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things out of controversy, which all men confess for her majesty, without the additions of her style; to be gracious and good. And thus much for the whereas the very form of prayer in the book of second point.
Common-Prayer hath, “Thy servant Elizabeth," Now, as to the third point, of unbrotherly pro- and no more: If a third shall be accused, upon these ceeding on either part, it is directly contrary to words uttered touching the controversies, “tollatur my purpose to amplify wrongs: it is enough to lex, et fiat certamen,” whereby was meant, that note and number them; which I do also, to move the prejudice of the law removed, either reasons compassion and remorse on the offending side, should be equally compared, of calling the people and not to animate challengers and complaints on to sedition and mutiny, as if he had said, away the other. And this point, as reason is, doth with the law, and try it out with force: If these chiefly touch that side which can do most: “ In- and other like particulars be true, which I have juriæ potentiorum sunt;" injuries come from them but by rumour, and cannot affirm; it is to be that have the upper hand.
lamented that they should labour amongst us with The wrongs of them which are possessed of so little comfort. I know restrained governments the government of the church towards the other, are better than remiss; and I am of his mind that may hardly be dissembled or excused: they have said, Better is it to live where nothing is lawful, charged them as though they denied tribute to than where all things are lawful. I dislike that Cæsar, and withdrew from the civil magistrate laws should not be continued, or disturbers be the obedience which they have ever performed unpunished: but laws are likened to the grape, and taught. They have sorted and coupled them that being too much pressed yields a hard and with the “family of love," whose heresies they unwholesome wine. Of these things I must say; have laboured to destroy and confute. They have “ Ira viri non operatur justitiam Dei;" the wrath been swift of credit to receive accusations against of men worketh not the righteousness of God. them, from those that have quarrelled with them, As for the injuries of the other part, they be but for speaking against sin and vice. Their ac- " ictus inermes;" as it were headless arrows; cusations and inquisitions have been strict, swear- they be fiery and eager invectives, and, in some ing men to blanks and generalities, not included fond men, uncivil and irreverent behaviour towithin compass of matter certain, which the party wards their superiors. This last invention also, which is to take the oath may comprehend, which is which exposeth them to derision and obloquy by a thing captious and strainable. Their urging of libels, chargeth not, as I am persuaded, the whole subscription to their own articles, is but“ lacessere, side : neither doth that other, which is yet more et irritare morbos Ecclesiæ," which otherwise odious, practised by the worst sort of them; would spend and exercise themselves. “Non con- which is, to call in, as it were to their aids, certain sensum quærit sed dissidium, qui, quod factis præs- mercenary bands, which impugn bishops, and tatur, in verbis exigit:" He seeketh not unity, but other ecclesiastical dignities, to have the spoil of division, which exacteth that in words, which their endowments and livings: of these I cannot men are content to yield in action. And it is true, speak too hardly. It is an intelligence betweer there are some which, as I am persuaded, will incendiaries and robbers, the one to fire the house not easily offend by inconformity, who, notwith-the other to rifle it. standing, make some conscience to subscribe; for The fourth point wholly pertaineth to them they know this note of inconstancy and defection which impugn the present ecclesiastical governfrom that which they have long held, shall disa- ment; who, although they have not cut themselves ble them to do that good which otherwise they off from the body and communion of the church, might do: for such is the weakness of many, yet do they affect certain cognisances and differthat their ministry should be thereby discredited. ences, wherein they seek to correspond amongst As for their easy silencing of them, in such great themselves, and to be separate from others. And it scarcity of preachers, it is to punish the people, is truly said, “tam sunt mores quidam schismatici, and not, them. Ought they not, I mean the quam dogmata schismatica;" there be as well bishops, to keep one eye open, to look upon the schismatical fashions as opinions. First, they have good that those men do, not to fix them both upon impropriated unto themselves the names of zealous, the hurt that they suppose cometh by them? sincere, and reformed; as if all others were cold Indeed, such as are intemperate and incorrigible, minglers of holy things and profane, and friends of God forbid they should be permitted to preach: abuses. Yea, be a man endued with great virtues, but shall every inconsiderate word, sometimes and fruitful in good works; yet, if he concur not captiously watched, and for the most part hardly with them, they term him, in derogation, a civil and enforced, be as a forfeiture of their voice and gift moral man, and compare him to Socrates, or some in preaching? As for sundry particular molesta- heathen philosopher: whereas the wisdom of the tions, I take no pleasure to recite them. If a Scriptures teacheth us otherwise; namely, to minister shall be troubled for saying in baptism, judge and denominate men religious according to do you believe ?" for, “ dost thou believe?" If their works of the second table; because they of another shall be called in question for praying the first are often counterfeit, and practised in hypocrisy. So St. John saith, that “a man doth the Scriptures, and other helps which God hath vainly boast of loving God, whom he never saw, provided and preserved for instruction. if he love not his brother whom he hath seen. Again, they carry not an equal hand in teaching And St. James saith, “ This is true religion, to the people their lawful liberty, as well as their visit the fatherless and the widow.” So as that restraints and prohibitions : but they think a man which is with them but philosophical and moral, cannot go too far in that that hath a show of a is, in the apostle's phrase, “true religion and commandment. Christianity.” As in affection they challenge They forget that there are sins on the right the said virtues of zeal and the rest; so in know- hand, as well as on the left; and that the word is ledge they attribute unto themselves light and double-edged, and cutteth on both sides, as well perfection. They say, the Church of England in the profane transgressions as the superstitious King Edward's time, and in the beginning of her observances. Who doubteth but that it is as majesty's reign, was but in the cradle; and the unlawful to shut where God hath opened, as to bishops in those times did somewhat grope for open where God hath shut; to bind where God daybreak, but that maturity and fulness of light hath loosed, as to loose where God hath bound? proceedeth from themselves. So Sabinius, bishop Amongst men it is commonly as ill taken to turn of Heraclea, a Macedonian heretic, said, that the back favours, as to disobey commandments. In fathers in the council of Nice were but infants this kind of zeal, for example, they have proand ignorant men: that the church was not so nounced generally, and without difference, all perfect in their decrees as to refuse that farther untruths unlawful; notwithstanding, that the midripeness of knowledge which time had revealed. wives are directly reported to have been blessed And as they censure virtuous men by the names for their excuse; and Rahab is said by faith to of civil and moral, so do they censure men truly have concealed the spies; and Solomon's selected and godly wise, who see into the vanity of their judgment proceeded upon a simulation; and our affections, by the name of politics; saying, that Saviour, the more to touch the hearts of the two their wisdom is but carnal and savouring of man's disciples with a holy dalliance, made as if he brain. So, likewise, if a preacher preach with care would have passed Emmaus. Farther, I have and meditation, I speak not of the vain scholasti- heard some sermons of mortification, which, I cal manner of preaching, but soundly indeed, think, with very good meaning, they have preachordering the matter he handleth distinctly for ed out of their own experience and exercise, and memory, deducting and drawing it down for things in private counsels not unmeet; but surely direction, and authorizing it with strong proofs no sound conceits, much like to Parsons' “Resoluand warrants, they censure it as a form of speak- tion,” or not so good ; apt to breed in men rather ing not becoming the simplicity of the gospel, and weak opinions and perplexed despairs, than filial refer it to the reprehension of St. Paul, speaking and true repentance which is sought. of the “ enticing speech of man's wisdom." Another point of great inconvenience and peril,
Now for their own manner of preaching, what is to entitle the people to hear controversies, and is it? Surely they exhort well, and work com- all kinds of doctrine. They say no part of the punction of mind, and bring men well to the counsel of God is to be suppressed, nor the people question, “Viri, fratres, quid faciemus ?" But defrauded : so as the difference which the apostle that is not enough, except they resolve the ques- maketh between milk and strong meat is contion. They handle matters of controversy weakly founded : and his precept, that the weak be not and “obiter," and as before a people that will admitted unto questions and controversies, taketh accept of any thing. In doctrine of manners no place. there is little but generality and repetition. The But most of all is to be suspected, as a seed of word, the bread of life, they toss up and down, farther inconvenience, their manner of handling they break it not: they draw not their directions the Scriptures;' for whilst they seek express down “ad casus conscientiæ;" that a man may Scripture for every thing; and that they have, in be warranted in his particular actions, whether a manner, deprived themselves and the church they be lawful or not; neither indeed are many of a special help and support, by embasing the of them able to do it, what through want of authority of the fathers, they resort to naked exgrounded knowledge, what through want of study amples, conceited inferences, and forced allusions, and time. It is a compendious and easy thing to such as do mine into all certainty of religion. call for the observation of the Sabbath-day, or to Another extremity is the excessive magnifying speak against unlawful gain; but what actions of that which, though it be a principal and most and works may be done upon the Sabbath, and holy institution, yet hath its limits, as all things what not; and what courses of gain are lawful, else have. We see wheresoever, in a manner, and in what cases: to set this down, and to clear they find in the Scriptures the word spoken of, the whole matter with good distinctions and de- they expound it of preaching; they have made it, cisions, is a matter of great knowledge and labour, in a manner, of the essence of the sacrament of and asketh much meditation and conversing in the Lord's Supper, to have a sermon precedent;
DEDICATED TO HIS MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY
they have, in a sort, annihilated the use of litur- calumny of neutrality; but let them know that gies, and forms of divine service, although the is true which is said by a wise man, That neuters house of God be denominated of the principal, in contentions are neither better or worse than “ domus orationis,” a house of prayer, and not a either side. house of preaching. As for the life of the good These things have I in all sincerity and simmonks and hermits in the primitive church, 1 plicity set down touching the controversies which know, they will condemn a man as half a papist, now trouble the Church of England; and that if he should maintain them as other than profane, without all art and insinuation, and therefore not because they heard no sermons. In the mean like to be grateful to either part: Notwithstandtime, what preaching is, and who may be said to ing, I trust what hath been said shall find a preach, they move no question ; but, as far as I correspondence in their minds which are not see, every man that presumeth to speak in chair embarked in partiality, and which love the whole is accounted a preacher. But I am assured, that better than a part; wherefore I am not out of not a few that call hotly for a preaching ministry, hope that it may do good; at the least I shall not deserve to be the first themselves that should be repent myself of the meditation. expelled. All which errors and misproceedings they do fortify and intrench by an addicted respect to their own opinions, and an impatience to hear contradiction or argument; yea, I know some of them that would think it a tempting of God, to CERTAIN CONSIDERATIONS hear or read what may be said against them; as if there could be a “quod bonum est, tenete;" without an “omnia probate,” going before. THE BETTER PACIFICATION AND EDIFICATION
This may suffice to offer unto themselves a thought and consideration, whether in these things they do well or no? and to correct and CHURCH OF ENGLAND. assuage the partiality of their followers. For as for any man that shall hereby enter into a contempt of their ministry, it is but his own hardness of heart. I know the work of exhortation doth chiefly rest upon these men, and they have
The unity of your church, excellent sovereign, zeal and hate of sin: But, again, let them take heed that it be not true which one of their adver- is a thing no less precious than the union of saries said, that they have but two small wants, your kingdoms; being both works wherein your knowledge, and love. And so I conclude this
happiness may contend with your worthiness. point.
Having therefore presumed, not without your The last point, touching the due publishing majesty's gracious acceptation, to say somewhat and debating of these controversies, needeth no
on the one, I am the more encouraged not to be
silent in the other: the rather, because it is an long speech. This strange abuse of antiques and pasquils hath been touched before : so, like argument that I have travelled in heretofore.*
But Solomon commendeth a word spoken in wise, I repeat that which I said, that a character of love is more proper for debates of this nature, season; and as our Saviour, speaking of the dis
When you see a than that of zeal. As for all direct or indirect cerning of seasons, saith, glances, or levels at men's persons, they were shower:" so your majesty's rising to this mo
cloud rising in the west, you say it will be a ever in these causes disallowed.
Lastly, whatsoever be pretended, the people is narchy in the west parts of the world, doth no meet arbitrator, but rather the quiet, modest, promise a sweet and fruitful shower of many and private assemblies, and conferences of the blessings upon this church and commonwealth; iearned. “Qui apud incapacem loquitur, non
a shower of that influence as the very first dews disceptat, sed calumniatur.” The press and
and drops thereof have already laid the storms pulpit would be freed and discharged of these
and winds throughout Christendom; reducing contentions; neither promotion on the one side, the very face of Europe to a more peaceable and
amiable countenance. But to the purpose. nor glory and heat on the other side, ought to continue those challenges and cartels at the cross
It is very true, that these ecclesiastical matters and other places ; but rather all preachers, espe- fession; which I was not so inconsiderate but to
are things not properly appertaining to my procially such as be of good temper, and have wisdom with conscience, ought to inculcate and object to myself: but finding that it is many beat upon a peace, silence, and susseance.
times seen that a man that standeth off, and Neither let them fear Solon's law, which com- somewhat removed from a plot of ground, doth pelled in factions every particular person to range
better survey it and discover it than those which himself on the one side; nor yet the fond
* Vide page 412
ere upon it, I thought it not impossible, but that doth otherwise determine and order, all actual and I, as a looker on, might cast mine eyes upon full obedience is to be given to ecclesiastical jurissome things which the actors themselves, espe- diction as it now standeth : and, when your macially some being interested, some led and jesty hath determined and ordered, that every good addicted, some declared and engaged, did not or subject ought to rest satisfied, and apply his obewould not see. And that knowing in my con- dience to your majesty's laws, ordinances, and science, whereto God beareth witness, that the royal commandments ; nor of the dislike I have of things which I shall speak spring out of no vein all immodest bitterness, peremptory presumption, of popularity, ostentation, desire of novelty, popular handling, and other courses, tending rapartiality to either side, disposition to intermed-ther to rumour and impression in the vulgar sort dle, or any the like leaven; I may conceive hope, than to likelihood of effect joined with observathat what I want in depth of judgment may be tion of duty. countervailed in simplicity and sincerity of But before I enter into the points controverted, affection. But of all things this did most animate I think good to remove, if it may be, two opime; that I found in these opinions of mine, nions, which directly confront and oppone to rewhich I have long held and embraced, as may formation : the one bringing it to a nullity, and the appear by that which I have many years since other to an impossibility. The first is, that it is written of them, according to the proportion, against good policy to innovate any thing in nevertheless, of my weakness, a consent and church matters; the other, that all reformation conformity with that which your majesty hath must be after one platform. published of your own most Christian, most For the first of these, it is excellently said wise, and moderate sense, in these causes; by the prophet, “State super vias antiquas, et wherein you have well expressed to the world, videte, quænam sit via recta et vera, et amthat there is infused in your sacred breast, from bulate in ea.” For it is true, that with all wise God, that high principle and position of govern- and moderate persons, custom and usage obtainment, That you ever hold the whole more dear eth that reverence, as it is sufficient matter to than any part.
move them to make a stand, and to discover, and For who seeth not that many are affected, and take a view; but it is no warrant to guide and give opinion in these matters, as if they had not conduct them. A just ground, I say, it is of deso much a desire to purge the evil from the good, liberation, but not of direction. But, on the other as to countenance and protect the evil by the good. side, who knoweth not, that time is truly comOthers speak as if their scope were only to set pared to a stream, that carrieth down fresh and forth what is good, and not to seek what is pos- pure waters into that salt sea of corruption which sible, which is to wish, and not to propound. environeth all human actions ? and, therefore, if Others proceed as if they had rather a mind of re- man shall not by his industry, virtue, and policy, moving, than of reforming. But howsoever either as it were with the oar, row against the stream side, as men, though excellent men, shall run into and inclination of time, all institutions and ordiextremities; yet your majesty, as a most wise, nances, be they never so pure, will corrupt and equal, and Christian moderator, is disposed to degenerate. But not to handle this matter comfind out the golden mediocrity in the establish- monplace like, I would only ask, why the civil ment of that which is sound, and in the repara- state should be purged and restored by good and tion of that which is corrupt and decayed. To wholesome laws, made every third or fourth year your princely judgment then I do in all humbleness in parliament assembled : devising remedies as submit whatsoever I shall propound, offering the fast as time breedeth mischief: and, contrariwise, same but as a mite into the treasury of your wisdom. the ecclesiastical state should still continue upon For as the astronomers do well observe, that when the dregs of time, and receive no alteration now three of the superior lights do meet in conjunc- for these five-and-forty years and more? If any tion, it bringeth forth some admirable effects : so man shall object, that if the like intermission had there being joined in your majesty the light of been used in civil causes also, the error had not nature, the light of learning, and, above all, the been great; surely the wisdom of the kingdom light of God's Holy Spirit; it cannot be but your hath been otherwise in experience for three hungovernment must be as a happy constellation over dred years' space at the least. But if it be said the states of your kingdoms. Neither is there to me that there is a difference between civil causes wanting to your majesty that fourth light, which, and ecclesiastical, they may as well tell me that though it be but a borrowed light, yet is of singu- churches and chapels need no reparations, though lar efficacy and moment added to the rest, which, castles and houses do; whereas, commonly, to is the light of a most wise and well compounded speak the truth, dilapidations of the inward and council; to whose honourable and grave wisdoms spiritual edifications of the church of God are in I do likewise submit whatsoever I shall speak, all times as great as the outward and material. hoping that I shall not need to make protestation Sure I am that the very word and style of reformof my mind and opinion: That, until your majesty ation used by our Saviour, « ab initio non fuit
sic," was applied to church matters, and those can never keep within the compass of any mode of the highest nature, concerning the law moral. ration : but these things being with us to have an . Nevertheless, he were both ụnthankful and orderly passage, under a king who hath a royal unwise, that would deny but that the Church of power and approved judgment, and knoweth as England, during the time of Queen Elizabeth, of well the measure of things as the nature of them; famous memory, did flourish. If I should com- it is surely a needless fear. For they need not pare it with foreign churches, I would rather the doubt but your majesty, with the advice of your comparison should be in the virtues, than as some council, will discern what things are intermingled make it, in the defects. Rather, I say, as between like the tares amongst the wheat, which have the vine and the olive, which should be most their roots so enwrapped and entangled, as the fruitful; and not as between the brier and the one cannot be pulled up without endangering the thistle, which should be most unprofitable. For other; and what are mingled but as the chaff and that reverence should be used to the church, which the corn, which need but a fan to sift and sever the good sons of Noah used to their father's na- them. So much, therefore, for the first point, of no kedness ; that is, as it were to go backwards, and reformation to be admitted at all. to help the defects thereof, and yet to dissemble For the second point, that there should be but them. And it is to be acknowledged, that scarcely one form of discipline in all churches, and that any church, since the primitive church, yielded imposed by necessity of a commandment and in like number of years and latitude of country, a prescript out of the word of God; it is a matter greater number of excellent preachers, famous volumes have been compiled of, and therefore writers, and grave governors. But for the disci- cannot receive a brief redargution. I for my part pline and orders of the church, as many, and the do confess, that in revolving the Scriptures I could chiefest of them, are holy and good; so yet, if never find any such thing: but that God had left St. John were to indite an epistle to the Church the like liberty to the church government, as he of England, as he did to them of Asia, it would had done to the civil government; to be varied sure have the clause, “ habeo adversus te pauca." according to time, and place, and accidents, which And no more for this point, saving, that as an nevertheless his high and divine providence doth appendix thereto it is not amiss to touch that ob- order and dispose. For all civil governments are jection, which is made to the time, and not to the restrained from God unto the general grounds of matter; pretending, that if reformation were ne- justice and manners; but the policies and forms cessary, yet it were not now seasonable at your of them are left free: so that monarchies and majesty's first entrance : yet Hippocrates saith, kingdoms, senates and seignories, popular states, " Si quid moves, a principio move;" and the wis- and communalities, are lawful, and where they dom of all examples do show, that the wisest are planted ought to be maintained inviolate. princes, as they have ever been the most sparing So, likewise, in church matters, the substance in removing or alteration of servants and officers of doctrine is immutable; and so are the general upon their coming in; so for removing of abuses rules of government: but for rites and ceremonies, and enormities, and for reforming of laws and the and for the particular hierarchies, policies, and policy of their states, they have chiefly sought to disciplines of churches, they be left at large. ennoble and commend their beginnings therewith; And, therefore, it is good we return unto the ancient knowing that the first impression with people con- bounds of unity in the church of God; which tinueth long, and when men's minds are most in was, one faith, one baptism; and not one hierexpectation and suspense, then are they best archy, one discipline; and that we observe the wrought and managed. And, therefore, it seemeth league of Christians, as it is penned by our Sato me that as the spring of nature, I mean the viour; which is in substance of doctrine this: spring of the year, is the best time for purging and “He that is not with us, is against us:" but in medicining the natural body, so the spring of things indifferent, and but of circumstance this; kingdoms is the most proper season for the purg-" He that is not against us, is with us.” In these ing and rectifying of politic bodies.
things, so as the general rules be observed; that There remaineth yet an objection, rather of Christ's flock be fed ; that there be a succession suspicion than of reason; and yet such as I think in bishops and ministers, which are the prophets maketh a great impression in the minds of very of the New Testament; that there be a due and wise and well-affected persons; which is, that if reverent use of the power of the keys; that those way be given to mutation, though it be in taking that preach the gospel, live of the gospel; that away abuses, yet it may so acquaint men with all things tend to edification ; that all things be sweetness of change, as it will undermine the done in order and with decency, and the like: stability even of that which is sound and good. the rest is left to the holy wisdom and spiritual This surely had been a good and true allegation discretion of the master builders and inferior in the ancient contentions and divisions between builders in Christ's church; as it is excellently the people and the senate of Rome; where things alluded by that father that noted, that Christ's were carried at the appetites of multitudes, which garment was without seam; and yet the church's