it I have beene forced of necessity to recite these things in regard of his dayly speeches against me, and his writing to me in justification of his innocency, though as you for all I have sent for him, hee would never come face to face: Tart Letters likewise I have received from Smith and Chillington, for speaking that which I have said in publique of them: and as for Smith, take notice what I said of him, and I here give my reasons for that I said, it is knowne that at the last time the bookes were taken at Mr. Whartons, part of them was not taken; which Iohn can not deny, but he carried them unto Smith, and what passed betwixt them, they themselves best knows but this is sure, Iohn was never troubled for the bookes, though hee was taken dispersing of them; and I am sure, his libertie was obtained by Smiths and Sam Bakers the Prelate of Londons Chaplaines meanes. Also Smith is not ignorant, but doth very well know that promise that Iohn made to Mr. Baker about twelve moneths agoe, to doe him speciall service about such things, which promise I doe verily beleeve he hath faithfully kept; for he hath confessed to his Master since the beginning of my trouble, that he hath used to carry to Baker all new bookes he could get, as soone as they came out, and how for the which he gave him money, but how much he best knowes.

Also, what free and familiar accesse Iohn hath had to him, and he and Iohn to Baker, and for those secrets which Iohn from time to time hath revealed to him and Baker, what they are I name not, but appeale to their owne consciences: for it is too manifest that hee is a darling both to Smith and Baker, in regard they stand so stoutly for him as they doe; for Mr. Wharton, being not long since with Baker, he told him hee heard he was about to put away his Man Iohn, Yea (said he) what should I do with him else? Well (said he) if you doe it, and put him away, the Chamberlaine will make you take him againe. Will he so (said he) he can not doe it, for he is a Iudas, and a Theefe, for he hath stolne money from me, and I can prove it said the Old Man; and therefore he can not make me take him againe. Baker could not well tell what to say to it; but yet did perswade him to keepe him.

This the Old man told me himselfe, it seemes they have kept him at his Masters, as a private and secret servant for their owne turnes above this fourteene Moneths, and they would still, if they could keepe him there. But what secret mischiefe hee hath done by his so frequent resorting to Baker and Smith, is not yet fully knowne, but I hope it will come out by degrees: Therefore, let all that heares of it take notice of it, and let some of those that were in the information with the three Worthies, cast back their eyes and see if they can finde and spie out who was their Originall Accuser and Betrayer. These things may be worth the making knowne, though I may incurre hatred and spite from them for it, yet I weigh not that, for I have not declared these things out of any revenge, for I commit that unto God.

And for that wrong they have done unto mee, I freely forgive them; and if any of them belong to God, I pray him to call them home unto him. But these things I have set downe, being forced thereunto for vindicating my good name from their bitter reproaches and calumniations, and all you that read this, judge and censure what I have said. But now after my Digression I will returne againe to our former matter.

And being at the Gatehouse I was removed by (sixe of your Honours) to the Fleete, at which time the said Chillington was removed from Bridewell to Newgate, and being kept close there: then he by their threats and perswasions and the procuring of his owne liberty, goes and accuses me for printing ten or twelve thousand Bookes in Holland. And at my Examination before Sir Iohn Bankes I cleared my selfe of that, and upon Fryday last he made an Affidavit against me, in which hee hath most falsly forsworne himselfe, and today he hath made another, which is also a most false untruth: And withall my Lords, he is knowne to be a notorious lying fellow, and hath accused mee for the purchasing of his owne liberty, which he hath got. And therefore, I beseech your Honours, to take into your serious consideration, and see whether I am to be censured upon such a fellowes Affidavits or no. Then said the Lord Keeper, thou art a mad fellow, seeing things are thus, that thou wilt not take thine Oath, and answer truely. My Honourable Lord, I have declared unto you the reall Truth, but for the Oath, it is an Oath of Inquiry, and of the same nature of the High-Commission-Oath; Which Oath I know to be unlawfull; and withall, I finde no warrant in the Word of God, for an Oath of Inquiry, and it ought to be the director of mee in all things that I doe, and therefore my Lords at no hand, I dare not take the Oath (when I named the Word of God, the Court began to laugh, as though they had had nothing to doe with it) my Lords (said Mr. Goad) he told me yesterday, he durst not take the Oath, though he suffered death for the refusall of it. And with that my Lord Privy Seal spoke: Will you (said he) take your Oath, that that which you have said is true? My Lord (said I) I am but a young Man, and doe not well know what belongs to the nature of an Oath (but that which I have said is a reall truth) but thus much by Gods appointment, I know an Oath ought to be the end of all controversie and strife, Heb. 6. 16. And if it might be so in this my present cause, I would safely take my Oath, that what I have said is true. So, they spoke to the Old man my fellow partner, and asked him whether he would take the Oath. So he desired them to give him leave to speake; and he begun to thunder it out against the Bishops, and told them they required three Oathes of the Kings Subjects; namely, the Oath of Churchwardenship, and the Oath of Canonicall Obedience, and the Oath Ex Officio; Which (said he) are all against the Law of the Land, and by which they deceive and perjure thousands of the Kings Subjects in a yeare, And withall, my Lords, (said he) there is a Maxime in Divinity, that we should prefer the glory of God, the good of our King and Country, before our owne lives: but the Lords wondering to heare the Old Man begin to talke after this manner, commanded him to hold his peace, and to answer them, whether he would take the Oath or no? To which he replied, and desired them to let him talke a little, and he would tell them by and by. At which all the Court burst out of a laughing; but they would not let him goe on, but commanded silence, which if they would have let him proceed, he would so have peppered the Bishops, as they were never in their lives in an open Court of Iudicature. So they asked us againe, whether we would take the Oath? which we both againe refused; and withall I told them, that for the reasons before I durst not take it. Then they said, they would proceed to Censure. I bid them doe as they pleased, for I knew my selfe innocent of the thing for which I was imprisoned and accused; but yet notwithstanding did submit my body to their Honours pleasure. So they censured us 500 pound a peece; and then stood up Judge Joans, and said: It was fit that I being a young man for example sake, should have some corporall punishment inflicted upon me. So my Censure was to be whipt, but neither time nor place allotted. And for the Old Man, in regard of his age, being 85. yeares old, they would spare his corporall punishment, though (said they) hee deserves it as well as the other (meaning me) yet he should stand upon the Pillory; but I could not understand or perceive by Censure, that I was to stand upon the Pillory. So we tooke our leaves of them. And when I came from the Bar, I spoke in an audible voice, and said: My Lords, I beseech God to blesse your Honours, and to discover and make knowne unto you the wickednesse and cruelty of the Prelates.

So here is an end of my publike proceedings, as yet, which I have had since I came into my troubles, the Lord sanctifie them unto me, and make me the better by them, and put an end to them in his due time, and make way for my deliverance, as I hope he will.

After our Censure we had the libertie of the prison for a few dayes; but the Old Man, my fellow partner, went to the Warden of the Fleete; and told him the summe of that which he intended in the Star-Chamber, to have spoken against the Bishops, if the Lords would have let him; So he told the Warden, how the Bishops were the greatest Tyrants that ever were since Adams Creation; and that they were more crueller than the Cannibals, those Men-eaters, for (said he) they presently devoured men, and put an end to their paine, but the Bishops doe it by degrees, and are many yeares in exercising their cruelty and tyranny upon those that stand out against them; and therefore are worse than the very Canibals; (and in this he saith very true) for the Holy Ghost saith: They that be slaine with the Sword, are better than they that be slaine with Hunger; and he gives the reason of it: For those pine away, striken through, for want of the fruit of the field, Lamen 4. 9. Whereas those that are slaine out-right, are soone out of their paine.) and said he, they have persecuted mee about forty yeares, and cast mee into eight severall Prisons, and all to undoe me, and waste my estate, that so I might not be worth a penny to buy me meate, but starve in prison, for want of food, and yet were never able to lay any thing to my charge, that I had done either against Gods Law, or the Law of the land, and (said he) they are the wickedest men that are in the Kingdome; and I can prove them (saith he) to be enemies of God, and of the Lord Iesus Christ, and of the King and Common-wealth; Or else I will be willing to loose my life; and also told him that they did thrust the Lord Jesus Christ out of his Priestly, Propheticall and Kingly Offices, and hath set up a willworship of their own invention, contrary to the Holy Scriptures; and that they led by their wicked practises the greater halfe of the Kingdome to Hell with them; and that they rob the King of a million of money in a yeare, and the subjects of as much by their powling, sinfull wicked Courts; and that their living by which they lived was got by lying and cozning of poore ignorant Children; for (said he) the Pope and the Priest did promise the Children of deceased Parents, if they would give so much to the Church, they would pray their Parents out of Purgatory, and so cozened them of their estates; & (said he) by such dissemblings and cozening wayes and meanes as this, were their livings at the first raised. Yea, but Sir, (saith the Warden) what is that to them, that was in time of Popery? Yea, but Sir, (said he) their livings hath continued ever since, and they live still to this day upon the sweetnesse and fatnesse of them.

This and much more he then told the Warden, as Mr. Wharton himselfe since then hath told me. And there being a Papist with foure or five more in the roome, the Warden said; Papist come hither, and heare what the Old Man saith. So it came to the Lords of the Counsels eares, whereupon we were the next Munday after brought both together and locked upclose prisoners in one Chamber, without any Order or Warrant at all, but only Warden INGRAMS bare Command and Pleasure; But the Old Man, about three weekes after, made a Petition to the Lords of the Counsell, that he might have some liberty, and being very weake, more likely to dye than to live, hee had his libertie granted till the Tearme; but I doe still remain close Prisoner; but for my own part, I am as cheerefull and merry, and as well contented with my present condition (in regard I see the over-ruling hand of my good God in it) as ever I was with any condition in my life. I blesse his holy name for it, for in all my troubles I have had such sweete and comfortable refreshings from my God, that though my imprisonment, and those straights that I have beene in, might seeme to the World, to be a great and heavy burthen, yet to me it hath beene a happy condition, and a cause of exceeding joy and rejoycing.

From the Fleete, the place of my joy and rejoycing the 12 of March 1637

By me JOHN LILBURNE

Being close Imprisoned by James Ingram the Warden of the Fleete, who locked me up within few dayes after my Sentence, untill the day of my suffering, and would never suffer me to walke in the Prison yard with a Keeper, though I often sent to him, and desired it of him, but told me all was little enough, because I was so refractory.

 


 

T.4 (8.1.) John Selden, A Brief Discourse concerning the Power of the Peeres (1640).

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T.4 [1640.??] (8.1) John Selden, A Brief Discourse concerning the Power of the Peeres (1640).

Full title

John Selden, A Briefe Discourse, concerning the Power of the Peeres, and Commons of Parliament, in point of Judicature. Written by a learned Antiquerie, at the request of a Peere of this Realme.
Printed in the yeere, 1640.

Estimated date of publication

1640 (no month given).

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Not listed in TT.

Editor’s Introduction

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Text of Pamphlet

SIR, to give you as short an account of your desires as I can, I must crave leave to lay you as a ground, the frame or first modell of this state.

When after the period of the Saxon time, Harold had lifted himselfe into the Royall Seat; the Great men, to whom but lately hee was no more then equall either in fortune or power, disdaining this Act, of arrogancy, called in William then Duke of Normandy, a Prince more active then any in these Westerne parts, and renowned for many victories he had fortunately archieved against the French King, then the most potent Monarch in Europe.

This Duke led along with him to this worke of glory, many of the younger sons of the best families of Normandy, Picardy and Flanders, who as undertakers, accompanied the undertaking of this fortunate man.

The Usurper slaine, and the Crowne by warre gained, to secure certaine to his posterity, what he had so suddenly gotten, he shared out his purchase retaining in each County a portion to support the Dignity Soveraigne, which was stiled Demenia Regni; now the ancient Demeanes, and assigning to others his adventurers such portions as suited to their quality and expence, retaining to himselfe dependancy of their personall seruice, except such Lands as in free Almes were the portion of the Church, these were stiled Barones Regis, the Kings immediate Freeholders, for the word Baro imported then no more.

As the King to these, so these to their followers subdivided part of their shares into Knights fees, and their Tennants were called Barones Comites, or the like; for we finde, as in the Kings Writ in their Writs Baronibus suis & Francois & Anglois, the soveraigne gifts, for the most part extending to whole Counties or Hundreds, an Earle being Lord of the one, and a Baron of the inferiour donations to Lords of Towne-ships or Mannors.

As thus the Land, so was all course of Judicature divided even from the meanest to the highest portion, each severall had his Court of Law, preserving still the Mannor of our Ancestours the Saxons, who jura per pages reddebant; and these are still tearmed Court-Barons, or the Freeholders Court, twelue usually in number, who with the Thame or chiefe Lord were Judges.

The Hundred was next, where the Hundredus or Aldermanus Lord of the Hundred, with the cheife Lord of each Townshippe within their lymits judged; Gods people observed this forme in the publike Centureonis & decam Judicabant plebem omni tempore.

The County or Generale placitum was the next, this was so to supply the defect, or remedy the corruption of the inferior, Vbi Curiæ Dominorum probantur defecisse, pertinet ad vice comitem Provinciarum; the Iudges here were Comites, vice comites & Barones Comitatus qui liberas in hoterras habeant.

The last & supreme, & proper to our question, was generale placitum aupud London universalis Synodus in Charters of the Conquerour, Capitalis curia by Glanvile, Magnum & Commune consilium coram Rege et magnatibus snis.

In the Rolles of Henry the 3. It is not stative, but summoned by Proclamation, Edicitur generale placitum apud London, saith the Booke of Abingdon, whether Epium Duces principes, Satrapæ Rectores, & Causidici ex omni parte confluxerunt ad istam curiam, saith Glanvile: Causes were referred, Propter aliquam dubitationem quæ Emergit in comitatu, cum Comitatus nescit dijudicare. Thus did Ethelweld Bishop of Winchester transferre his suit against Leostine, from the County ad generale placitum, in the time of King Etheldred, Queene Edgine against Goda; from the County appealed to King Etheldred at London. Congregatis principibus & sapaientibus Angliæ, a suit between the Bishops of Winchester and Durham in the time of Saint Edward. Coram Episcopis & principibus Regni in presentia Regis ventilate & finita. In the tenth yeere of the Conquerour, Episcopi, Comites & Barones Regni potestate adversis provinciis ad universalem Synodum pro causis audiendis & tractandis Convocati, saith the Book of Westminster. And this continued all along in the succeeding Kings raigne, untill towards the end of Henry the third.

AS this great Court or Councell consisting of the King and Barons, ruled the great affaires of State and controlled all inferiour Courts, so were there certaine Officers, whose transcendent power seemed to bee set to bound in the execution of Princes wills, as the Steward, Constable, and Marshall fixed upon Families in fee for many ages: They as Tribunes of the people, or ex plori among the Athenians, growne by unmanly courage fearefull to Monarchy, fell at the feete and mercy of the King, when the daring Earle of Leicester was slaine at Evesham.

This chance and the deare experience Hen. the 3. himselfe had made at the Parliament at Oxford in the 40. yeare of his raigne, and the memory of the many straights his Father was driven unto, especially at Rumny-mead neare Stanes, brought this King wisely to beginne what his successour fortunately finished, in lessoning the strength and power of his great Lords; and this was wrought by searching into the Regality they had usurped over their peculiar Soveraignes, wherby they were (as the Booke of Saint Albans termeth them.) Quot Dominum tot Tiranni.) and by the weakning that hand of power which they carried in the Parliaments by commanding the service of many Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses to that great Councell.

Now began the frequent sending of Writs to the Commons, their assent not onely used in money, charge, and making Lawes, for before all ordinances passed by the King and Peeres, but their consent in judgements of all natures whether civill or criminall: In proofe whereof I will produce some few succeeding Presidents out of Record.

Liber S. Alban, so. 20. [Editor: illegible word] An. 44. H. 3.When Adamor that proud Prelate of Winchester the Kings halfe brother had grieved the State by his daring power, he was exiled by joynt sentence of the King, the Lords & Commons, and this appeareth expressely by the Letter sent to Pope Alexander the fourth, expostulating a revocation of him from banishment, because he was a Church-man, and so not subject to any censure, in this the answer is, Si Dominus Rex & Regni majores hoc vellent, meaning his revocation, Communitas tamen ipsius ingressũ in Angliã iam nullatemus sustineret. The Peeres subsigne this Answer with their names and Petrus de Mountford vice totius Communitatis, as speaker or proctor of the cõmons.

Charta orig. sub sigil. An. [Editor: illegible word] H. [Editor: illegible word]For by that stile Sir John Tiptofe, Prolocutor, affirmeth under his Armes the Deed of Intaile of the Crowne by King Henry the 4. in the 8. year of his raigne for all the Commons.

The banishment of the two Spencers in the 15. of Edward the second, Prelati Comites & Barones et les autres Peeres de la terre & Communes de Roialme give consent and sentence to the revocation and reversement of the former sentence the Lords and Commons accord, and so it is expressed in the Roll.

In the first of Edw. the 3.Rot. Parl. [Editor: illegible word] E. 3. vel. [Editor: illegible word] when Elizabeth the widdow of Sir John de Burgo complained in Parliament, that Hugh Spencer the yonger, Robert Boldock and William Cliffe his instruments had by duresse forced her to make a Writing to the King, whereby shee was despoiled of all her inheritance, sentence is given for her in these words, Pur ceo que avis est al Evesques Counts & Barones & autres grandes & a tout Cominalte de la terre, que le dit escript est fait contre ley, & tout manere de raison si fuist le dit escript per agard del Parliam. dampue elloques al livre a la dit Eliz.

In An. 4. Edw. 3.Prelationrs Parliam. 1. Ed. 3. Rot. 11. it appeareth by a Letter to the Pope, that to the sentence given against the Earle of Kent, the Commons were parties aswell as well as the Lords & Peeres, for the King directed their proceedings in these words, Comitibus, Magnatibus, Baronibus, & aliis de Communitate dicti Regni ad Parliamentum illud congregatis injunximus ut super his discernerent & judicarent quod rationi et justitiæ, conveniret, habere præ oculis, solum Deum qui eum concordi unanimi sententia tanquam reum criminis læsœ majestatis morti adjudicarent ejus sententia, &c.

[Editor: illegible word] Ann. 5. [Editor: illegible word]When in the 50. yeere of Ed. 3. the Lords had pronounced the sentence against Richard Lions, otherwise then the Commons agreed they appealed to the King, and had redresse, and the sentence entred to their desires.

[Editor: illegible word] Ann 1. [Editor: illegible word] 11. 3. [Editor: illegible word]When in the first yeere of Richard the second, William Weston and John Jennings were arraigned in Parliament for surrendring certaine Forts of the Kings, the Commons were parties to the sentence against them given, as appeareth by a Memorandum ãnexed to that Record. In the first of Hen. the 4, although the Commons referre by protestation, the pronouncing of the sentence of deposition against King Rich. the 2. unto the Lords, yet are they equally interessed in it, as it appeareth by the Record, for there are made Proctors or Commissioners for the whole Parliament, one B. one Abbot, one E. one Baron, & 2. Knights, Gray and Erpingham for the Commons, and to inferre that because the Lords pronounced the sentence, the point of judgement should be onely theirs, were as absurd as to conclude, that no authority was best in any other Commissioner of Oyer and Terminer then in the person of that man solely that speaketh the sentence.

The following marginalia text is unreadable and Liberty Fund has made no effort to partially transcribe it.In 2. Hen. 5. the Petition of the Commons importeth no lesse then a right they had to act and assent to all things in Parliament, and so it is answered by the King; and had not the adjournall Roll of the higher house beene left to the sole entry of the Clarke of the upper House, who, either out of the neglect to observe due forme, or out of purpose to obscure the Commons right & to flatter the power of those he immediately served, there would have bin frequent examples of al times to cleer this doubt, and to preserve a just interest to the Cõmon-wealth, and how conveniently it suites with Monarchy to maintaine this forme, left others of that well framed body knit under one head, should swell too great and monstrous. It may be easily thought for; Monarchy againe may sooner groane under the weight of an Aristocracie as it once did, then under Democracie which it never yet either felt or fear’d.

FINIS.

 


 

T.282 [1640.11.3] Henry Parker, The Case of Shipmoney briefly discoursed (3 Nov. 1640)

Editing History

  • Text added: from Malcolm The Struggle for Sovereignty (28.01.16)
  • Checked agains the facs. PDF: 4 Feb. 2016
  • Introduction: 4 Feb. 2016
  • Draft online: date

 

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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.282 [1640.11.3] (M1) Henry Parker, The Case of Shipmoney briefly discoursed (3 Nov. 1640).

This tract was originally published as part of The Struggle for Sovereignty: Seventeenth-Century English Political Tracts, 2 vols, ed. Joyce Lee Malcolm (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999). Vol. 1. </titles/810#lfMalcolmV1_head_1559>.

Full title

[Henry Parker], The Case of Shipmony briefly discoursed, according to the Grounds of Law, Policy, and Conscience. And most humbly presented to the Censure and Correction of the High Court of Parliament, Nov. 3. 1640. Printed Anno Dom. 1640.

 

Estimated date of publication

3 November, 1640.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 2; E.204 [4]

Joyce Lee Malcolm’s Introduction

[Henry Parker, 1604-1652]

Henry Parker, one of the most prolific writers in the cause of Parliament in the civil war era, has also been dubbed the clearest and most realistic. A graduate of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, he was called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 1637. Parker quickly put his talents to work in support of the Presbyterian, and later the Independent, opponents of the Crown. During the civil war and Interregnum Parker held a series of important posts for Parliament. He served as secretary to Parliament’s army under the Earl of Essex, then in 1645 as secretary to the House of Commons where he prepared various declarations, and finally as secretary to Cromwell’s army in Ireland. He died in Ireland late in 1652, aged forty-eight.

Parker was renowned among his contemporaries and is recognized among modern historians as one of Parliament’s most important theorists. His first published tract, the anonymous “The Case of Shipmony Briefly Discoursed” reprinted here, was prepared for presentation to the Long Parliament on the day it convened. Three editions appeared. It is not only a vigorous denunciation of a levy widely condemned as an abuse of the royal prerogative but underlines for us the grave constitutional threat contemporaries saw in shipmoney itself and, even more, in the legal reasoning with which the royal judges had upheld it. With crystal clarity Parker forges the link between political grievance and constitutional menace. The Long Parliament went on to outlaw shipmoney.

Editor’s Introduction

"Shipmoney" was a medieval tax which was levied on coastal towns and port cities to raise money in time of war. It had largely fallen into disuse by the early 17th century when King Charles I after 1634 began to impose it in order to raise money in peace-tme without having to get the approval of Parliament. He also attempted to extend its range by imposing it on inland counties for the first time. This attempt to raise money caused outrage and became one of the causes of the Civil War which broke out in 1642. A newly elected Parliament in 1640 refused to grant Charles any additional money for his war gainst Scotland which led to the King dissolving Parliament in May. As Charles' financial postion worsened he was forced to recall Parliament in November 1640 but was unable to bend it to his will. In fact, the new Parliament passed laws restricting the power of the king to dissolve Parliament or to impose taxes without its consent.

Henry Parker's pamphlet from November 1640 should be seen in the light of these struggles between the King and Parliament over taxing powers. Parker takes the issue of shipmoney to explore not only the specific rights and wrongs of the King's attempt to revive the old tax (as often is the case in these pamphlets, there are some technical historical and legalistic arguments which get presented to the reader), but also the general relationship between the King, Parliament, and the people, which is of a more general nature. Some of these more general matters include the idea that the king cannot use the law for his own personal gain or profit, that the king cannot be the sole judge of his own actions, that there is a need for several "checks and balances" (such as the courts and parliament) to prevent the king from misusing his power, that the supreme law is not the king's will by the "salus populi" (the health or welfare of the people), that there are many historical examples of kings misusing their power, that power tends to corrupt those who wield it, that war is often used to frighten the people and thus enable the introduction of new taxes or restrictions on their liberties, and that kings can be mislead or corrupted by "court parasites" who seek privileges for themselves at the peoples' expense. Towards the end of the pamphlet there is a hint that if this question is not resolved it might lead to civil war.

 

Text of Pamphlet

The Case of Ship-Money Briefly Discoursed.

Great Fires happening in Townes or Cities, are sometimes the cause that other contiguous houses are spoiled and demolisht, besides those which the flame itselfe seizes. So now, in the case of Shipmoney, not only the judgement itselfe which hath been given against the subject, doth make a great gap and breach in the rights and Franchises of England, but the arguments and pleadings also, which conduced to that judgement, have extended the mischiefe further, and scarce left anything unviolated. Such strange contradiction there hath been amongst the pleaders, and dissent amongst the Judges, even in those Lawes which are most fundamentall, that we are left in a more confused uncertainty of our highest priviledges, and those customes which are most essentiall to Freedome, than we were before. To introduce the legality of the Ship-scot,1 such a prerogative hath been maintained, as destroyes altogether Law, and is incompatible with popular liberty: and such Art hath been used to deny, traverse, avoid, or frustrate the true force, or meaning of all our Lawes and Charters, that if wee grant Ship-money upon these grounds, with Ship-money wee grant all besides. To remove therefore this uncertainty, which is the mother of all injustice, confusion, and publicke dissention, it is most requisite that this grand Councell and Treshault Court2 (of which none ought to thinke dishonourably) would take these Arduis Regni, these weighty and dangerous difficulties, into serious debate, and solemnly end that strife, which no other place of Judicature can so effectually extinguish.

That the King ought to have aid of his subjects in times of danger, and common aid in case of common danger, is laid downe for a ground, and agreed upon by all sides. But about this aid there remaines much variety and contrariety of opinion amongst the greatest Sages of our Law; and the principall points therein controverted, are these foure: First, by what Law the King may compell aid. Secondly, when it is to bee levied. Thirdly, how it is to bee levied. Fourthly, what kinde of aid it must be.

1. Some of the Judges argue from the Law of Nature, that since the King is head, and bound to protect, therefore he must have wherewithall to protect: but this proves only that which no man denies. The next Law insisted upon, is Prerogative; but it is not punctually explained what Prerogative, whether the Prerogative naturall of all Kings, or the Prerogative legall of the Kings of England. Some of the Judges urge, that by Law there is naturall allegeance due to the King from the subject, and it doth not stand with that allegeance that our Princes cannot compell aid, but must require the common consent therein. Others presse, that the Law hath setled a property of goods in the subject, and it doth not stand with that property, that the King may demand them without consent. Some take it for granted, that by Royall prerogative, as it is part of the Lawes of England, the King may charge the Nation without publick consent; and therefore it being part of the Law, it is no invasion upon Law. Others take it for granted, that to levie money without consent, is unjust, and that the King’s prerogative cannot extend to any unjust thing. So many contrary points of warre doe our Trumpets sound at once, and in such confusion doe our Judges leave us, whilest either side takes that for granted, which by the other is utterly denied. By these grounds Royall prerogative, and popular liberty may seeme things irreconcileable, though indeed they are not; neither doth either side in words affirme so much, though their proofes bee so contradictory. King Charles his Maxime is, that the people’s liberty strengthen the King’s prerogative, and the King’s prerogative is to maintaine the people’s liberty; and by this it seemes that both are compatible, and that prerogative is the more subordinate of the two. The King’s words also since have been upon another occasion, That he ever intended his people should enjoy property of goods, and liberty of persons, holding no King so great, as he that was King of a rich and free people: and if they had not property of goods, and liberty of persons, they could bee neither rich nor free. Here we see, that the liberty of the subject is a thing which makes a King great; and that the King’s prerogative hath only for its ends to maintaine the people’s liberty. Wherefore it is manifest, that in nature there is more favour due to the liberty of the subject, than to the Prerogative of the King, since the one is ordained only for the preservation of the other; and then to solve these knots, our dispute must be, what prerogative the people’s good and profit will beare, not what liberty the King’s absolutenes or prerogative may admit: and in this dispute it is more just that wee appeale to written lawes, than to the breasts of Kings themselves. For we know Nationall lawes are made by consent of Prince and people both, and so cannot bee conceived to be prejudiciall to either side; but where the meere will of the Prince is law, or where some few Ministers of his, may alledge what they will for law in his behalfe, no mediocrity or justice is to be expected. We all know that no slave or villaine, can be subjected to more miserable bondage than to be left meerly to his Lord’s absolute discretion: and wee all see that the thraldome of such is most grievous, which have no bounds set to their Lord’s discretion. Let us then see what Fortescue writes, not regard what Court dependents doe interpret, and his words are for 84. Cap. 36. Rex Anglia nec per se nec per suos Ministros Tollagia subsidia aut quavis onera alta imponit legis suis, aut leges corum mutat, aut nova condit sine concessione vel assensu totius regni sui in Parliamento sui expresso.3 These words are full, and generall, and plaine, and in direct affirmance of the ancient Law and usage of England, and it is not sufficient for the King’s Counsell to say that these words extend not to Ship-money: for if there were any doubt, the interpretation ought rather to favour liberty, than prerogative.

It is not sufficient for Judge Jones to say that it is proprium quarto modo4 to a King, and an inseparable naturall prerogative of the Crowne to raise monies without assent, unlesse he first prove that such prerogative bee good and profitable for the people, and such as the people cannot subsist at all without it: nay such as no Nation can subsist without it. This word Prerogative has divers acceptions: sometimes it is taken for the altitude of Honour, sometimes for the latitude of Power. So wee say the prerogative of an Emperour is greater, than that of a King and that of a King, greater than that of a Duke, or petty Potentate: and yet of Kings we say that the King of Denmarke has not so great a Prerogative as the King of England, nor the King of England, as the King of France, &c. For here though their honor and title be the same, yet their power is not. Sometimes Prerogative signifies as much as Soveraignty, and in this generall consideration, wee say, that all supreame commanders are equall, and that they all have this essentiall inseparable Prerogative, that their power ought to be ample enough for the perfection, and good of the people, and no ampler: because the supreame of all human lawes is salus populi. To this law all lawes almost stoope, God dispences with many of his lawes, rather than salus populi shall bee endangered, and that iron law which wee call necessity itselfe, is but subservient to this law: for rather than a Nation shall perish, any thing shall be held necessary, and legal by necessity. But to come to the Prerogative of England, and to speake of it in generall, and comparatively; wee say it is a harmonious composure of policy, scarce to be parralled in all the world, it is neither so boundlesse as to oppresse the people in unjust things, nor so straite as to disable the King in just thinges. By the true fundamentall constitutions of England, the beame hangs even between the King and the Subject: the King’s power doth not tread under foot the people’s liberty, nor the people’s liberty the King’s power. All other Countries almost in Christendome, differ from us in this module of policy: some, but very few, allow a greater sphere of Soveraignty to their Princes; but for the most part now adays the world is given to republists, or to conditionate and restrained forms of government. Howsoever wee ought not to condemne any Nation as unjust herein, though differing from us; for though they seem perhaps very unpolitick, yet it is hard to bee affirmed that God and Nature ever ordained the same method of rule, or scope of royalty to all States whatsoever. Besides what dislike soever wee take at other regiments, yet except it bee in very great excesses or defects, wee must not thinke change always necessary, since custome in those great and generall points obtaines the force of another nature & nature is not to be changed. Divines of late have been much to blame here in preaching one universall forme of government as necessary to all Nations, and that not the moderate, & equall neither, but such as ascribes all to Soveraignty, nothing at all to popular libertie. Some Lawyers also and Statesmen have deserved as ill of late, partly by suggesting that our English lawes are too injurious to our King; and partly by informing, that this King is more limited by law than his Progenitors were, & that till hee be as the King of France is Rex Asinorum,5 hee is but a subject to his subjects, and as a Minor under the command of guardians: but what hath ensued out of the King’s jealousy of his subjects, and overstraining his prerogative? Nothing but irreparable losse, and mischiefe both to King and Commonwealth. And indeed the often and great defections, and insurrections, which have happened of late, almost all over Europe,6 may suffice to warne all wise Princes, not to overstrain their Prerogatives too high; nor to give care to such Counsellors as some of our Judges are, who affirme our King’s Prerogative to be in all points unalterable, and by consequence not depending upon law at all. By an other exception of this word Prerogative in England, we mean such law here establisht as gives the King such and such preeminences, and priviledges: before any subject, such as are not essentiall to royalty, but may be annulled by the same power, by which they were created. That a King shall defend and maintaine his subjects, is a duty belonging to the Office, not a priviledge belonging to the Crowne of a King; this obligation nature lays upon him, and no other power can dissolve it. Also that subjects shall afforde aide, and joine with their Princes in common defence, is a duty arising from the allegiance of the people, and not an honor redounding only to the Prince; nature’s law hath made this a tie not to be changed, or infringed: for that which is annexed by an eternall superiour power cannot be made severable, by a temporall human power. But that such an Emperour, King or Potentate, shall have such or such aid, and compell it by such or such meanes, at such or such times, as to the particular modes and circumstances of his aid, particular municipall Lawes must direct; and these it would be as dangerous to alter, as it is absurd to hold unalterable. In a Parliament held by King James, it was debated, whether or no Tenures in Capite,7 and allowance of Perveyors8 might bee repealed and divided from the Crowne; and it was held that by no Act or Statute they could bee taken away, because they were naturally inherent to the Crowne.

This resolution seemes very strange to me, since the Law of Tenures and Purveyors is not so naturall and essentiall to Monarchy, that it cannot or may not subsist without it. For if in other Countries it bee held a meere politicall way, perhaps an inconvenient thing, then why may not the Prince’s Royalty, and the people’s safety bee preserved intire without it in England? And if so, then why shall not the same authority have vigor to repeale it, which wanted not vigor to inforce it? I cannot conceive that the Parliament herein reflected upon what was formall in Law to bee done, but rather upon what was convenient. Such insignia suprema Majestatis as these, I doe not hold it fit to bee dismembred from the Crowne in policie; I only hold it a thing possible in Law, nay though the King enjoy divers such like prerogatives more, as J. Jones thinkes, than any Prince in Christendome, yet should not I desire or advise to plucke away one the least Flower out of the Regal Garland, nor would it be (perhaps) profitable for the State, to suffer the least diminution thereof. Wee know also, that in England the prerogative hath been bound in many cases, by Statute-Law, and restrained of divers such priviledges as were not essentiall, but meerly politicall. Nullum tempus occurrit Regi:9 This was one of the English Royalties, and very beneficiall many wayes; yet wee know this is in divers cases limited by Act of Parliament, and that very justly, as J. Hutton argues. The great and ancient Tax of Dangelt, it was a Subsidie taken by the Kings of England, for the common defence of the Kingdome; yet this was first released by King Stephen, and after abolished for ever by the Statutes of Edward the first: and there is no reason why an Act of Parliament should not bee as valid in our case, as it was in that. Wherefore it is to bee admired, that J. Jones should account this way of aid by Ship-money, or any other, without publicke consent, to bee Proprium quarto modo10 to the Kings of England, and so unrepealeable, since our Kings have in all ages, done such noble acts without it; and not only defended, but also enlarged their dominions. The last kinde of acception of this word Prerogative, is improper. Thus to pardon malefactors, to dispence with penall Lawes, to grant Non obstantes, to bee free from attainders, to call or discontinue, to prorogue or dissolve Parliaments, &c. are not truely and properly called Prerogatives: these all in some sense may bee called Munities, or indemnities, belonging to the sacred person of the King, as hee is inviolable, and subject to no force and compulsion of any other. And as he is the soule of Law, in whose power alone it is to execute Law, and yet not to bee constrained thereto. To grant a pardon to some malefactors for some crimes, may perhaps bee as heinous as to commit them; and that which drawes a guilt upon the King, cannot bee said to bee his priviledge. If it might bee tearmed a Royalty, that the King is not questionable, or punishable, or to bee forced in such acts as tend to the obstruction of justice, it might as well be so tearmed in acts tending to the transgression of Law: for in both hee is alike free from any coercive, or vindicative force. For it is out of necessity, not honour, or benefit, that the King hath a freedome from constraint, or restraint in these cases; and that this freedome is inseparable, because no force can be used but by superiours, or equals, and hee which hath either superiors or equals, is no King. If a King should shut up the Courts or ordinary Justice, and prohibit all pleadings and proceedings betwixt man and man, and refuse to authorise Judges for the determining of suits, hee would bee held to doe a most unkingly thing: and yet this may be as truly called a Prerogative, as to disuse and dissolve Parliaments. But it may bee objected, that the King besides such negative priviledge and freedome from force, hath also a positive of seizing subjects’ lands, &c. in divers cases, as in making Bulwarkes upon any man’s land for common defence &c. To this it may be answered, That to such power the King is not intitled by his Prerogative, nor is it any benefite to him, necessitie herein is his only warrant: for either this private inconvenience must happen, or a publick ruine follow and in nature the lesse and private evill is to bee chosen: and here the party trespassed, enjoyes safety by it, and shall after receive satisfaction for his detriment. Were there such apparant unavoidable necessity in the Ship-scot, that either that course must bee taken, or the community inevitably perish, or were the King wholly disinterested in point of profit, or were there hope of restitution, it could not bee without consent, and so not against Law. So then, for ought that is yet alledged, Prerogative, except that which is essentiall to all Kings, without which they cannot bee Kings, is alterable, and it ought to be deduced out of the written and knowne Lawes of the Kingdome, and Law is not to be inferred out of that; wee ought not to presume a Prerogative, and thence conclude it to be Law, but we ought to cite the Law, and thence prove it to be Prerogative. To descend then to our owne Lawes, yet there our Judges vary too. What the Common Law was in this point is doubted by some, and some say if the Common Law did allow the King such a prerogative to lay a generall charge without consent, then Statutes cannot alter it.

Some doe not except against the force of Statute Law, but avoid our particular Statutes by divers several evasive answers. Some say our Great Charter was but a grant of the King, extorted by force; some except against the 25. of Ed. I. because there is a salvo in it; some against the 34. of Ed. I. as made in the King’s absence; some object against the 14. of Ed. 3. as if it were temporary, and because it is not particularly recited in the Petition of Right. And the common evasion of all beneficiall Statutes, and of the Petition of right, is, that they binde the King from imposing pecuniary charges for the replenishing of his owne coffers, but not from imposing such personall services, as this Ship-scot is, in time of danger and necessity. J. Crawly maintains this Ship-scot to bee good by Prerogative at the Common Law, and not to be altered by Statute. What the Common Law was, this Court can best determine; but it is obvious to all men, that no Prerogative can be at the Common Law, but it had some beginning, and that must bee from either King or Subject, or both: and in this, it is not superiour to our Statute Law, and by consequence not unalterable. The Medes and Persians had a Law, that no Law once past, should ever bee repealed; but doubtlesse this Law being repealed first, all others might after suffer the same alteration, and it is most absurd to think that this Law might not bee repealed by the same authority by which it was at first enacted. J. Jones sayes, our Statutes restraine tollages in generall termes, and cites divers cases, that a speciall interest shall not passe from the King, but in special termes. But his cases are put of private grantees, over whom the King ought to retaine a great preheminence: but the Law is, that where the whole state is grantee, that grant shall have the force of a Statute, because it is pro bono publico, and because the whole state is in value and dignity as much to be preferred before the King, as the King is before any private grantee. But J. Jones sayes further, if generall words shall extend to these extraordinary publick levies, then they may as well extend to his ordinary private rights, and intradoes, & so cut off Aide pur faire filz Chivaleir, &c. The contrary hereof is manifest, for the intent of all our Statutes is to defend the subject against such publick tollages and impositions, as every man is equally liable to, and as are not due in Law otherwise, or recoverable by ordinary action. Now these aides, &c. and the King’s ordinary revenues and services, are not such as are due from every man, but recoverable by ordinary action. Howsoever in all these doubts the Law would now bee made cleare, and not only the vertue of Statutes in generall, but also the true meaning of our particular Charters would be vindicated from all these exceptions.

2. I come now to our second difficulty, when a publicke charge may bee laid. Here the favourers of Ship-money yet agree, that the King may not charge the subject meerly to fill his owne coffers, or annually, or when he will invade a forraigne enemy, or when Pirates rob, or burn Townes and Burroughs, for these ordinary defence is sufficient: and when there is imminent and eminent danger of publick invasion, we agree that the subject may be charged.

The Quaere then is, whether the King bee sole Judge of the danger, and of the remedy, or rather whether he be so sole Judge, that his meere affirmation and notification of a danger foreseene by him at a distance, or pretended only to be foreseene, shall be so unquestionable, that he may charge the Kingdome thereupon at his discretion, though they assent not, nor apprehend the danger as it is forewarned. J. Crooke proves the contrary thus: If danger, sayes he, be far distant, if it be in report only of French armadoes, and Spanish preparations, &c. though it bee certaine, and not pretensive, yet Parliamentary Aid may be speedy enough: and if it be imminent, then this way of Ship-scot will not bee speedy enough; for either the designe is really to have new Ships built, and that will require longer time than a Parliament; or else money only is aimed at, whereby to arme other Ships, and for this the Law hath provided a more expedite way than by Ship-scot, in case of imminent danger.

If then the King have power to presse all men’s persons and ships, and all are bound exponere se, & sua,11 and to serve propriis sumptibus,12 when imminent danger is, and this defence hath alwayes beene held effectuall enough, it is consequent that if hee be not destitute of competent Aid in present distresses, he cannot pretend a greater necessity in dangers more remote, when they are but suspected or perhaps pretended only.

My Lord Bramston sayes here, that there is a necessity of preventing a necessity: and that the Sea is part of the Kingdome, and therefore of necessity to bee guarded as the kingdome. The answer is, That the safety of the Kingdome does not necessarily depend upon the Ship-scot, and so this necessity being removed, the necessity grounded upon this, falls off of itselfe. For if the Kingdome may escape ruine at hand when it is a storme, without Ship-money, it may much more escape it afar off, being but a cloud. But grant the Sea to be a part of the Kingdome to some purposes, yet how is it a part essentiall, or equally valuable, or how does it appeare that the fate of the Land depends wholly upon the dominion of the Sea? France subsists now without the regiment of the Sea, and why may not we as well want the same? If England quite spend itselfe, and poure out all its treasure to preserve the Seigniory of the Seas, it is not certaine to exceed the Navall force of France, Spaine, Holland, &c. And if it content itselfe with its ancient strength of shipping, it may remaine as safe as it hath formerly done. Nay I cannot see that either necessity of ruine, or necessity of dishonour can bee truly pretended out of this, that France, Spaine, Holland, &c. are too potent at Sea for us.

The dominion of the seas may be considered as a meer right, or as an honour, or as a profit to us. As a right it is a theme fitter for schollers to whet their wits upon, than for Christians to fight and spill bloud about: and since it doth not manifestly appeare, how or when it was first purchased, or by what law conveyed to us, wee take notice of it only as matter of wit and disputation. As it is an honour to bee masters of the sea, and to make others strike saile to us as they passe; it’s a glory fitter for women and children to wonder at; than for Statesmen to contend about. It may bee compared to a chaplet of flowers, not to a diadem of gold: but as it is a profit to us to fence and inclose the sea, that our neighbours shall not surprise us unawares, it’s matter of moment, yet it concernes us but as it doth other Nations. By too insolent contestations hereupon, wee may provoke God, and dishonour ourselves; we may more probably incense our friends, than quell our enemies, wee may make the land a slave to the sea, rather than the sea a servant to the land. But I pray Master Selden to pardon me for this transition, and I returne my matter. If the Kingdome could not possibly subsist without Ship-money in such a danger, yet there is no necessity that the King should be so sole Judge of that danger, as that he may judge therein contrary to the opinion, and perhaps knowledge of other men. I allow the King to be supreame, and consequently sole Judge in all cases whatsoever, as to the right, and as to the diffusion of Judgement; but as to the exercise, and restraint of judgment, he is not, nor ought not to be accounted sole Judge. In matters of Law the King must create Judges, and swear them to judge uprightly, and impartially, and for the subject against himself, if law so require; yea though hee bee of contrary judgement himselfe, and by his Letters sollicite the contrary. The King’s power is as the disgestive faculty in nature, all parts of the body contribute heat to it for their owne benefit, that they may receive backe againe from it a better concocted and prepared supply of nourishment, as it is their office to contribute, so it is the stomacke’s to distribute.

And questionlesse sole judgement in matters of State, does no otherwise belong to the King, than in matters of Law, or points of Theology. Besides, as sole judgement is here ascribed to the King, hee may affirme dangers to be foreseene when he will, and of what nature he will: if he say only, Datum est nobis intelligi,13 as he does in this Writ, &c. To his sole indisputable judgement it is left to lay charges as often and as great as he pleases. And by this meanes, if he regard not his word more than his profit, hee may in one yeare draine all the Kingdome of all its treasure, and leave us the most despicable slaves in the whole world.

It is ridiculous also to alledge, as J. Jones does, that it is contrary to presumption of Law to suspect falsity in the King: for if Law presume that the King will not falsly pretend danger to vexe his subjects, of his owne meere motion, yet no Law nor reason nor policy will presume, that the King may not be induced by misinformation to grieve the people without cause. The Sunne is not more visible than this truth, our best Kings, King Charles, King James, Queene Elizabeth, and all the whole ascending line, have done undue illegall things at some times, contrary to the rights and Franchises of England, being misinformed, but having consulted with the Judges, or States in Parliament, they have all retracted, and confessed their error. Nay there is nothing more knowne, or universally assented to than this, that Kings may be bad; and it is more probable and naturall that evill may bee expected from good Princes, than good from bad. Wherefore since it is all one to the State, whether evill proceed from the King mediately or immediately, out of malice, or ignorance. And since wee know that of all kindes of government Monarchicall is the worst, when the Scepter is weilded by an unjust or unskilfull Prince, though it bee the best, when such Princes as are not seduceable (a thing most rare) reigne, it will bee great discretion in us not to desert our right in those Lawes which regulate and confine Monarchy, meerly out of Law-presumption, if wee must presume well of our Princes, to what purpose are Lawes made? and if Lawes are frustrate and absurd, wherein doe we differ in condition from the most abject of all bondslaves?

There is no Tyranny more abhorred than that which hath a controlling power over all Law, and knowes no bounds but its owne will: if this be not the utmost of Tyranny, the Turkes are not more servile than we are and if this be Tyranny, this invention of ship-money makes us as servile as the Turkes. We must of necessity admit, that our Princes are not to be misse-led, and then our Lawes are needlesse; or that they may be misse-led, and then our Lawes are useless. For if they will listen to ill counsell, they may be moved to pretend danger causlesly; and by this pretence defeate all our lawes and liberties, and those being defeated, what doth the English hold, but at the King’s meere discretion, wherein doth he excell the Captive’s condition? If we shall examine why the Mohametan slaves are more miserably treated, than the Germans, or why the French Pesants are so beggarly, wretched, and beastially used more than the Hollanders, or why the people of Milan, Naples, Sicily are more oppressed, trampled upon, and inthralled than the Natives of Spaine? there is no other reason will appeare but that they are subject to more immoderate power, and have lesse benefit of law to releeve them.

In nature there is no reason, why the meanest wretches should not enjoy freedome, and demand justice in as ample measure, as those whom law hath provided for: or why Lords which are above law should bee more cruell than those which are more conditionate. Yet we see it is a fatall kind of necessity only incident to immoderate power, that it must be immoderately used: and certainly this was well known to our ancestors, or else they would not have purchased their charters of freedome with so great an expence of bloud as they did, and have endured so much so many yeares, rather than to bee betrayed to immoderate power, and prerogative. Let us therefore not bee too carelesse of that, which they were so jealous of, but let us look narrowly into the true consequence of this ship-scot, whatsoever the face of it appeare to be. It is vaine to stop twenty leakes in a ship, and then to leave one open, or to make lawes for the restraint of royalty all other ways, that it may not overflow the estates of the Commonalty at pleasure, and yet to leave one great breach for its irruption.

All our Kings hitherto have been so circumscribed by law, that they could not command the goods of their subjects at pleasure without common consent. But now if the King bee but perswaded to pretend danger, hee is uncontroleable Master of all we have, one datum est intelligi, shall make our English Statutes like the politick hedge of Goteham, and no better. I doe not say that this King will falsifie, it is enough that we all, and all that we have are at his discretion if he will falsifie, though vast power be not abused, yet it is a great mischiefe that it may, and therefore vast power itselfe is justly odious, for divers reasons. First, because it may fall into the hands of ill disposed Princes, such as were King John, Henry the third, Edward the second, Richard the second. These all in their times made England miserable, and certainly had their power beene more unconfineable, they had made it more miserable. The alterations of times doe not depend upon the alteration of the people, but of Princes: when Princes are good it fares well with the people, when bad ill. Princes often vary, but the people is always the same in all ages, and capable of small, or no variations. If Princes would endure to heare this truth it would bee profitable for them, for flatterers always raise jealousies against the people; but the truth is, the people as the sea have no turbulent motion of their owne, if Princes like the windes doe not raise them into rage. Secondly, vast power if it finde not bad Princes it often made Princes bad. It hath often changed Princes, as it did Nero from good to bad, from bad to worse: but Vespasian is the only noted man which by the Empire was in melius mutatus: daily experience teaches this. Dangelt in England within twenty yeares increased to a fourefold proportion.

Subsidies were in former times seldome granted, and few at a time, now Parliaments are held by some to bee of no other use than to grant them. The Fox in Aesop observed that of all the beasts which had gone to visite the Lion, few of their footesteps were to be seene retrorsum: they were all printed Adversum. And we finde at this day that it is farre more easie for a King to gaine undue things from the people, than it is for the people to regaine its due from the King. This King hath larger dominions, and hath raigned yet fewer yeares and enjoyed quieter times than Queen Elizabeth; and yet his taxations have been farre greater, and his exploits lesse honorable, and the people is still held in more jealousy. To deny ship-money which sweeps all, is held a rejection of naturall allegiance. I speake not this to render odious the King’s blessed government, I hold him one of the mildest, and most gracious of our Kings; and I instance in him the rather, that wee may see, what a bewitching thing flattery is, when it touches upon this string of unlimitable power. If this ambition and desire of vast power were not the most naturall and forcible of all sinnes, Angels in heaven, and man in Paradise had not fallen by it; but since it is, Princes themselves ought to be more cautious of it. Thirdly, vast power if it neither finde nor make bad Princes, yet it makes the good government of good Princes the lesse pleasing, and the lesse effectuall, for publick good: and therefore it is a rule both in law and policy, and nature, Non recurrendum est ad extraordinaria, in iis quae fieri possunt per ordinaria.14 All extraordinary aides are horrid to the people, but most especially such as the ship-scot is, whereby all liberty is overthrowne, and all law subjected to the King’s meer discretion.

Queen Elizabeth in 88. was victorious without this taxation, and I am perswaded she was therefore victorious the rather, because shee used it not. Her art was to account her subjects’ hearts as her unfailing Exchequer, and to purchase them by doing legall just things, and this art never deceived her, and in that dismall gust of danger it was good for her and the State, both that she did not rely upon forced aides of money, or the words of grieved souldiers; for this Ship money nothing can bee pretended but necessity, and certainly necessity is ill pretended, when the meer doing of the thing, is as dangerous as that for which it is done. Did not this Ship-scot over-throw all popular liberty, and so threaten as great a mischife as any conquest can? and were not the people justly averse from it? Yet meerly for the people’s disaffection to it, it is dangerous to bee relied upon in case of great danger.

We know Nature teacheth us all, of two evils to chuse that which wee thinke the least, though it bee not so; therefore if the people apprehend this remedy as a thing worse than the disease, though they be mistaken therein, yet that very mistake may prove fatall. The Roman Army being harshly treated by the Senators, and their proud Generall, did refuse to charge upon the enemy, or to resist the charge of the enemie, they chose rather to bee slaughtered by strangers, than enthralled by their countreymen. The English also in the late Scotch invasion, by reason of this and many other causes of discontent, made so faint resistance, that they did in a manner confesse, that they held themselves as miserable already as the Scots could make them. Thus we see there is no necessity of levying Ship-money, there is rather necessity of repealing it: and wee see that presumption of Law doth not abet this necessity, but rather crosse it. And whereas J. Jones further saith, That the King hath no benefite by Ship-money, and therefore presumption is the stronger, that the King will not take it causelesly; wee may answer: The Ship-money is a very great benefite to the King for if not immediatly, yet mediatly it is become a revenue, inasmuch as by this addition all other revenues of the Crowne, nay and Tunnage and Poundage, which were not designed only for ordinary expences, but for extraordinary imployments, and publicke charges also, are now become discharged of that tie, & the Common-wealth hath lost all its interest and property in them. In point of benefit therefore it is all one to the King, and in point of burthen it is all one to the subject, whether Ship-money bee accounted of as part of the King’s annuall rents, or no, since by it his rents are enlarged: and as to the subject there is no obligation, that this levie shall not hereafter incorporate with the rest of the King’s In-traders and be swallowed up as Tunnage and Poundage now are. Thus we see what the necessitie is, and presumption of Law, which was so much insisted upon; and yet for a further confutation of both, Time, the mother of Truth, hath now given us more light. Now that great danger which was pretended so many years together for the necessity of raising so great supplies of treasure, is as a small cloud blown over, making it apparant that Kings may bee mis-informed; and by mis-information take Molehils for Mountaines, and cast heavie burthens upon their subjects.

3. But I come now to my 3d Difficultie, How a publick charge is to be laid upon the kingdome. The Law runs generally, that in England no Tollage or pecuniary charge may bee imposed Fors que per common assent de tout la Realme, or, Sinon per common consent de Parliament. Some presidents, or matters of fact appeare, wherein some Kings have divers times invaded this right of the subject, but upon conference had with the Judges, or petition in Parliament, redresse was ever made, and the subject’s right re-established. All the colour which can be brought to answer the Law in our case, is, that the words of the law are general of Taxes & Tollages, but do not by special mention restrain extraordinary danger. But wee know the Petition of Right, 3. Car. is grounded upon former Statutes, and recites divers of them, and is a cleare affirmance of the common right of England; and yet by that the commissions for Loanes were damned. And it is evident that those Loanes were demanded for the generall defence of the Kingdome in time of imminent danger; and by the same Statute, not only Loanes, but all other levies of money upon what pretence of danger soever, Si non per common consent, are condemned as illegall, and contrary to the Lawes and Rights of England. Two things therefore are objected against Parliaments: First, that they are of slow motion, and so most of the Judges alledge. Secondly, that they may be perverse, and refuse due aid to the King, and so J. Crawly boldly suggests. For answer we say in generall: First, that it is the wisdome of the Kings to be alwayes vigilant, and to have their eyes so open upon forraigne Princes, and to maintaine such intelligence that no preparation from abroad may surprize them before recourse had to Parliament; and this is very easie to Insular Princes, who have a competent strength of shipping, Secondly, to have alwayes in readinesse against all sudden surprizes, a sufficient store of amunition and arms both for sea and land-service: and the revenues of the Crowne of England are sufficient for this purpose, and have been held more than sufficient in former times, when hostility was greater, and the Kingdome smaller. Thirdly, to seek advice and assistance from Parliaments, frequently in times of quiet, as well as of danger, as well when war is but smoking, or kindling, as when it is blowne into a flame. Before the conquest this was held policie, and since in Edward the third’s time, a statute past to this purpose; and if Parliaments of late be growne into dislike, it is not because their vertue is decayed, it is because the corruption of the times cannot endure such sharp remedies. Fourthly, to speak particularly of this case of ship-mony, we say that it is a course more slow than by Parliament: there was more expedition used in Parliament to supply King Charles, since he came to the Crowne, than can this way. And we say moreover, that as the extremity of the Kingdom was when Ship-money was demanded, whatsoever was pretended to the contrary, a Parliament might have beene timely enough called, and seasonably enough supplied the King. As to the second objection of J. Crawly, too unfit to come out of any honest wise man’s mouth, but much more for a Judge’s, Judge Crooke replies, that as there is nullum iniquum in Lege, so neither in Parliamento.15 The three noted factions which are adverse to Parliaments, are the Papists, the Prelates, and Court Parasites; and these may be therefore supposed to hate Parliaments, because they know themselves hatefull to Parliaments. It is scarce possible for the King to finde out any other that thinkes ill of Parliaments or is ill thought of by Parliaments. Of Papists little need to bee said, their enmity is confest, they have little to pretend for themselves, but that Parliaments are grown Puritanicall. The Prelates thinke themselves not to have jurisdiction and power enough; and they know that Parliaments think they have too much, and abuse that which they have much more: therefore to uphold themselves, and to crush their ill-willers, they not only tax Parliaments of Puritanisme, but all Puritans of sedition. As much as in them lies, they wed the King to their quarrell, perswading him that Parliaments out of Puritanisme, doe not so much aime at the fall of Episcopacie, as Monarchy: and that Episcopacie is the support of Monarchy, so that both must stand and fall together. Howbeit because they cannot upbraid Parliaments of attempting anything against Monarchy further than to maintaine due liberty, therefore they preach an unlimitable prerogative, and condemne all law of liberty as injurious to Kings, and incompatible with Monarchy. Manwarring denies Parliamentary power and honour, Cowel16 denies propriety of goods, further than at the King’s discretion, and Harrison17 accuses Judge Hutton of delivering law against God’s Law, in the case of Ship-money. And the common Court doctrine is that Kings are boundlesse in authority, and that they only are Cesar’s friends which justifie that doctrine; and from this doctrine hath grown all the jealousies of late betweene the King and his best Subjects; and this is that venemous matter which hath lain burning, and ulcerating inwardly in the bowels of the common-wealth so long. The other enemies of Parliaments, are Court dependants, and projectors, which have taken advantage of this unnaturall dissention betwixt the King and his Subjects; and have found out meanes to live upon the spoile of both, by siding with the King, and being instruments to extend his Prerogative to the purchasing of preferment to themselves, disaffection to the King, and vexation to the common-wealth. These three factions excepted, and some few Courtiers which are carried with the current of example, or are left to speake unpleasing truths, there is scarce any man in all the King’s dominions, which doth not wish for Parliaments, as the State’s best physick, nay almost as its naturall necessary food: but I will instance in three thinges wherein Parliaments excell all other Counsells whatsoever.

1. For wisdome, no advice can be given so prudent, so profound, so universally comprehending, from any other author; it is truly said by Sir Robert Cotton, that all private single persons may deceive and bee deceived; but all cannot deceive one, nor one all.

That an inconsiderable number of Privadoes should see or know more than whole Kingdomes, is incredible: vox populi was ever reverenced as vox Dei, and Parliaments are infallible, and their acts indisputable to all but Parliaments. It is a just law, that no private man must bee wiser than Law publickly made. Our wisest Kings in England, have ever most relied upon the wisdome of Parliaments.

Secondly, no advice can bee so faithfull, so loyall, so religious and sincere, as that which proceeds from Parliaments, where so many are gathered together for God’s service in such a devout manner, we cannot but expect that God should bee amongst them: and as they have a more especiall blessing promised them; so their ends cannot be so sinister. Private men may thrive by alterations: and common calamities, but the common body can affect nothing but the common good, because nothing else can be commodious for them. Sir Robert Cotton in the life of Hen. 3. according to the Court Doctrine at this present, sayes, that in Parliament Kings are ever lesse than they should be, and the people more. If this bee spoken of irregular Kings, which will endure to heare of nothing but Prerogative government, it may carry some semblance of truth: but sure it is, good and wise Kings are ever greatest when they sit immured, as it were, in that honorable assembly: as the History of Queen Elizabeth and many of her Progenitors testifies. Tis true, Hen. the third, met with divers oppositions in Parliament. He was there upbraided, and called dilapidator regni;18 it was true that he was so, and the most unworthy of rule, that ever sate in this Throne; yet those words became not subjects. I doe not justifie, but in some part extenuate such misdemeanours; for the chiefe blame of those times is not to bee throwne upon the Peeres and Commons, but upon the King and his outlandish Parasites. It is without all question also that in those bloudy unjust times, had it not been for frequent Parliaments, and that soveraigne remedy which thereby was applied to the bleeding wounds of the Kingdome, no other helpe could have stanched them.

Even then, when Parliaments were most prevalent, and when they had so much provocation from so variable and uncapable a Prince, they did not seeke to conditionate prerogative, or to depresse Monarchy for the future, though they were a little too injurious to him in person for the present.

Since that time also many Parliaments have had to struggle for due liberty with insolent Princes, and have had power to clip the wings of Royalty; and the custome of all Europe almost besides hath seemed to give some countenance to such attempts; but the deepe wisdome, and inviolable loyalty of Parliaments to this composure of government hath beene such, that they never made any invasion upon it. As it was in all former ages, so it now remaines intire with all its glorious ensignes of honour, and all the complements of power; and may he be as odious which seekes to alter or diminish Monarchicall government for the future, as he which seekes to make it infinite, and slanders Parliaments as enemies to it, or indeavours to blow such jealousies into the King’s eares.

3. No advice can be so fit, so forcible, so effectuall for the publicke welfare, as that which is given in Parliament: if any Cabinet Counsellors could give as wise and sincere advice as Parliaments, yet it could not be so profitable, because the hearts of the people doe not goe along with any other, as with that.

That King which is potent in Parliament, as any good King may, is as it were so insconsed in the hearts of his subjects, that he is almost beyond the traines or aimes of treason and rebellion at home, nay forraigne hostility cannot pierce him, but through the sides of all his people.

It ought to be noted also, that as the English have ever beene the most devoted servants of equall, sweetly-moderate Soveraignty; so in our English Parliaments, where the Nobility is not too prevalent, as in Denmark, nor the Comminalty, as in the Netherlands, nor the King, as in France, Justice and Policie kisse and embrace more lovingly than elsewhere. And as all the three States have alwayes more harmoniously borne their just proportionable parts in England than elsewhere, so now in these times, in these learned, knowing, religious times, we may expect more blessed counsell from Parliaments than ever, wee received heretofore. May it therefore sinke into the heart of our King to adhere to Parliaments, and to abhorre the grosse delusive suggestions of such as disparage that kinde of Councell. May he rather confide in that Community which can have no other end but their owne happinesse in his greatnesse, than in Papists, Prelates, and Projectors, to whom the publick disunion is advantagious. May hee affect that gentle Prerogative which stands with the happinesse, freedome, and riches of his people; and not that terrible Scepter which does as much avert the hearts, as it does debilitate the hands, and exhaust the purses of his Subjects. May he at last learne by experience, that the grievance of all grievances, that that mischiefe which makes all mischiefes irremediable, and almost hopelesse in England at this day, is that Parliaments are clouded, and disused, and suffered to be calumniated by the ill boding incendiaries of our State. May it lastly enter into his beleefe, that it is impossible for any Kingdome to deny publicke assent for their Prince’s aid, either in Parliament or out, when publicke danger is truly imminent, and when it is fairely required, and not by projects extorted: that no Nation can unnaturally seeke its owne ruine, but that all Kings, like Constantine, may make their Subjects’ purses their owne private coffers, if they will demand due things, at due times, and by due meanes.

4. I come now to the last difficulty about the condition and nature of such aides as are due by Law from the Subject to the King. Though much hath beene argued both at the barre and on the Bench, for the King, that he may raise monies from his Subjects, without consent by law, prerogative, and necessity. Yet at last, because the Petition of Right absolutely crosses this tenet, it is restored to us backe againe, and yeelded, that the King may not impose a pecuniary charge by way of Tollage, but only a personall one by way of service. And now all our controversie ends in this, that we must contest, whether the Ship-scot be a pecuniary, or a personall charge. For though the intent of the Writ, and the office of the Sheriffe be to raise monies only, yet the words of the Writ, and the pretence of State, is to build and prepare Ships of warre. The Kingdome generally takes this to bee a meere delusion and imposture, and doubtlesse it is but a picklock tricke, to overthrow all liberty and propriety of goods, and it is a great shame that so many Judges should be abetters to such fraudulent practice contrived against the State. It is not lawfull for the King to demand monies as monies, but it is lawfull to demand monies under another wrong name, and under this wrong name all former Lawes and Liberties shall be as absolutely cancelled, as if they had beene meere cobwebs, or enacted only out of meere derision. If former laws made to guard propriety of goods were just, and grounded upon good reason, why are they by this grosse fallacy, or childish abuse defeated. If they were not just, or reasonable, what needs such a fond subtiltie as this? Why should not they bee fairely avoided by Law? Why were they made at all? But be this invention what it will, yet wee see it is new; if it be quashed, the State is but where it was, we are still as our Ancestors left us; and since our preceeding Kings never heretofore put it in use in the most necessitous calamitous times, we may from hence infer, that the plea of State necessitie falls off of itselfe; if we admit not of this innovation, then the State suffers not; but if wee admit it, no necessity being of it, wee can frame no other reason for our so doing, but that our former franchises and priviledges were unjust, and therefore this way they must bee annulled. Some of our Judges doe prove, that if this were a personall service, yet it were void; and they cite the case of Barges, and Ballingers vessells, built truly for warre in time of imminent danger, and yet these charges upon complaint made by the Subject, were revoked, and disclaimed. But here in this case many other enormities and defects in Law are, for if ships bee intended to be built in Inland Countries, a thing impossible is injoined; and if monies be aimed at, that very aime is against Law: and if the Kingdome were to be disfranchised, it were not to bee done by an illegall way.

Besides, in the Writ, in the Assessement, in the Sheriffe’s remedie against recusants of it, in the execution of Law, by, or after Judgement, many inconveniences, errors, and mischiefes arise many wayes: and sure take the whole case as it is, and since the Creation no whole Kingdome was ever cast in such a cause before.

Besides, though the Judges ought wholly to have bent themselves upon this, to have proved this a personall service, and no pecuniary charge, they have roved after necessity, presumption of Law, and Prerogative, and scarce said anything at all hereof.

My Lord Bramston argues very eagerly, that personall services by Sea and Land are due to the King in cases of extremity, and all their records, cases, and precedents prove no more, and that men may be arrayed, and ships pressed, and that sumptibus populi;19 but there is nothing proved that the meere raising of monies in this case, is a personall service. J. Jones indeed argues to this purpose: If the Law intrust the King with so great a power over men’s persons, why not over their estates? There is cleare reason for the contrary: because the King, if he should abuse men’s personall aides, could not inrich or profit himselfe thereby, and we know it is gaine and profit, it is Auri sacra fames20 which hath power over the breasts of men. It is not ordinary for Tyrants to imbattaile hoasts of men, and make them charge upon the Sea-billowes, and then to gather up Cockles and Piwinckle shells in lieu of spoile, as one did once. But the world abounds with stories of such Princes, as have offended in abusing their power over men’s estates, and have violated all right divine and human, to attaine to such a boundless power.

Good Kings are sometimes weake in coveting boundlesse power; some affect rivality with God himselfe in power, and yet places that power in doing evill, not good: for few Kings want power to doe good, and therefore it misbecomes not sometimes good Subjects to be jealous in some things of good Kings. But J. Jones farther sayes, that Ships must be built, and without money that cannot be done: ergo. This necessity hath beene answered, and disproved already: and I now adde, that for the good of the Kingdome there is more necessity that Ship-money bee damned than maintained. Such unnaturall slavery seems to mee to bee attendant upon this all-devouring project, and such infamy to our Ancestors, our Lawes, and ourselves, nay and such danger to the King and his posterity, that I cannot imagine how any forraigne conquest should induce anything more to be detested and abhorred.

Those Kings which have beene most covetous of unconfined immoderate power, have beene the weakest in judgement, and commonly their lives have beene poore and toilsome, and their ends miserable, and violent: so that if Kings did rightly understand their owne good, none would more shunne uncontrollable absolutenesse than themselves.

How is the King of France happy in his great Prerogative? or in that terrible style of the King of Asses? Wee see that his immoderate power makes him oppresse his poore Pesants, for their condition is most deplorable, and yet set his power aside, and there is no reason why he should not be as a father to cherish them, as a God to comfort them, not as an enemy to impoverish them, as a tormentor to afflict them.

2. His oppression makes him culpable before God: he must one day render a sad account for all the evill which hee hath imposed, for all the good which he hath not procured to them. That the Vicegerent of God should doe the office of a tyrant, will be no light thing one day.

3. His sinne makes him poore: for were his Pesants suffered to get wealth and enjoy it, the whole land would be his treasury, and that treasury would containe twice as much as now it doth.

4. His poverty makes him impotent, for money being the sinewes of warre, how strong would his joints be, if all his subjects were abounding in money, as doubtlesse they would, if they wanted not liberty, and propriety? Besides, poverty depresses the spirit of a Nation: and were the King of France, King of an Infantery, as he is only of a Cavalry, were he a King of men, as he is only of beasts, had he a power over hearts as he hath over hands, that Country would be twice as puissant as it is.

5. His impotence, together with all other irregularities, and abuses is like to make his Monarchy the lesse durable. Civill wars have ever hitherto infected and macerated that goodly Country, and many times it hath been near its ruine. It now enjoys inward peace, but it doth no great exploits abroad, nor is ever likely to doe, unlesse by practising upon the distemper of other Nations. Should some other Prince practise in the like manner upon that, and propose liberty to the grieved people, much advantage might be taken: but these avisoes would better proceed from that most heroick, most terrible, most armipotent Churchman, which effects such great wonders here. Wee see hence that Princes by some gaine lose, as the whole body pines by the swelling of the spleene. We see that Rehoboam catcht at immoderate power, as the dog in the fable at a shadow, but instead of an uncertain nothing, he let fall and lost a certaine substance; and yet flatterers have scarce any other baite than this shadow of immoderate power, whereby to poison the phantasies of weake humours, undiscerning rash Princes.

My humble motion therefore is: First, that the judgement given in the Chequer Chamber for Ship-money, may bee reversed, and damned, as contrary to the right of the Subject.

Secondly, that those Judges which adhered to equity and integrity in this case, might have some honourable guerdon21 designed them.

Thirdly, that some dishonourable penalty may bee imposed upon those Judges which ill advised the King herein, and then argued as Pleaders, not as Judges; especially if any shall appeare to have solicited the betraying of the Kingdome.

Fourthly, that the meaning of our Lawes & Charters, may bee fully and expresly declared, and the force and vertue of Statutes and publicke Grants, may be vindicated from all such exceptions and objections as have beene particularly or generally made against them.

Fifthly, that a clearer solution may bee given in the foure maine points stirred, how farre prerogative is arbitrary and above Law; and how farre naturall allegeance bindes to yeeld to all demands not of Parliament: next, how the King is sole Judge of danger, as that his meere cognizance thereof shall be sufficient, though there be no appearance or probability thereof. Next, how a necessity of publicke ruine must bee concluded now, if Ship-money be not levied, when no such ruine hath been formerly, when this new plot was not devised. Lastly, how this Ship-scot pretending ships, but intending money, and really raising the same, can bee said to bee no pecuniary tollage within our Statutes, but a meere personall service.

Sixthly, that any Officers, or Ministers of State, which shall attempt to lay the like taxes hereafter upon the Subject, by vertue of the like void warrants, may be held and taken as Felons, or Traitors, or forcible Intruders.

Seventhly, that something may be inacted against forraigne or domesticall Forces also, if they shall be congregated for the like purposes; and that the subject may bee inabled by some fit and timely remedy to bee given against a military kinde of government.

Eighthly, that the due way of publicke defence, in case of imminent and eminent danger, or actuall necessary warre, for the pressing of men, and other charges of warre, such as Cote and Conduct money,22 and all doubts thereabouts, may be made more certaine, and settled for the time to come.

Ninthly, that if the King’s ordinary Revenues now taken for the Crowne, be not sufficient to maintaine him, as our great Master, some legall order may be taken therefore, and that he may be sensible of his Subjects’ loyalty, and his Subjects live safe under him, that his enemies may finde him considerable, and his true friends usefull.

finis.

Endnotes

1.

“Ship-scot” refers to ship levy or so-called ship money.

2.

“Treshault court” is a very high court.

3.

The king of England neither by himself nor by his ministers imposes tax subsidies or any other duties or changes their laws, or establishes novelties without the concession or the assent of his entire kingdom expressed in his Parliament.

4.

Proper in the fourth way.

5.

King of the jackasses.

6.

Parker probably has in mind not only the so-called Bishops’ Wars with Scotland but insurrections such as the revolt of the Netherlands and the devastating Thirty Years War in Europe. Moreover, during 1640 the Spanish empire was shaken by revolt in Catalonia and Portugal.

7.

Tenure in Capite refers to land held immediately of the king.

8.

Purveyance refers to provision to be furnished to the Crown. In 1604 the Commons claimed this prerogative had been abused.

9.

Time does not run against the King.

10.

Proper in the fourth way.

11.

To risk himself and his belongings.

12.

By their own expenses; at their own expense.

13.

It is given us to be understood.

14.

One is not to have recourse to the extraordinary things in those matters in which it can be done by the ordinary things.

15.

There is nothing unfair in the law, so neither in Parliament.

16.

See John Cowell, The Interpreter: Or Book Containing the Signification of Words . . . (Cambridge, 1607), a provocative dictionary containing definitions that seemed to enhance royal power. Two further editions appeared in 1637. See STC 5900, 5901, 5902.

17.

Thomas Harrison upbraided Judge Hutton for his decision in the case of ship-money.

18.

Dismantler of the kingdom.

19.

At the expense of the people.

20.

Sacred hunger for gold.

21.

Reward.

22.

“Coat and Conduct money” was a special military tax to provide men pressed into the royal army with any necessary clothing and for appointed conductors who were paid for delivering them to their rendezvous.

 


 

T.5 [1641.??] (10.1) [Richard Overton], A Dreame, or Newes from Hell (1641).

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T.5 [1641.??] (10.1) [Richard Overton], A Dreame, or Newes from Hell (1641).

Full title

[Richard Overton], A Dreame: or Newes from Hell. With a Relation of the great God Pluto suddenly falling sicke by reason of this present Parliament.

Printed in Sicilia on the back-side of the Cyclopean Mountaines. 1641

Estimated date of publication

1641, no month given.

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Not listed in TT.

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Text of Pamphlet

A DREAME Or Nevves FROM HELL.

NOT long since an honest Yeoman comming up to London, to petition to the most honourable High Court of Parliament in his own behalfe, for an especiall wrong he had received from certaine Projectors, who had encroached upon a parcell of his Free-hold, neere to the Common where he dwelt, by direction of some well-minded people, came into Westminster Hall, where having walked a long time up and down, & not knowing unto whom to deliver his petition, among so many hundreds that he met withall, at last being desirous to take some repast, wherewith he might revive & comfort himselfe, he came to a place neere adjoyning, which was tearmed by the name of Hell, and having well satisfied himselfe with such a portion of meat & drunke as he thought might content his appetite, he demanded what might be to pay, and finding the reckoning to be beyond his expectation, he grew very much discontented at the payment thereof, and repairing presently to his Lodging, being not farre off, and being very much perplexed at his former Reckoning, he resolved at the last to betake himselfe to his Bed, and not long after falling into a slumbring sleepe (divers Whimzies and diversities of Motions, swimming in his braine of the supposed Hell where he had formerly beene) he dream’d he was in the true and locall Hell indeed:

Where being affrighted with the apparitions of divers hideous and ugly deformed diabolicall Fiends, who were by his cogitation numberlesse, he was transported by his fancie to the great Court of Grand Pluto, who being attended with a multitude of his blacke Guard, and other his stigmaticall Officers, there was an instant hurly-burly and combustion in the Court, about the suddennesse of Grand-Pluto falling into a greevous sicknesse; wherefore all the Court Doctors of Hell being summoned to appeare (with an infinit company of Witches, Conjurers, & Sorcerers, fetcht from all other places, to give their best advice therein, were admitted into his princely Chamber, and having cast his water, and debated the matter a long time about the difficulty of his Disease, at length they all agreed, that he fell sick of a Parliament.

Whereupon Proclamation being made in Pluto’s name throughout all his Hellish Dominions, to any whatsoever to repaire unto his Court, with promises of great reward and favour from him, that could by any wayes comfort him in this behalfe. Upon a sudden there appeared a multitude in long button’d cassacks, high collars, and square Caps, with small falling bands about their Necks, who seemed to strive, against all others, to be the first that might be admitted into his presence; and these were reported to be a company of Iesuites, who were the deere children of Pluto, who hearing that their Father was sicke, came in all submissive manner to visit him, and to offer their service unto him, and withall informed him, that if there were any Designe, Practice, Plot, Device, Study, or other stratagem whatsoever, that could administer him any comfort, or wherein they might any wayes expresse their duty unto him, or further enlarge his Kingdome, they would ride, runne, goe, trot, or what not to performe his pleasure therein, and withall, desired him to be of good cheere, and to be comforted in his Children, who were ready at all times to waite his will and pleasure, and to execute whatsoever he should command.

Hereupon they desired their Father Pluto to take notice of the former care they had to enlarge his Kingdome, by animating the great Metropolitan to be a meanes to bring in Popery, and to doe the best service he could therein.

And withall shewing how they had sowed sedition and discord amongst the English Hereticks, and provoked the Scottish Hereticks to rebell against their lawfull King, and to intrude into the Territories of this Land; and also had animated their beloved Brother Cardinall de Richlieu to raise a puissant Army for the invasion of this Land in two severall places, (viz.) at Dover and Portsmouth, at such times as the King was supposed to be most deeply employed in his Warre against the Scots; and likewise have wee not procured your great Secretary of State, Don Antonio Demonibus to make an especiall inrolement of all their names in your Kalendar, amongst those your deare Servants, the Plotters of the Gun-powder Treason, and those renowned Complotters of the former invasion into this Land in 88. and have not onely animated many noble personages, and others, to asist vs in our great Designe of bringing in of Popery into this Land, but have also procured divers Popish Books to be printed openly, thereby the better to encourage your Highnesse, deere Father, and the more to enlarge your Kingdome.

And for Courts of Justice, have we not also by our power and authority joyned with our dreadfull and High Commission, brought to passe, that if any Heretike, under the degree of a Lord, should but put on his Hat in the time of Divine Service, we kept him in our Ecclesiasticall clutches fiue or sixe yeares together. And have we not likewise in the Courts of Chancery, Kings-Beach, or common Pleas, procured diuers wayes and meanes wherby many men (though their cause were never so just) have beene either by continuall delayes wearied in their Suites, or by extorted Fees, Bribery, or other Devices, driven to sell and morgage their lands, goods, and whatsoever they have bin possessed off, that a man might have worne out Buff jerkins in that space, & yet they seldom or never had an end of their suites, but have bin fleeced and jeered out of their demeanes, so long as they could procure either mony or friends, and yet it hath bin carryed so neatly and cunningly, as if the course of Iustice had bin exactly performed.

And for the Court of Exchequer, we are able further to testifie unto you (deare Father) out of our owne knowledge, that it is one of the best Courts belonging to your infernall Kingdome, for if a suite be once commenced there, they have so many delayes by putting in of Pleas, making of Motions, putting off a suite from Terme to Terme, after a verdict given, or framing some excuses to arise from the Bench, when a Cause appointed for the day should be heard, or to cause Motion vpon Motion to be made, whereby so many Orders of the Court must be drawne vp, or pretending the Court not to be full, with other sinister devices and sleights there vsed; that wee have knowne some men to have served an Apprenticeship, and bin made Free-men, and also to have married Wives, and had children, and yet the suit formerly commenced not ended. Therefore, deare Father Pluto, be of good comfort, and take it not so much to heart, so long as you have such dutifull children, and loving subjects; assuring your selfe, that we will doe our best endeavours to recover you of this Disease.

Presently after this, there came a company of fellowes with broad Seales about their necks, who were nominated to be Pluto’s Iourney-men, and had the title of Patentees, who also hearing that their Grand-Master was suddenly falne sick, presented themselves in all humble manner, the further to expresse their duty and obedience vnto him; Relating unto their hellish Master, that according to their power and his appointment, they had ever bin obedient and faithfull servants unto him, in oppressing and squeezing the Common-wealth, and that they intended to continue therein, to the end of their dayes, and by what meanes they could possibly invent or devise, they would shew themselves to be dutifull servants unto him, in racking, poling, and pinching the poore both in city and country, vnder pretence of doing good in generall to the whole Common-wealth; and further declared vnto their Grand-Master, that in all their projects whatsoever, they had sheltred themselves vnder some great Patron, the better to colour their fraud and deceit: and likewise, that in case they had any colour of setting the poore on worke, for a generall good, they might with authority and strictnesse the more covertly hide their cunning and knavery, and withall assured their great Master, that they would sit up late, rise early, and spare no paines to encrease his Kingdome, and humbly craved his approbation, that they might bee further imployed either herein, or in what other businesse, in that nature it pleased him to command.

Whereunto Pluto replyed, that they had all done well, and left them at their owne disposing to doe what they found to be convenient, and so they were dispatched for the present.

Not long after, Cerberus the Porter of Hell, brought tydings vnto the palace of Pluto, that there was a post arrived with a packet of Letters from little Will; whereupon Don Antonio Demonibus, his chiefe Secretarie of State, was presently sent for to read them vnto Pluto, the contents whereof, as farre as could be gathered by those that were neere about him, was to this effect, That the said little Will, with divers other great personages of the State, would with all convenient speed that might bee, come in person to visit his greatnesse, and there to remaine with him in his Court. Whereat Pluto being very glad, began to be somewhat chearefull at the hearing of this newes, calling him by name the Sonne of his love, and further said, he had not thought to have seene him so soone, as now by his letters directed vnto him he did expect: and thereupon Pluto’s chiefe Secretarie of state was commanded to send an answer of the said packet of Letters by the same post to little Will, and the other great personages of State aforesaid, how glad he would be of their appearance in his Court, and what courteous entertainment they should have when they came there. Then Pluto gave command, that the post should be Royally rewarded for his paines, and called the post to him, & asked him what diet little Will did delight in, because the place where I keepe Court, is of a hotter Climate then he hath beene in heretofore, the post made answer that little Will formerly, did desire tips of eares, but the Cooke dressed them with the blood in them, and so he tooke a surfet; and ever since lived at a sparing diet. And further told his Highnesse that he need not be at too much charge for little Wills dyet, he tooke delight but in two dishes especially, and they were Lamb and Duck, and those he meant to bring with him. And suddainly vpon the departure of the post with this answer, Pluto gave strict charge and command vnto his infernall attendants, that divers faire Roomes should be presently trimmed vp, and hanged round about with Tapistry and Cloth of Arras, for the better entertainment of little Will and his fellowes, or any that came along with him. Then I was very desirous to know what this little Will was, at the first I could by no meanes learne, but at last I asked one that I supposed to be of Pluto’s neere attendants, if he knew him or no, he informed me, that he did not know him, but surely it was one that as yet had never been in Pluto’s Court before, and verily beleeved that he had performed some extraordinary businesse in Pluto’s behalfe, and deserved to be highly advanced in his infernall Court, and also supposed him to be some great personage, otherwise he would never have received the Packet of Letters which he sent him, with such cheerefulnesse, nor have given such a strict command to his chiefe Secretary, and others his infernall servants, for his speedy and present entertainment to his Court.

And notwithstanding the suddain expectation of little Wills comming into Pluto’s Court and the rest of his fellowes, which did not a little comfort and revive him in this his lingring sicknesse, yet Pluto found not all to be well in himselfe, but grew more and more to be perplexed and so wonderfully out of patience, that his ordinary attendants could hardly keepe him in his Bed, insomuch, that all his Hellish Doctors were once againe sent for to come with all speed vnto him, who being come there, they found that he was very dangerously sick indeed, and that he was fallen into a grievous relapse, and that there was no meanes left to recover Pluto’s health, and to restore him to his former strength againe, or to enlarge his infernall Kingdome, but that by some device or other this present Parliament might be dissolved and broken vp, which being fully agreed vpon by all his Doctors they informed his Highnesse. That if ever he expected to regaine his former estate, or to get any footing in England, he must with all speed call a generall Councill of all his infernall and wel-beloved Subjects, that they might advise and consult what way were best that this present Parliament might be dissolved as aforesaid.

Whereupon Cerberus by speciall command and appointment of Grand Pluto, had authority to set the gates of Hell wide open, and that all passengers whatsoever, (none to be denyed) might freely have accesse to come and heare the will and pleasure of Pluto, and also Charon was commanded with all possible speed to provide himselfe of as many Boats as he could to ferry them from all parts and places to this purpose, and when there was a huge multitude of all sorts gathered together in a large and spacious place, one of the chiefe Heraulds belonging to the internall court cryed out vnto the assembly with a loud voice, to crave a generall silence, after which, Pluto thus began:

My deare children, Servants, Iourneymen, and well approved Subjects, you see into what a low and weake estate I am brought, and as you have beene dutifull and obedient with all diligence hitherto to execute my commands, so my desire is, that you would alwaies continue vnto the end, I cannot forget your care, true love, industry, and paines you have taken in generall, for the enlargement of my Kingdome, and you my beloved Doctors, in endeavouring to performe your best skill, to recover my former health, as also you my dearest children whose Sanctity, we reverence, whose persons we adore, whose policies we wonder at, whose power we muse at, whose invincible Stratagems we stand amazed at, and whose Wisdomes we admire, neither can we but in the first place extoll, applaud, and highly commend you, for your extraordinary care in advancing our infernall Dominions.

And we are also pleased of our infernall grace and favour, to take notice of your great service done, in working the dissolution of the last Parliament, by which meanes nothing was effected for the good of the Hereticks, either concerning the church or common wealth, but thereby the Nobles of England were male-content, the Gentry discouraged, the Commons divided, the number of our servants, the Roman Catholikes infinitly encreased, and the whole Realme of England mightily oppressed; so as the successe of our designe was thereby no waies hindered.

Now my wel-beloved children, servants, Iourneymen, subjects, Allies, & all my well-willers whomsoever, if you could by any Device, Stratagem, Policy, Money, Friendship, or any other delusive or sinister means, study to dissolve or break up this present Parljament, w ch would be the onely way, as we conceive in our Diabolicall Princely Wisdome, to breake the bond of peace & vnity amongst them, and thereby to move God to leave them to themselves, you should not onely be enrolled in our everlasting Kalendar for our dearest children and Subjects, but also be placed neere us in our favour for ever; and then also, to our great comfort, our infernall Stratagem might speedily be executed vpon them, & our Kingdome mightily encreased and enlarged.

Therefore all you my deare children, subjects, attendants, and Allyes, who are willing to doe your best endeavours for the performing of this Enterprize; we require you to be ready to take the Oath ex officio, & to lay your hands vpon the Book. Whereupon with a generall acclumation & consent, they all promised to doe what possible in them lay to performe his request, and affirmed, that they all were willing to conset to his demand, & therepon they layd their hands vpon the Booke. Then Pluto causing his principall attendants to raise him a little higher on his Pillow, proceeded on this manner: You my loving Subjects who have stept aside, and made your legges your best protection, you also that are vnder the command of the Black Rod, and you that much feare you shall be questioned this present Parliament, and you my Iourneymen Patentees, and the rest of my loving Subjects here present, are you all willing to take the oath aforesaid for the breaking vp of this Parliament, then they all cryed with one voice; Willing, most willing, long live your Hellish Majestie, I beleeve you (said Pluto) take your hands from the Booke, I dare take your bare words. Whereupon Pluto’s great Counsell was called before his infernall Highnesse, and being assembled together, they all cõcluded, that forthwith a Proclamation should be sent abroad into all places in great Pluto’s name, the tenour whereof followeth.

TO the Pope, our right Trusty and wel-beloved Sonne, and all the Iesuiticall Rabble, our adopted Children, to the Spaniard, Italian, French, Dutch, or what Nation people, or in what parts soever this shall come, these are to give notice, that whosoever can by any fraud, friendship, money, or any other means whatsoever, dissolve & breake vp this present Parliament, That thereby great Pluto may recover not onely his former health, but that his Kingdomes and Dominions may also be enlarged, he shall for so memorable an Act, be seated inplace of Iudicature with his chiefe Iustice Rhadamantus; or next to Pluto himselfe, and forth with be made Vice-Roy of Hell, prince of this world, Arch-Duke of Styx, Acheron; & Phlegeton; Marquesse of Cosytus and Lethe; and sole Commander (vnder him) of all Infernall Spirits and Furies.

And herevnto, we, the sayd Grand Pluto have set our Hand and Seale Royall, in the presence of all our Children, Friends and servants aforenamed.

This being proclaimed with thundring Drums, and sound of Trumpets, awaked the honest Country-man, who having seen and observed in his Dreame, all these passages and occurrents, lay for a while as it were in a trance, trembling and in a great extasie, at last recollecting his senses, he arose, and going from his chamber to goe about his businesse, he met by chance with two of his owne Countrey-men, who had beene a long time encombred with Law-suites, vnto whom he related this his Dreame, with all the passages aforesaid, whereat they wondering, and much astonished, desired him to deliver vnto them a Copie thereof in writing, which he promised, and performed the next day following.

FINIS.

 


 

T.6 [1641.??] (8.2) John Davies, An Answer to those Printed Papers by the late Patentees of Salt (1641).

 

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T.6 [1641.??] (8.2) John Davies, An Answer to those Printed Papers by the late Patentees of Salt (1641).

Full title

An Answer To Those Printed Papers published in March last, 1640. by the late Patentees of Salt, in their pretended defence, and against free trade. Composed by IOHN DAVIES Citizen and Fishmonger of London, a well-wisher to the Common-wealth in generall.

Sal sapit omnia. Ne scit quid valeat.

Printed in the yeare, 1641.

Estimated date of publication

1641 (no month given).

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

Not listed in TT.

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

THe ensuing Treatise, concerning the opposing of the project and Patents for Salt, tending to the good of his Majesty, and of the Subjects in generall, (wherein all faithfull endeavours on the Authours part are performed) is most humbly presented, praying, that if any error is therein committed, (whereof he is not conscious) may by this Honourable Assembly be pardoned.

An Answer to those Papers (falsly intituled, A true Remonstrance of the state of the Salt businesse, &c.) lately published in print in March. 1640. by the Projectors of the first and second Patents for Salt, in their owne pretended defence, and against the free trade of all Merchants, Navigators, and Traders for Fish and Salt of the City of London, and all other Ports, and of all Salt makers and Salt refiners, and of all other his Majesties Subjects within the extent of their severall Patents betweene Barwicke and Weymouth, as followeth.

IN this Answer it will not be necessary to bee limited within the strict time where the Projectors began which was in Anno 1627. thereby to serve their own occasions, but is intended to declare the truth of the most usuall and constant prices of Salt at the City of London; as, it hath beene sold for 40. yeares last past, as in the sequell shall appeare.

That in Anno 1600. even till the latter part of the yeare, 1627. the most usuall price either of white or bay Salt, was neare about 50. s. or 3. l. a Wey, and often sold under that price, as can be sufficiently proved.

That in the said yeare 1627. the Warres began betweene the Kings Majesty of Great Britaine, and the French King, and the King of Spaine; in which time, till the peace was concluded betwixt those Kings, the commoditie of Salt was very deare and scarce, especially French Salt, which was at 6. s. or 7. s. a bushell at the City of London, which came to passe in regard the Salt-workes in France were destroyed.

First, at the Ile of Ree by the Duke of Buckinghams designe.

Secondly, by the French King himselfe in the warres when he tooke in Rochel.

And thirdly, by intemperate Raine which fell that time in France. So that the Kingdome of France it selfe, which was wont to supply many other parts, as England, Ireland, Holland, the Eastland, and Germany, was thereby necessitated with want of that commodity for its owne occasion. And therefore not to be admired, that the French King made an Edict in Anno 1630. that no Salt should bee exported out of his Kingdome, (untill his store should bee supplyed againe.) Which scarcity in France for that present, forced all men to send into Spaine for Salt, and thereupon a great number of Ships from all parts arriving there at one time, gave the King of Spaine occasion to make use of the present necessity, and layd a great Impost on the Salt that should bee transported from thence.

The very same cause also moved the Kings Majesty of Great Britaine, and the Lords of the Councell, to order in that time of scarcity of Salt, by meanes of a Petition exhibited to the Lords by the Lord Maior of the City of London, and divers other Ports in Anno 1630. that no Salt should be transported into any forraigne parts, which was effectually granted them by the Lords. But when in one or two yeares after, and that in France there were erected Salt-workes, and Salt was made plentifully againe, as in the yeare 1632. then by the Edicts of the said Kings, the great imposition of Salt in Spaine and France ceased, and Salt became cheape againe, and Trade free as in former yeares, as about 3. l. or 3. li. 10. s. per Wey, for English or French, and 4. l. per Wey for Spanish Salt at most, which continued till December, 1634.

So that the cause of the dearth of Salt in France, Anno 1628. till Anno 1632. hapned through Warre and intemperate Weather, as before is specified, and not by the pleasure of Princes, by laying of a great Impost upon it, as they the Patentees falsly pretended; but the Projectors were desirous to make that an occasion of bringing their covetous desires to effect, and about that time they beganne to devise to bring an Impost on the English native Salt, which was and is dearer to the makers of it then any other salt spent in this Kingdome. For French and Spanish Salt being made onely by the heat of the Sunne, stands not the makers of it in above 10. s. or 20. s. or 30. s. a London Wey at the most, according to the drinesse, or the wetnesse of the Summer, whereas the English Shields Salt at 1. d. per Gallon, (which is the cheap price the Patentees boast of stands the makers of it in 53. s. 4. s. the like Wey at least, being also the weakest Salt of all other by one third part, and therefore cannot beare any Impost, without destroying the English manufactures, as these Projectors have all this time practised, to the destruction thereof, although they pretended the contrary.

It is to be observed, that a Wey of Salt at the City of London, containeth 40. Bushels, and every Bushell 10. Gallons, which is the right measure according to the Statute; from which, in most other Ports it much differeth.

That in December, 1634. the first Projectors, consisting of twenty two in number, (whereof five were Knights, the other seventeene had the titles of Esquires and Gentlemen) having determined and practised formerly to doe mischiefe in this Land wherein they were borne and bred, and being all or most of them unexperienced in the matter they tooke in hand, devised and obtained this Monopoly of Salt, mis-informing his Majesty, and the Lords of the Councell, that it would be a great benefit to this Kingdome of England, and that of Scotland, to erect workes for the making a sufficient quantity of Salt, &c. and at a certaine moderate price, (as they so termed it) not exceeding 3. l. a Shields Wey, which is after the rate of 5. l. 12. s. for a Wey delivered at London, which is an intolerable exaction upon a native manufacture, made and spent in this Kingdome, as by their Patent more fully doth appeare; (although the Salt pannes in those places were erected long before, and not by these Patentees.) Which Patent being obtained by them, they practised to oppresse the Subject from January 1635. untill August 1638. all which time the first Patentees having made a Monopoly, in taking all the old Workes and Pannes at the Shields into their hands, forced white Salt at the City of London to the price of 4. l. 15. s. per Wey, and for the most part to 5. l. per Wey, and so in all other Ports according to that rate.

And Bay Salt by reason of their great Impost of 48. s. 6. d. per Wey, which was raised by a privy Seale, procured by Edward Nattall, and others his associates, (but nothing brought to accompt for his Majesty, as yet appears) was not all that time sold at London under 5. l. 10. s. per Wey, at least, but commonly at 5. l. 13. s. 4. d. per Wey, or 6. l. whereas the Westerne parts, which were free of their Patent, as Southampton, Exeter, Plimouth, Bristol, &c. had it in that time at or about 3. l. the like Wey, and sometimes under that price, which was most unjust and unequall, that the Easterne parts should suffer so much thereby, not onely in the price, but also in hindrance of Navigation, and losse of Trade.

That about July, 1638. the first Patentees having difference with Master Murford of Yarmouth, who had a Patent granted before theirs at Shields, prevailed against them, and some of them of the first Patent being wearied with the designe, voluntarily laid downe their Patent.

That after the first Patentees gave over their Patent, the Salt-makers at Shields in August, 1638. reassumed their Pannes, and sold Salt there cheape againe, and thereby both Scottish and Shields Salt was sold at London for 3. l. per Wey, or near thereabout, untill January following, that Thomas Horth and his associates obtained a grant of their Patent, which they presently after put in execution, yet Horth and his associates of the second Patent had no time to raise the price of white Salt at Shields to that height as they desired, for the Scots presently after the first Pacification in August, 1639. brought it downe at London to 2. l. 17. s. per Wey, whereas Horth and his Associates in June and July 1639. would sell none at London under 4. l. 10. s. per Wey.

That whereas the first and second Projectors of both Patents, to cleare themselves of the great wrong done by them to his Majesty and his Subjects, doe in their printed Papers lay the blame on the traders in Salt of the City of London, seeking therby to glosse over their oppressing the Subjects even in the face of this Honourable Parliament, still pretending as formerly, that what they did was for his Majesties profit, benefit of Navigation, support of home manufacture, and generall good of the subject, and many such like things, all which pretences are meere falshoods and suggestions.

For first his Majesties Revenew is no way increased, as doth appeare by their payments into his Majesties Exchequer, being in all but 700. l. whereas they have received Impost, and remaine debtors to his Majesty many thousands, as by further examination and proofe of their accompts will appeare.

Secondly, Navigation hath beene much hindred thereby, as by a former Petition of the Trinity house to his Majesty and the Lords of the privy Councell appeareth, as also it hath beene sufficiently proved before the Committee for the Salt businesse, by the Master and Wardens of the Trinity Company, who are most sensible of the destruction and advancement of the Shipping and Navigation of this Kingdome.

Thirdly, they have so cherished the home manufacture, by laying a heavy Impost upon it, that those that had 240. Pannes of their own, and were thriving people at the Shields, before their Patents were of force, and were the makers there of Salt, are by the meanes of these Patentees become so poore, that the greater part of them are not able to buy coals to set their Pannes on worke. And those the Patentees who bought 34. Pannes of the old traders, did cease working for the most part of the years 1639. and 1640. by reason they could not attaine to their intended price of 56. s. 8. d. per Wey at the Shields. So that whereas there was formerly made at the Shields before their Patents began about 16000. Wey per annum, they made in the time of the first Patent, which continued about three yeares and a halfe, not above 10000. Wey per annum. And in the time of the latter Patent but 8000. Wey per annum, even before the comming in of the Scottish Army into those parts: by all which appeares how much they have destroyed the native manufacture, and have no wayes advanced or increased it, as they pretended.

Fourthly, for their pretences of the generall good of the Subject, in place whereof they have so oppressed the Subject in generall, that not onely the traders in Salt of the City of London, have justly complained of their grievances to the Honourable Court of Parliament, but also Salt-refiners of Essex and Suffolke, also many Merchants in the West parts as far as Weymouth, as also from Yarmouth, and many other ports North as farre as Newcastle, that came up to London onely to informe the Court of Parliament of the great burden they have beene forced to lye under, even to many of their undoings: And many more would come up, had they not beene so impoverished by them the Patentees, that they are not able to beare their charges in comming so farre to complaine of their grievances. In generall, they have been the oppressors of Fishermen, and all the subjects of these North East parts of England, to the value of many thousand pounds in estimation, above fourescore thousand pounds since the time of their entring into these Patents, which can be made plainly to appeare by one yeares importation for forraigne and Scottish Salt, collected out of the Custome-house bookes, and Meters bookes of London, and for native Salt out of their owne bookes.

Viz.

In the yeare 1637. (which was in the time of their first Patent) of Bay and Spanish Salt there was imported but 1364. Wey, which at 48. s. 6 d. per Wey, is impost 3307. l. 14. s. whereas in the yeare 1634. when the trade was free there was 4620. Wey of forraigne Salt imported, by which may be observed the decay of forraigne Trade during the time of their Impost.

That the Impost of forraigne Salt was received and taken of all the Subjects between Barwicke and Southampton, by vertue of Privy Seale dated in May 1636. procured by Edward Nattall, and others his associates, but nothing brought to accompt by them, nor paid to his Majesties use for the two yeares and 6. moneths, (as can yet appeare.)

That of Scottish and native white Salt Shields measure, there were expended for land use about 16000. Weyes, which at 10. s. per Wey Impost, and 10. s. per Wey increase of price, which came to passe by the Patentees contracting with the Scotch for deare selling, and can appeare to be damage to the subjects at least in one yeare, in the price of the white Salt 16000. l.

That for Fishers use of Scottish and native Salt, an estimate of 3000. Shields Wey, and upwards, at 3. s. 4. d. per Wey Impost, and 6. s. 8. d. increase of price, is at least 1500. l.

Whereby it appeares that the subjects suffered in one yeare by the first Salt Patents, 25807 l. 15. s.

That the Patentees for Salt continued their first and second Patents above 5. yeares.

By all which it is manifest how profitable these Patents have beene to the Patentees, how little benefit hath accrued to his Majesty thereby, how great a burden to the Subjects in generall, and to the old Salt makers, and the Merchants for forraigne Salt, and all Fishermen, who use great quantities thereof, and to all traders in the same in their particulars. But if any trader in Salt hath either joyned with those Patentees in any indirect way, thereby to uphold them, or the extreme price of Salt, they are not hereby intended to be excused, but to be left to the consideration of the Honourable House of Parliament.

And whereas Horth and his Associates seek to justifie their Patent, comparing it with that which Master Murford intended (which would also have beene alike illegall with theirs, by laying an Impost on native Salt (as they have practised.)

For answer thereunto is said, that the unlawfulnesse of Murfords Patent intended, cannot make that of Horths to bee lawfull which was practised by him. For as well that of Horths, as also the first Patent, have beene sufficiently discussed by the Committee appointed by the Honourable House of Commons now assembled in Parliament, for the hearing of that businesse, and is by them most justly condemned to be illegall, a Monopoly, and prejudiciall to the Commonwealth. For so it is, that a Monopoly is a kinde of commerce in buying and selling usurped by a few, and sometimes by one person, and forestalled by them or him from all others, to the gaine of the Monopolist, and to the detriment of other men.

That the latter Patentees further proceed in their justification, declaring the low rates the subjects have beene served at since the time of the settlement of their Patent, which is (as they say) at 1. d. ob. per Gallon at the most, which in truth is a most intolerable exaction on the subject. For 1. d. ob. per gallon is no lesse then 50. s. a Shields Wey, which is but five eight parts of a London Wey, and so the fraught being added, which is 10. s. a Shields Wey, without Impost, it will stand the Adventurer in no lesse then 4. l. 16. s. a Wey London measure, whereas it may bee afforded, delivered at London, for 3. l. 12. s. per Wey, which is after the rate of 35. s. per Wey to the Salt makers at Shields for their Wey, at which said price of 35. s. per Wey, the old Salt makers say, they can afford it, but not under.

And for the rate of 1. d. per Gallon, which is the cheape price they so much boast on, it being but 33. s. 4. d. a Wey Shields measure, at which price, if they sold any so cheape, it was much against their wills, for they desired and alwayes sought to settle it at 56. s. 8. d. per Wey Shields measure for land use, and 46. s. 8. d. for the fishing Sea expence, which are the prices laid downe in the latter Patent: yet it is true, that they sold some at lower rates: but they were forced thereto by meanes of the great plenty that was brought in by the Scots, who sold it at London, Yarmouth, and some other Ports at 3. l. a Wey, in Anne 1639. and some under that price, as aforesaid, whereupon the Patentees gave over making Salt at Shields in their 34 pannes, in regard they could not attaine to their intended price of 56. s. 8. d. a Shields Wey, yet some of the old Salt makers still wrought, (though to their great losse, and some of their undoings) selling it not for above 30. s. per Wey, yet notwithstanding they the Patentees took of them the old Saltmakers, without any moderation or compassion, the full impost of 10. s. for every Shields Wey, for Land use, and 3. s. 4. d. per Wey, for the fisliery expence. For they had forced the old Saltmakers and Salt refiners to enter into bond, for the payment therof unto them, which if they refused to do, they violently forced them of the Sheilds, of great Yarmouth, and Salt Refiners of Essex and Suffolke thereunto by imprisoning of some, committing of others into Pursuivants hands, and causing others to come up and answer at the Councell Table, to their great expence both of money and time, which extreamity Horth used in that time he was governour more then any other either of the first or second Patentees.

That in the Months of September, October and November last, Salt became deerer then it was in eight or nine yeares before, which came to passe partly by reason of the great impost continued by the Patentees of the last Patent, both on the native and forraigne Salt, and partly by reason of the imbarring of the Scottish trade, and the comming in of the Scottish Army, at that time into Newcastle and Shields, so that white Salt was sold in October last at the port of London at 6. l. 10. s. per Wey, and Bay Salt in November last, was sold at the port of London for 8. l. per Wey, in regard Master Strickson, Master Nuttall, and Master Duke, three of the last Patentees continued the taking impost even untill this present Parliament, which three were also chiefe of the Projectors of the first Patent.

That the 23. of November last, the Honourable Assembly of Parliament upon a Petition of the traders in Salt of London, injoyned the Patentees to bring in their Patents & cease taking impost, and thereupon the price both of White and Bay Salt did fall at the port of London to 3. l. a Wey, and some for lesse: but the windes proving contrary in the latter part of December, January and February last, for above ten weekes together: And also small store of Salt having been laid up in London, or made at Shields by reason of the troubles in those parts with the Scottish Army, the store of white Salt for want of supply was soone spent here at London: and had it not beene that the Parliament before that time had taken off the Impost of forraigne Bay and Spanish Salt, whereby there was good quantities of forraigne Salt brought in, this City of London had been so necessitated for Salt, as the like hath not been knowne. Yet from the Kings Store house, and the East India Company, and other such like places, there was some small quantities of white Salt found, which supplyed the present want thereof, and was sold in those deerest times at or neere Billingsgate by some of the Traders in Salt for 6. s. 8. d. per Bushell at most, but Bay Salt all that time was sold for 22. d. or 2. s. a bushell, and not above all that time, which was in the Moneth of February, but before that Moneth was expired, and ever since it hath beene sold for 2. s. per Bushell, and five peckes to the Bushell, at or neare Billingsgate.

And whereas the Patentees alledge that white Salt was sold for 2. s. a pecke, at that instant day, when they published their printed papers, it is manifestly to bee proved that ten or twelve daies before they published them, white Salt was cryed in London streets at 5. d. a pecke, and so ever since, which proves their printed papers to be scandalous and false, in laying forth so many imputations upon the Traders in Salt, as though they were the cause of deare selling, which was only their continued impositions, and the occasion of the time as afore is shewed.

That before the Patentees had obtained their Patent for Salt there was imported yearly to London great quantities of Spanish, Straits, and French Salt, by Merchants, Navigators and Traders. And that many hundred Weyes thereof were from thence yearly transported for Flanders, Holland, Denmarke, and the East Countrie, whereby ships had their imployments both inwards and outwards, his Majesties Customes improved, and many poore people, as Porters and Labourers had their maintenance thereby; which trade of Importation is in a manner wholly decayed since the time these severall Patents were obtained.

Objections and Observations.

THat their Patents are found by the Committee appointed by the Parliament for hearing the Salt businesses to be illegall, and a Monopoly, by reason they brought an impost on the native Manufacture, and many other oppressions to the Subject.

That the prosecution hath beene most violent by imprisonments, and forcing many out of their Trades, and also Salt Refiners and Saltmakers, at Shields and great Yarmouth from their works; and the first Patentees forced divers at Shields to let them their Pannes at a Rent, which after two yeares and sixe monthes use, they returned into their hands much decayed, and not satisfied for Rent.

That they would have forced his Majesties Subjects to the only use of white Salt, which is not so sufficient for fishing Voiages and many other uses, as the forraigne.

That they forced the price both of white & Bay Salt, in the time of their Patents, to one third part more then otherwise it would have beene sold for.

That there was a far greater quantity of Salt made in England before their Patents began, then in the time of the continuance of their Patents.

That Horth at a hearing at Councell Table the 19. of December, 1638. to maintaine his unjust cause in taking his Patent, and upon some speech, which was moved about the insufficiency of white Salt for preserving of Fish, and an ancient Trader there saying, that the very scales fell off through the weaknesse of the white Salt; he the said Horth did most falsly reply and affirme, that Codde and Ling Fish had no scales, which he did to convince them of error who came to oppose him: and he with others (whose names are well knowne) did then and there before his Majesty and the Lords of the Councell so farre maintaine it, that they were believed, and that the others that spake the truth, were rejected, whereby the King and Lords were abused by the said Horth and others, by denying that to the creature which it had received in the creation either for defence or ornament.

That it is and hath beene proved both before his Majesty and the Lords, and also before the Committee by the Trinity house Masters, that if forraigne Salt be prohibited, or some heavy impost be laid upon it, Navigation will be much hindred and decaied.

That Horth alone above the rest of his partners obtained a Commission out of the Exchequer, and did thereby put men to their corporall oaths, to confesse what Salt of their owne or of others, they knew to be imported, and told the Commissioners hee was at Councel about that particular, and his Councell advised him, it must bee so, and to bee sure, would bee with the Commissioners himselfe, and urge it.

That the settled moderate rate (as the Patentees pleased to call it) of 56. s. 8. d. per Wey Shields measure, will stand the Adventurer delivered at London in 5. l. 6. s. 8. d. per wey, which is now since their Patent ceased sold at this City of London for 3. l. 10. s. per wey, and long before their Patents began, it was sold cheaper, (that time of three or foure yeares of hostility with France and Spaine, when there could be little forraigne Salt imported, onely excepted.) And Bay Salt at present is sold at 3. l. per wey.

That beyond the power of the Patents, Horth constrained the Salt refiners of divers Counties to pay a double Impost.

That if the commodity of Salt be free for all men to import, or make it, there cannot be that ingrossing, forestalling, or regrating made which may be done by a few monopolizing Patentees, who having the command of it all, may conferre the commodity upon some few particular Traders, for some sinister respects, to the destruction of others in their Trades, (as the late times of their Patents have made manifest.) And for those 27. yeares afore specified, the commodity of Salt being then free of Impost, the price was alwayes reasonable, and would be so now, and so continue, without the helpe of any Projector.

That a free trade which is now so much desired of the subject, and a settled price, desired of the Patentee, cannot consist, for a constant price forced upon a native manufacture is a principall part of a Monopoly.

That forraigne Salt being absolutely necessary for speciall uses, the inhibition thereof cannot be admitted, but to the great prejudice of the subject.

That these Projectors, which pretend so much of supporting the home manufacture of Salt, have in a maner destroyed it, by laying so heavy an Impost upon it, as 16. s. for every London Wey. And if it be not supported by taking off the foresaid Impost, it is like utterly to decay, and then indeed (the Salt Wiches onely excepted) this Kingdome must wholly depend upon forraigne parts, for all the Salt shall be therein expended.

(The premises considered) the humble request to the Honourable House of Commons now assembled in PARLIAMENT, is, That they would be pleased, that the Projectors and late Patentees for Salt may be brought to an account upon the premisses, that so it may appeare what profits have accrued to his Majesty, and what disadvantage to the Subject, and what persons have beene molested and vexed by reason of them, that so reparations and redresse may be made to the parties so vexed and grieved, as in the judgement of the Honourable Assembly shall be thought expedient.

FINIS.

 


 

T.283 [1641.04.12] John Pym, The Speech or Declaration of John Pym (12 April, 1641)

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T.283 [1641.04.12] John Pym, The Speech or Declaration of John Pym (12 April, 1641).

Full title

John Pym, 1584-1643

THE

SPEECH

OR

DECLARATION

OF

JOHN PYM, Esquire:

After the Recapitulation or summing up of the Charge of High-Treason,

AGAINST

THOMAS,

Earle of Strafford,

12. April, 1641.

Published by Order of the Commons House.

LONDON,

Printed for John Bartlet. 1641.

 

Estimated date of publication

12 April, 1641.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 9.

Malcolm/Editor’s Introduction

The renowned parliamentary leader and politician John Pym was an outspoken critic of the Court. He opposed Arminianism and Catholic influences in the Church of England, and he staunchly upheld what he saw as England’s ancient constitution. Pym was educated at Oxford and entered the Middle Temple, although he was never called to the bar. His long parliamentary career began in 1614 in the reign of James I. Pym actively supported the Petition of Right in the Parliament of 1628 and later in that session conducted the Commons’ case against Roger Maynwaring. He was a leading member of the Commons in the Short Parliament and, even more important, in the Long Parliament.

Pym was convinced there was a plot to destroy parliamentary institutions and the Protestant religion. When the Long Parliament convened he demanded that those guilty of this conspiracy be punished. Prominent among those he believed culpable was Charles’s leading councillor and loyal minister, Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford. Strafford’s willingness to resort to extraordinary means on behalf of his master and his high-handed administration as president of the Council of the North and lord-deputy of Ireland had made him notorious. Beyond this Strafford was believed to have urged the king to use an Irish army against the English parliament and was preparing to charge parliamentary leaders with treasonous conspiracy with the Scots.

Pym played the leading role in Strafford’s fall. He moved that a subcommittee investigate Strafford’s conduct in Ireland and later that he be impeached on a charge of high treason. This meant a trial before the House of Lords. Pym led the attack at every stage, from the collection of evidence and preparation of charges to the presentation of the case. Strafford’s trial began on 22 March 1641. The chief difficulty was that despite his overbearing tactics and possible transgressing of the royal prerogative on behalf of Charles, Strafford had not committed any act of treason against the king. Pym attempted to get around this by arguing that to endeavour the subversion of the laws of the kingdom was treason; that to come between the king and his people was treason; that the culmination of many small, perfidious acts, none of which was in itself treasonous, could constitute treason.

Strafford defended himself so ably that on 10 April with the Lords reluctant to convict, a bill of attainder was introduced into the Commons. This would simply declare Strafford guilty without the necessity of a trial. As the bill of attainder moved through the legislative process the original impeachment continued with Pym chosen by the Commons to deliver its reply to Strafford’s defense. Pym’s speech to the Lords on that occasion, published as a tract and reprinted here, sets out the Commons’ constitutional position succinctly and eloquently. He explains their notion of treason as a subversion of the laws, an introduction of an arbitrary and tyrannical government. This speech has been acclaimed as the best of Pym’s career. At least nine editions of it were printed in 1641.

Despite Pym’s efforts the impeachment was dropped. The bill of attainder, however, passed, and on 12 May Strafford was executed. Despite Charles’s promise to Strafford that he would pardon him, the king made no move to save his loyal minister. It would be one of his lasting regrets. With the onset of civil war Pym served as a leader of the parliamentary party. He would never live to see its outcome. He died in December 1643.

 

Text of Pamphlet

The Speech or Declaration of John Pym, Esq: &c.

My Lords,

Many dayes have been spent in maintenance of the Impeachment of the Earle of Strafford, by the House of Commons, whereby he stands charged with High Treason. And your Lordships have heard his Defence with Patience, and with as much favour as Justice would allow. We have passed through our Evidence, and the Result of all this is, that it remaines clearly proved, That the Earle of Strafford hath indeavoured by his words, actions, and counsels, to subvert the Fundamentall Lawes of England and Ireland, and to introduce an Arbitrary and Tyrannicall Government.

This is the envenomed Arrow for which he inquired in the beginning of his Replication this day, which hath infected all his Bloud. This is that Intoxicating Cup, (to use his owne Metaphor) which hath tainted his Judgement, and poisoned his Heart. From hence was infused that Specificall Difference which turned his Speeches, his Actions, his Counsels into Treason; Not Cumulative, as he exprest it, as if many Misdemeanours could make one Treason; but Formally and Essentially. It is the End that doth informe Actions, and doth specificate the nature of them, making not only criminall, but even indifferent words and actions to be Treason, being done and spoken with a Treasonable intention.

That which is given me in charge, is, to shew the quality of the offence, how hainous it is in the nature, how mischievous in the effect of it; which will best appeare if it be examined by that Law, to which he himselfe appealed, that universall, that Supreme Law, Salus populi. This is the Element of all Laws, out of which they are derived; the End of all Laws, to which they are designed, and in which they are perfected. How far it stands in opposition to this Law, I shall endeavour to shew in some Considerations which I shall present to your Lordships, all arising out of the Evidence which hath been opened.

The first is this: It is an offence comprehending all other offences; here you shall finde severall Treasons, Murders, Rapines, Oppressions, Perjuries.

The Earth hath a Seminarie vertue, whereby it doth produce all Hearbs, and Plants, and other Vegetables. There is in this Crime, a Seminarie of all evils hurtfull to a State; and if you consider the reasons of it, it must needs be so. The Law is that which puts a difference betwixt good and evill, betwixt just and unjust. If you take away the Law, all things will fall into a confusion, every man will become a Law to himselfe, which in the depraved condition of human nature, must needs produce many great enormities. Lust will become a Law, and Envie will become a Law, Covetousnesse and Ambition will become Lawes; and what dictates, what decisions such Laws will produce, may easily be discerned in the late Government of Ireland.1 The Law hath a power to prevent, to restraine, to repaire evils; without this all kind of mischiefs and distempers will break in upon a State.

It is the Law that doth intitle the King to the Allegeance and service of his people; it intitles the people to the protection and justice of the King. It is God alone who subsists by himselfe, all other things subsist in a mutuall dependence and relation. He was a wise man that said, that the King subsisted by the field that is tilled. It is the labour of the people that supports the Crowne. If you take away the protection of the King, the vigour and cheerfulness of Allegeance will be taken away, though the Obligation remaine.

The Law is the Boundarie, the Measure betwixt the King’s Prerogative, and the People’s Liberty. Whiles these move in their owne Orbe, they are a support and security to one another; The Prerogative a cover and defence to the Liberty of the people, and the people by their liberty are enabled to be a foundation to the Prerogative; but if these bounds be so removed, that they enter into contestation and conflict, one of these mischiefes must needs ensue. If the Prerogative of the King overwhelm the liberty of the people, it will be turned into Tyrannie; if liberty undermine the Prerogative, it will grow into Anarchie.

The Law is the safeguard, the custody of all private interest. Your Honours, your Lives, your Liberties and Estates are all in the keeping of the Law; without this, every man hath a like right to anything, and this is the condition into which the Irish were brought by the E. of Strafford. And the reason which he gave for it, hath more mischiefe in it than the thing itselfe, They were a Conquered Nation. There cannot be a word more pregnant, and fruitfull in Treason, than that word is. There are few Nations in the world that have not been conquered; and no doubt but the Conquerour may give what Lawes he please to those that are conquered. But if the succeeding Pacts and Agreements doe not limit and restraine that Right, what people can be secure? England hath been conquered, and Wales hath been conquered, and by this reason will be in little better case than Ireland. If the King by the Right of a Conquerour gives Lawes to his People, shall not the people by the same reason be restored to the Right of the conquered, to recover their liberty if they can? What can be more hurtfull, more pernicious to both, than such Propositions as these? And in these particulars is determined the first Consideration.

The second Consideration is this: This Arbitrary power is dangerous to the King’s Person, and dangerous to his Crown. It is apt to cherish Ambition, usurpation, and oppression in great men, and to beget sedition and discontent in the People; and both these have beene, and in reason must ever be causes of great trouble and alteration to Princes and States.

If the Histories of those Easterne Countries be perused, where Princes order their affaires according to the mischievous principles of the E. of Strafford, loose and absolved from all Rules of Government, they will be found to be frequent in combustions, full of Massacres, and of the tragicall ends of Princes. If any man shall look into our owne stories, in the times when the Laws were most neglected, he shall find them full of Commotions, of Civill distempers; whereby the Kings that then reigned, were alwayes kept in want and distresse; the people consumed with Civill wars: and by such wicked counsels as these, some of our Princes have beene brought to such miserable ends, as no honest heart can remember without horrour, and earnest Prayer, that it may never be so againe.

The third Consideration is this, The subversion of the Lawes. And this Arbitrary power, as it is dangerous to the King’s Person and to his Crowne, so is it in other respects very prejudiciall to his Majesty in his Honour, Profit, and Greatnesse; and yet these are the gildings and paintings that are put upon such counsels. These are for your Honour, for your service; whereas in truth they are contrary to both. But if I shall take off this varnish, I hope they shall then appeare in their owne native deformity, and therefore I desire to consider them by these Rules.

It cannot be for the Honour of a King, that his sacred Authority should be used in the practice of injustice and oppression; that his Name should be applied to patronize such horrid crimes, as have beene represented in Evidence against the Earle of Strafford; and yet how frequently, how presumptuously his Commands, his Letters have beene vouched throughout the course of this Defence, your Lordships have heard. When the Judges doe justice, it is the King’s justice, and this is for his honour, because he is the Fountaine of justice; but when they doe injustice, the offence is their owne. But those Officers and Ministers of the King, who are most officious in the exercise of this Arbitrarie power, they doe it commonly for their advantage; and when they are questioned for it, then they fly to the King’s interest; to his Direction. And truly my Lords, this is a very unequall distribution for the King, that the dishonour of evill courses should be cast upon him, and they to have the advantage.

The prejudice which it brings to him in regard of his profit, is no lesse apparent. It deprives him of the most beneficiall, and most certaine Revenue of his Crowne, that is, the voluntary aids and supplies of his people; his other Revenues, consisting of goodly Demeanes, and great Manors, have by Grants been alienated from the Crowne, and are now exceedingly diminished and impaired. But this Revenue it cannot be sold, it cannot be burdened with any Pensions or Annuities, but comes intirely to the Crowne. It is now almost fifteene years since his Majesty had any assistance from his people;2 and these illegall wayes of supplying the King were never prest with more violence, and art, than they have been in this time; and yet I may upon very good grounds affirm, that in the last fifteene years of Queen Elizabeth, she received more by the Bounty and Affection of her Subjects, than hath come to His Majestie’s Coffers by all the inordinate and rigorous courses which have beene taken. And as those Supplies were more beneficiall in the Receipt of them, so were they like in the use and imployment of them.

Another way of prejudice to his Majestie’s profit, is this: Such Arbitrary courses exhaust the people, and disable them, when there shall be occasion, to give such plentifull supplies, as otherwise they would doe. I shall need no other proofe of this, than the Irish Government under my E. of Strafford, where the wealth of the Kingdome is so consumed by those horrible exactions, and burdens, that it is thought the Subsidies lately granted will amount to little more than halfe the proportion of the last Subsidies. The two former wayes are hurtfull to the King’s profit, in that respect which they call Lucrum Cessans,3 by diminishing his receipts. But there is a third, fuller of mischiefe, and it is in that respect which they call Damnum emergens,4 by increasing his Disbursements. Such irregular and exorbitant attempts upon the Libertie of the people, are apt to produce such miserable distractions and distempers, as will put the King and Kingdome to such vast expences and losses in a short time, as will not be recovered in many yeares. Wee need not goe farre to seeke a proofe of this, these two last yeares will be a sufficient evidence, within which time I assure myselfe, it may be proved, that more Treasure hath beene wasted, more losse sustained by his Majesty and his Subjects, than was spent by Queene Elizabeth in all the War of Tyrone,5 and in those many brave Attempts against the King of Spaine, and the royall assistance which she gave to France, and the Low-Countries, during all her Reigne.

As for Greatnesse, this Arbitrary power is apt to hinder and impaire it, not only at home, but abroad. A Kingdome is a society of men conjoyned under one Government, for the common good. The world is a society of Kingdomes and States. The King’s greatnesse consists not only in his Dominion over his Subjects at home, but in the influence which he hath upon States abroad; That he should be great even among Kings, and by his wisdome and authority so to incline and dispose the affaires of other States and Nations, and those great events which fall out in the world, as shall be for the good of Mankind, and for the peculiar advantage of his owne people. This is the most glorious, and magnificent greatness, to be able to relieve distressed Princes, to support his owne friends and Allies, to prevent the ambitious designes of other Kings; and how much this Kingdome hath been impaired in this kinde, by the late mischievous counsels your Lordships best know, who at a neerer distance, and with a more cleare sight, doe apprehend these publique and great affaires, than I can doe. Yet thus much I dare boldly say, that if his Majestie had not with great wisdome and goodness forsaken that way wherein the Earle of Strafford had put him, we should within a short time have been brought into that miserable condition, as to have been uselesse to our friends, contemptible to our enemies, and uncapable of undertaking any great designe either at home or abroad.

A fourth Consideration is, That this Arbitrary, and Tyrannicall Power, which the E. of Strafford did excercise in his own person, and to which he did advise his Majesty, is inconsistent with the Peace, the Wealth, the Prosperity of a Nation. It is destructive to Justice, the Mother of Peace; to Industry, the spring of Wealth; to Valour, which is the active vertue whereby the prosperity of a Nation can only be procured, confirmed, and inlarged.

It is not only apt to take away Peace, and so intangle the Nation with Warres, but doth corrupt Peace, and puts such a malignity into it, as produceth the Effects of warre. We need seek no other proofe of this, but the E. of Strafford’s Government, where the Irish, both Nobility and others, had as little security of their Persons or Estates in this peaceable time, as if the Kingdome had been under the rage and fury of warre.

And as for Industrie, and Valour, who will take pains for that, which when he hath gotten, is not his own? Or who fight for that wherein he hath no other interest, but such as is subject to the will of another? The Ancient encouragement to men that were to defend their Countries was this, That they were to hazard their Persons, pro Aris & Focis, for their Religion, and for their Houses. But by this Arbitrary way which was practiced in Ireland, and counselled here, no man had any certainty, either of Religion, or of his House, or anything else to be his own. But besides this, such Arbitrary courses have an ill operation upon the courage of a Nation, by embasing the hearts of the people. A servile condition doth for the most part beget in men a slavish temper and disposition. Those that live so much under the Whip and the Pillory, and such servile Engines, as were frequently used by the E. of Strafford, they may have the dregges of valour, sullennesse, & stubbornesse, which may make them prone to Mutinies, and discontents; but those Noble and gallant affections, which put men on brave Designes and Attempts for the preservation or inlargement of a Kingdome, they are hardly capable of. Shall it be Treason to embase the King’s Coine, though but a piece of twelve-pence, or sixe-pence, and must it not needs be the effect of a greater Treason, to embase the spirits of his Subjects, and to set a stamp and Character of Servitude upon them, whereby they shall be disabled to doe anything for the service of the King or Commonwealth?

The fifth Consideration is this, That the exercise of this Arbitrary Government, in times of sudden danger, by the invasion of an enemy, will disable his Majesty to preserve himselfe and his Subjects from that danger. This is the only pretence by which the E. of Strafford, and such other mischievous Counsellors would induce his Majesty to make use of it; and if it be unfit for such an occasion, I know nothing that can be alledged in maintenance of it.

When warre threatens a Kingdome by the comming of a forrain Enemy, it is no time then to discontent the people, to make them weary of the present Government, and more inclinable to a Change. The supplies which are to come in this way, will be unready, uncertain; there can be no assurance of them, no dependence upon them, either for time or proportion. And if some money be gotten in such a way, the Distractions, Divisions, Distempers, which this course is apt to produce, will be more prejudiciall to the publique safety, than the supply can be advantagious to it; and of this we have had sufficient experience the last Summer.

The sixth, That this crime of subverting the Laws, and introducing an Arbitrary and Tyrannicall Government, is contrary to the Pact and Covenant betwixt the King and his people. That which was spoken of before, was the legall union of Allegeance and Protection; this is a personall union by mutuall agreement and stipulation, confirmed by oath on both sides. The King and his people are obliged to one another in the nearest relations; He is a Father, and a childe is called in Law, Pars Patris.6 Hee is the Husband of the Commonwealth, they have the same interests, they are inseparable in their condition, be it good or evill. He is the Head, they are the Body; there is such an incorporation as cannot be dissolved without the destruction of both.

When Justice Thorpe, in Edward the third’s time, was by the Parliament condemned to death for Bribery, the reason of that Judgement is given, because he had broken the King’s Oath, not that he had broken his own oath, but that he had broken the King’s oath, that solemne and great obligation, which is the security of the whole Kingdome. If for a Judge to take a small summe in a private cause, was adjudged Capitall, how much greater was this offence, whereby the E. of Strafford hath broken the King’s Oath in the whole course of his Government in Ireland, to the prejudice of so many of his Majestie’s Subjects, in their Lives, Liberties, and Estates, and to the danger of all the rest?

The Doctrine of the Papists, Fides non est servanda cum Haereticis,7 is an abominable Doctrine: yet that other Tenet more peculiar to the Jesuites is more pernicious, whereby Subjects are discharged from their Oath of Allegeance to their Prince whensoever the Pope pleaseth. This may be added to make the third no lesse mischievous and destructive to human society, than either of the rest: That the King is not bound by that Oath which he hath taken to observe the Laws of the Kingdome, but may when he sees cause, lay Taxes and burdens upon them without their consent, contrary to the Laws and Liberties of the Kingdome. This hath been preached and published by divers; And this is that which hath been practised in Ireland by the E. of Strafford, in his Government there, and indeavoured to be brought into England, by his Counsell here.

The seventh is this; It is an offence that is contrary to the end of Government. The end of Government was to prevent oppressions, to limit and restrain the excessive power and violence of great men, to open the passages of Justice with indifferency towards all. This Arbitrary power is apt to induce and incourage all kind of insolencies.

Another end of Government is to preserve men in their estates, to secure them in their Lives and Liberties; but if this Designe had taken effect, and could have been setled in England, as it was practiced in Ireland, no man would have had more certainty in his own, than power would have allowed him. But these two have beene spoken of before, there are two behind more important, which have not yet been touched.

It is the end of Government, that vertue should be cherisht, vice supprest; but where this Arbitrary and unlimited power is set up, a way is open not only for the security, but for the advancement and incouragement of evill. Such men as are aptest for the execution and maintenance of this Power, are only capable of preferment; and others who will not be instruments of any unjust commands, who make a conscience to doe nothing against the Laws of the Kingdome, and Liberties of the Subject, are not only not passable for imployment, but subject to much jealousie and danger.

It is the end of Government, that all accidents and events, all Counsels and Designes should be improved to the publique good. But this Arbitrary Power is apt to dispose all to the maintenance of itselfe. The wisdome of the Councell-Table, the Authority of the Courts of Justice, the industry of all the Officers of the Crown have been most carefully exercised in this; the Learning of our Divines, the Jurisdiction of our Bishops have been moulded and disposed to the same effect, which though it were begun before the E. of Strafford’s Imployment, yet it hath beene exceedingly furthered and advanced by him.

Under this colour and pretence of maintaining the King’s Power and Prerogative many dangerous practices against the peace and safety of this Kingdome have been undertaken and promoted. The increase of Popery, and the favours and incouragement of Papists have been, and still are a great grievance and danger to the Kingdome. The Innovations in matters of Religion, the usurpations of the Clergie, the manifold burdens and taxations upon the people, have been a great cause of our present distempers and disorders; and yet those who have been chiefe Furtherers and Actors of such Mischiefes, have had their Credit and Authority from this, That they were forward to maintain this Power. The E. of Strafford had the first rise of his greatnesse from this, and in his Apologie and Defence, as your Lordships have heard, this hath had a maine part.

The Royall Power, and Majesty of Kings, is most glorious in the prosperity and happinesse of the people. The perfection of all things consists in the end for which they were ordained, God only is his own end, all other things have a further end beyond themselves, in attaining whereof their own happinesse consists. If the means and the end be set in opposition to one another, it must needs cause an impotency and defect of both.

The eighth Consideration is, The vanity and absurdity of those excuses and justifications which he made for himself, whereof divers particulars have been mentioned in the course of his Defence.

1. That he is a Counsellor, and might not be questioned for anything which he advised according to his conscience. The ground is true, there is a liberty belongs to Counsellors, and nothing corrupts Counsels more than fear. He that will have the priviledge of a Counsellor, must keep within the just bounds of a Counsellor; those matters are the proper subjects of Counsell, which in their times and occasions, may be good or beneficiall to the King or Common-wealth. But such Treasons as these, the subversion of the Laws, violation of Liberties, they can never be good, or justifiable by any circumstance, or occasion; and therefore his being a Counsellor, makes his fault much more hainous, as being committed against a greater Trust, and in a way of much mischiefe and danger, lest his Majestie’s conscience and judgment (upon which the whole course and frame of his Government do much depend) should be poisoned and infected with such wicked principles and designes. And this he hath endeavoured to doe, which by all Lawes, and in all times hath in this Kingdome beene reckoned a Crime of an high Nature.

2. He labours to interest your Lordships in his cause, by alledging, It may be dangerous to yourselves, and your Posterity, who by your birth are fittest to be near his Majesty, in places of Trust and Authority, if you should be subject to be questioned for matters delivered in Counsell. To this was answered, that it was hoped their Lordships would rather labour to secure themselves, and their posterity, in the exercise of their vertues, than of their vices, that so they might together with their own honour and greatnesse, preserve the honour and greatnesse, both of the King and Kingdome.

3. Another excuse was this, that whatsoever he hath spoken was out of a good intention. Sometimes good and evill, truth and falshood lie so near together, that they are hardly to be distinguished. Matters hurtfull and dangerous may be accompanied with such circumstances as may make it appeare usefull and convenient, and in all such cases, good intentions will justifie evill Counsell. But where the matters propounded are evill in their own nature, such as the matters are wherewith the E. of Strafford is charged, to break a publique faith, to subvert Laws and Government, they can never be justified by any intentions, how specious, or good soever they be pretended.

4. He alledgeth it was a time of great necessity and danger, when such counsels were necessary for preservation of the State. Necessity hath been spoken of before, as it relates to the Cause; now it is considered as it relates to the Person; if there were any necessity, it was of his own making; he by his evil counsell had brought the King into a necessity, and by no Rules of Justice, can be allowed to gain this advantage by his own fault, as to make that a ground of his justification, which is a great part of his offence.

5. He hath often insinuated this, That it was for his Majestie’s service in maintenance of the Soveraign Power with which he is intrusted by God for the good of his people. The Answer is this, No doubt but that Soveraign Power wherewith his Majesty is intrusted for the publique good, hath many glorious effects, the better to inable him thereunto. But without doubt this is none of them, That by his own will he may lay any Taxe or Imposition upon his people without their consent in Parliament. This hath now been five times adjudged by both Houses. In the Case of the Loanes, In condemning the Commission of Excise, In the Resolution upon the Saving8 offered to be added to the Petition of Right, In the sentence against Manwaring, and now lately, In condemning the Shipmoney. And if the Soveraigne Power of the King can produce no such effect as this, the Allegation of it is an Aggravation, and no Diminution of his offence, because thereby he doth labour to interest the King against the just grievance and complaint of the People.

6. This Counsell was propounded with divers limitations, and Provisions; for securing and repairing the liberty of the people. This implies a contradiction to maintain an Arbitrary & absolute Power, and yet to restrain it with limitations, and provisions; for even those limitations and provisions will be subject to the same absolute Power, and to be dispensed in such manner, and at such time, as itself shall determine; let the grievances and oppressions be never so heavy, the Subject is left without all remedy, but at his Majestie’s own pleasure.

7. He alledgeth, they were but words, and no effect followed. This needs no answer, but that the miserable distempers into which he hath brought all the three Kingdomes, will be evidence sufficient that his wicked Counsels have had such mischievous effects within these two or three last years, that many years’ peace will hardly repaire those losses, and other great mischiefes which the Common-wealth hath sustained.

These excuses have been collected out of the severall parts of his Defence; perchance some others are omitted, which I doubt not have been answered by some of my Colleagues, and are of no importance, either to perplex or to hinder your Lordships’ judgement, touching the hainousnesse of this Crime.

The ninth Consideration is this, That if this be Treason, in the nature of it, it doth exceed all other Treasons in this, That in the Design, and endeavour of the Author, it was to be a constant and a permanent Treason; other Treasons are transient, as being confined within those particular actions and proportions wherein they did consist, and those being past, the Treason ceaseth.

The Powder Treason9 was full of horror and malignity, yet it is past many years since. The murder of that Magnanimous and glorious King, Henry the fourth of France, was a great and horrid Treason. And so were those manifold attempts against Queen Elizabeth of blessed memory; but they are long since past, the Detestation of them only remains in Histories, and in the minds of men; and will ever remain. But this Treason, if it had taken effect, was to be a standing, perpetuall Treason, which would have been in continuall act, not determined within one time or age, but transmitted to Posterity, even from generation to generation.

The tenth Consideration is this, That as it is a Crime odious in the nature of it, so it is odious in the judgement and estimation of the Law. To alter the setled frame and constitution of Government, is Treason in any estate. The Laws whereby all other parts of a Kingdome are preserved, should be very vain and defective, if they had not a power to secure and preserve themselves.

The forfeitures inflicted for Treason by our Law, are of Life, Honour, and Estate, even all that can be forfeited, and this Prisoner having committed so many Treasons, although he should pay all these forfeitures, will be still a Debtor to the Common-wealth. Nothing can be more equall than that he should perish by the Justice of that Law which he would have subverted. Neither will this be a new way of bloud. There are marks enough to trace this Law to the very originall of this Kingdome. And if it hath not been put in execution, as he alledgeth, this 240 years, it was not for want of Law, but that all that time hath not bred a man bold enough to commit such Crimes as these; which is a circumstance much aggravating his offence, and making him no whit lesse liable to punishment, because he is the only man that in so long a time hath ventured upon such a Treason as this.

It belongs to the charge of another to make it appear to your Lordships, that the Crimes and Offences proved against the Earle of Strafford, are High Treason by the Lawes and Statutes of this Realm, whose learning and other abilities are much better for that service. But for the time and manner of performing this, we are to resort to the Direction of the House of Commons, having in this which is already done, dispatched all those instructions which wee have received; and concerning further proceedings, for clearing all Questions and Objections in Law, your Lordships will hear from the House of Commons in convenient time.

finis.

Endnotes

1.

The Earl of Strafford governed Ireland as lord deputy, a post to which he was appointed in 1632.

2.

Charles had agreed to the Petition of Right in 1628 in order to convince Parliament to grant him a subsidy. He got his subsidy although he found the amount disappointing.

3.

The ceasing of gain or profit.

4.

The rising loss.

5.

Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, led an Irish rebellion against the English in 1595. He was vanquished, but after three years of negotiations, hostilities broke out again in 1598. Tyrone suffered a serious defeat in 1601 and finally surrendered on 30 March 1603.

6.

The part or portion of the father.

7.

One is not to be loyal or faithful when it comes to heretics.

8.

The “Resolution upon the Saving” refers to the proposal of the Lords, rejected by the Commons, to add to the Petition of Right the phrase “to leave entire that sovereign Power, wherewith your Majesty is trusted for the protection, safety, and happiness of your people.”

9.

The reference is to the “gunpowder plot” of 1605 in which a group of Catholic conspirators attempted to blow up the king and members of Parliament in order to overthrow the Protestant government.

 


 

T.7 (8.3.) Anon., The Lamentable Complaints of Nick Froth the Tapster (May 1641).

Editing History

  • First edition [uncorrected]
  • Corrections to HTML: 6 Jan. 2016
  • Corrections to XML: 6 Jan. 2016
  • Introduction written for pamphlet: Jan. 7, 2016

 

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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.7 [1641.05] (8.3) Anon., The Lamentable Complaints of Nick Froth the Tapster (May 1641).

Full title

Anon., The Lamentable Complaints of Nick Froth the Tapster, and Rulerost the Cooke. Concerning the restraint lately set forth against drinking, potting and piping on the Sabbath Day, and against selling meate.
Printed in the yeare, 1641.

Estimated date of publication

May, 1641.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 14; Thomason E. 156. (4.)

Editor’s Introduction

Short Description: Here we have an example of small pub and restaurant owners who object to the new Puritan laws which banned economic activity on Sundays. "Nick Froth" who ran the bar and "Rulerost" who roasted the meat to serve with lunch objected to the new laws which restricted or banned the selling of food and drink on Sundays. A crude woodcut illustrates this cheaply produced pamphlet which features a conversation between the two about the law's impact on their freedom to trade.

During the period of conflict between Parliament and the Crown in England during the 1640s the political authorities began to lose control of the system of censorship which had kept criticism of the regime to a minimum or even completely absent. Many people inside and outside Parliament began to question the power of the government, including ordinary people whose opinions had never been consulted before. What is interesting is how many of these pamphlets dealt with liberty broadly understood, not just with religious liberty and relations between Parliament and the King, such as high taxes, economic regulation, monopoly privileges, and the economic impact of war and revolution.

Here we have an example of small pub and restaurant owners who object to the new Puritan laws which banned economic activity on Sundays. "Nick Froth" who ran the bar and "Rulerost" who roasted the meat to serve with lunch objected to the new laws which restricted or banned the selling of food and drink on Sundays. A crude woodcut illustrates this cheaply produced pamphlet which features a conversation between the two about the law's impact on their trade. They point out that most of the week's profits come from the busy trade on Sunday, especially during the hours of the church service when many people vote with their feet and seek a pint of beer and a roast joint rather than listen to the minister. Closing down their business will have a flow on effect to other people who supply them with food, such as the butcher. They wonder how they will be able to pay off their debts if they cannot work a full week. They also point out that they provide a much needed service to their customers and there is an amusing line or two about the considerable virtues of drinking. A final point they make is that they have always had to pay bribes to the government officials ("Apparitors") who regulate their business and the religious fanatics who are imposing the new rules are going to upset them as well as their Sunday bribe-taking begins to dry up.

 

Text of Pamphlet

Concerning the restraint lately set forth, against drinking, potting, and piping on the Sabbath-day, and against selling meate.

Froth.

MY honest friend Cooke Ruffin well met, I pray thee what good newes is stirring.

Cook.

Good news (said you?) I, where is’t? there is such newes in the world, will anger thee to heare of, it is as bad, as bad may be.

Fr.

Is there so? I pray thee what is it, tell me whatsoever it be.

Co.

Have you not heard of the restraint lately come out against us, from the higher Powers; whereby we are commanded not to sell meat nor draw drink upon Sundays, as we wil answer the contrary at our perils.

Fr.

I have heard that some such thing was intended to be done, but never before now, that it was under black and white: I hope there is no such matter: Art thou sure this thy news is true?

Co.

Am I sure, I ever roasted a fat Pig on a Sunday untill the eyes dropt out, thinke you. S’foot, shall I not credit my owne eyes.

Fr.

I would thine had dropt out too, before ever thou hadst seen this, and if this be your news, you might have kept it, with a pox to you.

Co.

Nay, why so chollerick my friend, you told me you would heare me with patience, whatsoever it were.

Fr.

I cry thee heartily mercy, honest Rulerost, I am sorry for what I said, it was my passion made me forget my self so much: but I hope this command as you speake, will not continue long, will it thinke you Master Cooke?

Co.

Too long to our greife I feare, the Church-Wardens, Side-men, and Constables, will so look to our red Lattices, that we shall not dare to put our heads out of doors on a Sunday hereafter. What think you neighbour, is it not like to prove so?

Fr.

Truely it is much to be feared; but what do you think will become of us then, if these times hold?

Co.

Faith, Master Froth, we must shut up our doors and hang padlocks on them, and never so much as take leave of our Land-lords.

Fr.

Master Rulerost, I jumpe with you in opinion for if I tarry in my house till quarter-day, my Land-lord, I feare, will provide me a house gratis. I am very unwilling to trust him, he was alwayes wonderfull kind, and ready to help any of his debtors to such a curtisie; to be plaine with you, I know not in which of the Compters I shall keep my Christmas, if I doe not wisely by running away prevent him.

Co.

Thou hast spoke my owne thoughts, but I stand not so much in danger of my griping Land-lord, as I doe of Master Kill-calfe my Butcher, I am run into almost halfe a yeares arrerages with him; I do owe him neare ninety pounds for meat, which I have had of him at divers and sundry times, as by his Tally, may more at large appeare.

Fr.

I my selfe am almost as farre in debt to my Brewer, as you are to your Butcher; I had almost forgotten that, I see I am no man of this World; if I tarry in England: He hath often threatned to make dice of my bones already, but ile prevent him; ile shew him the bagg, I warrant him.

Co.

He had rather you would shew him the money and keep the bagge to your selfe.

Fr.

I much wonder, Master Rulerost why my trade should be put downe, it being so necessary in a Common-wealth: why, the noble art of drinking, it is the soule of all good fellowship, the marrow of a Poets Minervs, it makes a man as valiant as Hercules, though he were as cowardly as a French man; besides, I could prove it necessary for any man sometimes to be drunk, for suppose you should kill a man when you are drunk, you shall never be hanged for it untill you are sober; therefore I thinke it good for a man to be alwayes drunk: and besides it is the kindest companion, and friendliest sin of all the seven; for most sins leave a man by some accident or other, before his death. But this will never forsake him till the breath be out of his body: and lastly, a full bowle of strong beere will drowne all sorrowes.

Co.

Master Nick, you are mistaken, your trade is not put downe as you seeme to say; what is done, is done to a good intent; to the end that poore men that worke hard all the weeke for a little money, should not spend it all on the Sunday while they should be at some Church, and so consequently there will not be so many Beggers.

Fr.

Alack you know all my profit doth arise onely upon Sundays, let them but allow me that priviledge, and abridge me all the weeke besides: S’foot, I could have so scowred my young sparks up for a peny a demy Can, or a halfe pint, heapt with froth. I got more by uttering halfe a Barrell in time of Divine service, then I could by a whole Barrell at any other time, for my customers were glad to take any thing for money, and thinke themselves much ingaged to me; but now the case is altered.

Co.

Truely Master Froth, you are a man of a light constitution, and not so much to be blamed as I that am more solid: O what will become of me! I now thinke of the lusty Surloines of roast Beefe which I with much policy divided into an innumerable company of semy slices, by which, with my provident wife, I used to make eighteene pence of that which cost me but a groat (provided that I sold it in service time,) I could tell you too, how I used my halfe Cans and my Bloomesbury Pots, when occasion served; and my Smoak which I sold dearer then any Apothecary doth his Physick: but those happy dayes are now past, and therefore no more of that.

Fr.

Well, I am rid of one charge which did continually vex me by this meanes.

Co.

I pry thee what was that?

Fr.

Why Master Rulerost, I was wont to be in fee with the Apparitors, because they should not bring me into the Bawdy Court for selling drinke on Sundayes. Ile assure you they used to have a Noble a quarter of me, but now they shall excuse me, they are like to have no more quartridge of me, and indeed the truth is, their trade begins to be out of request as well as ours.

Co.

I, trust me neighbour, I pity them; I was as much troubled with those kind of Rascals as your self, onely I confesse I paid them no quartridge, but they tickled my beefe, a stone of beef was no more in one of their bellies, then a man in Pauls; but now I must take occasion to ease my self of that charge; and with confidence I will now bid them, Walke knave, walke.

Fr.

Truely Master Rulerost, it doth something ease my mind when I thinke that we have companions in misery. Authority I perceive is quick sighted, it can quickly espie a hole in a knaves coate. But Master Cooke we forget our selves, it groweth neare supper time, and we must part, I would tell you what I intend to doe, but time prevents me, therefore ile refer it untill the next time we meet; And so farewell.

FINIS.

 


 

T.260 John Milton, Of Reformation Touching Church Discipline in England (May, 1641).

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T.260 [1641.05] John Milton, Of Reformation Touching Church Discipline in England (May, 1641).

Full title

Of Reformation touching Church-Discipline in England: And the Causes that hitherto have hindred it. Two Bookes, Written to a Friend. Printed for Thomas Undersell 1641.

In John Milton, The Prose Works of John Milton: With a Biographical Introduction by Rufus Wilmot Griswold. In Two Volumes (Philadelphia: John W. Moore, 1847). Vol. 1., pp. 1-34. .

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June 1641.

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TT1, p. 18; E. 208. (3.).

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OF REFORMATION IN ENGLAND,
AND THE CAUSES THAT HITHERTO HAVE HINDERED IT.
IN TWO BOOKS.

WRITTEN TO A FRIEND.

[FIRST PUBLISHED 1641.]

THE FIRST BOOK.

Sir,—Amidst those deep and retired thoughts, which, with every man Christianly instructed, ought to be most frequent, of God and of his miraculous ways and works amongst men, and of our religion and works, to be performed to him; after the story of our Saviour Christ, suffering to the lowest bent of weakness in the flesh, and presently triumphing to the highest pitch of glory in the spirit, which drew up his body also; till we in both be united to him in the revelation of his kingdom, I do not know of any thing more worthy to take up the whole passion of pity on the one side, and joy on the other, than to consider first the foul and sudden corruption, and then, after many a tedious age, the long deferred, but much more wonderful and happy reformation of the church in these latter days. Sad it is to think how that doctrine of the gospel, planted by teachers divinely inspired, and by them winnowed and sifted from the chaff of overdated ceremonies, and refined to such a spiritual height and temper of purity, and knowledge of the Creator, that the body, with all the circumstances of time and place, were purified by the affections of the regenerate soul, and nothing left impure but sin; faith needing not the weak and fallible office of the senses, to be either the ushers or interpreters of heavenly mysteries, save where our Lord himself in his sacraments ordained; that such a doctrine should, through the grossness and blindness of her professors, and the fraud of deceivable traditions, drag so downwards, as to backslide into the Jewish beggary of old cast rudiments, and stumble forward another way into the new-vomited paganism of sensual idolatry, attributing purity or impurity to things indifferent, that they might bring the inward acts of the spirit to the outward and customary eye-service of the body, as if they could make God earthly and fleshly, because they could not make themselves heavenly and spiritual; they began to draw down all the divine intercourse betwixt God and the soul, yea, the very shape of God himself, into an exterior and bodily form, urgently pretending a necessity and obligement of joining the body in a formal reverence, and worship circumscribed; they hallowed it, they fumed it, they sprinkled it, they bedecked it, not in robes of pure innocency, but of pure linen, with other deformed and fantastic dresses, in palls and mitres, gold and gewgaws fetched from Aaron’s old wardrobe, or the flamins vestry: then was the priest set to con his Edition: current; Page: [2] motions and his postures, his liturgies and his lurries, till the soul by this means of overbodying herself, given up justly to fleshly delights, bated her wing apace downward: and finding the ease she had from her visible and sensuous colleague the body, in performance of religious duties, her pinions now broken, and flagging, shifted off from herself the labour of high soaring any more, forgot her heavenly flight, and left the dull and droiling carcase to plod on in the old road, and drudging trade of outward conformity. And here, out of question, from her perverse conceiting of God and holy things, she had fallen to believe no God at all, had not custom and the worm of conscience nipped her incredulity: hence to all the duties of evangelical grace, instead of the adoptive and cheerful boldness which our new alliance with God requires, came servile and thrallike fear: for in very deed, the superstitious man by his good will is an atheist; but being scared from thence by the pangs and gripes of a boiling conscience, all in a pudder shuffles up to himself such a God and such a worship as is most agreeable to remedy his fear; which fear of his, as also is his hope, fixed only upon the flesh, renders likewise the whole faculty of his apprehension carnal; and all the inward acts of worship, issuing from the native strength of the soul, run out lavishly to the upper skin, and there harden into a crust of formality. Hence men came to scan the Scriptures by the letter, and in the covenant of our redemption, magnified the external signs more than the quickening power of the Spirit; and yet looking on them through their own guiltiness with a servile fear, and finding as little comfort, or rather terror from them again, they knew not how to hide their slavish approach to God’s behests, by them not understood, nor worthily received, but by cloaking their servile crouching to all religious presentments, sometimes lawful, sometimes idolatrous, under the name of humility, and terming the piebald frippery and ostentation of ceremonies, decency.

Then was baptism, changed into a kind of exorcism and water, sanctified by Christ’s institute, thought little enough to wash off the original spot, without the scratch or cross impression of a priest’s forefinger: and that feast of free grace and adoption to which Christ invited his disciples to sit as brethren, and coheirs of the happy covenant, which at that table was to be sealed to them, even that feast of love and heavenly-admitted fellowship, the seal of filial grace, became the subject of horror, and glouting adoration, pageanted about like a dreadful idol; which sometimes deceives well-meaning men, and beguiles them of their reward, by their voluntary humility; which indeed is fleshly pride preferring a foolish sacrifice, and the rudiments of the world, as Saint Paul to the Colossians explaineth, before a savoury obedience to Christ’s example. Such was Peter’s unseasonable humility, as then his knowledge was small, when Christ came to wash his feet; who at an impertinent time would needs strain courtesy with his master, and falling troublesomely upon the lowly, all-wise, and unexaminable intention of Christ, in what he went with resolution to do, so provoked by his interruption the meek Lord, that he threatened to exclude him from his heavenly portion, unless he could be content to be less arrogant and stiffnecked in his humility.

But to dwell no longer in characterizing the depravities of the church, and how they sprung, and how they took increase; when I recall to mind at last, after so many dark ages, wherein the huge overshadowing train of error had almost swept all the stars out of the firmament of the church; how the bright and blissful reformation (by divine power) struck through the black and settled night of ignorance and antichristian tyranny, methinks a sovereign and reviving joy must needs rush into the bosom of him that Edition: current; Page: [3] reads or hears; and the sweet odour of the returning gospel imbathe his soul with the fragrancy of heaven. Then was the sacred Bible sought out of the dusty corners where profane falsehood and neglect had thrown it, the schools opened, divine and human learning raked out of the embers of forgotten tongues, the princes and cities trooping apace to the new-erected banner of salvation; the martyrs, with the unresistible might of weakness shaking the powers of darkness, and scorning the fiery rage of the old red dragon.

The pleasing pursuit of these thoughts hath ofttimes led me into a serious question and debatement with myself, how it should come to pass that England (having had this grace and honour from God, to be the first that should set up a standard for the recovery of lost truth, and blow the first evangelic trumpet to the nations, holding up, as from a hill, the new lamp of saving light to all Christendom) should now be last, and most unsettled in the enjoyment of that peace, whereof she taught the way to others; although indeed our Wickliffe’s preaching, at which all the succeeding reformers more effectually lighted their tapers, was to his countrymen but a short blaze, soon damped and stifled by the pope and prelates for six or seven kings’ reigns; yet methinks the precedency which God gave this island, to be first restorer of buried truth, should have been followed with more happy success, and sooner attained perfection; in which as yet we are amongst the last: for, albeit in purity of doctrine we agree with our brethren; yet in discipline, which is the execution and applying of doctrine home, and laying the salve to the very orifice of the wound, yea, tenting and searching to the core, without which pulpit preaching is but shooting at rovers; in this we are no better than a schism from all the reformation, and a sore scandal to them; for while we hold ordination to belong only to bishops, as our prelates do, we must of necessity hold also their ministers to be no ministers, and shortly after, their church to be no church. Not to speak of those senseless ceremonies which we only retain, as a dangerous earnest of sliding back to Rome, and serving merely, either as a mist to cover nakedness where true grace is extinguished, or as an interlude to set out the pomp of prelatism. Certainly it would be worth the while therefore, and the pains, to inquire more particularly, what, and how many the chief causes have been, that have still hindered our uniform consent to the rest of the churches abroad, at this time especially when the kingdom is in a good propensity thereto, and all men in prayers, in hopes, or in disputes, either for or against it.

Yet I will not insist on that which may seem to be the cause on God’s part; as his judgment on our sins, the trial of his own, the unmasking of hypocrites: nor shall I stay to speak of the continual eagerness and extreme diligence of the pope and papists to stop the furtherance of reformation, which know they have no hold or hope of England their lost darling, longer than the government of bishops bolsters them out; and therefore plot all they can to uphold them, as may be seen by the book of Santa Clara, the popish priest, in defence of bishops, which came out piping hot much about the time that one of our own prelates, out of an ominous fear, had writ on the same argument; as if they had joined their forces, like good confederates, to support one falling Babel.

But I shall chiefly endeavour to declare those causes that hinder the forwarding of true discipline, which are among ourselves. Orderly proceeding will divide our inquiry into our forefathers’ days, and into our times. Henry VIII. was the first that rent this kingdom from the pope’s subjection totally; but his quarrel being more about supremacy, than other faultiness Edition: current; Page: [4] in religion that he regarded, it is no marvel if he stuck where he did. The next default was in the bishops, who though they had renounced the pope, they still hugged the popedom, and shared the authority among themselves, by their six bloody articles, persecuting the protestants no slacker than the pope would have done. And doubtless, whenever the pope shall fall, if his ruin be not like the sudden downcome of a tower, the bishops, when they see him tottering, will leave him, and fall to scrambling, catch who may, he a patriarchdom, and another what comes next hand; as the French cardinal of late and the see of Canterbury hath plainly affected.

In Edward the Sixth’s days, why a complete reformation was not effected, to any considerate man may appear. First, he no sooner entered into his kingdom, but into a war with Scotland; from whence the protector returning with victory, had but newly put his hand to repeal the six articles, and throw the images out of churches, but rebellions on all sides, stirred up by obdurate papists, and other tumults, with a plain war in Norfolk, holding tack against two of the king’s generals, made them of force content themselves with what they had already done. Hereupon followed ambitious contentions among the peers, which ceased not but with the protector’s death, who was the most zealous in this point: and then Northumberland was he that could do most in England; who, little minding religion, (as his apostacy well showed at his death,) bent all his wit how to bring the right of the crown into his own line. And for the bishops, they were so far from any such worthy attempts, as that they suffered themselves to be the common stales, to countenance with their prostitued gravities every politic fetch that was then on foot, as oft as the potent statists pleased to employ them. Never do we read that they made use of their authority and high place of access, to bring the jarring nobility to Christian peace, or to withstand their disloyal projects: but if a toleration for mass were to be begged of the king for his sister Mary, lest Charles the Fifth should be angry; who but the grave prelates, Cranmer and Ridley, must be sent to extort it from the young king? But out of the mouth of that godly and royal child, Christ himself returned such an awful repulse to those halting and time-serving prelates, that after much bold importunity, they went their way not without shame and tears.

Nor was this the first time that they discovered to be followers of this world; for when the protector’s brother, Lord Sudley, the admiral, through private malice and malengine was to lose his life, no man could be found fitter than bishop Latimer (like another Dr. Shaw) to divulge in his sermon the forged accusations laid to his charge, thereby to defame him with the people, who else it was thought would take ill the innocent man’s death, unless the reverend bishop could warrant them there was no foul play. What could be more impious than to debar the children of the king from their right to the crown? To comply with the ambitious usurpation of a traitor, and to make void the last will of Henry VIII., to which the breakers had sworn observance? Yet bishop Cranmer, one of the executors, and the other bishops, none refusing, (lest they should resist the duke of Northumberland,) could find in their consciences to set their hands to the disenabling and defeating not only of Princess Mary the papist, but of Elizabeth the protestant, and (by the bishops’ judgment) the lawful issue of King Henry.

Who then can think (though these prelates had sought a further reformation) that the least wry face of a politician would not have hushed them? But it will be said, these men were martyrs: what then? though every true Christian will be a martyr when he is called to it, not presently does it follow, Edition: current; Page: [5] that every one suffering for religion is, without exception. Saint Paul writes, that “a man may give his body to be burnt, (meaning for religion,) and yet not have charity:” he is not therefore above all possibility of erring, because he burns for some points of truth.

Witness the* Arians and Pelagians, which were slain by the heathen for Christ’s sake, yet we take both these for no true friends of Christ. If the martyrs (saith Cyprian in his 30th epistle) decree one thing, and the gospel another, either the martyrs must lose their crown by not observing the gospel for which they are martyrs, or the majesty of the gospel must be broken and lie flat, if it can be overtopped by the novelty of any other decree.

And here withal I invoke the Immortal Deity, revealer and judge of secrets, that wherever I have in this book plainly and roundly (though worthily and truly) laid open the faults and blemishes of fathers, martyrs, or Christian emperors, or have otherwise inveighed against error and superstition with vehement expressions; I have done it neither out of malice, nor list to speak evil, nor any vain glory, but, of mere necessity to vindicate the spotless truth from an ignominious bondage, whose native worth is now become of such a low esteem, that she is like to find small credit with us for what she can say, unless she can bring a ticket from Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley; or prove herself a retainer to Constantine, and wear his badge. More tolerable it were for the church of God, that all these names were utterly abolished like the brazen serpent, than that men’s fond opinion should thus idolize them, and the heavenly truth be thus captivated.

Now to proceed, whatsoever the bishops were, it seems they themselves were unsatisfied in matters of religion as they then stood, by that commission granted to eight bishops, eight other divines, eight civilians, eight common lawyers, to frame ecclesiastical constitutions; which no wonder if it came to nothing, for (as Hayward relates) both their professions and their ends were different. Lastly, we all know by example, that exact reformation is not perfected at the first push, and those unwieldy times of Edward VI. may hold some plea by his excuse. Now let any reasonable man judge whether that king’s reign be a fit time from whence to pattern out the constitution of a church discipline, much less that it should yield occasion from whence to foster and establish the continuance of imperfection, with the commendatory subscriptions of confessors and martyrs, to entitle and engage a glorious name to a gross corruption. It was not episcopacy that wrought in them the heavenly fortitude of martyrdom; as little is it that martyrdom can make good episcopacy; but it was episcopacy that led the good and holy men through the temptation of the enemy, and the snare of this present world, to many blameworthy and opprobrious actions. And it is still episcopacy that before all our eyes worsens and slugs the most learned and seeming religious of our ministers, who no sooner advanced to it, but like a seething pot set to cool, sensibly exhale and reek out the greatest part of that zeal, and those gifts which were formerly in them, settling in a skinny congealment of ease and sloth at the top: and if they keep their learning by some potent sway of nature, it is a rare chance; but their devotion most commonly comes to that queazy temper of lukewarmness, that gives a vomit to God himself.

But what do we suffer misshapen and enormous prelatism, as we do, thus to blanch and varnish her deformities with the fair colours, as before of Edition: current; Page: [6] martyrdom, so now of episcopacy? They are not bishops, God and all good men know they are not, that have filled this land with late confusion and violence; but a tyrannical crew and corporation of impostors, that have blinded and abused the world so long under that name. He that, enabled with gifts from God, and the lawful and primitive choice of the church assembled in convenient number, faithfully from that time forward feeds his parochial flock, has his coequal and compresbyterial power to ordain ministers and deacons by public prayer, and vote of Christ’s congregation in like sort as he himself was ordained, and is a true apostolic bishop. But when he steps up into the chair of pontifical pride, and changes a moderate and exemplary house for a misgoverned and haughty palace, spiritual dignity for carnal precedence, and secular high office and employment for the high negotiations of his heavenly embassage: then he degrades, then he unbishops himself; he that makes him bishop, makes him no bishop. No marvel therefore if St. Martin complained to Sulpitius Severus, that since he was a bishop, he felt inwardly a sensible decay of those virtues and graces that God had given him in great measure before; although the same Sulpitius writes that he was nothing tainted or altered in his habit, diet, or personal demeanour from that simple plainness to which he first betook himself. It was not therefore that thing alone which God took displeasure at in the bishops of those times, but rather an universal rottenness and gangrene in the whole function.

From hence then I pass to Queen Elizabeth, the next protestant princess, in whose days why religion attained not a perfect reducement in the beginning of her reign, I suppose the hindering causes will be found to be common with some formerly alleged for King Edward VI.; the greenness of the times, the weak estate which Queen Mary left the realm in, the great places and offices executed by papists, the judges, the lawyers, the justices of peace for the most part popish, the bishops firm to Rome; from whence was to be expected the furious flashing of excommunications, and absolving the people from their obedience. Next, her private counsellors, whoever they were, persuaded her (as Camden writes) that the altering of ecclesiastical policy would move sedition. Then was the liturgy given to a number of moderate divines, and Sir Thomas Smith, a statesman, to be purged and physicked: and surely they were moderate divines indeed, neither hot nor cold; and Grindal the best of them, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, lost favour in the court, and I think was discharged the government of his see, for favouring the ministers, though Camden seemed willing to find another cause: therefore about her second year, in a parliament, of men and minds some scarce well grounded, others belching the sour crudities of yesterday’s popery, those constitutions of Edward VI., which as you heard before, no way satisfied the men that made them, are now established for best, and not to be mended. From that time followed nothing but imprisonments, troubles, disgraces on all those that found fault with the decrees of the convocation, and straight were they branded with the name of puritans. As for the queen herself, she was made believe that by putting down bishops, her prerogative would be infringed, of which shall be spoken anon as the course of method brings it in: and why the prelates laboured it should be so thought, ask not them, but ask their bellies. They had found a good tabernacle, they sate under a spreading vine, their lot was fallen in a fair inheritance. And these, perhaps, were the chief impeachments of a more sound rectifying the church in the queen’s time.

From this period I count to begin our times, which because they concern us more nearly, and our own eyes and ears can give us the ampler scope Edition: current; Page: [7] to judge, will require a more exact search; and to effect this the speedier, I shall distinguish such as I esteem to be the hinderers of reformation into three sorts, Antiquitarians (for so I had rather call them than antiquaries, whose labours are useful and laudable). 2. Libertines. 3. Politicians.

To the votarists of antiquity, I shall think to have fully answered, if I shall be able to prove out of antiquity, First, that if they will conform our bishops to the purer times, they must mew their feathers, and their pounces, and make but curtailed bishops of them; and we know they hate to be docked and clipped, as much as to be put down outright. Secondly, that those purer times were corrupt, and their books corrupted soon after. Thirdly, that the best of those that then wrote, disclaim that any man should repose on them, and send all to the Scriptures.

First therefore, if those that overaffect antiquity will follow the square thereof, their bishops must be elected by the hands of the whole church. The ancientest of the extant fathers, Ignatius, writing to the Philadelphians, saith, “that it belongs to them as to the church of God to choose a bishop.” Let no man cavil, but take the church of God as meaning the whole consistence of orders and members, as St. Paul’s epistles express, and this likewise being read over: besides this, it is there to be marked, that those Philadelphians are exhorted to choose a bishop of Antioch. Whence it seems by the way that there was not that wary limitation of diocese in those times, which is confirmed even by a fast friend of episcopacy, Camden, who cannot but love bishops as well as old coins, and his much lamented monasteries, for antiquity’s sake. He writes in his description of Scotland, “That over all the world bishops had no certain diocese till pope Dionysius about the year 268 did cut them out; and that the bishops of Scotland executed their function in what place soever they came indifferently, and without distinction, till King Malcolm the Third, about the year 1070.” Whence may be guessed what their function was: was it to go about circled with a band of rooking officials, with cloakbags full of citations, and processes to be served by a corporality of griffonlike promoters and apparitors? Did he go about to pitch down his court, as an empiric does his bank, to inveigle in all the money of the country? No, certainly, it would not have been permitted him to exercise any such function indifferently wherever he came. And verily some such matter it was as want of a fat diocese that kept our Britain bishops so poor in the primitive times, that being called to the council of Ariminum in the year 359, they had not wherewithal to defray the charges of their journey, but were fed and lodged upon the emperor’s cost; which must needs be no accidental but usual poverty in them: for the author, Sulpitius Severus, in his 2d book of Church History, praises them, and avouches it praiseworthy in a bishop to be so poor as to have nothing of his own. But to return to the ancient election of bishops, that it could not lawfully be without the consent of the people is so express in Cyprian, and so often to be met with, that to cite each place at large, were to translate a good part of the volume; therefore touching the chief passages, I refer the rest to whom so list peruse the author himself: in the 24th epistle, “If a bishop,” saith he, “be once made and allowed by the testimony and judgment of his colleagues and the people, no other can be made.” In the 55th, “When a bishop is made by the suffrage of all the people in peace.” In the 68th mark but what he says; “The people chiefly hath power either of choosing worthy ones, or refusing unworthy: this he there proves by authorities out of the Old and New Testament, and with solid reasons: these were his an tiquities.

Edition: current; Page: [8]

This voice of the people, to be had ever in episcopal elections, was so well known before Cyprian’s time, even to those that were without the church, that the emperor Alexander Severus desired to have his governors of provinces chosen in the same manner, as Lampridius can tell; so little thought he it offensive to monarchy. And if single authorities persuade not, hearken what the whole general council of Nicæa, the first and famousest of all the rest, determines, writing a synodical epistle to the African churches, to warn them of Arianism; it exhorts them to choose orthodox bishops in the place of the dead, so they be worthy, and the people choose them; whereby they seem to make the people’s assent so necessary, that merit, without their free choice, were not sufficient to make a bishop. What would ye say now, grave fathers, if you should wake and see unworthy bishops, or rather no bishops, but Egyptian taskmasters of ceremonies thrust purposely upon the groaning church, to the affliction and vexation of God’s people? It was not of old that a conspiracy of bishops could frustrate and fob off the right of the people; for we may read how St. Martin, soon after Constantine, was made bishop of Turin in France, by the people’s consent from all places thereabout, maugre all the opposition that the bishops could make. Thus went matters of the church almost 400 years after Christ, and very probably far lower: for Nicephorus Phocas the Greek emperor, whose reign fell near the 1000 year of our Lord, having done many things tyrannically, is said by Cedrenus to have done nothing more grievous and displeasing to the people, than to have enacted that no bishop should be chosen without his will; so long did this right remain to the people in the midst of other palpable corruptions. Now for episcopal dignity, what it was, see out of Ignatius, who in his epistle to those of Trallis, confesseth, “That the presbyters are his fellow-counsellors and fellow-benchers.” And Cyprian in many places, as in the 6th, 41st, 52d epistle, speaking of presbyters, calls them his compresbyters, as if he deemed himself no other, whenas by the same place it appears he was a bishop; he calls them brethren, but that will be thought his meekness: yea, but the presbyters and deacons writing to him think they do him honour enough, when they phrase him no higher than brother Cyprian, and dear Cyprian in the 26th epistle. For their authority it is evident not to have been single, but depending on the counsel of the presbyters as from Ignatius was erewhile alleged; and the same Cyprian acknowledges as much in the 6th epistle, and adds thereto, that he had determined, from his entrance into the office of bishop, to do nothing without the consent of his people, and so in the 31st epistle, for it were tedious to course through all his writings, which are so full of the like assertions, insomuch that even in the womb and center of apostacy, Rome itself, there yet remains a glimpse of this truth; for the pope himself, as a learned English writer notes well, performeth all ecclesiastical jurisdiction as in consistory among his cardinals, which were originally but the parish priests of Rome. Thus then did the spirit of unity and meekness inspire and animate every joint and sinew of the mystical body; but now the gravest and worthiest minister, a true bishop of his fold, shall be reviled and ruffled by an insulting and only canon-wise prelate, as if he were some slight paltry companion: and the people of God, redeemed and washed with Christ’s blood, and dignified with so many glorious titles of saints and sons in the gospel, are now no better reputed than impure ethnics and lay dogs; stones, and pillars, and crucifixes, have now the honour and the alms due to Christ’s living members; the table of communion, now become a table of separation, stands like an exalted platform upon the brow of the quire, fortified with bulwark and barricado, to keep Edition: current; Page: [9] off the profane touch of the laics, whilst the obscene and surfeited priest scruples not to paw and mammoc the sacramental bread, as familarly as his tavern biscuit. And thus the people, vilified and rejected by them, give over the earnest study of virtue and godliness, as a thing of greater purity that they need, and the search of divine knowledge as a mystery too high for their capacities, and only for churchmen to meddle with; which is what the prelates desire, that when they have brought us back to popish blindness, we might commit to their dispose the whole managing of our salvation, for they think it was never fair world with them since that time. But he that will mould a modern bishop into a primitive, must yield him to be elected by the popular voice, undiocesed, unrevenued, unlorded, and leave him nothing but brotherly equality, matchless temperance, frequent fasting, incessant prayer and preaching, continual watchings and labours in his ministry; which what a rich booty it would be, what a plump endowment to the many-benefice-gaping-mouth of a prelate, what a relish it would give to his canary-sucking and swan-eating palate, let old bishop Mountain judge for me.

How little therefore those ancient times make for modern bishops, hath been plainly discoursed; but let them make for them as much as they will, yet why we ought not to stand to their arbitrement, shall now appear by a threefold corruption which will be found upon them. 1. The best times were spreadingly infected. 2. The best men of those times foully tainted. 3. The best writings of those men dangerously adulterated. These positions are to be made good out of those times witnessing of themselves. First, Ignatius in his early days testifies to the churches of Asia, that even then heresies were sprung up, and rise every where, as Eusebius relates in his 3d book, 35th chap. after the Greek number. And Hegesippus, a grave church writer of prime antiquity, affirms in the same book of Eusebius, c. 32: “That while the apostles were on earth, the depravers of doctrine did but lurk; but they once gone, with open forehead they durst preach down the truth with falsities.” Yea, those that are reckoned for orthodox, began to make sad and shameful rents in the church about the trivial celebration of feasts, not agreeing when to keep Easter-day; which controversy grew so hot, that Victor the bishop of Rome excommunicated all the churches of Asia for no other cause, and was worthily thereof reproved by Irenæus. For can any sound theologer think, that these great fathers understood what was gospel, or what was excommunication? Doubtless that which led the good men into fraud and error was, that they attended more to the near tradition of what they heard the appostles some times did, than to what they had left written, not considering that many things which they did were by the apostles themselves professed to be done only for the present, and of mere indulgence to some scrupulous converts of the circumcision; but what they writ was of firm decree to all future ages. Look but a century lower in the 1st cap. of Eusebius 8th book. What a universal tetter of impurity had envenomed every part, order, and degree of the church to omit the lay herd, which will be little regarded, “those that seem to be our pastors,” saith he, “overturning the law of God’s worship, burnt in contentions one towards another, and increasing in hatred and bitterness, outrageously sought to uphold lordship, and command as it were a tyranny.” Stay but a little, magnanimous bishops, suppress your aspiring thoughts, for there is nothing wanting but Constantine to reign, and then tyranny herself shall give up all her citadels into your hands, and count ye thence forward her trustiest agents. Such were these that must be called the ancientest and most virgin times between Christ and Constantine. Nor Edition: current; Page: [10] was this general contagion in their actions, and not in their writings: who is ignorant of the foul errors, the ridiculous wresting of Scripture, the heresies, the vanities thick sown through the volumes of Justin Martyr, Clemens, Origen, Tertullian, and others of eldest time? Who would think him fit to write an apology for Christian faith to the Roman senate, that would tell them “how of the angels,” which he must needs mean those in Genesis called the sons of God, “mixing with women were begotten the devils,” as good Justin Martyr in his Apology told them? But more indignation would it move to any Christian that shall read Tertullian, terming St. Paul a novice, and raw in grace, for reproving St. Peter at Antioch, worthy to be blamed if we believe the epistle to the Galatians: perhaps from this hint the blasphemous Jesuits presumed in Italy to give their judgment of St. Paul, as of a hotheaded person, as Sandys in his relations tells us.

Now besides all this, who knows not how many superstitious works are ingraffed into the legitimate writings of the fathers? And of those books that pass for authentic, who knows what hath been tampered withal, what hath been razed out, what hath been inserted? Besides the late legerdemain of the papists, that which Sulpitius writes concerning Origen’s books, gives us cause vehemently to suspect, there hath been packing of old. In the third chap. of his 1st Dialogue we may read what wrangling the bishops and monks had about the reading or not reading of Origen; some objecting that he was corrupted by heretics; others answering that all such books had been so dealt with. How then shall I trust these times to lead me, that testify so ill of leading themselves? Certainly of their defects their own witness may be best received, but of the rectitude and sincerity of their life and doctrine, to judge rightly, we must judge by that which was to be their rule.

But it will be objected, that this was an unsettled state of the church, wanting the temporal magistrate to suppress the licence of false brethern, and the extravagancy of still new opinions; a time not imitable for church government, where the temporal and spiritual power did not close in one belief, as under Constantine. I am not of opinion to think the church a vine in this respect, because, as they take it, she cannot subsist without clasping about the elm of worldly strength and felicity, as if the heavenly city could not support itself without the props and buttresses of secular authority. They extol Constantine because he extolled them; as our homebred monks in their histories blanch the kings their benefactors, and brand those that went about to be their correctors. If he had curbed the growing pride, avarice, and luxury of the clergy, then every page of his story should have swelled with his faults, and that which Zozimus the heathen writes of him should have come in to boot: we should have heard then in every declamation how he slew his nephew Commodus, a worthy man; his noble and eldest son Crispus, his wife Fausta, besides numbers of his friends; then his cruel exactions, his unsoundness in religion, favouring the Arians that had been condemned in a council, of which himself sat as it were president; his hard measure and banishment of the faithful and invincible Athanasius; his living unbaptised almost to his dying day; these blurs are too apparent in his life. But since he must needs be the loadstar of reformation, as some men clatter, it will be good to see further his knowledge of religion what it was, and by that we may likewise guess at the sincerity of his times in those that were not heretical, it being likely that he would converse with the famousest prelates (for so he had made them) that were to be found for learning.

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Of his Arianism we heard, and for the rest a pretty scantling of his knowledge may be taken by his deferring to be baptized so many years, a thing not usual, and repugnant to the tenor of Scripture; Philip knowing nothing that should hinder the eunuch to be baptized after profession of his belief. Next, by the excessive devotion, that I may not say superstition, both of him and his mother Helena, to find out the cross on which Christ suffered, that had long lain under the rubbish of old ruins; (a thing which the disciples and kindred of our Saviour might with more ease have done, if they had thought it a pious duty;) some of the nails whereof he put into his helmet, to bear off blows in battle, others he fastened among the studs of his bridle, to fulfil (as he thought, or his court bishops persuaded him) the prophecy of Zechariah; “And it shall be that which is in the bridle, shall be holy to the Lord.” Part of the cross, in which he thought such virtue to reside, as would prove a kind of Palladium to save the city wherever it remained, he caused to be laid up in a pillar of porphyry by his statue. How he or his teachers could trifle thus with half an eye open upon St. Paul’s principles, I know not how to imagine.

How should then the dim taper of this emperor’s age, that had such need of snuffing, extend any beam to our times, wherewith we might hope to be better lighted, than by those luminaries that God hath set up to shine to us far nearer hand. And what reformation he wrought for his own time, it will not be amiss to consider; he appointed certain times for fasts and feasts, built stately churches, gave large immunities to the clergy, great riches and promotions to bishops, gave and ministered occasion to bring in a deluge of ceremonies, thereby either to draw in the heathen by a resemblance of their rites, or to set a gloss upon the simplicity and plainness of Christianity; which, to the gorgeous solemnities of paganism, and the sense of the world’s children, seemed but a homely and yeomanly religion; for the beauty of inward sanctity was not within their prospect.

So that in this manner the prelates, both then and ever since, coming from a mean and plebeian life on a sudden to be lords of stately palaces, rich furniture, delicious fare, and princely attendance, thought the plain and homespun verity of Christ’s gospel unfit any longer to hold their lordships’ acquaintance, unless the poor threadbare matron were put into better clothes; her chaste and modest vail, surrounded with celestial beams, they overlaid with wanton tresses, and in a staring tire bespeckled her with all the gaudy allurements of a whore.

Thus flourished the church with Constantine’s wealth, and thereafter were the effects that followed; his son Constantius proved a flat Arian, and his nephew Julian an apostate, and there his race ended: the church that before by insensible degrees welked and impaired, now with large steps went down hill decaying: at this time Antichrist began first to put forth his horn, and that saying was common, that former times had wooden chalices and golden priests; but they, golden chalices and wooden priests. “Formerly,” saith Sulpitius, “martyrdom by glorious death was sought more greedily than now bishoprics by vile ambition are hunted after,” speaking of these times: and in another place, “they gape after possessions, they tend lands and livings, they cower over their gold, they buy and sell: and if there be any that neither possess nor traffic, that which is worse, they set still, and expect gifts, and prostitute every endowment of grace, every holy thing, to sale.” And in the end of his history thus he concludes. “All things went to wrack by the faction, wilfulness, and avarice of the bishops; and by this means God’s people, and every good man, was had in scorn and derision;” which St. Martin found truly to be said by his friend Sulpitius; for, being Edition: current; Page: [12] held in admiration of all men, he had only the bishops his enemies, found God less favourable to him after he was bishop than before, and for his last sixteen years would come at no bishop’s meeting. Thus you see sir, what Constantine’s doings in the church brought forth, either in his own or in his son’s reign.

Now, lest it should be thought that something else might ail this author thus to hamper the bishops of those days, I will bring you the opinion of three the famousest men for wit and learning that Italy at this day glories of, whereby it may be concluded for a received opinion, even among men professing the Romish faith, that Constantine marred all in the church. Dante, in his 19th Canto of Inferno, hath thus, as I will render it you in English blank verse:

  • Ah Constantine! of how much ill was cause
  • Not thy conversion, but those rich domains
  • That the first wealthy pope receiv’d of thee!

So, in his 20th Canto of Paradise, he makes the like complaint, and Petrarch seconds him in the same mind in his 108th sonnet, which is wiped out by the inquisitor in some editions; speaking of the Roman Antichrist as merely bred up by Constantine.

  • Founded in chaste and humble poverty,
  • ’Gainst them that rais’d thee dost thou lift thy horn,
  • Impudent whore, where hast thou plac’d thy hope?
  • In thy adulterers, or thy ill-got wealth?
  • Another Constantine comes not in haste.

Ariosto of Ferrara, after both these in time, but equal in fame, following the scope of his poem in a difficult knot how to restore Orlando his chief hero to his lost senses, brings Astolfo the English knight up into the moon, where St. John, as he feigns, met him. Cant. 34.

  • And to be short, at last his guide him brings
  • Into a goodly valley, where he sees
  • A mighty mass of things strangely confus’d,
  • Things that on earth were lost, or were abus’d.

And amongst these so abused things, listen what he met withal, under the conduct of the Evangelist.

  • Then past he to a flowery mountain green,
  • Which once smelt sweet, now stinks as odiously:
  • This was that gift (if you the truth will have)
  • That Constantine to good Sylvestro gave.

And this was a truth well known in England before this poet was born, as our Chaucer’s Ploughman shall tell you by and by upon another occasion. By all these circumstances laid together, I do not see how it can be disputed what good this emperor Constantine wrought to the church, but rather whether ever any, though perhaps not wittingly, set open a door to more mischief in Christendom. There is just cause therefore, that when the prelates cry out, Let the church be reformed according to Constantine, it should sound to a judicious ear no otherwise, than if they should say, Make us rich, make us lofty, make us lawless; for if any under him were not so, thanks to those ancient remains of integrity, which were not yet quite worn out, and not to his government.

Thus finally it appears, that those purer times were not such as they are cried up, and not to be followed without suspicion, doubt, and danger. The last point wherein the antiquary is to be dealt with at his own weapon, is, Edition: current; Page: [13] to make it manifest that the ancientest and best of the fathers have disclaimed all sufficiency in themselves that men should rely on, and sent all comers to the Scriptures, as all-sufficient: that this is true, will not be unduly gathered, by showing what esteem they had of antiquity themselves, and what validity they thought in it to prove doctrine or discipline. I must of necessity begin from the second rank of fathers, because till then antiquity could have no plea. Cyprian in his 63d Epistle: “If any,” saith he, “of our ancestors, either ignorantly or out of simplicity, hath not observed that which the Lord taught us by example,” speaking of the Lord’s supper, “his simplicity God may pardon of his mercy; but we cannot be excused for following him, being instructed by the Lord.” And have not we the same instructions; and will not this holy man, with all the whole consistory of saints and martyrs that lived of old, rise up and stop our mouths in judgment, when we shall go about to father our errors and opinions upon their authority? In the 73d Epist. he adds, “In vain do they oppose custom to us, if they be overcome by reason; as if custom were greater than truth, or that in spiritual things that were not to be followed, which is revealed for the better by the Holy Ghost.” In the 74th, “Neither ought custom to hinder that truth should not prevail; for custom without truth is but agedness of error.”

Next Lactantius, he that was preferred to have the bringing up of Constantine’s children, in his second book of Institutions, chap. 7 and 8, disputes against the vain trust in antiquity, as being the chiefest argument of the Heathen against the Christians: “They do not consider,” saith he, “what religion is, but they are confident it is true, because the ancients delivered it; they count it a trespass to examine it.” And in the eighth: “Not because they went before us in time, therefore in wisdom; which being given alike to all ages, cannot be prepossessed by the ancients wherefore, seeing that to seek the truth is inbred to all, they bereave themselves of wisdom, the gift of God, who without judgment follow the ancients, and are led by others like brute beasts.” St. Austin writes to Fortunatian, that “he counts it lawful, in the books of whomsoever, to reject that which he finds otherwise than true; and so he would have others deal by him.” He neither accounted, as it seems, those fathers that went before, nor himself, nor others of his rank, for men of more than ordinary spirit, that might equally deceive, and be deceived: and ofttimes setting our servile humours aside, yea, God so ordering we may find truth with one man, as soon as in a council, as Cyprian agrees, 71st Epist. “Many things,” saith he, “are better revealed to single persons.” At Nicæ, in the first and best-reputed council of all the world, there had gone out a canon to divorce married priests, had not one old man, Paphnutius, stood up and reasoned against it.

Now remains it to show clearly that the fathers refer all decision of controversy to the Scriptures, as all-sufficient to direct, to resolve, and to determine. Ignatius, taking his last leave of the Asian churches, as he went to martyrdom, exhorted them to adhere close to the written doctrine of the apostles, necessarily written for posterity: so far was he from unwritten traditions, as may be read in the 36th chap. of Eusebius, 3d b. In the 74th Epist. of Cyprian against Stefan, bishop of Rome, imposing upon him a tradition; “Whence,” quoth he, “is this tradition? Is it fetched from the authority of Christ in the gospel, or of the apostles in their epistles? for God testifies that those things are to be done which are written.” And then thus, “What obstinacy, what presumption is this, to prefer human tradition before divine ordinance?” And in the same epist. “if we shall Edition: current; Page: [14] return to the head, and beginning of divine tradition, (which we all know he means the Bible,) human error ceases; and the reason of heavenly mysteries unfolded, whatsoever was obscure becomes clear.” And in the 14th distinct of the same epist. directly against our modern fantasies of a still visible church, he teaches, “that succession of truth may fail; to renew which, we must have recourse to the fountains;” using this excellent similitude, “if a channel, or conduit-pipe which brought in water plentifully before, suddenly fail, do we not go to the fountain to know the cause, whether the spring affords no more, or whether the vein be stopped, or turned aside in the midcourse? Thus ought we to do, keeping God’s precepts, that if in aught the truth shall be changed, we may repair to the gospel and to the apostles, that thence may arise the reason of our doings, from whence our order and beginning arose.” In the 75th he inveighs bitterly against pope Stephanus, “for that he could boast his succession from Peter, and yet foist in traditions that were not apostolical.” And in his book of the unity of the church, he compares those that, neglecting God’s word, follow the doctrines of men, to Corah, Dathan, and Abiram. The very first page of Athanasius against the gentiles, avers the scriptures to be sufficient of themselves for the declaration of truth; and that if his friend Macarius read other religious writers, it was but φιλοϰάλος come un vertuoso, (as the Italians say,) as a lover of elegance: and in his second tome, the 39th page, after he hath reckoned up the canonical books, “in these only,” saith he, “is the doctrine of godliness taught; let no man add to these, or take from these.” And in his Synopsis, having again set down all the writers of the Old and New Testament, “these,” saith he, “be the anchors and props of our faith.” Besides these, millions of other books have been written by great and wise men according to rule, and agreement with these, of which I will not now speak, as being of infinite number, and mere dependence on the canonical books. Basil, in his 2d tome, writing of true faith, tells his auditors, he is bound to teach them that which he hath learned out of the Bible: and in the same treatise he saith, “that seeing the commandments of the Lord are faithful, and sure for ever, it is a plain falling from the faith, and a high pride, either to make void any thing therein, or to introduce any thing not there to be found:” and he gives the reason, “for Christ saith, My sheep hear my voice; they will not follow another, but fly from him, because they know not his voice.” But not to be endless in quotations, it may chance to be objected, that there be many opinions in the fathers which have no ground in Scripture; so much the less, may I say, should we follow them, for their own words shall condemn them, and acquit us that lean not on them; otherwise these their words will acquit them, and condemn us. But it will be replied, the Scriptures are difficult to be understood, and therefore require the explanation of the fathers. It is true, there be some books, and especially some places in those books, that remain clouded; yet ever that which is most necessary to be known is most easy; and that which is most difficult, so far expounds itself ever, as to tell us how little it imports our saving knowledge. Hence, to infer a general obscurity over all the text, is a mere suggestion of the devil to dissuade men from reading it, and casts an aspersion of dishonour both upon the mercy, truth, and wisdom of God. We count it no gentleness or fair dealing in a man of power amongst us, to require strict and punctual obedience, and yet give out all his commands ambiguous and obscure; we should think he had a plot upon us; certainly such commands were no commands, but snares. The very essence of truth is plainness and brightness; the darkness and crookedness is our own. The wisdom Edition: current; Page: [15] of God created understanding, fit and proportionable to truth, the object and end of it, as the eye to the thing visible. If our understanding have a film of ignorance over it, or be blear with gazing on other false glisterings, what is that to truth? If we will but purge with sovereign eyesalve that intellectual ray which God hath planted in us, then we would believe the Scriptures protesting their own plainness and perspicuity, calling to them to be instructed, not only the wise and the learned, but the simple, the poor, the babes; foretelling an extraordinary effusion of God’s Spirit upon every age and sex, attributing to all men, and requiring from them the ability of searching, trying, examining all things, and by the spirit discerning that which is good; and as the Scriptures themselves pronounce their own plainness, so do the fathers testify of them.

I will not run into a paroxysm of citations again in this point, only instance Athanasius in his forementioned first page: “The knowledge of truth,” saith he, “wants no human lore, as being evident in itself, and by the preaching of Christ now opens brighter than the sun.” If these doctors, who had scarce half the light that we enjoy, who all, except two or three, were ignorant of the Hebrew tongue, and many of the Greek, blundering upon the dangerous and suspectful translations of the apostate Aquila, the heretical Theodotian, the judaized Symmachus, the erroneous Origen; if these could yet find the Bible so easy, why should we doubt, that have all the helps of learning, and faithful industry, that man in this life can look for, and the assistance of God as near now to us as ever? But let the Scriptures be hard; are they more hard, more crabbed, more abtruse than the fathers? He that cannot understand the sober, plain, and unaffected style of the Scriptures, will be ten times more puzzled with the knotty Africanisms, the pampered metaphors, the intricate and involved sentences of the fathers, besides the fantastic and declamatory flashes, the cross-jingling periods which cannot but disturb, and come thwart a settled devotion, worse than the din of bells and rattles.

Now, sir, for the love of holy Reformation, what can be said more against these importunate clients of antiquity than she herself their patroness hath said? Whether, think ye, would she approve still to doat upon immeasurable, innumerable, and therefore unnecessary and unmerciful volumes, choosing rather to err with the specious name of the fathers, or to take a sound truth at the hand of a plain upright man, that all his days has been diligently reading the holy Scriptures, and thereto imploring God’s grace, while the admirers of antiquity have been beating their brains about their ambones, their dyptichs, and meniaias? Now, he that cannot tell of stations and indictions, nor has wasted his precious hours in the endless conferring of councils and conclaves that demolish one another, (although I know many of those that pretend to be great rabbies in these studies, have scarce saluted them from the strings, and the titlepage; or to give them more, have been but the ferrets and mousehunts of an index:) yet what pastor or minister, how learned, religious, or discreet soever, does not now bring both his cheeks full blown with œcumenical and synodical, shall be counted a lank, shallow, insufficient man, yea a dunce, and not worthy to speak about reformation of church discipline. But I trust they for whom God hath reserved the honour of reforming this church, will easily perceive their adversaries’ drift in thus calling for antiquity: they fear the plain field of the Scriptures; the chase is too hot; they seek the dark, the bushy, the tangled forest, they would imbosk: they feel themselves strook in the transparent streams of divine truth; they would plunge, and tumble, and think to lie hid in the foul weeds and muddy waters where Edition: current; Page: [16] no plummet can reach the bottom. But let them beat themselves like whales, and spend their oil till they be dragged ashore: though wherefore should the ministers give them so much line for shifts and delays? wherefore should they not urge only the gospel, and hold it ever in their faces like a mirror of diamond, till it dazzle and pierce their misty eyeballs? maintaining it the honour of its absolute sufficiency and supremacy inviolable: for if the Scriptures be for reformation, and antiquity to boot, it is but an advantage to the dozen, it is no winning cast: and though antiquity be against it, while the Scriptures be for it, the cause is as good as ought to be wished, antiquity itself sitting judge.

But to draw to an end; the second sort of those that may be justly numbered among the hinderers of reformation, are libertines; these suggest that the discipline sought would be intolerable: for one bishop now in a diocese, we should then have a pope in every parish. It will not be requisite to answer these men, but only to discover them; for reason they have none but lust and licentiousness, and therefore answer can have none. It is not any discipline that they could live under, it is the corruption and remissness of discipline that they seek. Episcopacy duly executed, yea, the Turkish and Jewish rigour against whoring and drinking; the dear and tender discipline of a father, the sociable and loving reproof of a brother, the bosom admonition of a friend, is a presbytery, and a consistory to them. It is only the merry friar in Chaucer can disple* them.

  • Full sweetly heard he confession,
  • And pleasant was his absolution,
  • He was an easy man to give penance.

And so I leave them; and refer the political discourse of episcopacy to a second book.

THE SECOND BOOK.

Sir,—It is a work good and prudent to be able to guide one man; of larger extended virtue to order well one house: but to govern a nation piously and justly, which only is to say happily, is for a spirit of the greatest size, and divinest mettle. And certainly of no less a mind, nor of less excellence in another way, were they who by writing laid the solid and true foundations of this science, which being of greatest importance to the life of man, yet there is no art that hath been more cankered in her principles, more soiled, and slubbered with aphorisming pedantry, than the art of policy: and that most, where a man would think should least be, in Christian commonwealths. They teach not, that to govern well, is to train up a nation in true wisdom and virtue, and that which springs from thence, magnanimity, (take heed of that,) and that which is our beginning, regeneration, and happiest end, likeness to God, which in one word we call godliness; and that this is the true flourishing of a land, other things follow Edition: current; Page: [17] as the shadow does the substance; to teach thus were mere pulpitry to them. This is the masterpiece of a modern politician, how to qualify and mould the sufferance and subjection of the people to the length of that foot that is to tread on their necks; how rapine may serve itself with the fair and honourable pretences of public good; how the puny law may be brought under the wardship and control of lust and will: in which attempt if they fall short, then must a superficial colour of reputation by all means, direct or indirect, be gotten to wash over the unsightly bruise of honour. To make men governable in this manner, their precepts mainly tend to break a national spirit and courage, by countenancing open riot, luxury, and ignorance, till having thus disfigured and made men beneath men, as Juno in the fable of Io, they deliver up the poor transformed heifer of the commonwealth to be stung and vexed with the breese and goad of oppression, under the custody of some Argus with a hundred eyes of jealousy. To be plainer, sir, how to sodder, how to stop a leak, how to keep up the floating carcase of a crazy and diseased monarchy or state, betwixt wind and water, swimming still upon her own dead lees, that now is the deep design of a politician. Alas, sir! a commonwealth ought to be but as one huge Christian personage, one mighty growth and stature of an honest man, as big and compact in virtue as in body; for look what the grounds and causes are of single happiness to one man, the same ye shall find them to a whole state, as Aristotle, both in his Ethics and Politics, from the principles of reason lays down: by consequence, therefore, that which is good and agreeable to monarchy, will appear soonest to be so, by being good and agreeable to the true welfare of every Christian; and that which can be justly proved hurtful and offensive to every true Christian, will be evinced to be alike hurtful to monarchy: for God forbid that we should separate and distinguish the end and good of a monarch, from the end and good of the monarchy, or of that from Christianity. How then this third and last sort that hinder reformation, will justify that it stands not with reason of state, I much muse; for certain I am, the Bible is shut against them, as certain that neither Plato nor Aristotle is for their turns. What they can bring us now from the schools of Loyola with his Jesuits, or their Malvezzi, that can cut Tacitus into slivers and steaks, we shall presently hear. They allege, 1. That the church government must be conformable to the civil polity; next, that no form of church-government is agreeable to monarchy, but that of bishops. Must church-government that is appointed in the gospel, and has chief respect to the soul, be conformable and pliant to civil, that is arbitrary, and chiefly conversant about the visible and external part of man? This is the very maxim that moulded the calves of Bethel and of Dan; this was the quintessence of Jeroboam’s policy, he made religion conform to his politic interests; and this was the sin that watched over the Israelites till their final captivity. If this state principle come from the prelates, as they affect to be counted statists, let them look back to Eleutherius bishop of Rome, and see what he thought of the policy of England; being required by Lucius, the first Christian king of this island, to give his counsel for the founding of religious laws, little thought he of this sage caution, but bids him betake himself to the Old and New Testament, and receive direction from them how to administer both church and commonwealth; that he was God’s vicar, and therefore to rule by God’s laws; that the edicts of Cæsar we may at all times disallow, but the statutes of God for no reason we may reject. Now certain, if church-government be taught in the gospel, as the bishops dare not deny, we may well conclude of what late standing this position is, newly calculated for Edition: current; Page: [18] the altitude of bishop-elevation, and lettuce for their lips. But by what example can they show, that the form of church-discipline must be minted and modelled out to secular pretences? The ancient republic of the Jews is evident to have run through all the changes of civil estate, if we survey the story from the giving of the law to the Herods; yet did one manner of priestly government serve without inconvenience to all these temporal mutations; it served the mild aristocracy of elective dukes, and heads of tribes joined with them; the dictatorship of the judges, the easy or hardhanded monarchies, the domestic or foreign tyrannies: lastly, the Roman senate from without, the Jewish senate at home, with the Galilean tetrarch; yet the Levites had some right to deal in civil affairs: but seeing the evangelical precept forbids churchmen to intermeddle with worldly employments, what interweavings or interworkings can knit the minister and the magistrate, in their several functions, to the regard of any precise correspondency? Seeing that the churchman’s office is only to teach men the Christian faith, to exhort all, to encourage the good, to admonish the bad, privately the less offender, publicly the scandalous and stubborn; to censure and separate, from the communion of Christ’s flock, the contagious and incorrigible, to receive with joy and fatherly compassion the penitent: all this must be done, and more than this is beyond any church-authority. What is all this either here or there, to the temporal regiment of weal public, whether it be popular, princely, or monarchical? Where doth it intrench upon the temporal governor? where does it come in his walk? where doth it make inroad upon his jurisdiction? Indeed if the minister’s part be rightly discharged, it renders him the people more conscionable, quiet, and easy to be governed; if otherwise, his life and doctrine will declare him. If, therefore, the constitution of the church be already set down by divine prescript, as all sides confess, then can she not be a handmaid to wait on civil commodities and respects; and if the nature and limits of church-discipline be such, as are either helpful to all political estates indifferently, or have no particular relation to any, then is there no necessity, nor indeed possibility, of linking the one with the other in a special conformation.

Now for their second conclusion, “That no form of church-government is agreeable to monarchy, but that of bishops,” although it fall to pieces of itself by that which hath been said; yet to give them play, front and rear, it shall be my task to prove that episcopacy, with that authority which it challenges in England, is not only not agreeable, but tending to the destruction of monarchy. While the primitive pastors of the church of God laboured faithfully in their ministry, tending only their sheep, and not seeking, but avoiding all worldly matters as clogs, and indeed derogations and debasements to their high calling; little needed the princes and potentates of the earth, which way soever the gospel was spread, to study ways out to make a coherence between the church’s polity and theirs: therefore, when Pilate heard once our Saviour Christ professing that “his kingdom was not of this world,” he thought the man could not stand much in Cæsar’s light, nor much endamage the Roman empire; for if the life of Christ be hid to this world, much more is his sceptre unoperative, but in spiritual things. And thus lived, for two or three ages, the successors of the apostles. But when, through Constantine’s lavish superstition, they forsook their first love, and set themselves up two gods instead, Mammon and their Belly; then taking advantage of the spiritual power which they had on men’s consciences, they began to cast a longing eye to get the body also, and bodily things into their command: upon which their carnal desires, the spirit daily quenching and dying in them, knew no way to keep Edition: current; Page: [19] themselves up from falling to nothing, but by bolstering and supporting their inward rottenness by a carnal and outward strength. For a while they rather privily sought opportunity, than hastily disclosed their project; but when Constantine was dead, and three or four emperors more, their drift became notorious, and offensive to the whole world; for while Theodosius the younger reigned, thus writes Socrates the historian, in his 7th book, chap. 11. “Now began an ill name to stick upon the bishops of Rome and Alexandria, who beyond their priestly bounds now long ago had stepped into principality:” and this was scarce eighty years since their raising from the meanest worldly condition. Of courtesy now let any man tell me, if they draw to themselves a temporal strength and power out of Cæsar’s dominion, is not Cæsar’s empire thereby diminished? But this was a stolen bit; hitherto he was but a caterpillar secretly knawing at monarchy; the next time you shall see him a wolf, a lion, lifting his paw against his raiser, as Petrarch expressed it, and finally an open enemy and subverter of the Greek empire. Philippicus and Leo, with divers other emperors after them, not without the advice of their patriarchs, and at length of a whole eastern council of three hundred and thirty-eight bishops, threw the images out of churches as being decreed idolatrous.

Upon this goodly occasion, the bishop of Rome not only seizes the city, and all the territory about, into his own hands, and makes himself lord thereof, which till then was governed by a Greek magistrate, but absolves all Italy of their tribute and obedience due to the emperor, because he obeyed God’s commandment in abolishing idolatry.

Mark, sir, here, how the pope came by St. Peter’s patrimony, as he feigns it; not the donation of Constantine, but idolatry and rebellion got it him. Ye need but read Sigonius, one of his own sect, to know the story at large. And now to shroud himself against a storm from the Greek continent, and provide a champion to bear him out in these practices, he takes upon him by papal sentence to unthrone Chilpericus the rightful king of France, and gives the kingdom to Pepin, for no other cause, but that he seemed to him the more active man. If he were a friend herein to monarchy, I know not; but to the monarch I need not ask what he was.

Having thus made Pepin his last friend, he calls him into Italy against Aistulphus the Lombard, that warred upon him for his late usurpation of Rome, as belonging to Ravenna which he had newly won. Pepin, not unobedient to the pope’s call, passing into Italy, frees him out of danger, and wins for him the whole exarchate of Ravenna; which though it had been almost immediately before the hereditary possession of that monarchy, which was his chief patron and benefactor, yet he takes and keeps it to himself as lawful prize, and given to St. Peter. What a dangerous fallacy is this, when a spiritual man may snatch to himself any temporal dignity or dominion, under pretence of receiving it for the church’s use? Thus he claims Naples, Sicily, England, and what not? To be short, under show of his zeal against the errors of the Greek church, he never ceased baiting and goring the successors of his best lord Constantine, what by his barking curses and excommunications, what by his hindering the western princes from aiding them against the Sarazens and Turks, unless when they humoured him; so that it may be truly affirmed, he was the subversion and fall of that monarchy, which was the hoisting of him. This, besides Petrarch, whom I have cited, our Chaucer also hath observed, and gives from hence a caution to England, to beware of her bishops in time, for that their ends and aims are no more friendly to monarchy, than the pope’s.

This he begins in the Ploughman speaking, Part ii., Stanz. 28.

Edition: current; Page: [20]
  • The emperor yafe the pope sometime
  • So high lordship him about,
  • That at last the silly kime,
  • The proud pope put him out;
  • So of this realm is no doubt,
  • But lords beware and them defend;
  • For now these folks be wonders stout,
  • The king and lords now this amend.

And in the next Stanza, which begins the third part of the tale, he argues that they ought not to be lords.

  • Moses law forbade it tho
  • That priests should no lordship welde,
  • Christ’s gospel biddeth also
  • That they should no lordships held:
  • Ne Christ’s apostles were never so bold
  • No such lordships to hem embrace,
  • But smeren her sheep and keep her fold.

And so forward. Whether the bishops of England have deserved thus to be feared by men so wise as our Chaucer is esteemed; and how agreeable to our monarchy and monarchs their demeanour has been, he that is but meanly read in our chronicles needs not be instructed. Have they not been as the Canaanites, and Philistines, to this kingdom? what treasons, what revolts to the pope? what rebellions, and those the basest and most pretenceless, have they not been chief in? What could monarchy think, when Becket durst challenge the custody of Rochester-castle, and the Tower of London, as appertaining to his signory? To omit his other insolencies and affronts to regal majesty, until the lashes inflicted on the anointed body of the king, washed off the holy unction with his blood drawn by the polluted hands of bishops, abbots, and monks.

What good upholders of royalty were the bishops, when by their rebellious opposition against King John, Normandy was lost, he himself deposed, and this kingdom made over to the pope? When the bishop of Winchester durst tell the nobles, the pillars of the realm, that there were no peers in England, as in France, but that the king might do what he pleased. What could tyranny say more? It would be pretty now if I should insist upon the rendering up of Tournay by Woolsey’s treason, the excommunications, cursings, and interdicts upon the whole land; for haply I shall be cut off short by a reply, that these were the faults of men and their popish errors, not of episcopacy, that hath now renounced the pope, and is a protestant. Yes, sure; as wise and famous men have suspected and feared the protestant episcopacy in England, as those that have feared the papal.

You know, sir, what was the judgment of Padre Paolo, the great Venetian antagonist of the pope, for it is extant in the hands of many men, whereby he declares his fear, that when the hierarchy of England shall light into the hands of busy and audacious men, or shall meet with princes tractable to the prelacy, then much mischief is like to ensue. And can it be nearer hand, than when bishops shall openly affirm that, no bishop no king? A trim paradox, and that ye may know where they have been a begging for it, I will fetch you the twin brother to it out of the Jesuits’ cell: they feeling the axe of God’s reformation, hewing at the old and hollow trunk of papacy, and finding the Spaniard their surest friend, and safest refuge, to sooth him up in his dream of a fifth monarchy, and withal to uphold the decrepit papalty, have invented this superpolitic aphorism, as one terms it, one pope and one king.

Surely, there is not any prince in Christendom, who, hearing this rare sophistry, can choose but smile; and if we be not blind at home, we may Edition: current; Page: [21] as well perceive that this worthy motto, no bishop no king, is of the same batch, and infanted out of the same fears, a mere ague-cake coagulated of a certain fever they have, presaging their time to be but short: and now like those that are sinking, they catch round of that which is likeliest to hold them up; and would persuade regal power, that if they dive, he must after. But what greater debasement can there be to royal dignity, whose towering and stedfast height rests upon the unmovable foundations of justice, and heroic virtue, than to chain it in a dependance of subsisting, or ruining, to the painted battlements and gaudy rottenness of prelatry, which want but one puff of the king’s to blow them down like a pasteboard house built of court-cards? Sir, the little ado which methinks I find in untacking these pleasant sophisms, puts me into the mood to tell you a tale ere I proceed further; and Meneinus Agrippa speed us.

Upon a time the body summoned all the members to meet in the guild for the common good (as Æsop’s chronicles aver many stranger accidents:) the head by right takes the first seat, and next to it a huge and monstrous wen, little less than the head itself, growing to it by a narrow excrescency. The members, amazed, began to ask one another what he was that took place next their chief? none could resolve. Whereat the wen, though unwieldy, with much ado gets up, and bespeaks the assembly to this purpose: that as in place he was second to the head, so by due of merit; that he was to it an ornament, and strength, and of special near relation; and that if the head should fail, none were fitter than himself to step into his place: therefore he thought it for the honour of the body, that such dignities and rich endowments should be decreed him, as did adorn, and set out the noblest members. To this was answered, that it should be consulted. Then was a wise and learned philosopher sent for, that knew all the charters, laws, and tenures of the body. On him it is imposed by all, as chief committee to examine and discuss the claim and petition of right put in by the wen; who soon perceiving the matter, and wondering at the boldness of such a swoln tumor; “Wilt thou (quoth he) that art but a bottle of vicious and hardened excrements, contend with the lawful and free-born members, whose certain number is set by ancient and unrepealable statute? head thou art none, though thou receive this huge substance from it: what office bearest thou? what good canst thou show by thee done to the commonweal?” The wen not easily dashed, replies, that his office was his glory; for so oft as the soul would retire out of the head from over the steaming vapours of the lower parts to divine contemplation, with him she found the purest and quietest retreat, as being most remote from soil and disturbance. Lourdan, quoth the philosopher, thy folly is as great as thy filth: know that all the faculties of the soul are confined of old to their several vessels and ventricles, from which they cannot part without dissolution of the whole body; and that thou containest no good thing in thee, but a heap of hard and loathsome uncleanness, and art to the head a foul disfigurement and burden; when I have cut thee off, and opened thee, as by the help of these implements I will do, all men shall see.

But to return whence was digressed: seeing that the throne of a king, as the wise king Solomon often remembers us, “is established in justice,” which is the universal justice that Aristotle so much praises, containing in it all other virtues, it may assure us that the fall of prelacy, whose actions are so far distant from justice, cannot shake the least fringe that borders the royal canopy; but that their standing doth continually oppose and lay battery to regal safety, shall by that which follows easily appear. Amongst many secondary and accessary causes that support monarchy, these are not Edition: current; Page: [22] of least reckoning, though common to all other states; the love of the subjects, the multitude and valour of the people, and store of treasure. In all these things hath the kingdom been of late sore weakened, and chiefly by the prelates. First, let any man consider, that if any prince shall suffer under him a commission of authority to be exercised, till all the land groan and cry out, as against a whip of scorpions, whether this be not likely to lessen, and keel the affections of the subject. Next, what numbers of faithful and freeborn Englishmen, and good Christians, have been constrained to forsake their dearest home, their friends and kindred, whom nothing but the wide ocean, and the savage deserts of America, could hide and shelter from the fury of the bishops? O sir, if we could but see the shape of our dear mother England, as poets are wont to give a personal form to what they please, how would she appear, think ye, but in a mourning weed, with ashes upon her head, and tears abundantly flowing from her eyes to behold so many of her children exposed at once, and thrust from things of dearest necessity, because their conscience could not assent to things which the bishops thought indifferent? What more binding than conscience? What more free than indifferency? Cruel then must that indifferency needs be, that shall violate the strict necessity of conscience; merciless and inhuman that free choice and liberty that shall break asunder the bonds of religion! Let the astrologer be dismayed at the portentous blaze of comets, and impressions in the air, as foretelling troubles and changes to states: I shall believe there cannot be a more ill-boding sign to a nation (God turn the omen from us!) than when the inhabitants, to avoid insufferable grievances at home, are enforced by heaps to forsake their native country. Now, whereas the only remedy and amends against the depopulation and thinness of a land within, is the borrowed strength of firm alliance from without, these priestly policies of theirs, having thus exhausted our domestic forces, have gone the way also to leave us as naked of our firmest and faithfullest neighbours abroad, by disparaging and alienating from us all protestant princes and commonwealths; who are not ignorant that our prelates, and as many as they can infect, account them no better than a sort of sacrilegious and puritanical rebels, preferring the Spaniard our deadly enemy before them, and set all orthodox writers at nought in comparison with the Jesuits, who are indeed the only corrupters of youth and good learning: and I have heard many wise and learned men in Italy say as much. It cannot be that the strongest knot of confederacy should not daily slacken, when religion, which is the chief engagement of our league, shall be turned to their reproach. Hence it is that the prosperous and prudent states of the United Provinces, (whom we ought to love, if not for themselves, yet for our own good work in them, they having been in a manner planted and erected by us, and having been since to us the faithful watchmen and discoverers of many a popish and Austrian complotted treason, and with us the partners of many a bloody and victorious battle,) whom the similitude of manners and language, the commodity of traffic, which founded the old Burgundian league betwixt us, but chiefly religion, should bind to us immortally; even such friends as these, out of some principles instilled into us by the prelates, have been often dismissed with distasteful answers, and sometimes unfriendly actions: nor is it to be considered to the breach of confederate nations, whose mutual interests is of such consequence, though their merchants bicker in the East Indies; neither is it safe, or wary, or indeed Christianly, that the French king, of a different faith, should afford our nearest allies as good protection as we. Sir, I persuade myself, if our zeal to true religion, and the brotherly usage of our truest friends, Edition: current; Page: [23] were as notorious to the world, as our prelatical schism, and captivity to rochet apophthegms, we had ere this seen our old conquerors, and afterwards liegemen the Normans, together with the Britons our proper colony, and all the Gascoins that are the rightful dowry of our ancient kings, come with cap and knee, desiring the shadow of the English sceptre to defend them from the hot persecutions and taxes of the French. But when they come hither, and see a tympany of Spaniolized bishops swaggering in the foretop of the state, and meddling to turn and dandle the royal ball with unskilful and pedantic palms, no marvel though they think it as unsafe to commit religion and liberty to their arbitrating as to a synagogue of Jesuits.

But what do I stand reckoning upon advantages and gains lost by the misrule and turbulency of the prelates? What do I pick up so thriftly their scatterings and diminishings of the meaner subject, whilst they by their seditious practices have endangered to lose the king one third of his main stock? What have they not done to banish him from his own native country? But to speak of this as it ought, would ask a volume by itself.

Thus as they have unpeopled the kingdom by expulsion of so many thousands, as they have endeavoured to lay the skirts of it bare by disheartening and dishonouring our loyalest confederates abroad, so have they hamstrung the valour of the subject by seeking to effeminate us all at home. Well knows every wise nation, that their liberty consists in manly and honest labours, in sobriety and rigorous honour to the marriage-bed, which in both sexes should be bred up from chaste hopes to loyal enjoyments; and when the people slacken, and fall to looseness and riot, then do they as much as if they laid down their necks for some wild tyrant to get up and ride. Thus learnt Cyrus to tame the Lydians, whom by arms he could not whilst they kept themselves from luxury; with one easy proclamation to set up stews, dancing, feasting, and dicing, he made them soon his slaves. I know not what drift the prelates had, whose brokers they were to prepare, and supple us either for a foreign invasion or domestic oppression: but this I am sure, they took the ready way to despoil us both of manhood and grace at once, and that in the shamefullest and ungodliest manner, upon that day which God’s law, and even our own reason hath consecrated, that we might have one day at least of seven set apart wherein to examine and increase our knowledge of God, to meditate and commune of our faith, our hope, our eternal city in heaven, and to quicken withal the study and exercise of charity; at such a time that men should be plucked from their soberest and saddest thoughts, and by bishops, the pretended fathers of the church, instigated by public edict, and with earnest endeavour pushed forward to gaming, jigging, wassailing, and mixed dancing, is a horror to think! Thus did the reprobate hireling priest Balaam seek to subdue the Israelites to Moab, if not by force, then by this devilish policy, to draw them from the sanctuary of God to the luxurious and ribald feasts of Baal-peor. Thus have they trespassed not only against the monarchy of England, but of heaven also, as others, I doubt not, can prosecute against them.

I proceed within my own bounds to show you next what good agents they are about the revenues and riches of the kingdom, which declare of what moment they are to monarchy, or what avail. Two leeches they have that still suck, and suck the kingdom, their ceremonies and their courts. If any man will contend that ceremonies be lawful under the gospel, he may be answered other where. This doubtless, that they ought to be many and overcostly, no true protestant will affirm. Now I appeal to all wise men, what an excessive waste of treasure hath been within these few years in this land, not in the expedient, but in the idolatrous erection of temples Edition: current; Page: [24] beautified exquisitely to outvie the papists, the costly and dear-bought scandals and snares of images, pictures, rich copes, gorgeous altar-cloths: and by the courses they took, and the opinions they held, it was not likely any stay would be, or any end of their madness, where a pious pretext is so ready at hand to cover their insatiate desires. What can we suppose this will come to? What other materials than these have built up the spiritual Babel to the height of her abominations? Believe it, sir, right truly it may be said, that Antichrist is Mammon’s son. The sour leaven of human traditions, mixed in one putrefied mass with the poisonous dregs of hypocrisy in the hearts of prelates, that lie basking in the sunny warmth of wealth and promotion, is the serpent’s egg that will hatch an Antichrist wheresoever, and engender the same monster as big, or little, as the lump is which breeds him. If the splendour of gold and silver begin to lord it once again in the church of England, we shall see Antichrist shortly wallow here, though his chief kennel be at Rome. If they had one thought upon God’s glory, and the advancement of Christian faith, they would be a means that with these expenses, thus profusely thrown away in trash, rather churches and schools might be built, where they cry out for want; and more added where too few are; a moderate maintenance distributed to every painful minister, that now scarce sustains his family with bread, while the prelates revel like Belshazzar with their full carouses in goblets, and vessels of gold snatched from God’s temple; which (I hope) the worthy men of our land will consider. Now then for their courts. What a mass of money is drawn from the veins into the ulcers of the kingdom this way; their extortions, their open corruptions, the multitude of hungry and ravenous harpies that swarm about their offices, declare sufficiently. And what though all this go not over sea? It were better it did: better a penurious kingdom, than where excessive wealth flows into the graceless and injurious hands of common spunges, to the impoverishing of good and loyal men, and that by such execrable, such irreligious courses.

If the sacred and dreadful works of holy discipline, censure, penance, excommunication, and absolution, where no profane thing ought to have access, nothing to be assistant but sage and Christianly admonition, brotherly love, flaming charity and zeal; and then, according to the effects, paternal sorrow, or paternal joy, mild severity, melting compassion: if such divine ministeries as these, wherein the angel of the church represents the person of Christ Jesus, must lie prostitute to sordid fees, and not pass to and fro between our Saviour, that of free grace redeemed us, and the submissive penitent, without the truckage of perishing coin, and the butcherly execution of tormentors, rooks, and rakeshames sold to lucre; then have the Babylonish merchants of souls just excuse. Hitherto, sir, you have heard how the prelates have weakened and withdrawn the external accomplishments of kingly prosperity, the love of the people, their multitude, their valour, their wealth; mining and sapping the outworks and redoubts of monarchy. Now hear how they strike at the very heart and vitals.

We know that monarchy is made up of two parts, the liberty of the subject, and the supremacy of the king. I begin at the root. See what gentle and benign fathers they have been to our liberty! Their trade being, by the same alchymy that the pope uses to extract heaps of gold and silver out of the drossy bullion of the people’s sins, and justly fearing that the quicksighted protestant eye, cleared in great part from the mist of superstition, may at one time or other look with a good judgment into these their deceitful pedlaries; to gain as many associates of guiltiness as they can, and to infect the temporal magistrate with the like lawless, though not sacrilegious Edition: current; Page: [25] extortion, see awhile what they do; they engage themselves to preach, and persuade an assertion for truth the most false, and to this monarchy the most pernicious and destructive that could be chosen. What more baneful to monarchy than a popular commotion, for the dissolution of monarchy slides aptest into a democracy; and what stirs the Englishmen, as our wisest writers have observed, sooner to rebellion, than violent and heavy hands upon their goods and purses? Yet these devout prelates, spite of our great charter, and the souls of our progenitors that wrested their liberties out of the Norman gripe with their dearest blood and highest prowess, for these many years have not ceased in their pulpits wrenching and spraining the text, to set at naught and trample under foot all the most sacred and lifeblood laws, statutes, and acts of parliament, that are the holy covenant of union and marriage between the king and his realm, by proscribing and confiscating from us all the right we have to our own bodies, goods, and liberties. What is this but to blow a trumpet, and proclaim a firecross to an hereditary and perpetual civil war? Thus much against the subjects’ liberty hath been assaulted by them. Now how they have spared supremacy, or are likely hereafter to submit to it, remains lastly to be considered.

The emulation that under the old law was in the king towards the priest, is now so come about in the gospel, that all the danger is to be feared from the priest to the king. Whilst the priest’s office in the law was set out with an exterior lustre of pomp and glory, kings were ambitious to be priests; now priests, not perceiving the heavenly brightness and inward splendour of their more glorious evangelic ministry, with as great ambition affect to be kings, as in all their courses is easy to be observed. Their eyes ever eminent upon worldly matters, their desires ever thirsting after worldly employments, instead of diligent and fervent study in the Bible, they covet to be expert in canons and decretals, which may enable them to judge and interpose in temporal causes, however pretended ecclesiastical. Do they not hoard up pelf, seek to be potent in secular strength, in state affairs, in lands, lordships, and domains; to sway and carry all before them in high courts and privy councils; to bring into their grasp the high and principal offices of the kingdom? Have they not been told of late to check the common law, to slight and brave the indiminishable majesty of our highest court, the lawgiving and sacred parliament? Do they not plainly labour to exempt churchmen from the magistrate? Yea, so presumptuously as to question and menace officers that represent the king’s person for using their authority against drunken priests? The cause of protecting murderous clergymen was the first heartburning that swelled up the audacious Becket to the pestilent and odious vexation of Henry the Second. Nay, more, have not some of their devoted scholars begun, I need not say to nibble, but openly to argue against the king’s supremacy? Is not the chief of them accused out of his own book, and his late canons, to affect a certain unquestionable patriarchate, independent, and unsubordinate to the crown? From whence having first brought us to a servile state of religion and manhood, and having predisposed his conditions with the pope, that lays claim to this land, or some Pepin of his own creating, it were all as likely for him to aspire to the monarchy among us, as that the pope could find means so on the sudden both to bereave the emperor of the Roman territory with the favour of Italy, and by an unexpected friend out of France, while he was in danger to lose his newgot purchase, beyond hope to leap into the fair exarchate of Ravenna.

A good while the pope subtly acted the lamb, writing to the emperor, “my lord Tiberius, my lord Mauritius;” but no sooner did this his lord Edition: current; Page: [26] pluck at the images and idols, but he threw off his sheep’s clothing, and started up a wolf, laying his paws upon the emperor’s right, as forfeited to Peter. Why may not we as well, having been forewarned at home by our renowned Chaucer, and from abroad by the great and learned Padre Paolo, from the like beginnings, as we see they are, fear the like events? Certainly a wise and provident king ought to suspect a hierarchy in his realm, being ever attended, as it is, with two such greedy purveyors, ambition and usurpation; I say, he ought to suspect a hierarchy to be as dangerous and derogatory from his crown as a tetrachy or a heptarchy. Yet now that the prelates had almost attained to what their insolent and unbridled minds had hurried them; to thrust the laity under the despotical rule of the monarch, that they themselves might confine the monarch to a kind of pupillage under their hierarchy, observe but how their own principles combat one another, and supplant each one his fellow.

Having fitted us only for peace, and that a servile peace, by lessening our numbers, draining our estates, enfeebling our bodies, cowing our free spirits by those ways as you have heard, their impotent actions cannot sustain themselves the least moment, unless they would rouse us up to a war fit for Cain to be the leader of; an abhorred, a cursed, a fraternal war. England and Scotland, dearest brothers both in nature and in Christ, must be set to wade in one another’s blood; and Ireland, our free denizen, upon the back of us both, as occasion should serve: a piece of service that the pope and all his factors have been compassing to do ever since the reformation.

But ever blessed be he, and ever glorified, that from his high watchtower in the heavens, discerning the crooked ways of perverse and cruel men, hath hitherto maimed and infatuated all their damnable inventions, and deluded their great wizards with a delusion fit for fools and children: had God been so minded, he could have sent a spirit of mutiny amongst us, as he did between Abimelech and the Shechemites, to have made our funerals, and slain heaps more in number than the miserable surviving remnant; but he, when we least deserved, sent out a gentle gale and message of peace from the wings of those his cherubims that fan his mercyseat. Nor shall the wisdom, the moderation, the Christian piety, the constancy of our nobility and commons of England, be ever forgotten, whose calm and temperate connivance could sit still and smile out the stormy bluster of men more audacious and precipitant than of solid and deep reach, until their own fury had run itself out of breath, assailing by rash and heady approaches the impregnable situation of our liberty and safety, that laughed such weak enginery to scorn, such poor drifts to make a national war of a surplice brabble, a tippet scuffle, and engage the untainted honour of English knighthood to unfurl the streaming red cross, or to rear the horrid standard of those fatal guly dragons, for so unworthy a purpose as to force upon their fellow-subjects that which themselves are weary of—the skeleton of a mass-book. Nor must the patience, the fortitude, the firm obedience of the nobles and people of Scotland, striving against manifold provocations; nor must their sincere and moderate proceedings hitherto be unremembered, to the shameful conviction of all their detractors.

Go on both hand in hand, O nations, never to be disunited; be the praise and the heroic song of all posterity; merit this, but seek only virtue, not to extend your limits; (for what needs to win a fading triumphant laurel out of the tears of wretched men?) but to settle the pure worship of God in his church, and justice in the state: then shall the hardest difficulties smooth out themselves before ye; envy shall sink to hell, craft and malice be confounded, Edition: current; Page: [27] whether it be homebred mischief or outlandish cunning; yea, other nations will then covet to serve ye, for lordship and victory are but the pages of justice and virtue. Commit securely to true wisdom the vanquishing and uncasing of craft and subtlety, which are but her two runagates: join your invincible might to do worthy and godlike deeds; and then he that seeks to break your union, a cleaving curse be his inheritance to all generations.

Sir, you have now at length this question for the time, and as my memory would best serve me in such a copious and vast theme, fully handled, and you yourself may judge whether prelacy be the only church-government agreeable to monarchy. Seeing therefore the perilous and confused state into which we are fallen, and that to the certain knowledge of all men, through the irreligious pride and hateful tyranny of prelates, (as the innumerable and grievous complaints of every shire cry out,) if we will now resolve to settle affairs either according to pure religion or sound policy, we must first of all begin roundly to cashier and cut away from the public body the noisome and diseased tumour of prelacy, and come from schism to unity with our neighbour reformed sister-churches, which with the blessing of peace and pure doctrine have now long time flourished; and doubtless with all hearty joy and gratulation will meet and welcome our Christian union with them, as they have been all this while grieved at our strangeness, and little better than separation from them. And for the discipline propounded, seeing that it hath been inevitably proved that the natural and fundamental causes of political happiness in all governments are the same, and that this church-discipline is taught in the word of God, and, as we see, agrees according to wish with all such states as have received it; we may infallibly assure ourselves that it will as well agree with monarchy, though all the tribe of Aphorismers and Politicasters would persuade us there be secret and mysterious reasons against it. For upon the settling hereof mark what nourishing and cordial restorements to the state will follow; the ministers of the gospel attending only to the work of salvation, every one within his limited charge, besides the diffusive blessings of God upon all our actions; the king shall sit without an old disturber, a daily incroacher and intruder; shall rid his kingdom of a strong, sequestered, and collateral power, a confronting mitre, whose potent wealth and wakeful ambition he had just cause to hold in jealousy: not to repeat the other present evils which only their removal will remove, and because things simply pure are inconsistent in the mass of nature, nor are the elements or humours in a man’s body exactly homogeneal; and hence the best-founded commonwealths and least barbarous have aimed at a certain mixture and temperament, partaking the several virtues of each other state, that each part drawing to itself may keep up a steady and even uprightness in common.

There is no civil government that hath been known, no not the Spartan, not the Roman, though both for this respect so much praised by the wise Polybius, more divinely and harmoniously tuned, more equally balanced as it were by the hand and scale of justice than is the commonwealth of England; where, under a free and untutored monarch, the noblest, worthiest, and most prudent men, with full approbation and suffrage of the people, have in their power the supreme and final determination of highest affairs. Now if conformity of church-discipline to the civil be so desired, there can be nothing more parallel, more uniform, than when under the sovereign prince, Christ’s vicegerent, using the sceptre of David, according to God’s law, the godliest, the wisest, the learnedest ministers in their several charges have the instructing and disciplining of God’s people, by whose full and Edition: current; Page: [28] free election they are consecrated to that holy and equal aristocracy. And why should not the piety and conscience of Englishmen, as members of the church, be trusted in the election of pastors to functions that nothing concern a monarch, as well as their worldly wisdoms are privileged as members of the state in suffraging their knights and burgesses to matters that concern him nearly? And if in weighing these several offices, their difference in time and quality be cast in, I know they will not turn the beam of equal judgment the moiety of a scruple. We therefore having already a kind of apostolical and ancient church election in our state, what a perverseness would it be in us of all others to retain forcibly a kind of imperious and stately election in our church! And what a blindness to think that what is already evangelical, as it were by a happy chance in our polity, should be repugnant to that which is the same by divine command in the ministry! Thus then we see that our ecclesiastical and political choices may consent and sort as well together without any rupture in the state, as Christians and freeholders. But as for honour, that ought indeed to be different and distinct, as either office looks a several way; the minister whose calling and end is spiritual, ought to be honoured as a father and physician to the soul, (if he be found to be so,) with a son-like and disciple-like reverence, which is indeed the dearest and most affectionate honour, most to be desired by a wise man, and such as will easily command a free and plentiful provision of outward necessaries, without his further care of this world.

The magistrate, whose charge is to see to our persons and estates, is to be honoured with a more elaborate and personal courtship, with large salaries and stipends, that he himself may abound in those things whereof his legal justice and watchful care gives us the quiet enjoyment. And this distinction of honour will bring forth a seemly and graceful uniformity over all the kingdom.

Then shall the nobles possess all the dignities and offices of temporal honour to themselves, sole lords without the improper mixture of scholastic and pusillanimous upstarts; the parliament shall void her upper house of the same annoyances; the common and civil laws shall both be set free, the former from the control, the other from the mere vassalage and copyhold of the clergy.

And whereas temporal laws rather punish men when they have transgressed, than form them to be such as should transgress seldomest, we may conceive great hopes, through the showers of divine benediction watering the unmolested and watchful pains of the ministry, that the whole inheritance of God will grow up so straight and blameless, that the civil magistrate may with far less toil and difficulty, and far more ease and delight, steer the tall and goodly vessel of the commonwealth through all the gusts and tides of the world’s mutability.

Here I might have ended, but that some objections, which I have heard commonly flying about, press me to the endeavour of an answer. We must not run, they say, into sudden extremes. This is a fallacious rule, unless understood only of the actions of virtue about things indifferent: for if it be found that those two extremes be vice and virtue, falsehood and truth, the creater extremity of virtue and superlative truth we run into, the more virtuous and the more wise we become; and he that, flying from degenerate and traditional corrupation, fears to shoot himself too far into the meeting embraces of a divinely warranted reformation, had better not have run at all. And for the suddenness, it cannot be feared. Who should oppose it? The papists? they dare not. The protestants otherwise affected? they were mad. There is nothing will be removed but what to them is professedly indifferent. Edition: current; Page: [29] The long affection which the people have borne to it, what for itself, what for the odiousness of prelates, is evident: from the first year of Queen Elizabeth it hath still been more and more propounded, desired, and beseeched, yea, sometimes favourably forwarded by the parliaments themselves. Yet if it were sudden and swift, provided still it be from worse to better, certainly we ought to hie us from evil like a torrent, and rid ourselves of corrupt discipline, as we would shake fire out of our bosoms.

Speedy and vehement were the reformations of all the good kings of Judah, though the people had been nuzzled in idolatry ever so long before; they feared not the bugbear danger, nor the lion in the way that the sluggish and timorous politician thinks he sees; no more did our brethren of the reformed churches abroad; they ventured (God being their guide) out of rigid popery, into that which we in mockery call precise puritanism, and yet we see no inconvenience befel them.

Let us not dally with God when he offers us a full blessing, to take as much of it as we think will serve our ends, and turn him back the rest upon his hands, lest in his anger he snatch all from us again. Next, they allege the antiquity of episcopacy through all ages. What it was in the apostles’ time, that, questionless, it must be still; and therein I trust the ministers will be able to satisfy the parliament. But if episcopacy be taken for prelacy, all the ages they can deduce it through, will make it no more venerable than papacy.

Most certain it is (as all our stories bear witness) that ever since their coming to the see of Canterbury, for near twelve hundred years, to speak of them in general, they have been in England to our souls a sad and doleful succession of illiterate and blind guides; to our purses and goods a wasteful band of robbers, a perpetual havoc and rapine; to our state a continual hydra of mischief and molestation, the forge of discord and rebellion: this is the trophy of their antiquity, and boasted succession through so many ages. And for those prelate-martyrs they glory of, they are to be judged what they were by the gospel, and not the gospel to be tried by them.

And it is to be noted, that if they were for bishoprics and ceremonies, it was in their prosperity and fulness of bread; but in their persecution, which purified them, and near their death, which was their garland, they plainly disliked and condemned the ceremonies, and threw away those episcopal ornaments wherein they were installed, as foolish and detestable; for so the words of Ridley at his degradement, and his letter to Hooper, expressly show. Neither doth the author of our church-history spare to record sadly the fall (for so he terms it) and infirmities of these martyrs, though we would deify them. And why should their martyrdom more countenance corrupt doctrine or discipline, than their subscriptions justify their treason to the royal blood of this realm, by diverting and entailing the right of the crown from the true heirs, to the houses of Northumberland and Suffolk? which had it took effect, this present king had in all likelihood never sat on this throne, and the happy union of this island had been frustrated.

Lastly, whereas they add that some, the learnedest of the reformed abroad admire our episcopacy; it had been more for the strength of the argument to tell us, that some of the wisest statesmen admire it, for thereby we might guess them weary of the present discipline, as offensive to their state, which is the bug we fear: but being they are churchmen, we may rather suspect them for some prelatizing spirits that admire our bishoprics, not episcopacy.

The next objection vanishes of itself, propounding a doubt, whether a greater inconvenience would not grow from the corruption of any other discipline than from that of episcopacy. This seems an unseasonable foresight, Edition: current; Page: [30] and out of order, to defer and put off the most needful constitution of one right discipline, while we stand balancing the discommodities of two corrupt ones. First constitute that which is right, and of itself it will discover and rectify that which swerves, and easily remedy the pretended fear of having a pope in every parish, unless we call the zealous and meek censure of the church a popedom, which whoso does, let him advise how he can reject the pastorly rod and sheephook of Christ, and those cords of love, and not fear to fall under the iron sceptre of his anger, that will dash him to pieces like a potsherd.

At another doubt of theirs I wonder—whether this discipline which we desire be such as can be put in practice within this kingdom; they say it cannot stand with the common law nor with the king’s safety, the government of episcopacy is now so weaved into the common law. In God’s name let it weave out again; let not human quillets keep back divine authority. It is not the common law, nor the civil, but piety and justice that are our foundresses; they stoop not, neither change colour for aristocracy, democracy, or monarchy, nor yet at all interrupt their just courses; but far above the taking notice of these inferior niceties, with perfect sympathy, wherever they meet, kiss each other. Lastly, they are fearful that the discipline which will succeed cannot stand with the king’s safety. Wherefore? it is but episcopacy reduced to what it should be: were it not that the tyranny of prelates under the name of bishops had made our ears tender and startling, we might call every good minister a bishop, as every bishop, yea, the apostles themselves, are called ministers, and the angels ministering spirits, and the ministers again angels. But wherein is this propounded government so shrewd? Because the government of assemblies will succeed. Did not the apostles govern the church by assemblies? How should it else be catholic? How should it have communion? We count it sacrilege to take from the rich prelates their lands and revenues, which is sacrilege in them to keep, using them as they do; and can we think it safe to defraud the living church of God of that right which God has given her in assemblies? O but the consequence! assemblies draw to them the supremacy of ecclesiastical jurisdiction. No, surely, they draw no supremacy, but that authority which Christ, and St. Paul in his name, confers upon them. The king may still retain the same supremacy in the assemblies, as in the parliament; here he can do nothing alone against the common law, and there neither alone, nor with consent, against the Scriptures. But is this all? No, this ecclesiastical supremacy draws to it the power to excommunicate kings; and then follows the worst that can be imagined. Do they hope to avoid this, by keeping prelates that have so often done it? Not to exemplify the malapert insolence of our own bishops in this kind towards our kings, I shall turn back to the primitive and pure times, which the objectors would have the rule of reformation to us.

Not an assembly, but one bishop alone, Saint Ambrose of Milan, held Theodosius, the most Christian emperor, under excommunication above eight months together, drove him from the church in the presence of his nobles; which the good emperor bore with heroic humility, and never ceased by prayers and tears, till he was absolved; for which coming to the bishop with supplication into the salutatory, some outporch of the church, he was charged by him with tyrannical madness against God, for coming into holy ground. At last, upon conditions absolved, and after great humiliation approaching to the altar to offer, (as those thrice pure times then thought meet,) he had scarce withdrawn his hand, and stood awhile, when a bold archdeacon comes in the bishop’s name, and chases him from within Edition: current; Page: [31] the rails, telling him peremptorily, that the place wherein he stood was for none but the priests to enter, or to touch; and this is another piece of pure primitive divinity! Think ye, then, our bishops will forego the power of excommunication on whomsoever? No, certainly, unless to compass sinister ends, and then revoke when they see their time. And yet this most mild, though withal dreadful and inviolable prerogative of Christ’s diadem, excommunication, serves for nothing with them, but to prog and pander for fees, or to display their pride, and sharpen their revenge, debarring men the protection of the law; and I remember not whether in some cases it bereave not men all right to their worldly goods and inheritances, besides the denial of Christian burial. But in the evangelical and reformed use of this sacred censure, no such prostitution, no such Iscariotical drifts are to be doubted, as that spiritual doom and sentence should invade worldly possession, which is the rightful lot and portion even of the wickedest men, as frankly bestowed upon them by the all-dispensing bounty as rain and sunshine. No, no, it seeks not to bereave or destroy the body; it seeks to save the soul by humbling the body, not by imprisonment, or pecuniary mulct, much less by stripes or bonds, or disinheritance, but by fatherly admonishment and Christian rebuke, to cast it into godly sorrow, whose end is joy and ingenuous bashfulness to sin: if that cannot be wrought, then as a tender mother takes her child and holds it over the pit with scaring words, that it may learn to fear where danger is; so doth excommunication as dearly and as freely, without money, use her wholesome and saving terrors: she is instant, she beseeches; by all the dear and sweet promises of salvation she entices and woos; by all the threatenings and thunders of the law, and rejected gospel, she charges, and adjures: this is all her armory, her munition, her artillery; then she awaits with long-sufferance, and yet ardent zeal. In brief, there is no act in all the errand of God’s ministers to mankind, wherein passes more loverlike contestation between Christ and the soul of a regenerate man lapsing, than before, and in, and after the sentence of excommunication. As for the fogging proctorage of money, with such an eye as struck Gehazi with leprosy, and Simon Magus with a curse; so does she look, and so threaten her fiery whip against that banking den of thieves that dare thus baffle, and buy and sell the awful and majestic wrinkles of her brow. He that is rightly and apostolically sped with her invisible arrow, if he can be at peace in his soul, and not smell within him the brimstone of hell, may have fair leave to tell all his bags over undiminished of the least farthing, may eat his dainties, drink his wine, use his delights, enjoy his lands and liberties, not the least skin raised, not the least hair misplaced, for all that excommunication has done: much more may a king enjoy his rights and prerogatives undeflowered, untouched, and be as absolute and complete a king, as all his royalties and revenues can make him. And therefore little did Theodosius fear a plot upon his empire, when he stood excommunicate by Saint Ambrose, though it were done either with much haughty pride, or ignorant zeal. But let us rather look upon the reformed churches beyond the seas, the Grizons, the Swisses, the Hollanders, the French, that have a supremacy to live under as well as we; where do the churches in all these places strive for supremacy? Where do they clash and justle supremacies with the civil magistrate? In France, a more severe monarchy than ours, the protestants, under this church-government, carry the name of the best subjects the king has; and yet presbytery, if it must be so called, does there all that it desires to do; how easy were it, if there be such great suspicion, to give no more scope to it in England! But let us not, for fear of a scarecrow, or else through hatred to be reformed, Edition: current; Page: [32] stand hankering and politizing, when God with spread hands testifies to us, and points us out the way to our peace.

Let us not be so overcredulous, unless God hath blinded us, as to trust our dear souls into the hands of men that beg so devoutly for the pride and gluttony of their own backs and bellies, that sue and solicit so eagerly, not for the saving of souls, the consideration of which can have here no place at all, but for their bishoprics, deaneries, prebends, and canonries. How can these men not be corrupt, whose very cause is the bribe of their own pleading, whose mouths cannot open without the strong breath and loud stench of avarice, simony, and sacrilege, embezzling the treasury of the church on painted and gilded walls of temples, wherein God hath testified to have no delight, warming their palace kitchens, and from thence their unctuous and epicurean paunches, with the alms of the blind, the lame, the impotent, the aged, the orphan, the widow? for with these the treasury of Christ ought to be—here must be his jewels bestowed, his rich cabinet must be emptied here; as the constant martyr Saint Lawrence taught the Roman prætor. Sir, would you know what the remonstrance of these men would have, what their petition implies? They intreat us that we would not be weary of those insupportable grievances that our shoulders have hitherto cracked under; they beseech us that we would think them fit to be our justices of peace, our lords, our highest offices of state, though they come furnished with no more experience than they learnt between the cook and the manciple, or more profoundly at the college audit, or the regent house, or to come to their deepest insight, at their patron’s table; they would request us to endure still the rustling of their silken cassocs, and that we would burst our midriffs, rather than laugh to see them under sail in all their lawn and sarcenet, their shrouds and tackle, with a geometrical rhomboides upon their heads: they would bear us in hand that we must of duty still appear before them once a year in Jerusalem, like good circumcised males and females, to be taxed by the poll, to be sconced our headmoney, our twopences, in their chandlerly shop-book of Easter. They pray us that it would please us to let them still hale us, and worry us with their bandogs and pursuivants; and that it would please the parliament that they may yet have the whipping, fleecing, and flaying of us in their diabolical courts, to tear the flesh from our bones, and into our wide wounds instead of balm, to pour in the oil of tartar, vitriol, and mercury: surely a right reasonable, innocent, and soft-hearted petition. O the relenting bowels of the fathers! Can this be granted them, unless God have smitten us with frenzy from above, and with a dazzling giddiness at noonday? Should not those men rather be heard that come to plead against their own preferments, their worldly advantages, their own abundance; for honour and obedience to God’s word, the conversion of souls, the Christian peace of the land, and union of the reformed Catholic church, the unappropriating and unmonopolizing the rewards of learning and industry, from the greasy clutch of ignorance and high feeding? We have tried already, and miserably felt what ambition, worldly glory, and immoderate wealth, can do; what the boisterous and contradictional hand of a temporal, earthly, and corporeal spirituality can avail to the edifying of Christ’s holy church; were it such a desperate hazard to put to the venture the universal votes of Christ’s congregation, and fellowly and friendly yoke of a teaching and laborious ministry, the pastorlike and apostolic imitation of meek and unlordly discipline, the gentle and benevolent mediocrity of church-maintenance, without the ignoble hucksterage of piddling tithes? Were it such an incurable mischief to make a little trial, what all this would do to the Edition: current; Page: [33] flourishing and growing up of Christ’s mystical body? as rather to use every poor shift, and if that serve not, to threaten uproar and combustion, and shake the brand of civil discord?

O, sir, I do now feel myself inwrapped on the sudden into those mazes and labyrinths of dreadful and hideous thoughts, that which way to get out, or which way to end, I know not, unless I turn mine eyes, and with your help lift up my hands to that eternal and propitious Throne, where nothing is readier than grace and refuge to the distresses of mortal suppliants: and it were a shame to leave these serious thoughts less piously than the heathen were wont to conclude their graver discourses.

Thou, therefore, that sittest in light and glory unapproachable, Parent of angels and men! next, thee I implore, omnipotent King, Redeemer of that lost remnant whose nature thou didst assume, ineffable and everlasting Love! and thou, the third subsistence of divine infinitude, illumining Spirit, the joy and solace of created things! one Tripersonal godhead! look upon this thy poor and almost spent and expiring church; leave her not thus a prey to these importunate wolves, that wait and think long till they devour thy tender flock; these wild boars that have broke into thy vineyard, and left the print of their polluting hoofs on the souls of thy servants. O let them not bring about their damned designs, that stand now at the entrance of the bottomless pit, expecting the watchword to open and let out those dreadful locusts and scorpions, to reinvolve us in that pitchy cloud of infernal darkness, where we shall never more see the sun of thy truth again, never hope for the cheerful dawn, never more hear the bird of morning sing. Be moved with pity at the afflicted state of this our shaken monarchy, that now lies labouring under her throes, and struggling against the grudges of more dreaded calamities.

O Thou, that, after the impetuous rage of five bloody inundations, and the succeeding sword of intestine war, soaking the land in her own gore, didst pity the sad and ceaseless revolution of our swift and thick-coming sorrows; when we were quite breathless, of thy free grace didst motion peace, and terms of covenant with us; and having first well nigh freed us from antichristian thraldom, didst build up this Britannic empire to a glorious and enviable height, with all her daughter-islands about her; stay us in this felicity, let not the obstinacy of our half-obedience and willworship bring forth that viper of sedition, that for these fourscore years hath been breeding to eat through the entrails of our peace; but let her cast her abortive spawn without the danger of this travailing and throbbing kingdom: that we may still remember in our solemn thanksgivings, how for us, the Northern ocean even to the frozen Thule was scattered with the proud shipwrecks of the Spanish armada, and the very maw of hell ransacked, and made to give up her concealed destruction, ere she could vent it in that horrible and damned blast.

O how much more glorious will those former deliverances appear, when we shall know them not only to have saved us from greatest miseries past, but to have reserved us for greatest happiness to come! Hitherto thou hast but freed us, and that not fully, from the unjust and tyrannous claim of thy foes; now unite us entirely, and appropriate us to thyself; tie us everlastingly in willing homage to the prerogative of thy eternal throne.

And now we know, O thou our most certain hope and defence, that thine enemies have been consulting all the sorceries of the great whore, and have joined their plots with that sad intelligencing tyrant that mischiefs the world with his mines of Ophir, and lies thirsting to revenge his naval ruins that have larded our seas: but let them all take counsel together, and Edition: current; Page: [34] let it come to nought; let them decree, and do thou cancel it; let them gather themselves, and be scattered; let them embattle themselves, and be broken; let them embattle and be broken, for thou art with us.

Then, amidst the hymns and hallelujahs of saints, some one may perhaps be heard offering at high strains in new and lofty measures, to sing and celebrate thy divine mercies and marvellous judgments in this land throughout all ages; whereby this great and warlike nation, instructed and inured to the fervent and continual practice of truth and righteousness, and casting far from her the rags of her old vices, may press on hard to that high and happy emulation to be found the soberest, wisest, and most Christian people at that day, when thou, the eternal and shortly-expected King, shalt open the clouds to judge the several kingdoms of the world, and distributing national honours and rewards to religious and just commonwealths, shalt put an end to all earthly tyrannies, proclaiming thy universal and mild monarchy through heaven and earth; where they undoubtedly, that by their labours, counsels, and prayers, have been earnest for the common good of religion and their country, shall receive above the inferior orders of the blessed, the regal addition of principalities, legions, and thrones into their glorious titles, and in supereminence of beatific vision, progressing the dateless and irrevoluble circle of eternity, shall clasp inseparable hands with joy and bliss, in overmeasure for ever.

But they contrary, that by the impairing and diminution of the true faith, the distresses and servitude of their country, aspire to high dignity, rule, and promotion here, after a shameful end in this life, (which God grant them,) shall be thrown down eternally into the darkest and deepest gulf of hell, where, under the despiteful control, the trample and spurn of all the other damned, that in the anguish of their torture, shall have no other ease than to exercise a raving and bestial tyranny over them as their slaves and negroes, they shall remain in that plight for ever, the basest, the lowermost, the most dejected, most underfoot, and downtrodden vassals of perdition.

 


 

T.261 John Milton, Of Prelatical Episcopacy (June or July, 1641).

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T.261 [1641.06] John Milton, Of Prelatical Episcopacy (June or July, 1641).

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Of Prelatical Episcopacy, and whether it may be deduced from the Apostolical times by virtue of those testimonies which are alledg'd in some late treatises, one whereof goes under the name of James, Archbishop of Armagh. Printed by R. 0. & G. D. for Thomas Underhill.

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June/July, 1641

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TT1, p. 23. E. 164. (19.)

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(insert text of pamphlet here)

OF PRELATICAL EPISCOPACY,

AND WHETHER IT MAY BE DEDUCED FROM THE APOSTOLICAL TIMES, BY VIRTUE OF THOSE TESTIMONIES WHICH ARE ALLEGED TO THAT PURPOSE IN SOME LATE TREATISES; ONE WHEREOF GOES UNDER THE NAME OF JAMES, ARCHIBISHOP OF ARMAGH.

[first published 1641.]

Episcopacy, as it is taken for an order in the church above a presbyter, or, as we commonly name him, the minister of a congregation, is either of divine constitution or of human. If only of human, we have the same human privilege that all men have ever had since Adam, being born free, and in the mistress island of all the British, to retain this episcopacy, or to remove it, consulting with our own occasions and conveniences, and for the prevention of our own dangers and disquiets, in what best manner we can devise, without running at a loss, as we must needs in those stale and Edition: current; Page: [35] useless records of either uncertain or unsound antiquity; which, if we hold fast to the grounds of the reformed church, can neither skill of us, nor we of it, so oft as it would lead us to the broken reed of tradition. If it be of divine constitution, to satisfy us fully in that, the Scripture only is able, it being the only book left us of divine authority, not in any thing more divine than in the all-sufficiency it hath to furnish us, as with all other spiritual knowledge, so with this in particular, setting out to us a perfect man of God, accomplished to all the good works of his charge: through all which book can be nowhere, either by plain text or solid reasoning, found any difference between a bishop and a presbyter, save that they be two names to signify the same order. Notwithstanding this clearness, and that by all evidence of argument, Timothy and Titus (whom our prelates claim to imitate only in the controlling part of their office) had rather the vicegerency of an apostleship committed to them, than the ordinary charge of a bishopric, as being men of an extraordinary calling; yet to verify that which St. Paul foretold of succeeding times, when men began to have itching ears, then not contented with the plentiful and wholesome fountains of the gospel, they began after their own lusts to heap to themselves teachers, and, as if the divine Scripture wanted a supplement, and were to be eked out, they cannot think any doubt resolved, and any doctrine confirmed, unless they run to that indigested heap and fry of authors which they call antiquity. Whatsoever time, or the heedless hand of blind chance, hath drawn down from of old to this present in her huge drag-net, whether fish or sea-weed, shells or shrubs, unpicked, unchosen, those are the fathers. Seeing, therefore, some men, deeply conversant in books, have had so little care of late to give the world a better account of their reading, than by divulging needless tractates stuffed with specious names of Ignatius and Polycarpus; with fragments of old martyrologies and legends, to distract and stagger the multitude of credulous readers, and mislead them from their strong guards and places of safety, under the tuition of holy writ; it came into my thoughts to persuade myself, setting all distances and nice respects aside, that I could do religion and my country no better service for the time, than doing my utmost endeavour to recall the people of God from this vain foraging after straw, and to reduce them to their firm stations under the standard of the gospel; by making appear to them, first the insufficiency, next the inconveniency, and lastly the impiety of these gay testimonies, that their great doctors would bring them to dote on. And in performing this, I shall not strive to be more exact in method, than as their citations lead me.

First, therefore, concerning Ignatius shall be treated fully, when the author shall come to insist upon some places in his epistles. Next, to prove a succession of twenty-seven bishops from Timothy, he cites one Leontius bishop of Magnesia, out of the 11th act of the Chalcedonian council: this is but an obscure and single witness, and for his faithful dealing who shall commend him to us, with this his catalogue of bishops? What know we further of him, but that he might be as factious and false a bishop as Leontius of Antioch, that was a hundred years his predecessor? For neither the praise of his wisdom, or his virtue, hath left him memorable to posterity, but only this doubtful relation, which we must take at his word: and how shall this testimony receive credit from his word, whose very name fiad scarce been thought on but for this bare testimony? But they will say, he was a member of the council, and that may deserve to gain him credit with us. I will not stand to argue, as yet with fair allowance I might, that we may as justly suspect there were some bad and slippery Edition: current; Page: [36] men in that council, as we know there are wont to be in our convocations: nor shall I need to plead at this time, that nothing hath been more attempted, nor with more subtlety brought about, both anciently by other heretics, and modernly by papists, than to falsify the editions of the councils, of which we have none, but from our adversaries’ hands, whence canons, acts, and whole spurious councils are thrust upon us; and hard it would be to prove in all, which are legitimate, against the lawful rejection of an urgent and free disputer. But this I purpose not to take advantage of; for what avails it to wrangle about the corrupt editions of councils, whenas we know that many years ere this time, which was almost five hundred years after Christ, the councils themselves were foully corrupted with ungodly prelatism, and so far plunged into worldly ambition, as that it stood them upon long ere this to uphold their now well tasted hierarchy by what fair pretext soever they could, in like manner as they had now learned to defend many other gross corruptions by as ancient, and supposed authentic tradition as episcopacy? And what hope can we have of this whole council to warrant us a matter, four hundred years at least above their time, concerning the distinction of bishop and presbyter, whenas we find them such blind judges of things before their eyes, in their decrees of precedency between bishop and bishop, acknowledging Rome for the apostolic throne, and Peter, in that see, for the rock, the basis, and the foundation of the catholic church and faith, contrary to the interpretation of more ancient fathers? And therefore from a mistaken text, did they give to Leo, as Peter’s successor, a kind of pre-eminence above the whole council as Euagrius expresses; (for now the pope was come to that height, as to arrogate to himself by his vicars incompatible honours;) and yet having thus yielded to Rome the universal primacy, for spiritual reasons as they thought, they conclude their sitting with a carnal and ambitious decree, to give the second place of dignity to Constantinople from reason of state, because it was new Rome; and by like consequence doubtless of earthly privileges annexed to each other city, was the bishop thereof to take his place.

I may say again therefore, what hope can we have of such a council, as, beginning in the spirit, ended thus in the flesh? Much rather should we attend to what Eusebius, the ancientest writer extant of church-history, notwithstanding all the helps he had above these, confesses in the 4th chapter of his third book, That it was no easy matter to tell who were those that were left bishops of the churches by the apostles, more than by what a man might gather from the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistles of St. Paul, in which number he reckons Timothy for bishop of Ephesus. So as may plainly appear, that this tradition of bishoping Timothy over Ephesus was but taken for granted out of that place in St. Paul, which was only an intreating him to tarry at Ephesus to do something left him in charge. Now, if Eusebius, a famous writer, thought it so difficult to tell who were appointed bishops by the apostles, much more may we think it difficult to Leontius, an obscure bishop, speaking beyond his own diocese: and certainly much more hard was it for either of them to determine what kind of bishops these were, if they had so little means to know who they were; and much less reason have we to stand to their definitive sentence, seeing they have been so rash to raise up such lofty bishops and bishoprics out of places in Scripture merely misunderstood. Thus while we leave the Bible to gad after the traditions of the ancients, we hear the ancients themselves confessing, that what knowledge they had in this point was such as they had gathered from the Bible.

Since therefore antiquity itself hath turned over the controversy to that Edition: current; Page: [37] sovereign book which we had fondly straggled from, we shall do better not to detain this venerable apparition of Leontius any longer, but dismiss him with his list of seven and twenty, to sleep unmolested in his former obscurity.

Now for the word πϱοεστὼς, it is more likely that Timothy never knew the word in that sense: it was the vanity of those next succeeding times not to content themselves with the simplicity of scripture-phrase, but must make a new lexicon to name themselves by; one will be called πϱοεστὼς, or antistes, a word of precedence; another would be termed a gnostic, as Clemens; a third sacerdos, or priest, and talks of altars; which was a plain sign that their doctrine began to change, for which they must change their expressions. But that place of Justin Martyr serves rather to convince the author, than to make for him, where the name πϱοεστὼς τῶν ἀδελφῶν, the president or pastor of the brethren, (for to what end is he their president, but to teach them?) cannot be limited to signify a prelatical bishop, but rather communicates that Greek appellation to every ordinary presbyter: for there he tells what the Christians had wont to do in their several congregations, to read and expound, to pray and administer, all which he says the πϱοεστὼς, or antistes, did. Are these the offices only of a bishop, or shall we think that every congregation where these things were done, which he attributes to this antistes, had a bishop present among them? Unless they had as many antistites as presbyters, which this place rather seems to imply; and so we may infer even from their own alleged authority, “that antistes was nothing else but presbyter.”

As for that nameless treatise of Timothy’s martyrdom, only cited by Photius that lived almost nine hundred years after Christ, it handsomely follows in that author the martyrdom of the seven sleepers, that slept (I tell you but what mine author says) three hundred and seventy and two years; for so long they had been shut up in a cave without meat, and were found living. This story of Timothy’s Ephesian bishopric, as it follows in order, so may it for truth, if it only subsist upon its own authority, as it doth; for Photius only saith he read it, he does not aver it. That other legendary piece found among the lives of the saints, and sent us from the shop of the Jesuits at Louvain, does but bear the name of Polycrates; how truly, who can tell? and shall have some more weight with us, when Polycrates can persuade us of that which he affirms in the same place of Eusebius’s fifth book, that St. John was a priest, and wore the golden breastplate: and why should he convince us more with his traditions of Timothy’s episcopacy, than he could convince Victor bishop of Rome with his traditions concerning the feast of Easter, who, not regarding his irrefragable instances of examples taken from Philip and his daughters that were prophetesses, or from Polycarpus, no nor from St. John himself, excommunicated both him, and all the Asian churches, for celebrating their Easter judaically? He may therefore go back to the seven bishops his kinsmen, and make his moan to them, that we esteem his traditional ware as lightly as Victor did.

Those of Theodoret, Felix, and John of Antioch, are authorities of later times, and therefore not to be received for their antiquity’s sake to give in evidence concerning an allegation, wherein writers, so much their elders, we see so easily miscarry. What if they had told us that Peter, who, as they say, left Ignatius bishop of Antioch, went afterwards to Rome, and was bishop there, as this Ignatius, and Irenæus and all antiquity with one mouth deliver? there be nevertheless a number of learned and wise protestants, who have written, and will maintain, that Peter’s being at Rome as bishop cannot stand with concordance of Scripture.

Edition: current; Page: [38]

Now come the epistles of Ignatius to show us, first, that Onesimus was bishop of Ephesus; next, to assert the difference of bishop and presbyter: wherein I wonder that men, teachers of the protestant religion, make no more difficulty of imposing upon our belief a supposititious offspring of some dozen epistles, whereof five are rejected as spurious, containing in them heresies and trifles; which cannot agree in chronology with Ignatius, entitling him archbishop of Antioch Theopolis, which name of Theopolis that city had not till Justinian’s time, long after, as Cedrenus mentions; which argues both the barbarous time, and the unskilful fraud of him that foisted this epistle upon Ignatius. In the epistle to those of Tarsus, he condemns them for ministers of Satan, that say, “Christ is God above all.” To the Philippians, them that kept their Easter as the Asian churches, as Polycarpus did, and them that fasted upon any Saturday or Sunday, except one, he counts as those that had slain the Lord. To those of Antioch, he salutes the subdeacons, chanters, porters, and exorcists, as if these had been orders of the church in his time: those other epistles less questioned, are yet so interlarded with corruptions, as may justly endue us with a wholesome suspicion of the rest. As to the Trallians, he writes, that “a bishop hath power over all beyond all government and authority whatsoever.” Surely then no pope can desire more than Ignatius attributes to every bishop; but what will become then of the archbishops and primates, if every bishop in Ignatius’s judgment be as supreme as a pope? To the Ephesians, near the very place from whence they fetch their proof for episcopacy, there stands a line that casts an ill hue upon all the epistle; “Let no man err,” saith he; “unless a man be within the rays or enclosure of the altar, he is deprived of the bread of life.” I say not but this may be stretched to a figurative construction; but yet it has an ill look, especially being followed beneath with the mention of I know not what sacrifices. In the other epistle to Smyrna, wherein is written that “they should follow their bishop as Christ did his Father, and the presbytery as the apostles;” not to speak of the insulse, and ill laid comparison, this cited place lies upon the very brim of a noted corruption, which, had they that quote this passage ventured to let us read, all men would have readily seen what grain the testimony had been of, where it is said, “that it is not lawful without a bishop to baptize, nor to offer, nor to do sacrifice.” What can our church make of these phrases but scandalous? And but a little further he plainly falls to contradict the spirit of God in Solomon, judged by the words themselves; “My son,” saith he, “honour God and the king; but I say, honour God, and the bishop as high-priest bearing the image of God according to his ruling, and of Christ according to his priesting, and after him honour the king.” Excellent Ignatius! can ye blame the prelates for making much of this epistle? Certainly if this epistle can serve you to set a bishop above a presbyter, it may serve you next to set him above a king. These, and other like places in abundance through all those short epistles, must either be adulterate, or else Ignatius was not Ignatius, nor a martyr, but most adulterate, and corrupt himself. In the midst, therefore, of so many forgeries, where shall we fix to dare say this is Ignatius? As for his style, who knows it, so disfigured and interrupted as it is? except they think that where they meet with any thing sound, and orthodoxal, there they find Ignatius. And then they believe him not for his own authority, but for a truth’s sake, which they derive from elsewhere: to what end then should they cite him as authentic for episcopacy, when they cannot know what is authentic in him, but by the judgment which they brought with them, and not by any judgment which they might safely learn from him? How can they bring satisfaction Edition: current; Page: [39] from such an author, to whose very essence the reader must be fain to contribute his own understanding? Had God ever intended that we should have sought any part of useful instruction from Ignatius, doubtless he would not have so ill provided for our knowledge, as to send him to our hands in this broken and disjointed plight; and if he intended no such thing we do injuriously in thinking to taste better the pure evangelic manna, by seasoning our mouths with the tainted scraps and fragments of an unknown table; and searching among the verminous and polluted rags dropped overworn from the toiling shoulders of time, with these deformedly to quilt and interlace the entire, the spotless, and undecaying robe of truth, the daughter not of time, but of Heaven, only bred up here below in Christian hearts, between two grave and holy nurses, the doctrine and discipline of the gospel.

Next follows Irenæus bishop of Lyons, who is cited to affirm, that Polycarpus “was made bishop of Smyrna by the apostles;” and this, it may seem, none could better tell than he who had both seen and heard Polycarpus: but when did he hear him? Himself confesses to Florinus, when he was a boy. Whether that age in Irenæus may not be liable to many mistakings; and whether a boy may be trusted to take an exact account of the manner of a church constitution, and upon what terms, and within what limits, and with what kind of commission Polycarpus received his charge, let a man consider, ere he be credulous. It will not be denied that he might have seen Polycarpus in his youth, a man of great eminence in the church, to whom the other presbyters might give way for his virtue, wisdom, and the reverence of his age; and so did Anicetus, bishop of Rome, even in his own city, give him a kind of priority in administering the sacrament, as may be read in Eusebius: but that we should hence conclude a distinct and superior order from the young observation of Irenæus, nothing yet alleged can warrant us; unless we shall believe such as would face us down, that Calvin and, after him, Beza were bishops of Geneva, because that in the unsettled state of the church, while things were not fully composed, their worth and learning cast a greater share of business upon them, and directed men’s eyes principally towards them: and yet these men were the dissolvers of episcopacy. We see the same necessity in state affairs; Brutus, that expelled the kings out of Rome, was for the time forced to be as it were a king himself, till matters were set in order, as in a free commonwealth. He that had seen Pericles lead the Athenians which way he listed, haply would have said he had been their prince: and yet he was but a powerful and eloquent man in a democracy, and had no more at any time than a temporary and elective sway, which was in the will of the people when to abrogate. And it is most likely that in the church, they which came after these apostolic men, being less in merit, but bigger in ambition, strove to invade those privileges by intrusion and plea of right, which Polycarpus, and others like him possessed, from the voluntary surrender of men subdued by the excellency of their heavenly gifts; which because their successors had not, and so could neither have that authority, it was their policy to divulge that the eminence which Polycarpus and his equals enjoyed, was by right of constitution, not by free will of condescending. And yet thus far Irenæus makes against them, as in that very place to call Polycarpus an apostolical presbyter. But what fidelity his relations had in general, we cannot sooner learn than by Eusebius, who, near the end of his third book, speaking of Papias, a very ancient writer, one that had heard St. John, and was known to many that had seen and been acquainted with others of the apostles, but being of a shallow wit, and not understanding those traditions which he received, filled his writings Edition: current; Page: [40] with many new doctrines, and fabulous conceits: he tells us there, that “divers ecclesiastical men, and Irenæus among the rest, while they looked at his antiquity, became infected with his errors.” Now, if Irenæus was so rash as to take unexamined opinions from an author of so small capacity, when he was a man, we should be more rash ourselves to rely upon those observations which he made when he was a boy. And this may be a sufficient reason to us why we need no longer muse at the spreading of many idle traditions so soon after the apostles, while such as this Papias had the throwing them about, and the inconsiderate zeal of the next age, that heeded more the person than the doctrine, had the gathering them up. Wherever a man, who had been any way conversant with the apostles, was to be found, thither flew all the inquisitive ears, although the exercise of right instructing was changed into the curiosity of impertinent fabling: where the mind was to be edified with solid doctrine, there the fancy was soothed with solemn stories: with less fervency was studied what St. Paul or St. John had written, than was listened to one that could say, Here he taught, here he stood, this was his stature; and thus he went habited; and, O happy this house that harboured him, and that cold stone whereon he rested, this village wherein he wrought such a miracle, and that pavement bedewed with the warm effusion of his last blood, that sprouted up into eternal roses to crown his martyrdom. Thus, while all their thoughts were poured out upon circumstances, and the gazing after such men as had sat at table with the apostles, (many of which Christ hath professed, yea, though they had cast out devils in his name, he will not know at the last day,) by this means they lost their time, and truanted in the fundamental grounds of saving knowledge, as was seen shortly by their writings. Lastly, for Irenæus, we have cause to think him less judicious in his reports from hand to hand of what the apostles did, when we find him so negligent in keeping the faith which they wrote, as to say in his third book against heresies, that “the obedience of Mary was the cause of salvation to herself and all mankind;” and in his fifth book, that “as Eve was seduced to fly God, so the virgin Mary was persuaded to obey God, that the virgin Mary might be made the advocate of the virgin Eve.” Thus if Irenæus, for his nearness to the apostles, must be the patron of episcopacy to us, it is no marvel though he be the patron of idolatry to the papist, for the same cause. To the epistle of those brethren of Smyrna, that write the martyrdom of Polycarpus, and style him an apostolical and prophetical doctor, and bishop of the church of Smyrna, I could be content to give some credit for the great honour and affection which I see those brethren bear him; and not undeservedly, if it be true, which they there say, that he was a prophet, and had a voice from heaven to comfort him at his death, which they could hear, but the rest could not for the noise and tumult that was in the place; and besides, if his body were so precious to the Christians, that he was never wont to pull off his shoes for one or other that still strove to have the office, that they might come in to touch his feet; yet a light scruple or two I would gladly be resolved in: if Polycarpus (who as they say, was a prophet that never failed in what he foretold) had declared to his friends, that he knew, by vision, he should die no other death than burning, how it came to pass that the fire, when it came to proof, would not do his work, but starting off like a full sail from the mast, did but reflect a golden light upon his unviolated limbs, exhaling such a sweet odour, as if all the incense of Arabia had been burning; insomuch that when the billmen saw that the fire was overawed, and could not do the deed, one of them steps to him and stabs him with a sword, at which wound such abundance of Edition: current; Page: [41] blood gushed forth as quenched the fire. By all this relation it appears not how the fire was guilty of his death, and then how can his prophecy be fulfilled? Next, how the standers-by could be so soon weary of such a glorious sight, and such a fragrant smell, as to hasten the executioner to put out the fire with the martyr’s blood; unless perhaps they thought, as in all perfumes, that the smoke would be more odorous than the flame: yet these good brethren say he was bishop of Smyrna. No man questions it, if bishop and presbyter were anciently all one, and how does it appear by any thing in this testimony that they were not? If among his other high titles of prophetical, apostolical, and most admired of those times, he be also styled bishop of the church of Smyrna in a kind of speech, which the rhetoricans call ϰατ’ ἐξοχὴν, for his excellence sake, as being the most famous of all the Smyrnian presbyters; it cannot be proved neither from this nor that other place of Irenæus, that he was therefore in distinct and monarchical order above the other presbyters; it is more probable, that if the whole presbytery had been as renowned as he, they would have termed every one of them severally bishop of Smyrna. Hence it is, that we read sometimes of two bishops in one place; and had all the presbyters there been of like worth, we might perhaps have read of twenty.

Tertullian accosts us next, (for Polycrates hath had his answer,) whose testimony, state but the question right, is of no more force to deduce episcopacy, than the two former. He says that the church of Smyrna had Polycarpus placed there by John, and the church of Rome, Clement ordained by Peter; and so the rest of the churches did show what bishops they had received by the appointment of the apostles. None of this will be contradicted, for we have it out of the Scripture that bishops or presbyters, which were the same, were left by the apostles in every church, and they might perhaps give some special charge to Clement, or Polycarpus, or Linus, and put some special trust in them for the experience they had of their faith and constancy; it remains yet to be evinced out of this and the like places, which will never be, that the word bishop is otherwise taken, than in the language of St. Paul and The Acts, for an order above presbyters. We grant them bishops, we grant them worthy men, we grant them placed in several churches by the apostles; we grant that Irenæus and Tertullian affirm this; but that they were placed in a superior order above the presbytery, show from all these words why we should grant. It is not enough to say the apostle left this man bishop in Rome, and that other in Ephesus, but to show when they altered their own decree set down by St. Paul, and made all the presbyters underlings to one bishop. But suppose Tertullian had made an imparity where none was originally, should he move us, that goes about to prove an imparity between God the Father, and God the Son, as these words import in his book against Praxeas? “The Father is the whole substance, but the Son a derivation, and portion of the whole as he himself professes, because the Father is greater than me.” Believe him now for a faithful relater of tradition, whom you see such an unfaithful expounder of the Scripture: besides, in his time, all allowable tradition was now lost. For this same author, whom you bring to testify the ordination of Clement to the bishopric of Rome by Peter, testifies also, in the beginning of his treatise concerning chastity, that the bishop of Rome did then use to send forth his edicts by the name of Pontifex Maximus, and Episcopus Episcoporum, chief priest, and bishop of bishops: for shame then do not urge that authority to keep up a bishop, that will necessarily engage you to set up a pope. As little can your advantage be from Hegesippus, an historian of the same time, not Edition: current; Page: [42] extant but cited by Eusebius: his words are, that “in every city all things so stood in his time as the law, and the prophets, and our Lord did preach.” If they stood so, then stood not bishops above presbyters; for what our Lord and his disciples taught, God be thanked, we have no need to go learn of him: and you may as well hope to persuade us out of the same author, that James the brother of our Lord was a Nazarite, and that to him only it was lawful to enter into the holy of holies; that his food was not upon any thing that had life, fish or flesh; that he used no woollen garments, but only linen, and so as he trifles on.

If therefore the tradition of the church were now grown so ridiculous, and disconsenting from the doctrine of the apostles, even in those points which were of least moment to men’s particular ends, how well may we be assured it was much more degenerated in point of episcopacy and precedency, things which could afford such plausible pretences, such commodious traverses for ambition and avarice to lurk behind!

As for those Britain bishops which you cite, take heed, what you do; for our Britain bishops, less ancient than these, were remarkable for nothing more than their poverty, as Sulpitius Severus and Beda can remember you of examples good store.

Lastly, (for the fabulous Metaphrastes is not worth an answer,) that authority of Clemens Alexandrinus is not to be found in all his works; and wherever it be extant, it is in controversy whether it be Clement’s or no; or if it were, it says only that St. John in some places constituted bishops: questionless he did, but where does Clemens say he set them above presbyters? No man will gainsay the constitution of bishops: but the raising them to a superior and distinct order above presbyters, seeing the gospel makes them one and the same thing, a thousand such allegations as these will not give prelatical episcopacy one chapel of ease above a parish church. And thus much for this cloud I cannot say rather than petty fog of witnesses, with which episcopal men would cast a mist before us, to deduce their exalted episcopacy from apostolic times. Now, although, as all men well know, it be the wonted shift of error, and fond opinion, when they find themselves outlawed by the Bible, and forsaken of sound reason, to betake them with all speed to their old startinghole of tradition, and that wild and overgrown covert of antiquity, thinking to farm there at large room, and find good stabling, yet thus much their own deified antiquity betrays them to inform us, that tradition hath had very seldom or never the gift of persuasion; as that which church-histories report of those east and western paschalists, formerly spoken of, will declare. Who would have thought that Polycarpus on the one side could have erred in what he saw St. John do, or Anicetus bishop of Rome on the other side, in what he or some of his friends might pretend to have seen St. Peter or St. Paul do; and yet neither of these could persuade either when to keep Easter? The like frivolous contention troubled the primitive English churches, while Colmanus and Wilfride on either side deducing their opinions, the one from the undeniable example of Saint John, and the learned bishop Anatolius, and lastly the miraculous Columba, the other from Saint Peter and the Nicene council; could gain no ground each of other, till King Oswy, perceiving no likelihood of ending the controversy that way, was fain to decide it himself, good king, with that small knowledge wherewith those times had furnished him. So when those pious Greek emperors began, as Cedrenus relates, to put down monks, and abolish images, the old idolaters, finding themselves blasted, and driven back by the prevailing light of the Scripture, sent out their sturdy monks Edition: current; Page: [43] called the Abramites, to allege for images the ancient fathers Dionysius, and this our objected Irenæus: nay, they were so highflown in their antiquity, that they undertook to bring the apostles, and Luke the evangelist, yea Christ himself, from certain records that were then current, to patronize their idolatry: yet for all this the worthy emperor Theophilus, even in those dark times, chose rather to nourish himself and his people with the sincere milk of the gospel, than to drink from the mixed confluence of so many corrupt and poisonous waters, as tradition would have persuaded him to, by most ancient seeming authorities. In like manner all the reformed churches abroad, unthroning episcopacy, doubtless were not ignorant of these testimonies alleged to draw it in a line from the apostles’ days: for surely the author will not think he hath brought us now any new authorities or considerations into the world, which the reformers in other places were not advised of: and yet we see, the intercession of all these apostolic fathers could not prevail with them to alter their resolved decree of reducing into order their usurping and over-provendered episcopants; and God hath blessed their work this hundred years with a prosperous and steadfast, and still happy success. And this may serve to prove the insufficiency of these present episcopal testimonies, not only in themselves but in the account of those that ever have been the followers of truth. It will next behove us to consider the inconvenience we fall into, by using ourselves to be guided by these kind of testimonies. He that thinks it the part of a well-learned man to have read diligently the ancient stories of the church, and to be no stranger in the volumes of the fathers, shall have all judicious men consenting with him; not hereby to control, and new fangle the Scripture, God forbid! but to mark how corruption and apostasy crept in by degrees, and to gather up wherever we find the remaining sparks of original truth, wherewith to stop the mouths of our adversaries, and to bridle them with their own curb, who willingly pass by that which is orthodoxal in them, and studiously cull out that which is commentitious, and best for their turns, not weighing the fathers in the balance of Scripture, but Scripture in the balance of the fathers. If we, therefore, making first the gospel our rule and oracle, shall take the good which we light on in the fathers, and set it to oppose the evil which other men seek from them, in this way of skirmish we shall easily master all superstition and false doctrine; but if we turn this our discreet and wary usage of them into a blind devotion towards them, and whatsoever we find written by them; we both forsake our own grounds and reasons which led us at first to part from Rome, that is, to hold the Scriptures against all antiquity; we remove our cause into our adversaries’ own court, and take up there those cast principles, which will soon cause us to soder up with them again; inasmuch, as believing antiquity for itself in any one point, we bring an engagement upon ourselves of assenting to all that it charges upon us. For suppose we should now, neglecting that which is clear in Scripture, that a bishop and presbyter is all one both in name and office, and that what was done by Timothy and Titus, executing an extraordinary place, as fellow-labourers with the apostles, and of a universal charge in planting Christianity through divers regions, cannot be drawn into particular and daily example; suppose that neglecting this clearness of the text, we should, by the uncertain and corrupted writings of succeeding times, determine that bishop and presbyter are different, because we dare not deny what Ignatius, or rather the Perkin Warbeck of Ignatius, says; then must we be constrained to take upon ourselves a thousand superstitions and falsities, which the papists will prove us down in, from as good authorities, and as ancient as these Edition: current; Page: [44] that set a bishop above a presbyter. And the plain truth is, that when any of our men, of those that are wedded to antiquity, come to dispute with a papist, and leaving the Scriptures put themselves, without appeal, to the sentence of synods and councils, using in the cause of Sion the hired soldiery of revolted Israel, where they give the Romanists one buff, they receive two counterbuffs. Were it therefore but in this regard, every true bishop should be afraid to conquer in his cause by such authorities as these, which if we admit for the authority’s sake, we open a broad passage for a multitude of doctrines, that have no ground in Scripture, to break in upon us.

Lastly, I do not know, it being undeniable that there are but two ecclesiastical orders, bishops and deacons, mentioned in the gospel, how it can be less than impiety to make a demur at that, which is there so perspicuous, confronting and paralleling the sacred verity of St. Paul with the offals and sweepings of antiquity, that met as accidentally and absurdly, as Epicurus’s atoms, to patch up a Leucippean Ignatius, inclining rather to make this phantasm an expounder, or indeed a depraver of St. Paul, than St. Paul an examiner, and discoverer of this impostorship; nor caring how slightly they put off the verdict of holy text unsalved, that says plainly there be but two orders, so they maintain the reputation of their imaginary doctor that proclaims three. Certainly if Christ’s apostle have set down but two, then according to his own words, though he himself should unsay it, and not only the angel of Smyrna, but an angel from heaven, should bear us down that there be three, Saint Paul has doomed him twice, “Let him be accursed;” for Christ hath pronounced that no tittle of his word shall fall to the ground; and if one jot be alterable, it as possible that all should perish: and this shall be our righteousness, our ample warrant, and strong assurance, both now and at the last day, never to be ashamed of, against all the heaped names of angels and martyrs, councils and fathers, urged upon us, if we have given ourselves up to be taught by the pure and living precept of God’s word only; which, without more additions, nay, with a forbidding of them, hath within itself the promise of eternal life, the end of all our wearisome labours, and all our sustaining hopes. But if any shall strive to set up his ephod and teraphim of antiquity against the brightness and perfection of the gospel; let him fear lest he and his Baal be turned into Bosheth. And thus much may suffice to show, that the pretended episcopacy cannot be deduced from the apostolical times.

 


 

T.8 (10.2) [Richard Overton or John Taylor], Old Newes newly Revived (June 1641).

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T.8 [1641.06] (10.2) [Richard Overton or John Taylor], Old Newes newly Revived (June 1641).

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[Richard Overton or John Taylor], Old Newes newly Revived: or, The discovery of all occurences happened since the beginning of the Parliament : As the confusion of Patents, the Deputies death, Canterburies imprisonment, secretary Windebank, L. Finch, doctor Roane, Sir Iohn Sucklin and his associates flight, the fall of Wines, the desolation of Doctors Commons, the misery of the Papists, Judge Barckleyes imprisonment, and the ruine of Alderman Abels Monopoly. Most exactly compiled in a short discourse between Mr. Inquisitive, a countrey gentleman, and Master Intelligencer, a Newes monger.

Printed in the yeare 1641.

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June 1641.

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TT1, p. 18; E. 160. (22.)

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OLD NEVVES Newly Revived.

Inquisitive

HOnest Jack Intelligencer, th’art welcom home, I woonot lose so much time to aske thee how thou do’st, because thy face has already told me thou wantst money: so do I, tis a generall want, and be fitting a Gentleman; but let that passe, tell me what newes is stirring in or neere London, newes is all that I seeke: you know my humour I hope.

Intelligencer.

I doe Sir, and finde it most correspondent to your name; and because I am desirous to satisfie your humour, I leave off and abandon all superfluous salutations, and fall roundly to the matter. The first enormity the Parliament tooke into its hands, was Patents in generall.

Inquis.

It was very likely that it would fall to particulars in time: but what befell those Patents?

Intell.

Faith though it was in the Winter, yet the owners of them were forced to leave them off, though they hazarded going over shooes, in griefe whereof they were all utterly confounded.

Jnquis.

What? all Patents, of what nature soever?

Intel.

Yes, that were pretended for the common good, but aimed at particular mens profits, as the Patents for Cards, Dice, Pins, Soap, Leather, and such like were utterly damned?

Jnquis.

I marry Sir, the Parliament began well, heaven blesse their proceedings: how went they forward?

Jntel.

Then to particular persons. The next that was found a delinquent, was no lesse a man then the Earle of Strafford, he that set three Kingdomes at variance.

Jnquis.

What, he that as he went through our Towne into Ireland, had the streets swept, and made neat for his comming, hee that paid all the Officers so bountifully? By this hand he was a most liberal man, and many say understanding.

Intel.

That’s certaine; yet for all his wit he could not easily understand his owne head. Alas! he was intrapt in his policie, and constrained to lay his ambitious necke on the Traytors blocke. On my conscience young Gregory is the most famous man in all England.

Inquis.

What, he that had the reversion of his fathers place, the young Soule-sender, hee that fild the Dungmans Cart with Dogges which he had headed, the better to enable him to effect the reall matter; why is he so famous?

Jntell.

Ile tell you Sir, if the glorious acts that Hector did, made his conquest the more honourable, and Achilles by slaying him ingrost all his heroicke deeds, why should not yong Brandon be as famous for the death of him that shak’t three Kingdomes?

Inquis.

Come, thou art merry: but how scap’t his Compeere the Archbishop of Canterbury? it was thought that he was as deep as the other, it would bee a wonder if hee should come off with as you were, as they doe in the Artillery Garden.

Intell.

Truly Sir, I am of your opinion, take my word if ever bee come into his Metropolitan house againe, and sit there his Majesties high Commissioner, discharging the new Canons, he will goe neere to blow up the little Levite that writ Lambeth Faire. But he, good man, being his life was so irregular before has now betaken himselfe to a private lodging, and in a stronger house then that o’re the water; hee is not now much troubled with signing paper Petitions, and referring them to Sir John Lamb, although he keep house continually, and never stures abroad, not to farre as into Saint Georges fields to take the aire.

Inquis.

I heard say, he never durst come into those fields since the up-roare at the dissolution of the last Parliament, he was afraid of the Ghost of him hee set upon the Citie gates to keep watch.

Jntell.

I cannot tell whether that be the reason or no, but on my conscience I thinke that honourable young Brandon will have the honour to ship his soule into Charons boat for all his father was a Clothier of Reading. As soone as ever this man of Grace was laid in Limbo Patrum, his most deare friend, and the Papists most favourable compounder, and his Majesties Secretary Sir Francis Windebank, with much pruvidence tooke a voyage into France.

Inquis.

Then I hope wee shall pay no more Ship-money: that same Sir Francis has been prayd for the wrong way most heartily; the Ship-money was never mentioned, but a devout imprecation was offered up for him, much good doe him with it.

Intell.

Alas! he never had hand in it, it was my Lord Finch, the Lord Keeper of England, that dealt with Ship-money, and ’twas done with a most provident eye: for hee knew he should have occasion to use ships before hee died, and so he had: for he went after Mr. Secretary. Ile tell you Sir, hee was so weary with determining controversies upon the Bench, that he resolv’d hereafter to end them with the sword: he became a brother of the blade, and with a tilting feather, a flaunting periwig, Buffe doubler, scarlet hose, and sword as broad as a lath, hee looked as like a Dammee newly come out of the North, as could be imagined; and under that disguise fled most swiftly into France.

Inquis.

But under your favour, hee was but a Coward to flye as soone as ever he was accouterd in his marshall habiliments.

Intell.

But I think him most valiant: for wisedome was ever held the better part of valour; and none but desperate fooles will run themselves upon certaine, death: and though some such there are, yet he is none of those. I am sure, that valiant men and brave Commanders followed his example, and no worse men then Sir John Sucklin, the discontented Colonell, and his associates.

Inquis.

Sir John Sucklin, what hee that writ admired Aglaura? the Blacke Friers Actors have a foule losse of him,

And lest the Players should grow poore,

Send them Aglauros more and more.

What he that gave the King a hundred horse against the Scotch Pedlers? is he fled for Religion too?

Intell.

As sure as he fled from the Pedlers, his coat of Male would not keepe out their Bullets, though it would Sir John Digbies Rapier in the Playhouse,

Inquis.

I heard that he was for Portugall, and to that purpose had two or three hundred Cap and Feather men in pay, did he mistake France for Portugall?

Intell.

You may see the fortune of the dice, they run what chance they please, Sir John knowes it, but theres a greater man then he gone by faire.

Inquis.

None of the other Iudges? Iudge Barkley is not gone, is he?

Intell.

No faith, hee’s safe enough, hee’s a most fast and substantiall friend, he and Davenant the Queenes Poet doe keepe their chambers, as if they mourned for the iniquity of the times, but he that I meane is greater then any of these in bulke, tis Doctor Roane.

Inquis.

Why if he be gone, how fares the Civill Law, for he was the body of it.

Intell.

In good faith Master Inquisitive they droope extreamely, you may walke in the Commons and be offended with no confused noise of the Proctors that prated onely for the tother fee, they will now without grudging take a ten groats fee and thanke you; theyl onely sigh out, O quantum mutatus ab illo — Termino, &c. Their Clarkes, although they are not troubled with much imployment, cannot be at leisure to redeem the gownes which they pawned in Lent Vacation: and Doctors Commons himselfe for feare lest hee should dye intestate, has made his will, and bequeath’d all his goods most equally.

Inquis.

Then I may presume that the High Commission is downe; the Papists I know rejoyce at it, they have paid many a fat fine, have they not?

Intell.

Faith I thinke that they have rather cause to grieve, for their fines were very easie compositions, but now the Parliament has taken them in hand, and useth them far more ruggedly then the chiefe Commissioner would.

Inquis.

If the Parliament has taken them in hand, I prognosticate that they weare Lent in their cheekes, their Ave Maries, Creeds, Paternosters, the dropping of their Beads, their sprinkling themselves with Holy water, will scarce bee of force to entreat the Virgin Mary to command her Son to pitty them they must visit Rome, must they not?

Intell.

Or Tyburne, choose them whether, as the ballad saies, they have a very bad time of it now I can assure you.

Inquis.

Well, let them be hang’d and they will, thou and I will goe drinke a pint of Canary.

Intell.

As I live, I had almost forgot, Canary is now at sixe pence a pint in London.

Inquis.

At sixe pence a pint, how comes that to passe?

Intell.

This blessed Parliament has pryed into Alderman Abels knavery, and has found his politicke projects out, has made a confusion of his ticket office, and laid him and his brother Kilvert in a house of stone, who shall be made exemplary.

Inquis.

Why then honest Jacke Intelligencer I pronounce thee welcome home, weele to the Tayerne and drink pottles in healths to this most happy Parliament.

The Deputy is dead, the Archbishop sure,

(I doe not say to dye) Judge Barkleyes cure,

If any be is casting of his coyne,

Abell and Kilvert too, that did purloine

A penny to ’em from each pint of Sacke,

If money helpe them not, their neckes must cracke;

And witty Davenant, their miseries

To terminate will write their Elegies,

And so he will his owne; they that fled

Int’ other Countries, and so sav’d their heads,

From asore aching cannot merry be,

Whilst thou and I laugh at their misery:

We can be jocound and thinke no man harme,

With joviall Sacke our duller spirits warme.

Away with sorrow, welcome sweet content,

This health Ile drink to’th blessed Parliament.

FINIS.

 


 

T.262 John Milton, Animadversions upon The Remonstrants Defence against Smectymnuus (July, 1641).

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ANIMADVERSIONS OPON THE REMONSTRANT’S DEFENCE AGAINST SMECTYMNUUS.

[first published 1641.]

THE PREFACE.

Although it be a certain truth, that they who undertake a religious cause need not care to be men pleasers; yet because the satisfaction of tender and mild consciences is far different from that which is called men pleasing; to satisfy such, I shall address myself in few words to give notice beforehand of something in this book, which to some men perhaps may seem offensive, that when I have rendered a lawful reason of what is done, I may trust to have saved the labour of defending or excusing hereafter. We all know that in private or personal injuries, yea, in public sufferings for the cause of Christ, his rule and example teaches us to be so far from a readiness to speak evil, as not to answer the reviler in his language, though never so much provoked: yet in the detecting and convincing of any notorious enemy to truth and his country’s peace, especially that is conceited to have a voluble and smart fluence of tongue, and in the vain confidence of that, and out of a more tenacious cling to worldly respects, stands up for all the rest to justify a long usurpation and convicted pseudepiscopy of prelates, with all their ceremonies, liturgies, and tyrannies, which God and man are now ready to explode and hiss out of the land; I suppose, and more than suppose, it will be nothing disagreeing from Christian meekness to handle such a one in a rougher accent, and to send home his haughtiness well bespurted with his own holy water. Nor to do thus are we unauthorized either Edition: current; Page: [89] from the moral precept of Solomon, to answer him thereafter that prides him in his folly; nor from the example of Christ, and all his followers in all ages, who, in the refuting of those that resisted sound doctrine, and by subtile dissimulations corrupted the minds of men, have wrought up their sealous souls into such vehemencies, as nothing could be more killingly spoken: for who can be a greater enemy to mankind, who a more dangerous deceiver, than he who, defending a traditional corruption, uses no common arts, but with a wily stratagem of yielding to the time a greater part of his cause, seeming to forego all that man’s invention hath done therein, and driven from much of his hold in Scripture; yet leaving it hanging by a twined thread, not from divine command, but from apostolical prudence or assent; as if he had the surety of some rolling trench, creeps up by this mean to his relinquished fortress of divine authority again, and still hovering between the confines of that which he dares not be openly, and that which he will not be sincerely, trains on the easy Christian insensibly within the close ambushment of worst errors, and with a sly shuffle of counterfeit principles, chopping and changing till he have gleaned all the good ones out of their minds, leaves them at last, after a slight resemblance of sweeping and garnishing, under the seven-fold possession of a desperate stupidity? And therefore they that love the souls of men, which is the dearest love, and stirs up the noblest jealousy, when they meet with such collusion, cannot be blamed though they be transported with the zeal of truth to a well-heated fervency; especially, seeing they which thus offend against the souls of their brethren, do it with delight to their great gain, ease and advancement in this world; but they that seek to discover and oppose their false trade of deceiving, do it not without a sad and unwilling anger, not without many hazards; but without all private and personal spleen, and without any thought of earthly reward, whenas this very course they take stops their hopes of ascending above a lowly and unenviable pitch in this life. And although in the serious uncasing of a grand imposture, (for to deal plainly with you, readers, prelaty is no better,) there be mixed here and there such a grim laughter, as may appear at the same time in an austere visage, it cannot be taxed of levity or insolence: for even this vein of laughing (as I could produce out of grave authors) hath ofttimes a strong and sinewy force in teaching and confuting, nor can there be a more proper object of indignation and scorn together; than a false prophet taken in the greatest, dearest, and most dangerous cheat, the cheat of souls: in the disclosing whereof, if it be harmful to be angry, and withal to cast a lowering smile, when the properest object calls for both, it will be long enough ere any be able to say why those two most rational faculties of human intellect, anger and laughter, were first seated in the breast of man. Thus much, readers, in favour of the softer spirited Christian; for other exceptioners there was no thought taken. Only if it be asked why this close and succinct manner of coping with the adversary was rather chosen, this was the reason chiefly, that the ingenuous reader, without further amusing himself in the labyrinth of controversial antiquity, may come to the speediest way to see the truth vindicated, and sophistry taken short at the first false bound. Next that the Remonstrant himself, as oft as he pleases to be frolic, and brave it with others, may find no gain of money, and may learn not to insult in so bad a cause. But now he begins.

Edition: current; Page: [90]

SECTION I.

Remonstrant.

My single remonstrance is encountered with a plural adversary.

Answer.

Did not your single remonstrance bring along with it a hot scent of your more than singular affection to spiritual pluralities, your singleness would be less suspected with all good Christians than it is.

Remonst.

Their names, persons, qualities, numbers, I care not to know.

Answ.

Their names are known to the all-knowing Power above; and in the mean while, doubtless, they reck not whether you or your nomenclator know them or not.

Remonst.

But could they say my name is Legion, for we are many.

Answ.

Wherefore should ye begin with the devil’s name, descanting upon the number of your opponents? Wherefore that conceit of Legion with a by-wipe? Was it because you would have men take notice how you esteem them, whom through all your book so bountifully you call your brethren? We had not thought that Legion could have furnished the Remonstrant with so many brethren.

Remonst.

My cause, ye gods would bid me meet them undismayed, &c.

Answ.

Ere a foot further we must be content to hear a preambling boast of your valour, what a St. Dunstan you are to encounter Legions, either infernal or human.

Remonst.

My cause, ye gods.

Answ.

What gods? Unless your belly, or the god of this world be he? Show us any one point of your remonstrance that does not more concern superiority, pride, ease, and the belly, than the truth and glory of God, or the salvation of souls.

Remonst.

My cause, ye gods, would bid me meet them undismayed, and to say with holy David, “though a host, &c.”

Answ.

Do not think to persuade us of your undaunted courage, by misapplying to yourself the words of holy David; we know you fear, and are in an agony at this present, lest you should lose that superfluity of riches and honour, which your party usurp. And whosoever covets, and so earnestly labours to keep such an incumbering surcharge of earthly things, cannot but have an earthquake still in his bones. You are not armed, Remonstrant, nor any of your band; you are not dieted nor your loins girt for spiritual valour, and Christian warfare; the luggage is too great that follows your camp; your hearts are there, you march heavily: how shall we think you have not carnal fear, while we see you so subject to carnal desires?

Remonst.

I do gladly fly to the bar.

Answ.

To the bar with him then. Gladly, you say. We believe you as gladly as your whole faction wished and longed for the assembling of this parliament, as gladly as your beneficiaries the priests came up to answer the complaints and outcries of all the shires.

Remonst.

The Areopagi! who were those? Truly, my masters, I had thought this had been the name of the place, not of the men.

Answ.

A soar-eagle would not stoop at a fly; but sure some pedagogue stood at your elbow, and made it itch with this parlous criticism; they urged you with a decree of the sage and severe judges of Athens, and you cite them to appear for certain paragogical contempts, before a capacious pedanty of hot-livered grammarians. Mistake not the matter, courteous Remonstrant; they were not making Latin: if in dealing with an outlandish name, they thought it best not to screw the English mouth to a harsh foreign termination, Edition: current; Page: [91] so they kept the radical word, they did no more than the elegantest authors among the Greeks, Romans, and at this day the Italians, in scorn of such a servility use to do. Remember how they mangle our British names abroad; what trespass were it, if we in requital should as much neglect theirs? And our learned Chaucer did not stick to do so, writing Semyramis for Semiramis, Amphiorax for Amphiaraus, K. Sejes for K. Ceyx the husband of Alcyone, with many other names strangely metamorphosed from the true orthography, if he had made any account of that in these kind of words.

Remonst.

Lest the world should think the press had of late forgot to speak any language other than libellous, this honest paper hath broken through the throng.

Answ.

Mince the matter while you will, it showed but green practice in the laws of discreet rhetoric to blurt upon the ears of a judicious parliament with such a presumptuous and overweening proem: but you do well to be the fewer of your own mess.

Remonst.

That which you miscall the preface, was a too just complaint of the shameful number of libels.

Answ.

How long is it that you and the prelatical troop have been in such distaste with libels? Ask your Lysimachus Nicanor what defaming invectives have lately flown abroad against the subjects of Scotland, and our poor expulsed brethren of New England, the prelates rather applauding than showing any dislike: and this hath been ever so, insomuch that Sir Francis Bacon in one of his discourses complains of the bishops, uneven hand over these pamphlets, confining those against bishops to darkness, but licensing those against puritans to be uttered openly, though with the greater mischief of leading into contempt the exercise of religion in the persons of sundry preachers, and disgracing the higher matter in the meaner person.

Remonst.

A point no less essential to that proposed remonstrance.

Answ.

We know where the shoe wrings you; you fret and are galled at the quick; and O what a death it is to the prelates to be thus unvisarded, thus uncased, to have the periwigs plucked off that cover your baldness, your inside nakedness thrown open to public view! The Romans had a time once every year, when their slaves might freely speak their minds; it were hard if the freeborn people of England, with whom the voice of truth for these many years, even against the proverb, hath not been heard but in corners, after all your monkish prohibitions, and expurgatorious indexes, your gags and snaffles, your proud Imprimaturs not to be obtained without the shallow surview, but not shallow hand of some mercenary, narrow-souled, and illiterate chaplain; when liberty of speaking, than which nothing is more sweet to man, was girded and strait-laced almost to a broken-winded phthisic, if now at a good time, our time of parliament, the very jubilee and resurrection of the state, if now the concealed, the aggrieved, and long persecuted truth, could not be suffered to speak; and though she burst out with some efficacy of words, could not be excused after such an injurious strangle of silence, nor avoid the censure of libelling, it were hard, it were something pinching in a kingdom of free spirit. Some princes, and great statists, have thought it a prime piece of necessary policy, to thrust themselves under disguise into a popular throng, to stand the night long under eaves of houses, and low windows, that they might hear every where the utterances of private breasts, and amongst them find out the precious gem of truth, as amongst the numberless pebbles of the shore; whereby they might be the abler to discover, and avoid, that deceitful and close-couched Edition: current; Page: [92] evil of flattery that ever attends them, and misleads them, and might skilfully know how to apply the several redresses to each malady of state, without trusting the disloyal information of parasites and sycophants: whereas now this permission of free writing, were there no good else in it, yet at some times thus licensed, is such an unripping, such an anatomy of the shyest and tenderest particular truths, as makes not only the whole nation in many points the wiser, but also presents and carries home to princes, men most remote from vulgar concourse, such a full insight of every lurking evil, or restrained good among the commons, as that they shall not need hereafter, in old cloaks and false beards, to stand to the courtesy of a nightwalking cudgeller for eaves-dropping, nor to accept quietly as a perfume, the overhead emptying of some salt lotion. Who could be angry, therefore, but those that are guilty, with these free-spoken and plain-hearted men, that are the eyes of their country, and the prospective-glasses of their prince? But these are the nettlers, these are the blabbing books that tell, though not half your fellows’ feats. You love toothless satires; let me inform you, a toothless satire is as improper as a toothed sleek-stone, and as bullish.

Remonst.

I beseech you, brethren, spend your logic upon your own works.

Answ.

The peremptory analysis that you call it, I believe will be so hardy as once more to unpin your spruce fastidious oratory, to rumple her laces, her frizzles, and her bobbins, though she wince and fling never so peevishly.

Remonst.

Those verbal exceptions are but light froth and will sink alone.

Answ.

O rare subtlety, beyond all that Cardan ever dreamed of! when, I beseech you, will light things sink? when will light froth sink alone? Here in your phrase, the same day that heavy plummets will swim alone. Trust this man, readers, if you please, whose divinity would reconcile England with Rome, and his philosophy make friends nature with the chaos, sine pondere habentia pondus.

Remonst.

That scum may be worth taking off which follows.

Answ.

Spare your ladle, sir; it will be as the bishop’s foot in the broth; the scum will be found upon your own remonstrance.

Remonst.

I shall desire all indifferent eyes to judge, whether these men do not endeavour to cast unjust envy upon me.

Answ.

Agreed.

Remonst.

I had said that the civil polity, as in general notion, hath sometimes varied, and that the civil came from arbitrary imposers; these gracious interpreters would needs draw my words to the present and particular government of our monarchy.

Answ.

And deservedly have they done so; take up your logic else and see: civil polity, say you, hath sometimes varied, and come from arbitrary imposers; what proposition is this? Bishop Downam in his dialectics will tell you it is a general axiom, though the universal particle be not expressed, and you yourself in your defence so explain in these words as in general notion. Hence is justly inferred, he that says civil polity is arbitrary, says that the civil polity of England is arbitrary. The inference is undeniable, a thesi ad hypothesin, or from the general to the particular, an evincing argument in logic.

Remonst.

Brethren, whiles ye desire to seem godly, learn to be less malicious.

Answ.

Remonstrant, till you have better learnt your principles of logic, take not upon you to be a doctor to others.

Edition: current; Page: [93]
Remonst.

God bless all good men from such charity.

Answ.

I never found that logical maxims were uncharitable before; yet should a jury of logicians pass upon you, you would never be saved by the book.

Remonst.

And our sacred monarchy from such friends.

Answ.

Add, as the prelates.

Remonst.

If episcopacy have yoked monarchy, it is the insolence of the persons, not the fault of the calling.

Answ.

It was the fault of the persons, and of no calling; we do not count prelaty a calling.

Remonst.

The testimony of a pope (whom these men honour highly).

Answ.

That slanderous insertion was doubtless a pang of your incredible charity, the want whereof you lay so often to their charge; a kind token of your favour lapped up in a parenthesis; a piece of the clergy benevolence laid by to maintain the episcopal broil, whether the 1000 horse or no, time will discover: for certainly had those cavaliers come on to play their parts, such a ticket as this of highly honouring the pope, from the hand of a prelate, might have been of special use and safety to them that had cared for such a ransom.

Remonst.

And what says Antichrist?

Answ.

Ask your brethren the prelates, that hold intelligence with him: ask not us. But is the pope Antichrist now? Good news! take heed you be not shent for this; for it is verily thought, that had this bill been put in against him in your last convocation, he would have been cleared by most voices.

Remonst.

Any thing serves against episcopacy.

Answ.

See the frowardness of this man; he would persuade us, that the succession and divine right of bishopdom hath been unquestionable through all ages; yet when they bring against him kings, they were irreligious; popes, they are Antichrist. By what era of computation, through what fairy land, would the man deduce this perpetual beadroll of uncontradicted episcopacy? The pope may as well boast his ungainsaid authority to them that will believe, that all his contradicters were either irreligious or heretical.

Remonst.

If the bishops, saith the pope, be declared to be of divine right, they would be exempted from regal power; and if there might be this danger in those kingdoms, why is this enviously upbraided to those of ours? who do gladly profess, &c.

Answ.

Because your dissevered principles were but like the mangled pieces of a gashed serpent, that now begun to close, and grow together popish again. Whatsoever you now gladly profess out of fear, we know what your drifts were when you thought yourselves secure.

Remonst.

It is a foul slander to charge the name of episcopacy with a faction, for the fact imputed to some few.

Answ.

The more foul your faction that hath brought a harmless name into obloquy, and the fact may justly be imputed to all of ye that ought to have withstood it, and did not.

Remonst.

Fie, brethren! are ye the presbyters of the church of England, and dare challenge episcopacy of faction?

Answ.

Yes, as oft as episcopacy dares be factious.

Remonst.

Had you spoken such a word in the time of holy Cyprian, what had become of you?

Answ.

They had neither been haled into your Gehenna at Lambeth, nor strapadoed with an oath ex officio by your bowmen of the arches: and as for Cyprian’s time the cause was far unlike; he indeed succeeded into Edition: current; Page: [94] an episcopacy that began then to prelatize; but his personal excellence like an antidote overcame the malignity of that breeding corruption, which was then a disease that lay hid for a while under show of a full and healthy constitution, as those hydropic humours not discernible at first from a fair and juicy fleshiness of body, or that unwonted ruddy colour, which seems graceful to a cheek otherwise pale; and yet arises from evil causes, either of some inward obstruction or inflammation, and might deceive the first physicians till they had learned the sequel, which Cyprian’s days did not bring forth; and the prelatism of episcopacy, which began then to burgeon and spread, had as yet, especially in famous men, a fair, though a false imitation of flourishing.

Remonst.

Neither is the wrong less to make application of that which was most justly charged upon the practices and combinations of libelling separatists, whom I deservedly censured, &c.

Answ.

To conclude this section, our Remonstrant we see is resolved to make good that which was formerly said of his book, that it was neither humble nor a remonstrance, and this his defence is of the same complexion. When he is constrained to mention the notorious violence of his clergy attempted on the church of Scotland, he slightly terms it a fact imputed to some few; but when he speaks of that which the parliament vouchsafes to name the city petition, “which I,” saith he, (as if the state had made him public censor,) “deservedly censured.” And how? As before for a tumultuary and underhand way of procured subscriptions, so now in his defence more bitterly, as the practices and combinations of libelling separatists, and the miszealous advocates thereof, justly to be branded for incendiaries. Whether this be for the honour of our chief city to be noted with such an infamy for a petition, which not without some of the magistrates, and great numbers of sober and considerable men, was orderly and meekly presented, although our great clerks think that these men, because they have a trade, (as Christ himself and St. Paul had,) cannot therefore attain to some good measure of knowledge, and to a reason of their actions, as well as they that spend their youth in loitering, bezzling, and harlotting, their studies in unprofitable questions and barbarous sophistry, their middle age in ambition and idleness, their old age in avarice, dotage, and diseases. And whether this reflect not with a contumely upon the parliament itself, which thought this petition worthy, not only of receiving, but of voting to a commitment, after it had been advocated, and moved for by some honourable and learned gentleman of the house, to be called a combination of libelling separatists, and the advocates thereof to be branded for incendiaries; whether this appeach not the judgment and approbation of the parliament I leave to equal arbiters.

SECTION II.

Remonst.

After the overflowing of your gall, you descend to liturgy and episcopacy.

Answ.

The overflow being past, you cannot now in your own judgment impute any bitterness to their following discourses.

Remonst.

Dr. Hall, whom you name I dare say for honour’s sake.

Answ.

You are a merry man, sir, and dare say much.

Remonst.

And why should not I speak of martyrs, as the authors and users of this holy liturgy?

Edition: current; Page: [95]
Answ.

As the authors! the translators, you might perhaps have said: for Edward the Sixth, as Hayward hath written in his story, will tell you upon the word of a king, that the order of the service, and the use thereof in the English tongue, is no other than the old service was, and the same words in English which were in Latin, except a few things omitted, so fond, that it had been a shame to have heard them in English; these are his words: whereby we are left uncertain who the author was, but certain that part of the work was esteemed so absurd by the translators thereof, as was to be ashamed of in English. O but the martyrs were the refiners of it, for that only is left you to say. Admit they were, they could not refine a scorpion into a fish, though they had drawn it, and rinsed it with never so cleanly cookery, which made them fall at variance among themselves about the use either of it, or the ceremonies belonging to it.

Remonst.

Slight you them as you please, we bless God for such patrons of our good cause.

Answ.

O Benedicite! Qui color ater erat, nunc est contrarius atro. Are not these they which one of your bishops in print scornfully terms the Foxian confessors? Are not these they whose acts and monuments are not only so contemptible, but so hateful to the prelates, that their story was almost come to be a prohibited book, which for these two or three editions hath crept into the world by stealth, and at times of advantage, not without the open regret and vexation of the bishops, as many honest men that had to do in setting forth the book will justify? And now at a dead lift for your liturgies you bless God for them: out upon such hypocrisy!

Remonst.

As if we were bound to make good every word that falls from the mouth of every bishop.

Answ.

Your faction then belike is a subtile Janus, and hath two faces: your bolder face to set forward any innovations or scandals in the church, your cautious and wary face to disavow them if they succeed not, that so the fault may not light upon the function, lest it should spoil the whole plot by giving it an irrecoverable wound. Wherefore else did you not long ago, as a good bishop should have done, disclaim and protest against them? Wherefore have you sat still, and complied and hood-winked, till the general complaints of the land have squeezed you to a wretched, cold, and hollow-hearted confession of some prelatical riots both in this and other places of your book? Nay, what if you still defend them as follows?

Remonst.

If a bishop have said that our liturgy hath been so wisely and charitably framed, as that the devotion of it yieldeth no cause of offence to a very pope’s ear.

Answ.

O new and never heard of supererogative height of wisdom and charity in our liturgy! Is the wisdom of God or the charitable framing of God’s word otherwise inoffensive to the pope’s ear, than as he may turn it to the working of his mysterious iniquity? A little pulley would have stretched your wise and charitable frame it may be three inches further, that the devotion of it might have yielded no cause of offence to the very devil’s ear, and that had been the same wisdom and charity surmounting to the highest degree. For Antichrist we know is but the devil’s vicar, and therefore please him with your liturgy, and you please his master.

Remonst.

Would you think it requisite, that we should chide and quarrel when we speak to the God of peace?

Answ.

Fie, no sir; but forecast our prayers so, that Satan and his instruments may take as little exception against them as may be, lest they should chide and quarrel with us.

Edition: current; Page: [96]
Remonst.

It is no little advantage to our cause and piety, that our liturgy is taught to speak several languages for use and example.

Answ.

The language of Ashdod is one of them, and that makes so many Englishmen have such a smattering of their Philistian mother. And indeed our liturgy hath run up and down the world like an English galloping nun proffering herself, but we hear of none yet that bids money for her.

Remonst.

As for that sharp censure of learned Mr. Calvin, it might well have been forborn by him in aliena republica.

Answ.

Thus this untheological remonstrant would divide the individual catholic church into several republics: know, therefore, that every worthy pastor of the church of Christ hath universal right to admonish over all the world within the church; nor can that care be aliened from him by any distance or distinction of nation, so long as in Christ all nations and languages are as one household.

Remonst.

Neither would you think it could become any of our greatest divines, to meddle with his charge.

Answ.

It hath ill become them indeed, to meddle so maliciously, as many of them have done, though that patient and Christian city hath borne hitherto all their profane scoffs with silence.

Remonst.

Our liturgy passed the judgment of no less reverend heads than his own.

Answ.

It bribed their judgments with worldly engagements, and so passed it.

Remonst.

As for that unparalleled discourse concerning the antiquity of liturgies, I cannot help your wonder, but shall justify mine own assertion.

Answ.

Your justification is but a miserable shifting off those testimonies of the ancientest fathers alleged against you, and the authority of some synodal canons which are now arrant to us. We profess to decide our controversies only by the Scriptures; but yet to repress your vain-glory, there will be voluntarily bestowed upon you a sufficient conviction of your novelties out of succeeding antiquity.

Remonst.

I cannot see how you will avoid your own contradiction, for I demand, is this order of praying and administration set, or no? If it be not set, how is it an order? And if it be a set order both for matter and form—

Answ.

Remove that form, lest you tumble over it, while you make such haste to clap a contradiction upon others.

Remonst.

If the forms were merely arbitrary, to what use was the prescription of an order.

Answ.

Nothing will cure this man’s understanding but some familiar and kitchen physic, which, with pardon, must for plainness’ sake be administered to him. Call hither your cook. The order of breakfast, dinner, and supper, answer me, is it set or no? Set. Is a man therefore bound in the morning to poached eggs and vinegar, or at noon to brawn or beef, or at night to fresh salmon, and French kickshose? May he not make his meals in order, though he be not bound to this or that viand? Doubtless the neat-fingered artist will answer yes, and help us out of this great controversy without more trouble. Can we not understand an order in church-assemblies of praying, reading, expounding, and administering, unless our prayers be still the same crambe of words?

Remonst.

What a poor exception is this, that liturgies were composed by some particular men?

Answ.

It is a greater presumption in any particular men to arrogate to themselves, that which God universally gives to all his ministers. A minister Edition: current; Page: [97] that cannot be trusted to pray in his own words without being chewed to, and fescued to a formal injunction of his rote lesson, should as little be trusted to preach, besides the vain babble of praying over the same things immediately again; for there is a large difference in the repetition of some pathetical ejaculation raised out of the sudden earnestness and vigour of the inflamed soul, (such as was that of Christ in the garden,) from the continual rehearsal of our daily orisons; which if a man shall kneel down in a morning, and say over, and presently in another part of the room kneel down again, and in other words ask but still for the same things as it were out of one inventory, I cannot see how he will escape that heathenish battology of multiplying words, which Christ himself, that has the putting up of our prayers, told us would not be acceptable in heaven. Well may men of eminent gifts set forth as many forms and helps to prayer as they please; but to impose them on ministers lawfully called, and sufficiently tried, as all ought to be ere they be admitted, is a supercilious tyranny, impropriating the Spirit of God to themselves.

Remonst.

Do we abridge this liberty by ordaining a public form?

Answ.

Your bishops have set as fair to do it as they durst for that old pharisaical fear that still dogs them, the fear of the people; though you will say you are none of those, still you would seem not to have joined with the worst, and yet keep aloof off from that which is best. I would you would either mingle, or part: most true it is what Savanarola complains, that while he endeavoured to reform the church, his greatest enemies were still these lukewarm ones.

Remonst.

And if the Lord’s prayer be an ordinary and stinted form, why not others?

Answ.

Because there be no other Lords, that can stint with like authority.

Remonst.

If Justin Martyr said, that the instructor of the people prayed (as they falsely term it) “according to his ability.”

Answ.

“Οση δύναμις ἀυτῷ will be so rendered to the world’s end by those that are not to learn Greek of the Remonstrant; and so Langus renders it to his face, if he could see; and this ancient father mentions no antiphonies or responsories of the people here, but the only plain acclamation of Amen.

Remonst.

The instructor of the people prayed according to his ability, it is true; so do ours: and yet we have a liturgy, and so had they.

Answ.

A quick come-off. The ancients used pikes and targets, and therefore guns and great ordnance, because we use both.

Remonst.

Neither is this liberty of pouring out ourselves in our prayers ever the more impeached by a public form.

Answ.

Yes, the time is taken up with a tedious number of liturgical tautologies, and impertinences.

Remonst.

The words of the council are full and affirmative.

Answ.

Set the grave councils up upon their shelves again, and string them hard, lest their various and jangling opinions put their leaves into a flutter. I shall not intend this hot season to bid you the base through the wide and dusty champaign of the councils, but shall take counsel of that which counselled them, reason: and although I know there is an obsolete reprehension now at your tongue’s end, yet I shall be bold to say, that reason is the gift of God in one man as well as in a thousand: by that which we have tasted already of their cisterns, we may find that reason was the only thing, and not any divine command that moved them to enjoin set forms of liturgy. First, lest any thing in general might be missaid in their public prayers through ignorance, or want of care, contrary to the faith: and next, Edition: current; Page: [98] lest the Arians, and Pelagians in particular, should infect the people by their hymns, and forms of prayer. By the leave of these ancient fathers, this was no solid prevention of spreading heresy, to debar the ministers of God the use of their noblest talent, prayer in the congregation; unless they had forbid the use of sermons, and lectures too, but such as were ready made to their hands, as our homilies: or else he that was heretically disposed, had as fair an opportunity of infecting in his discourse as in his prayer or hymn. As insufficiently, and to say truth, as imprudently, did they provide by their contrived liturgies, lest any thing should be erroneously prayed through ignorance, or want of care in the ministers. For if they were careless and ignorant in their prayers, certainly they would be more careless in their preaching, and yet more careless in watching over their flock; and what prescription could reach to bound them both in these? What if reason, now illustrated by the word of God, shall be able to produce a better prevention than these councils have left us against heresy, ignorance, or want of care in the ministry, that such wisdom and diligence be used in the education of those that would be ministers, and such strict and serious examination to be undergone, ere their admission, as St. Paul to Timothy sets down at large, and then they need not carry such an unworthy suspicion over the preachers of God’s word, as to tutor their unsoundness with the *Abcie of a liturgy or to diet their ignorance, and want of care, with the limited draught of a matin, and even-song drench. All this may suffice after all their laboursome scrutiny of the councils.

Remonst.

Our Saviour was pleased to make use in the celebration of his last and heavenly banquet both of the fashions and words which were usual in the Jewish feasts.

Answ.

What he pleased to make use of does not justify what you please to force.

Remonst.

The set forms of prayer at the Mincha.

Answ.

We will not buy your rabbinical fumes; we have one that calls us to buy of him pure gold tried in the fire.

Remonst.

In the Samaritan chronicle.

Answ.

As little do we esteem your Samaritan trumpery, of which people Christ himself testifies, Ye worship ye know not what.

Remonst.

They had their several songs.

Answ.

And so have we our several psalms for several occasions without gramercy to your liturgy.

Remonst.

Those forms which we have under the names of Saint James, &c., though they have some insertions which are plainly spurious, yet the substance of them cannot be taxed for other than holy and ancient.

Answ.

Setting aside the odd coinage of your phrase, which no mint-master of language would allow for sterling, that a thing should be taxed for no other than holy and ancient, let it be supposed the substance of them may savour of something holy or ancient, this is but the matter; the form, and the end of the thing, may yet render it either superstitious, fruitless, or impious, and so worthy to be rejected. The garments of a strumpet are often the same, materially, that clothe a chaste matron, and yet ignominious for her to wear: the substance of the tempter’s words to our Saviour were holy, but his drift nothing less.

Remonst.

In what sense we hold the Roman a true church, is so cleared that the iron is too hot for their fingers.

Answ.

Have a care it be not the iron to sear your own conscience.

Edition: current; Page: [99]
Remonst.

You need not doubt but that the alteration of the liturgy will be considered by wiser heads than your own.

Answ.

We doubt it not, because we know your head looks to be one.

Remonst.

Our liturgy symbolizeth not with popish mass, neither as mass nor as popish.

Answ.

A pretty slipskin conveyance to sift mass into no mass, and popish into not popish; yet saving this passing fine sophistical boulting hutch, so long as she symbolizes in form, and pranks herself in the weeds of popish mass, it may be justly feared she provokes the jealousy of God, no otherwise than a wife affecting whorish attire kindles a disturbance in the eye of her discerning husband.

Remonst.

If I find gold in the channel, shall I throw it away because it was ill laid?

Answ.

You have forgot that gold hath been anathematized for the idolatrous use; and to eat the good creatures of God once offered to idols, is in St. Paul’s account to have fellowship with devils, and to partake of the devil’s table. And thus you throttle yourself with your own similes.

Remonst.

If the devils confessed the Son of God, shall I disclaim that truth?

Answ.

You sifted not so clean before, but you shuffle as foully now; as if there were the like necessity of confessing Christ, and using the liturgy: we do not disclaim that truth, because we never believed it for their testimony; but we may well reject a liturgy which had no being that we can know of, but from the corruptest times: if therefore the devil should be given never so much to prayer, I should not therefore cease from that duty, because I learned it not from him; but if he would commend to me a new Pater-noster, though never so seemingly holy, he should excuse me the form which was his; but the matter, which was none of his, he could not give me, nor I be said to take it from him. It is not the goodness of matter therefore which is not, nor can be owed to the liturgy, that will bear it out, if the form, which is the essence of it, be fantastic and superstitious, the end sinister, and the imposition violent.

Remonst.

Had it been composed into this frame on purpose to bring papists to our churches.

Answ.

To bring them to our churches? alas, what was that? unless they had been first fitted by repentance, and right instruction. You will say, the word was there preached, which is the means of conversion; you should have given so much honour then to the word preached, as to have left it to God’s working without the interloping of a liturgy baited for them to bite at.

Remonst.

The project had been charitable and gracious.

Answ.

It was pharisaical, and vain-glorious, a greedy desire to win proselytes by conforming to them unlawfully; like the desire of Tamar, who, to raise up seed to her husband, sate in the common road drest like a courtezan, and he that came to her committed incest with her. This was that which made the old Christians paganize, while by their scandalous and base conforming to heathenism they did no more, when they had done their utmost, but bring some pagans to Christianize; for true Christians they neither were themselves, nor could make other such in this fashion.

Remonst.

If there be found aught in liturgy that may endanger a scandal, it is under careful hands to remove it.

Answ.

Such careful hands as have shown themselves sooner bent to remove and expel the men from the scandals, than the scandals from the men, and to lose a soul rather than a syllable or a surplice.

Edition: current; Page: [100]
Remonst.

It is idolized they say in England, they mean at Amsterdam.

Answ.

Be it idolized therefore where it will, it is only idolatrized in England.

Remonst.

Multitudes of people they say distaste it; more shame for those that have so mistaught them.

Answ.

More shame for those that regard not the troubling God’s church with things by themselves confessed to be indifferent, since true charity is afflicted, and burns at the offence of every little one. As for the Christian multitude which you affirm to be so mistaught, it is evident enough, though you would declaim never so long to the contrary, that God hath now taught them to detest your liturgy and prelacy; God who hath promised to teach all his children, and to deliver them out of your hands that hunt and worry their souls: hence is it that a man shall commonly find more savoury knowledge in one layman, than in a dozen of cathedral prelates; as we read in our Saviour’s time that the common people had a reverend esteem of him, and held him a great prophet, whilst the gowned rabbies, the incomparable and invincible doctors, were of opinion that he was a friend of Beelzebub.

Remonst.

If the multitude distaste wholesome doctrine, shall we, to humour them, abandon it?

Answ.

Yet again! as if they were like necessity of saving doctrine, and arbitrary, if not unlawful, or inconvenient liturgy: who would have thought a man could have thwacked together so many incongruous similitudes, had it not been to defend the motley incoherence of a patched missal?

Remonst.

Why did not other churches conform to us? I may boldly say ours was, and is, the more noble church.

Answ.

O Laodicean, how vainly and how carnally dost thou boast of nobleness and precedency! more lordly you have made our church indeed, but not more noble.

Remonst.

The second quære is so weak, that I wonder it could fall from the pens of wise men.

Answ.

You but are a bad fencer, for you never make a proffer against another man’s weakness; but you leave your own side always open: mark what follows.

Remonst.

Brethren, can ye think that our reformers had any other intentions than all the other founders of liturgies, the least part of whose care was the help of the minister’s weakness?

Answ.

Do you not perceive the noose you have brought yourself into, whilst you were so brief to taunt other men with weakness? Is it clean out of your mind what you cited from among the councils; that the principal scope of those liturgy-founders was to prevent either the malice or the weakness of the ministers; their malice, of infusing heresy in their forms of prayer; their weakness, lest something might be composed by them through ignorance or want of care contrary to the faith? Is it not now rather to be wondered, that such a weakness could fall from the pen of such a wise remonstrant man?

Remonst.

Their main drift was the help of the people’s devotion, that they knowing before the matter that should be sued for,—

Answ.

A solicitous care, as if the people could be ignorant of the matter to be prayed for; seeing the heads of public prayer are either ever constant, or very frequently the same.

Remonst.

And the words wherewith it should be clothed, might be the more prepared, and be so much the more intent and less distracted.

Answ.

As for the words, it is more to be feared lest the same continually Edition: current; Page: [101] should make them careless or sleepy, than that variety on the same known subject should distract; variety (as both music and rhetoric teacheth us) erects and rouses an auditory, like the masterful running over many chords and divisions; whereas if men should ever be thumbing the drone of one plain song, it would be a dull opiate to the most wakeful attention.

Remonst.

Tell me, is this liturgy good or evil?

Answ.

It is evil; repair the acheloian horn of your dilemma how you can, against the next push.

Remonst.

If it be evil, it is unlawful to be used.

Answ.

We grant you, and we find you have not your salve about you.

Remonst.

Were the imposition amiss, what is that to the people?

Answ.

Not a little, because they bear an equal part with the priest in many places, and have their cues and verses as well as he.

Remonst.

The ears and hearts of our people look for a settled liturgy.

Answ.

You deceive yourself in their ears and hearts; they look for no such matter.

Remonst.

The like answer serves for homilies, surely they were enjoined to all, &c.

Answ.

Let it serve for them that will be ignorant; we know that Hayward their own creature writes, that for defect of preachers, homilies were appointed to be read in churches, while Edward VI. reigned.

Remonst.

Away then with the book, whilst it may be supplied with a more profitable nonsense.

Answ.

Away with it rather, because it will be hardly supplied with a more unprofitable nonsense, than is in some passages of it to be seen.

SECTION III.

Remonst.

Thus their cavils concerning liturgy are vanished.

Answ.

You wanted but hey pass, to have made your transition like a mystical man of Sturbridge. But for all your sleight of hand, our just exceptions against liturgy are not vanished; they stare you still in the face.

Remonst.

Certainly had I done so, I had been no less worthy to be spitten upon for my saucy uncharitableness, than they are now for their uncharitable falsehood.

Answ.

We see you are in a choler, therefore, till you cool awhile we turn us to the ingenuous reader. See how this Remonstrant would invest himself conditionally with all the rheum of the town, that he might have sufficient to bespaul his brethren. They are accused by him of uncharitable falsehood, whereas their only crime hath been, that they have too credulously thought him, if not an over-logical, yet a well-meaning man; but now we find him either grossly deficient in his principles of logic, or else purposely bent to delude the parliament with equivocal sophistry, scattering among his periods ambiguous words, whose interpretation he will afterwards dispense according to his pleasure, laying before us universal propositions, and then thinks when he will to pinion them with a limitation: for say, Remonstrant,

Remonst.

Episcopal government is cried down abroad by either weak or factious persons.

Answ.

Choose you whether you will have this proposition proved to you to be ridiculous or sophistical; for one of the two it must be. Step again to bishop Downam your patron, and let him gently catechise you in Edition: current; Page: [102] the grounds of logic; he will show you that this axiom, “episcopal government is cried down abroad by either weak or factious persons,” is as much as to say, they that cry down episcopacy abroad, are either weak or factious persons. He will tell you that this axiom contains a distribution, and that all such axioms are general; and lastly, that the distribution in which any part is wanting, or abundant, is faulty, and fallacious. If therefore distributing by the adjuncts of faction and weakness, the persons that decry episcopacy, and you made your distribution imperfect for the nonce, you cannot but be guilty of fraud intended toward the honourable court to whom you wrote. If you had rather vindicate your honesty, and suffer in your want of art you cannot condemn them of uncharitable falsehood, that attributed to you more skill than you had, thinking you had been able to have made a distribution, as it ought to be, general and full; and so any man would take it, the rather as being accompanied with that large word, (abroad,) and so take again either your manifest leasing, or manifest ignorance.

Remonst.

Now come these brotherly slanderers.

Answ.

Go on, dissembling Joab, as still your use is, call brother and smite; call brother and smite, till it be said of you, as the like was of Herod, a man had better be your hog than your brother.

Remonst.

Which never came within the verge of my thoughts.

Answ.

Take a metaphor or two more as good, the precinct, or the diocese of your thoughts.

Remonst.

Brethren, if you have any remainders of modesty or truth, cry God mercy.

Answ.

Remonstrant, if you have no groundwork of logic, or plain dealing in you, learn both as fast as you can.

Remonst.

Of the same strain is their witty descant of my confoundedness.

Answ.

Speak no more of it, it was a fatal word that God put into your mouth when you began to speak for episcopacy, as boding confusion to it.

Remonst.

I am still, and shall ever be thus self-confounded, as confidently to say, that he is no peaceable and right-affected son of the church of England, that doth not wish well to liturgy and episcopacy.

Answ.

If this be not that saucy uncharitableness, with which, in the foregoing page, you voluntarily invested yourself, with thought to have shifted it off, let the parliament judge, who now themselves are deliberating whether liturgy and episcopacy be to be well wished to, or no.

Remonst.

This they say they cannot but rank amongst my notorious—speak out, masters; I would not have that word stick in your teeth or in your throat.

Answ.

Take your spectacles, sir, it sticks in the paper, and was a pectoral roule we prepared for you to swallow down to your heart.

Remonst.

Wanton wits must have leave to play with their own stern.

Answ.

A meditation of yours doubtless observed at Lambeth from one of the archiepiscopal kittens.

Remonst.

As for that form of episcopal government, surely could those look with my eyes, they would see cause to be ashamed of this their injurious misconceit.

Answ.

We must call the barber for this wise sentence; one Mr. Ley the other day wrote a treatise of the sabbath, and his preface puts the wisdom of Balaam’s ass upon one of our bishops, bold man for his labour; but we shall have more respect to our Remonstrant, and liken him to the ass’s master, though the story say he was not so quick-sighted as his beast. Is Edition: current; Page: [103] not this Balaam the son of Beor, the man whose eyes are open, that said to the parliament, Surely, could those look with my eyes? Boast not of your eyes; it is feared you have Balaam’s disease, a pearl in your eye, Mammon’s prestriction.

Remonst.

Alas, we could tell you of China, Japan, Peru, Brazil, New England, Virginia, and a thousand others, that never had any bishops to this day.

Answ.

O do not foil your cause thus, and trouble Ortelius; we can help you, and tell you where they have been ever since Constantine’s time at least, in a place called Mundus alter et idem, in the spacious and rich countries of Crapulia, Pamphagonia, Yuronia, and in the dukedom of Orgilia, and Variana, and their metropolis of Ucalegonium. It was an oversight that none of your prime antiquaries could think of these venerable monuments to deduce episcopacy by; knowing that Mercurius Britannicus had them forthcoming.

SECTION IV.

Remonst.

Hitherto they have flourished, now I hope they will strike.

Answ.

His former transition was in the fair about the jugglers, now he is at the pageants among the whifflers.

Remonst.

As if arguments were almanacks.

Answ.

You will find some such as will prognosticate your date, and tell you that, after your long summer solstice, the equator calls for you, to reduce you to the ancient and equal house of Libra.

Remonst.

Truly, brethren, you have not well taken the height of the pole.

Answ.

No marvel; there be many more that do not take well the height of your pole; but will take better the declination of your altitude.

Remonst.

He that said I am the way, said that the old way was the good way.

Answ.

He bids ask of the old paths, or for the old ways, where or which is the good way; which implies that all old ways are not good, but that the good way is to be searched with diligence among the old ways, which is a thing that we do in the oldest records we have, the gospel. And if others may chance to spend more time with you in canvassing later antiquity, I suppose it is not for that they ground themselves thereon; but that they endeavour by showing the corruptions, uncertainties, and disagreements of those volumes, and the easiness of erring, or overslipping in such a boundless and vast search, if they may not convince those that are so strongly persuaded thereof; yet to free ingenuous minds from an overawful esteem of those more ancient than trusty fathers, whom custom and fond opinion, weak principles, and the neglect of sounder and superior knowledge hath exalted so high as to have gained them a blind reverence; whose books in bigness and number so endless and immeasurable, I cannot think that either God or nature, either divine or human wisdom, did ever mean should be a rule or reliance to us in the decision of any weighty and positive doctrine: for certainly every rule and instrument of necessary knowledge that God hath given us, ought to be so in proportion, as may be wielded and managed by the life of man, without penning him up from the duties of human society; and such a rule and instrument of knowledge perfectly is the holy Bible. But he that shall bind himself to make antiquity Edition: current; Page: [104] his rule, if he read but part, besides the difficulty of choice, his rule is deficient, and utterly unsatisfying; for there may be other writers of another mind, which he hath not seen; and if he undertake all, the length of man’s life cannot extend to give him a full and requisite knowledge of what was done in antiquity. Why do we therefore stand worshipping and admiring this unactive and lifeless Colossus, that, like a carved giant terribly menacing to children and weaklings, lifts up his club, but strikes not, and is subject to the muting of every sparrow? If you let him rest upon his basis, he may perhaps delight the eyes of some with his huge and mountainous bulk, and the quaint workmanship of his massy limbs; but if ye go about to take him in pieces, ye mar him; and if you think, like pigmies, to turn and wind him whole as he is, besides your vain toil and sweat, he may chance to fall upon your own heads. Go, therefore, and use all your art, apply your sledges, your levers, and your iron crows, to heave and hale your mighty Polypheme of antiquity to the delusion of novices and unexperienced Christians. We shall adhere close to the Scriptures of God, which he hath left us as the just and adequate measure of truth, fitted and proportioned to the diligent study, memory, and use of every faithful man, whose every part consenting, and making up the harmonious symmetry of complete instruction, is able to set out to us a perfect man of God, or bishop thoroughly furnished to all the good works of his charge: and with this weapon, without stepping a foot further, we shall not doubt to batter and throw down your Nebuchadnezzar’s image, and crumble it like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, as well the gold of those apostolic successors that you boast of, as your Constantinian silver, together with the iron, the brass, and the clay of those muddy and strawy ages that follow.

Remonst.

Let the boldest forehead of them all deny that episcopacy hath continued thus long in our island, or that any till this age contradicted it.

Answ.

That bold forehead you have cleanly put upon yourself, it is you who deny that any till this age contradicted it; no forehead of ours dares do so much: you have vowed yourself fairly between the Scylla and Charybdis, either of impudence or nonsense, and now betake you to whither you please.

Remonst.

As for that supply of accessory strength, which I not beg.

Answ.

Your whole remonstrance does nothing else but beg it, and your fellow-prelates do as good as whine to the parliament for their fleshpots of Egypt, making sad orations at the funeral of your dear prelacy, like that doughty centurion Afranius in Lucian; who, to imitate the noble Pericles in his epitaphian speech, stepping up after the battle to bewail the slain Severianus, falls into a pitiful condolement, to think of those costly suppers and drinking banquets, which he must now taste of no more; and by then he had done, lacked but little to lament the dear-loved memory and calamitous loss of his capon and white broth.

Remonst.

But raise and evince from the light of nature, and the rules of just policy, for the continuance of those things which long use and many laws have firmly established as necessary and beneficial.

Answ.

Open your eyes to the light of grace, a better guide than nature. Look upon the mean condition of Christ and his apostles, without that accessory strength you take such pains to raise from the light of nature and policy: take divine council, “Labour not for the things that perish:” you would be the salt of the earth; if that savour be not found in you, do not think much that the time is now come to throw you out, and tread you Edition: current; Page: [105] under-foot. Hark how St. Paul, writing to Timothy, informs a true bishop; “Bishops (saith he) must not be greedy of filthy lucre; and having food and raiment, let us be therewith content: but they (saith he, meaning, more especially in that place, bishops) that will be rich, fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition: for the love of money is the root of all evil, which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith.” How can we therefore expect sound doctrine, and the solution of this our controversy from any covetous and honour-hunting bishop, that shall plead so stiffly for these things, while St. Paul thus exhorts every bishop; “But thou, O man of God, flee these things?” As for the just policy, that long use and custom, and those many laws which you say have conferred these benefits upon you; it hath been nothing else but the superstitious devotion of princes and great men that knew no better, or the base importunity of begging friars, haunting and harassing the deathbeds of men departing this life, in a blind and wretched condition of hope to merit heaven for the building of churches, cloisters, and convents. The most of your vaunted possessions, and those proud endowments that ye as sinfully waste, what are they but the black revenues of purgatory, the price of abused and murdered souls, the damned simony of Trentals, and indulgences to mortal sin? How can ye choose but inherit the curse that goes along with such a patrimony? Alas! if there be any releasement, any mitigation, or more tolerable being for the souls of our misguided ancestors; could we imagine there might be any recovery to some degree of ease left for as many of them as are lost, there cannot be a better way than to take the misbestowed wealth which they were cheated of, from these our prelates, who are the true successors of those that popped them into the other world with this conceit of meriting by their goods, which was their final undoing; and to bestow their beneficent gifts upon places and means of Christian education, and the faithful labourers in God’s harvest, that may incessantly warn the posterity of Dives, lest they come where their miserable forefather was sent by the cozenage and misleading of avaricious and worldly prelates.

Remonst.

It will stand long enough against the battery of their paper pellets.

Answ.

That must be tried without a square cap in the council; and if pellets will not do, your own canons shall be turned against you.

Remonst.

They cannot name any man in this nation, that ever contradicted episcopacy, till this present age.

Answ.

What an overworn and bedridden argument is this! the last refuge ever of old falsehood, and therefore a good sign, I trust, that your castle cannot hold out long. This was the plea of Judaism and idolatry against Christ and his apostles; of papacy against reformation; and perhaps to the frailty of flesh and blood in a man destitute of better enlightening may for some while be pardonable: for what has fleshly apprehension other to subsist by than succession, custom, and visibility; which only hold, if in his weakness and blindness he be loth to lose, who can blame? But in a protestant nation, that should have thrown off these tattered rudiments long ago, after the many strivings of God’s Spirit, and our fourscore years’ vexation of him in this our wilderness since reformation began, to urge these rotten principles, and twit us with the present age, which is to us an age of ages wherein God is manifestly come down among us, to do some remarkable good to our church or state; is, as if a man should tax the renovating and reingendering Spirit of God with innovation, and that new creature for an upstart novelty; yea, the new Jerusalem, which, without Edition: current; Page: [106] your admired link of succession, descends from heaven, could not escape some such like censure. If you require a further answer, it will not misbecome a Christian to be either more magnanimous or more devout than Scipio was; who, instead of other answer to the frivolous accusations of Petilius the tribune, “This day, Romans, (saith he,) I fought with Hannibal prosperously; let us all go and thank the gods, that gave us so great a victory:” in like manner will we now say, not caring otherwise to answer this unprotestantlike objection; In this age, Britons, God hath reformed his church after many hundred years of popish corruption; in this age he hath freed us from the intolerable yoke of prelates and papal discipline; in this age he hath renewed our protestation against all those yet remaining dregs of superstition. Let us all go, every true protested Briton, throughout the three kingdoms, and render thanks to God the Father of light, and Fountain of heavenly grace, and to his Son Christ our Lord, leaving this Remonstrant and his adherents to their own designs; and let us recount even here without delay, the patience and long-suffering that God hath used towards our blindness and hardness time after time. For he being equally near to his whole creation of mankind, and of free power to turn his beneficent and fatherly regard to what region or kingdom he pleases, hath yet ever had this island under the special indulgent eye of his providence; and pitying us the first of all other nations, after he had decreed to purify and renew his church that lay wallowing in idolatrous pollutions, sent first to us a healing messenger to touch softly our sores, and carry a gentle hand over our wounds: he knocked once and twice, and came again, opening our drowsy eyelids leisurely by that glimmering light, which Wickliff and his followers dispersed; and still taking off by degrees the inveterate scales from our nigh perished sight, purged also our deaf ears, and prepared them to attend his second warning trumpet in our grandsires’ days. How else could they have been able to have received the sudden assault of his reforming Spirit, warring against human principles, and carnal sense, the pride of flesh, that still cried up antiquity, custom, canons, councils, and laws; and cried down the truth for novelty, schism, profaneness, and sacrilege? whenas we that have lived so long in abundant light, besides the sunny reflection of all the neighbouring churches, have yet our hearts rivetted with these old opinions, and so obstructed and benumbed with the same fleshly reasonings, which in our forefathers soon melted and gave way, against the morning beam of reformation. If God had left undone this whole work, so contrary to flesh and blood, till these times; how should we have yielded to his heavenly call, had we been taken, as they were, in the starkness of our ignorance; that yet, after all these spiritual preparatives and purgations, have our earthly apprehensions so clammed and furred with the old leaven? O if we freeze at noon after their early thaw, let us fear lest the sun for ever hide himself, and turn his orient steps from our ingrateful horizon, justly condemned to be eternally benighted. Which dreadful judgment, O thou the ever-begotten Light and perfect image of the Father! intercede, may never come upon us, as we trust thou hast; for thou hast opened our difficult and sad times, and given us an unexpected breathing after our long oppressions: thou hast done justice upon those that tyrannized over us, while some men wavered and admired a vain shadow of wisdom in a tongue nothing slow to utter guile, though thou hast taught us to admire only that which is good, and to count that only praiseworthy, which is grounded upon thy divine precepts. Thou hast discovered the plots, and frustrated the hopes, of all the wicked in the land, and put to shame the persecutors of thy church: thou hast made our false prophets to be found a Edition: current; Page: [107] lie in the sight of all the people, and chased them with sudden confusion and amazement before the redoubled brightness of thy descending cloud, that now covers they tabernacle. Who is there that cannot trace thee now in thy beamy walk through the midst of thy sanctuary, amidst those golden candlesticks, which have long suffered a dimness amongst us through the violence of those that had seized them, and were more taken with the mention of their gold than of their starry light; teaching the doctrine of Balaam, to cast a stumbling-block before thy servants, commanding them to eat things sacrificed to idols, and forcing them to fornication? Come, therefore, O thou that hast the seven stars in thy right hand, appoint thy chosen priests according to their orders and courses of old, to minister before thee, and duly to press and pour out the consecrated oil into thy holy and everburning lamps. Thou hast sent out the spirit of prayer upon thy servants over all the land to this effect, and stirred up their vows as the sound of many waters about thy throne. Every one can say, that now certainly thou hast visited this land, and hast not forgotten the utmost corners of the earth, in a time when men had thought that thou wast gone up from us to the farthest end of the heavens, and hadst left to do marvellously among the sons of these last ages. O perfect and accomplish thy glorious acts! for men may leave their works unfinished, but thou art a God, thy nature is perfection: shouldst thou bring us thus far onward from Egypt to destroy us in this wilderness, though we deserve; yet thy great name would suffer in the rejoicing of thine enemies, and the deluded hope of all thy servants. When thou hast settled peace in the church, and righteous judgment in the kingdom, then shall all thy saints address their voices of joy and triumph to thee, standing on the shore of that Red sea into which our enemies had almost driven us. And he that now for haste snatches up a plain ungarnished present as a thank-offering to thee, which could not be deferred in regard of thy so many late deliverances wrought for us one upon another, may then perhaps take up a harp, and sing thee an elaborate song to generations. In that day it shall no more be said as in scorn, this or that was never held so till this present age, when men have better learnt that the times and seasons pass along under thy feet to go and come at thy bidding: and as thou didst dignify our fathers’ days with many revelations above all the foregoing ages, since thou tookest the flesh; so thou canst vouchsafe to us (though unworthy) as large a portion of thy Spirit as thou pleasest: for who shall prejudice thy all-governing will? seeing the power of thy grace is not passed away with the primitive times, as fond and faithless men imagine, but thy kingdom is now at hand, and thou standing at the door. Come forth out of thy royal chambers, O Prince of all the kings of the earth! put on the visible robes of thy imperial majesty, take up that unlimited sceptre which thy almighty Father hath bequeathed thee; for now the voice of thy bride calls thee, and all creatures sigh to be renewed.

SECTION V.

Remonst.

Neglect not the gift which was given thee by prophecy, and by laying on the hands of presbytery.

Answ.

The English translation expresses the article (the,) and renders it the presbytery, which you do injury to omit.

Remonst.

Which I wonder ye can so press, when Calvin himself takes it of the office, and not of the men.

Edition: current; Page: [108]
Answ.

You think then you are fairly quit of this proof, because Calvin interprets it for you, as if we could be put off with Calvin’s name, unless we be convinced with Calvin’s reason! the word πϱισβυτίϱιον is a collective noun, signifying a certain number of men in one order, as the word privy-council with us; and so Beza interprets, that knew Calvin’s mind doubtless, with whom he lived. If any amongst us should say the privy-council ordained it, and thereby constrain us to understand one man’s authority, should we not laugh at him? And therefore when you have used all your cramping-irons to the text, and done your utmost to cram a presbytery into the skin of one person, it will be but a piece of frugal nonsense. But if your meaning be with a violent hyperbaton to transpose the text, as if the words lay thus in order, “neglect not the gift of presbytery:” this were a construction like a harquebuss shot over a file of words twelve deep, without authority to bid them stoop; or to make the word gift, like the river Mole in Surry, to run under the bottom of a long line, and so start up to govern the word presbytery, as in immediate syntaxis; a device ridiculous enough to make good that old wife’s tale of a certain queen of England that sunk at Charing-cross, and rose up at Queenhithe. No marvel though the prelates be a troublesome generation, and, which way soever they turn them, put all things into a foul discomposure, when to maintain their domineering, they seek thus to rout and disarray the wise and well-couched order of Saint Paul’s own words, using either a certain textual riot to chop off the hands of the word presbytery, or else a like kind of simony to clap the word gift between them. Besides, if the verse must be read according to this transposition, μή ἀμέλει τ[Editor: illegible character] ἐν σοὶ χαϱίσματος τ[Editor: illegible character] πϱεσβυτεϱί[Editor: illegible character], it would be improper to call ordination χάϱισμα, whenas it is rather only χείϱιασμα, an outward testimony of approbation; unless they will make it a sacrament as the papists do: but surely the prelates would have Saint Paul’s words ramp one over another, as they use to climb into their livings and bishoprics.

Remonst.

Neither need we give any other satisfaction to the point, than from St. Paul himself, 2 Timothy, i. 6, “Stir up the gift of God which is in thee by the imposition of my hands;” mine, and not others.

Answ.

Ye are too quick; this last place is to be understood by the former; as the law of method, which bears chief sway in the art of teaching, requires, that clearest and plainest expressions be set foremost, to the end they may enlighten any following obscurity; and wherefore we should not attribute a right method to the teachableness of Scripture, there can be no reason given: to which method, if we shall now go contrary, besides the breaking of a logical rule, which the Remonstrant hitherto we see hath made little account of, we shall also put a manifest violence and impropriety upon a known word against his common signification, in binding a collective to a singular person. But if we shall, as logic (or indeed reason) instructs us, expound the latter place by the former cited, and understand “by the imposition of my hands,” that is, of mine chiefly as an apostle, with the joint authority and assistance of the presbytery, there is nothing more ordinary or kindly in speech, than such a phrase as expresses only the chief in any action, and understands the rest. So that the imposition of Saint Paul’s hands, without more expression in this place, cannot exclude the joint act of the presbytery affirmed by the former text.

Remonst.

In the meanwhile see, brethren, how you have with Simon fished all night, and caught nothing.

Answ.

If we fishing with Simon the apostle can catch nothing, see what you can catch with Simon Magus; for all his hooks and fishing implements he bequeathed among you.

Edition: current; Page: [109]

SECTION XIII.

Remonst.

We do again profess, that if our bishops challenge any other power than was delegated to and required of Timothy and Titus, we shall yield them usurpers.

Answ.

Ye cannot compare an ordinary bishop with Timothy, who was an extraordinary man, foretold and promised to the church by many prophecies, and his name joined as collateral with Saint Paul, in most of his apostolic epistles, even where he writes to the bishops of other churches, as those in Philippi. Nor can you prove out of the Scripture that Timothy was bishop of any particular place; for that wherein it is said in the third verse of the first epistle, “As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus,” will be such a gloss to prove the constitution of a bishop by, as would not only be not so good as a Bourdeaux gloss, but scarce be received to varnish a vizard of Modona. All that can be gathered out of holy writ concerning Timothy is, that he was either an apostle, or an apostle’s extraordinary vice-gerent, not confined to the charge of any place. The like may be said of Titus, (as those words import in the 5th verse,) that he was for that cause left in Crete, that he might supply or proceed to set in order that which St. Paul in apostolic manner had begun, for which he had his particular commission, as those words sound “as I had appointed thee.” So that what he did in Crete, cannot so much be thought the exercise of an ordinary function, as the direction of an inspired mouth. No less may be gathered from the 2 Cor. viii. 23.

Remonst.

You descend to the angels of the seven Asian churches; your shift is, that the word angel is here taken collectively, not individually.

Answ.

That the word is collective, appears plainly, Revel. ii.

First, Because the text itself expounds it so; for having spoken all the while as to the angel, the seventh verse concludes, that this was spoken to the churches. Now if the Spirit conclude collectively, and kept the same tenor all the way, for we see not where he particularizes; then certainly he must begin collectively, else the construction can be neither grammatical nor logical.

Secondly, If the word angel be individual, then are the faults attributed to him individual: but they are such as for which God threatens to remove the candlestick out of its place, which is as much as to take away from that church the light of his truth; and we cannot think he will do so for one bishop’s fault. Therefore those faults must be understood collective, and by consequence the subject of them collective.

Thirdly, An individual cannot branch itself into sub-individuals; but this word angel doth in the tenth verse. “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer; behold the devil shall cast some of you into prison.” And the like from other places of this and the following chapter may be observed. Therefore it is no individual word, but a collective.

Fourthly, in the 24th verse this word angel is made capable of a pronoun plural, which could not be, unless it were a collective. As for the supposed manuscript of Tecla, and two or three other copies that have expunged the copulative, we cannot prefer them before the more received reading, and we hope you will not, against the translation of your mother the church of England, that passed the revise of your chiefest prelates: besides this, you will lay an unjust censure upon the much-praised bishop of Thyatira, and reckon him among those that had the doctrine of Jezebel Edition: current; Page: [110] when the text says, he only suffered her. Whereas, if you will but let in a charitable conjunction, as we know your so much called for charity will not deny, then you plainly acquit the bishop, if you comprehend him in the name of angel, otherwise you leave his case very doubtful.

Remonst.

“Thou sufferest thy wife Jezebel:” was she wife to the whole company, or to one bishop alone?

Answ.

Not to the whole company doubtless, for that had been worse than to have been the Levite’s wife in Gibeah: but here among all those that constantly read it otherwise, whom you trample upon, your good mother of England is down again in the throng, who with the rest reads it, ‘that woman Jezebel:’ but suppose it were wife, a man might as well interpret that word figuratively, as her name Jezebel no man doubts to be a borrowed name.

Remonst.

Yet what makes this for a diocesan bishop? Much every way.

Answ.

No more than a special endorsement could make to puff up the foreman of a jury. If we deny you more precedence, than as the senior of any society, or deny you this priority to be longer than annual; prove you the contrary from hence, if you can. That you think to do from the title of eminence, Angel: alas, your wings are too short. It is not ordination nor jurisdiction that is angelical, but the heavenly message of the gospel, which is the office of all ministers alike; in which sense John the Baptist is called an Angel, which in Greek signifies a messenger, as oft as it is meant by a man, and might be so rendered here without treason to the hierarchy; but that the whole book soars to a prophetic pitch in types and allegories. Seeing then the reason of this borrowed name is merely to signify the preaching of the gospel, and that this preaching equally appertains to the whole ministry; hence may be drawn a fifth argument, that if the reason of this borrowed name Angel be equally collective and communicative to the whole preaching ministry of the place, then must the name be collectively and communicatively taken; but the reason, that is to say, the office, of preaching and watching over the flock, is equally collective and communicative: therefore the borrowed name itself is to be understood as equally collective and communicative to the whole preaching ministry of the place. And if you will contend still for a superiority in one person, you must ground it better than from this metaphor, which you may now deplore as the axehead that fell into the water, and say, “Alas, master for it was borrowed;” unless you have as good a faculty to make iron swim, as you had to make light froth sink.

Remonst.

What is, if this be not, ordination and jurisdiction?

Answ.

Indeed in the constitution and founding of a church, that some men inspired from God should have an extraordinary calling to appoint, to order, and dispose, must needs be. So Moses, though himself no priest, sanctified and ordained Aaron and his sons; but when all needful things be set, and regulated by the writings of the apostles, whether it be not a mere folly to keep up a superior degree in the church only for ordination and jurisdiction, it will be no hurt to debate awhile. The apostles were the builders, and, as it were, the architects of the Christian church; wherein consisted their excellence above ordinary ministers? A prelate would say in commanding, in controlling, in appointing, in calling to them, and sending from about them, to all countries, their bishops and archbishops as their deputies, with a kind of legantine power. No, no, vain prelates; this was but as the scaffolding of a new edifice, which for the time must board and overlook the highest battlements; but if the structure once finished, Edition: current; Page: [111] any passenger should fall in love with them, and pray that they might still stand, as being a singular grace and strengthening to the house, who would otherwise think, but that the man was presently to be laid hold on, and sent to his friends and kindred? The eminence of the apostles consisted in their powerful preaching, their unwearied labouring in the word, their unquenchable charity, which, above all earthly respects, like a working flame, had spun up to such a height of pure desire, as might be thought next to that love which dwells in God to save souls; which, while they did, they were contented to be the offscouring of the world, and to expose themselves willingly to all afflictions, perfecting thereby their hope through patience to a joy unspeakable. As for ordination, what is it, but the laying on of hands, an outward sign or symbol of admission? It creates nothing, it confers nothing; it is the inward calling of God that makes a minister, and his own painful study and diligence that manures and improves his ministerial gifts. In the primitive times, many, before ever they had received ordination from the apostles, had done the church noble service, as Apollos and others. It is but an orderly form of receiving a man already fitted, and committing to him a particular charge; the employment of preaching is as holy, and far more excellent; the care also and judgment to be used in the winning of souls, which is thought to be sufficient in every worthy minister, is an ability above that which is required in ordination: for many may be able to judge who is fit to be made a minister, that would not be found fit to be made ministers themselves; as it will not be denied that he may be the competent judge of a neat picture, or elegant poem, that cannot limn the like. Why therefore we should constitute a superior order in the church to perform an office which is not only every minister’s function, but inferior also to that which he has a confessed right to; and why this superiority should remain thus usurped, some wise Epimenides tell us. Now for jurisdiction, this dear saint of the prelates, it will be best to consider, first, what it is: that sovereign Lord, who in the discharge of his holy anointment from God the Father, which made him supreme bishop of our souls, was so humble as to say, “Who made me a judge, or a divider over ye?” hath taught us that a churchman’s jurisdiction is no more but to watch over his flock in season, and out of season, to deal by sweet and efficacious instructions, gentle admonitions, and sometimes rounder reproofs: against negligence or obstinacy, will be required a rousing volley of pastorly threatenings; against a persisting stubbornness, or the fear of a reprobate sense, a timely separation from the flock by that interdictive sentence, lest his conversation unprohibited, or unbranded, might breathe a pestilential murrain into the other sheep. In sum, his jurisdiction is to see the thriving and prospering of that which he hath planted: what other work the prelates have found for chancellors and suffragans, delegates and officials, with all the hell-pestering rabble of summers and apparitors, is but an invasion upon the temporal magistrate, and affected by them as men that are not ashamed of the ensign and banner of antichrist. But true evangelical jurisdiction or discipline is no more, as was said, than for a minister to see to the thriving and prospering of that which he hath planted. And which is the worthiest work of these two, to plant as every minister’s office is equally with the bishops, or to tend that which is planted, which the blind and undiscerning prelates call jurisdiction, and would appropriate to themselves as a business of higher dignity? Have patience therefore a little, and hear a law case. A certain man of large possessions had a fair garden, and kept therein an honest and laborious servant, whose skill and profession was to set or sow all wholesome herbs and delightful flowers, according to every season, and Edition: current; Page: [112] whatever else was to be done in a well-husbanded nursery of plants and fruits. Now, when the time was come that he should cut his hedges, prune his trees, look to his tender slips, and pluck up the weeds that hindered their growth, he gets him up by break of day, and makes account to do what was needful in his garden; and who would think that any other should know better than he how the day’s work was to be spent? Yet for all this there comes another strange gardener that never knew the soil, never handled a dibble or spade to set the least potherb that grew there, much less had endured an hour’s sweat or chillness, and yet challenges as his right the binding or unbinding of every flower, the clipping of every bush, the weeding and worming of every bed, both in that and all other gardens thereabout. The honest gardener, that ever since the day-peep, till now the sun was grown somewhat rank, had wrought painfully about his banks and seedplots, at his commanding voice turns suddenly about with some wonder; and although he could have well beteemed to have thanked him of the ease he proffered, yet loving his own handywork, modestly refused him, telling him withal, that, for his part, if he had thought much of his own pains, he could for once have committed the work to one of his fellow-labourers, for as much as it is well-known to be a matter of less skill and less labour to keep a garden handsome, than it is to plant it, or contrive it, and that he had already performed himself. No, said the stranger, this is neither for you nor your fellows to meddle with, but for me only that am for this purpose in dignity far above you; and the provision which the lord of the soil allows me in this office is, and that with good reason, tenfold your wages. The gardener smiled and shook his head; but what was determined, I cannot tell you till the end of this parliament.

Remonst.

If in time you shall see wooden chalices, and wooden priests, thank yourselves.

Answ.

It had been happy for this land, if your priests had been but only wooden; all England knows they have been to this island not wood, but wormwood, that have infected the third part of our waters, like that apostate star in the Revelation, that many souls have died of their bitterness; and if you mean by wooden, illiterate or contemptible, there was no want of that sort among you; and their number increasing daily, as their laziness, their tavern-hunting, their neglect of all sound literature, and their liking of doltish and monastical schoolmen daily increased. What, should I tell you how the universities, that men look should be fountains of learning and knowledge, have been poisoned and choked under your governance? And if to be wooden be to be base, where could there be found among all the reformed churches, nay in the church of Rome itself, a baser brood of flattering and time-serving priests? according as God pronounces by Isaiah, the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. As for your young scholars, that petition for bishoprics and deaneries, to encourage them in their studies, and that many gentlemen else will not put their sons to learning; away with such young mercenary striplings, and their simoniacal fathers; God has no need of such, they have no part or lot in his vineyard: they may as well sue for nunneries, that they may have some convenient stowage for their withered daughters, because they cannot give them portions answerable to the pride and vanity they have bred them in. This is the root of all our mischief, that which they allege for the encouragement of their studies, should be cut away forewith as the very bait of pride and ambition, the very garbage that draws together all the fowls of prey and ravin in the land to come and gorge upon the church. How can it be but ever unhappy to the church of England, while she shall think to entice men to the pure Edition: current; Page: [113] service of God by the same means that were used to tempt our Saviour to the service of the devil, by laying before him honour and preferment? Fit professors indeed are they like to be, to teach others that godliness with content is great gain, whenas their godliness of teaching had not been but for worldly gain. The heathen philosophers thought that virtue was for its own sake inestimable, and the greatest gain of a teacher to make a soul virtuous; so Xenophon writes to Socrates, who never bargained with any for teaching them; he feared not lest those who had received so high a benefit from him, would not of their own free will return him all possible thanks. Was moral virtue so lovely, and so alluring, and heathen men so enamoured of her, as to teach and study her with greatest neglect and contempt of worldly profit and advancement? And is Christian piety so homely and so unpleasant, and Christian men so cloyed with her, as that none will study and teach her, but for lucre and preferment? O stale-grown piety! O gospel rated as cheap as thy Master, at thirty pence, and not worth the study, unless thou canst buy those that will sell thee! O race of Capernaïtans, senseless of divine doctrine, and capable only of loaves and bellycheer! But they will grant, perhaps, piety may thrive, but learning will decay: I would fain ask these men at whose hands they seek inferior things, as wealth, honour, their dainty fare, their lofty houses? No doubt but they will soon answer, that all these things they seek at God’s hands. Do they think then, that all these meaner and superfluous things come from God, and the divine gift of learning from the den of Plutus, or the cave of Mammon? Certainly never any clear spirit nursed up from brighter influences, with a soul enlarged to the dimensions of spacious art and high knowledge, ever entered there but with scorn, and thought it ever foul disdain to make pelf or ambition the reward of his studies; it being the greatest honour, the greatest fruit and proficiency of learned studies to despise these things. Not liberal science, but illiberal must that needs be, that mounts in contemplation merely for money. And what would it avail us to have a hireling clergy, though never so learned? For such can have neither true wisdom nor grace; and then in vain do men trust in learning, where these be wanting. If in less noble and almost mechanic arts, according to the definitions of those authors, he is not esteemed to deserve the name of a complete architect, an excellent painter, or the like, that bears not a generous mind above the peasantly regard of wages and hire; much more must we think him a most imperfect and incomplete divine, who is so far from being a contemner of filthy lucre, that his whole divinity is moulded and bred up in the beggarly and brutish hopes of a fat prebendary, deanery, or bishopric; which poor and low-pitched desires, if they do but mix with those other heavenly intentions that draw a man to this study, it is justly expected that they should bring forth a baseborn issue of divinity, like that of those imperfect and putrid creatures that receive a crawling life from two most unlike procreants, the sun and mud. And in matters of religion, there is not any thing more intolerable than a learned fool, or a learned hypocrite; the one is ever cooped up at his empty speculations, a sot, an idiot for any use that mankind can make of him, or else sowing the world with nice and idle questions, and with much toil and difficulty wading to his auditors up to the eyebrows in deep shallows that wet not the instep: a plain unlearned man that lives well by that light which he has, is better and wiser, and edifies others more towards a godly and happy life than he. The other is still using his sophisticated arts, and bending all his studies how to make his insatiate avarice and ambition seem pious and orthodoxal, by painting his lewd and deceitful principles with a smooth and glossy varnish in a Edition: current; Page: [114] doctrinal way, to bring about his wickedest purposes. Instead of the great harm therefore that these men fear upon the dissolving of prelates, what an ease and happiness will it be to us, when tempting rewards are taken away, that the cunningest and most dangerous mercenaries will cease of themselves to frequent the fold, whom otherwise scarce all the prayers of the faithful could have kept back from devouring the flock! But a true pastor of Christ’s sending hath this especial mark, that for greatest labours and greatest merits in the church, he requires either nothing, if he could so subsist, or a very common and reasonable supply of human necessaries: we cannot therefore do better than to leave this care of ours to God; he can easily send labourers into his harvest, that shall not cry, Give, give, but be contented with a moderate and beseeming allowance; nor will he suffer true learning to be wanting, where true grace and our obedience to him abounds; for if he give us to know him aright, and to practise this our knowledge in right established discipline, how much more will he replenish us with all abilities in tongues and arts, that may conduce to his glory and our good! He can stir up rich fathers to bestow exquisite education upon their children, and so dedicate them to the service of the gospel; he can make the sons of nobles his ministers, and princes to be his Nazarites; for certainly there is no employment more honourable, more worthy to take up a great spirit, more requiring a generous and free nurture, than to be the messenger and herald of heavenly truth from God to man, and, by the faithful work of holy doctrine, to procreate a number of faithful men, making a kind of creation like to God’s, by infusing his spirit and likeness into them, to their salvation, as God did into him; arising to what climate soever he turn him, like that Sun of righteousness that sent him, with healing in his wings, and new light to break in upon the chill and gloomy hearts of his hearers, raising out of darksome barrenness a delicious and fragrant spring of saving knowledge, and good works. Can a man, thus employed, find himself discontented, or dishonoured for want of admittance to have a pragmatical voice at sessions and jail deliveries? Or because he may not as a judge, sit out the wrangling noise of litigious courts to shrive the purses of unconfessing and unmortified sinners, and not their souls, or be discouraged though men call him not lord, whenas the due performance of his office would gain him, even from lords and princes, the voluntary title of father? Would he tug for a barony to sit and vote in parliament, knowing that no man can take from him the gift of wisdom and sound doctrine, which leaves him free, though not to be a member, yet a teacher and persuader of the parliament? And in all wise apprehensions, the persuasive power in man to win others to goodness by instruction is greater, and more divine, than the compulsive power to restrain men from being evil by terror of the law; and therefore Christ left Moses to be the lawgiver, but himself came down amongst us to be a teacher, with which office his heavenly wisdom was so well pleased, as that he was angry with those that would have put a piece of temporal judicature into his hands, disclaiming that he had any commission from above for such matters.

Such a high calling therefore as this, sends not for those drossy spirits that need the lure and whistle of earthly preferment, like those animals that fetch and carry for a morsel; no. She can find such as therefore study her precepts, because she teaches to despise preferment. And let not those wretched fathers think they shall impoverish the church of willing and able supply, though they keep back their sordid sperm, begotten in the lustiness of their avarice, and turn them to their malting kilns; rather let them take heed what lessons they instil into that lump of flesh which Edition: current; Page: [115] they are the cause of; lest, thinking to offer him as a present to God, they dish him out for the devil. Let the novice learn first to renounce the world, and so give himself to God, and not therefore give himself to God, that he may close the better with the world, like that false shepherd Palinode in the eclogue of May, under whom the poet lively personates our prelates, whose whole life is a recantation of their pastoral vow, and whose profession to forsake the world, as they use the matter, bogs them deeper into the world. Those our admired Spenser inveighs against, not without some presage of these reforming times:

  • The time was once and may again return,
  • (For oft may happen that hath been beforn,)
  • When shepherds had none inheritance,
  • Ne of land nor fee in sufferance,
  • But what might arise of the bare sheep,
  • (Were it more or less,) which they did keep.
  • Well ywis was it with shepherds tho,
  • Nought having, nought feared they to forego:
  • For Pan himself was their inheritance,
  • And little them served for their maintenance:
  • The shepherds God so well them guided,
  • That of nought they were unprovided.
  • Butter enough, honey, milk and whey,
  • And their flock fleeces them to array.
  • But tract of time, and long prosperity
  • (That nurse of vice, this of insolency)
  • Lulled the shepherds in such security,
  • That not content with loyal obeysance,
  • Some gan to gape for greedy governance,
  • And match themselves with mighty potentates,
  • Lovers of lordships and troublers of states.
  • Tho gan shepherds swains to looke aloft,
  • And leave to live hard, and learne to lig soft.
  • Tho under colour of shepherds some while
  • There crept in wolves full of fraud and guile,
  • That often devoured their own sheep,
  • And often the shepherd that did them keep.
  • This was the first source of shepherds sorrow,
  • That now nill be quit with bale nor borrow.

By all this we may conjecture, how little we need fear that the ungilding of our prelates will prove the woodening of our priests. In the mean while let no man carry in his head either such narrow or such evil eyes, as not to look upon the churches of Belgia and Helvetia, and that envied city Geneva: where in the Christian world doth learning more flourish than in these places? Not among your beloved Jesuits, nor their favourers, though you take all the prelates into the number, and instance in what kind of learning you please. And how in England all noble sciences attending upon the train of Christian doctrine may flourish more than ever; and how the able professors of every art may with ample stipends be honestly provided; and finally, how there may be better care had that their hearers may benefit by them, and all this without the prelates; the courses are so many and so easy, that I shall pass them over.

Remonst.

It is God that makes the bishop, the king that gives the bishopric; what can you say to this?

Answ.

What you shall not long stay for: we say it is God that makes a bishop, and the devil that makes him take a prelatical bishopric; as for the king’s gift, regal bounty may be excusable in giving, where the bishop’s covetousness is damnable in taking.

Remonst.

Many eminent divines of the churches abroad have earnestly wished themselves in our condition.

Answ.

I cannot blame them, they were not only eminent but supereminent Edition: current; Page: [116] divines, and for stomach much like to Pompey the Great, that could endure no equal.

Remonst.

The Babylonian note sounds well in your ears, “Down with it, down with it, even to the ground.”

Answ.

You mistake the matter, it was the Edomitish note; but change it, and if you be an angel, cry with the angel, “It is fallen, it is fallen.”

Remonst.

But the God of heaven will, we hope, vindicate his own ordinance so long perpetuated to his church.

Answ.

Go rather to your god of this world, and see if he can vindicate your lordships, your temporal and spiritual tyrannies, and all your pelf; for the God of heaven is already come down to vindicate his ordinance from your so long perpetuated usurpation.

Remonst.

If yet you can blush.

Answ.

This is a more Edomitish conceit than the former, and must be silenced with a counter quip of the same country. So often and so unsavourily has it been repeated, that the reader may well cry, Down with it, down with it, for shame. A man would think you had eaten over-liberally of Esau’s red porridge, and from thence dream continually of blushing; or perhaps, to heighten your fancy in writing, are wont to sit in your doctor’s scarlet, which through your eyes infecting your pregnant imaginative with a red suffusion, begets a continual thought of blushing; that you thus persecute ingenuous men over all your book, with this one overtired rubrical conceit still of blushing: but if you have no mercy upon them, yet spare yourself, lest you bejade the good galloway, your own opiniatre wit, and make the very conceit itself blush with spurgalling.

Remonst.

The scandals of our inferior ministers I desired to have had less public.

Answ.

And what your superior archbishop or bishops! O forbid to have it told in Gath! say you. O dauber! and therefore remove not impieties from Israel. Constantine might have done more justly to have punished those clergical faults which he could not conceal, than to leave them unpunished, that they might remain concealed: better had it been for him, that the heathen had heard the fame of his justice, than of his wilful connivance and partiality; and so the name of God and his truth had been less blasphemed among his enemies, and the clergy amended, which daily, by this impunity, grew worse and worse. But, O to publish in the streets of Ascalon! sure some colony of puritans have taken Ascalon from the Turk lately, that the Remonstrant is so afraid of Ascalon. The papists we know condole you, and neither Constantinople nor your neighbours of Morocco trouble you. What other Ascalon can you allude to?

Remonst.

What a death it is to think of the sport and advantage these watchful enemies, these opposite spectators, will be sure to make of our sin and shame!

Answ.

This is but to fling and struggle under the inevitable net of God, that now begins to environ you round.

Remonst.

No one clergy in the whole Christian world yields so many eminent scholars, learned preachers, grave, holy, and accomplished divines, as this church of England doth at this day.

Answ.

Ha, ha, ha!

Remonst.

And long, and ever may it thus flourish.

Answ.

O pestilent imprecation! flourish as it does at this day in the prelates?

Remonst.

But O forbid to have it told in Gath!

Answ.

Forbid him rather, sacred parliament, to violate the sense of Edition: current; Page: [117] Scripture, and turn that which is spoken of the afflictions of the church under her pagan enemies, to a pargetted concealment of those prelatical crying sins: for from these is profaneness gone forth into all the land; they have hid their eyes from the sabbaths of the Lord; they have fed themselves, and not their flocks; with force and cruelty have they ruled over God’s people: they have fed his sheep (contrary to that which St. Peter writes) not of a ready mind, but for filthy lucre; not as examples to the flock, but as being lords over God’s heritage: and yet this dauber would daub still with his untempered mortar. But hearken what God says by the prophet Ezekiel, “Say unto them that daub this wall with untempered mortar, that it shall fall; there shall be an overflowing shower, and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall, and a stormy wind shall rend it, and I will say unto you, the wall is no more, neither they that daubed it.”

Remonst.

Whether of us shall give a better account of our charity to the God of peace, I appeal.

Answ.

Your charity is much to your fellow-offenders, but nothing to the numberless souls that have been lost by their false feeding: use not therefore so sillily the name of charity, as most commonly you do, and the peaceful attribute of God to a preposterous end.

Remonst.

In the next section, like illbred sons, you spit in the face of your mother the church of England.

Answ.

What should we do or say to this Remonstrant, that, by his idle and shallow reasonings, seems to have been conversant in no divinity, but that which is colourable to uphold bishopries? we acknowledge, and believe, the catholic reformed church; and if any man be disposed to use a trope or figure, as St. Paul did in calling her the common mother of us all, let him do as his own rhetoric shall persuade him. If, therefore, we must needs have a mother, and if the catholic church only be, and must be she, let all genealogy tell us, if it can, what we must call the church of England, unless we shall make every English protestant a kind of poetical Bacchus, to have two mothers: but mark, readers, the crafty scope of these prelates; they endeavour to impress deeply into weak and superstitious fancies, the awful notion of a mother, that hereby they might cheat them into a blind and implicit obedience to whatsoever they shall decree or think fit. And if we come to ask a reason of aught from our dear mother, she is invisible, under the lock and key of the prelates her spiritual adulterers; they only are the internuncios, or the go-betweens, of this trim-devised mummery: whatsoever they say, she says must be a deadly sin of disobedience not to believe. So that we, who by God’s special grace have shaken off the servitude of a great male tyrant, our pretended father the pope, should now, if we be not betimes aware of these wily teachers, sink under the slavery of a female notion, the cloudy conception of a demy-island mother; and, while we think to be obedient sons, should make ourselves rather the bastards, or the centaurs of their spiritual fornications.

Remonst.

Take heed of the ravens of the valley.

Answ.

The ravens we are to take heed of are yourselves, that would peck out the eyes of all knowing Christians.

Remonst.

Sit you, merry brethren.

Answ.

So we shall when the furies of prelatical consciences will not give them leave to do so.

Queries.

Whether they would not jeopard their ears rather, &c.

Answ.

A punishment that awaits the merits of your bold accomplices, for the lopping and stigmatizing of so many freeborn Christians.

Remonst.

Whether the professed slovenliness in God’s service, &c.

Edition: current; Page: [118]
Answ.

We have heard of Aaron and his linen amice, but those days are past; and for your priest under the gospel, that thinks himself the purer or the cleanlier in his office for his new-washed surplice, we esteem him for sanctity little better than Apollonius Thyanæus in his white frock, or the priest of Isis in his lawn sleeves; and they may all for holiness lie together in the suds.

Remonst.

Whether it were not most lawful and just to punish your presumption and disobedience.

Answ.

The punishing of that which you call our presumption and disobedience, lies not now within the execution of your fangs; the merciful God above, and our just parliament, will deliver us from your Ephesian beasts, your cruel Nimrods, with whom we shall be ever fearless to encounter.

Remonst.

God give you wisdom to see the truth, and grace to follow it.

Answ.

I wish the like to all those that resist not the Holy Ghost; for of such God commands Jeremiah, saying, “Pray not thou for them, neither lift up cry or prayer for them, neither make intercession to me, for I will not hear thee;” and of such St. John saith, “He that bids them God speed, is partaker of their evil deeds.”

TO THE POSTSCRIPT.

Remonst.

A goodly pasquin borrowed for a great part out of Sion’s plea, or the breviate consisting of a rhapsody of histories.

Answ.

How wittily you tell us what your wonted course is upon the like occasion: the collection was taken, be it known to you, from as authentic authors in this kind, as any in a bishop’s library; and the collector of it says, moreover, that if the like occasion come again, he shall less need the help of breviates, or historical rhapsodies, than your reverence to eke out your sermonings shall need repair to postils or poliantheas.

Remonst.

They were bishops, you say; true, but they were popish bishops.

Answ.

Since you would bind us to your jurisdiction by their canon law; since you would enforce upon us the old riffraff of Sarum, and other monastical relics; since you live upon their unjust purchases, allege their authorities, boast of their succession, walk in their steps, their pride, their titles, their covetousness, their persecuting of God’s people; since you disclaim their actions, and build their sepulchres, it is most just that all their faults should be imputed to you, and their iniquities visited upon you.

Remonst.

Could you see no colleges, no hospitals built?

Answ.

At that primero of piety, the pope and cardinals are the better gamesters, and will cog a die into heaven before you.

Remonst.

No churches re-edified?

Answ.

Yes, more churches that souls.

Remonst.

No learned volumes writ?

Answ.

So did the miscreant bishop of Spalato write learned volumes against the pope, and run to Rome when he had done: ye write them in your closets, and unwrite them in your courts; hot volumists and cold bishops; a swashbuckler against the pope, and a dormouse against the devil, while the whole diocese be sown with tares, and none to resist the enemy but such as let him in at the postern; a rare superintendent at Rome, and a cipher at home. Hypocrites! the gospel faithfully preached to the Edition: current; Page: [119] poor, the desolate parishes visited and duly fed, loiterers thrown out, wolves driven from the fold, had been a better confutation of the pope and mass, than whole hecatontomes of controversies; and all this careering with spear in rest, and thundering upon the steel cap of Baronius or Bellarmine.

Remonst.

No seduced persons reclaimed?

Answ.

More reclaimed persons seduced.

Remonst.

No hospitality kept?

Answ.

Bacchanalias good store in every bishop’s family, and good gleeking.

Remonst.

No great offenders punished?

Answ.

The trophies of your high commission are renowned.

Remonst.

No good offices done for the public?

Answ.

Yes, the good office of reducing monarchy to tyranny, of breaking pacifications, and calumniating the people to the king.

Remonst.

No care of the peace of the church?

Answ.

No, nor of the land; witness the two armies in the North, that now lie plundered and overrun by a liturgy.

Remonst.

No diligence in preaching?

Answ.

Scarce any preaching at all.

Remonst.

No holiness in living?

Answ.

No.

Remonst.

Truly, brethren, I can say no more, but that the fault is in your eyes.

Answ.

If you can say no more than this, you were a proper Remonstrant to stand up for the whole tribe!

Remonst.

Wipe them and look better.

Answ.

Wipe your fat corpulencies out of our light.

Remonst.

Yea, I beseech God to open them rather that they may see good.

Answ.

If you mean good prelates, let be your prayer. Ask not impossibilities.

Remonst.

As for that proverb, “the bishop’s foot hath been in it,” it were more fit for a Scurra in Trivio, or some ribald upon an alebench.

Answ.

The fitter for them then of whom it was meant.

Remonst.

I doubt not but they will say, the bishop’s foot hath been in your book, for I am sure it is quite spoiled by this just confutation; for your proverb, Sapit ollam.

Answ.

Spoiled, quoth ye? Indeed it is so spoiled, as a good song is spoiled by a lewd singer; or as the saying is, “God sends meat, but the cooks work their wills:” in that sense we grant your bishop’s foot may have spoiled it, and made it “Sapere ollam,” if not “Sapere aulam;” which is the same in old Latin, and perhaps in plain English. For certain your confutation hath achieved nothing against it, and left nothing upon it but a foul taste of your skillet foot, and a more perfect and distinguishable odour of your socks, than of your nightcap. And how the bishop should confute a book with his foot, unless his brains were dropped into his great toe, I cannot meet with any man that can resolve me; only they tell me that certainly such a confutation must needs be gouty. So much for the bishop’s foot.

Remonst.

You tell us of Bonner’s broth; it is the fashion in some countries to send in their keal in the last service; and this it seems is the manner among our Smectymnuans.

Answ.

Your latter service at the high altar you mean: but soft, sir; the feast was but begun; the broth was your own; you have been inviting the Edition: current; Page: [120] land to it this fourscore years; and so long we have been your slaves to serve it up for you, much against our wills: we know you have the beef to it ready in your kitchens, we are sure it was almost sod before this parliament begun; what direction you have given since to your cooks, to set it by in the pantry till some fitter time, we know not, and therefore your dear jest is lost: this broth was but your first service: Alas, sir, why do you delude your guests? Why do not those goodly flanks and briskets march up in your stately charges? Doubtless if need be, the pope, that owes you for mollifying the matter so well with him, and making him a true church, will furnish you with all the fat oxen of Italy.

Remonst.

Learned and worthy Doctor Moulin shall tell them.

Answ.

Moulin says in his book of the calling of pastors, that because bishops were the reformers of the English church, therefore they were left remaining: this argument is but of small force to keep you in your cathedrals. For first, it may be denied that bishops were our first reformers; for Wickliff was before them; and his egregious labours are not to be neglected: besides, our bishops were in this work but the disciples of priests, and began the reformation before they were bishops. But what though Luther and other monks were the reformers of other places? Does it follow therefore that monks ought to continue? No; though Luther had taught so. And lastly, Moulin’s argument directly makes against you; for if there be nothing in it but this, bishops were left remaining because they were reformers of the church; by as good a consequence therefore they are now to be removed, because they have been the most certain deformers and ruiners of the church. Thus you see how little it avails you to take sanctuary among those churches which in the general scope of your actions formerly you have disregarded and despised; however, your fair words would now smooth it over otherwise.

Remonst.

Our bishops, some whereof being crowned with martyrdom, subscribed the gospel with their blood.

Answ.

You boast much of martyrs to uphold your episcopacy; but if you would call to mind what Eusebius in his fifth book recites from Apollinarius of Hieropolis, you should then hear it esteemed no other than an old heretical argument, to prove a position true, because some that held it were martyrs; this was that which gave boldness to the Marcionists and Cataphryges to avouch their impious heresies for pious doctrine, because they could reckon many martyrs of their sect; and when they were confuted in other points, this was ever their last and stoutest plea.

Remonst.

In the mean time I beseech the God of heaven to humble you.

Answ.

We shall beseech the same God to give you a more profitable and pertinent humiliation than yet you know, and a less mistaken charitableness, with that peace which you have hitherto so perversely misaffected.

 


 

T.9 (10.3) [Richard Overton], The Frogges of Egypt, or the Caterpillers of the Commonwealth (August, 1641).

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T.9 [1641.08] (10.3) [Richard Overton], The Frogges of Egypt, or the Caterpillers of the Commonwealth (August, 1641).

Full title

[Richard Overton], The Frogges of Egypt, or the Caterpillers of the Commonwealth. truely dissected and laid open; With the Subjects Thankefulnesse unto God for thier deliverance from that Nest of Vermine.

Printed in the yeare 1641.

Estimated date of publication

October, 1641.

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TT1, p. 26; E. 166. (2.)

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Text of Pamphlet

THE FROGS OF EGYPT OR THE CATTERPILLERS OF THE Common-wealth.

MOnopolers by their nefarious Projects, and impious exactions, have contaminated the Land with such a contagious exulceration of wicked impositions, that I may with a coequall sympathie, assimulate them to the Frogs of Ægypt. First, In regard that those Frogs were the second Plague that was brought upon the Ægyptians: So these Monopolers (in respect that Bishops had the priority) were the second Plague, which with disastrous aspersions, did infect our Nation. Secondly, As those Frogs came unto Pharaoes Bed-chamber, and upon his Bed: So these Diabolicall Parasites, did creeep into our Kings bosome, with their Phariticall Calumny. Thirdly, Those Frogs did come upon all the people in Ægypt, throughout their Territories: And who is there in all our Kingdom, that have not beene infected by the contagion of their venenosive aspersions: they were a Nest of Wasps, which did Tyrannically sting the Kings loyal Subjects with their exacting impositions: They were a swarme of Vermine, which did pollute sincere purity, and like the Frogs of Ægypt, did over-creep the Land. They warmed themselves at other mens fires, and though the peoples fingers ends were a cold, by regard of their impious Project, yet they would alwayes remember to say with Mantuan Optimum est alienafrui pecunia. They sip’t of honest mens cups, and did distend their purses in their Bacchanalian ryot, for they drowned themselves in Bacchus Fountaine, while other men payd the reckoning. They did alwaies share with the Butler in his Box, yea they grew so fat and plump with damned Projects, that it was easier for Hercules to beate the Triple-headed Cerberous out of Hells Seygian Portali, then for us of late, to speake against these cursed Projectors, who abused the Triple Crowne. But (we thank the all-directing providence of the mighty and Almighty God) we have found the like successe with Hercules, and by the inflexible Justice of the Parliament, we shall with him, drag these Hell-hounds upon the earth, who did eradicate the well planted branch of Plenty. They were heretofore so Epidemically strict, that they would not bate us a pin in their exactions; they have worne a Vizard a long time: But a Vizard sayd I? Their pride was a sufficient Vizard, for it was no marvaile that no man else could know them, when they knew not themselves. But when the Parliament shall once unface these, they will prove as bad as any cards in the packe. They were Janus-like, and had two Cloakes to hide their knavery; and like the Pythagorean Monster, they did threaten to devoure the whole Commons at a mouth-full. In Ægypt the thirsty Dog could never lap of the River Nilus, but the Crocodile would assault him immediatly. Neither in our Land could any honest man, whom drie necessitie by compulsive coercion required to allay his sitiating thirst, sip at the odoriferous Spring of Bacchus, but incontinently he was assayled by these cursed Crocodiles, the rubbish of Babylon, Honesties Hangman, fomenters of Impietie, Iniquities prodigious Monsters, Plenties execrable Foes, Envies individuall Companions, detestable Enemies to loyall Subjects; and in a word, that I may fully paint them out, The Devills Journey-men. The Romans were never in more danger of the Sabines, than wee have beene of these pernicious members: the Sicilians never feared the Basilisk more, nor the Cretans the Minotaure neither the Athenians that pestiferous Serpent Epidaurus, than we have justly feared these wicked Dragons of implety. They are like the Grecian Horse, in the midst of Troy, under pretence of safety, but at length consumed the whole city: So these firebrands of iniquitie would have extirpated the flourishing plenty of the Land, but (thanks be to God and the righteous Parliament) they are now extinguished. For as a rotten member Ense recidendum est ne pars sincer a trahatur, ought to be cut off, least it infect, and contaminate the whole body; so ought these wicked members of the Common-wealth to be executed with the Sword of Iustice, who have already too farre polluted the body of the Realme. Tis a plausible assimulation which Hippocrates observeth, that in the body naturall, as it must be truely purged, before it can be truely sound: so likewise in the body politicke, unlesse these improbous malefactors be purged out, it can never be truly sound. Their very name Monopolers doth stigmatize them under the brand of knavery, which is derived from monois which signifies in English, Onely: so that Monopolers, are the Onely Polers of the people, which have abused them by their Projects: But now (alas poore men!) they are intruss’d and like to be whipp’d. Their very Projects themselves are set against them: Their Coles which they did aggerate are ready to consume them: The Butter, which before greased their pockets, now melts in their mouthes: The Sope scornes to be projected any longer, and will invert its first Letter S. into R. and become a Rope to them rather. The Salt is ready to pouder them to Tiburne: The Cards scorne that they should play the Knave any longer: The Pinnes could pin their Heads to the Gall-house, The Wine threatens to lay them dead——drunke: but hang them they are so crafty, that although they fall downe in a Wine-Seller, yet they know how to rise up agine in a Tobacco-Shop, but I hope before they rise there, they will first rise up at the Gall house: where I’le leave them——By these, and the like enormities have our Land beene too farre overspread, it hath lately flourished too luxuriously in impiety, which did accumulate such insupportable burthens to the weather-beaten Commons of this Realme, that they were almost everted. But thankes be to the all-disposig omnipotence of immortall God, who have alwayes preserved this Kingdome from innumerable evills, and have kept it as the apple of his eye. I say thankes be to his Supremacy, who among other evills have preserved us likewise from the Tyranny of these insulting Projectors. But we now solely depend upon the Parliaments exemplary piety and great Justice, of whom we beg with all humility, and with affectionate servency to the truth, doe supplicate that they would with expedition extinguish these cursed firebrands of the Land, who like Samsons Foxes have consumed the Lands and Possions of the Commons. Wherefore let every true hearted Subject enumerate his expresse thankefulnesse to Almigty God for the preservation of this Kingdome, and the multitude of his favours irrigated thereon with all alacritie.

 

A Thanksfullnesse to God for his Mercy towards this Kingdome:

VVE blesse & magnifie (great God!) thy Name

Who justly dost exenterate with shame

All Enemies to Thee, and us who dost

Preserve this Kingdome with thy favours most.

By Thee our base Monopolers doe fall

False Prelates, and false Papists in their Gall.

By Thee Projectors vanish, and by Thee

The Church has beene preserv’d from ’Popery.

By Thee our Canonists requoile, and turne

Their Innovations to a dolefull Urne.

By Thee all Pontificians dote deplore

Their fortune more diastruous and more.

Thus in our Hemisphere, while the bright Sunne

Desplayes his radiant splendor, and doe runne

Through the twelve Signes i’th’ Zodiacke, and then

Smileth upon the face of mortall men:

Thus while the Queene of night doe beautifie

Her selfe, and gilds the Star-bespangled Sky:

While liquid rivers doe returne againe

Wandring abroad into the greedy maine,

Yea, while our pious hearts remaine to be,

We yeeld a thankefull sacrifice to Thee.

And as we thanke Thee for thy Favours past,

So we doe supplicate a blessings last.

First, that Thou would’st extenerate all those

That are Monopolers, or other Foes.

And Then (oh!) then conduct the Church aright

For our Salvation and thy Heavenly Right.

That we may serve Thee, serving Thee we may

Rejoyce, rejoycing triumph, in that day:

Triumphing, then exult, exulting raise

Glory to Thee, and serve Thee all our Dayes.

FINIS.

 


 

T.10 (1.4.) [William Walwyn], A New Petition of the Papists (September 1641).

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T.10 [1641.09] (1.4) [William Walwyn], A New Petition of the Papists (September 1641).

Full title

[William Walwyn], A New Petition of the Papists.

Printed in the Yeare 1641.

Estimated date of publication

September 1641.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 31; Thomason E. 169 (7.)

Editor’s Introduction

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Text of Pamphlet

THE HUMBLE PETITION OF THE AFFLICTED BRETHREN.

Humbly shewing, That whereas there are so many different Religions now professed in England; as your Honours well know, and that with griefe no doubt, casting your eyes upon the great confusion that thereby ariseth in the common wealth; every one hoping and expecting that theirs alone shall be received and established by this present and powefull high Court of Parliament and all others to bee cast forth abolished and prosecuted, which certainely would cause (if it be once Decreed) a farre greater confusion and discontentment.

For the timely prevention of which danger many hold it necessarie, and humbly desire, that you would take it into your deepe considerations and profound Judgements, whether it were not more convenient for this State, and more gratefull to the subjects to tollerate all professions whatsoever, every one being left to use his owne conscience, none to be punished or persecuted for it.

There is no man that professeth a Religion, but is in conscience perswaded that to be the best wherein to save his soule, & can give no doubt some reason, yea, and alleage some authority out of the word of God for it, which is an argument that not his will, but his Judgement is convinced, and therefore holds it unreasonable, to be forced to follow other mens Judgements and not his owne in a matter of so great importance as that of his salvation is, which is the onely marke his tender soule aymes at in his Religion, and for which hee reades the word daily, and hourely sucking from thence sweet and holy Doctrines as Bees doe honey from sweet flowers in the Spring time.

It may be objected that this Tolleration would breede a greater confusion, but wee which know wee have the Spirit, beleeve the contrary; for the establishing of onely one, and suppressing all others, will breede, in all a generall discontent, jarring, rayling, libelling, and consequently must needs follow a mighty confusion, where contrarywise, if all were permitted, all would bee pleased all in peace, and their obligation and love would be farre greater to the King and State for so great a benefit as the freedome of conscience, which to all men is the most gratefull thing in the world, more for the better maintaining of peace with each other, differring in Religion, how easie a matter it were considering the good natures and sweet dispositions of our English nation, who willingly would embrace a law enacted to that effect that were upon some penaltie to be imposed, should affront or upbraid the other for his Religion. This in divers well governed Countries is permitted, as Holland, Germanie, France, and Polonia, &c. where though their Religion be as opposite as Heaven to Hell, yet their concord is so great, that they say with the Prophet David, behold how good and pleasant a thing it is for Brethren to dwell together, Psal. 132.

If therefore the Brownists upon scruple of their tender conscience, and grounded upon the word, will separate themselves, and not go to the Church with Protestants, let them alone, give them free leave to exercise their Religion where they please without disturbance, the place where doth not import, they not daring to adde or diminish any thing in the written word.

If the Puritants will not use the Service Booke, Corner Cap, Surplesse, or Altar, nor bow at the name of Jesus, their pure hearts esteeming it Idolatrie, let them alone, they are great readers of Gods booke, and if they bee in errour, they will sooner finde it, having liberty of conscience, then being oppressed with the Tyranny of the High Commission Court or other kindes of persecutions which disquiet their consciences and troubles their patience.

If the Socinians will not subscribe to the 39. Articles nor credit more then by Naturall force of their best witts they can reach unto, let them alone, they professe that if any man can give them a better reason, or confute them by the word, they are ready every hower to change their opinions, of such soft and pliable natures they are.

If the Arminians will have Bishops, Altars, Lights, Organs, hold Free-will, merit of good workes, and divers other points with Papists, though as yet no sacrifice with them, upon their Altars, let them alone, let them use their ceremonies without sacrifice, let every spirit praise the Lord, Psal. 150.

If the Papists will have Altars, Priests, Sacrifice and ceremonies, and the Pope for their supreame head in Spirituall affaires, seeing they affirme so confidently they have had these Sixteene hundred and odde yeares, let them alone with their pretended prescription, and let every Religion take what Spirituall head they please, for so they will, whether wee will or no, but the matter imports not, so they obey the King as temporall head, and humbly submit to the State and civill Lawes, and live quietly together.

Let the Adamits Preach in vaults & caves as naked as their nailes, and starve themselves with cold, they thinke themselves as innocent as Adam and Eve were in their nakednesse before their fall, let them therefore alone till some innocent Eve bee so curious as to eate forbidden fruit, and then they will all make themselves aprons of figge leaves perceiving their nakednesse.

Let the Family of Love meete together in their sweet perfum’d Chambers, giving each other the sweet kisse of peace; great pitty it were to hinder their mutuall charity; let them alone: Lastly the same wee desire for all professors of the Gospel, Let every one abound in his owne sence, Rom. 14.

Now were this freedome permitted, there would not bee so many idle scandalous pamphlets daily cast abroad to the great vexation of each other, & trouble to the whole Realme, every one labouring to preferre his owne Religion.

A Tolleration therefore would hinder all this strife and discontentment, but if oppressed with persecution they will cry out of the word of God, We will render to Caesar, the things that are due to Caesar, and to God that which is due to God, Marke 12. If Tollerated, more promptly will they obey the King and State, if troubled or molested, they will cry, Wee must obey God rather then men, Acts 5. and so remaine discontented and afflicted in spirit.

Neither doth a Tolleration seeme dissonant, but rather concordant with the Doctrine of the most learned Protestants: First the Primate of Ireland Doctor Usher, in a Sermon before King James at Wansted 1624 admittes all Christians into the Church of what Religion soever, good soule! hee will have none persecuted, his tender heart drawes all to Heaven, Muscovites, Grecians, Ethiopians, all reformed Churches even from Constantinople, to the East Indies, none! none by him are excluded from Paradise, as you may reade in the 10. and 11. page of his aforecited sermon, his pitifull heart cannot passe such a bloody sentence upon so many poore soules; nay hee will pull in the very Jewes and Papists, for the Ethiopians though they baptize with us, yet they circumcise also both male and female, and in all other things joyne hands with the Pope, as in the confession of their faith sent to Gregory the 13. is manifest, this learned Doctor being so gracious and mercifully pittifull, how can wee Imagine that your clemencies will persecute those in earth which are esteemed worthy of Heaven. Master Hooker in his five bookes of Ecclesiasticall policy, page 138. affirmes the Church of Rome to be part of the house of God, a limbe of the visible Church of Christ, and page 130. he saith, we gladly acknowledge them to bee of the family of Jesus Christ: now if the family of the Roman Church bee of the family of Jesus Christ, then I hope you will not deny other professors of the Gospel to be of the family of Christ, if they be of the family of God, others are not of the family of the Divell, no, all servants of Christ, brethren of Christ, all according to Doctor Ushers doctrine shall bee saved: why then should any bee persecuted, shall the servants of the same family persecute their fellow servants, this must needes bee greatly displeasing to the Master of the family, let therefore none of the servants of the familie bee persecuted for the love and honour you beare to the Lord and Master.

Seeing therefore in the opinions of these and divers other learned Protestant Doctors which you know well, the Papists may be saved, and as Doctor Some saith, in his defence against Master Penrie. Page 164. 182. and 176. that it is absurd to thinke the contrary yee will without question thinke it more absurd to hold either professors damned, then it followes that it is most absurd to persecute any whose names are written in the book of life, never to bee blotted out, if they persevere and live the life of the righteous.

Let every one therefore follow his owne Religion so hee bee obedient to the State and temporall lawes certainely, that which is erroneous will in time appeare, and the professors of it will bee ashamed, it will perish and wither as a flower, vanish as smoake, and passe as a shadow.

The Apostles of Christ preaching (Acts. the 5.) the Jewes hearing these things it cut them to the heart, and they consulted to kill them; but as the same Chapter relates verse 34. one of the counsell rising up, a Pharisee called Gammaliell, a Doctor of the Law honorable to the people commanded the men to bee put forth a while, and then he said to them, you men of Israel what meane you to your selves for before these dayes there rose Theodus, saying he was some body, to whom consented a number of men, above 400. who was slaine, and all that beleived him were dispersed, and brought to nothing. After this fellow there rose Judas of Galilee, and drew away the people after him who were dispersed.

And therefore I say to you, depart from these men, and let them alone, for if this councell or worke be of men, it will be dissolved, but if it be of God, you are not able to dissolve them, least perhaps you bee found to resist God also. And they consented to him, here is a president, here is an example even from the Scripture it selfe, follow it wee beseech you, give your consents, agree, vote it, that every man may have freedome of conscience, let them alone; you desire nothing but the truth by this freedome and connivency truth will at last appeare, that which is of men will be dissolved, that which is of God will continue and remaine for ever, now many men are wavering what to follow, what to embrace, neither will they bee contented with any thing that shall bee established by Act of Parliament, were it never so good, onely freedome will in time cause the truth to shine upon them.

The matter therefore of so great importance and consequence, we prostrate; leaving to your honours profound and deepe Judgements, humbly requesting and imploring againe and againe, that for the quiet of the state, for the comfort of the subject, and for the love of truth, you cause and proclaime a tolleration, that for Religion none shall bee persecuted, but every one shall freely enjoy his conscience.

This is every mans case, this would bring Joy to all, discontent to none; this would breede the hartiest love, loyalty and affection to our dread Soveraigne, our gratious King, this would cause all dutifull and loving respects to you, right honorable and noble Peeres of the upper House of Parliament, and no lesse to the most noble Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the Honorable House of Commons, the carefull watchfull, and painefull laborers, and endeavourers in this, behalfe for the good of the Common wealth, and the comfort of afflicted soules and consciences, grant therefore this Petition, and for ever you will eternize your names.

And so praying to the Lord that hee would endue your hearts with the spirit of true wisedome and clemency towards your poore servants and brethren in the Lord, and grant their humble petition, we cease.

FINIS

 


 

T.11 (8.4.) Katherine Chidley, The Justification of the Independant Churches of Christ (October, 1641).

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T.11 [1641.10] (8.4) Katherine Chidley, The Justification of the Independant Churches of Christ (October, 1641).

Full title

Katherine Chidley, The Justification of the Independant Churches of Christ. Being an Answer to Mr. EDVVARDS his BOOKE, which hee hath written against the Government of CHRISTS CHVRCH, and Toleration of CHRISTS Publike Worship; BRIEFELY DECLARING That the Congregations of the Saints ought not to have Dependancie in Government upon any other; or direction in worship from any other than CHRIST their HEAD and LAVV-GIVER. By KATHERINE CHIDLEY.

1 SAM. 17. 45. Thou commest unto me with a Sword, and with a Speare, and with a Sheild, but I come unto thee in the name of the Lord of Hoasts the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
IVDGES 4. 21. Then Iael, Hebers wife tooke a naile of the tent, and tooke an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the naile into his temples and fastened it into the ground, (for he was fast asleepe and weary) and so he died.

LONDON, Printed for WILLIAM LARNAR, and are to be sold at his Shop, at the Signe of the Golden Anchor, neere Pauls-Chaine. 1641.

Estimated date of publication

October, 1641.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, pp. 37–38; Thomason E. 174 (7.)

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Text of Pamphlet

TO The CHRISTIAN READER; Grace, Mercy, and Peace, from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.

IT is, and hath beene (for a long time) a Question more enquired into than well weighed; Whether it be lawfull for such, who are informed of the evills of the Church of England, to Separate from it: For my owne part, considering that the Church of England is governed by the Canon Lawes (the Discipline of Antichrist) and altogether wanteth the Discipline of Christ, and that the most of them are ignorant what it is, and also doe professe to worship God by a stinted Service-Booke. I hold it not onely lawfull, but also the duty of all those who are informed of such evills, to separate themselves from them, and such as doe adhere unto them; and also to joyne together in the outward profession and practise of Gods true worship, when God hath declared unto them what it is; and being thus informed in their minds of the knowledge of the will of God (by the teaching of his Sonne Jesus Christ) it is their duty to put it in practise, not onely in a Land where they have Toleration, but also where they are forbidden to preach, or teach in the name (or by the power) of the Lord Jesus.

But Mr. Edwards (with whom I have here to deale) conceiving that the beauty of Christs true worship, would quickly discover the Foggy darkenesse of the Antichristian devised worship; and also that the glory of Christs true Discipline, grounded and founded in his Word, would soone discover the blacknesse and darkenesse of the Antihristian Government (which the poore people of England are in bondage unto) hath set his wits a work to withstand the bright comming of Christs Kingdome (into the hearts of men) which we are all commanded in the most absolute rule of Prayer to petition for; for the turning aside whereof Mr. Edwards hath mustred up his forces, even eight Reasons, against the government of Christ, which hee calls Independant; and hath joyned unto these eight, ten more; which he hath made against Toleration; affirming that they may not practise contrary to the course of the Nation wherein they live, without the leave of the Magistrate, neither judgeth he it commendable in them to aske the Magistrates leave, nor commendable in the Magistrate to heare their petitions, but rather seeketh to stirre up all men to disturbe their peace, affirming most unjustly, that they disturbe the peace of the Kingdome, nay, the peace of three Kingdomes, which all the lands under the Kings Dominions know to be contrary, nay I thinke most of the Kingdomes in Europe cannot be ignorant what the cause of the disturbance was;

But this is not the practise of Mr. Edwards alone, but also of the whole generation of the Clergie; as thou maist know, Christian Reader, to was the practise of the Bishop of Canterbury to exclaime against Mr. Burton, Doctor Bastwicke, and Mr. Prynne, calling them scandalous Libellers, & Innovators (though they put their own name to that which they write, and proved what they taught by divine authority) and this hath beene alwayes the practise of the instruments of Sathan, to accuse the Lords people, for disturbing of the peace, as it hath beene found in many Nations, when indeede the troublers be themselves and their fathers house. But in this they are like unto Athalia crying treason, treason, when they are in the treason themselves.

But for the further strengthning of his army, he hath also subjoyned unto these his Answer to fixe Reasons, which he saith, are theirs, but the forme of some of them seemeth to be of his owne making; all which thou shalt finde answered, and disproved in this following Treatise.

But though these my Answers are not laid downe in a Schollerlik way, but by the plaine truth of holy Scripture; yet I beseechthee have the patience to take the paynes to reade them, and spare some time to consider them; and if thou findest things disorderly placed, labour to rectifie them to thine own mind. And if there be any weight in them, give the glory to God; but if thou feest nothing worthy, attribute not the weakenesse thereof to the truth of the cause, but rather to the ignorance and unskilfulnesse of the weake Instrument.

Thine in the Lord Jesus,

Katherine Chidlet.

THE Answer to Mr. Edvvards his Introdvction.

I Hearing the complaints of many that were godly, against the Booke that Mr. Edwards hath written; and upon the sight of this his Introduction considering his desperate resolution, (namely) that he would set out severall Tractates against the whole way of Separation. I could not but declare by the testimony of the Scripture it selfe, that the way of Separation is the way of God, who is the author of it,* which manifestly appeares by his separating of his Church from the world, and the world from his Church in all ages.

When the Church was greater than the world, then the world was to be separated from the Church; but when the world was greater than the Church, then the Church was to separate from the world.

As for instance,

When Caine was a member of the Church, then the Church was greater than the world; and Caine being discovered, was exempted from Gods presence;* before whom he formerly had presented himselfe:c but in the time of Noah, when the world was greater than the Churchd then Noah and his Family who were the Church, were commanded to goe into the Arkee in which place they were saved, when the world was drowned,f yet Ham being afterward discovered, was accursed of his Father, and Shem was blessed, and good prophesied for Iaphat.

Afterward when the world was grown mightier than the Church againe, then Abraham was called out of Vr of the Caldeans, both from his country and from his kindred, and from his fathers houseg (because they were &illegible;) to worship God in Canaan.

Moreover, afterwards Moses was &illegible; and his brother &illegible; to deliver the children of Israel out of the Land of Egypt when Pharaoh vexed them,h at which time God wrought their deliverance,i separating wondrously between the Egyptians and the Israelites, and that which was light to the one, was darkenesse to the other.

Afterwards, when Corah and his Congregation rebelled against God, and were obstinate thereink the people were commanded to depart from the tenis of those &illegible; I &illegible; were the children separated from the parents, and those who did not separate, were destroyed by fire,lm and swallowed by the earth,n upon the day which God had appointed* as those Noahs time, who repented not, were swallowed by &illegible;.

Moreover, when God brought his people into the promised Land, he commanded them to be separated from the Idolatrous and not to meddle with the accursed things.Deut. 5. 26. 27. And for this cause God gave them his Ordinances and Commandements; and by the manifestation of their Obedience to them they were knowne to be the onely people of God,* which made a reall separation.

Ezza. 1. Hag. 1. 2, 3. 4. 8. 12. 14.And when they more carried captive into Babylon at any time for their sinnes: God raised them up deliverors to bring them from thence: and Prophets to call them from thencep and from their backesliding.q And it was the practise of all the Prophets of God, (which prophesied of the Church under the New Testament) to separate the precious from the vile, and God hath declared that bee that so doth shall be as his mouth, Jer. 15. 19.

And we know it was the practise of the Apostles of the Lord Iesus, to declare to the people that there could be no more agreement betweene beleevers and unbeleevers, than betweene light and darkenesse, God and Belial, as Paul writing to the Corinthians doth declare, when he saith, Be not unequally yoked together with unbeleevers; for what fellowship hath righteousnesse with unrighteousnesse? and what communion hath light with darkenesse, and what concord hath Christ with Belial?Christ made so great a difference betweene the world and the Church, that hee would not pray for the world; yet would die for the Church, which was given him out of the world; and without a Separation the Church can not be known from the world. or what part hath he that beleeveth with an Infidell? and what agreement hath the Temple of God with Idolls? for yee are the Temple of the living God, as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walke in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people; Wherefore come out from among them, and be yet Separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the uncleane thing, and I will receive you, and I will be a Father unto you, and yee shall be my sonnes and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty, 1 Cor. 6. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.

Moreover, they are pronounced blessed, which reade, heare, and keepe the words of the Booke of the Revelation of Iesus Christ;r among which sentences, there is a commandement from heaven for a totall Separation.s

These things (in briefe) I have minded from the Scriptures, to prove the necessitie of Separation; and though the Scripture be a deepe Well, and containeth in the Treasures thereof innumerable Doctrines and Precepts tending to this purpose; yet I leave the further prosecution of the same, till a fitter opertunity be offered to me, or any other whom the Lord shall indue with a greater measure of his Spirit.

But Mr. Edwards, for preparation to this his desperate intention, hath sent these Reasons against Independant government, and Toleration, and presented them to the Honorable House of Commons; which Reasons (I thinke) he would have to beget a Snake, to appeare (as he saith) under the greene grasse; for I am sure, he cannot make the humble petitions of of the Kings subjects to be a Snake, for petitioning is away of peace and submission, without violence or venum; neither can it cast durt upon any government of the Nation, as he unjustly accuseth the Protestation Protested, for that Author leaveth it to the Magistrate, not undertaking to determine of himselfe what government shall be set ever the Nation, for the bringing of men to God but leaveth it to the consideration of them that have authority.

And whereas Mr. Edwards grudges that they preach so often at the Parliament; in this he is like unto Amazial, who bid the Prophet Amos to flee away into the Land of Judea. and not to Prophesie at Bethel, the Kings Chappeil, and the House of the Kingdome.*

And though Mr. Edwards boast himselfe heare, to be a Minister of the Gospell, and a sufferer for it, yet I challenge him, to prove unto me, that he hath any Calling or, Ordination to the Ministry, but that which he hath successively from Rome; If he lay claime to that; he is one of the Popes household; But if he deny that calling, then is he as void of a calling to the worke of the Ministry, and as void of Ordination, as any of those Ministers, whom hee calleth Independant men, (which have cust off the Ordination of the Prelates) and consequently as void of Ordination as a macanicall trades man.

And therefore I hope that Honourable House that is so full of wisedome (which Mr Edwards doth confesse) will never judge these men unreasonable, because they do Petition, nor their petitions unreasonable before they are tried, and so proved, by some better ground, then the bare entrance of Mr. Edwards his Cavit, or writ of Ne admittas, though he saith he forehed it from heaven; for I know it was never there, Neither is it confirmed by the Records of holy Scripture, but taken from the practise of Nimrod. That mighty Hunter before the Lord,* and from the practise of Haman that wicked persecucuter,* & from the evill behaviour and malicious speeches, and gesture of wicked Sanballet,* and Tobias, who were both bitter enemies to God, and sought to hinder the building of the walles of Jerusalem.

But the Prophet Haggai, reproveth not onely such as hindred the building of the Lords House: but also those that were contented to live in their seyled Houses, and suffer the Lords House to lie waste, Hag. 1.

AN ANSVVER To Mr. Edvvards his Booke, Intituled, Reasons against the Independent Government in particular Congregations.

Mr. EDWARDS,

I Understanding that you are a mighty Champion, and now mustering up yourmighty forces (as you say) and I apprehending, they must come against the Hoast of Israel, and hearing the Armies of the Living God so defied by you, could nor be withheld, but that I (in stead of a better) must needs give you the meeting.

First, Whereas you affirme, That the Church of God (which is his House and Kingdome) could not subsist with such provision as their father gave them: which provision was (by your owne confession) the watering of them by Evangelists, and Prophets, when they were planted by the apostles, and after planting and watering to have Pastors and Teachers, with all other Officers, set over them by the Apostles & their own Election, yet notwithstanding all this provision, the Father hath made for them, it was evident (say you) they could not well stand of themselves, without some other helpe.

This was the very suggestion of Sathan into the hearts of our first Parents; for they having a desire of some thing more then was warranted by God, tooke unto them the forbidden fruit, as you would have the Lords Churches to doe when you say they must take some others besides these Churches and Officers, and that to interpose authoritatively; and these something else you make to be Apostles, Evangelists, and Elders of other Churches, whereas you confessed before, that these are the furniture of Christs Kingdome; and wee know their authoritie was limitted, within the bounds of the Word of God: as first, If any of them would be greater, he must be servant to all. Secondly, they were forbidden to be Lords over Gods heritage. Thirdly, they were commanded to teach the people, to observe onely those things which Christ had commanded them.

And whereas you seeme to affirme, that these Offices were extraordinary and ceased, and yet the Churches have still neede of them: You seeme to contradict your selfe, and would faine cure it againe, in that some other way which you say, you have to supply the want of them, but this other way you have not yet made known: You presuppose, it may be by some Smods and Councels, to make a conjunction of the whole.

If you meane such a Counsell, as is mentioned; Acts 15. 4. 22. consisting of Apostles and Elders with the whole Church; then you have said no more than you have said before, and that which we grant, for this is still the furniture of the Kingdome; but if you intend that your Counsell should consist of an armie of Arch-Bishops Diocesan Bishops, Deanes, Suffragans, with the rest of that rabble, which be for their titles names of blasphemy, and such as were bred in the smoake of the pit. I deny that any of these be ordained of God, for they have no footing in his word; therefore indeede these are a part of the fruit of the forbidden Tree, which the Churches of God have taken and eaten; and this seeking out inventions of their owne, after that God made them righteous, hath brought them into a state of Apostasie, even as Ieroboams high places and Calves did the people of Israel; which may plainely appeare by the Churches of Asia. If these be that some other supply which you meane and have produced to helpe the Churches, and Cities of God (as you call them) to determine for those Churches and Cities the cases of Doctrine and Discipline in stead of those many Ministers which, you conceive them now to want, it tends to make (as they have now done) a conjunction not onely of all the Churches prosessing one faith into one body; but also of all the Armies of the Man of Sinne, and so to confound the Church and the world together, which the Ministers of the Gospell ought to divide,Iss. 15. 19. by separating the precious from the vile.

And whereas you affirme, The Independent Congregations now have but few Ministers;

It is very true, for indeede they are but a few people, and a few hands will feede a few mouths sufficiently, if God provide meat.

But whereas you affirme, That those Congregations may have no Officer, at all by their owne grounds, and yet be independent.

I thinke, they conceive by those grounds, the Office onely of Pastor, and Teacher; but not that the Church of God hath need at any time of the helpe of any other, then God hath given and set in his Church, which be all the Officers that are before mentioned, as Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers; and to have recourse to any for counsell, helpe, or assistance, either of Church or Ministry, which is not of Christs owne, were very ridiculous. For it is recorded, Ephe. 4. 11. 12. That he gave these for the gathering together of the Saints for the worke of the Ministry, and for the edification of the body of Christ, being so gathered;Verse 13. 14. 16. The time they must continue is, till all the Saints be in the unitie of faith. The reason wherefore they were given, was to keepe people from being tossed too and fro with every winde of Doctrine. And these are they, by whom all the body is coupled and knit together,Compared with 1 Cor. 12. by every joynt for the furniture thereof, according to the effectuall power, which is in the measure of every part, and receiveth increase of the body unto the edifying of it selfe in love. And this is according to the promise that Christ made, Matth. 28. 19. 20. to be with his Ministers in teaching his people to the end of the world.

And thus you may see Mr. Edwards, you cannot gather from our owne words, that we have neede of the helpe of any other Churches, or Ministers, to interpose (as you unjustly affirme) as it may plainely appeare by Mr. Robinsons owne words in the Justification of the Separation, pag. 121. 122. These are his words; It is the Stewards duty to make provision for the family; but what if he neglect this duty in the Masters absence? Must the whole family starve, yea and the wife also? Or is not some other of the family best able to be employed for the present necessity? The like he saith concerning the government of a Ship, of an Armie, and of Commonwealths; alluding to the Church of Christ. And further expresseth, that as a private Citizen may become a Magistrate, so a private member may become a Minister, for an action of necessity to be performed, by the consent of the rest, &c.

Therefore it appeares plainely by all that hath binsaid, that the Churches of Christ may be truely constituted according to the Scripture, and subsist a certaine time without Pastor and Teacher, and enjoy the power of Christ amongst themselves having no dependancie upon any other Church or Churches which shall claime Authority or superiority over them.

And thus much for your first Reason.

NOw in your second Reason, which runneth upon the calling of the Ministry, you affirme, That the government of the Independent Congregations is not of divine institution.

Which I utterly denie, and will prove it, by disproveing the following. Instances, by which you affirme to prove it.

Whereas you affirme, That their Independencie forces them to have Ministers without Ordination.

I Answer, it is a plaine case by the foregoing Answer, to your first Reason, that you speake untruely, for their practise is there made knowne to be otherwise; and if you will still affirme, that they have not power so to practise, you will thereby deny the truth of the Scriptures; for the Apostles were commanded to teach the Churches, to observe all things whatsoever Christ had commanded them. But Christ commanded the Apostles to ordaine Elders in every Church by election; therefore the Apostles taught the Churches to ordaine Elders by Election also. And whereas you bid us produce one instance (if we can) for an ordinary Officer to be made without Ordination, it is needlesse; for we (whom you call Independant) strive for no such thing, as you have proved it plainely out of Mr. Robinsons Booke, Apol. Chap. 1. 18. to which I send you to learne better.

Further you alleadge, That if they be ordained, it is by persons who are not in office.

Now if you meane, they have no office because they are not elected, ordained and set apart by the Clergie to some serviceable, administration; I pray you tell me who ordained the Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelists to their worke or Ministry? If you will say they were ordained of God, I will grant it, and doe also affirme that God hath promised the supply of them, to the end of the world, as before hath beene mentioned, from Ephe. 4. As a so, it appeares by Pauls charge to Timothy; 2 Tim. 2. 2. That what things he had heard of him, among many witnesses, the same he should commit to faithfull men who should be able to teach others also: but I verily doe beleeve, that as Titus, so Timoth, heard of Paul that Elders must be ordained by Election in every city, and that Titus was as much bound to communicate the things unto others, which he had learned of Paul, as Timothy was, and Timothy (we know) was to teach faithfull men, and those faithfull men were to teach others those things that they had heard of Timothy, among which things Ordination was one, as it was delivered to Titus; and we are not to doubt of Timothius faithfulnesse in the declaring of this part of his message more than the rest, but if those to whom Timothy delivered it, were not faithfull in the discharge of their duty: but that in due time the Ordinances might possibly grow out of use, as the Churches did by little and little apostate; yet that hinders not but that it was still written in the Scripture that the generations to come might recover againe the right use of the Ordinances when God should by his Spirit direct them to know the same.

Moreover, I affirme, that all the Lords people, that are made Kings and Priests to God, have a free voyce in the Ordinance of Election, therefore they must freely consent before there can be any Ordination; and having so consented they may proceede to Ordination, notwithstanding they be destitute, of the Counsell or assistance of any neighbour Church; as if there were no other Churches in the Land, but onely one company of beleevers joyned together in fellowship, according to Christs institution. The promise made in the 14th, of Iohn 12. 13. is made unto them, where Christ said. The workes that he did they should doe &illegible; & that whatsoever they should aske in his name, that he would do for &illegible; that the Father may be glorified, and that the Spirit of truth should dide with them for ever. And that he should teach them all things, and bring all things unto their remembrance, as it is said in the following verses of the same Chapter. This (you may see) is the portion of beleevers, and they that have this portion are the greatest in the world, and many of them are greater than one, but many joyned together in a comely order in the fellowship of the Gospell, according to the Scriptures, are the greatest of all and therefore have power to ordaine, and to blesse their Ministers in the name of the Lord. Thus the lesser is blessed of the greater.

Now Mr. Edwards, I hope you will confesse, that you spake unadvisedly, when you affirmed, The maintenance of Independensie, was the breaking of Gods Ordinance, and violating of that Order and constant way of Ministers recorded in the Word.

To this I Answer, that if the Church doe elect one, he must be elected out of some more, & those that are not elected, may be as able to blesse the Church in the name of the Lord, as he, therefore one of these who are not elected, being chosen by the whole Church, to blesse him in the name of the Lord, whom the Church hath ordained, is the hand of the whole (who are greatest of all, and so a sufficient Officer for that worke which hee is put a part to doe.

Thus you may see (Mr. Edwards) that we doe not hold Ordination extraordinary and temporary; neither doe we hold it the least of Gods Institutions, for we have respect unto them all; But that nothing in matter of Order hath so cleare and constant a practise as this (as you do affirme) and also say, the whole frame of Church and Discipline, hath not so much ground in the word for it as this. I deny, and doe affirme, that not onely this, but all Gods Ordinances have as much ground and footing in Gods Word also.

Yet notwithstanding you say, that Calvin confesseth, that there is no expresse precept concerning the imposition of hands: Hath the imposition of hands no footing in Gods Word? and yet hath not all the forme of Gods Worship so much footing as it? Here Mr. Calvin and you, will now pin all the forme of Church and Discipline, upon unwritten verities.

Further, you rehearse confusedly, the opinion of Zanchius to strenghen yours who (say you) would have the example of the Apostles and ancient Church, to be more esteemed of, and to be instead of a command.

I pray you, how doe you know it to be their example, if it be not written?

And whereas you alledge, that Zanchius saith, it is no value Ceremony but the holy Spirit is present to performe things inwardly, which are signified by this Ordinance outwardly.

I have granted you that already, where I affirme, that the Church having the Spirit of God hath power by an instrument of her owne chusing, to blesse the party to his worke in the name of the LORD; and I am also bound to beleeve, that God will accompany that his owne Ordinance (which is performed by them outwardly) with his owne Spirit inwardly, to furnish the party (so blessed by them) with the knowledge of the Scripture, which is able to furnish the man of God to every part of his duty. And thus you may see, that we have not departed from Christs way, nor gone any other way, in things concerning his House and Officers, then he hath directed.

And whereas you demand for what cause Paul left Titus at Creete? I answer, that I have told you before, that it was to communicate the things unto others, which hee had learned, whereof Ordination was one. And no doubt but hee declared the same to faithfull men, that they might teach others also, therefore he was there employed in preaching of the Gospell, as well as if he had gone preaching with Paul.

The next thing you goe upon, is the triall of the gifts of Ministers, and this you attribute to them which have the greatest measure of the Spirit, for you say, Examination belongeth to the most skilfull, and they who have most authority.

All these things are well allowed of by us, for who hath a greater measure of the Spirit than beleevers? and who hath more skill than he that hath beene trained up in the Schoole of Christ? and hath learned this Lesson to be obedient to his Master Christ in keeping of all his commandements? and who hath greater authority upon the earth then they that are visible Saints? and what makes men visible Saints? if not the manifestation of their obedience to God the Father, and Christ his sonne, in the practise of all his Ordinances, and not to have some other Presbyters present with them, to assist them, (as you affirme) for by these other Presbyters, I know not yet who you meane.

And whereas you say, that the Church may be led into errours, or kept in a low estate by unfit Pastors and Elders.

I answer, It is a cleare truth; as wofull experience teacheth us, who live here in the Land of England.

And whereas you affirme, that visible Saints cannot ordaine Officers, because they have no gifts of prayer.

I Answer, Here you make prayer the Ordination of Ministers.

And whereas you say they are not able to conceive prayer.

Here you give the holy Ghost the lie: for Beleevers have received the Spirit of adoption to cry Abba Father,

But say you, they cannot conceive prayer according to the action in &illegible;

Here you would seeme to make beleevers, which have the Spirit of God, to leade them into all truths, more voide of common reason, then men that have but gifts of nature.

Againe, you say, they have not gifts to make publike exhortation, and admonition.

To which I answer, If they had first knowledge to feele the want of a Pastor, and also diversable men out of whom to elect and ordaine a Pastor, then they out of whom this person is chosen, are able to exhort, and to admonish: for he that hath not the gift of teaching, may have the gift of exhortation: againe, the man that undertaketh to teach others, ought to be taught by God, and likewise to be able by sound Doctrine to withstand the Gainesayers, but a man may give good exhortations, (and that publikely) that is not able to withstand the Gainesayers by sound Doctrine. By this you may see, the Church of God can never be without some Ministers, except it be (according to that spoken by zachariah) in the day of very small things indeede, when God shall take away their Ministers by death, prison, or exile: for seeing the Churches were planted by Ministers of Gods owne ordaining; therefore they were not without Ministers in the very beginning: and still the Churches are planted by the Ministeriall power of the Lord Jesus, which cannot be exercised without fit instruments; Yet that they must want the word preached, or Sacraments administred, till they have Pastors and Teacher in Office, is yet to be proved, but that page of Mr. Robinsons, which hath beene alledged before, is sufficient for this present purpose against you, even to prove that the family must not be unprovided for, either for the absence or neglect of a Steward.

But now you seeme to insinuate an affirmation, or a supposition, I cannot well tell whether, That a ruleing Elder may be destitute of the guift of discering, and seeme to imply, that if he be destitute, then all the Church must be destitute, if there be no more Officers then be.

Here you would faine make the ruling Elders, the eyes of the Church, and then all the rest of the body must be blinde, and so unfit to have any hand in election, and also voide of the Spirit of Grace to discerne the gifts by, though it hath beene proved unto you before, that she is the greatest of all, having the Spirit of God to leade her into all truth, being the Spouse of Christ, and endowed with all his riches, gifts, and donations.

And thus you still deny the Authority & ability of the Church giving to the persons in office all power and deserning. But this is indeede according to your practise here in England, but not according to the minde and Spirit of God.

And for the neighbour Churches Counsell, I deny not, but that it may be imbraced, and the Saints have cause to praise God for any helpes of Gods ordaining. But if they want the helpe of a neighbour Church to Counsell them, or neighbour Ministers to direct them: yet if they be a Church of Jesus Christ, they have (as hath beene said before) power among themselves to elect and ordaine their owne Officers; as also the Spirit of discerning, whereby to try their gifts, and yet be farre from falling into that evill, which they complaine against in the Episcopacie (namely) for one man to have the sole power of Ordination.

By all these particulars, you may clearely see all your pretended proofes and former assertions disproved, as I promised you, in the entrance of this my answer to your second Reason.

So that these two first Reasons, being (as I conceive) the greatest Champions, which you have sent out in this skirmage, are now both slaine, and made voide of all the life that ever was in them, for, they were made most of suppositions, and of things that appeared unto you by likelihood, without any ground from the Scriptures: and of some other thing than Gods Word allowed: and of some triviall affirmations which were not grounded upon any truth of Gods Word.

Now, these two being thus turned aside, by one of the meanest of all the Army of Jesus Christ, you may justly feare, that all the rest of your souldiers will run away wounded.

IN your third Reason, You say it is not to be thought, that Christ would institute such a Government of his Church which off ords no helpe; nor allowes no way or remedy for innocent persons that are wronged.

Which thing I grant to be very true; but touching the means and helpes which you pleade for, that is, some other Synods to appeale unto, I tell you I know not what Synods you meane. But this I affirme that there are no larger Synods to be kept to settle Church differences, then the comming together of the Ministers, and Brethren, as it is mentioned in the 15th. of the Acts, which I have garnted you in my Answers to your former Reasons.

And whereas you strive for appeales:

I Answer, It is the rule of Christ:Matth. 14. 15. 16. 17. that if one brother doe trespasse against another; and if the brother offending will not be reclaimed by the private admonition of the brother offended, he is to be admonished by one or two other brethren with him; but if he will not heare them, the brother offended is to tell the Church; and if he will not heare the Church, then he is not to be accounted a brother but as a Heathen man and a Publican; if not as a brother, then out of the fellowship: then if the wrong be any personall injury, as oppression, or fraud, or any other finne of these natures, the Law is open, where he may appeale for Justice to the Magistrate in any part of the Kingdome, where-ever he liveth; but if it be a matter of scandall; as if hee should be a drunkard, or incontinent, or the like, then he hath sufficient remedy, when such a one is cast out of his society. By this you may see, the way of government given by Christ Jesus, the King of peace, is the way of peace and righteousnesse.

And whereas you affirme, That if the controversie touching Circumcision, should have beene ended in the Church of Antiochia, then parties must have beene Iudges.

Here, you would seeme by this to make the whole Church of Antioch leavened with the Doctrine of Justification by Circumcision, which to doe is a very great slander, as it appeares by Paul & Barnabas opposing them there, and that Churches sending Paul and Barnabas to have the Churches advise at Ierusalem concerning this matter.

But whereas you affirme,Acts 15. 1. &illegible; That the Church of Antiochia, judged it unequall to decide the case among themselves:

I answer, That they judged it unequall, is more than is expressed in that place: but if that should be granted it will make against you, for their reason in sending the matter to Ierusalem, was, because the parties were members of the Church of Ierusalem, as it appeares by Acts. 15. 1. 5. 24. The first verse sheweth, that they were men of Iudea; the 5th. verse proves that they were Beleevers; The 24th verse declares, that they went out of the Church of Ierusalem unto them. And by this you may see plainely, that this Chapter (above all the Chapters that I can finde) proves Independencie upon your owne ground; that the Church of Antiochia judged it an unequall thing for them to judge the members of the Church of Ierusalem. And by this you may perceive, how you have either erred, not knowing the Scriptures or else you have done worse in labouring to darken the truth by evasions, or false glosses.

Thus much for your third Reason.

IN your fourth Reason you affirme, That the light and Law of Nature, with right reason, is against the Independencie of particular Churches; which is an unjust affirmation as hath beene plainely proved before in the Answer to your third Reason. But a few words concerning this Reason.

You say it is found necessary, in bodies naturall, that the particular members doe joyne in one, for the good of the whole, and that the whole being greater than a part, the severall parts should be subject too, and ordered by the whole: All this I have granted you freely already in the Answer to your second Reason; where I have plainely proved unto you, that the hands of the Church are ordered by the whole body, in the Ordination of the Ministery: And this is according to the very Scripture it selfe, for the holy Ghost speaketh so, in 1 Cor. 12.1 Cor. 12. Comparing the Church of God to the naturall body of a man; and therefore when the hand lanceth the foote, it cannot be said properly to be the action of the hand alone, because the hand is set a worke, by the body; neither can the body set the hand a worke, if it be destitute of the power, for the motion of the body commeth not from the hand but the motion of the hand from the body; and thus you may see I have granted your comparison. And the nearer politicke bodies doe goe to this Rule; the more orderly they are guided; for as all the cities and country of England, make up but one Kingdome, and all the people in England ought to be subject to one King; so all the Independant Congregations in England, and out of England, (that are guided by the Lawes of Christ) make up but one Kingdome spiritually to him that is their King.

Now concerning Armies; though I be very ignorant in these things, yet thus much I conceive, that all the Armies, that belong to the Kingdome ought to be under the banner of their owne King; even so all the particular Congregations of Christ, are to be guided by the Lawes of their owne Captaine Christ, who rideth before them with his garments dipt in blood, and they follow after him riding upon white horses, Revel. 19. 11, 12. 13, 14.

We reade also in the Scripture of another armie, which were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ: And this armie (I conceive) consisteth of those Locusts, which ascended out of the bottomlesse pit, Rev. 9. And these, as I told you before, are Arch-Bishops, Diocesan Bishops, Deanes, Prebends, &c. and the rest of that rabble; and these also have a King over them, which is the Angell of the bottomlesse pit, who is said to be the great red Dragon the Devill and Sathan, Rev. 12. 3. 9. and 20. 2. who gave unto this armie his power and throne, and great authority, Rev. 13. 2. Therefore, to any Counsells that are held, or Canon Lawes that are enacted by any Captaine of this armie, the Churches of Christ ought not to submit, though they should be commanded, by any Statute Law of the Kingdome; for those Statute Lawes are not according to Christs Rule, but ought by all Councells of State to be repealed.

And whereas you say, It is alledged by the Separation; that hold Independancie, That the Magistrate of Leyden cannot governe in Delph:

This I hope you will grant; for I am sure the Magistrates of Coventry cannot execute their office in Shrewsbury, neither can the one Towne chuse Magistrates for the other: and this still proves Independencie, for either of these may chuse their owne, and guide their owne at all times, except they forfeit their Charter.

Now whereas you say, the people alleadge for themselves, that the Law of nature teacheth them to make a Covenant; though there be neither precept nor practise of it in the word.

I suppose you misconster their sayings, for the text alleadged in Thessalonians 40 doth not prove that brotherly love was never written of in the Scripture; but that it had beene so sufficiently taught of God by written precepts, that it needed not to be written againe. Besides, I am able to prove by the Scripture, that there is both precept and practise for a Church Covenant: the which I will answer you in the Answer to your 6th. Reason, where you begge the Question.

Concerning what is asserted by some Divines of Scotland, That in such things as are alike common to the Church, and Commonwealth, and have the same use in both, and that whatsoever natures light directeth the one, directeth the other also.

You know (by what hath beene formerly spoken) I have fully assented unto it.

I also agree with Amesius, as farre as he agrees with the truth; but to agree with you in that falsehood, that the Government of independant Churches, is against the light of nature and right Reason, that I have denied, and disproved sufficiently already.

Thus having answered every particular thing in this Reason, that hath not beene answered already, I proceede to the Fifth.

IN your 5th. Reason you affirme, That there be many Rules in Scripture, that doe require the combination of Churches into Synods; for proofe whereof you say, that Amesius confesseth, the Rules and Commands to be such as these; Let all things be done to edification, decently and in order, Cor. 14. 26. 40. and follow after the things which make for peace, Rom. 14. 19. So Phil. 4. 8. And you conclude that Synods are found to be for edification, peace, and order. But you have brought no Scripture yet that proveth it; and I know all Scripture is against it, therefore I deny it. And as for the Scriptures alleadged (as you say) by Amesius, they are such as were spoken to particular Congregations: and in the particular Congregation of Colosse, Paul beheld a comely order, notwithstanding there were no Synod consisting of any but onely the members and Ministers of that Congregation, Col. 2. 5.

And as for commands, which you say are some generall, and others particular; Here you labour by evasions to turne away the truth; for you your selfe know, that every particular command reacheth not to the generall, though a generall command reach to every particular. Now if you can shew us in the Scriptures any generall command, that all the Churches should, or an example that all the Churches did gather a Councell of some Ministers out of every particular Congregation, to make Decrees or Lawes to impose upon the whole, then you will speake speake something to the purpose, but as yet you have not spoken one word that proveth any such thing.

And whereas you alleadge that Scripture, That the Spirits of the Prophets must be subject to the Prophets, 1 Cor. 14. 32.

I Answer, That that is given to particular Congregations; and therefore not to all in a Province or Nation, and so not to Synods: And Paul never sought to winne credit nor obedience to Orders established by himselfe, (as you say) for he never made any other Orders, nor taught the people any other thing than what he had received of the Lord Jesus, as it is plaine in 1 Cor. 11. Be ye followers of me (saith he) as I am of Christ, and in the 23. verse of the same Chapter, I have received of the Lord (saith he) that which I have delivered unto you. Paul also writes unto these Corinthians, (whom he had converted unto the faith) to be followers of him, 1 Cor. 4. 16. in ver. 17. he sheweth them, that therefore he sent Timothy unto them, to the end that Timothy should put them in remembrance of Pauls wayes in Christ, as Paul had taught every where in every Church. Here you may see Paul brings not the Example of the Synod before them, nor layes upon them any Decree or Command, to practise otherwise than he himselfe had learned in Christ; yet I hope you will not deny, but that this Church spoken of, was a Church of Christ as well as the Church of Colosse.

Now the next thing to be considered is, that which you alleadge of Pauls submission, to the practise of what was agreed upon, by the common consent of Iames, and the rest of the Elders, Acts 21. from. 18. &illegible; 27.

The Reason why they counselled Paul to doe the thing, was, because of the information that the Jewes had then against Paul; that he taught the people to forsake Moses, Acts 21. 21. Now I hope you will not deny, but that this was a false affirmation.

The thing wherein they conceived he transgressed was, by bringing in Trophimus and Ephesian, (as they thought into the Temple) because they saw him with him in the citie.

This was but their supposition, as it appeares in the 29 verse of this Chapter.

Now what the Elders counselled Paul to doe, in respect of giving offence to the Jewes, was no injunction to any to follow the same example, except it were in the same case.

Now Paul himselfe was a Jew, and taught all men that Christ was come to fulfill the Law, and not to destroy the Law; therefore he condescended to circumcise Timothy because his mother was a Jew,Act. 16. 1. 3. and the Jewes knew his father was a Grecian. But Titus a Grecian was not compelled to be circumcised; yea, though there were false brethren craftily crept in, to spy out their liberty; Paul gave not place to them, no not for an houre, Gal 2. 3. 4. 5.

Now the things that the Elders counselled Paul to doe, was to purifie himselfe, with them that had a vow, and to contribute with them; and the reason wherefore they counselled Paul to doe this, was, that it might appeare to the Jewes that Paul was a Jew, and not an uncircumcised person for the Jewes knew that it was a sinfull thing to bring into the Temple any uncircumcised person in heart or flesh, Ezek. 44. 7.

Now Paul in all this did nothing but what was commanded in the Law, as purifications and vowes, &c.

Moreover, this counsell of Iames and the Elders unto Paul, was not generall to the beleeving Jewes; neither was it generally or particularly to the Gentiles, but particularly to Paul, and the rest with him, because of the false report which the Jewes had received of him.

And as this Counsell was not generall, so it was not perpetuall, but served to put an honorable end to the Law, which Christ came to fulfill, and not to destroy.

By all this it appeares, it maketh nothing for any counsell that you plead for, to establish any unwritten verities; for such counsels are the counsels of darkenesse: because they are not according to the Law and the Testimony, it appeares there is no light in them: therefore they are not of authoritie to bind any particular member of the Church, much lesse the generall, as you say they are.

But seeing you confesse, that no Synod can say, It seemeth good unto the holy Ghost and to us; it plainely appeares that your counsels presume without the counsell of the holy Ghost. But you may see, that the Church of Ierusalem did nothing without the counsell of the Spirit, neither determined of anything, that was not written in the Scripture. So the Churches of God now ought to presume to do nothing but what the written Word allowes them; being taught the true meaning thereof by the Spirit that God hath given them.

Moreover, the counsell of Ierusalem imposed nothing upon the Gentiles for a Law, but counselled them to abstaine from some necessary things, which would be either offensive to the Jewes, or sinfull in themselves, Acts 15. 29. 20. 28. 29.

Now seeing the Church of Ierusalem hath done nothing, but by he counsell of the written word, in forbidding things sinfull in themselves and offensive to their brethren, it appeares to be plainely against your Synods, and dependencie in government, which in cases difficult, doe establish things which have no footing in Gods word; neither have they, by your owne confession, in their Counsels any one, who is immediately and infallibly imspired by the Spirit, and able of himselfe to satisfie the controversie, they being by your owne confession inferiour to Paul and Barnabas; And Paul and Barnabas might teach nothing but what was taught in the Law and the Prophets. And therefore, by this it appeares you have not grounded any affirmation or supposition upon Gods word; for the proving either of your Synods or dependencie.

Thus much for your fifth Reason.

IN your sixth Reason you affirme that the government of the Church by Synods, is no where forbidden by God in the new Testament, either directly, or by consequence.

But I doe affirme the contrary, and prove it thus;

That whatsoever Government is not commanded by God is accursed, and that is plainely manifested in the New Testament, Rev. 22. 18.

But your government by Synods is not commanded by God, and therefore it is accursed; as it will appeare in the following discourse.

Whereas you say, that all the Ministers are greater than one:

I have already proved,See the Answer to his second Reason against Independencie. that the Church of Christ is greater than all the Ministers.

You say Synods appoint no other office or Officer in the Church, which Christ hath not appointed.

Me thinkes you are strangely put to your shifts, that dare not tell the world what you meane by your Synods. But if you meane the Councell or Convocation that used to sit at Pauls, I have told you already they are none of the Councell of Christ neither hath he appointed that councell or any other councell, to make, or ordaine, either Officers or Offices for his Church, therefore so to affirme is blasphemie, for he himselfe is their Lord and Law-giver, and hath instituted every particular Ordinance in his Church, that the Church hath neede of, therefore it is (as hath beene said already) against the Law and light of nature, and contrary to edification, order, peace, purenesse, lovelinesse, for any to decree for, or injoyne upon, the Assemblies of the Saints any other practise but those that the Apostles have taught, which they themselves had learned from the Lord Jesus; but as for you Mr. Edwards, it appeareth plainely that you doe not understand nor see the forme of the Lords House; which causeth you to call upon any to produce a particular word, or rule, for the order of Gods worship, what must be performed first, what second, what third, what fourth, and so of the rest; and that no Ordinance, and part of worship may be in another order. Further, you chalenge them if they can, to shew a particular word or rule out of the New Testament, for their Church Covenant, which you say, is the forme of the Church.

You also inquire for the forme of Excommunication, and Ordination, and gestures in the severall Ordinances of God, and this you say they are not able to doe, but onely in generall rules.

I have told you already that generall rules reach to every perticular, and that is no more than you seeme to know already; for you have confessed, that there are generall rules to teach every one of these particulars, which you could not chuse but acknowledge; otherwise you would have made Christ not so faithfull in his house as Moses. But the more you know, the greater is your sinne, in that you labour to turne away the light; and you are still repairing of those thresholds, which have beene set up by Gods thresholds. If I had any hope therefore that you would be ashamed of all that you have done, I would shew you, though not all that I see, yet what I am able to expresse of the forme of the house of God,See Ezck. 43. 11. and the paterne thereof, and the going out thereof, and the comming in thereof, and all the Ordinances thereof, and the Lawes thereof and write it in your sight, that so you may keepe the whole fashion thereof, and all the Ordinances thereof, and doe them.

As for the Ordinance of Election, Ordination, and Excommunication &c. I have declared already the forme to them that have their eyes open to see it. But they cannot see the forme of the house, that have not repented them of the evills that they have done, therefore I will cease to strive with such persons, for they may live and stay long enough, and be of no Church of Christ.

Thus much for your Sixth Reason.

IN your 7th. Reason you say, That consociation and combination, in way of Synods, is granted by themselves, (and you produce for your Authors these foure; Christ on his Throne, Examination of Prelates Petition, Syons Prerogative Royal, and the Protestation Protested; which Authors, if the Reader please to examine, shall final cleare against you) That which you have gathered here from these Authors is, that they grant that one Church should be content that matters of difference and importance should be heard by other Churches, as also to be advised and counselled by other Churches, &c.

I answer, though all should confesse, that it is profitable to have the counsell of their brethren and neighbour Churches in doubtfull cases, yet this will be farre from proving the lawfulnesse of your Synods; as may appeare by the Authors that your selfe hath here alledged, for they intend no such Consociation, nor Combination, which you have mentioned: but seeing your selfe would have something which you cannot prove, you would begge of others to grant it or prove it for you.

Concerning the Orders, or Decrees of the Church of Ierusalem (Acts 164) they were not such Decrees as were alterable, but such as were warranted by God, and a perpetuall Rule for all the Churches of the Gentiles.

You neede not tell me what Amesius speaketh of the parts of Discipline, as if any of the Separation, held it to consist all in Excommunication; for I have told you already, that they have seene the forme of the Lords house, and have respect unto all his Ordinances, and doe not take one for all.

Neither is it granted you, that admonitions and reproofes, and decreeing of Excommunications should be by Officers of other Churches, towards members of any Congregation, though in the same constitution; the contrary most evidently appeareth, even by the practise of the Church of Antioch, who brought the matter to the Church of Ierusalem, which concerned the Church of Ierusalems members, neither may any of the Churches now be subject to the censures of other Congregations except they must be subject to humane Ordinances; but in case, both the members, and the Church, be obstinate in any knowne sinne, then are the Churches of God bound to admonish her, and reprove her, and reject her; as if the Church of Antiochia had found the Church of Ierusalem all leavened with the Doctrine of Iustification by circumcision; then had the Church of Antiochia power to admonish, reprove, and reject the Church of Ierusalem, and not have communion with them, if they persisted obstinate in that evill; for the Church of Antiochia was not inferiour in power to the Church of Ierusalem.

Thus much for your seventh Reason.

IN the beginning of your Eight Reason you say they grant and confesse That Churches of one constitution ought to withdraw from; and renounce communion and fellowship with a Congregation or Church that is fallen into sinne, as false Doctrine, and evill discipline, &c.

I answer, I have granted you, that in the conclusion of the answer to your 7th. Reason, if the Church stand obstinace in sinne and will not be reclaimed.

But that they should be complained on to Synods and Classes, and subject to their censures, that is but a question of your owne begging, and remaines for you to prove, and denied of me.

The next thing you would know is the diference betweene Excommunication and rejection and would seeme to make them both one.

To which I answer, Titus had power to reject a person,a but we doe not reade that he had power of himselfe to excommunicate that person.

A wicked man may be said to reject God when he rejecteth his Word. So Saul rejected God, (1 Sam. 15. 23. therefore God rejected him from being King, vers. 26. but did he excommunicate God? So the people of Israel rejected God, 1 Sam. 8. 7. and 10. 19. Did they therefore excommunicate God?

Here Mr. Edwards, you may see that Excommunication is more than rejection, as it also plainely appeares by Pauls words, 1 Cor. 5. 4. 5. where he delivers unto them the forme of Excommunication, in these words; When ye are gathered together, and my spirit, in the name of our Lord Iesus Christ, that such a one by the power of our Lord Iesus Christ be delivered unto Sathan, &c. Here Mr. Edwards, you may plainely see the forme of this part of the Lords house; This you see Paul had determined before; and also that Pauls spirit was together with the Church in the action doing; yet Paul tooke not upon him that power of himselfe, but committed the action to the Church who had the power of our Lord Iesus Christ, as he himselfe testifieth, which plainely proves, that the Church had the power that Paul had not; for though Paul was a good Counsellor, yet he was no executioner in that action, but as a member for his part. Here Mr. Edwards you may see the difference betweene rejection and excommunication; a man in rejecting the Law of God may be said to reject God, and he that addes to, or diminisheth from the Lawes of God, rejects God, in rejecting the counsell of God, which injoynes him neither to adde, nor diminish; but you by pleading for your unknowne Synods and ungrounded dependencie, reject the counsell of God: and so doe all those, that assist you in it.

The next thing you affirme as; That this government of Independencie (which I have proved to be Christs government) &illegible; the Communion of Saints.

To which I answer, This appeares to be contrary by that which hath beene said already; as for example, the difference betweene the Church of Antiochia, and the Church of Ierusalem; turned to good, because they undertooke not the authority to determine the case themselves, as hath beene said; because it was against the members of the Church of Ierusalem: and this increased union and communion in both Churches, as we may plainely see, for Peter communicated unto them what God had revealed unto him: and Paul & Bernabas declared what God had done by them. Iames calls from bathe to confidet what Peter had declared; and backes it with the Scripture, manifesting how it agreed with the words of the Prophets, as you may reade at large, in Act. 15. Thus you may see what sweete Communion was betweene these Churches that were both Independant.

Now, whereas you say it cannot be in a Christian Common-wealth, or Nation.

I doe affirme it may stand with Christs Church in a Common-wealth, as may plainely appeare in the three first Chapters of the Revelations, which cestifies that there were seven Churches in Asia, and these seven Churches were compared to seven &illegible; Candlestickes,b and every Candlesticke stood by it &illegible; and held forth her owne light, as appeares by those severall messages, which were sent to those seven Churches for had they had a dependencie one upon another in respect of power, then one message would have served unto them all; and what sinne any of the Churches or Angels were guilty of, would have been said unto the change of all the Churches and Angels; but wee see it was otherwise:Rev. 2. 20. As for instance, there was none charged for suffering the woman Iezebel to teach the people, to commit fornication, and to eate things sacrificed to Idols, but the Angell of Thyatira; by this you may plainely see there was not one Angell set over them all, nor one Synod oppointed to judge and correct them all, which is the thing you labour for. Yet it cannot be said that the Independancie of these seven Churches hindred their communion, either with Christ their head, or one with another; neither was it any disturbance to the Common-wealth or Nation wherein they lived.

And here you cannot say that I have evaded, but have answered you directly to these your doubts, and suppositions, and to many of your Iffs. which have beene your &illegible; out in this Scout; And moreover, I will answer all your many Reasons as I come to them (though they be joyned in battle with these) I meane your following Reasons against Toleration; and also batter, or drive backe your answers which you have made to the Six Reasons, which you say be theirs, and yet neither this Scout, nor the joyned, nor the subjoyned forces, shall be able to discover what strength is on my side, although they be formed by you in battle aray.

Now I have proved the Independant Government to be Christs Government; I will also prove in my Answers to these your following Reasons, that the Independant Congregations performe Christs publike worship, and therefore ought to be tolerated, and maintained in the practise thereof.

IN the beginning of your first Reason against Toleration, you grant, that the Scriptures speake much for Toleration, and bearing with one another in many things, both in matters of opinion and practise, and the Scriptures you quote are very pertinent to this purpose, his alwayes provided, they are to be understood as spoken properly to particular Congregations, and not unto any whole Nation.

But to stand for the Toleration of the maintenance of Heresie, and Schisme, is not the Toleration that we plead for (as farre as hath beene yet made knowne) but rather your insinuation: for I have declared unto you already in the driving backe of the first Scout of your Army. That God hath provided a way and meanes to purge every Congregation of his from all such persons that doe offend, whether it be in matters of Faith or Order. Neither doe any that stand for Christian liberty condemne them for cruelty, or that it is against charitie.

For if we compare the Church with one man or a few then it will easily appeare, that the one doth out-weigh the other: and you say, Calvin saith, It is cruell mercy which preferres one man, or a few, before the Church: To these words of Calvin I doe fully agree unto, for they are of the same nature with my former Answers to your Reasons against Independancie, where I have proved against you, that the weight and power lieth in the Church and that the Church is above the Ministers, and that the Ministers have their power by the Church to exercise in the Church, and not the Church by the Ministers.

The next thing to be considered in this your Reason, is your peremptory affirmation, but grounded upon no Scripture, (namely) That to set up Independant and separated Churches, is a Schisme in it selfe, and that it will make great disturbance in the Church, both to the outward peace, and to the faith and conscience of the people of the Kingdome.

Now that it is a Schisme in it selfe, I deny, and prove the contrary thus;

God hath commanded all his people to separate themselves from all Idolatryc and false worshippingd and false worshiperse (and therefore it is no Schisme) except you will make God the Author of Schisme) & this is according to the Prophet Esaiabs words, Esay 1. which is the first Lesson that every one ought to learne; evento cease to doe evill. But I hope it will not be denied but that they are to learne another lesson, which is, to learne to doe well: but to doe well is to keepe all Gods Commandements, and to obey God rather then men.

Now Gods commands to his people, is, that they learne to know the forme of the house (as I have told you before) and all the Ordinances of the house, and to doe them, Ezek. 43. 11. but the Ordinances of Christs Kingdome under the Gospell, (amongst the rest) are Doctrine, Fellowship, breaking of Bread, and Prayer; which Ordinances the Saints continued stedfastly in, and are commended for their constancie in the same, Acts 2. 42 and that in every particular Church or Congregation, though there were divers in one Nation, and yet I hope you will not affirme it was any disturbance to the Nation (otherwise then Christ hath shewed shall ever be, that the seed of the Serpent, shall persecute the seede of the Woman) for Gods people are said to be a peaceable people and the Lord himself hath said that he hath set them in the world as Lambs among Wolves. Now there must needs be a disagreement betweene Lambes and Wolves but the Lambes are not the cause thereof. By this you may see that Separation is not a Scisme, but obedience to Gods Commandement.

And for any Magistrate to give way for men to separate, from the worship of the Kingdome established by Law (if that worship be not according to Gods Law) is the Magistrates duty; and the Magistrate shall partake of no sinne in so doing because there is no sinne committed. Therefore the Magistrate ought not to forbid the practise of Gods Worship; when hee hath power to command it; for he is set up for the practise of those that doe well, and for the punishment of evill does.

And therefore you did well, when you admonished the Parliament in your Epistle, to cast out of the way all &illegible; blockes, and to breake downe all Images,See the 3. & 4 lease of his Epistle. and Crucifixes; and to throw downe all &illegible; and remove the High places; and to breake to pieces the brazen Serpents which have beene so abused to Idolatry and Superfiction. So then you grant, that much may be done (as it seemeth by your speech) and yet if there be not a full reformation, even to the throwing downe of the High places, it will prove a blemish to the reformers.

Reasons. 1. Pag. 23.You say, be that doth not forbid, when he hath power, he commands.

But I hope you doubt not but the Parliament hath power, and therefore whatsoever they doe not forbid (by your owne ground) they have of doe command.

But in the Protestation, they have not forbidden Gods Worship, which is according to his Word; but they have Protested (and have injoyned others so to doe) to maintaine and defend the Protestant Religion, expressed in the Doctrine of the Church of England, against all Popery, and Popish Innovations, within this Realme &c. And in the Interpretation of their meaning of the said Oath, they binde us neither to the setforme of Worship, Discipline, or Government, nor any Rites or Ceremonies of the said Church of England.

Now if we must withstand Popery, and Popish Innovations, then we must needs withstand such dependencie as makes up a whole Nation a Church both good and bad, without separating the precious from the vile, and also such Synods or Counsels that decree, and make Lawes, and impose them upon any Church to keepe, having not the Word of God to warrant them; for these are Popish Innovations, and to be withstood by us, according to our Oath.

And truely Mr. Edwards, you might have asked the independant Ministers a question in private, (for you knew where to finde them) and not have propounded so filly a question before the Parliament, when there was none there to answer you.

Pag. 23.Your Question is, Whether it be fitting, that well meaning Christians should be suffered to goe to make Churches?

To this I Answer, It is fitter for well meaning Christians than for ill-meaning Christians, for well-meaning Christians be the fittest on the earth to make Churches, and to choose their Officers; whether they be Taylors, Felt-makers, Button-makers, Tent-makers, Shepherds, or Ploughmen, or what honest Trade soever, if they are well-meaning Christians; but ill-meaning Priests are very unfit men to make Churches; because what they build up with one hand, they pull downe with the other.

Further you seeme to feare the spreading of Heresies, if there be not a hindrance of these Assemblies.

But you should rather feare that your owne glory would be eclipsed by their gifts and graces; for they are not men of so meane parts as you would make them: but are able to divide the Word of God aright by the spirit that God hath given them. Therefore I would wish you rather to let your heart bleed for your selfe and for the evills that you have done. For Christ will never suffer any to perish for whom he died.

Thus much for your first Reason.

IN your second Reason you say, the Toleration desired will not helpe to heale the Schismes and Rents of your Church.

To which I answer, that if your Church be not the Church of Christ, it will not heale it indeede, for though the Prophets would have healed Babel, it could not be healed.

You say that Ministers and people will not submit to the Reformation and Government setled by Low.

It is very like so, if it be not free from Innovations of Popery, because they are sworne to the contrary.

But you say many doubts will arise in the peoples mindes, that the Government of your Church is not ordered according to the Word of God.

To this I answer; If you meane the Church of Englands Government, established by the Canon Law. I thinke it is out of doubt with the most, for they that understand but little, doe see and know that that Government is vaine and Popish; and that is the reason (as I conceive) why so many refuse to conforme to it: and if you feare that that will prove so great a division, you may doe well to counsell the Magistrates, to expell all such Government, and to reject all such Svnods and Counsells, and to labour to understand the minde of God, and to set up his Government over Beleevers in the Kingdome of England.

And whereas you say, that many of the people who yet be not in this Church way, are possessed with these principles (of the Independant way) and much looking towards it:

I say it is pitty they should any longer be led about by the way of the Wildernesse.

2. You doe affirme, that the mindes of multitudes of Professors in England, and especially in the City of London, are upon all occasions, very apt to fall to any way in Doctrine or discipline, that is not commonly received by the Church.

I answer, Indeede the Proverbe is verified upon them. The burned child dreads the fire; for they have beene so long deceived by your false glosses, that now their eyes being a little open, the light appeareth very sweete unto them; yea, although they see men but like trees, as the blinde man, when his eyes began to be opened, who had beene blinde from his birth.

The third thing which you have laid downe in this Reason, is; That the Ministers will not be tied, from preaching those points in publike, not from speaking of them in private.

To which I answer, I hope they will not indeed, for it were their great sinne, if they should not declare Gods whole Councell, so farre as he hath revealed it unto them.

But if they would (you say) the people both men and women, are so strangely bold and pragmaticall, and so highly conceited of their way as the Kingdome of Christ and the onely way of Christ, that out of those principles, they would be drawing many of their friendship and kindred; and many would (say you) come unto them.

I answer, that this (I hope) you count a vertue, for it is the property of the Sheepe when they fare well, to call their fellowes, But Hogges will not doe so.

The fourth thing to be minded is (that you say) Liberty, the power of government, and rule, to be in the people, are mighty pleasing to flesh and blood, especially in meane persons, and such as have beene kept under.

To which I answer, that they that have beene kept under, have beene kept under by the tyranny of the Man of Sinne; This you confesse to be especially the poore, upon whom those Taskemasters have laid the greatest burthens. Therefore for them to affect liberty is no wonder.

And whereas you say they would have the power and Rule:

I answer, It is not any power or Rule which is pleasing to the flesh (as you speake, thinking them to be like those Priests, Whose god is their belly, whose glory is their shame, who minde earthly things) but it is the power of Christ which they stand for, as they are members of the Churches of Christ; to which Churches Christ the King thereof hath given all power in spirituall things.

And that the Church of Christ consisteth of meane persons, is no wonder; for wee have learned, that the poore receive the Gospell, and you know you have granted, that it stands with the light and Law of Nature, That the liberty, power, and rule, should be in the whole, and not in one man or a few; so that the power must rest in the body; and not in the Officers, though the Church be never so poore.

Now the fifth thing you minde in this Reason is, That Tolleration will be made use of to strengthen their way.

And you also conclude, it will be granted, that the ablest Ministers could not answer them, and therefore were content they should have a Tolleration.

You doe very well to feare the worst, but you had done better if you had armed your selfe against them, and answered the Scriptures, they bring by Scripture: But it is a plaine case, you could not do that, & therfore your feare was just; but if you were a wellminded man, or a wellmeaning Christian man, you should not have feared the comming of the truth to light, nor have been afraid of reformation, because it would worke to your greater divisions, and rents, for Christ came not to set peace upon the earth, (as I have told you before) but the seede of the Serpent will be ever playing his part.

Thus much for your second Reason.

IN your third Reason you affirme, That Tolleration will breed divisions, and Schismes, disturbing the peace and quiet of Churches, and Townes.

I answer, I have told you already, we plead for no tolleration that shall disturbe the peace of Churches or Townes.

Moreover, you say, it will not onely doe so, but it will also breed divisions in families betweene husband and wife, brother, and brother.

To which I answer, There was a division in the first Family that ever was, and brother rose up against brother, but Tolleration was not the cause of it; but the malice of Sathan in the seed of the Serpent, as it hath beene, and is now at this day.

And this is according to Christs words, Luke 12. 52, 53. which saith, That there shall be five in one house, two against three, and three against two, &c. and in Matth. 10. 34. 35. 36. Thinke not (saith he) that I come to send peace into the earth, I came not to send peace, but the sword: For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in Law against her mother in Law, and a mans enemies shall be they of his owne household; and moreover, in Luke 21. 16. our Saviour doth declare, that we shall be betrayed, both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolkes, and friends.

Now if Christ may be said to be the Author of evill, then you may say that Toleration of true Religion is the cause of this division.

Againe you say, (O how) this will occasion disobedience.

To this your Lamentation I answer. O that you would remember the rule* that every servant ought to count his Master worthy of all honour; and in the judgement of charitie beleeve, that persons professing the Gospel will learne that lesson.

Next you say O! how will this take away that power & authority which God hath given to Husbands, Fathers, and Masters, over wives, children, and servants.

To this I answer, O! that you would consider the text in 1 Cor. 7. which plainly declares that the wife may be a beleever, & the husband an unbeleever, but if you have considered this Text. I pray you tell me, what authority this unbeleeving husband hath over the conscience of his beleeving wife; It is true he hath authority over her in bodily and civill respects, but not to be a Lord over her conscience; and the like may be said of fathers and masters, and it is the very same authority which the Soveraigne hath over all his subjects, & therfore it must needes reach to families: for it is granted that the King hath power (according to the Law) over the bodies, goods, and lives of all his subjects; yet it is Christ the King of Kings that reigneth over their consciences: and thus you may see it taketh away no authority which God hath given to them.

The next thing you say is, that they cannot be certaine, that their servants and children sanctifie the Lords day.

To which I answer, that indeede unbeleeving Masters take as little care of this, as they that have given liberty to prophane the Lords Day; but beleeving Parents and Masters, may easily know (if their children or servants be of any Congregation) what their life and conversation is, and therefore this can binder no duties, or workes of Families (as you falsely affirme) nor crosse the good and peace of Familes.

By this you may see, that this your groundlesse affirmation, is no good Reason against Toleration.

And therefore the Court of Parliament (to whom you submit for judgement) may easily see that good members both for Churches and Common-wealths, may issue out of such Families, that live under Christs government, and that such Families may be good Nurseries, both for Church and Common-wealth.

Thus much for your third Reason.

IN your fourth Reason you doe affirme, that there will be great danger of disputes amongst you about Government and Worship, and Doctrine, and practises (in the Conclusion) you say, it will be about a question where Saints goe when they die, whether to heaven or a third place.

I Answer, This is a question I never heard amongst the Separates, (or any of those whom you call Independant men), but amongst the Papists of Rome, and England.

The next thing is, about sitting with hats on to breake bread?

I Answer, this may be a question indeed, but not to breede division; for it may be as lawfull for one man to sit covered & another uncovered, as it may be lawfull for one man to receive it sitting, and another lying in bed. But if any man list to be contentious, the Churches of God have no such custome.

Thus much for your Fourth Reason.

IN your fifth Reason you affirme, that the Ministers of the Kingdome, can have little assurance, of the continuance of their flockes to them, if such a toleration be granted, but that the tolerated Churches will admit them into fellowship, and increase Churches out of their labours: and that they should doe little else but spend and be spent.

To this I answer, that if you were the Ministers of Christ, as you would be taken to be, it might be your comfort, joy, and glory, for it was the Apostles worke to gather the Saints, and to travell in birth of children; and they did not grudge that they were added unto the Churches of Christ, but tooke care for them being so added, for the care of all Churches lay upon them, and therefore they were as Fathers, and Nurses, unto them; and the Gospell admits of no such theft as to steale away members from other Churches: but if men draw neere to the truth (which never were members of any Church) and offer themselves to joyne unto us; we may admit them upon good experience of their life and conversation, for those members that travelled from one Church to another, were commended unto those Churches by Letters from the Church where they were members, or else they could not have beene admitted: and thus you may see the way of the Gospell admits of no such disorder.

Now whereas you say, that this Toleration upon any light occasion of demanding dues; or preaching against any thing they like not, opens a wide doore, and will invite them to disert their Ministers.

I answer, by demanding of that which you call dues; you may indeede give just occasion, for you may demand for due, that which is not due; as all the Priests of England doe. Likewise by preaching of Doctrine, you may give just occasion, if you justifie the wicked, and condemne the just, and make sad the hearts of those whom God would not have made sad; and then if your people slye from you, you may thanke your selves; but concerning what you count to be your due, I will declare hereafter.*

Thus much for your fifth Reason.

NOw in the beginning of your sixth Reason, you say, that liberty will be an undoubted meanes and way of their infinite multiplication and increase, even to thirty fould.

Truely I thinke you are afraid, as Pharaoh was, least the Lords-people should grow mightier then you.

Next you say, if the Parliament could like to have more of the breede of them, and have a delight to have multitudes exempted from the Ecclesiasticall Lawes of the Land, &c.

I answer, it is no disgrace to the Parliament, if they should so delight, though never Parliament before had done the like.

Moreover, you say, they have increased within this nine moneths, without a toleration, therefore (you conclude) they would multiply much, if they had a toleration, in many, if not in most Townes and Parishes, and you say it cannot be helped.

All this I grant may be; although they have not a Toleration, I thinke they will increase; for the Taskemasters can lay no heavier burthens upon them, then they have said already: but though they should increase, it will not be unprofitable, for the increase of beleevers will be the strength and glory of the Kingdome; for they will in all lawfull things, be subject to the Kings Majestie their dread Soveraigne, and to all the wholesome Lawes of his Land, and therefore it will be no danger to have (as you say) swarmes of them.

Thus much for your Sixth Reason.

Pag. 29.IN your 7th. Reason you affirme, that it will be very prejudiciall dengerous and insufferable to this Kingdome, for Saints two, or three, or more, to gather, and combine themselves in Church Fellowship, having one of power from Christ their immediate heade: without expecting warrant from any Governors.

First, whereas you say it will be prejudiciall:

I answer, It can prejudice none in the Kingdome, except it be the Priests, and it will be but of a little tithes, which they dare not in conscience pay, because those Iewish Ceremonies are ceased, and if they have not Toleration, that will be all one (in that respect,) for they will rather suffer, then doe any thing against conscience.

Now whereas you say it will be dangerous, and insufferable to the Kingdome, both these I deny; for if they were offensive people, two or three or a few could doe but little hurt. But they have beene proved to be a peaccable people and the suffering of such hath never beene dangerous to any Nation, but the not suffering of such to live quietly in a Land, or to passe quietly thorow a land, hath brought Judgements upon such Lands.

Now whereas you seeme to imply, that they should aske leave of the Magistrate, to gather and combine themselves into visible Churches, &c.

I answer, I doe not reade that any ever asked leave of the Magistrate for such a thing; nor to performe any of the parts of Gods Worship or Discipline: and yet you confesse that these independant men doe petition, to the Parliament for liberty.* Now I pray you Master Edwards, would you have Magistrates, and Kings, and Princes to have more power over their subjects then over their bodies, estates, and lives? would you have them be Lords over their consciences? I pray you where must Christ reigne then? Must he sit at the Magistrats footestoole? and take what power the Magistrate will give him? (I meane spirituall power of gathering and making Churches) and such Lawes as the Magistrate will give him leave to have, to rule over them by? Here you thrust Christ into a narrow corner; for you would faine force him to give his glory to some other, and his praise to some graven Image, of your owne devising, which he hath said he will not doe.*

But me thinkes it were fitter for men of your coate, to ground the Government of Christs Church, upon the written Word of God, and not upon Statute Lawes, nor Canon Lawes, which you call Ecclesiasticall; for it will be no disparagement to the Imperiall Crowne of this Realme, for Christs Church to be governed by Christs owne Lawes.

The next thing is, you say,Pag. 30. lin. 30. 31. the Oath of Supremacie was appointed by Law for Ecclesiasticall persons to take.

Me thinkes that was a good consideration, for Ecclesiasticall persons have beene in all ages ready to tyrannize, over Kings and Emperours.

But now you aske the independant men (as you call them) a question; but before you come to the question, you lay downe an affirmation or a conclusion: (namely) That these, independant men give power to the Churches.

To which I answer; If they should doe so, they were very ignorant, and very presumptuous, for Christ hath given power to the Churches, and all the Ministers that doe administer in the Churches, must have the power by the Church.

But say you, they give that power to the Churches, which the Papists give unto the Pope.

I answer, if they doe so they are blasphemers for the Papists acknowledge the Pope to be the head of the Church: which title all men ought to give onely unto Christ.

But now to your question; which is, whether they will take the Oath of Supremacie, or doe acknowledge in their prayers, The King Defender of the Faith? &c.

To which I answer, This Ooth you say, was ordained for Ecclesiasticall persons, and I hope these Ecclesiasticall independant men (if I may safely so call them) will ever, both acknowledge, and maintaine, that the King is supreme over all the Land, therefore over the Church of the Land, though it consist of the Clergie, as it appeares by that Oath which you say was appointed for the Clergie.

But whether they doe acknowledge the King, defender of the Faith, &c. which is the later part of your Question?

To this I answer. It is out of all doubt, that these men doe desire from their heart, (as well as all the Lords people) that the King may defend the Faith of Christ Jesus, and dayly make their prayers and supplications to God for him, and that in conscience, and obedience to God, being commanded in his Word so to doe, for they know it is a duty laid upon them; for prayers and supplications must be made for Kings, and all them that be in authoritie;b but &illegible; can make axceptable prayers, but the Saints, for the prayers of the wicked are abomination unto the Lordc But that all Kings have beene defenders of the Faith of Christ, I deny; for there is but one Faith,* and those that do maintaine that true faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, lawfully have that title given them; and none other may lawfully have it but they.

You will happily say, Queene Mary was not a Defender of the Faith. But I say unto you, if the Crowne of England give unto Kings and Queenes that title; Queene Mary had as much right to the title as Queene Elizabeth. &c.

Pag. 31. lin. 30.Secondly, you say, they hold that the imposition of lawfull things, doth make them unlawfull, (which you say is a strange paradoxe.)

I answer the imposition of lawfull things doe not make them unlawfull, if he that imposeth them have authoritie so to doe: as for example; the imposition of an Oath is very lawfull; but if it be imposed by him that hath not authoritie, though it make not the Oath unlawfull simply in it selfe, yet it makes the use of it unlawfull, at that time, both to him and to me.

But as for formes of prayer: which (you say) they doe confesse to be for order, and lawfull in themselves, yet unlawfull, being imposed.

I say, not as you say, they say, for I know no forme of prayer lawfull in it selfe, for any of the Lords people to tie themselves unto; nor that ever was imposed upon any by Christ, or his Apostles; (We reade in 1 Tim. 2. 1. 2. that all manner of prayers must be made unto God; and amongst other, supplications must be made for Kings, but there was no forme of words given by which wee must pray for any: and we are commanded to pray with the Spirit, and to pray with understanding;) but we are commanded to avoid an evill manner of praying; that we should not be like the Hipocrites; which love to stand and pray in the Synogogues,* nor that we should make vaine repititions as the Heathens, which thinke to be heard for their much babling:* and as also we are forbidden an evill manner of praying; so wee are commanded by God what manner to use, as it is plaine in Matth. 6. 9.

The manner is that wee must in our prayers acknowledge God to be our Father.Matth. 6. 9.

And secondly, That he is in heaven.

Thirdly, we must give glory to his Name.

Fourthly, we must pray for the coming of his Kingdome.

Fiftly, we must pray that the Lords Will may be done,Ver. 10. both in earth and in heaven.

Sixthly, wee must pray for all things necessary for this life,Ver. 11. which is there set forth under the name of dayly bread.

Seventhly,Ver. 12. wee must pray for the forgivenesse of our owne sinnes; and we are also put in minde, that as wee would have our owne sinnes forgiven, so we should forgive others; if they acknowledge their offences, according to that in Luke 17. 4, If thy brother trespasse against thee seven times a day, and seven times a day, and say it repenteth him, &c.

Eightly,Ver. 13. we must pray against temptations to be delivered from the evills thereof.

And lastly, we must conclude with thankesgiving acknowledging the Kingdome to be the Lords and all power, and glory to be due unto him, not onely for that present time, but for ever.

Here you may see we are taught the manner how we ought to pray, but we are tied to no forme of words, yet we are to beleeve that this is a perfect Rule, and that we may sufficiently ground all the petitions we neede to put up from this very rule.

As for Example.

As we desire to acknowledge God to be our Father, so wee ought to desire, that others would doe the like.

And whereas we ought to pray for the Kingdome of God to come, we are not to limit it to this, (that Christ may come to rule in us onely) but that he may rule as a King in the heart of all his chosen.

Neither ought wee alone to acknowledge praises but wee ought to desire that prayses to God may be acknowledged by others also, and that they may grant the Kingdome, and power, and glory to be his, not that he should be a King onely to rule in the hearts of men, but also that he may rule and governe the actions of the bodies of men in his outward worship: as we are commanded to glorifie God with our bodies and soules, and the reason, is because they are his, 1 Cor. 6. 20. Now, if our bodies and soules be Gods, then it must needs be granted, that it is in spirituall worship: for in all civill things it hath beene acknowledged already, that both bodies and lives are our soveraigne Lord the Kings; in whose Land we dwell.

Now if there were any forme of prayer for men to bind themselves unto, it would have beene shewed, either in this Scripture, or in some other; which thing you have not yet proved.

That they were not tied to this forme of words is plaine by another Evangelist, which doth not use the same words, but addeth some, and leaveth out other some; and also the whole forme of thankesgiving, is left out by Luke, (Luke 11. 2. 3. 4. Compared with Matth. 6. 9.) and to seeke the helpe of any booke but the Bible to teach men to pray, is to disable God which hath promised to give Beleevers his Spirit, whereby they shall cry Abba Father,c and that that Spirit should leade them into all truth, and bring all things to their remembranced Therefore a forme of prayer for men to tie themselves unto, cannot be sufficient and pleasing to God though it were never imposed by any.

Thirdly, you lay another slander upon us, as though we should affirme, that Christian Princes, and Magistrates, who are defenders of the Faith have no more to doe in and about the Church, then Heathen Princes.

This is not true, for we know that Christian Princes, and Magistrates ought to be members of Christs Church; and so being they may be Officers in the Church; And if they be Defenders of the Faith, they be such as defend the pure worship of God, manifested in his Word, as also the true professors thereof, and that against all tyrannicall power that shall attempt to suppresse either it or them, as the good Kings of Judah and Israel did, by slaying the Servants and Prophets of Baal who had slaine the Lords people.

But Heathen Kings cannot be said to be members of the Church of Christ before they know Christ, and then they become Christian Kings. Therefore, to vent upon all occasions, such principles as you see wee hold, and maintaine, is not (as you say) dangerous and insufferable, neither are the people.

But you say further, that the people for a great part of them are heady and refractory, and proud, and bitter, and scornfull, and dispisers of authoritie, and that they will not suffer publike prayer; to be prayed, but that by their gesture and threatning of the Ministers, they have laboured to binder the use of them: And these people (I gather from your owne words) are the professors in England, and especially in the city of London; and it is very like to be so; because they were there at the time of your service; (for neither the Separates nor Semiseparates (as you call them) use to be there at the time of your service (for ought I know:) and these Professors you have also called Idle, & busibodies, tatlers also, as it is said, 1 Tim. 5. 13. very wanton in their wits (say you) affecting novelties in Religion, and liking of points that are not established nor commonly held, and these you say are many of the professors* And in your second Reason against Toleration, Pag. 24. (you say) that the mindes of multitudes of the Professors in England, and especially in this citie, are upon all occasions very apt to fall to any way in Doctrine or Discipline that is not commonly received by the Church, &c. But I tel you, you ought not to blame any for withstanding any thing in Gods worship, which is not grounded in his Word: Neither (if the whole body of the worship there tendred be the invention of man) ought any of them to be blamed for opposing such a worship; because it is according to their Protestation.

Yet I justifie none that will oppose disorderly, as either by casting up of hats, or threatning the Minister, or any the like unseemely behaviour; for I judge it better for them to depart in peace, if they have not faith in the action performed.

But methinkes (Mr. Edwards) you have soulely missed it, in that you have thus vilified your brethren, to call them by the names of those mockers which (Paul testified) should come in the last time, that should be heady, and high minded, and proud boasters, and despisers of authority; for such as these have not the power of godlinesse, (and by this you make your Church a soule Church, and defile shrewdly your owne nest, and make it appeare to all men that you live in a Cage of uncleane birds) & therefore you are commanded from such to turne aside;* if the feare of God be in your heart.

Moreover, You say, you feare they will not tolerate the Government established by the Ecclesiasticall, and civill Lawes; and you would faine father the cause of this your feare upon Separates, and Independancie, whereas you cannot be so ignorant, but that you must know, that the government established by Law may stand without the leave of Separates, for they have neither power to give toleration, nor to prohibit toleration, for, or against any thing.

But you say, you would rather pray against toleration, than prophesie of the wofull esse is of it.

I answer, if you can make such a prayer in a time acceptable, then sometimes such prayers will be accepted which are not grounded upon Gods Word.

But of the wofullest effects of toleration, you have prophesied already; in that you say, they will withstand your Doctrine and your dues,* and that will be a wofull effect indeede! when you shall be driven, to cry out, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, for in one boure is so great wealth come to desolation.

Thus much for your Seventh Reason.

IN your Eight Reason, you affirme, That these Independant men, where they have power, as in New-England, will not tolerate any Churches or Government, but in their owne way.

In using the word these, you carry the matter so darkely, that I know not whom you meane, for you have named none.

But you seeme to say, they be men that have power in New England.

I answer, Indeede it may happen to be so; That there may be some men there, that take upon them authority, to binde mens consciences, as you and all your fellowes do here. But if it have beene so, I thinke it was, because they had (here in England) taken upon them an oath of conformity, (as you have sometimes done;) and because the tyranny of the Prelats was so mighty, against all good men, that they were faine to go away privately, and so had not time or opportunity publikely to disclaime this their Oath; and then there might be feare, that upon complaint made for disorder committed there, in suffering the liberty of the Gospel there which could not be admitted here, they might have beene sent for backe by their Ordinaries, and so have been committed, to some stincking prison, here in London, there to have beene murdered, as divers of the Lords people have beene, of these late yeares, as I am able to prove of my owne knowledge; and if they have banished any out of their Parents, that were neither disturbers of the peace, of the Land, nor the worship practised in the Land, I am perswaded, it was their weakenesse, and I hope they will never attempt to doe the like. But I am still perswaded, they did it upon the same ground, that having knowledge in themselves, that their former Oath, might be a snare unto them, if they did not hold still some correspondencie with the practise of England, even till God should open a way or meanes for them to seeke free liberty for all, by the approbation of authority.

The next thing you minde against them is, that they would not admit liberty, to some of their brethren, which were godly Ministers, though they did approve of them, as being against Ceremonies.

To this, 1. I answer, that it is strange that any man should send to aske their liberty. 2. It is much more strange to me (if it be true, as you say, that these men were against Ceremonies) that there should be any difference betweene them, and the Ministers in New England.

But it seemes (by your speech) they would have gone in a middle way, which presupposeth to me, that they are so farre from being against Ceremonies, that are already invented, that they would have set up some invention of their owne.

The next thing you charge some of them with, is, That they would not admit into fellowship, those that would not enter into their Covenant, and professe faith, and submit to their Church Orders, though they would be of their Church.

Me thinkes you have strange evasions, but I pray you answer me to these two questions: the first is, how men of yeares of discretion, may (by the rule of Gods Word) be admitted into fellowship, and not professe their faith.

Secondly, how men may be accounted, to be of the Church, and not submit unto the orders of the Church: Seeing that the Apostle Paul had these two things to rejoyce in; the beholding of the Saints stedfast faith, and comely order, in the Church.

But you say, that these men would faine have a toleration in this great kingdome, will not allow any in their small particular Congregations.

Truely (Mr. Edwards) It were good for you to labour to understand the minde and will of God for your selfe, and have charitie towards your brethren; and hope well, that they have so much knowledge, of the Lords will, that they will not pleade for such an absurdity, as to set up one Church, within another, and so make a schisme. But the Toleration they plead for, is that Gods true worship, may be set up in the Kingdome by those that understand what it is; and that by the sufferance of the Governors; and that it should be setled in a peaceable way; which would be farre from disturbing the peace of three Kingdomes, (as you invectively speake;) but to set up a Congregation in a Congregation, would be confusion, even as to set up one Kingdome within another.

The next thing you charge them with, is, that they are partiall; (by a supposition of your owne:) for you say, it is ordinary for men, when they are not in place, nor have no power in Church or Common-wealth; and hold also Doctrines and principles contrary to what is held and established; to pleade for Toleration; but when the same men come to have place and power (say you) they will not tolerate others; and you say, that you doe beleeve that these are the men, which now indevour a toleration.

To this I answer, you may doe well to let this beleefe of yours be no Article of your faith, because it stands upon no ground; for though a man may hope the best, and feare the worst; yet he may beleeve nothing but what he hath proofe for. But I doe beleeve that all this is your evill surmising, (to think, that if they had power in their hands to settle a Government, they would tolerate none but their independant way,) as it may plainely appeare by the Protestation Protested, which you quote here for your Author, for though the Protestor declare what he would have for the Churches of the Saints; yet he doth not take upon him to determine, what Government or rule, shall be set up in the Land, to bring men out of darkenesse to light, but leaveth that to the judgement of them which have the power, even the King and Parliament.

Thus much for your Eight Reason.

IN your ninth Reason you affirme, that toleration may be demanded, upon the same grounds, for Brownists, Anabaptists, and Familists, and others, who professe it is their conscience.

To which I answer; That seeing you plead for them, I may well hold my peace. But I thinke the Familists will not aske liberty for toleration if they be as (I doe conceive) of the Sect of the Libertines mention in the Acts.

But, say you, these may be pleaded for upon better grounds then Semi-Separates, and the Reason you say is, because they deny the truth of your Church.

Answer, I do beleeve, those (whom you call Semi-Separates) do deny the truth of your Church also; (though not in all respects,) and so farre as they be Separates, they must needs deny the Church from which they Separate.

But you here demand, whether Papists may not petition and have hope: for toleration, seeing it is their conscience.

To this I answer, I know no reason why they may not petition and hope to speede also, seeing they have many friends in the Kingdome.

Further, you adde, that if one sort may have an exemption from the Religion established, why not others?

I answer, There may be many reasons given, why those may not have freedome (of any great resorts in the Land) which have often attempted, by plots, and treachery to ruinate the Land.

The next thing you affirme, is, if ever the doore of toleration, should be but a little opened, there would be great crowding in.

To this I answer, That the more good men doe imbrace the whole truth of God, the better it will be, but there have beene too many crowders and creepers in in all ages; and we may justly seare it will be so still; for the Text saith, in the 2 Pet. 2. 2. That many shall follow their destruction, and some of them shall doe it through &illegible; who shall with fained words make merchandise of the Lords people (as is plaine in the next verse) whose destruction sleepeth not. But who these creepers in be, appeares by the 15. verse of this Chapter, That they were they that loved the wages of unrighteousnesse as Balaam did: But if any one so doe, his last end shall be worse then his beginning.

Thus much for your ninth Reason.

IN your Tenth Reason, you affirme, That the first principle of the Independant way, is, That two or three Saints wheresoever, or by what meanes soever they doe arise; separating themselves from the world into the fellowship of the Gospell, are a Church truely gathered: for this you quit? Mr. Robinsons Iustification, pag. 221.

But in that page there is no such thing written, as I can finde, but seeing it commeth so neere the truth, we neede not to contend about it. For I doe affirme, that a company of Saints, Separated from the world, and gathered into the fellowship of the Gospell (by what meanes so ever it be, that matters not, so it be by the teaching of the Sonne of God, according to that in Heb. 1. 1.) these Saints (I say) separating themselves, and being gathered into the fellowship of the Gospell (though they combine themselves without the warrant of the Governours) are a true Church, and have right to all Gods Ordinances,Matth. 18. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. Rev. 21. 27. and 22, 14, 15. not onely to admit men into fellowship, but also to admonish, to reprove and to cast out of their societie all obstinate offenders amongst them that doe transgresse, either against the first or second Table; having (as hath beene said before) the Spirit of God to guide them, and wisedome from above to judge of persons, and causes, within the Church, though they have nothing to doe to judge those that are without.

And this doth not make way for Libertisnime, for Heresies and Sectaries (as you say) neither doth it make men to runne from their owne Ministers, because they restraine them from sinne, or keepe them to Gods Ordinances, (as you doe affirme) for if any separate for any such cause, they shall not be received into fellowship, nor justified of any of the Lords people.

But the way of the Gospell, as hath beene plainely proved, is not to live without Gods Ordinances, nor to live at liberty (as you say) except you meane the liberty wherein Christ hath set them, and commanded them to stand fast, because he hath made them free, Gal. 5. 1. By this you may see the Saints are called into liberty; but not a liberty to sinne (as you would insinuate) but to be freed from the yoake of bondage, which is the tyranny, or tyrannicall government of the Canon Lawes, either of Rome or England.

But you say, all heretickes, Sectaries, or libertines will count themselves Saints, as well as the Independant men; and the reason you seeme to give for this, is, because the Ministers, and Magistrats of the Kingdome, shall not have power to determine who be Saints.*

Now let all men judge what a weighty argument this is, who is he that knows any thing, & knows not this, that the Priests in England which are the Bishops creatures, do generally justifie the wicked, and condemne the just, and are not these meet men to judge Saints? they justifie none that will not be conformable, and yeeld unto the traditions which they have invented, in their Councels and Convocations; though they have not one title of Gods Word to warrant them; Furthermore, they condemne all that will not submit, to their devised worship, even in all the traditions thereof: and this is the dependancie which they have brought all men unto, both high and low, even to be subject to their wills, which is a Law.

But now touching the Magistrate, you would seeme to inferre that he should have no more power than a Priest.

It is plaine, the Priests have no power, but what they have by permission, and sufferance, though they have dependancie upon the Pope himselfe, but the Magistrate hath power given him of God, by whom he is set up, for the praise of those that doe well, and for the punishment of evill doers, and hath the same rule given him (whereby to judge them) that God hath given to his Church; especially Christian Magistrates, notwithstanding they are opposed, yet they have power given of God; as you may reade in Acts 7 35. This man Moses whom they for sooke saying, who make thee a Prince and a Iudge, the same God sent for a Prince and a deliverer: and this is he which was as a God unto Aaron; when Aaron was as the mouth of Moses to the people, Exod. 4. 16. Now if you Priests could have proved your selves as Aaron, then you might have beene assistants to Godly Magistrates to deliver the Lords people out of the hands of Tyrannicall Princes; but contrariwise, you adde afflictions as Pharaohs Taskemasters did;Exod. 5. 19. even you (Mr. Edwards) when you say the Lords people are wanton-witted and idle, when they desire to have liberty to serve God.

And thus you sit in the consciences of men; judging zeale to be hypocrisie; but the time will come, when every worke shall be brought to judgement.

And now drawing neere to an end of this Answer to your tenth Reason (which is the last of this your joyned army) it is good to looke backe a little, and consider what hath beene said.

You have spoken much for Dependencie; but upon whom you doe depend, I cannot tell;

You labour to bring men into doubts, by your suppositions, but you doe not make any conclusion, which is Gods way, that men fearing God, may expect a blessing when they walke in it, but you cry out for Dependencie, upon Councels, and Synods, and Churches; I pray you what Dependencie hath the Church of England upon any other Church? for I suppose you will say, that all the Land is but one Church.

If you say, that you have Dependencie, upon the Church of Rome; I doe beleeve you; for the Bishop of Canterbury hath said so much, in his booke, where hee confesseth, Rome to be as leprous Naaman, and England to be the same Naaman cleansed.

Now that it is the same, may easily be proved, by divers of your owne Authors. But you in your Epistle, affirme, it is not cleansed, in that place, where you say, that there is yet Altars and Images, brasen Serpents, abused to Idolatry, with divers other things, which you would have purged out.

By this it appeares, that it is the same with Rome, in the very nature of it, though not in every Circumstance, and this (for any thing can be discerned) is the Dependancie, for which you pleade: even the Dependancie and affinitie, betweene Rome and England.

Therefore you should rather have said, That in the belly of this Dependancie, doth lurke all liberty, and heresie, and whatsoever, Sathan, and the corrupt hearts of men have a pleasure to broach. For in that way, it is too common for men to broach their owne pleasures; for their Religion is made of mens inventions.

Thus much for your 10th. Reason.

YEt furthermore, (for addition to these ten Reasons, you adde a Question;* your Qeustion is, what these men would have in this Toleration, Whether the number of five or sixe Congregations onely, and no more? Or whether the number shall be left undetermined, and be free to multiply? &c.

For answer to this, I doe affirme, that the number ought not to be limitted, for the Churches of the New Testament were free, to multiply, not onely in greatnesse, but also in number. I say they were left free by God; for the Apostles were not limitted, from constituting Churches wheresoever men were brought to beleeve in Christ.

But say you, it is their principles to breake one Church in two or three.

I answer, I know no man that holdeth any such principle.

But say you, it hath beene so at Amsterdam, Roterdam, and London.

To this I answer, I deny not, but that there may be offences taken, and sometimes given, which may cause men to depart one from another (as Paul and Barnabas did) sometimes about persons, and sometimes about things; and wofull experience teacheth all men, that brethren are apt to fall out by the way; and that Ioseph knew very well, when he admonished his brethren to the contrary.* But though some should be offended, and could not be reconciled, (as the Scripture saith, a brother offended, is harder to be wonne than a strong citie*) yet the departing of such a brother, (or brethren) cannot make that Church two Churches, yet notwithstanding this may sometimes tend to the further spreading of the Gospell even as the departing of Paul and Barnabas did. Not that I justifie the practise of any that are not apt to beare, but that God doth sometimes, bring good out of evill, (as it was in the selling of Ioseph,* by turning it to his owne glory, and the good and comfort of his people.

Therefore you neede not to marvell, which shall be the state approved by the Magistrate; because that properly, there remaineth but one intire state, (in such cases of division, as you have before mentioned.) By all this it appeares that it is none of our principles to breake one Church into two or three.

But you say, if the number be left undetermined, there may be many Churches in a Towne.

For answer whereof. I must tell you, that I reade in the Scriptures of no more Churches in a towne, but one, as in Ierusalem where there were many Converts, yet I reade but of one Church.

Now this was in the first plantation of the Gospell, but what they might increase to afterward, the Scripture is silent in, for any thing I know.

But that there may be two or three in one place (as you say) that seemeth unto me to be confusion, except they should meete in one place for consultation, which may very well be, for God is the God of Order and not of confusion.

And I never reade in the Scripture, that two Churches met together in one place, for the practise of publike worship.

But say you; we may have, every where, three or foure men; of an opinion differing from others, to goe to make a Church.

To this I answer, If you meane (by every where) in every Towne of the Land, I say, although it should be so, (and though there be sixe townes in a Parish) yet it will be no no confusion; for the fewer they are together the lesse ground will there be of fearing them.

But touching divisions and subdivisions.

If any such thing happen, it is but that which we have bin told on before. The Apostles words are these, They went out from us, because they were not of us, &c.* and if evill minded men, that crept in departed from Christ,* we neede not to thinke much, that such creepers in, should depard from us also; yet the disorderly going away of any (as I have said before) doth not make them a Church which goe away disorderly.

And thus I have given you an answer to your second tenth Reason,* for in your Booke you have by your stile made it a Reason, though you seemed at the first entrance into it to make it but a question.

But before you conclude the whole, you subjoyne to these, the Answer to five or sixe things (which you would make to be their reasons) and you say that they are continually alleadged, by them for their toleration, in this Kingdome.

THe first Reason (you say they bring) is, that toleration is no more then the French, and Dutch enjoy, who live among us.

Indeede that is a very good reason, for methinkes it stands with equitie, that Natives borne, should have as much priviledge as Strangers.

But you would seeme to alter the state of the case, in sixe respects.

First, That the French and Dutch Protestants have nothing, nor desire nothing, as contra distinct to the Protestants of France and Holland.

I answer, if the Protestants of France, and Holland, have liberty of their conscience, and be not at all burdened, with Iewish, Popish, or Heathenish Observations, but may be free there, to worship God, according to his Will, revealed in his Word, then they that are here (amongst us) neede not to seeke more liberty, and I am sure the Independant men will aske no more.

Secondly, you say, that this liberty, was granted, by our Pious Princes, in the times of persecution to the Protestants.

Here you crosse your first respect, for if these Protestants were persecuted in France, then it is certaine their Religion was different, from the state of their owne Nation; for you say they could not enjoy their Religion at home.

Furthermore you adde, that it hath beene kept ever since, for a refuge to the persecuted Protestants.

To which I answer, The very like may be said of the libertie granted to the English Church in Amsterdame, which hath beene a refuge for the Protestants which have beene persecuted out of England ever since.

But (you say) we may enjoy our Religion in this Land, and that by the authority of the King and Parliament.

If it be so: I pray you what is the meaning, of the bleating of such cattell, as your selfe? which cry out dayly to the King and Parliament, for the suppression of the Lords people; and for the hindring of their meetings.

Thirdly, you say, The French and Dutch Churches will willingly be joyned in Government, and in one way of discipline with the Kingdome, if there be a Reformation.

Indeede if you had not added a great If, here you had told a loud untruth, but if this were performed, that there were a Reformation, according to Gods Will, I doubt not but the Independant men would doe the like.

Fourthly, you say these Churches doe not hold our principles, but doe admit of appeales in great businesses.

I answer, I have told you already, and I now tell you againe, that I admit of appeales also, such as the Scripture warrants, and I have declared at large what appeales they be.*

Fifthly, you say, they be strangers different in Language, and have little acquaintance with you (keeping themselves for the most part among themselves) and therefore (say you) there will be the lesse danger of drawing away the people.

I answer, if they differ so little from you, as you would make the world beleeve, there were small cause of danger, or Schisme, if they will willingly be joyned (as you said before) in Government, and in one way of discipline with the Kingdome.

Further, you adde, that they vent no principles, against your Church, and Government.

I answer, Indeede, if they should never open a mouth to speake, yet their practise makes them different from you, both in worship and government; and yet it may be upon better considerations, they may draw neerer to the rule hereafter; but for my part I leave them, as being partly ignorant of their practise.

But you say, they will not admit your people to be members of their Congregations.

Answer, Indeede I doe not know that ever they have refused any; but this much I know; that some English people, that have the French, and Dutch tongue, have, and doe goe thither to heare; but that any should desire to goe thither to heare, that have not the language, were very absurd.

Sixthly, There, is (say you) a great reason, and necessity, of allowing them Churches and places to preach, and be by themselves, and the reasons you yeeld, are (1) because many of them understand not English at all, and (2) for the benefit of strangers of their owne Religion.

To which I answer, The very same may be said concerning the English Churches in Holland.

But further you adde, that they may well be allowed some Discipline among themselves, in respect they maintaine all their owne poore.

Methinks (Mr. Edwards) there should be much more reason, that the English Protestants, or Separates, should be tolerated, for the same cause, for they maintaine all their owne poore also. And furthermore, they maintaine the poore of the Church of England; yea, in every parish where their dwelling houses stand, they pay to the poore weekely, as well as any other man.

They also pay their money for the maintenance of the Visited Houses in the Parishes where they dwell.

Nay, furthermore, they pay also their mony for the maintenance of the Priests of England, (the more is the pitty) and so I feare the Dutch and French doe also, yea though the Priests are as Popish as they were in Queene Maries time. And this is well knowne to all Landlords that doe let them houses, for if they know them to be Separates, and that they will not, have to doe with the Priests in the pay ment of that they call dues, they make their Tenant pay the more rent, for if the Tenant will not the Landlord must. And by this you may see, their burthens are double to other mens; in that they must maintaine their owne poore and their owne Ministers, and the Church of Englands also.

And by this you may see, that you have not (in the least) altered the state of the case, betweene the Dutch, and French, and us, in the causes before mentioned.

Therefore this their first reason for toleration lies yet unanswered by you.

FOr answer to their second Reason, which (you say) is that they seeke no more then is granted them, in Holland; your answer to it is this,

That if that be a good ground, then Jewes and Anabaptists may have a toleration also.

To this I answer, For my part I speake for my selfe, and I suppose, that they may say as much for themselves (in these late respects, which you have mentioned) as the Separates doe, for they maintaine their poore, and their Ministers, and the poore, and the Priests of the Church of England, as well as we. And I thinke they are persecuted and hunted also; but I will leave them to pleade for themselves.

Further, you adde, That such a Toleration is not fit, neither in Divinity, nor in policie.

I answer, I know no true Divinitie that teacheth men to be Lords over the conscience; and I thinke it is no part of Godly policie, to drive the Kings subjects out of the land, because they desire free liberty to worship God in the Land according to his will; the States of Holland are counted politicke, and yet they esteeme it the Strength of their Kingdome, to grant free libertie of conscience.

Secondly, you say, there may be a toleration for us in Holland, with much more safety to the government established, then can be here, because the people understand not our language; and also have little, or no relation to us of kindred and friendship, &c.

I answer, I must say to you, as I have said already, that there was never any danger to a Kingdome, to suffer the Lords people to live quietly, and enjoy their liberty.

Thirdly, you say, The people of the Holenders are generally industrious, and mind their businesse, and keeping to what is established by their Lawes, not troubling their heads so much with other points of Religion.

By this one may easily perceive your minde (Mr. Edwards) with the rest of your fellowes, and also know, that you are naturally derived from Rome, in that you would have all men, to content themselves, with an implicit faith; and to take for granted, what government your Lawes alloweth, and what worship your inventions have hatcht; and not to search the the Scripture at all.

Further you add here, that the people in England are not so, especially in this city of London and great Townes, you say many of the professors, are more idle, and busie bodies, tatlers also, as it is said, 1 Tim. 5. 13. very wanton also in their wits, affecting novelties in Religion, &c.

Now truly (Mr. Edwards) if you were of my mind, and were a member of such a Church, that had such members in it; you woulde be so farre from fearing, of being beguilded of them, that you would be very glad to have such birds taken out of your nest. But you are so farre from observing the rule of Christ (Matth. 18. 15.) that is to tell your brother of his fault betweene him and you that you rather walke with slanders and elamours, vilifying your owne mothers sonnes; so that every good man may be ashamed of you.

Fourthly, you say, that Holland tolerates us and many others, but it is more upon grounds and necessitie of worldly respects, because of the benifite of exsise towards the maintenance of warre.

Now (Mr. Edwards) you have utterly overthrowne your owne Argument, laid downe in the beginning of your answer to this their second Reason, for then you said, it was against the rule of policie; but now you say it is their policie.

And whereas you would make the case different betweene England and Holland.

I answer, It is not different at all; for England hath the Subjects purses to maintaine warres as well as Holland; and though it be not in exsise for victuals, yet it is in some other wayes from which the subjects of Holland are freed.

The next thing you affirme, is; That your riches and strength, standeth in one way of Religion.

To which I answer, I thinke (if I could understand your minde herein) you meane the riches and strength of the Priests: for I am sure the riches, and strength of the Kingdome, may stand best with Toleration, as it may appeare, partly by what hath been said already, for you have heard that the Lords people (whom you thus persecute) maintaine their owne poore.

And it will also be made appeare, that they pay Scot, and Lot, in the Kingdome, in all civill respects, and are all as true subjects to the Kings Majesty, and are ready to doe him all faithfull service with their bodies, and estates, as any in the Kingdome.

But I confesse that toleration would be neither riches nor strength to the Priests, for it is fore against the peoples will, that they pay them any thing now; and it will be no wonder when it shall be made to appeare, what the Priests wages is,* but that shall be done hereafter.

THeir third Reason you say is, That if they have not liberty to erect some Congregations, it will force them to leave the Kingdome.

For answer whereof, you doe affirme (in the first place) that there is no neede of a toleration for them; neither that they should leave the Kingdome for conference, and that you say will appeare by the Reasons and principles which they doe agree to, which you say are these;

First, that they hold your Churches true, your Ministers true, Ordinances true: Further you say they can partake with you in your Congregations in all Ordinances, even to the Lords Supper.

To which I answer, Indeede here you would make the Readers beleeve, that they had opened a wide gappe, (if they should take your affirmation, without your provisall) but you come to helpe your selfe handsomely, in that you say their condition was, that it must first be provided, that scandalous and ignorant persons must be kept backe, and Ceremonies must be removed.

Methinks, this is a mighty great mountaine, that stands between them and you, and therefore you have small cause, to aske them wherefore they should desire, to set up Churches? for till this mountaine be removed, they may be true to their own principles, and not go from their word, and yet never communicate with you, either in worship, or government.

For first, If you keepe out all scandalous persons, out of all the Churches in England, from the Sacraments, and all ignorant persons; truely then your Churches will be as emptie as ours.

Secondly, If you should remove away all your Ceremonies, (which is the second part of your reformation,) you could not tell how to worship; for your whole forme and manner of worship is made of invented Ceremonies.

But if you can procure such a reformation, to have your Church all consist of persons of knowledge, fearing God, and hating covetousnesse, & void of all other scandalls (so far as we can judge by the Scripture) and that the Ceremonies may be removed, and we enjoy (as you bragge) all Gods Ordinances with you, as well as in our owne Churches, then you shall heare, what I will say to you, as well as the Independant men.

But till all this be done, you see there is still good reason, for good men, either to desire liberty, or to leave the Kingdome.

Further, you say, some of them could take the charge of Parochiall Churches amongst you, upon the Reformation.

I Answer, Indeede such a Reformation, which you have formerly mentioned, will hardly stand with Parochiall Churches.

But you say, they could yeeld to Presbyteriall Government, by Classes and Synods; so they might not be injoyned to submit to it, as Jure Divino.

To which I answer. It seemes (by your owne confession) that they doe deny the Presbyteriall government by Classes, and Synods, to be from God, as it appeares, in that you say, they will not submit to it, as Iure Divino, and therefore you have overthrowne your selfe (in all this your reasoning) with your Synods and Classes also; so that still there remaines good grounds to seeke a Toleration, that the Saints may grow into bodies even in this Land.

But to grow into one body with you (as you would have them) while your Churches body is like a Leopard, and all bespotted (as appeares by your words) were very absurd; for you doe affirme, that the best of your members, even the Professors, especially of London, and of the great Townes in England; are very foule; yet I hope you will confesse, that they are the best of your members; then if it be true (as you say) that you must remove in your Reformation, all ignorant and scandalous persons: by your grounds, you should have but a very few to make a Church of as well as wee. For you must remove also all your Professors, which you say are so scandalous.

Therefore, I should rather counsell you to repent of all your evills that you have done, and be reconciled to God the Father, and Christ his Sonne, and separate your selves from all your wickednesse, and even come and grow up into one body with us.

Secondly, you say, Seeing your Churches, Ministers, and Ordinances be true, the erecting of new, and withdrawing from such Congregations, can never be answered to God.

I answer, Here you take for granted that which you cannot prove, and it is your wisdome so to doe, for by that meanes; you may make simple people beleeve, that you are very right, except a few defects, which no man shall be freed from, while he is in this life.

But now to the point; and first, touching your Churches and Ministers, which you say be true, and you also say, the Independant men would grant them to be true, upon a Reformation, such as the Word requires.

I tell you for answer, that this your juggling will not helpe you, for no man is bound to take your bare word, therefore it is good you make proofe of that which you have said.

But before you goe to prove your Churches true, declare unto me what Churches you meane? for I ever tooke the whole Land of England to be but one Church, (as it stands established by the Canon Laws) and that all the Parishes in the Land make up but one entire body, therefore what is amisse in one Parish, all the whole are guilty of, and it will be laid to the charge of the Archbishops, who are the Metropolitanes, or chiefe Priests over the Church of the Land. Seeing it is so, you must stand out to maintaine your Church, and you neede not to trouble your selfe about your Church-es for I know no dependancie you have upon any, except it be Rome, according as I have told you before in the conclusion of my answer to your first tenth Reason against Independencie. Therefore this is the Church that you must maintaine, even the Church of England, established by the Canon Laws, consisting of Archbishops, Diocesan Bishops, with all the rest of that crew; for this is indeed both your Church and Ministry, which doth appeare by your owne ground, because you affirme, that in this part lieth all the power: but (by your owne grounds) the whole body of the Land (I meane of the Laitie (as you call them) hath no power at all to reforme any abuse: therefore this Clergy must needs be your Church; and thus you make your selves the head, and body, and all the rest of the Land the eayle to follow after you.

Now if you can prove this to be a true Church, which hath neither ground, nor footing in Christs Testament, you will worke wonders: but indeede such wonders have been wrought by you; for all the world hath wondered, and runne after the beast, saying, Who is like unto him? and who is able to make warre with him?Rev. 13. as you may plainely see in the 13. of the Reveation. Therefore they that doe justifie such a Church, are such as have beene deceived by her false miracles, even by the fire which she hath made to come downe from heaven.

I pray you did not fire come downe from heaven in Queene Maries time, and devour the Saints in Smithfield; if you understand heaven in that place, as I understand it (to be the seate of the Magistrate) you must grant the same, for they are called Gods, and the children of the most high.

For your forefathers did (as Pilat did) wash their hands from the blood of the Saints, and of the innocent, and turned them over, for their sentence of condemnation, to the Secular power, which you made your hornes, and your heads pushed them forward to execute your bloody cruelty; and thus you may see that fire came downe from heaven, in the sight or apprehension of men for most that beheld it thought it was just, because it was the sentence of the Magistrate.

And by this all men may see, that you of the Clergie are the Church of England and that this Clergy came from Rome,Whence the Church of England is derived. Whence the Church of Rome is derived. and that therefore your Church is derived from Rome.

Now if you would know whence the Church of Rome was derived; I conceive that her power was derived from the beast with seven heads, which rose up out of the sea, as you may read of in the thirteenth of the Revelations, for there both those beasts are mentioned, and also the Image of the first beast, which the second beast hath caused to be made, which is even here in England amongst us; and you may see I have proved unto you already what it is; as you may also read in the 15. verse of that Chapter, it was that to whom the beast gave a spirit, and also he gave it power that it should speake, and cause as many as would not worship the Image of the beast, to be killed, and hath not this Image caused aboundance to be killed in England, and hath not he caused all to receive his marke, or his name, or the number of his name; and they that have it not, may neither buy nor sell, as it is apparant by the testimonie of the Scripture it selfe, and wofull experience.

And is not this Image the Church that now you pleade for? which consisteth of all the Priests of England;What the Image of the first beast is. if it be not, I pray you tell me what it is?

But if this be it (as it appeares it is) then these are your Ministers also; and then it hath beene proved plainely, whence this your Church and Ministry came. And that any of understanding should grant this Church, and Ministry to be a true Church and Ministery, would bewray great ignorance in them.

Further you adde, that they acknowledge the Ordinances to be true.

In this I doe beleeve you upon your bareword, for it is a truth, if you meane Gods Ordinances which you have amongst you.

As first, you have the Scripture but you wring it and wrest it, according to your owne devices, and make of it a nose of waxe, and a leaden rule to leane which way your minde leadeth you; and though you ought to take that reede or rod in your hand, at all times (if you were Gods messengers) to measure both the Temple and the Altar and the worshippers, (Rev. 11 2, yet you have not learned that skill, (for your Church and Ministrie holdeth no correspondencie with that measuring line.) but contrariwise you have taken that golden cup, and filled it full of abominations; may, you have hacked it and mangled it to peeces, and made it into little lessons, which you call your Epistles and Gospells & they are Dedicated to your Saints, upon your Saints-Dayes; and thus you may see though you have the Scriptures (which is the Word of God) and take upon you to unfold the mysteries thereof, yet in stead of that, you darken the truth by false glosses.

Secondly, you have the Sacraments, even baptisme, and breaking of breade: but you pervert them both, to your owne destruction; neverthelesse they still remaine Gods Ordinances, even as the golden vessells, were Gods vessels, when they were in Babel though Belshazar made them his quassing boules, yet still they remained to be Gods vessels. Even so did Circumcision remaine Gods Ordinance, though it was with Ierobeam. The like may be said of Baptisme; in still remaines Gods Ordinance, though it be carried away with backesliding Antichristians (even the Apostate fallen stats) and so you may read in the eleventh of the Revelation, ver. 2. that the court must be left out, and be unmeasured; and the reason was because it was given to the Gentiles, even to them that should tread downe the holy citie for 42. monethes; this court we know belonged to the Temple (as you may read in the 42. of Ezekiel) and had in it the Ordinances belonging to the people. And although you have Baptisme, and the Lords Supper they will not sanctifie you; though they may be sanctified to the use of them amongst you which are Gods people, according to the election of grace.

And though you have some of Gods Ordinances, amongst you; yet you have added unto them many Ordinances of your owne devising, which doth utterly debarre the Lords people, which have knowledge of them, from communicating with you in any worship.

As for example,

How shall any man partake with you of the word preached in your assemblies, but he must needs partake also with the false calling of the Priest, by which it is preached, for none else are suffered to preach amongst you, (by your leave or approbation,) but they that preach by that false power.

And who shall receive the Sacraments with you, and not justifie your devised Service-booke? for all your things are administred by that. And as all the Lords Ordinances ought to be sanctified by the Word of God and prayer: So on the contrarie you labour to sanctifie your things, by the stinted service-booke; and therefore the withdrawing from you, may be answered to God.

Further, you beare the world in hand, that you have but something amongst you wanting yet, that were to be desired, and therefore you say there is no cause to leave the Kingdome, nor for private men to set up true Churches.

Answer, Indeed If your Church & Ministers could be proved true (which you see is a thing unpossible) then it had beene needlesse (as you say) to leave the Land; but neither is your Church nor Ministers true, nor can the Ordinances be had amongst you without sinne: and that this is the judgement of the Independant men, is plaine by your former confession; Where you affirne, they will not heare of growing into one body (or communicating) with you before a Reformation; neither submit to your Classes or Presbyters, as Jure Divino.

But in the next place you say, the setting up of devided Churches, would be to the scandall of all the Churches, and not the giving of scandall to one brother, but to tenue thousands of Congregations.

Truely (Mr. Edwards) you overshoote your selfe (in that you make your selfe such an apparant dissembler) for you would make men beleeve, that you desire to keepe your Church and brethren unspotted, and yet you your selfe with your owne tongue, have most soulely scandalized the chiefe members of your Church, making them so soule a people, that they ought not to be communicated with.*

Further, your words imply that so long as a man is not put upon the practise of that which is unlawfull, be may beare.

I tell you againe, that your whole manner is unlawfull and therefore all the Lords people, as they desire to be blessed and to be sound walking in Gods waves have cause to separate from your Church, and to practise Gods Ordinances among themselves, as well as they who are separated already, (which you here you call Brownists) and the grounds and causes be so great, that they may well be justified.

But you would have conscious men to consider Mr. Robinson, concerning circumstantiall corruptions; you say, he shewes it is not an intolerable evill, for evill men be suffered in the Church, &c. yet you confesse be affirmes it to be an evill.

Two things are here to be minded.

First, that you would still please your selfe with this, that you have a true Church (though corrupted) which hath beene proved contrary.

Secondly, that you would justifie your Church by the sinnes of others.

But you know what Mr. Robinson saith, That the government instituted by Christ is not onely neglected or violated in the Church of England, but the plaine contrarie to it is established by Law.

But you say, now supposing your Reformation, it will be otherwise with England, then when he writ.

But (you may see) it is verie plaine that the crueltie, and wickednesse, of the Church of England hath increased ever since that time.

You say there is but something neglected, and you would make it the want of some Law to suppresse evill men.

To which I answer, That your Canon Lawes be evill Lawes, and your Lawmakers evill men, and therefore it could not stand with their principles to make Lawes to suppresse evill men.

Thirdly, you say, that they (whom you call Independant) live in and are members of such Churches, and yet they thinke it unlawfull, to forsake them.

I pray you, have any of them told you, that their Churches be like the Church of England? you must make proofe thereof, for in this I will not take you upon your bare word.

Further, you say they want some parts of Government and Officers, appointed by Christ, more materially than will be in your Church, upon a Reformation.

I answer, I have plainely proved to you: that Christs Church hath his Government, and Officers; but your Church hath neither Christs Government nor Officers. But what it will be upon the Reformation. I cannot tell.

But you say, they must want the Ordinances, or else they must have them with instruments, without ordination.

I answer, This is untrue as hath beene proved at large, in the answers to one of your former Reasons against Independancie.

But you say you would have them beare with the defects in your Church, and waite till God give you more light.

I answer, I know none that interrupteth you, for wee will neither meddle with your Idols, nor with your Gods: if you would but suffer us to worship our God, after the way that you call boresie.

The next thing you say is that they tell you that something may be omitted for a time, and that affirmatives binde not alwayes and that the exercise of Discipline may be forborne for a time, when it will not be for edification to the Church, but for destruction; and therefore you question them for not incorporating themselves into your Church, though something were more there to be desired, yet you say, there will be nothing contrary put upon them (nor quite another thing.)

Now that something may be omitted for a time, that may plainely appeare; for a man that hath brought his gift to the Altar, and there remembreth that his brother hath ought against him, must leave the offering of his gift, and goe and be reconciled to his brother, Matth. 5. 23. 24.

Now that affirmatives binde not alwayes, is plaine; for they binde not alwayes in cases of impossibility, but in such cases God accepteth the will for the deede.

Further, whereas you say, the excellencie of discipline may be forborne for a time, when it is not for Edification of the Church, but for destruction;

I say, true discipline, (being rightly used) is alwayes for the edification of the Church, and never for destruction.

And whereas you affirme, that there is nothing contrary put upon us by you, (or quite another thing;)

I answer, wee know you have none of Gods Ordinances, without some other thing to accompany them.

Fourthly, you say, that they may safely be members of your Church in the Reformation of you.

I answer, You might well have spared this your vaine repetition till you had obtained a Reformation.

But the Reason you have heard alleadged for their first going away granted in a letter from Rotterdam. that reason still remaines (though you say it is ceased) and will remaine till the Reformation, you have formerly promised,

But say you, that practise they judge themselves tied to, is founded upon a false principle (namely) that the power of government is given by Christ to the body of the Congregation.

I answer, I have told you before, (in the reply to the second part of this your answer to their third Reason) & I now tell you againe, that you make your Priests the head and body both; but Christ hath given the power to the Church which is his body, by whose power every Officer, and member thereof, doth move, and doe their severall Offices.

Fifthly, There is, say you a medium, between persecution and a publike Toleration; a middle way, say you, betweene not suffering them to live in the Land, and granting them liberty.

I Answer, This is a very true thing, for Pharaoh would have beene willing, that the children of Israel, should have stayed in Egypt, and made him bricke, but he would not suffer them to goe into the wildernesse, to offer sacrifice. But if Pharoah had beene willing to have succoured the children of Israel, he would have commanded his taskemasters not to lay burthens upon them, that they could not beare; but he did not doe so, and therefore their bricke-making turned to persecution, even as your injunctions and penall Lawes doe here in England, and you binde them up with a pretence of his Majesties command, which makes the burthen very mighty.

By this it is plaine, that no good man can live in England without persecution, even at this day.

But you would have them to have a third way, for you say persons may live in the Land, and injoy their Lands and liberties, and not be compelled to professe, and practise, things against their conscience.

I pray you (Mr. Edwards) bethinke your selfe now, how untruly you speake and whether you doe not looke one day to give an account, for your words, for you know that no man can live in this land, and enjoy his lands and liberty, but he shall be forced to worship according to the custome of the Nation. Nay, children that be but sixteene yeares of age, though ignorant, and scandalous in their lives, are forced to receive the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, though it be to their utter condemnation.

Further you adde, that if upon petition to the Parliament, the Papists should have the Statutes repeated, which injoyne them to come to your Church, yet say you, the granting the Papists a publike toleration, for their Religion, would be quite another thing, in as much as you say though the Papists were the first in petitioning for the former, yet they move not for the latter.

For answer to this, I tell you;

First, That for granting the Papists publike exercises will not much crosse your principles, for they and you are naturall brethren.

Secondly, for that they move not for the latter (as you say:) They neede not for they injoy it without moving, and till this Parliament, none hath disturbed them for many yeares.

But further, you addr, that so you judge that the Independant men may live in the land freely and injoy their liberties and estates, (but you have your clause whereby you still crosse all your own tale; your clause is that it must be) by comming to your Churches, and enjoying the Ordinances.

Whereas you say so you judge, it presupposeth that the Papists doe come to your Churches, by what comes after, that it must be by comming to your Churches, and enjoying the Ordinances.

Indeede the Papists may come to your Churches, and injoy your Ordinances, for first they were their Ordinances, for when you apostated from Rome, you carried the Romish traditions with you, even as your forefathers in their apostacie from Christ Iesus, carried some of his Ordinances with them: so you retaine something of Gods to make your owne ware passe in sale, and have patched you up a bundle of worship borrowing also some lewish and He &illegible; Ceremonies to make up your packe; and will you be so kinde to suffer men to live in the land, if they will but submit to this worship, and promise them they shall never be compelled, to professe or practise any more? Indeede you are very liberall but it hath beene often said already, (and you have said it your selfe) that the Independant men, cannot of conscience communicate with you before a Reformation: Therefore if this be the medium you have (betweene leaving the Land and toleration.) even that they must submit to your worship, you might have bequeathed this Legacie to some that would accept of it, and give you thankes, for the Lord hath bequeathed liberty to his &illegible; and Servants, and hath purchased it at a deare price; even that they should be freed from all Egyptian bondage; and hath commanded them to stand fast in than liberty, wherein he hath made them free: and whether they must obey Gods commands, or your counsell be judge your selfe.

Sixtly, you say, If the former answers will not satisfie, but that they must needs be in a Church fellowship, as now they are then (you say) you you will shew them a way, according to their owne principles of a visible Church.

For answer whereof I must tell you, that fallacies, and false conclusions upon mens words, (without bringing their conditions) can satisfie no man concerning the matter in hand; but it may satisfie all men of your evill minde, that you still labour to turne away the truth as it may appeare; by the way you here have chalked them out, to walke in; which is

That because it is their principle (say you) that a few Saints joyned together in a Covenant, have power; therefore you imply that there should never neede a greater addition to them.*

This you may know crosseth the whole Scripture as the very prophesies of the Church under the New Testament that is to say, that a little one shall become a thousand, and a great one a strong Nation, Esay 60. 22. and that they should grow up as the Calves of the stall,Rev. 7. Mal. 4. 2. not onely in greatnesse, but also in number: and especially when the Lambe overcommeth, that is even when the Saints overcome,Rev. 12. 11. by the blood of the Lambe, and the word of their testimony, not esteeming their lives to the death.

Therefore you might have saved your schollership, when you went about to teach them, to make Churches in houses, and also to come to your Church, to the Word, Prayer, and Sacraments, for they have not so learned Christ; to come one part of the day to worship before the Idols, and to stand another part before God, for if they should doe so, the Lord saith, (Ezek. 44. 13.) they should not come neere him, neither to doe the office of the Priest, nor to come neare the holy things, but that they should beare their shame, and their abomination.

Further, you might have saved your labour in teaching them, to make family Churches: for God hath directed them what to doe in their Families.

And it is not the practise of Gods people, to shut out from their prayers, and holy duties, them that are of their Family: for God gave his Law to Abraham for another end (namely) that he should teach it his Family, and by so doing, traine up members in his family, for Christs Family.

Further, you might have spared your care taken to shew a way for maintenance, for those men among us, that are schollers bred, for if you can find no better maintenance for them, then to come and be Lecturers amongst you (as you would have them) and to live in hope of the gifts of the dead; that is no good provision: for, for want of those shooes men may goe long barefooted seeing they cannot (by your owne confession) doe that of conscience till there be a Reformation. But you might rather have perswaded your Parish Priests to have bequeathed some of their large revenewes unto them: for whether they have Parsonage or Vicarage their pole-money comes in so thicke to them and their followers, that it would make any sober minded man or woman to wonder how they can consume it: for besides their ordinary tithes or maintenance; which is the principall, they have many other petty dues, which they require of every one of the Kings subjects, & they are not so reasonable as his Majestie, which is contended with pole-money from his subjects, from 16. yeares old, and upward, but they will have a share out of him that is borne without life; as it will plainely be proved) for if a dead child be borne into the world, they will be paid for reading a dirge over it, before it shall be laid in the earth, and they will be apt to inferre, that that their deere brother is departed in the faith, though it be the childe of theeves and murderers, and the like.

Further, they will yet have another patrimony for the birth of that childe, for before the mother dare goe abroade, shee must have their blessing; that the Sun shall not smite her by day, nor the Moone by night; for which blessing of theirs, they must have an offering, and the like they require for all the children that be borne into this world, though there live not one of sixe to be men or women.

But for as many of them as doe live, they enlarge their Revenewes. for, if they live to come to the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, then they must pay their offerings yearely to the Priest, though the bread and wine be provided at the parishes charge.

Further, if they live to enter into the state of Matrimony, then they must be joyned together by a Priest, for which worke of his he must have a large Offering.

And these men be not content to take money where there is money (as the King is) but they will have these (which they call dues) of him that liveth of the very almes of the Parish, whereas the King taketh not a penny of any that receive almes.

Then if we consider their exaltion how they oppresse the people, by their cruell forcing of them to pay so much as they demand, (though it be contrary to all Law or equity) it will cause us to wonder at the hardnesse of their hearts for rather then they will abate any thing of what they demand they will force poore people even to pawne their cloathes; for I am able to prove that they doe demand of poore people before they can have a childe (that is but fourteene, or fifteene yeares of age) buried in one of the out-Church-yards of the great Parishes (which land is the free gift of the dead, for the helpe of the poore, even as Creplegates new Church-yard, or Algates, Rosemary lane, or White Chappell; Mile-in greene, (or others the like;) before (I say) they can have such a child buried there, it will cost the poorest parent, seven or eight shillings: Nay, I have knowne when they have distrusted paiment, that they have affirmed, that they would not bury them, except they had their money paid before hand: Nay, when any poore man bringeth out of the remote places of the city any Corps to Bedlam (which is the cheapest place that I know) ye when all things else is discharged, even as, Bearers Wages, Graveaggers Wages, and the ground paied for also; yet they must be constrained to have a twelve-penny Priest, to say something over the grave, and he will grudge if he have not more than a shilling (though he say but a few words without the booke) when (perhaps) all the people that be left alive in the Family, be not worth a shilling.

Furthermore, If any poore man have a necessitie to worke, upon one of their Saints-dayes, then Mr. Paritor must come, and have a grote, for citing him to the Court, but if he appeare not, he must be Presented, and for not paying Fees, he shall be Excommunicated, and he shall never be blessed in again, but (though he be the poorest man in the Kingdome) the price of his blessing will be a noble at the least: but if he happen to die an Excommunicant, then his friends must give money to absolve him after he is dead, or else he shall not be buried in the consecrated Earth: but if his friends will goe to the Office, and give but a matter of five pound for his Absolution, after he is dead; then he shall be buried in the Consecrated ground; and they will also affirme he died in the Faith of Christ, ye though he were excommunicated for notorious sinne, and lived and died, obstinately in it.

It is a plaine case therefore, that these men are a greater plague to this Land, then the naturall Locusts of Egypt, for they ate up the greene things, but these eate up both greene and dry.

Nay, further. I conceive they are more prejudiciall to the Common wealth, than the Frogges that came up upon the Land of Egypt, for they entred into the Oven, and into the Kneading Trough: and wee reade not that they ascended higher than the Kings bed, and the beds of his Servants; but these are exalted above the Chimney tops, to catch a Smoke-penny from every poore mans house.

Thus you see the mighty Revenewes of the Priests: If I had but time to tell you of the things which I know (even of the extent of their Revenewes) what is gained unto the generality of Priests, by granting of Licenses to Midwives, and to Schoolemasters, with divers of their own Officers, such as Paritors, Sumners, & Pursevants, with a number of that Ranke, which have strange names that I know not, It would (as I said before) make all men wonder, how it is devoured: for they must be freed from all taxations, and have their houses rent free, and many times eate their bread at other mens tables, and yet (for the most part) they die poore men, and farre in debt, and leave behinde them, both wives and children, destitute of Calling and Maintenance, which is a plaine case to me, that the hand of God is upon this Generation, in cursing that which they would have blessed. And therfore I will confesse that I was overseene (in the entrance into this Discourse) when I moved you to perswade these men to bequeath some thing to their brethren, (that are Schollers bred;) for I did not consider, that though they received much, yet they had but little to give, because it is not blessed for increase: but I should rather have comforted you, with giving you knowledge, that God hath provided maintenance for his Ministers; as well as for his People, that they neede not bow to you for a morsell of bread; for God taught his Apostles to worke with their hands, as Paul saith, that his hands ministred to his necessities, and those that were with him; Acts 20. 34. not that Paul might not receive of the people carnall things, for he declareth the contrary in another Scripture, and I hope, all the Lords people will confesse that the labourer is worthy of his hire, and that it is their duty to make them partakers of their carnall things, of whom they receive spirituall things.

Further, you are carefull to have them sober, and peaceable, and not to preach and speake against what is established by Law.*

Indeede (I must tell you) in my judgement, no man can make way for a true Reformation, except hee declare what is evill, before he shew what is good.

Further you say, you suppose subscriptions will not be injoyned to formes of Government and Discipline.

Here you seeme to yeeld that your formes of Government and Discipline be not of God; then if there be no injunction, none will obey, but if injunctions, none will obey for conscience; for what good man can yeeld to an injuction that is not of God, so then, (you may see) your injunctions have beene the way and meanes to breed and bring forth a world of hypocrites, as one may easily see by the Time servers of your Church.

But you say, that without a toleration we may injoy in a secret way our Church fellowship.

Indeede (M. Edwards) we have learned that lesson already, for Christ hath taught us, that we shall fly into the Wildernesse,* and that the earth shall helpe us* but sometimes it proves to the danger of our lives, and alwayes to the danger of our liberty; as it may appeare by the practise herein London, for though wee meete never so privately, and peaceably, yet such Cattle as your selfe, are alwayes bleeting in the eares of your Parish Officers, and Constables, with your other Officers, even till you move the Lord Major himself to be your drudge, and as your horne, which you push forward, for the destruction of our bodies, when he hath laid violent hands on them, for it is evident that it hath beene to the losse of some of their lives; and this is the liberty we have in this Kingdome and all through the instigation of you Priests.

But you say, though some of the more sober and conscientious Ministers and people could use it better, yet the Brownists and Anabaptists, and weake brethren would be apt to scandall: and therefore to avoid scandall, you would insinuate that we are bound to neglect the whole forme of Church worship.

I told you before, and I tell you now, that you are afraid to have your owne glory ecclipsed and by this all men may see, (and by all your formers answers also) that you would have us to enjoy in this Kingdome, neither Ordinances, nor conscience.

The next thing you lay downe, is the judgement of an antient Father; But indeede he is as sound in the faith as your selfe, for hee would have men to joyne to Churches that have no power.*

And this being the sixth answer that you have given to their third reason, you entreat them to lay all your sixe together, and to consider &illegible; whether God require, unlesse they have a toleration to leave the Kingdome to roome many hazards, and dangers, when as they may enjoy, so much at home, without a Toleration, as you say you have opened to these sixe answers.

To wch I answer, when they are laid all six together, they make but a peece of an answer to one of their Reasons, and this piece of your answer is stuffed full of falicies, as hath beene already proved, and may further appeare, by the conclusion of all here, when you say they may have so much at home, for it hath beene proved already, that they can have nothing at home, either in respect of liberty, or worship; (but what they must have by stealth;) for when they would injoy the Ordinances of God, which are lewels, which you would have none to have but your selves, that so you might seeme glorious; If any (I say) will presume to borow the lewels, and carry them away, you will pursue after them; and you know it was the practise of the Egyptians of old, for they would have suffered the Israelites to have gone away empty, and left their cattle behinde them, so that they might have had nothing with them to have offered sacrifice withall; and I pray you were not the Southsayers the cause of this? by withstanding Moses and Aaron, against the children of Israel, even by the false Figures which they cast before the eyes of Pharaoh, to harden Pharoahs heart, even as you Priests doe at this day.

And thus I have laid together your sixe Reasons, and weighed them; but one truth is sufficient to overweigh them all.

But yet you have also a seventh Answer which is by it selfe: and it is this, That if they will not be satisfied (say you) without setting up Churches; it is better they should get out of the Kingdome.

Besides, you would have all others that be of this minde, to leave the Land, and goe to New-England, that cannot be satisfied, but that they must erect Churches to the disturbing of the peace of three Kingdomes.

Truely (Mr. Edwards) you shew your selfe a bloody minded man, that would have the Innocent suffer for the faults of them that are guilty. Was not the sending of your Masse-bookes into Scotland the cause of the disturbance? and hath it not appeared plaine enough to the Parliament and to the Scots, before the Parliament sate, that the Bishops and Priests were the cause of the disturbance? I doubt not but you have read both the Scotish Intentions, and their Demands, with their Dedarations, which have plainely manifested, who and what was the cause of the disturbance, it was not the meeting of a handfull of the Lordspeople, which ever sought and do seeke the good and wellfare of the three Kingdomes, with the life & happy reigne of their Soveraigne Lord the King, who alwayes sue unto God for the peace of the Kingdome, in whose peace they may enjoy peace: but contrariwise, it plainely appeares, that it was you and your Fathers house which caused this variance.

But say you, it will be no great harme for many of them to goe away.

I answer, It is like you apprehend the Judgements of God comming upon you, and you thinke to be eased, by driving out the Lords people in haste.

Further, you say, you would rather goe to the uttermost parts of the earth to live in a meane and hard condition, rather than you would disturbe the peace or good of three Kingdomes.

For Answer, to this I must tell you, I would you had considered this before you had done it. But now seeing God of his mercy hath reconciled them againe, it may be the wisedome of you and your fellowes, to depart unto Rome, that Gods true Religion may be set up here in England without Popish Injunctions, that so the last errour be not worse than the first; for you say, It is better that one perish than Vnity; therefore (in my judgement) it is better that they should runne the hazard, who have occasioned the strife.

Further, you plead for your selfe and for hundreds of your brethren, that you have borne the brunt of the times, and yet you doe professe that you will submit to what is established by Law, because you hope it will be blessed and glorious.

I tell you, you are even like Isachers Asse and so are the rest of your fellowes, even willing to stoope downe between two burdens, because ease is good: for the Law indeede makes every thing seeme glorious; but for any brunt that you have borne in these last times; I thinke it hath not over-loaded you; for I have not heard that you have beene at two pence cost, to maintaine the Lords people in prison; and therefore you are very unlike to Obadiah, for instead of hiding of the Lords people, you cry out upon the Parliament to have them hunted; and this is a great brunt indeed, (if it be well considered) and it is doubt it will cost you deare, (by that time you have paid your reckoning) except God give you repentance.

But you further expresse, that you would not set up true Churches against a true Church.

I answer, neither would these Independant men, I hope, for those things which God teacheth his servants to doe, be not against the truth, but for the truth, neither can they be any cause of Divisions, or heart-burnings, betweene either Ministers or People.

And thus you may see, and behold, that your seventh Answer (to their third Reason) that you have now left alone, is a Noune Adjective in respect of proving any thing that you brought it for.

YOu say their fourth Reason is, that if the Ministers and Churches be not tolerated, they are afraid that in time they shall draw most of the good people out of the Land after them.

And for answer to this, you say, you suppose they rather hope than feare it; and that, (say you) plainely sheweth, they have a good conceit of themselves, and of their owne way.

For answer to you, I say, that this your Answer is but a Supposition, neither do I know whether it be their Reason, for methinks it sounds somewhat like Nonsense, but your Supposition will not prove them to have a good conceit of themselves, neither of any way of their owne; for it is the way of the Lord Iesus Christ, that they plead for.

Secondly, you say, you feare too, but not as they doe, but your feare is, least toleration should draw away many good people.

I pray you trouble not your selfe, too much, for if there be no toleration, the good people will flye from you, and stand a farre off, and waite for the Reformation which you have all this while promised.

But now at last you seeme to make a doubt of any Reformation at all, when you say, If the Ceremonies and Liturgie stand in full force* which presupposeth,Pag. 48. lin. 14. that you conceive they will stand still; but no doubt, but if they be setled by Law, they will seeme glorious to you, although they are in themselves Romish Traditions.

Further, you adde, if these stand in force, and Churches tolerated; they will make brave worke in a short time.

I answer, you are so fearefull least the Lords people should enter into the citie of promise, that it is very like you never intend to enter in your selfe; and that makes you gather up your hopes, in the midst of all your feares: setting a worke your confidence, that God will preserve many judicious, and advised Christians from your way; and therefore you counsell them, to whom you speake, to let them be well shipped, and a Reformation in Government and Ministers; and then you say your feare will be over.

Truely methinkes you patch your matter together very disorderly: for you have many times said, that upon a Reformation they would communicate with you.

But now you would have them well shipt,Pag. 48. lin. 20. which I thinke is the Reformation which you desire: as may appeare by the confused speech which you make afterwards; for you say; When there is a Reformation amongst you in Government and Ministers, that feare is over with you; and your Reason is, because when that which first bred these men* is taken away, which (say you) was the violent pressing of Ceremonies, and the casting out of good Ministers; and many notorious persons being suffered in the Church of England without all censures, shall be removed; many (say you) will not be bred, and others will be satisfied, and some godly painefull Ministers of the Church of England would out-preach them, and out-live them.

To this I answer, you seemed in the beginning of your Answer, to make them proud persons, or conceited of themselves But now methinkes, I heare you boast very much of your selfe, and others of your Church.

But I thinke it may be very true: for you cannot chuse but out-preach them, if you preach them out of the Kingdome.

And it is very like you may out-live them also; if you can but banish them into some hard country, or else get them into some stinking prison, as you and the rest of your Fathers house have done very lately.

But further you adde, that you and your fellowes, will compare with them for all excellencies and abilities.

Me thinkes it had beene more credit for you to have given your neighbours leave to speake.

But now you have advanced your selfe, you labour to cast them downe, for you say, you knew many of them long before they fell to this way, but you have not seene any of them better, nor more profitable, for you say, whilst they were in the Church of England, they preached often, and now seldome.

I Answer, it is very like they dare not tell such as you when they preach, that cry out to the Parliament to disturbe their meetings.

Further, you say, they goe looser in their apparell and haire.

I answer, I know some indeede that have beene constrained to change their apparell for feare of persecution and (it may be) the haire you were offended at, might be some Perriwigge, which some of them have beene constrained through feare to put on, to blinde the eyes of the Bishops Blood-hounds, when they have come to take them.

Further, you exclaime against them, that they take lesse care for publike things that concerne the glory of God, and the salvation of mens soules.

I answer, if their care be so little, you may wonder, what makes them to take this paines, and care, to travell out of a farre countrey, to sue to the Parliament, by humble petition, for freedome of conscience, and liberty for Gods publike worship, which are things most concerning the glory of God, and the salvation of mens soules.

Further, you accuse them, that their spirits are growne narrow, like their Churches, and that they grow strange, reserved, and subtill; further, you say, in a word, they minde little else, but the propagation of their Independant way.

For answer whereof I say to you, that it is no marvell though their spirits grow narrow, towards such an Adversarie as your selfe, and great cause they have to be strange towards you, and reserved and subtill also.

But whereas you say their Churches be narrow:

I say they are even like the way to heaven or the gate that leadeth unto life, which is so narrow, that such as you can hardly enter in thereat.

But if their greatest care be (as you say) to set up the Independant way* (which is the way of God:) This still crosseth your former slander of them, that they little minde the publike good, and salvation of mens soules. But that this is true (namely, that they minde little else but the propagation of their Independant way) you bring the Protestation Protested to witnesse, which Testimony maketh them peaceable men, because they desire to meddle with no mans businesse but their owne.

And if they minde little else but to set up the Independant way, then it will also crosse your following speech, (which you say, you speak from your conscience and experience) that never any of them, bad so large a spirit for good, after they fell into that way, nor tooke such care (you say) for the propagation of the Gospell, and preaching the Word to men without.

I tell you, indeede if they did not take care to preach the Word to men without, they would never come to preach amongst you, much lesse would they then sue for libertie so to doe, (as the Welsh Ministers have done) if they had not a desire to informe the ignorant, in those truths that God hath revealed to them.

And therefore you may see in your accusations against them, you are proved a very slanderer, and have taken upon you the office of Sathan, the old accuser of the Brethren.

But you conceive God never honoured them so much afterward.

But seeing it is but your conception, it matters not; for if they were active for God, and did famously and worthily before they entred into the way of God, I am sure they could not but be more active afterwards; for when a man is in a Journey (especially if he know or conceive himselfe to be out of the way) he goeth on heavily till he meeteth with some directer, either to informe him that he is in the right way, or to direct him how he shall get into it; and being setled in his right way, hee goeth on more cheerefully, and actively than hee could doe in the time of his doubting; even so it must needs be with these men, as I said before.

Againe, you say, that the men that hold those principles of Separation, God did never honour much.

I answer, it seemes you thinke Gods thoughts are as your thoughts, and because you seeke for the praise of men and have it, and a few men honour them: and because Christs flocke is a little flocke, therefore you imagine they are not honoured of God, which is very carnall reasoning.

But as you have slandered the men all this while; so now you here slander their way (and principles) which way is the way of God, and whose principles are Gods truthes; yet (you say) there is such a malignitie eleaves to it, even as doth to the Episcopacie.

This is a very great slander, to compare Godswayes to the wayes of Sathan, in saying there is such a malignity cleaving to it, which alters mens spirits, and makes their hearts worse; and yet you here confesse, that many of them continue good in the maine.

Thus much for your Fourth Reason.

YOu say, their fifth Reason is, That this is no other but envy in the Ministers, that makes them against Toleration, because they feare their people will desert from them, and come to us, being so pure in Ordinances, and Churches; and thus you say the Protestation Protested speakes.

Your answer to this Reason is,

1. That it is not out of envie, but you hold their practise sinfull and unwarrantable to separate from your Churches, and to erect such Congregations, and therefore you say, you speake against it, and that you here promise to make good in a following Discourse.

For answer to this, I must tell you, that it is not your denying it to be out of Envie, that will cleare you, for there is nothing appeares more plainer, than that envie against the truth, and the Professors thereof, was the cause of your writing against Toleration.

And that it is through feare your people will desert, is plaine, by your owne confession in your Fourth Reason; where you say, that if the Liturgie, and Ceremonies, stand in force, and Toleration be granted, they will make brave worke in a short time and yet you hope some judicious Christians (as you say) will be kept from their way.

But in that you here say, you bold the practise sinfull and unwarrantable.

You have made that part of your judgement knowne already before; but your judgement was grounded upon no true Principle; and therefore it hath beene already proved to be emoneous.

And whereas you say, you will make it good to be sinfull in a following Discourse:

I answer, If you can but make men beleeve this, you will worke a wonder. But I know it is impossible, for you to make good your promise, and therefore I cannot expect performance.

Now to cleare your selfe.

2. You say, it cannot be counted envie in Ministers, to be unwilling to have their flocks, and people fall from them.

I answer, By so saving, you rather confirme their Reason than remove it, (namely) that it was your feare of the deserting of your people.

But for you to insinuate, that the people that be called out of a way of sinne, and brought into the way of grace, and liberty, be stollen away, and tempted away by strangers (as you would make it) concluding that it is as tolerable for children to for sake their parents, renouncing the ascribe that bare them, and the pappes that gave them sucke; throwing dirt in the face of father and mother, as it is for a man to forsake Idolatrous worship; this is an unjust comparison, and crosseth the whole tenor of the Scripture.

Now you would make this your owne case, for you allude to your spirituall children, who (say you) are the fruit of your labours.

I pray you, how can you count the Parish of St. Elens your spirituall children, seeing you are there but an hireling; and as you have not begotten them to the Faith, so you have not taken the charge of them, to watch over them as a Spirituall. Father, and you will onely preach to them so long as any will pay you wages, but no longer; how then have you converted them to God? from what have you converted them? or what have you converted them too? have you turned them from serving dumbe Idols, to serve the living God? I have heard of no great change of them, nor of any other where you have preached; you found them in the Church of England, and you found them Christians, (in your owne judgement) and you know they were baptized, when you came to them; and in the same Church where you found them, there you leave them; I pray you, how have you begotten them to God? you found them under a false power, submitting to a false worship, and you justifie them as men begotten to God, and you justifie their standing there. Thus doe you sow pillowes of flatteries under their elbowes.

But you neede not to feare any mans comming to steale your Disciples away by night, as the Jewes gave out falsely of Christs naturall body, for that was but a lie; therefore let no man presume to lie by their example.

But you say therefore you ought to watch against us, (and ought not to sleepe) least they should be stolne* away.

I answer, so did the Jewes watch the naturall body of Christ and yet he by his power raised himselfe, and also departed from them; even so by the same power will he raise from the death of sinne, many that are amongst you, and will cause them to separate themselves from your false worshipping, and from you that are false worshippers, and he will tell them where he feedeth his sheepe, and causeth them to lie downe at noone.*

Neither can you cleare your selfe by saying, you fitty them, and love them, and would not have such a sword as a toleration put into their hands (as you are pleased to say) to hurt them, though some amongst them (say you) might perhaps use it better.

I pray you feare not this, (which you here call an error on the right hand) but rather feare your Church, if (as you say) your Liturgie and Ceremonies stand still in force, which (you say) were the causes that bred the Separates.*

I tell you, if the same cause remaine you may justly feare, it will take the same effect; you have also as great cause to feare the prophanenesse and Atheisme, which is feared in the hearts of most of your people, but onely that you blesse your selfe, in hope that all ignorant and scandalous persons shall be driven out. But I pray you tell me, whither doe you intend to drive them? if you leave them any where in the Land, they will be still of your Church: except you will make you a new Church: But if you should drive them out of the Land, you would leave many places of the Land uninhabited; for the generalitie of the people (in most parts) be ignorant, and prophane; and thus you may see your selfe in a great streight, and therefore you have great cause to feare.

Further, you say, the Author would intimate that the honest soules are with them, and would be for their way; but as for those that are against their way and Toleration, they are not such honest soules.

If this Author be the Protestation Protested, you have wrested his words, for he hath not said they are not such honest soules neither hath he entred into judgement against any.

But further, (you say) you would have them know that the honest soules are not onely with them: for in the Church of England (say you) there ever have beene, and are honest Ministers and people, that have rejected our way, and any that fell to it, nay the greatest Nonconformists, and most able in that way (you say) have written the most against our way, and laboured upon all occasions to preserve the people from falling to us.

For answer whereof, I must tell you, that the Ministers, and people, were never the honester for rejecting of that way, (which hath beene proved to be the way of God) though they were the greatest Nonconformists in the world: for it is not our way properly, but the gift of the Father, which he hath given us, to walke in; and surely, it is no signe of honesty to commend the Saints in their infirmities, or to condemne them in their workes of pietie; I say, it is no signe of an honest soule to speak evill of such a holy way: I tell you, I take Hugh Latimer to be an honest soule, though he have declared both by word and writing against such as you; and affirmed, that a lay man fearing God, is much more fit to understand the holy Scripture, then a proud and arrogant Priest; yea, then the Bishop himselfe be hee never so great and glistering in all his pontificalls: and such honest soules (though they are not of the Clergie, but of those whom you call the Layetie:) are the fittest men on the earth to make Churches, and to chuse their owne Ministers (as I said before) though they be Trades-men; and such as these have dependancie upon Christ alone, whose way is properly the sincere way of God. And as for any that have writ against this way (or against those who walke uprightly in it) it will not make much for their account, for that part of their worke shall burne (as well as yours) though they may be saved: and as for these Authors which here you bring, which have beene so carefull (as you say) to keepe the people from falling into that way; I have reade some of their bookes, and found the most of them, prophesie sad things against he Church of England, except she repent.

THeir sixth Reason (you say) is, that they are good men, and men of great gifts, and therefore they should be tolerated to have such Churches, it is pitty they should leave the Land, and wee loose their prayers.

Indeede (Mr. Edwards) this may be some other, mans Reason, on their behalfe, but I hardly beleeve, that they lived so farre from good neighbours, that they must thus set forth their owne praise.

But for answer to this Reason, in the first place; you say, the better men they be, and the more able, the worse, to set up separated Churches.

To this I answer, that I ever conceived by the Scripture, that those that Christ ordained, to plant his Churches were good men, as it was said of Barnabas, that he was a good man* and the very like was said of Stephen* and therefore me thinks you are shreudly mistaken.

But further, you say, they will the more indanger the peace of the Kingdome, and make the Schismes greater.

I answer, If it be good and able men that indanger the peace of the Kingdome, you may doe well to perswade the Parliament, to keepe still in your Church, all the dumb and drunken Priests: for they are bad enough, and unable to doe good, and yet of my knowledge, they are very able to disturbe the peace, and to breed strife, and to bring Gods judgements upon the Land, which is able to make a greater Schisme than you are a ware of.

Secondly, you say, for their prayers, you have the benefit of them, as well when they are absent, as present, and some of them have said (say you) they prayed more far England when our, of it then in it.

Indeede if they did so, they did well, for that was their duty; but I suppose you (for your particular) had little benefit of those prayers, and that, because God hath hardened your heart, even against them, and all good men.

Thirdly, For these their prayers you have rewarded them with an accusation (namely) that they left the Kingdome, when it was in greatest danger, and in most neede of helpe, and provided for themselves to keepe in a whole skinne.

I answer, if they did evill in it, that evill is to be passed by; for it is very probable, that they did know that the GREAT CANONS were already made, and that they were mightily charged, and overcharged, as it may appeare by their shivering in pieces: but if they had held to have beene shot off; they might easily perceive, that they might beate holes in their owne skins, as well as in other mens, and they seeing the plague before hand, might be borne with to hide themselves.

But you say you stood without them here in the gappe, and prevailed with God.

I answer, It may be conceived, that they prevailed with God, who prayed so much for England, when they were out of it, for God will not heare sinners,* therefore you cannot expect that God should heare you, so long as you justifie the abominations of your bespotted Church; and you know Moses prevailed for Egypt, when he was out of the city.*

Exod. 9. 29. 33.But you say it is better to want their company, than to buy it at so deare a rate as a toleration, and you say you question not, but the Kingdome will doe well enough without them.

Is it possible, that you should enjoy the benefite of the prayers of those that you so much sleight, and set so little by their company, that rather then they shall have liberty, to worship God in a peaceable way (by your will) they should depare the Kingdome, when it is proved, by the Word of God that Gods servants are the strength & glory of the Kingdome: for even as the Prophets were the Charets and Horsemen of Israel, so are they that feare the Lord, a support to the Kingdome and Common-wealth wherein they live.

But as for your Kingdome of Priests, it shall neither stand without them, nor with them, for though the Prophets sought to heale Babel, yet it could not be healed, for your hornes shall be knocked off, and methinks I heare the decree gone forth, that your Kingdome is devided, and therefore you have neede, to set downe your resolution, that it shall not long stand, but the Kingdome of England may safely stand with Toleration.

Fourthly, you say for this Objection, of being good men, you will answer it at large in another Tractate, wherein (you say) you shall minde men of many dangers that may arise to them from good and eminent men; and further, you say you will fully shew what little strength is in that Reason, and cleare also many things in reference to that Objection.

I answer when I see this performed, I will take it into consideration, and then you may heare more of my minde; in the meane while, I rest in the Scriptures; which satisfie me, that good men ever bring a blessing.

The next thing you bring is this question (namely) whether conscientious men,Pag 52. who agree with you in the maine in points of Doctrine, and practise, may be tolerated and spared, in some things wherein they differ from that which is commonly received.

Indeede you have made divers answers to this already for it was before your owne question, in some of your Reasons alledged against them, where you affirme, that you iustifie much, both bearing and forbearing, and have also see the Counsell of ancient Fathers before them, to teach them to heare with others both in points of Doctrine and practise, wherein they may something differ from that which is commonly received.

But here further, you adde a more large answer, That you still say it is your judgement that there should be bearing in many differences of opinions and practise, so as Christians ought not to judge nor censure one another, nor refuse commotion and fellowship, by not admitting men into their Churches, and to the Ordinances.

You have seemed (all this while) to be afraid least they should admit too many into their Churches, and now you seeme to say, it is the fault of the Independant Churches to deny communion to many Saints for some differences in judgment, about Church-Government and Orders. Now if this be true (as you say it is) they are so farre from stealing away your members that they will not receive them into fellowship, if there be differences in judgment,* for which you here seeme to blame them, and therefore I think you would have them open the mouthes of their Churches wider, even as wide as yours. But the Scripture hath declared, that the gates of the holy city, are of an equall widenesse, for they are never shut, Rev. 21. 25 and yet they are so well watched by the Angels of God, even the Ministers of Christ Jesus, that there shall be no uncleane thing suffered to enter in thereat, &c.* Here you may see if any of you attempt to come in (who are so ignorant and scandalous and spotted (as you say they be) they shall not be suffered amonst us; for indeede they are fit for no society, but the society of your Fathers house: yet (I say) if any of these doe creepe in, it is through the neglect of the Portor, which the Lord hath set to watch, o