Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 4, 1640-42. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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Monday, Feb. 1.
Sir Nathanel Brent, and Sir John Lamb, summoned for laying a Tax upon the Town of Hodsdon in the County of Bucks, contrary to Law, for the maintaining a Pair of Organs and an Organist.
Then Part of the Ministers Remonstrance concerning the Government of the Church was read; in the Debate whereof, some smart Repartees pass'd between Mr. Grimston and Mr.Selden. Mr.Grimston arguing thus: That Bishops are Jure Divino, is a Question; That Archbishops are not Jure Divino, is out of Question. Now that Bishops which are question'd whether Jure Divino, or Archbishops which out of Question are not Jure Divino, should suspend Ministers that are Jure Divino, I leave to you to be considered. To which Mr.Selden answered, That the Convocation is Jure Divino, is a Question; That Parliaments are not Jure Divino, is out of Question: That Religion is Jure Divino, there is no Question. Now, Sir, That the Convocation which is questionable whether Jure Divino, and Parliaments which out of Question are not Jure Divino, should meddle with Religion, which questionless is Jure Divino, I leave to your Consideration.
February 2. Customers.
The Customers ordered to deliver Mr. Vassal's Goods, seized formerly by the Commissioners of the Customs.
Sir Nicholas Crisp's expelled the House; Monopolies to be enquired after.
Sir Nicholas Crisp's Case reported, concerning his Patent for the sole gathering of Copperas-Stones on the Seas-Coast: Whereupon he was voted to be expelled the House; and Mr.Speaker to issue out a Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown, to send out a Writ for a new Election to Winchelsea in Suffex, for which Place he served as a Member. And further it was ordered. That the whole Consideration of all Monopolies (except those of Salt, Soap, and Leather) be referred to a Committee, to consider who were the Authors of the several Patents and Grants for Monopolies, and of all others that have had any hand in the procuring or concealing of any Patent or Grant, or have received any Money or Gift for any of them. And have Power to enquire after all Grants of Patents; all Proclamations, Commissions, Contracts, Assignments, or any other thing that may have any relation, or concern any Patent, or any Grant of any Monopoly or Project.
February 3. Message.
The House of Lords sent a Message to the House of Commons, That his Majesty will be at the Banquetting House at Whitehall, about Two a Clock in the Afternoon, and will expect their Attendance at that time, to receive his Majesty's Answer to the Remonstrance lately presented to his Majesty concerning Goodman the Priest, Papist, and Pope's Nuncio.
At which time the Houses attending accordingly, his Majesty was pleased to make the following Gracious Speech unto them.
The King Answer to the Remonstrance.
Having taken into my serious Consideration the late Remonstrance of the Houses of Parliament, I give you this Answer.
That I take in good part your Care of the true Religion Establish'd in this Kingdom, from which I will never depart: As also your Tenderness of my Safety, and the Security of this State and Government. It is against my mind, that Popery or Superstition should any way increase within this Kingdom, and will restrain the same by causing the Laws to be put in Execution.
I am resolved to provide against the Jesuits and Papists, by setting forth a Proclamation with all speed, commanding them to depart the Kingdom within one Month; of which if they fail, or shall return, then they shall be proceed against according to the Laws.
Concerning Rosetti (fn. 1), I give you to understand, That the Queen hath always assured me, That to her Knowledge he hath no Commission, but only to retain a personal Correspondence between her and the Pope, in things requisite for the Exercise of her Religion, which is warranted to her by the Articles of Marriage; which gave her a full Liberty of Conscience: Yet I have persuaded her, that since the misunderstanding of the Person's Condition gives Offence, she will in a convenient time remove him.
Moreover I will take a special Care to restrain my Subjects from resorting to Mass at Denmark House, St. James's, and the Chapels of Ambassadors.
Lastly, Concerning John Goodman the Priest, I will let you know the Reason why I reprieved him, and it is, That (as I am informed) neither Queen Elizabeth, nor my Father did ever avow, That any Priest in their Times was Executed merely for Religion, which to me seems to be this Particular; yet seeing I am press'd by both Houses to give way to his Execution, because I will avoid the Inconveniency of giving so great a Discontent to my People, as I conceive this Mercy may produce therefore I do remit this particular Cause to both the Houses; but I desire them to take into their Consideration and Inconveninences, as I conceive may upon this Occasion fall upon my Subjects and other Protestants abroad, especially since it may seem to other States to be a Severity. Which having thus represented, I think my self discharged from all ill Consequence that may ensue upon the Execution of this Person.
The next Day his Majesty likewise cause a Petition of this Goodman to be communicated to the House of Lords by the Lord Keeper, which Petition was in these Words.
To the King's most Excellent Majesty, the Humble Petition of John Goodman, Condemned.
That whereas your Petitioner hath been informed of a great Discontent in many of your Majesty's Subjects, at the gracious Mercy your Majesty was freely pleased to shew unto your Petitioner, by the suspending the Execution of the Sentence of Death pronounced against your Petitioner for being a Romish Priest:
These are humbly to beseech your Majesty, rather to remit your Petitioner to their Mercy that are discontented, than to let him live the Subject of so great Discontent in your People against your Majesty; for it hath pleased God to give me the Grace to desire with the Prophet, That if this Storm be raised for my Sake, I may be cast into the Sea, that others may avoid the Tempest.
This is, most Sacred Sovereign, the Petition of him, that should esteem his Blood well shed, to cement the Breach between your Majesty and your Subjects upon this Occasion.
Ha. Festor. John Goodman
The Scots Demands considered.
This Day the House reassumed the Consideration of the Scots Demands, especially upon that Proposition of their expecting Reparation for their great Losses sustained upon their Expedition into England. Whereupon there was very great Debate in the House, some thinking it to be dishonourable to repair their Losses, and our own Nation not considered for the Damages done them by the Scots Army.
Upon this Occasion, Sir Benjamin Rudyard delivered his mind in a Speech as follows:
Sir Benjamin Rudyard's SPEECH.
Sir Benjamin Rudyard's Speech about the Scots Demands.
It will become us thankfully to acknowledge the Prudent and Painful Endeavours of my Lords, the Peers Commissioners, in treating with the Scots, and in mediating with the King; whereby (God assisting) we are now probably drawing near to a blessed Peace.
His Majesty, in his Wisdom and Goodness, is graciously pleased to give his Royal Assent to their Acts of Parliament; wherein their Articles of their Assembly are likewise included: Insomuch, as their Religion, their Laws, their Liberties, are Ratified and Establish'd besides their Grievances relieved and redressed; for which we use to give the King Money, and are still ready to do it. This, although it be a large, yet is not received as a full Satisfaction.
Besides, when they came into England they published a Remonstrance, 'That they would take nothing of the English, but what they would pay for, or give Security'; we have defrayed them hitherto, and are provided to do it longer.
They did well remember, That we assisted them in the Time of their Reformation; and it is not to be forgotten, that we did bear our own Charges.
Concerning mutual Restitution of Ships and Goods, my Lords the Commissioners have very fairly and discreetly accommodated that Particular already.
As for inferential and consequential Damages, such a Representation would but minister unacceptable Matter of Difference and Contestation, which amongst Friends ought to be warily and wisely avoided.
We could alledge, and truly too, That Northumberland, Newcastle, and the Bishoprick, will not recover their former State these Twenty Years. We have heard it spoken here in this House, by an understanding knowing Member in the Particular, That the Coal-Mines of Newcastle will not be set right again for One Hundred Thousand Pounds; besides the Over-price of Coals, which all the while it hath and will cost this City, and other Parts of the Kingdom. A great deal more of this Nature might be rehearsed; but I delight not to press such tender stretched Arguments: Let us on both sides rather thank God, by proceeding in the Way he hath laid before us, and not wry his Way to ours: Time and his Blessing will repair all our implicit Damages, with many prosperous explicit Advantages.
They say, that they do not make any formal Demand; but they do make a Sum to appear, Five hundred and Fourteen thousand Pounds; more than ever we gave the King at once. A Portentous Apparition, which shews it self in a very dry Time: When the King's Revenue is totally exhausted, his Debts excessively multiplied, the Kingdom generally impoverished by grievous Burthens, and disordered Courses: All this Supply is to be drawn out of us only, without the least Help from any of his Majesty's other Dominions; which, to my seeming, will be an utter Draining of the People, unless England be Puteus inexhaustus, as the Pope's were wont to call it.
Notwithstanding, Sir, now that I have in part opened the State we are in, tho nothing so exactly as they have done theirs; I shall most willingly and hearily afford the Scots whatsoever is just, equitable and honourable, even to a convenient, considerable, round Sum of Money, towards their Losses and Expences, that we may go off with a friendly and handsome Loss: If they reject it, we shall improve our Cause.
It was never yet thought, Mr. Speaker, any great Wisdom, over-much to trust a successful Sword. A Man that walks upon a rising Ground, the further he goes the larger is his Prospect; Success enlarges Mens Desires, extends their Ambition, it breeds Thoughts in them they never thought before: this is natural and usual. But the Scots being truly touched with Religion, according to their Profession, that only is able to make them keep their Word; for Religion is stronger and wiser than Reason, or Reason of State.
Beyond all this, Mr. Speaker, the remarkable Traces of God's wonderful Providence in this strange Work, are so many, so apparent, as I cannot but hope, almost to believe, That the same All-Governing, Merciful Hand will conduct and lead us to a happy Conclusion; will contract a closer, firmer Union between the Two Nations than any mere human Policy could ever have effected, with inestimable Benefits to both; in advancing the Truth of Religion; in exalting the Greatness of the King; in securing the Peace of his Kingdoms against all malicious, envious, ambitious Opposites to Religion, to the King, to his Kingdoms, wherein I presume all our Desires and Prayers do meet.
Afterwards Mr. Jarvis Hollis Spake his Sense as to this Matter, thus:
I Have with much Difficulty presuaded my self to offer any thing, my little Stock, to this Reckoning; yet since I have adventured to rise, I shall take the Liberty, with your Favour, to deliver my self freely. I have a blunt Way of speaking my Heart; it may be peradventure a Folly in me, but it is a Folly I love so well. I will not part with it.
Sir, We are now upon the 5th Article of the Scots, which as it was expressed by a Noble Lord at the Conference, is a very teeming Article, it hath produced mamy other, and they such, as I must confess and affirm, whatsoever Focus or Artifice they be slighted over with, I do not like their Countenance; they may well be our Younger Brother of Scotland, but, like Jacob, they seem to me as if they had Aim to Supplant us, and take away our Birthright.
Sir, There is no Man that hath a more charitable Construction of Intentions than I had, whilst they made their Addresses in humble Distance, as befitted Subjects to their Sovereign; whilst they bounded their Desires within the due Limits of their ancient Liberties, and seemed to with nothing but the just Freedom of Subjects and Christians in their Laws and Consciences, my Heart went along with them, and wished them Satisfaction; but now Sir, when I see them swell in their Demands beyond all Proportion; when I heard them enlarge upon their first Propositions and require Things unfit for a King to grant, and dishonourable for this Nation to suffer, I cannot but fix a Mark of Danger upon them; I fear we have nourished in our Bosom those that will sting us to Death.
Here being interrupted, yet the House commanding him to go on, he said as followed
Sir, I am sorry for this Interruption; and much more sorry, if I have gives a Cause for it, for the Clearness of my own Thoughts acquits me; I brought no intentions here, but such as were full of Fidelity and Zeal for the Service of this House and my Country, and shall always conserve them; and now if you please to command me to express my self like an Englishman and an Honest Man, I shall proceed; otherwise I shall testify my Obedience in my Silence.
Then he was commanded to proceed, which he did as followeth.
The Miseries and Calamities which this poor Kingdom hath thus long suffered have hung like Weights upon my Soul, and I have groaned under the Oppression for it was a great one: But these, as they call them Propositions, I must call them Commands, and I fear they will prove so; they threaten yet more, it is to unman us quite, and leave us in a Condition of all others the most despisable; for they appear to me like the Demands of Naash to the Men of Jabesh, putting out our Right Eyes.
Sir, Our Ancestors have not been acquainted with so much Tameness as to hear of such Demands at a Distance; and it cannot but trouble me, that we should not only meet them at the Half Way, but embrace the Bearers.
Sir, We are the Offspring of these Ancestors, their Blood runs in our Veins, and I hope as yet is not all turned to Water; there are Spirits of Life and Activity to us, and these will revive and speak plain English to us, whatever Damp or Apoplexy this Spirit of Slumber hath cast upon us; and I hope we shall either live with Honour, or take our honourable Farewel, and so be Honest and Gallant Men between these Two there is not much Difference.
Therefore, Sir, my humble Proposition is this, That these Propositions may be committed to a select Committee, to consider of those which carry Reason and Modesty with them, that they may be presented here as fitting to be granted and that those which are of another Insinuation may be rejected: And if our firm Peace may be had upon honest and honourable Terms, I will cherish the Thought of it; if not, there are but two Ways left worthy the Entertainment of this Nation; that is, to stand or fall with Honour.
God, I hope, and our English Virtues, will secure the first; if otherwise, he is neither worthy of Life nor Memory, that shall not bury himself in the Ruins of his Country.
When Mr. Hollis, at the Conclusion of this Speech, went to fit down, many Members cried, To the Bar, To the Bar; others declin'd that Cry, and moved he might have leave to Explain himself; which being granted, Mr. Jarvis Hollis stood up and made his Explanation; but it not giving Satisfaction, he was again called to the Bar, and suspended from the House during this Session.
After long Debates concerning this Affair, for Relief and friendly Assistance of the Scots, the House at last came to this Resolve,
Three Hundred Thousand Pounds for our Brethren the Scots.
That this House doth conceive the Sum of 300000l. a fit Proportion for the friendly Assistance and Relief thought fit to be made towards the Losses and Necessities of our Brethren of Scotland: And that this House will, in due time, take into Consideration the manner how, and the Time when the same shall be raised.
February 4. Mr. Nevil of Yorkshire sent to the Tower, for discovering Words spoken in the House.
Mr. Francis Nevil of Yorkshire, a Member of the House, was this day questioned for Breach of Privilege in the preceeding Parliament, which met the 13th of April 1640. by discovering to the King and Council, what Words some Members did let fall in their Debate in that House; whereupon Mr. Bellasis, Knight for Yorkshire, and Sir John Hotham, were committed by the Council Board; and Mr. Nevil being brought to the Bar, was by the House committed to the Tower of London; and Sir William Savill touching the same Matter, was ordered to be sent for.
Friday, Febr. 5. Bowen.
A Petition of the Inhabitants of Wood-Church in Kent, against Mr. Bowen their Parson, who being also a Justice of Peace, had by colour of that Office done several Things which they complained of as Grievances.
Clergy to be put out of Commission of the Peace.
Upon the Debate whereof, the House came to a Resolution, and Ordered, That the Lord Keeper be desired to leave out the Clergy in England and Wales, at the renewing of the Commission of the Peace.
There was delivered likewise a Message from the Queen, by Mr. Comptroller, to excuse the Raising of Money by the Recusants for the Northern Expedition, in these following Words:
Her Majesty's Message.
That Here Majesty hath been ready to use Her best endeavours for the removing of all misunderstandings between the King and his People.
That at the Request of the Lords who petitioned the King for a Parliament, Her Majesty at that time writ effectually to the King, and sent a Gentleman expresly to presuade the King to the holding of a Parliament.
That she hath since been most willing to do all good Offices between the King and his People, which is not unknown to divers of the Lords; and so shall ever continue to do, as judging it the only Way of Happiness to the King, Her self, and the Kingdom, and that so all things may be justly settled between the King and His people, and all Cause of Misunderstanding taken away and removed.
That Her Majesty having taken knowledge, that having one sent to Her from the Pope, is distastful to the Kingdom, she is desirous to give satisfaction to the Parliament, which in convenient time she will do, and remove him out of the Kingdom.
That understanding likewise that Exception had been taken to the great Resort to the Chapel of Denmark-House, She will be careful not to exceed that which is convenient and necessary for the Exercise of Her Religion.
She further taketh notice, That the Parliament is not satisfied with the Manner of Raising taketh notice, That the Parliament is not satisfied with the Manner of Raising Money for the Assistance of the King in His Journey to the North in the Year 1639. at her entreaty from the Catholicks; She was moved thereunto merely out of her dear and tender Affection to the King, and by the Example of others His Majesty's Subjects, in whom she seeing the like forwardness to the Assistance of the King.
If any thing be Illegal, She was ignorant of the Law, and was carried therein only out of a great desire to be assistant to the King in so pressing an Occasion; but promiseth to be more cautious hereafter, and not to do any thing but what may stand with the Established Laws of the Kingdom.
Her Majesty being desirous to employ Her whole Power to unite the King and his People, desireth the Parliament to look forwards, and pass by such Mistakes and Errors of Her Servants as may have been formerly committed; and this your Respect. She promiseth, shall be repay'd with all the good Offices She can do to this House, which you shall find with real Effects, as often as there shall be Occasion.
Saturday, Febr. 6; Mr. St. John's Speech.
A Committee to take care that the Copies that are abroad of the Speech or Declaration, (which Mr. St. John the King's Sollicitor) delivered at a Conference with the Lords concerning the Ship-money, may be suppressed; and he that caused them to be Printed imperfectly, to be questioned: And they are likewise to see how the Consultations concerning the Ship-money are entred in the Lords House; And that a true Copy of Mr. Sollicitor's Declaration may be brought in hither; and then to consider how a Declaration of the whole Proceedings may be set forth in Print, and a Vacatur be Entred upon all the Records in the Courts of Westminster, where the Judges Opinions are Entred.
The Matter of the Treaty with the Scots came again into Debate; and the further Cessation agreed to by the Lords Commissioners for a Month, was by the House consented to, if the Treaty should so long continue.
And the Scots Commissioners return'd their Thanks to the Parliament for the Three Hundred Thousand Pound; and for the Style of Brethren given them in the Vote of the House on that Occasion.
Monday and Tuesday, Febr. 8. 9. Episcopacy.
There were these Two Days, great and tedious Debates in the House of Commons concerning Episcopal Government; divers Opinion there were, some for the Reformation of Bishops; others, to have them quite taken away. It was agreed by most, to take from them their Lordly Prelacy, to tye them up from meddling with Temporal Affairs, and to restrain their Jurisdictions and Courts.
Concerning which, the following Speeches were then made in the House; the Lord Digby beginning with an Eloquent Harangue in favour of Episcopacy; and Mr. Fiennes, and others of contrary Sentiments, answering thereunto, which took up most of the time these two Days.
The Lord Digby's SPEECH about the London Petition, and Bishops.
The Lord Digby's Speech about the London Petition and Bishops, Febr. 9. 1640.
I Know it is a tender Subject I am to speak of, wherein I believe some within these Walls are engaged with earnestness in contrary Opinions to mine, and therefore it will be necessary, that in the first Place, I beseech the Patience of this House that they will be pleased to hear me without Interruption; tho' somewhat I say should chance to be displeasing, I hope there will be somewhat from me, e're I conclude, that may be of Service to this House.
Sir, If I thought there were no further design in the Desires of some, that this London Petition should be Committed, than merely to make use of it as an Index of Grievances, I should wink at the Faults of it, and not much oppose it.
There is no Man within these Walls more sensible of the Heavy Grievance of Church Government than my self, nor whose Affections are keener to the Clipping of these Wings of the Prelates, whereby they have mounted to such Insolencies; nor whose Zeal is more ardent to the Searing them so, as they may never spring again.
But having Reason to believe that some aim at a total Extirpation of Bishop which is against my Heart; and that the Committing of this Petition may give or at least to set such Notes upon it as may make it ineffectual to that end.
Truly Sir, when this Petition was first brought into the House, I considered it in its Nature, in the manner of Delivery, in the present Conjuncture of Affairs, both Ecclesiastical and Civil, to be a Thing of the highest Consequence that any Age hath presented to a Parliament; and the same Thoughts I have of it still.
I profess, I looked upon it then with Terror, as upon a Comet or Blazing-Star, raised and kindled out of the Stench, out of the poysonous Exhalation of a corrupted Hierarchy: Methought the Comet had a terrible Tail with it, Sir, and pointed to the North; the same Fears dwell with me still concerning it; (and I beseech God they may not prove Prophetical.) I fear all the Prudence, all the Forecast, all the Virtue of this House, how unitedly soever collected, how vigorously soever applied, will have a hard Work of it yet to hinder this Meteor from causing such Distempers and Combustions by its Influence, as it then portended by its Appearance. Whatever the Event be, I shall discharge my Conscience concerning it freely and uprightly, as unbiass'd by Popularity, as by any Court Respects.
Sir, I could never flatter the Sense of this House which I reverence so much, as to suppress a single No, that my Heart dictated, though I knew the venting of it might cast Prejudices upon me; had my Fortune placed me near a King, I could not have flattered a King; and I do not intend now to flatter a Multitude.
I shall desire those worthy Aldermen, and the rest here of the City of London, not to take any Thing I shall say, in the least way of Disparagement or Reflection on the City; I look not upon this Petition as a Petition from the City of London, but from I know not what 15000 Londoners, all that could be got to subscribe.
When this Petition was first presented, there might be more Reason for the Commitment of it, as being then the most comprehensive Catalogue we had of Church Grievances; but now that the Ministers by their Remonstrance, have given us so fair and full an Index of them, without those Mixtures of Things contemptible, irrational, and presumptuous, wherewith this Petition abounds, I do not know, I profess, to what good End it can be committed, being full of contemptible Things. But first, Let me recall to your Mind the Manner of its Delivery; and I am confident there is no Man of Judgment, that will think it fit for a Parliament under a Monarchy, to give Countenance to irregular and tumultuous Assemblies of People, be it for never so good an End: Besides, there is no Man of the least Insight into Nature, or History, but knows the Danger, when either true, or pretended Stimulation of Conscience hath once given a Multitude Agitation.
Contemptible Things, Sir, swarm in the 8, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, Articles of this Petition. Did ever any Body think that the Gayeties of Ovid, or Tom. Coryat's Muse, should by 15000 have been presented to a Parliament, as a Motive for the Extirpation of Bishops. The Scandal of the Rochet, the Lawn-Sleeves, the Four-Corner Cap, the Cope, the Surplice, the Tipper, the Hood, the Canonical Coat, &c. may pass with Arguments of the same Weight; only thus much let me observe upon it, (Mr. Speaker), that one would swear the Penners of the Article, had the pluming of some Bishops already, they are so acquainted with every Feather of them. In a Word, I know not whether it be more preposterous to infer the Extirpation of Bishops from such weak Arguments, or to attribute as they do to Church-Government all the Civil Grievances; not a Patent, not a Monopoly, not the Price of a Commodity raised, but these Men make Bishops the Cause of it.
For the irrational Part, (Mr. Speaker), First they Petition us in a Method only allowable with those, whose Judgment or Justice is suspected; that is iniquum petere, ut aequum feras. There is no Logick, no Reasoning in their Demands; it were want of Logick in me to expect it from a Multitude; but I consider the Multitude in this, is led by implicite Faith, to that which hath been digested, and contrived but by a few; and in them, truly, I cannot but wonder at the want of Reconciliation here.
A Petition, Mr. Speaker ought in this to be a kind of Syllogism, that the Conclusion, the Prayer, ought to hold proportion with the Premises; that is, with the Allegations and Complaints, and to be reasonably deduced from them.
But what have we here? A multitude of Allegations, a multitude of Instances, of Abuses, and Depravations of Church-Government: And what inferred from thence? Let the Use be utterly abolish'd for the Abuses sake; as if they should say, that because Drunkenness and Adultery are grown so epidemical, as is alledged in the Petition, let there be no more use of Wine nor of Women in the Land.
Christ's Discipline hath been Adulterated, 'tis true, the whole Church inebriated by the Prelates, therefore infer our Petitioners, Let not so much as the Chast, the Sober Use of them be suffered.
Give me leave to continue one of the Comparisons a little further. Should it be demonstrated unto us, that Wine could not be made use of without Drunkenness; and withal, some such Liquor presented as Healthy, and as Nourishing, from which no Distemper could arise; I should not blame any Man for desiring to pluck up the Vine by the Roots; but for the moveable Ills sake, to take away the solid good of a Thing is just as reasonable in this, as to root up a good Tree, because there is a Canker in the Branches.
For the bold part of this Petition, Sir, what can there be of greater Presumption, than for Petitioners, not only to prescribe to a Parliament, what, and how it shall do; but for a Multitude to teach a Parliament what, and what is not the Government, according to God's Word.
Besides, what is the Petition against? Is it not against the Government of the Church of England established by Acts of Parliament? Is it not against the Liturgy, against several Forms of Divine Service, ratified by the same Authority?
'Tis true, Mr. Speaker, The Parliament may mend, may alter, may repeal Laws, may make new and i hope in due Season we shall do so in point of Church-Government; but in the mean time let me tell you Sir, I cannot but esteem it an Irreverence, and high Presumption in any, to Petition point-blank against a Law, or Government in Force.
Representment of Inconvenience may be made (as the Ministers have done) such as may induce the Wisdom of a Parliament to devise Laws, to rectify, to repeal them; but it imports the very Essence of Parliaments to keep up the Honour of its former Acts, and not to suffer them to be further blasted from abroad.
Believe me, Mr. Speaker, all the Reverence and Authority which we expect from future Times to our own Acts hereafter, depends upon our upholding the Dignity of what former Parliaments have done, even in those Things which in their due time we may desire and intend to reverse.
Mr. Speaker, You see in what plain Language I have set forth unto you the Faults of this Petition; notwithstanding, as great as they are, so they may not obtain any seeming Countenance from us, I find my self willing to have them past by, especially when I consider how naturally prone all Mankind is, when it finds it self oppress'd beyond Patience, to fly unto Extreams for Ease; and indeed, I do not think that any People hath been ever more provoked, than the generality of England of late Years by the Insolencies and Exorbitances of the Prelates.
I protest sincerely, Mr. Speaker, I cannot cast mine Eye upon this Petition, nor my Thoughts on the Practices of the Church-men, that have governed it of late, but they appeared to me as a Scourge employed by God upon us, for the Sins of the Nation; and I could not but think of that Passage in the Book of Kings, He that escapes the Sword of Hazael, shall Jehu slay; and he that escapes Jehu, shall Elisha slay.
Methinks, The Vengeance of the Prelates hath been so laid, as if 'twere meant, no Generation, no Degree, no Complexion of Mankind should escape it.
Was there a Man of nice and tender Conscience? Him have they afflicted with Scandal, in Adiaphoris; imposing on him those Things as necessary which he think unlawful, and they themselves knew to be but indifferent.
Was there a Man of Legal Conscience, that made the Establishment by Law the Measure of his Religion? Him have they nettled with Innovations, with fresh Introductions to Popery.
Was there a Man of a meek and humble Spirit? Him have they trampled to Dirt in their Pride.
Was there a Man of a proud and arrogant Nature? Him have they bereft of Reason, with Indignation at their superlative Insolence about him.
Was there a Man peaceably affected, studious of the Quiet and Tranquillity of his Country? Their Incendiarships hath plagued him.
Was there Man faithfully addicted to the Right of the Crown, Loyally affected to the King's Supremacy? How hath he been galled by their new Oath? A direct Covenant against it.
Was there a Man tenacious of the Liberty and Property of the Subject Have they not set forth Books, or Sermons, or Canons destructive to them all?
Was there a Man of a pretty sturdy Conscience that would not blanch for a little? Their pernicious Oath hath made him sensible, and wounded; or I fear, prepared him for the Devil.
Was there a Man that durst mutter against their Insolencies? He may enquire for his Lugs, they have been within the Bishop's Visitation; as if they would not only derive their Brandishment of the Spiritual Sword from St. Peter, But of the material one too, and the Right to cut off Ears.
Mr. Speaker, As dully, as faintly, as unlively, as in Language, these Actions f the Prelates hath been expressed unto you; I am confident there is no Man hears me but is brimfull of indignation.
For my part, I profess, I am am so inflamed with the Sense of them, that I find my self ready to cry out with the loudest of the 15000; Down with them, down with them, even to the Ground.
But, Mr. Speaker, when I cast my Eye round about this great and wise Assembly, and find my self a Part too, (though the most unworthy, and inconsiderable) of that Senate, from whose Dispassionate and equal Constitutions present and future Times must expect their Happiness or Infelicity:
It obliges me to the utmost of my Power to divest my self and others, of all those Disturbances of Judgment, which arise ever from great Provocations; and to settle my Thoughts in that Temper which I think necessary to all those that would judge clearly of such Things as have incensed them.
I beseech you, Gentlemen, let us not be led on by Passion to Popular and Vulgar Errors; it is natural (as I told you before), to the Multitude to fly into Extreams; that seems ever the best to them, that is most opposite to the present Object of their Hate.
Wise Counsels (Mr. Speaker) must square their Resolutions by another Measure, by what's most Just, most Honourable, most Convenient; believe me. Sir, great Alterations of Government are rarely accompanied with any of these. Mr. Speaker, we all agree upon this, That a Reformation of Church-Government is most necessary; and our happy Unity of Opinions herein should be one Argument unto us to stay there. But, Sir, to strike at the Root, to attempt a total Alteration, before ever I can give my Vote unto that, three Things must be made manifest unto First, That the Mischiefs which we have felt under Episcopal Government, flow from the Nature of the Function, not from the Abuses of it only; that is, that no Rules, no Boundaries can be set to Bishops, able to restrain them from such exorbitances. Secondly, Such a Frame of Government must be laid before us, as no Time, no Corruption, can make liable to proportionable Inconveniences with that which we abolish. And Thirdly, it must be made to appear, that this Utopia iss practicable.
For the First, Sir, That Episcopacy, a Function deduced through all Ages of Christ's Church from the Apostles Times, and continued the most venerable and sacred Order Ecclesiastical; a Function, dignified by the Learning and Piety of so many Fathers of the Church, glorified by so many Martydoms in the Primitive Times, and some since our own blessed Reformation; a Government admired (1 speak it knowingly) by the Learnedest of the Reformed Churches abroad; and Lastly, A Government under which, (till these late Years) this Church hath so flourished, so fructified; that such a Government, such a Function, should at the Fag End of 1640 Years be found to have such a close Devil in it, as no Power can Exorcise, no Law restrain, appears (Sir) to me a Thing very improbable; I profess, I am deceived, Sir, if Triennial Parliaments will not be a Circle able to keep many a worse Devil in order.
For the Second, I know not the strength of other Mens Fancies, but I will confess unto you ingenuously the Weakness of my Faith in the Point, That I do not believe there can any other Government be proposed, but will in time be subject to as great, or greater Inconveniences than Episcopacy; I mean Episcopacy so ordered, reduced, and limited, as I suppose it may be by firm and solid Boundaries.
'Tis true, Sir, we cannot so well judge before-hand of future Inconveniences: For the knowledge of the Faults and Mischiefs of Episcopal Government, resulting from fresh and bleeding Experience:
And the insight into Dangers of any new way that shall be proposed, being to rise only from Speculation, the Apprehension of the one is likely to be much more operative than of the other, tho perhaps in just reason it ought to be the weaker with us. It is hard in such Cases for us to preserve an equal and unpropense Judgment (Sense being inn Things of this World so much too hard for Faith and Contemplation) yet, as Divine as our Inspection is into Things not experimented, if we hearken to those that would quite extirpate Episcopacy; I am confident that instead of every Bishop we put down in a Diocese, we shall set up a Pope in every Parish.
Lastly, Mr. Speaker, whether the Subversion of Episcopacy, and the introducing of another kind of Government, be practicable, I leave it to those to judge, who have considered the Connection and Interweaving of the Church-Government with the Common Law, to those who heard the King's-Speech to us the other Day, or who have looked into Reason of State.
For my Part (though no Statesman) I will speak my Mind freely in this; I do not think a King can put down Bishops totally with Safety to Monarchy; not that there is any such Alliance as Men talk of 'twixt the Mitre and the Crown; but from this Reason, that upon the putting down of Bishops, the Government of Assemblies is like to succeed it: That (to be effectual) must draw to it self the Supremacy of Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction; that (consequently) the power of Excommunicating Kings as well as any other Brother in Christ; and if a King chance to be delivered over to Satan, judge whether Men are likely to care much what becomes of him next.
These Things considered, Mr. Speaker, let us lay aside all Thoughts of such dangerous, such fundamental, such unaccomplished Alterations, and all Thought of countenancing those Thoughts in others; let us all resolve upon that Course wherein (with Union) we may probably promise our selves Success, Happiness, and Security, that is, in a thorough Reformation.
To that, no Man's Vote shall be given with more Zeal, with more Heartiness than mine. Let us not destroy Bishops, but make Bishops such as they were it the Primitive Times.
Do their large Territories, their large Revenues offend? Let them be retrench'd; the good Bishop of Hippo had but a narrow Diocese.
Do their Courts and Subordinates offend; let them be brought to Govern as in the Primitive Times, by Assemblies of their Clergy?
Doth their intermeddling in Secular Affairs offend; Exclude them from the Capacity; it is no more than what Reason and all Antiquity hath interdicted them.
That all this may be the better effected, Mr.Speaker, my Motion is, That first we may appoint a Committee to collect all Grievances springing from the Mis–government of the Church (to which the Ministers Heads of Government will be sufficient, without countenancing this Petition by a Commitment) and to represent it to this House in a Body.
And in the next Place, that we may (if it stand with the Order of Parliament desire that there may be a standing Committee of certain Members of both Houses, who (with a Number of such Learned Ministers as the Houses shall nominate for Assistants) may take into consideration all these grievances, and advise of the best way to settle Peace and Satisfaction in the Government of the Church, to the Comfort of all good Christians, and all good Christians, and all good Commonwealths-men.
Mr. Nathaniel Fiennes his SPEECH, in Answer to the Lord Digby's, Febr. 9. 1640.
Two Things have fallen into Debate this Day: The first concerning the Londoners Petition, whether it should be committed or no.
The other, concerning the Government of the Church by Archbishops, Bishops, &c. whether it should be countenanced or no.
For the first, I do not understand by any Thing I have yet heard, why the Lord doners Petition should not be committed or countenanced; the Exceptions that are taken against it are from the Irregularities of it of the Delivery, and from the Subject-matter contained in it.
For the first, it is alledged, that the long Tail of this Blazing-Star is Ominous; and that such a Number of Petitioners, and such a Number that brought the Petition to the House was irregular: Hereunto I answer, That the Fault was either in the multitude of the Petitioners, or in their Carriages and Demeanors; if a Multitude find themselves aggrieved, why it should be Fault in them to express their Grievances more than in one or a few, I cannot fee; nay, to me it seems rather a Reason that their Petitions should be committed and taken into serious Consideration for thereby they may receive Satisfaction, though all may not be granted that they desire; but if we shall throw their Petition behind the Dorr, and refuse to consider it, that may seem an Act of Will in us. And whether an Act of Will in us may not produce an Act of Will in the People, I leave it your Consideration. Sure I am, Acts of Will are more dangerous there than here because usually they are more Tumultuous. All Laws are made principally for the Quiet and Peace of a Kingdom; and a Law may be of such indifferent Nature many times, that it is a good Reason to alter it, only because a great Number desires it, if there were nothing else in it; and therefore I do not fee that the Number of petitioners is any good Reason why it should not be Committed, but rather to the contrary.
Now for their Carriage: There came indeed three or 400 of the 15000, some of the better Sort of them; and there might be good Reason for it. I have heard that there was brought a Petition to some Privy Councellors with a Thousand Hands to it; and being brought only with Six Men, they were answered, That they Six might write those Thousand Hands: If there were a Thousand that joyned in the Petition, why did they not come too? And we heard it objected but the other Day in this House against the Ministers Petition, That there was indeed seven or eight hundred Names to it, but two Hands only. Therefore it was not without Cause that a considerable Number should come with a Petition signed by so many; but for any disorder in their Carriage, I saw none. For upon an Intimation in one Word from this House, they forthwith retired to their Dwellings. As for the Subject matter of the Petition, three Exceptions are taken against it.
First, That divers Things are contemptible in it, as that about Ovid de Amore, set forth in English, and other such Things.
Secondly, That in many Things their Discourse was altogether irrational, for that they argue from personal Faults of Bishops against the Office it felt of Bishops; and in other Things argue from Effects that proceed from it by accident, as if they did naturally and necessarily arise out of it.
And in the last Place, That their Prayer and Conclusion is bold and presumptuous, desiring so boldly an Abolition of standing Laws.
To the first I answer, That some Things may seem contemptible in themselves, which are not so in their Causes, nor in their Effects; as the suffering of such lascivious Pamphlets to be printed and published, when other profitable Writings are suppressed, doth discover a Principle, that Looseness and Hierarchy than the contrary, which makes them connive at such Things as are apt to produce Looseness and Lewdness, and this is not a contemptible Effect, nor doth it proceed from a contemptible Cause.
In the next Place, for that which seems Irrational in the Way of their Discovery, divers Things may seem to be Personal Faults, which indeed are derived unto the Persons from the Office, or from the Circumstances thereof. I mean their Revenues andDignities on the one Side, and the Ceremonies on the other Side; for most of the Things complained of, as Silencing, and thrusting out of Godly and painful Preachers, bringing in Innovations in Doctrine and Worship, and the like; although they may seem Personal and accidental Faults; yet if we follow them to their last report, we shall find that their worldly Wealth and Dignities stir them up to do this; and that their sole and Arbitrary Power over the Clergy, in Matters Ecclesiastical, enable them to effect it, and the Ceremonies both new and old serve as Instruments, and Means whereby they effect it.
In the last Place, That their Prayer in the Conclusion of their Petition is bold or presumptuous, I do not fee there is any Reason so to esteem of it; for if they had taken upon them to have altered any Thing upon their own Authority, or had imperiously required the Parliament to do it, then it might deserve such a Style; but when they come as humble Suppliants by Way of Petition, desiring the Altering of Laws that have been sound burdensome unto them, and that of the Parliament, where, and wherein only old Laws may be repealed, and new Laws may be made, they came in the right Manner to their right and proper place, and therefore have done nothing boldly or presumptuously, but orderly and regularly, and therefore ought not to receive any Check or Discouragement in the Way that they have taken.
Now, Sir, concerning the Government of the Church by Archbishops, Bishops &c. which also hath been spoken unto; whereas it is desired that the Evils and Inconveniencies should be shewed which arise not from the Persons, but from the Office it self of Bishops, I shall apply my Discourse particularly to that Point. But first, I shall crave leave to say a Word or two in answer to what hath been alledged for the Credit of the Government by Bishops. First, that it is an ancient as Christian Religion, and that it hath continued ever since the time of Christ and his Apostles; as for this, I do not pretend to have so much knowledge in Antiquity as to confute this out of the Fathers and Ecclesiastical Histories; (although there are that undertake that) only one Sentence I have often heard cited out of St. Jerome, that in the Primitive Times, Omnia communi Clericorum concisio regebantur; and truly so far as the Acts of the Apostles, and the New Testament goeth, which was the ancientest and most Primitive Time of Christianity, I could never find there any distinction between a Bishop and a Presbyter, but that they were one and the very same Thing. In the next Place, that which is alledged for the Credit of Episcopacy, is, that our Reformers and Martyrs were many of them Bishops, and practised many of those Things now complained of; and that in other Reformed Churches where Bishops are not, yet they are desired. For the Martyrs and Reformers of the Church that were Bishops, I do not understand that that was any Part of their Reformation, nor of their Martyrdom; I have read, that whereas Ridley and Hooper had some Difference between them in their Life-time about these Things, when they came both to their Martyrdom, he that had formerly been the Patron of this Hierarchy and Ceremonies, told his Brother, that therein his Foolishness had contended with his Wisdom. As for that which is said, that in other Reformed Churches where they have not Bishops, yet they are desired; I will not deny but some among them may desire Bishopricks, I mean the Dignities and Revenues of Bishops; but that they desire Bishops, as thinking it the fittest and best Government of the Church, I cannot believe; for if they would have Bishops, why do they not make themselves Bishops ? I know not what hindreth, why they might not have Bishops when they would. In the last Place, for that which is alledged in relation to the Government of this Kingdom, that Bishops are so necessary, as that the King cannot well let them go with the Safety of Monarchy; and that if Bishops be taken away, Assemblies, or something must come in the room thereof; and if Kings should be subject thereunto, and should happen to be Excommunicated thereby, that afterwards they would be little esteemed, or obeyed as Kings; for this, if it shall be cleared, as it is affirmed, or if any thing therein do strike at Monarchy, I shall never give my Vote nor Consent thereunto as long as I live. But to clear that this is not so, I offer to your Consideration, That by the Law of this Land not only all Ecclesiastical jurisdiction, but also all Superiority, and Preheminence over the Ecclesiastical State, is annexed to the Imperial Crown of this Realm, and may be granted by Commission under the Great Seal to such Persons as his Majesty shall think meet: Now if the King should grant it as to a certain number of Commissioners, equal in Authority, he may do, this were an Abolition of Episcopacy, and yet no Diminution of Monarchy. But the Truth is, Episcopacy is a kind of Monarchy under a Monarchy, and is therein altogether unlike the Civil Government under his Majesty. For the King being a common Head over the Ecclesiastical State and the Civil, we shall find that in the Exercise of Civil Jurisdiction in all Courts under his Majesty, it is Aristocratical, and placed in many, and not in one, as appeareth in this High Court of Parliament, in the Inferior Courts of Westminster -Hall, and in the Assizes and Sessions in the Countrey, which are held by many Commissioners, and not only by one, or his Deputies and Commissaries, as it is in the Exercise of Ecclesiastical Government. As to the point of Excommunication, supposing that it did dissolve Natural and Civil Bonds of Duty, as it doth not, it might indeed be as terrible to Princes, as it is represented. But I reason thus; Either Princes are subject to Excommunication, or they are not; if they be not, then they need as little to fear a Presbytery, or an Assembly, as a Bishop in that Respect; if they be, they have as much to fear from Bishops, at leastwife from Bishops in their Convocations, as from Presbyters in their Assemblies; and so much the more, because they have formerly felt the Thunderbolts of those of that Stamp, but never from this latter fort.
And now Sir, I proceed to represent unto you the Evils and Inconveniences that do proceed from the Government and Ceremonies of the Church; and truly in only Opinion, the chief and principal Cause of all the Evils which we have suffered from the Reformation in this Church and State, hath proceeded from that division which so unhappily hath sprung up amongst us about Church-Government, and the Ceremonies of the Church; and from which Part in that Division, I believe it will appear in the Particulars: I know well there is a great Division, and that upon great Matters between Us and Papists; and I am not ignorant that there have been great and sore Breaches made upon our Civil Liberties, and the Right of our Proprieties.
But yet still I return to my former Position, that the chief and most active Cause hath proceeded from the Government and Ceremonies of the Church, and that those other Causes have either fallen into it, and so acted by it, or issued out of it, and so acted from it: As for Popery, I conceive that to have been a Cause that hath fallen into this, and acted by it; for at the Reformation it received such a deadly Wound by so many sharp Laws enacted against it, that had it not been enlivened by this Division amongst us, it could never have had Influence upon our Church and State to have troubled them, as this Day we feel; but finding that in this Division amongst us, one Party had need of some of their Principals to maintain their Hierarchy, together with their Worldly Pomp and Ceremonies, which are Appurtenances thereunto: From hence they first conceived a ground to hope, and afterwards found Means of Success, towards the introducing again of their Superstition and Idolatry into this Realm; and they wrought so diligently upon this Foundation, that they have advanced their Building very far, and how near they were to set up the Roof, I leave it to your Consideration. As for the Evils which we have suffered in our Civil Liberties, and the Right of our Proprieties, I conceive they have proceeded out of this, and so acted from it: For if there had been no Breaches of Parliaments, there would have been no need to have had recourse unto those broken Cisterns that can hold no Water. But there being astoppage of Parliamentary Supplies, that was an occasion of letting in upon us such an Inundation of Monopolies, and other illegal Taxes and Impositions, accompained with many other heavy and sore Breaches of our Liberties. Now there need not to have been any Breaches of Parliaments, had there not been something disliked in them: And what was that? It could not be any of these Civil Matters that bred the first Difference, for they have proceeded out of it; therefore I conceive it was this; The Prelates with their Adherents (the Papists also concurring with them for their Interest), did always look upon Parliaments with an evil Eye, as no Friends to their Offices and Functions, at leastwise to their Benefices, and Dignities; and therefore, (some of them having always had the grace to be too near to Princes Ears), they have always endeavoured to breed a Disaffection in Kings from Parliaments, as the Press and Pulpit do abundantly witness, and Ballads too, made by some of them upon the Breaches of Parliaments. But we have a fresh and bleeding Instance of this in the Confirmation in His Majesty's Name, which they procured to be prefixed before their new Book of Canons, wherein they have endeavoured to make this Impression upon His Majesty's Royal Mind, That the Authors and Fomenters of the Jealousies, in respect of the new Rites and Ceremonies lately introduced into the Church, which we call Innovations, did strike at His Royal Person, as if he were perverted in his Religion, and did worship God in a superstitious Way, and intended to bring in some Innovation in some Matter of Religion. Now, Sir, who are the Authors of those Jealousies? Did they not come as Complaints in the Petitions from the Bodies of several Counties the last Parliament; and from more this present Parliament? and who were the Fomenters of those Jealousies? Did not the general Sense of the last Parliament concur in it, that they were Innovations, and that they were suspicious, as introductory to Superstition? Nay, I appeal to all those that hear me, which are drawn from all Parts of the Kingdom, whether this be not the general sense of the greatest and most considerable Part of the whole Kingdom. I beseech you then to consider, what kind Offices these Men have done between the King and the Parliament, between the King and the Kingdom; I speak of the greatest and the most considerable Part, as giving Denomination to the Whole. And now, Sir, as we have cast our Eye backwards, if we will look forwards, how do the Clouds thicken upon us, and what Distractions, yea, what Dangers do they threaten us withal, proceeding still from the same Root of Church-Government and Ceremonies? And truly as Things now stand, I see but two Ways, the one of Destruction, the other of Satisfaction; Destruction, I mean of the opposite Party to the Bishops and the Ceremonies, and reducing of all to Canonical Obedience, by fair Means or by foul: This Way hath been already tried, and what Effect it hath brought forth in our Neighbour Kingdom, we well know; and it is like to produce no very good Effect in this Kingdom, if Mens Scruples and Reasons in that Behalf shall be only answered with Prisons, and Pillories, and hard Censures, that I may speak most softly of them. I hold therefore, that the other Way of Satisfaction is the safest, the easiest, and the only Way: And that is, to take into Consideration the several Heads of the Evils which are Causes of these Complaints; and to find out, and apply the proper Remedies thereunto. For the furtherance whereof, I shall make hold with your Patience, (which I am very unwilling to tire, but must tire my own Conscience, if I should not discharge it upon this Occasion) to represent a brief Model of the several Heads and Springs from whence the Evils, which are Causes of these Complaints, do naturally, or occasionally arise; the Evils complained of, do either arise from Persons, or from Things; those Faults that are personal are besides the Point that I intended to speak to. There is one only Remedy for them, that is, by Punishment, and Removal of such Persons, and the putting of better in their Room; as for those Evils which proceed from Things, they also are remedied by a Removal of such Things as are Evil, and the putting of better in their Room. The Evils, and Inconveniences of this Kind do principally flow, either from the Clergy's Offices and Functions, or from their Benefices and Dignities; those that arise from their Offices and Functions, do arise naturally, either from the Laws and Constitutions whereby, and according to which they exercise their Offices and Functions, or from the Government it self, wherein they exercise those Functions. The Faults that I note in the Ecclesiastical Laws are, that they hold too much of Civil Law, and too much of the Ceremonial Law; of the Civil Law, in respect of all those Titles, concerning Wills, and Legacies, Tithes, Marriages, Adulteries, &c, which all belonging to the Civil Jurisdiction, are no more of spiritual Consideration, than Rapes, Thefts, Felonies, or Treasons may be. Sir, it is good that every Bird should have his own Feather; and I remember when one came to our Saviour Christ, to desire him that he would cause his Brother to divide the Inheritance with him, he asked him, Who made him a Judge of such Things? And may not we ask, Who made them, that take themselves to be Successors of Christ and his Apostles, Judges of such Things? Many Inconveniences arise from hence; First, That the Minds of the Clergymen are inured unto Civil Dominion, and to meddle with Civil Matters. Secondly, The Manner of their Proceedings is turned from a Spiritual Way, into the Fashion of Processes in Temporal Courts. And Lastly which is worst of all, by this means the Spiritual Sword comes to be unsheathed about such Things as do not at all fall under the Stroke thereof. Many are excommunicated for Pigs, Apples, and Nuts, and such like Things. But the other Fault which I noted in the Ecclesiastical Laws and Constitutions, pincheth us more which is, that they hold too much of the Ceremonial Law.
And here, Mr. Speaker, give me leave to lament the Condition of this our Church of England, beyond that of all other Reformed Churches. A certain Number of Ceremonies, in the Judgment of some Men unlawful, and to be rejected of all Churches in the Judgment of all other Reformed Churches, and in the Judgment of our own Church but indifferent; and yet what Difference, yea what Difference on have these indiffernt Ceremonies raised amongst us? What hath deprived us of so many Faithful, Able, and Godly Ministers since the Reformation, as able, and as fit in all other Respects to discharge that Function, as any Age ever produced in the Christian World since the Times of the Apostles: I say, what hath deprived us of them, but these indifferent Ceremonies? What hath deprived us of so many thousand Christians which desired (and in all other Respects deserved) to hold Communion with us: I say, what hath deprived us of them, and scatter'd them into know not what) Places and Corners of the World, but these indifferent Ceremonies What hath caused so many hard Censures, and harder Executions, but these indiffent Ceremonies? What hath occasioned these Calamities and Dangers which we feel and which we fear, but these indifferent Ceremonies? I shall say no more of them but I pray God that now at length it may please his Majesty with this his Great Council of Parliament, to take a view of them, and if there be a necessity to retain them let them be retained; but if not, then let us remove them before they ruin us.
As to the Evils and Inconveniences that arise out of the Government it self, should have noted something amiss, as well in the Legislative Part, as in the Executive Part; but in the former I am prevented, by what hath been already voted concerning the Power of making Canons: Which Votes, if they be brought to Perfection, they will set us right in great Part, in that Respect; for surely before, the Power was neither in the Hands of such as were Representative of that which is truly the Church of England, nor yet in the Hands of those that were truly Representative of the Clergy of England, (if they were the whole Church, as indeed they are not. As to the Executive Part, which consisteth in the Exercise of Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, therein I note also two Disorders, Confusion and Corruption; Confusion of the Spiritual Sword with the Temporal; Laymen strike with the Spiritual Sword, and Spiritual Men with the Temporal Sword; may, out of the same Mouth, and at the same time proceedeth an Excommunication, and a Fine, or Commitment, or both I will not say positively, that it is unlawful for Clergymen to exercise Civil Jurisdiction, because I know it is a Question; but yet such a Question as hath been determined by divers Canons of General Councils, and by some that were made in Synods of the Church of England, that it is unlawful, and that upon Grounds which are not contemptible.
As First, That it is contrary to the Precept and Practice of Christ, and his Apostles. And Secondly, That it is not possible for one Man to discharge two Functions, whereof either is sufficient to employ the whole Man; especially that of the Ministry is so great, that they ought not to entangle themselves with the Affairs of this World. A Third Ground not so well observed generally, as in one part thereof, is this, That Ministers of the Gospel, being sent especially to gain the Souls of Men, they are to gain as great an Interest as possibly may be, in their Minds and Affections. Now we know that the Nature of all Men is such, that they are apt to think hardly of those that are any Authors of their Pain and Punishment, altho' it be in a Way of Justice; and therefore, as it is well known, that Clergymen are not to be present in Justice Sanguinis; so the same Reason extends it self to the Administration of all Civil Jurisdiction. And therefore we may observe, that our Saviour Christ, as he always rejected all Civil Judicature; so on the other Hand, he went up and down healing Mens Bodies and otherwise doing good to their outward Estate, that his Doctrine might have a sreer and sairer Passage into their Souls. For the Corruption that I spoke of in the Exercise of Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, I do not mean any Personal Corruption, but a Deviation, or Aberration from the Prescript of Divine Rule. And tho' it be not easy to say what that is in all Particulars, yet it is not hard to say, What it is not; And that I doubt may prove our Case in divers Things. Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, we know, extends either to the Clergy only, and consisteth in the Ordination Admission, 'uspension, and Deprivation of them; or else it extendeth to the Whole Church, and consisteth in Excommunication and Absolution. As to the Ordination, Admission, Suspension and Deprivation of Ministers, we see how it is wholly at the Pleasure of one Man, and that of one Man proceeding in a manner Arbitrarlly; and that of one Man, whose Interest is concerned in it, that the Door shall be shut against able and painful Preaching Ministers, and a wide Door set open to such as are unable, and unfit for that Function; many and great and dangerous Evils arise from hence. As First, That there is a constant Hate and Feud between the Ecclesiastical State and the Civil, between Prelates and Parliaments, between the Canon-Law and the Common-Law, between the Clergy and the Commonwealth, arising from the Disproportion and Dissimilitude which is between the Civil and Ecclesiastical Government: however it may seem to some to agree well enough; but the Truth is, if we consider His Majesty as the Common Head over the Ecclesiastical State, as well as the Civil, we shall find that in the Exercise of all Civil Jurisdiction, in all Courts under His Majesty, the Power is not in any one, or his Deputies and Commissaries, as it is in the Ecclesiastical Government, in the several Dioceses throughout this Kingdom. If we look first upon the Highest and Greatest Court, the High Court of Parliament, we know that is a Council and a great Council too. In like manner, in the inferior Courts at Westminster Hall, there are many Judges in the Point of Law, and more in Matter of Fact, wherein every Man is judged by Twelve of equal Condition unto him, (I mean the Juries) which are Judges of the Fact, both in Causes Civil and Criminal. And if we look into the Country, we shall find the Sessions and Assizes, and other Courts, held not by any one, but by divers Commissioners. And in short, in the Civil Government every Man from the greatest to the least, hath some share in the Government according to the Proportion of his Interest in the Commonwealth; but in the Government of the Church, all is in the Hands of one Man, in the several Dioceses, or of his Chancellors or Commissaries, and he exacts Canonical Obedience to his Pontifical Commands, with a total Exclusion of those that notwithstanding have as much share in the Church, and consequently as much interest in the Government of it, as they have in that of the Commonwealth. (Sir) Until the Ecclesiastical Government be framed something of another twist and be more assimulated unto that of the Commonwealth; I fear the Ecclesiastical Government will be no good Neighbour unto the Civil, but will be still casting of its Leaven into it, to reduce that also to a Sole, Absolute, and Arbitrary way of proceeding. And herein (Sir) I do not believe that I utter Prophecies, but what we have already found and felt.
A Second, and a great Evil, and of a dangerous Consequence, in this Sole and Arbitrary Power of Bishops over the Clergy, is this, That they have by that means a Power to place and displace the whole Clergy of their Dioceses at their Pleasure; and this is such a Power, as for my Part, I had rather they had the like Power over the Estates and Persons of all within their Diocese; for if I hold the one but at the Will and Pleasure of one Man, (I mean the Ministry, under which I must live) I can have but little, or at least no certain Joy or Comfort in the other. But this is not all; for if they have such a Power to mould the Clergy of their Dioceses according to their Pleasure, we know what an Influence they may have by them upon the People, and that in a short time they may bring them to such Blindness, and so mould them also to their own Wills, as that they may bring in what Religion they please; may, having put out our Eyes, as the Philistines did Sampson's they may afterwards make us Grind, and reduce us unto what Slavery they please, either unto themselves, as formerly they have done; or unto others, as some of them lately have been forward enough to do. Now, whether it be safe to walk upon Stilts on the Top of the Pinacles of the Temple, upon so high Precipices as are the Matters of Religion and Conscience, (which may have also a dangerous Influence upon our Civil Liberties) I leave it to your Consideration. For my part I should not think it safe, that such a Power should be in any one Man, tho' you suppose him to be a very good Man.
A Third Evil, and that of a dangerous Consequence, is, That the Door is shut against able and painful Preaching Ministers, and a wide Door set upon to those that are unable and unfit for that Function, and the Bishop's Interest is concerned in it, that it should be so; Interest of Honour, Interest of Profit, and Interest of Power, and Interest of Credit; for they see that those painful Preachers carry away all the Credit from them, and they neither can nor will do the like themselves; they cannot, by Reason they are so intangled with the Affairs of this World, and Civil Jurisdiction; they will not, their great Dignities and Honours make them so stately, that they think it is not Episcopal to Preach often; and on the other side, they are so Fat, and live so much at their Ease, that through Idleness they cannot bring their Minds unto it; and so first ariseth Envy against those that do take Pains, and thence after springeth Persecution. In the next Place, their Interest is concerned in matter of Profit. For they suppose, that if the Credit of their Diana fall to the Ground, their Gain will after cease, and that the People will think much, that some Men should take all the Pains, and others go away with all the Profit. Lastly, Their Interest it concerned in it, in point of Power, for they find that neither such Preaching Ministers, nor their Auditors, are so pliable to yield blind Canonical Obedience, as others are; and it concerns them in point of Power to stop their Mouths.
And now it must needs follow by the Rule of Contraries, That it must be for their Honour and Power to set open a Door to idle and unfit Ministers; but there are two Particulars which I will note, wherein it concerns them in their Profits, to set the Door very wide open, where there is no Suspicion of Refractoriness. First, We know Bishops have several times Livings in Commendam, and Plaralities; but there is hardly any but they have Impropriations, whereof they are to see the Cure discharged and therefore it is for their Profit, that there may be good store of Cheap Curats, which cannot be very fit and able Men, and with such ordinarily they furnish the Cures of such Places, whereof they have the Impropriations. Sir, In the next Place we know that Orders are not Given, but in a manner Sold; for that not only the Bishop and his Register, but also his Usher, his Chamberlain, his Butler, and Porter, and almost all his menial Servants must have their Fees before the poor Clerk with his Boxful of Orders, can pass the Porter's Lodge. I hear much of the Legal Simony, which consisteth in the Buying and Selling of Benefices; but whether this doth not approach nearer to the Evangelical Simony, which consisteth in the Buying and Selling of the Gift of the Holy Ghost, I offer it to your Consideration. Now, Sir, for Excommunication and Absolution, all seems to be out of Joynt; for Excommunication is neither in right Hands, nor exercised upon right Grounds and Matters, not in a right Form and manner, nor to right Ends, and then it is no marvel if it have not right Effects: Sir, We know our Saviour hath lodged in the Church, for so runs the Precept, Die Ecclesie. Now, Sir, That one Man should be a Church, sounds strangely in my Ears. In the next Place, I beseech you, Sir, consider about what their Spiritual Sword is exercised, about things no Way lying under the stroke thereof; a Man shall be excommunicated for a Pig, or for an Apple, and such like things: I heard once a Gentleman of the Civil Law answer hereunto in this House That Excommunication was not for the Thing, but for the Contempt; and the less the Thing was commanded, the greater was the Contempt: If this were so, sure the greater is the Cruelty to lay a Command upon so small a matter that draweth after it so deep a Censure as to cast a Man down into Hell. Suppose a Magistrate should command some trivial matter, some Ceremony or other, under pain of Treason, and should proceed against the Infringers of his Command as Traytors, it were much to be doubted, Whether the Command did not partake more of Cruelty, than the Disobedience of Contempt; for when Authority shall so far lose it self, as to lay so great a weight upon so small a matter, it rendreth it self contemptible, and then it is no marvel, (I had almost said it is no Fault) if it be contemned, having made it self contemptible. Then, Sir, for the Form of proceeding, it is no whit spiritual; there is no Fasting and Prayer, no seeking to reclaim the Sinner; out rather it is after the Fashion of a summary Process in a Civil Court; Nay, Sir, it as accompanied sometimes with an Intimation, that no Man shall buy or sell with the Person excommunicated, nor set him on Work nor do any civil or natural Offices unto him; as we had a Complaint brought in this Parliament of a Son that was excommunicated only for repeating a Sermon to his Father, being an excommunicated Person. Now, Sir, for the Ends for which this Censure is executed, they are ordinarily to etch in Fees, or at best to bring Men under Canonical Obedience, which is the Ordinary's Will and Pleasure: And I have sometime seen a Minister pronounce Excommunication, which he held in one Hand, and presently after, the Absolution, which he held in the other; so the end of the excommunication was the Absolution, and the end of that, was Fees. Sir, For the honour of God, for the honour of our National Church, and for the honour of the Christian Religion, let the high and great Censure of the Church no longer lacquey after Fees; let not Christians any longer be cast to Satan in the Name of Jesus Christ, for the Non-payment of a Groat.
And now, Sir, we may imagine what Effects are like to follow upon such Premises, the great and dreadful Censure of Excommunication is thereby made contemptible; and were it not for the Civil Restraints, and Penalties that follow upon it, no Man would purchase an Absolution, tho' he might have it for a Halspenny; and I have heard of some that have thanked the Ordinaries for abating or remitting the Fees of the Courts; but I never heard of any that thanked them for reclaiming their Souls so Repentance by their Excommunications. As for Absolution, it is a relative to Excommunication, and so labours of the same Disease; only one thing I shall particularly note concerning Absolution; Sir, it is called, Commutation of Penance, but in need it is a Destruction of the Ordinance, making it void, and of none effect; and surely God never set his Ministers to sell Indulgences in his Church; the Oath that is to precede Absolution, de parendo Juri Ecclesia & Stando, &c.. hath already been sufficiently spoken unto in the debate about the Canons, and therefore there will be no need of speaking more to that.
But I may now proceed to my last Head, wherein I shall be very brief, and that is concerning the Evils that arise out of the Benefices and Dignities of the Clergy, the common Cause being from the Inequality of the Distribution of them; much resembling Disease very ordinary at this time amongst Children, which they call the Rickets, wherein the Nourishment goes all to the upper Parts, which are over-great and montrous, and the lower Parts pine away; and so it is in the Clergy; some are so poor, that they cannot attend their Ministry, but are fain to keep Schools, nay Alehouses, some of them; and some are so Stately, they will not attend to their Ministry; and to between them the Flock is Starved: But our Evils have more especially proceeded from the excessive worldly Wealth and Dignities of one part of the Clergy, I mean such as either are in possession, or in hopes of Eishopricks; for these great Places of Profit and Honour, first have been the Baits of Ambition, and then they became the Apples of Contention, and last of all the Seeds of Superstition; the one being a step and degree unto the other, and all of them leading in the end to the Corruption, that I may not say Subversion, of our Religion, Sir, They are first the Baits of Ambition; and I know not by what secret Cause, but Experience sheweth us, that when Clergymen have once rasted the sweet of worldly Wealth and Honour, they are more eager and ambitious after them, than any other sort of Men; hereupon other godly Ministers, that live more according to the simplicity of the Gospel, and the Example of Christ, and his Apostles, cannot but bear witness against their worldly Pomp and Dignities, and so the fire of Contention breaketh forth. And truly, Sir, the state of the Clergy is very like to Fire, which whilst it keeps in the Chimney, it is of excellent use to warm those that approach unto it; but if it once break out into the House, and get upon the House top, it sets all on fire; so whilst the Clergy keep themselves within the Palpit, they are of great use to stir up the Zeal and Devotion of Christians; but if they once fly out into the House, if they begin to meddle with Civil Places and Jurisdictions, and especially if they once get up to the Council-Table, it is seldom seen but that at length they set all on fire; and what is it that maketh the fire to break out of the Chimney, but too much fuel ? if there be but a moderate Proportion of Fuel, the Fire keeps it self within its bounds; but if you heap Faggot upon Faggot, a whole Cart-load together, then it breaketh out: So, Sir, if there be a competent maintenance for the Ministry, they will keep themselves within their bounds; but if Living be heaped upon Living, and Temporalities added to Spiritualites, the flame will soon break out, and set the House on fire. Sir, I do not envy the Wealth or Greatness of the Clergy; but I am very confident, if those were less, they would be better, and do more service to Christ and his Church; and I am very clear in mine own Heart, that the Livings of the Clergy being more equally distributed, the Service of God would be so far from receiving any prejudice, that it would be much advanced; and withal, a good proportion of Revenue might return again to the Crown, from whence it was first derived. Sir, Bishopricks, Deaneries and Chapters, are like to great Wasters in a Wood, they make no profit themselves, they cumber the Ground whereon they stand, and with their great Arms and Boughs stretched forth on every side, partly by their shade, and partly by their sowre droppings, they hinder all the young Wood under them from growing and thriving. To speak plain English, These Bishops, Deans and Chapters, do little good themselves by Preaching or otherwise; and if they were felled, a great deal of good Timber might be cut out of them for the Use of the Church and Kingdom at this time. A fresh supply of three or four able Ministers might spring up in their stead to very good Purpose in those great Towns, which are ordinarily the Seats of those Episcopal and Collegiate Churches, and the private Congregations of divers Parochial Churches might thrive and grow better, which now have the Sun of God's Word, I mean the clear and spiritual preaching thereof, kept from them, and live in the dangerous shade of Ignorance, by reason that all the Means is taken from them, and appropriated unto Bishops, or to Deaneries and Chapters, and other such Collegiate Churches. Besides such as do begin to grow and start up through the voluntary Pains of some amongst them, or by such preaching as they themselves have procured by their voluntarily Contributions, should not still be dropped on as they are, from the Arms and Appendances of those Great Wasters, and kept down continually by their bitter Persecutions. That which remains now, is to shew how these great Revenues and Dignities become the Seeds of Superstition, and that is this: The Clergy in the Maintenance of their Greatness, which they are neither willing to forgo, nor yet well able to maintain upon the Principles of the Reformed Religion, finding that the Popish Principles, whereon the Bishop of Rome built his Greatness, does suit well with their Ends, that maketh them to side with that Party, and that must needs bring in Superstition: And as Ambition allureth on the one side, so the Principles they go by, draw them on farther and farther, and haply at length farther than they themselves at first intended.
Whether a Reconciliation with Rome were imagined or no by some, I leave it to every one to judge within himself: But sure I am, If an Accommodation could have been made in some Fashion or other with the Church of Rome, the Clergy might again be capable of Foreign Preferments, and Cardinals Caps; and this is no small Temptation. Now, Sir, I am at an end, only I shall draw out three Conclusions, which I conceive may clearly be collected out of what I have said. First, That Civil Jurisdiction in the Persons of Clergymen, together with their great Revenues, and high Places of Dignity is one great Cause of the Evils which we suffer in matter of Religion. Secondly, That the sole and arbitrary Power of Bishops in the Ordaining and Depriving of Ministers, and in Excommunication and Absolution, is another great Cause of the Evils we suffer is matters of Religion. Thirdly, The first urging of Subscription, and Conformity to the Ceremonies and Canons of the Church, is another great Cause of Evil which we suffer in matters of Religion.
And now my humble Motion is, That we should not take a Piece only of this Subject into our Consideration, but the whole Matter; and that not only that part of the Ministers Remonstrance, which hath been read, should be referred to the Committee which you are about to name; but London's Petition also, and all other Petitions of the like nature, so soon as they shall be read in the House; and that the Committee may collect out of them all such Heads as are fit for the Consideration of this House; and surely that is fit to be considered, that haply will not be thought fit to be altered; Consideration is one thing, and Alteration is another; where there is a mixture of bad and good together, the whole must be considered, that we may know how to sever the Good from the Bad, and to retain the One, and reject the other, which is all that I desire. And if any Thing hath fallen from me more inconsiderate (as in so long a Discourse many Things may have done) I humbly crave the Pardon of the House; protesting that I have spoken nothing, but with a Mind which is ready to sacrifice the Body it dwelleth in, to the Peace and Safety of his Majesty's Kingdoms, and the Safety and Honour of his Majesty in the Government of them.
About the same time, and upon the same Occasion, Sir Benjamin Rudyard delivereth himself as followeth:
I do verily believe, that there are many of the Clergy in our Church, who do think the Simplicity of the Gospel too mean a Vocation for them to serve in: They must have a Specious, Pompous, Sumptuous Religion, with Additionals of Temporal Greatness, Authority, Negotiation: Notwithstanding they all know better than I, what Fathers, Schoolmen, Councils, are against their mixing themselves in Secular Affairs.
This Roman Ambition will at length bring in the Roman Religion, and at last a haughty Insolence even against Supreme Power it self, if it be not timely and wisely prevented.
They have amongst them an Apothegm of their own making, which is, No Mitre no Sceptre; when we know by dear Experience, that if the Mitre be once in danger, they care not to throw the Sceptre after it, to confound the whole Kingdom for their Interest.
And Histories will tell us, that whensoever the Clergy went high, Monarchy still went lower: If they could not make the Monarch the Head of their own Faction, they would be sure to make him less: Witness one Example for all, The Pope's working the Emperor out of Italy.
Some of ours, as soon as they are Bishops, Adepto fine, cessant motus, they will Preach no longer, their Office then is to Govern. But in my Opinion they Govern worse than they Preach, though they Preach not at all; for we see to what pass their Government hath brought us.
Mr. Speaker, It now behoves us to restrain the Bishops to the Duties of their Function, as they may never more hanker after Heterogeneous Extravagant Employments. Not to be so Absolute, so single and solitary in Actions of Moment, as Excommunication, Absolution, Ordination, and the like, but to join some of the Ministry with them, and further to regulate according to the Usage of Ancient Churches in the best Times, that by a well-temper'd Government, they may not have Power hereafter to corrupt the Church, to undo the Kingdom.
When they are thus circumscribed, and the Publick secur'd from their Corruptions, then shall I not grudge them a Liberal, Plentiful Subsistence, else I am sure they can never be given to Hospitality.
Although the calling of the Clergy be all glorious within, yet if they have not a large, considerable outward Support, they cannot be freed from vulgar Contempt.
It will always be fit, that the flourishing of the Church should hold proportion with the flourshing of the Commonwealth wherein it is. If we dwell in Houses of Cedar, why should they dwell in Skins? And I hope, I shall never see a good Bishop left worse than a Parson without a Gleab.
Certainly, Sir, this Superintendency of eminent Men Bishops over divers Churches, is the most Primitive, the most spreading, the most lasting Government of the Church. Wherefore whilst we are earnest to take away Innovations, let us beware we bring not in the greatest Innovation that ever was in England.
I do very well know, what very many do very fervently desire. But let us well bethink out selves, whether a Popular Democratical Government of the Church (though fit for other Places) will be either suitable or acceptable to a Regal Monarchical Government of the State.
Every Man can say, (it is so common and known a Truth) that sudden and great Changes both in Natural and Politick Bodies, have dangerous Operations. And give me leave to say, that we cannot presently see to the End of such a Consequence, especially in so great a Kingdom as this, and where it is so wrapp'd and involv'd in the Laws of it.
Wherefore, Mr. Speaker my humble Motion is, That we may punish the present Offenders, reduce and preserve the Calling for better Men hereafter. Let us remember with fresh Thankfulness to God, those Glorious Martyr-Bishops, who were burned for our Religion in the Times of Popery, who by their Zeal and Constancy upheld and conveyed it down to us.
We have some good Bishops still who do Preach every Lord's-Day, and are therefore worthy of double Honour; they have suffered enough already in the Disease, I shall be sorry we should make them suffer more in the Remedy.
Lord Faulklands's SPEECH.
The Lord Faulkland's Speech, Feb. 9. 1640.
He is a great Stranger in Israel, who knows not this Kingdom hath long laboured under many and great Oppressions, both in Religion and Liberty; and his Acquaintance here is not great, or his Ingenuity less, ho doth not both know and acknowledge, that a great, if not a principal Cause of both these have been some Bishops and their Adherents.
Mr. Speaker, A little Search will serve to find them to have been the Destruction of Unity, under pretence of Uniformity; to have brought in Superstition and Scandal under the Titles of Reverence and Decency; to have defiled our Church by adorning our Churches; to have slackned the strictness of that Union which was formerly between us, and those of our Religion beyond the Sea; an Action as unpolitick as ungodly.
M. Speaker, We shall find them to have tythed Mint and Anise, and have left undone the weightier Works of the Law; to have been less eager upon those who damn our Church, than upon those, who upon weak Conscience, and perhaps as weak. Reasons (the dislike of some commanded Garment, or some uncommauded Posture, only abstained from it. Nay, it hath been more dangerous for Men to go to some Neighbour's Parish when they had no Sermon in their own, than to be obstinate and perpetual Recusants; while Masses have been said in Security, a Conventicle hath been a Crime; and which is yet more, the conforming to Ceremonies hath been more eracted, than the conforming to Christianity; and whilst Men for Scruples have been undone, for Attempts upon Sodomy they have only been admonished.
Mr. Speaker, We shall find them to have been like the Hen in Aesop, which laying every Day an Egg upon such a proportion of Barley, she grew so fat upon that Addition Preferment, they after made their Preferment the occasion were the occasion of their Preferment, they after made their Preferment the occasion of their not Preaching.
Mr. Speaker, We shall find them to have resembled another Fable, The Dog in the Manger; to have neither preached themselves, not employed those that should, nor suffered those that would; to have brought in Catechising only to thrust out Preaching; cried down Lectures by the Name of Factions, either because other Mens Industry in that Duty appeared a Reproof to their Neglect of it, (not unlike to that we read of him, who in Nero's Time, and Tacitus's History, was accused, because by his Virtue he did appear Exprobare vitia Principis) or with Intention to have brought in Darkness, that they may the easier sow their Tares, while it was Night; and by that Introduction of Ignorance, introduce the better that Religion which accounts it the Mother of Devotion.
Mr. Speaker, In this they have abused his Majesty, as well as the People; for when they had with great Wisdom (since usually the Children of Darkness are wiser in their Generation than the Children of Light; I may guess not without some Eye upon the most Politick Action of the most Politick Church) silenced on both Parts those Opinions which have often tormented the Church, and have, and will always trouble the Schools; they made use of this Declaration to tye up one Side, and let the other loose; whereas they ought either in Discretion to have been equally restrained, or in Justice to have been equally tolerated. And it is observable, That that Party to which they gave this License, was that whose Doctrine, tho' it were not contrary to Law, was contrary to Custom, and for a long while in this Kingdom was no oftner preached than recanted.
The Truth is, Mr. Speaker, That as some4 ill Ministers in our State first took away our Money from us, and after endeavoured to make our Money not worth the taking by turning it into Brass by a kind of Anti-Philosoper's Stone; so these Men used us in the point of Preaching; first deptessing it to their Power, and next labouring to make it such, as the harm had not been much if it had been depressed: The most freauent Subjects even in the most sacred Auditories, being the Jus divinum of Bishops and Tythes, the Sacredness of the Clergy, the Sacrilege of Impropriations, the demolishing of Puritanism and Proptiety, the Building of the Prerogative at Pauls the introduction of such Doctrine, as admitting them true, the Truth would not recomopence the Scandal; or such as were so far false, that as Sir Thomas Moore says of the Casuists their Business was not to keep Men from Sinning, but to confirm them; Quam prope ad peccatum sine peccato liceat accedere: so it seemed their Work was to try how much of a Papist might be brought in withoutPopery; and to destroy as much as they could of the Gospel, without bringing themselves into danger of being destroyed by the Law.
Mr. Speaker, To go yet further, some of them have so industriously laboured to de duce themselves from Rome, that they have given great Suspicion that in gratiude they desire to return thither, or at least to meet it half Way: Some have evidently laboured to bring in an English, tho not a Roman Popery: I mean not only the outside, and dress of it, but equally absolute, a blind dependance of the People upon the Clergy, and of the Clergy upon themselves; and have opposed the Papacy beyond the Seas, that they might settle one beyond the Water; Nay, common Fame is more than ordinarily false, if none of them have found a Way to reconcile the Opinions of Rome to the Preferments of England; and to be so absolutely, directly and cordially Papists, that it is all that Fifteen Hundred Pound a Year can do to keep them from confessing it.
Mr. Speaker, I come now to speak of our Liberties; and considering the great Interest these Men have had in our common master, and considering how great a good to us they might have made that Interest in him, if they would have used it to have informed him of our general Sufferinng; and considering how a little of their freedom of Speech at White Hall, might have saved us a great deal of the use we have now of it in the Parliament House; their not doing this alone, were occasion enough for us to accuse them as the Eetrayers, tho' not as the Destroyers of our Rights and Liberties; tho' I confess, if they had been only silent in this particular, I had been silent too. But alas They whose Ancestors in the darkest times excommunicated the brekers of Magna Charta, did now by themselves, and their Adherents, bothwrite, preach, plot, and act against it; by encouraging Dr. Beale, by presering Dr. Manwaring, appearing forward for Monopalies and Ship-money: And if any were slow and backward to comply, blasting both them and their Preferment, with the utmost Expression of their hatred, the title of Puritan.
Mr. Speaker, We shall find some of them to have laboured to exclude, both all Persons, and all Causes of the Clergy, from the ordinary Jurisdiction of the Temporal Magistrate; and by hindring Prohibitions (first, by apparent Power against the Judges, and after by secret Arguments with them) to have taken away the only legal Bound to their Arbitrary Power, and made as it were a conquest upon the Common-Law of the Land, which is our common Inheritance; and after made use of that Power to turn their Brethren out of their Freeholds, for not doing that which no Law of Man required of them to do. We shall find them in general to have encouraged all the Clergy to Suits, and to have brought all Suits to the Council-Table; that having all Power in Ecclesiastical Matters, they laboured for equal Power in Temporal; and to dispose as well of every Office, as of every Benefice, which lost the Clergy much time, and much Reverence, (whereof the last is never given when it is so asked) by encouraging them indiscreetly to exact more of both than was due; so that indeed the gain of their greatness extended but to a few of that Order, tho' the envy extended upon all.
We shall find of them to have both kindled and blown the common Fire of both Nations, to have both sent and maintained that Book, of which the Author no doubt hath long since wished with Nero, utinam nescissem literas; and of which more than one Kingdom hath Cause to wish, that when he writ that, he had rather burned a Library, though of the value of Ptolemy's. We shall find them to have been the first and principal Cause of them to have been the almost sole Abettots of my Lord Strafford, whilst he was practising upon another Kingdom that manner of Government which he intended to settle in this; where he committed so many might, and so manifest Enormities and Oppressions, as the like have not been committed by any Governor in any Government since Verres left Sicily And after they had called him over from being Deputy of Ireland, to he in a manner Deputy of England, (all things here being governed by a Junctillo, and that Junctillo governed by him) to have assisted him in the giving such Councils, and the pursuing of such Courses, as it is a hard and measuring cast, Whether they were more unwise, more unjust, or more unfortunate, and which had infallibly been our destruction, if by the Grace of God their share had not been as small in the Subtilty of Serpents, as in the Innocency of Doves.
Mr. Speaker, I have represented no small Quantity, and no mean Degree of Guilt; and truly I believe that we shall make no little Compliment to those, and no little Apology for those to whom this Charge belongs, if we shall lay the Faults of these Men upon the Order of the Bishops, upon the Episcopacy. I wish we may distinguish between those who have been carried away with the stream, and those who have been the stream that carried them; between those whose proper and natural Motion was towards our Ruin and Destruction: and those who have been whirl about to it, contrary to their natural Motion, by the force and swing of Superior Orbs; and as I wish we may distinguish between the more and less Guilty, so I yet more wish we may distinguish between the Guilty and the Innocent.
Mr. Speaker, I doubt, if we consider, that if not the first Planters, yet the first Spreaders of Chirstianity, and the first and chief Defenders of Christianity against He resie within, and Paganism without, not only with their Ink, but with their Blood, and the main Conducers to the Resurrection of Christianity at least here in the Reformation; and that we owe the Light of the Gospel we now enjoy, to the Fire they endured for it, were all Bishops; and that even now in the greatest Defection of that Order, there are yet some who have conduced in nothing to our late Innovations, but in their silence; some who in an unexpected and mighty Place and Power have expressed an equal Moderation and Humility, being neither ambitious before, nor proud after, either of the Crosiers Staff, or White Staff; some who have been Leatned Opposers of Popery, and Zealous Suppressors of Arminianism; between whom and their Inferior Clergy, in frequency of Preaching, hath been no distinction; whose of any Condition, or to be excelled by those in any Calender; I doubt not, I say, but if we consider this, this Consideration will being forth this Conclusion, That Bishops may be good Men; and let us give but good Men good Rules, we shall have both good Governors, and good Times.
Mr. Speaker, I am content to take away all those Things from them, which to any considerable Degree of Probability may again beget the like Mischiefs, if they be not taken away. If their Temporal Title, Power and Employment, appear likely to distract them form the care of, or make them look down with contempt upon their Spiritual Duty, and that the too great Distance between them and those they govern, will hinder the free and fit recourse of their Inferiors to them, and occasion Insolence from them to their Inferiors; let that be considered, and cared for. I am sure neither their Lordships, their judging of Tythes, Wills and Marriages, no nor their Voices in Parliaments, are Jure divino; and I am sure that these Titles, and this Power are not necessary to their Authority, as appears by the little they have had with us by them, and the much that others have had without them.
If their Revenue shall appear likely to produce the same Effects, for it hath been anciently observed, that Religio peperet divitias & filia devor avit matrem; let so much of that as was in all Probability intended for an attendant upon their Temporal Dignities, wait upon them out of the Doors: Let us only take care to leave them such Proportions as may serve in some good Degree to the Dignity of Learning, and the Encouragement of Students; and let us not invert that of Jeroboam, and as he made the meanest of the People Priests, make the highest of the Priests the meanest of the People. If it be feared that they will again employ some of our Laws with a Severity beyond the Intention of those Laws against some of their weaker Brethren; that we may be sure to take away that Power, let us take away those Laws, and let no Ceremonies which any number counts unlawful, and no Man counts necessary, against the Rules of Policy, and Saint Paul, be imposed upon them. Let us consider, That part of the Rule they have hithereto gone by, that is, such Canons of their own making, as are not confirmed by Parliament; have been or, no doubt, shortly will be by Parliament taken away. That the other part of the Rule (such Canons as were here received before the Reformation, and not contrary to Law) is too doubtful to be a fit Rule, exacting an exact knowledge of the Canon Law, of the Comon Law, of the Statute Law; Knowledges, which those who are thus to govern have not, and it is scarce fit they should have. Since therefore we are to make new Rules, and shall, no doubt, make those new Rules; strict Rules, and be infallibly certain of Triennial, Parliaments, to see those Rules observed as strictly as they are made, and to increase or change them upon all Occasions, we shall have no reason to fear any Innovation from their Tyranny, or to doubt any Defect in the Discharge of their Duty. I am as confident they will not dare, either Otdain, Suspend, Silence, Excommunicate, or Deprive, otherwise than we would have them; and if this be believed. we shall not think it fit to abolish, upon a few Days Debate, an Order which hath lasted (as appears by Story) in Most Churches these Sixteen Hundred Years, and in all from Christ to Calvin; or in an Instant change the whole Face of the Church like the Scene of a Mask.
Mr. Speaker, I do not believe them to be Jure Divino, nay I believe them not to be Jure Divino; but neither do I believe them to Injuria humana; I neither consider them as necessary, nor as unlawful, but as convenient or inconvenient: But since all great Mutations in Government are dangerous (even where what is introduced by that Mutation, is such as would have been profitable upon a primary Foundation), and since the greatest Danger of Mutation is, that all the Dangers and Inconveniencies they may bring, are not to be foreseen; and since no wise Man will undergo great Danger but for great Necessity; my Opinion is, That we should not root up this Ancient Tree, as dead as it appears, till we have tryed whether by this, or the like lopping of the Branches, the Sap which was unable to feed the Whole, may not serve to make what is left both the Inconveniencies of Bishops, and the Inconveniences of no Bishops, that is an almost universal Mutation; this Course can only be opposed by those who love Mutation for Mutation sake.
Mr. Speaker, to be short, (as I have reason to be, after having been so long) this Tryal maybe suddenly made: Let us commit as much of the Ministers Recotrance as we have read, that those Heads, both of Abuses and Grievances, which are there fully collected, may be marshall'd and ordered for out Debate; if upon the Debate it shall appear, that nose may be taken away, and yet the Order stand, we shall not need to commit the London Petition at all, for the Cause of it will be ended; if it shall appear that the Abolition of the one cannot be but by the Destruction of the other, then let us not commit the London Petition, but let us grant it.
Mt. Bagshaw's Speech concerning Episcopjuc), and the London Petition, Feb. 9. 1640.
I Was Yesterday, and the time before, for the retaining of the London Petition and I am in the same Mind still, and therefore do now rise up against the Proposal of hat Question, which is notw called for; Whether Episcopacy it self be to be taken into consideration by the Committee ? Wherein I do distinguish of a twofold Episcopacy: the first, in statu puro, as it was in the Primitive Times; the second in statu corruptp, as it is at this Day, and is so intended and meant in the London Petition: Now I hold, that Episcopacy in this latter Sense, is to be taken into consideration as a Thing that trencheth not only upon the Rights and Liberties of the Subject, of which I shall have occasion to speak hereafter: But as it is now, it trencheth upon the Crown of England in these Four Particulars, wherein I know this House will willingly hear me.
First, It is maintained by the Bishop of Exeter in a Book which he hath writ to this Purpose, That Episcopacy it self, both in the Office, and in the Jurisdiction, is de Jure Divino, of Divine Right; which Position is directly contrary to the Laws of England, on which I will cite but two or three instead of many more; the Statute of Carlisle, 35 E. 1. (mentioned in Cawdry's Case in the 5th Report) saith, That the Church of England is founded in the state of Prelacy by the Kings of England, and their Progenitors; which also appears in the First Chapter of Magna Charta, in these Words; Concessimus Deo & Ecclesia Anglicane omnes Libertates, &c. and in 25 E.. 3. in the French Roll, which I have seen, there the Archbishop and Clergy petition the King for their liberties in these Words, thus Englished; That for the Reverence of God, and holy Church, and of his grave and boundry; he will confirm all those Liberties, Privileges and Rights granted and given vy him, and his noble Progenitors to the Church by their Charters; which plainly Cheweth, That they have their Episcopal Jurisdiction from the Kings of England, and not Jure Divino, by Divine Right; and this likewise is acknowledged by themselves in the Statute 37 H. 8. cap. 17. That they have their Episcopal Jurisdiction, and all other Ecclesiastical Juridiction whatsoever, solely, and only by, form, and under the King.
The Second Thing that entrencheth upon the Crown is this; That it is holden at this Day, That Episcopacy is inseparable to the Crown of England; and therefore it is commonly now said, No Bishop, no king; No Mitre, no Scepter; which I utterly deny; for it is plain and apparent, that the Kings of England were long before Bishops, and have a Subsistence without them; and have done, and may still depose them.
The Third is likewise considerable, as trenching upon the Crown, which is what was aid under the Gallery, That Episcopacy was a Third Estate in Parliament, and therefore the King and Parliament could not be without them; this I utterly deny; for there are three Estates without them; as namely the King, who is the First Estate. The Lords Temporal, the Second; and the Commons the Third; and I know a Fourth Estate: Besides, the Kings of England have held many Parliaments, when in there have been no Bishops at all: As for Example, E. 1. the 24th of his Reign held his Parliament at Edmundsbury, Excluso Clero; and in the Parliament 7 R. 2. cap. 3. and 7 R. 2. cap. 12. it doth appear that they were enacted by the King with the Assent and Agreement of the Lords Temporal and Common where the Estates likewise by named to this Purpose, which I omit.
The Fourth and Last Thing is, of the Bishops holding of the Ecclesiastical Couts in their own Names, and not in the Name of the King, nor by Commission from him contrary to the Statute of I E. 6. cap. 2. and contrary to the Practice of Bishop Ridley, Coverdale and Ponnet, who took Commission from the King for holding their Ecclesiastical Courts, as may be seen this Day in the Rolls.
And although it will be objected, that by a late Proclamation in 1637, where the Opinion, of the Judges is mentioned, it is declared upon their Opinion, That the Act of 1 E. 6. was repealed, and that Bishops may now keep Courts in their own Name and sent Process under their own Seals; yet it is well known, that the Statue 1 Q. Mary, which repealed the Statute of I E. 6. was it self repealed by the Statute 1 Jac. cap. 25. whereupon it was holden upon a full Debate of this Point in Parliament 7 Jac. which I have seen, That upon consideration of the Statutes of 1 Jac. and I. Eliz. cap. 1. and 8 Eliz cap. 1. that the Statute of 1 E. 6. was revived, and that Bishop ought not to keep Courts in their own Names: So that for these Reasons so nearly concerning the Right of the Crown of England in point of Episcopacy, I am against the Proposal of that Question, and am for the retaining of the London Petition, and for thorough Reformation of all Abuses and Grievances of Episcopacy mentioned in the Ministers Remonstrance; which Reformation may perhaps serve the turn, without teration of the Government of England into a Form of Presbytery, as it is in other Kingdoms of Scotland, France, Geneva, and the Low-Countries; which for mine own part, had I lived in these Kingdoms, I should have been of the Opinion of the Prostant Party in point of Presbytery, because those Kingdoms are governed by the Civil Law, which maintains the Jurisdiction of the Pope, and Papal Episcopacy, which the Ancient Laws of England condemn, being likewise in themselves opposite to the Civil and Cannon Laws. And if notwithstanding all the Reformation that can be made by the Laws of this Land, a better Form of Government may evidently appear unto us, concerning which there is no Form now before us, it is to be taken by us into consideration, according to that Imperial Constitution in these Words: In rebus novis constituendis evidens utilitas esse debet ut ab eo Jure recedatur, quod diu aquum visum est..
And so, Mr. Speaker, I shortly conclude, That for these Reasons, omitting divers more, the London Petition is to be retained.
Mr. Plydel's Speech, Feb. 9. in favour of Episcopacy.
I Have heard since I had the Honour to sit here, many Grievances presented; and truly, Sir, my Heart bleeds within me, when I think of them, especially those that concern Religion. But what should I speak of Grievances concerning Religious when Religion it self is become a Grievance, nay, the very Nurse and Mother all Grievances, all Scandals, all Reproaches.
Tantum Religio potuit suadere malorum.
Sir, not to trouble you with any long Discourse, if I have any sight, That Bark both of Church and State hath a long time floated betwixt Scylla and Caribdis; Popery on the one side, and I know not what to call it on the other; in many Respects both alike dangerous, unless the Italian Proverb may alter the Case, God defend from my reputed Friends, and I will defend my self from my profess'd Enemies.
Sir, We are trusted by God, the King and the Country, with the managing this Bark fraught with the Fortunes of Three Great Kingdoms: Now, should so decline the former Rock, that we dash on the other side, I humbly offer it to Honourable Assembly, Whether the might not have just Cause to say, She Ruin: For, Sir, there is as much beyond Truth, as on this side it; and would steer a right Course, we must be sure to keep the Channel, let we fall from Extream to another; from the Dotage of Supersition, to the Frenzy of Profaneness; from bowing to Idols, to worship the Calves of out own Imaginations.
Sir, I beseech you, consider what Libellous Pamphlets are not Printed, what Sermons are preached; not building Hay and Stubble, but utterly subverting the Foundations of Truth; what Irreverence in Churches, what Profanation of God's Service, to the Scandal of Christianity, the Reproach of Religion, and the intolerable Grief of all good Men; of which I may take up the Words of Petrus de Aliaco to the Council of Constance; Nisi Celeriter siat Reformatio, audeo dicere quod licet magna fivt quavidemus, tamen in brevi Incomparabilia majora videbimus, & post Ista tam borrenda majora alia Audicmus.
Sir, I take God to Record, I am no Man's Advocate, no Man's Enemy, but a faithful Lover of Truth and Peace, and adutiful Son of our distressed Mother the Church of England; in whose Behalf, and out own, my Motion shall shortly be this; That the Ministers's Petition, with so much of their Remonstrance as hath been read, may be committed; and the rest of it, concerning Matter of Doctrine, may be referred to some Learned and approved Divines, who have spent their Time in that noble Study. For, give me leave to tell you, there is a vulgus among the Clergy, as among the Laity; Et in autroque nil modicum; And for these, and all Things which strike at the Root and Branch, as they please to call it; I shall humbly move, That we rather consider how to satisfy the Petitioners, with some timely Declaration from both Houses of the Lawfulness and Conveniency of Episcopal Government, derived from the Apostles, and so long established in this Kingdom, than to venture upon any Alteration, the consequence whereof the wisest Man cannot foresee. And in truth, Sir, should we once begin (for my own part) I know not how, or where we should stay. Nevertheless, If any one doubt the Superiority of Bishops over Priests and Deacons in Ecclesiastical Government, or in Ordination, I shall be ready, whensoever this House shall command me, to make it good; and I think, by as pregnant Testimonies as we are able to prove betwixt Canonical Apocryphal Scripture, the Necessity of Infants Baptism, or that the Apostles were the Authors of their own Creed: But, Sir, I hope you will save your self, and me, that labour, and rather devise of some safe way to bind up the Churches Wounds, which (God knows) are too wise already, that so the Clergy and Laity being made Friends, and all reduced to the Model of our Ancestors since the Reformation, we may altogether preserve the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace; and so his Majesty having graciously and prudently expressed himself, I am the more confident, we shall not only put an end to all Misintelligence betwixt Prince and People, but also highly advance the Protestant Cause, and give a deadly Blow to the See of Rome.
Sir, I humbly crave the Favour of the House, for God is my Witness, Non potuialiter Liberare Animam meant.
Mr. Grimston's Speech, Feb. 9.
These two Honourable Lords, the Lord Digby, and Lord Faulkland, that spake last, have not only prevented me in much I intended to have spoken my self, but they have likewise taught me much I knew not before; therefore it is not much you can expect from me: All that I shall say at this time, is rather to prepare the Matter for the Question, which hath been already so learnedly debated by them, than to speak any Thing of the Matter it self. I must confess, when I look upon the Bishops, or at least, upon some of them, and the way of their Government, and the Sufferings of the People under their Tyranny; I wonder not at the Multitude of Petitioners and Petitions that have been in this Parliament preferred against them, and that they all cry out,Crucify, crucify, or that they would have them up by the Roots; but is is necessary we should distinguish between the Persons of the Bishops, which are so obnoxious, and their Functions and Offices; For there is no more weight in the Argument, that because the Bishops have done amiss, therefore take away Episcopacy; than there is in it, because the Judges of the Common-Law are in Fault, therefore take away Judges, and take away the Common-Law. For, my own part, I conceive it an easier Matter, and safer for us (Addere inventis) to reform what is amiss in them and their Government, that (Creare novum) to set up a new Form of Government, which we have had no Experience of, nor do we know it should suit, either with the Humours of the People, or with the Monarchical Government: And it may be the New Government, which is so much desired, if it be brought in upon the Grounds and Foundations that some would have it, it will be out of our Powers ever to master it again. Whereas, on the other side, in the Government which is already established, if the Governors exceed their Bounds they may fall into a Premunire, and other Penalties which the Law hath provided in that Case; and if that be not sufficient, we have yet another hank upon them, for our Parliaments have continually a Command over them.
Then, Sir, it may be demanded of me, Things having been so much amiss what it is that I would have done?
Truly, Sir, I am of Opinion, that much must be done, or else we had as good do nothing: Therefore I come to the Particulars. Church-Government may be compared to a Castle: Let a Castle be never so strong, once in Fourscore Year (for so long it is since the first Reformation) it may need Repair; and it is not the Castle alone, I mean the Government, that needs Repair, but likewise the Governors themselves, who most Wickedly and Traiterously have turned their Canons upon us, which should have been used for our Defence.
In the first Place therefore, I conceive it not only convenient, but of absolute necessity, the paring off their Excrescences, I mean their Temporal Jurisdiction. I must confess, I know not to what purpose they should fit upon our Benches at out Session of the Peace and Goal Deliveries, or in the Star-Chamber: For by woful Experience we find that their Judgments are guided there more by their boundless Wills, and fiery transported Passions than by Reason, and the Rule of Law, which ought to he their Director. I conceive, of less use is their fitting at the Council Board, to he there at the Helm to guide and steer the Temporal Affairs of the Common-wealth certainly that is not the Plough they ought to follow; and by the neglecting of which so many Briars, Brambles, and stinking Weeds, are sprung up in God's House, the Church, to the great distraction of all his Majesties Kingdoms here at home, and the great Wonder and Amazement of all the Reformed Churches abroad.
And I conceive it of the least use of all, their fitting in Parliaments, and giving their Voices in the making of Laws; and yet I would not utterly exclude them, For I conceive it might be convenient that all, or, at least, some of them might always be present there as Assistants, to give their Advice in Spiritual Matters, when they are thereunto required by the Lords, as the Justices do in Temporal Affairs.
In the next Place I conceive it of as absolute Necessity, the taking off the Jurisdiction of the High Commission Court, or at least, to limit and bound it, that it may (quadrare) with the great Charter of our Liberties, and the Laws of this Kingdom.
This Court hath for many Years together ridden upon the back of the Common Law Courts, which ought to have been subservient to them. Each River must be kept within its own Bounds; and it is impossible to have two Suns shine together in one Firmament.
They have likewise many superfluous Courts, which I conceive may very well be spared; as their Official Courts, and Commissary Courts. Sir, They are no better than Cozening Lotteries, where the King's Subjects are deprived of their Monies, and where their Judges and Inferior Officers do like Physicians, that always cure themselves, tho they destroy their Patients. I confess I could willingly give my consent, that they should keep their Chancellor's Court, and their Archdeacon Court, if such Limits and Bounds were put upon them, as by the Wisdom of this House may be easily done.
The Chancellor is (Custos Conscientie) the Keeper of the Bishop's Conscience; Archdeacon is (Oculos Episcopi) the Bishops Eye: And as I would not take away their Consciences, or their Eyes, so I would not have them like Briareus, have then Finger in every Business. Thus, Sir, I have shortly presented you with my Opinion that is, That I am not willing that it should be referred, or committed upon the Point of Subversion, but I am willing it should be referred upon the Point of Reformation. And if the Sense of the House shall run that way, I doubt not but, the Committee I shall make it manifest, that my Heart stands affected with as much Zeal for having a Reformation, as any Man that fits within these Walls.
After all these Speeches, and a long Debate, the further Consideration thereof was referred to the Committee formerly appointed for the London Petition, and the Ministers Remonstrance, and some more Members were added to the Committee, viz.
A Petition from Lancashire read, and referred to the Committee for Scandal Ministers.
Mr. Francis Nevill lately committed to the Tower for discovering the Secrets of the last Parliament, was, upon his Submission, discharg'd.
A Complaint being made by the Archbishop of Armagh, of a Scandalous Book publish'd in his Name, pretended to be Directions to the Houses of Parliament, concerning the Liturgy and Episcopal Government; it was ordered to be suppressed.
There was also some Debate this Day in the House of Commons, about furnishing the King's Navy, upon Intelligence of great Forces that were levying by Neighbour Princes and states, but they came to no Resolve therein.
This Day His Majesty came to the House of Lords, and made the following SPEECH.
The King's Speech to the Lords about the March between the Lady Mary and the Price of Orange, Feb. 10. 1640.
That Freedom and Confidence which I expressed at the beginning of this Parliament to have of your Love and Fidelity towards my Person and Estate, hath made me at this time come hither to acquaint you with the Alliance and Consederacy which I intend to make with the Prince of Orange and the States, which before this time I did not think expedient to do, because that part which I do desire your Advice and Assistance upon, was not ready to be treated on.
I will not trouble you with a long Digression, by shewing the steps of this Treaty, but leave you to be satisfied in that, by those who under me do manage that Affair; only I shall shew you the Reasons which have induced me to it, and in what I except your Assistance and Counsel.
The Considerations that have induced me to it, are these:
First, The Matter of Religion; here needs no Dispensation; no fear that my Daughter's Conscience may be any Way perverted.
Secondly, I do esteem, that a strict Alliance and Confederacy with the States, will be is useful to this Kingdom, as that with any of my Neighbours; especially considering heir Affinity, Neighbourhood, and Way of their Strength.
And Lastly (which I never must forget in these Occasions) the Use I may make of his Alliance towards the Establishing of my Sister and Nephews.
Now to shew you in what I desire your Assistance; you must know, that the Articles of Marriage are in a manner concluded; but not to be totally ratified, until that of Alliance be ended and agreed; which before I demanded your Advice, I did not think fit to enter upon: And that I may not leave you too much at large how to begin that Counsel, I present you here the Propositions which were offered to me by the States Ambassadors for that intent.
And so my Lords, I shall only desire you to make as much expedition in your Counsels as so great a Business shall require, and shall leave you Lordships to your own Free Debate.
The Propositions presented by the Heers Summerdike and Joachim, Ambassadors from the States-General to His Majesty, were these.
Propositions of the States of Holland to the King.
To make Proof how much the States do reverence the Honour of his Majesty's Freindship, and do fear to be removed from it; they have given charge and full Power to present unto his majesty the Choice of one of the Four Conditions which follow, according to the Convenience of affairs.
- 1. Of a League Offensive and Defensive against the King of Spain, and his Adherents.
- 2. Of a Defensive; for Mutual Defence against all Assaults of Strangers by open War; perpetual or for a Time.
- 3. Of a Reciprocal Promise only, not to assist in any manner the Enemies one of another.
- 4. Or finally, To agree upon a prefixed time to meet hereafter together; to the End, to advise some Expedient and Means to serve England, and the United Provinces, against the Forces and Practices of their Enemies.
A Petition was read from Somersetshire, complaining of the Abuses of Deputy-Lieutenats, and concerning the rigorous Leying of Ship-money.
Rumours of Popish Designs.
The House resolved into a Grand Committee to consider how to raise Money for the Northern Armies. Thursday, Febr. 11. There being notice given to the House of Commons of a great Design on foot amongst the Papists in England, Ireland and Wales: That in Lancashire there were 1500, in Ireland 8000 Papists ready furnish'd with Arms; and many Thousands in South and North Wales, well paid and provided for; and that they used frequently to go to Mass in an insolent manner. And a letter being brought into the House, as from Secretary Windebank, in the Queen's Name, to have all Roman Catholicks fast every Saturday for the prosperous Success of that Design; There were thereupon Four Gentlemen of the House of Commons sent up to communicate the same to the House of Lords. And an Order was made, That all Judges in their Circuits should effectually put the Laws in execution against Jesuits and Priests, and to make return of their Proceedings therein to the House.
A Motion was made to borrow 15000l. more of the City of London for the present Supply of the Armies.
Thanksgiving for the Peace with the Scots.
Upon a Conference between both Houses concerning the 7th and 8th Articles of the Scots Demands which were, That all Books, Libels and Proclamations against them be call'd in; That there be Thanksgivings in all Churches for the happy Conclusion of this Peace; And that all Forts and Ensigns of War be taken away between the Two Kingdoms.) The same were agreed and consented unto.
Dr. Pocklington censured.
A Petition having been exhibited in the House of Lords against Dr. Pecklington, by Mr. Harvy, one of his Parshioners, accusing the said Doctor as a great Introducer of Superstitions, Innovations and Idolatry; and particularly of charging him with the Writing and Publishing Two Books, the one Intituled, Altare Christianum; The other, Sunday no Sabbath; Their Lordships having examined and considered thereof, the Doctor was now brought to the Bar of that House, where the Lord Keeper, by the Directions of the House, pronounced this Sentence upon him,—That he would never came within the Verge of his Majesty's Court: Be deprived of all his Ecclesiastical Livings and referments: be for ever disabled to hold any Place or Dignity in the Church or Commonwealth; And lastly, That his said Books be publickly burnt in the City of London, and the Two Universities, by the Hand of the Common Hangman.
Judge Berkley Impeached.
Friday, Feb. 12. A Report being made by Mr. Hide, Chairman of the Committee for Judges, the State and Nature of the Charge against Sir Rob. Berkley, one of the Judges of the King's Bench. The House proceeded to a Vote, That the said Sir Robert Berkley shall in the Name of all the commons of England, be Impeached of High Treason, and other great Crimes and Misdemeanors.
And Sir John Culpeper was ordered to go up to the Lords, and Impeach him accordingly: And to desire, that he may be forthwith Committed: And to acquaint their Lordship, that in due time this House will resort to their Lordships with particular Articles against him.
Taken off the Bench.
Which being done, and it being now Term-time, and Judge Berkley sitting upon the King's Bench in Westminster Hall, the Lords sent Mr. Maxwell the Usher of the Black Rod, to fetch him off the Bench, which he performed in the Face of the Court, Westminster-Hall being then full of People and brought him away Prisoner; which was no small Amazement to the People, and all the other Courts, and others of his Profession. Being brought to the Bar of the Lords House, and acquainted with the Impeachment against him, he was committed to the Custody of the Elder Sheriff of London.
The Committee concerning Printing of Books, is Revived.
The Bill for Relief of the King's Army, and the Northern Parts of the Kingdom, with the Amendments, passed, and sent up to the Lords for their Concurrence.
Saturday, Feb. 13. A Bill was brought in for Abolishing Supersition and Idolatry, and for Advancing the Worship and Service of God, read twice, and Committed unto
- Sir Ro. Pye.
- Mr. Whitehead.
- Mr. Cradock.
- Mr. Cary.
- Mr. William Lewis.
- Mr. Cremwell.
- Mr. White.
- Sir Anthony Irby
- Mr. Vaughan.
- Sir William Bowyer.
- Mr. Halcher.
- Sir Christopher Wray.
- Mr. Fiennes.
- Lord Fairfax.
- Sir Henry Mildmay.
- Lord Ruthyn.
- Mr. Selden.
- Sir Robert Harlow.
- Mr. Wheeler.
- Mr. Ask.
- Sir Edmund Mountfort.
- Mr. Hussy.
- Mr. Kirton.
- Mr. Dutton.
- Mr. Potts.
- Sir John Culpeper.
- Sir Guy Palmes.
- Mr. Pym.
- Sir John Hotham.
- Lord Faulkland.
- Mr. Broxhelm.
- SirGilhert Gerrard.
- Sir William Massam,
- SirThomas Barrington.
- Sir Edward Deering.
- Sir Thomas Hutchinson.
- Mr. Evelyn.
- Mr. Perd.
- Mr. Goodwin,
- SirArthur Hasterig.
- Mr. John Moore.
- Mr. Noel.
- Mr. Cecil.
- Sir Edmund Varney.
- Mr. Shuttleworth.
- Alderman Pennington.
- Mr. Hill.
- Sir Richard Bullar.
- SirRoger North.
- Mr. Hambden.
- Sir Thomas Widdrington.
- Mr. Hide.
- Mr. Rouse.
- Mr. Mallory.
- Sir Richard Lewson.
- Mr. Trenchard.
- Mr. Hollis.
- Mr. Millington.
- Mr. Pierpoint.
- Sir S mon d' Ewes.
- Mr. Norton.
- Mr. Bury.
- Sir John Clotworthy.
- Sir Thomas Herie.
- Sir Thomas Smith
- Mr. Young.
- Sir William Littam.
- Sir Nevil Pool.
- And all that will come to have Voices at this Committee.
Feb. 13. It was this Day ordered in the House of Commons, That the Committee appointed to consider of the Disbanding of the New-Levied Irish Army, do now presently meet, to consider of the same; and also for the present Disarming of Papists in England; and for the removing of English Papists from the Court.
Feb. 15. The House of Lords thought fit what a Proclamation do issue out to summon the Finch, late Lord Keeper, personally to appear before the Lords in Parliament, to answer an Action of High Treason brought against him.
Ordered, That a Message be sent to the Lords, to move his Majesty for his Assent to the for the Relief of the King's Army and the Northern Counties; and to the Bill for Triennialments; and that his Majesty would be pleased to pass them both together.
Act for Triennial Parliaments passed.
The Commons were sent for up to the House of Lords, where his Majesty passed the Bill for Relief of the Northern Parts, and also the Bill for Triennial Parliaments: Upon which Occasion he made this following Speech to both Houses.
King's Speech Feb. 15. 40–1.
My Lords, and you the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons,
You may remember, when both Houses were with me at the Banqueting House at Whitehall declare unto you Two Rocks I wished you to eschew; this is one of them, and Consequence, that I think never Bill passed here in this House, of more Favour to the Subjects, than this is; and if the other Rock be as happily passed over as this shall be at this time, I do not know what you can ask, for ought I can see at this time, that I can make any Question to yield unto: Therefore I mention this, to shew unto you the Sense that I have of this Bill, and the Obligation, as I may say, that you have no me for it: For hitherto, to speak freely, I have had no Encouragement to do it: If I should look to the outward Face of your Actions or Proceed and not look to the Inward Intentions of your Hearts, I might Question of doing it.
Hitherto you have gone on in that which concerns your selves to amend, and not in things that nearly concerns the Strength of this Kingdom, neither for the State, not my particular.
This I mention, not to Reproach you, but to shew you the State of Things as they are have taken the Government all in Pieces, and I may say it is almost off the Hinges.
A Skilful Watchmaker, to make clean his Watch, will take it asunder; and when it is put together, it will go the better, so that he leave not out one Pin of it. Now as I have done on my part, you know what to do on yours; and I hope you shall see clearly, That I have performed really what I expressed to you at the Beginning of this Parliament, of the great Trust I have in your Affections to me: For this is the greatest Expression of Trust, That before you do any thing for me, I do put such a Confidence in you.
The Acts this Day passed, were
- 1. An Act for the Relief of his Majesty's Army, and the Northern Parts; being a Grant of Four entire Subsidies.
- 2. An Act for holding Triennial Parliaments, which was as followeth.
An Act for the Preventing of Inconveniencies happening by the Long Intermission of Parliaments.
The Act for Triennial Parliaments passed, Feb. 15. 1640–41.
Whereas by the Laws and Statutes of this Realm, the parliament ought to be holden at least once every year, for the Redress of Grievances, but the appointment of the time and place for the holding thereof, hath always belonged, as it ought, to his Majesty and his Royal Progenitors. And whereas it is by Experience found, that the not holding of Parliaments accordingly, hath produced sundry and great Mischiefs and Inconveniencies to the King's Majesty, the Church and Commonwealth; for the prevention of the like Mischiefs and Inconveniencies to the king's Majesty, the Church and Commonwealth; for the prevention of the like mischiefs and Inconveniencies in time to come:
Be it Enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, with the Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, That the said Laws and Statutes be from henceforth only kept and observed; And your Majesty's Loyal and obedient Subjects, in this present Parliament now assembled, do humbly pray, that it be Enacted: And be it Enacted accordingly, by the Authority of this present Parliament, That in case there be not a Parliament summoned by Writ under the Great Seal of England, and assembled and held before the 10th of September, which shall be in the third year, next after the last day of the last Meeting and Sitting in this present Parliament, the beginning of the first year to be accounted from the said last day of the last Meeting and Sitting in Parliament, and so from time to time, and in all times hereafter; If there shall not be a Parliament assembled and held before the 10th day of September, which shall be in the third year next after the last day of the last Meeting and Sitting in Parliament before the time assembled and held; the beginning of the first year to be accounted from the said last day of the last Meeting and Sitting in Parliament; that then in every such Case as aforesaid, the parliament shall assemble, and be held in the usual place at Westminster, in such manner, and by such means only, as is hereafter in this present All Declared and Enacted, and not otherwise, on the second Monday, which shall be in the month of November, then next ensuing. And in case this present Parliament now assembled and held, or any other Parliament which shall at any time hereafter be assembled, and held by Writ, under the Great Seal of England, or in case any Parliament shall be assembled and held by Authority of this present Act; And such Parliaments, or any of them, shall be Prorogued, or Adjourned, or continued by Prorogation or Adjournment, until the 10th day of September, which shall be in the third year next after the last day of the last Meeting and Sitting in Parliament, to be accounted as aforesaid; that then in every such Case, every such Parliament to Prorogued or Adjourned, or to continued by Prorogation of Adjournment, as aforesaid, shall from the said 10th day of September be thenceforth clearly and absolutely dissolved, and the Lord Chancellor of England, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, and every Commissioner and Commissioners and for the keeping of the Great Seal of England, for the time being, shall within six days after the said 10th day of September, in every such Third Year as aforesaid, in due form of Law, and without any further Warrant or Direction from his Majesty, His Heirs or Successors, seal, issue forth, and send abroad general and respective writs to the several and respective Peers of the Realm, commanding every such Peer, that he personally be at which shall be in November next following the said 10th day of September, then and there to treat concerning the high and urgent Affairs concerning His Majesty, the State and Defence of the Kingdom, and Church of England; and shall also Seal and issue forth, and send abroad several and respective Writs to the several and respective Sheriffs of the several and respective Counties, Cities and Boroughs of England and Wales, and to the Constable of the Castle of Dover, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, or his Lieutenant for the time being, and to the Mayor and Bayliffs of Berwick upon Tweed, and to all and every other Officers and Persons, to whom Writs have used to be directed, for the electing of the Knights, Citizens, Barons and Burgesses of, and for the said Counties, Cities, Cinque Ports and Boroughs of England and Wales respectively, in the accustomed form, to appear and serve in the Parliament to be held at Westminster on the said Second Monday, which shall be in November aforesaid; which said Peers, after the said writs receiv'd and which said knights, Citizens, Barons and Burgesses chosen by vertue of the said Writs, shall then and there appear and serve the Parliament accordingly. And the said Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, Commissioner and Commissioners aforesaid, shall respectively take a solemn Oath upon the holy Evangelists, for the due issuing of Writs, according to the tenor of this Act; haec verba:
You shall swear, That you shall truly and faithfully issue forth, and send abroad all Writs of Summons to Parliament for both Houses, at such time, and in such manner, as is expressed and enjoined by an Act of Parliament, Entituled, An Act for the preventing of Inconveniences happening by the Long Intermission of Parliaments.
Which Oath is forthwith to be taken by the present Lord Keeper, and to be administred by the Clerk of the Crown to every Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, Commissioner and Commissioners aforesaid; and that none of the said Officers respectively shall henceforth execute any the said Offices, before they had taken the said Oath. And if the said Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or any of the said Commissioners, shall fail, or forbear so to issue out the said Writs, according to the true meaning of this Act, then he or they respectively shall, beside the incurring of the grievous sin of Perjury, be disabled, and become, virtue of this Act, incapable, ipso facto, to bear his, and they said Offices respectively; and be further liable to such Punishments as shall be Inflicted upon him, or them, by the next, any other ensuing Parliament. And in case the said Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, Commissioner, or Commissioners aforesaid, shall not issue forth the said Writs as aforesaid: Or in case that the Parliament do not Assemble, and be held at the time and place before appointed, then the Parliament shall Assemble and be held in the usual place at Westminster, in such manner, and by such means only, as is hereafter in this present Act Declared and Enacted, and not otherwise, on the Third Monday; which shall be in the Month of January, then next ensuing. And the Peers of this Realm shall by virtue of this Act be Enabled, and are Enjoyned to Meet in the Old Palace of Westminster in the usual place there, on the Third Monday in the said Month of November: And they or any Twelve or more of them, then and there Assembled, shall on, or before the Last Monday of November next following the Tenth day of September aforesaid, by virtue of this Act, without other Warrant, issue out Writs in the usual form, in the name of the King's Majesty, his Heirs, or Successors, attested under the hands and Seal of Twelve or more of the said Peers, to the several and respective Sheriffs of the several and respective Counties, Cities, and Burroughs of England and Wales; and to the Constable of the Castle of Dover; Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, or his Lieutenant for the time being; and to the Mayor and Bailiffs of Berwick upon Tweed; and to all and every other the said Officers and Persons, to whom Writs have been used to be directed, for the electing of the knights, Citizens, Barons and Burgesses, of and for the said Counties, Cities, Cinque Ports and Burroughs, to be and appear at the Parliament at Westminster aforesaid, to be held on the Third Monday in January then next following: All and every which Writs, the Clerks of the Petty-bag, and other Clerks, to whom the Writing of the Writs for Summons to the Parliament, both and shall belong, or whom the said Lords, or Twelve or more of them shall appoint; shall at the Command of the said Lords so Assembled, or of any Twelve or more of them, make and prepare ready for the Signature of the said Lords, or any 12 or more of them, under pain of the loss of their Places and Offices, and of such other Punishment as in the next, or any other ensuing Parliament, shall be Inflicted on him or them: And it is Enacted, that the said Writs to issued, shall be of the same Power and force to all Intents and Purposes, as the Writs or Summons to Parliament under the Great Seal of England, have ever been or ought to be. And all the Messengers of the Chamber or others, who shall be appointed by the said Lords, or any Twelve or more, are hereby required faithfully and speedily to deliver the said writs to every person and persons, Sheriffs, Officers and others, to whom the same shall be directed: which if the said Messengers, or any of them shall fail to perform, they shall forfeit their respective places, and incur such other pains and punishments, as by that or any other ensuing Parliament shall be imposed on them.
And it is also further Enacted, That all and every the Peers of this Realm shall make their appearance, and shall assemble on the said third Monday in January, in such manner, and to such effect, and with such power, as if they had received every of them Writs of Summons to Parliament under the Great Seal of England, in the usual and accustomed manner. And in case the said Lords, or twelve, or more of them, shall fail to issue forth such Writs, or that the said Writs do not come to the said several Counties, Cities, Cinque Ports and Boroughs, so that an Election be not thereupon made; And in case there be not a Parliament assembled, and held before the 23d day of the said Month of January, and so from time to time, and in all time, hereafter, if there shall not be a Parliament assembled, and held before the said 23d day of January, then in every such Case as aforesaid the Parliament shall assemble, and be held in the usual place at Westminster, in such manner, and by such means only, as is hereafter in this present Act declared and enacted, and not otherwise, on the 2d Tuesday, which shall be in the Month of March next after the said 23d day of Jan. At which Parliament the Peers of this Realm shall make their appearance, and shall assemble at the time and place aforesaid, and shall each of them be liable unto such pains and censures for his and their not appearing, and serving then and there in Parliament, as if be as they had been summoned by Writ under the Great Seal of England, and had not appeared and served, and to such further pains and censures, as by the rest of the Peers in Parliament assembled, they shall be adjudged unto.
And for the better assembling of the Knights, Citizens, Barons and Burgesses to the said Parliament, as aforesaid; It is further Enacted, That the several and respective Sheriffs of the several and respective Counties, Cities and Boroughs of England and Wales, and the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of both and every of the Universities, and the Mayor and Bayliffs of the Borough of Berwick upon Tweed, shall at the several Courts and Places to be held and appointed for their respecting Counties, Universities, Cities and Boroughs, next after the faith 23d day of January, cause such Knight and Knights, Citizen and citizens, Burgess and Burgesses of their said Counties, Universities, Cities and Boroughs, respectively, to be chosen by such persons, and in such manner, as if several and respective Writs of Summons to Parliament, under the Great Seal of England, had issued, and been awarded. And in case any of the general Sheriffs, or the Chancellors, Master and Scholars of either of the Universities, or the Mayor and Bayliffs of Berwick respectively, do not before 10 of the Clock in the forenoon of the same day, wherein the several and respective Courts and places shall be held or appointed for their several and respective Counties, Universities, Cities and Boroughs as aforesaid, begin and proceed on according to the meaning of the Law, in causing Elections to be made of such Knight and Knights, Citizen and Citizens, Burgess and Burgesses, their said Counties, Universities, Cities and Boroughs as aforesaid, then the freeholders of each County, and the Masters and Scholars of every the Universities, and the Citizens and others, having Voices in such Election respectively, in each Universities, City and Borough, that shall be assembled at the law Courts of Places to be held, or appointed, as aforesaid, shall forthwith, without further Warrant, or Direction, proceed to the Election of such Knight, or Knights, Citizen or Citizens, Burgess or Burgesses aforesaid, in such manner as is usual in case of Writs of Summons issued and awarded.
And it is further Enacted, That the several and respective Sheriffs of their several and respective Counties, and the Constables of the Castle of Dover, and Lord Warden of the Cinque-ports, or his Lieutenant for the time being respectively, shall after the said 23d day of January, and before the 8th day of February then immediately next ensuing, award and send forth their precepts to the several and respective Cities and Boroughs, within their several Counties, and likewise unto the said Cinque-ports respectively, commanding them respectively to make choice of such Citizen and Citizens, Barons, Burgess and Burgesses, to serve in the said Parliament, at the time and place aforesaid: which said Cities, Cinque-ports and Boroughs respectively, shall before the last day of the said Month of Febr. Make Election of such Citizen and Citizens, Barons, Burgess, and Burgesses, as if Writs for summoning of a Parliament, under the Great Seal of England, had issued and been awarded. And in case no such Precept shall come unto the said Cities. Cinque-ports and Boroughs respectively, by the time herein limited: or in case any Precept shall come, and no Election be made thereupon, before the said last day of Febr. That then the several Citizens, Burgesses, and other Persons, that ought to Elect and send Citizens, Barons and Burgesses to the Parliament, shall on the first Tuesday in March, then next ensuing the said last day of February, make choice of such Citizen and Citizens, Barons, Burgess and Burgesses, as if any Writ or Summons under the Great Seal of England had issued and been awarded, and Precepts thereupon issued, to such Cities, Cinque-Ports and Boroughs: which Knights, Citizens, Barons and Burgesses so chosen, shall appear and serve in Parliament at the time and place aforesaid, and shall each of them be liable unto such pains and censures, for his and their not appearing and serving then and there in Parliament, as if he or they had been elected and chosen by vertue of Writ under the Great Seal of England, and shall be likewise subject unto such further pains and censures for his and their not appearing and serving then and there in Parliament, as if he or they had been elected and chosen by vertue of Writ under the Great Seal of England, and shall be likewise subject to such further pains and censures, as by the rest of the knights, Citizens and Burgesses assembled in the Commons House of Parliament, he or they shall be adjudged unto And the Sheriffs and other Officers and persons, to whom it appertaineth, shall make Returns, and accept and receive the Returns of such Elections in like manner, as if Writs of Summons had issued, and been executed, as hath been used and accustomed: And in default of the Sheriffs and other Officers respectively, in not accepting or making return of such Elections, It shall and may be lawful, to and for the several freeholders, and other persons that have elected, to make returns of the Knights, Citizens, Barons and Burgesses by them elected, which shall be as good and effectual to all intents and purposes, as if the Sheriff or other Officers, had received a Writ of Summons for a Parliament, and had made such Returns. And that such Elections, Precepts and Returns shall be had and made at such times, by such persons, and in such manner, as before in this Act is expressed and declared, according to the true intent and meaning of this Law; any Writ, Proclamation, Edict, Act, Restraint, Inhibition, Order or Warrant to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding. And in case any person or persons, shall be so hardy to advise, frame, contrive, serve or put in execution any such Writs, Proclamation, Edict, Act, Restraint, Inhibition, Order or Warrant thereupon, then he or they so offending, shall incur and sustain the pains, penalties and forfeitures limited, ordained and provided, in, and by the Statute of Provision and Premunire, made in the 16th year of King Richard the 2d, and shall from thenceforth be disabled during his life, to sue and implead any person in any Action real or personal, or to make any gift, grant, conveyance, or other disposition of any his Lands, Tenements, Hereditaments, Goods or Chattels, which he hath to his own use, either by Act executed in his Life-Time, or by his Last Will or otherwise, or to take any Gift, Conveyance, or Legacy to his own Use. And if any Sheriff, Constable of the Castle of Dover, or Lord Warden of the Cinque-ports shall not perform his duty enjoined by this act, then he shall lose and forfeit the sum of 1000l. and every County, City Cinque-port and Borough that shall not make Election of their Knights, Citizens, Barons and Burgesses, respectively, shall incur the penalties following (that is to say) every County the sum of 1000l. and every City, which is no County, 200l. and every Cinque-port and Borough the sum of 100l. All and every of which several forfeitures, and all other forfeitures in the Act mentioned, shall and may be recovered in any of the King's Courts of Record at Westminster, without naming the Christian name and Sirname of the said Mayor for the time being, for Action to Debt, Bill, Plant or Information, wherein no Efforts, Protection, Wager or Law, Aid-Prayer, Priviledge, Injunction or order of Restraint, shall be in anywise prayed, granted, or allowed, nor anymore than one Imparlance. And if any person after notice given, that the Action depending is grounded and prosecuted upon, or by virtue of this Statute, shall cause or procure any such Action to be stayed or delayed before Judgment by colour or means of any Order, Warrant, Power, or Authority, save only of the Court, wherein such Action as aforesaid shall be brought or depending, or after Judgment had upon such action, shall cause or procure the Execution of, or upon any for Judgment, to be stayed or delayed, by any colour or means of any Order, Warrant, Power or Authority, save only by Writ of Error or attaint that then the said persons so offending, shall incur and sustain all and every the pains, penalties and forfeitures, Provision and Premunire, made in the 16th of K. Richard the 2d. And if any Lord Mayor of London shall at any time hereafter commence or prefer any such Suit, Action or Information, and shall happen to die, or be removed out of his Office, before Recovery and Execution had, that yet no such Action, Suit or Information, sued, commenced or preferred, shall by such displacing or death, be abated, discontinued or ended, but that it shall and may be lawful to, and for the Lord-Mayor of the City of London, next succeeding in that Office and Place, to prosecute, pursue and follow all and every such Action, Will, Plaint or Information for the Causes aforesaid, so hanging and depending in such manner and form, and to all Intents and Purposes, as that Lord Mayor might have done, which first commenced or preferred the same. The fifth part of all and every the forfeitures in this Act mentioned, shall go and be, to, and for the use and behoof of the City of London, and the other four Parts and residue to be employed and disposed to, and for such only uses, intents and purposes, as by the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses in Parliament assembled, shall be declared, directed and appointed.
Provided, That in case the freeholders of any County, and Inhabitants, or other Persons having or claiming Power to make Election of any Knights, Citizens, Barons or Burgesses, shall proceed to making of Election of their Knights, Citizens, Barons and Burgesses, which Election shall afterwards fall out to be adjudged or declared void in Law by the House of Commons, by reason of equality of Voices, or misdemeanor of any Person whatsoever, then the said County, City, Cinque-port or Borough, shall not incur the Penalties in this Law, so as an Election de facto be made.
And it is further enaged, That no Parliament henceforth to be assembled, shall be dissolved or prorogued within Fifty days at the least after the time appointed for the meeting thereof, unless be by Assent of his Majesty, his Heirs or Successors, and of both Houses in Parliament assembled: And that neither the House of Peers, nor the House of Commons, shall be adjourned within Fifty days at least, after the meeting thereof, unless it be by the free Consent of every the said Houses respectively.
And be it further Enacted and Declared by Authority of this present Parliament, That the Peers to be assembled at any Parliament, by vertue of this Act, shall and may from time to time, at any time during such their Assembly in Parliament, cause and declare such Person to be Speaker for the said Peers, as they shall think fit. And likewise that the said Knights, Citizens and Burgesses, to be assembled at any Parliament, by vertue of this Act, shall and may from time to time, at any time during such their assembling in Parliament, chuse and declare one of themselves to be Speaker, for the said Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons assembled in the said Parliament, as they shall think fit; which said Speakers, and every of them, as well for the said Peers, as for the said House of Commons respectively, shall, by vertue of this Act, be perfect and compleat Speakers for the said Houses respectively, and shall have as full and large Power, Jurisdiction and Privileges, to all intents and purposes, as any Speaker or Speakers of either of the said Houses respectively, heretofore have had or enjoyed.
And it is further Enacted and Declared, That all Parliaments hereafter to be assembled by Authority of this Act, and every Member thereof, shall have and enjoy all Rights, Privileges, Jurisdictions and Immunities, as any Parliament summoned by Writ under the Great Seal of England, or any Member thereof, might or ought to have: And all and every the Members that shall be Elected and Chosen, to serve in any Parliament hereafter to be assembled by Authority of this Act, as aforesaid, shall assemble and meet in the Commons House of Parliament, and shall enter into the same, and have Voices in such Parliament, before and without the taking of the several Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, or either of them, any Law or Statute to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.
Provided always, That if the king's Majesty, his Heirs or Successors, shall at any time, during any Parliament hereafter to be assembled by authority of this Act, as aforesaid, award or direct any Commission or Commissions under any person or persons whatsoever, thereby giving power and authority to him or them, to take and receive the Oath of Supremacy and Allegiance, of all or any the Members of the Commons House and Parliament, and any of the members of that House being duly required thereunto, shall refuse or neglect to take and pronounce the same, that from thenceforth such person so resulting, or neglecting, shall be deemed no Member of that House, nor shall have any Voice therein, and shall suffer such Pains and Penalties, as if he had presumed to fit in the same House without Election, Return or Authority. And it is likewise provided and Enacted, That this Statute shall be publickly Read Yearly, at every General Sessions of the Peace, to be held next after the Epiphany, and every Assizes them next ensuing, by the Clerk of the Peace, and Clerk of the Assizes for the time being respectively. And if they or either of them shall neglect or fail to do the same accordingly, then such party so neglecting or failing, shall forfeit the Sum of One Hundred Pounds. And it is lastly Provided and Enacted, That his Majesty's Royal Assent to this Bill shall not thereby determine this present Session of Parliament; and that all Statutes and Acts of Parliament which are to have Continuance unto the end of this present Session, shall be of full force after his Majesty's Assent, until this present Session fully ended and determined: And if this present Session shall determine by Dissolution of this present Parliament, then all the Acts and Statutes aforesaid shall be continued until the end of the first Session of the next Parliament.
Thanks of both Houses to the King.
Upon his Majesty's passing this Bill for Triennial Parliaments, both Houses were exceeding full of Joy, and agreed to join in waiting upon the King, in the returning their humble Thanks for the same; and his Majesty appointed the Banqueting–house at Whitehall to be the place for both Houses to meet to return their Thanks unto him: which was performed by the Mouth of the Lord-Keeper in the name of both Houses; and Bonfires were made that Night, and the Bells rung for joy.
Several Petitions were this Day presented to the House from divers Counties again Bishops, and Innovations in the Church, which were received, read and committed as likewise a Petition from Wales, expressing that there were but 13 Preaching Ministers in all that Principality.
February 17. Impeachment.
The Commons this Day took into Consideration the Right of the Commons England, as to their Proceedings upon Impeachment against the Earl of Strafford, to what concerns the Kingdom in general in the Legality of those Proceedings, and consider what is fit for the Commons to claim in Case of an Impeachment.
February 18. Report from the Commitee against the Earl Marshal's Court.
Mr. Hide Reports, That the Constables, and the Earl Marshal's Court, have to Jurisdiction to hold Plea of Words. 2. That the Earl Marshal can make no Court without the Constable. 3. That the Earl-Marshal's Court is a Grievance; which Opinion of the Committee was this day confirmed by Vote of the House; and Powers was given to the Committee to consider who they are that were guilty of this Grievance by the Earl Marshal's Court, and to consider of some fit Way for Reparation to be made to the Party grieved.
Divers other Petitions were this Day presented to the House from remote Counties against Bishops, Innovations, Ceremonies, &c. and ordered to be committed.
Saturday, Fen. 20. Two more Subsidies.
Upon Report this Day made to the House from the Committee of the whole House, it was resolved, That two Subsidies more (to the other Four) should be granted for the Maintenance of the King's Army, and Supply of the Northern Parts.
A Committee was this Day appointed to consider of the manner of transmitting of the Business of St. Gregory's to the Lords; and also of the Business concerning Mr. Smart.
This Day Sir Francis Seymour, a Member of the House of Commons, was introduced into the Lords House, by Virtue of his Majesty's Writ, and took his place as a Baron in that House.
Feb. 22. Votes touching Dr. Bastwick.
Mr. Rigby Reports from the Committee for High Commission and Star-Chamber Court, the Case of Doctor Bastwick: Whereupon it was resolved, That the Precept made by the Archbishop of Canterbury and others, High Commissioners for Causes Ecclesiastical within the Realm of England, for the apprehending of the Body of Doctor Bastwick; and in searching for and seizing his Books; and the Messengers Actings thereupon in searching Doctor Bastwick's House, and seizing his Books and Papers, are against Law and the Liberty of the Subject.
That the Sentence given against Doctor Bastwick by the High Commissioners, and the Proceedings whereupon that Sentence is grounded, and the Execution of that Sentence, are against Law; and that the Sentence is void, and that Doctor Bastwick ought to be restored to the exercise and Practice of Physick, and to have Reparation and Recommendence for his Damage and Loss sustained by the said Sentence and Execution/
That all those several Commissioners of the High-Commission Court which voted against Doctor Bastwick in the Sentence pronounced against him, ought to give satisfaction to Doctor Bastwick.
The House afterwards reassumed the Debate concerning Doctor Bastwick: Whereupon it was further
That the Proceedings against Doctor Bastwick, against the Law and the Liberty of the Subject, as also the Sentence against him, ought to be reversed, the Fine of 1000 l. discharged, and he to have Reparation for his Losses and Sufferings.
That the Orders and Warrants from the Council-Board for Doctor Bastwick's Exile, and transferring from the Castle of Lanceston to the isle of Scilly, and his Imprisonment there, are against the Law and Liberty of the Subject, and that he ought to have Reparation for his Losses and Damages sustained by those Orders, and that Imprisonment.
Present at the Sentence in the Star-Chamber, these Lords and Privy Counsellors following:
- The Lord Keeper.
- Duke of Lenox.
- Earl of Pembroke.
- Earl of Holland.
- Lord Cottington.
- Sir Thomas Germin.
- Lord Treasurer.
- Marquiss Hamilton.
- Earl of Dorset.
- Earl Moreton.
- Lord Newbourgh.
- Mr. Secretary Coke.
- Lord Privy Seal.
- Earl of Arundel and Surrey.
- Earl of Bridgewater.
- Viscount Wimbleton.
- Sir Henry Vane.
- Mr. Secretary Windebank.
At the Court at Oatlands, August 27. 1637.
- Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.
- Lord Keeper.
- Lord Treasurer.
- Duke of Lenox.
- Marquiss Hamilton.
- Earl Marshal.
- Earl of Dorset.
- Earl of Holland.
- Viscount Wimbleton.
- Mr. Comptroller.
- Mr. Secretary Coke.
- Mr. Secretary Windebank.
These Lords and Privy-Counsellors last mentioned, were present at the making the Orders for banishing Doctor Bastwick, Mr. Burton, and Mr. Prinn into the several Islands.
Archbishop of Canterbury.
Ordered, That to-morrow Morning the Report concerning the Articles against the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury be first read, if it be ready.—But being not ready, they came not in till the 24th.
Feb. 23; A Lawful Minister may preach as often as he pleaseth; Papists.
A Petition was this Day read from the Inhabitants of St. Peter's in Norwich, complaining, That Mr. Corbet was inhibited by the Bishop of that Diocese to preach in his own Parish-Church; which the House declared to be an illegal Inhibition; and proceeded further to Vote, The every Minister that is lawfully admitted, instituted, and inducted, may preach in his own Parish Church so often as he pleaseth.
The Lords this Day desired a Conference with the Commons concerning the disbanding of the Irish Army, disarming of Recusants, and removing Papists from Court.
Feb. 24. Customs.
A Committee was this Day appointed to take into Consideration the whole Matter of the Customs and Customers, Farmers, Receivers, and Collectors of the Imposition of Tonnage and Poundage since the last Year of King James, and of their Advancement and Abuses.
Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Articles against the Archbishop of Canterbury, twice read, all severally voted and agreed upon, and ordered to be ingrossed.
In pursuance of the former Votes of both Houses about Ship-Money, this ensuing Order was made by the Lords
Die Veneris 26. Die Febr. 1640.
Order of the Lords to vacate the Records about Ship-Money.
Upon the Report of the Right Honourable the Lords Committees, appointed to consider of the way of vacating of the Judgment in the Exchequer, concerning Ship-Money; it is ordered by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in the High Court of Parliament assembled, That the Lord-Keeper, or the Master of the Rolls, the two Lord Chief Justices, and the Lord Chief Baron; and likewise the Chief Clerk of the Star-Chamber, shall bring into the Upper House of Parliament, the Record in the Exchequer of the Judgment in Mr. Hambden's Case, concerning Ship-money; and also the several Rolls in each sevaral Court of the King's-Bench, Common-Pleas, Exchequer, Star-chamber, and Chancery: wherein the Judges extrajudicial Opinions in the Cases made touching Ship-money be entred; adn that a Vacat shall be made in the Upper House of Parliament of the said sevaral Records: And likewise the Judgment of Parliament, touching the Illegality of the said Judgments in the Exchequer, and the Proceedings thereupon, and touching the Illegality of the Extrajudicial Opinions of the Judges in the said several Courts concerning Ship money, be annexed and apostilled unto the same. And that a Copy of the Judgment of Parliament, concerning the Illegality of the said Judgment in the Exchequer, under the said Extrajudicial Opinions of the said Judges concerning Ship-Money, be delivered to the several Judges fo Assize; and that they be required to publish the same at the Assizes in each several County within their Circuits, and to take care that the same be entred and enrolled by the several Clerks of Assizes: And if any Entry be made by any Custos Rotulorum, or Clerk or Assize of the said Judgment in the Exchequer, or of the said Extrajudicial Opinions of the Judges, that sevaral Vacats be made thereof per Judicium in Parliamento, by Judgment in Parliament; and that an Act of Parliament be prepared against the said Judgment and Extrajudicial Opinions in the Proceeding touching Ship Money.
Vacatur istud Recordum & Judicium inde habitum per considerationem & Judicium Dominorum Spiritualium, & Temporalium in Parliamento, & Irrotulamentum eorum Cancellatur.
This Day the House of Peers sent to the Commons the Answer of the Earl of Strafford to the several Articles of Impeachment against him in the Lords House, containing above 100 Sheets of Paper.
Articles against the Archbishop carried up to the Lords, 26 Feb. 1640.
Likewise this Day the engrossed Articles against the Archbishop of Canterbury were read, and ordered to be sent up to the Lords, and were carried up by Mr. Pym, and Mr. Hampden, and Mr. Maynard.
And Mr. Pym coming to the Lords Bar to present them, spake as followeth:
Mr. Pym's Speech.
I Am commanded by the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses now Assembled for the Commons in Parliament, to deliver to your Lordships these Articles, in maintenance of their Charge against the Archbishop of Canterbury. Their desire is, That first your Lordships would be pleased to hear the Articles read; and then I shall endeavour to present to you the Sense of the Commons, concerning the Nature of the Charge, and the Order of their Proceedings.
Articles of the Commons assembled in Parliament, in maintenance of their Accusation against William Laud Archbishop of Canterbury; whereby he stands charged with High Treason, and other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Articles against the Archbishop.
- 1. That he hath traiterously endeavoured to subvert the Fundamental Laws and Government of this Kingdom of England; and instead thereof, to introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical Government against Law: And to that end, hath wickedly and traiterously advised his Majesty, That he might, at his own Will and Pleasure, levy and take Money of his Subjects, without their Consent in Parliament; and this he affirmed was warrantable by the Law of God.
- 2. That he hath for the better accomplishment of that his Traiterous Design, advised and procured Sermons, and other Discourses to be preached, printed, and published; in which the Authority of Parliaments, and the Force of the Laws of this Kingdom, have been denied, and absolute unlimited Power over the Persons and Estates of his Majesty's Subjects, maintained and defended; not only in the King, but in himself and other Bishops, against the Law: And he hath been a great Protector, Favourer, and Promoter of the Publishers of such false and pernicious Opinions.
- 3. He hath by letters, Messages, Threats, and Promises, and by divers other ways to Judges, and other Ministers of Justice, interrupted and perverted; and other times by means aforesaid, hath endeavoured to interrupt and pervert the Course of Justice in his Majesty's Courts at Westminster, and other Courts, to the subversion of the Laws of this Kingdom whereby sundry of his Majesty's Subjects have been stopt in their just Suits, deprived of their lawful Rights, and subjrcted to his tyrannical Will, to their Ruin and Destruction.
- 4. That the said Archbishop hath traiterously and corruptly sold Justice to those who have had Causes depending before him, by colour of his Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, as Archbishop, High Commissioner, Referree, or otherwise; and hath taken unlawful Gifts and Bribes of his Majesty's Subjects, and hath (as much as in him lies) endeavoured to corrupt the other Courts of Justice, by advising and procuring his Majesty to sell Place of Judicature, and other Offices, contrary to the Laws and Statutes in that behalf.
- 5. He hath traiterously caused a Book of Canons to be composed and published, without any lawful Warrant and Authority in that behalf in which pretended Canons, many Matters are contained contrary to the King's Prerogative, to the Fundamental Laws and statutes of this Realm, to the Right of Parliament, to the Property and Liberty of the Subject and Matters tending to Sedition, and of dangerous Consequence; and to the establishment of a vast, unlawful, and presumptuous Power in himself and his Successors: Many of which Canons, by the practice of the said Archbishop, were surreptitiously passed in the late Convocation, without due Consideration and Debate; others by Fear and Compulsion were subscribed by the Prelates and Clerks there assembled, which had never been voted and passed in the Convocation, as they ought to have been. And the said Archbishop hath contrived, and endeavoured to assure and confirm the unlawful, exorbitant Power, which he hath usurped and exercised over his Majesty's Subjects, by a wicked and ungodly Oath, in one of the said pretended Canons, enjoined to be taken by all the Clergy, and many of the Laity of this Kingdom.
- 6. He hath triaterously assumed to himself a Papal and Tyrannical Power, both in Ecclesiastical and Temporal Matters, over his Majesty's Subjects in this Realm of England, and in other Places, to the Disherison of the Crown, Dishonour of his Majesty, and Derogation of his Supreme Authority in Ecclesiastical Matters. And the said Archbishop claims the King's Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, as incident to his Episcopal Office, and Archiepiscopal in this Kingdom; and doth deny the same to be derived from the Crown of England; which he hath accordingly exercised, to the high Contempt of his Royal Majesty, and to the Destruction of divers of the King's Liege People, in their Persons and Estates.
- 7. That he hath traiterously endeavoured to alter and subvert God's true Religion, by Law established in this Realm; and instead thereof, to set up Popish Superstition and Idolatry: And to that end, hath declared and maintained in Speeches and printed Books, divers Popish Doctrines and Opinions, contrary to the Articles of Religion established by Law. He hath urged and enjoined divers Popish and Superstitious Ceremonies without any warrant by Law, and hath cruelly persecuted those who have opposed the same, by corporal Punishments and Imprisonments; and most unjustly vexed others, who refused to conform thereunto, by Ecclesiastical Censures of Excommunication, Suspension, Deprivation, and Degradation, contrary to the Laws of this Kingdom.
- 8. That for the better advancing of his traiterous Purpose and Design, he did abuse the great Power and Trust his Majesty reposed in him; and did intrude upon the Places of divers great Officers, and upon the Right of other his Majesty's Subjects, whereby he did procure to himself the Nomination of sundry Persons to Ecclesiastical Dignities, Promotions, and Benefices, belonging to his Majesty, and divers of the Nobility, Clergy, and others; and hath taken upon him the Commendation of Chaplains to the King; by which means, he hath preferred to his Majesty's Service, and to other great Promotions in the Church, such as have been Popishly affected, or otherwise unfound and corrupt both in Doctrines and Manners.
- 9. He hath for the same traiterous and wicked Intent, chosen and employed such Men to be his own Domestical Chaplains, whom he knew to be notoriously disaffected to the Reformed Religion, grosly addicted to Popish Superstition, and erroneous and unfound both in Judgment and Practice; and to them, or some of them hath he committed the Licensing of Books to be printed; by which means divers false and superstitious Books have been published, to the great scandal of Religion, and to the seducing of many of his Majesty's Subjects.
- 10. He hath traiterously and wickedly endeavoured to reconcile the Church of England with the Church of Rome: And for the effecting thereof hath consorted and consederated with divers Popish Priests and Jesuits, and hath kept secret Intelligence with the Pope of Rome; and by Himself, his Agents, and Instruments, treated with such as have from thence received Authority and Instruction; he hath permitted and countenanced a Popish Hierarchy, or Ecclesiastical Government, to be established in this Kingdom; by all which traiterous and malicious Practices, this Church and Kingdom hath been exceedingly endangered, and like to fall under the Tyranny of the Roman See.
- 11. He in his own Person, and his Suffragans, Visitors, Surrogates, Chancellors, and other Officers, by his Command, have caused divers Learned, Pious, and Orthodox Ministers of God's Word to be silenced, suspended, deprived, degrade, excommunicated, and otherwise grieved, without any just and lawful Cause: And by divers other means he hath hindred the preaching of God's Word, caused divers of his Majesty's Loyal Subjects to forsake the Kingdom, and increased and cherished Ignorance and Prosaneness amongst the People, that so he might the better facilitate the way, to the effecting of his own wicked and traiterous Design of altering and corrupting the true Religion here established.
- 12. He hath traiterously endeavoured to cause Division and Discord between the Church of England and other Reformed Churches; and to that end hath suppress'd and abrogated the Privileges and Immunities which have been by his Majesty and Royal Ancestors granted to the Dutch and French Churches in this Kingdom: And divers other ways hath expressed his Malice and Dissatisfaction to these Churches; that so by such distinction, the Papists might have more Advantage for the Overthrow and Extirpation of both.
- 13. He hath maliciously and traiterously plotted and endeavoured to stir up War and Enmity between his Majesty's two Kingdoms of England and Scotland; and to that purpose hath laboured to introduce into the Kingdom of Scotland, divers Innovations both in Religion and Government, all or the most of them tending to Popery and Superstition, to the great grievance and discontent of his Majesty's Subjects of that Nation And for their refusing to submit to such Innovations, he did traiterously advise his Majesty to subdue them by force of Arms; and by his own Authority and Power, contrary to Law, he did procure sundry of his Majesty's Subjects, and enforced the Clergy of this Kingdom to contribute towards the maintenance of that War: And when his Majesty, with much Wisdom and Justice, had made a Pacification betwixt the two Kingdom the said Archbishop did presumptuously censure that Pacification, as dishonourable to his Majesty; and by his Councils and Endeavours, so incensed his Majesty against his said Subjects of Scotland, that he did thereupon (by Advice of the said Archbishop) enter into an Offensive War against them, to the great hazard of his Majesty's Person and his Subjects of both Kingdoms.
- 14. That to preserve himself from being questioned for these and other his traiterous Courses, he hath laboured to subvert the Rights of Parliament, and the ancient Course of Parliamentary Proceedings, and by false and malicious Slanders to incense his Majesty against Parliaments.
By which Words, Counsels, and Actions, he hath traiterously, and contrary to his Allegiance, laboured to alienate the Hearts of the King's Liege People from his Majesty, and to set a Division between them, and to ruin and destroy his Majesty's Kingdoms; for which theydo impeach him of High Treason against our Sovereign Lord the King, his Crown and Dignity.
The said Commons do further aver, That the said William Archbishop of Canterbury, during the times the forementioned Crimes were done and committed, hath been a Bishop or Archbishop of this Realm of England, one of the King's Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Matters, and one of his Majesty's most Honourable Privy-Council; and hath taken an Oath for his faithful Discharge of the said Office of Councellor; and hath likewise taken an Oath of Supremacy and Allegiance.
And the said Commons by Protestation, saving to themselves the Liberty of exhibiting, at any time hereafter, any other Accusation or Impeachment against the said Archbishop, and also replying to the Answers that the said Archbishop shall make unto the said Articles, or any of them, and offering further Proof, also of the Premises, or any of them, or of any other Impeachment or Accusation that shall be exhibited by them, as the Cause shall, according to the course of Parliament, require, do pray that the said Archbishop may be put to answer to all every the Premises; and that such Proceedings, Examination, Tryal, and Judgment, may be upon every of them had and used, as is agreeable to Law and Justice.
The Articles being read, Mr. Pym proceeded as follows:
The remainder of Mr. Pym's Speech.
There is an Expression in the Scripture, which I will not presume either to understand, or interpret; yet to vulgar Eye, it seems to have an Aspect something suitable to the Person and Cause before you; It is Description of the Evil Spirits, wherein they are said to be Spiritual Wickednesses in high Places; Crimes acted by the Spiritual Faculties of the Soul, the Will and Understanding, exercised about Spiritual Matters, concerning God's Worship and the Salvation of Man, seconded with Power, Authority, Learning, and many other Advantages, do make the Party who commits them very suitable to that Description, Spiritual Wickednesses in high Places. These Crimes, my Lords, are various in their Nature, heinous in the Quality, and universal in their Extent. If you examine them Theologically, as they stand in Opposition to the Truth of God, they will be found to be against the Rule of Faith, against the Power of Godliness, against the Means of Salvation.
If you examine them Morally, as they stand in Opposition to the Light of Nature, to right Reason, and the Principles of Human Society; you will then perceive Pride without any Moderation; such a Pride as that is which exalts it self above all that is called God: Malice without any Provocation; Malice against Virtue, against Innocence, against Piety; Injustice, without any Means of Restitution, even such Injustice as doth rob the present Times of their Possessions, the future of their Possibilities.
If they be examined, my Lords, by Legal Rules in a civil way, as they stand in opposition to the Publick Good, and to the Laws of the Land; he will be found to be a Traytor against his Majesty's Crown, an Incendiary against the Peace of the State; he will be found to be the highest, the boldest, and most impudent Oppressor that ever was, an Oppressor both of King and People.
This Charge, My Lords, is distributed and conveyed into Fourteen several Articles, as you have heard; and those Articles are only general: It being the Intention of the House of Commons (which they have commanded me to declare) to make them more certain and particular, by preparatoy Examinations, to be taken with the help of you Lordships House, as in the Case of my Lord of Strafford. I shall now run through them with a light Touch, only marking in every of them some special Point of Venom, Virulency, and Malignity.
1. The first Article, my Lords, doth contain his Endeavour to introduce into this Kingdom and Arbitrary Power of Government, without any Limitations or Rules of Law. This (my Lords) is against the Safety of the King's Person, the Honour of his Crown, and most destructive to his People. Those Causes which are most perfect, have not only a Power to produce Effects, but to conserve and cherish them. The seminary Virtue, and the Nutritive Virtue in Vegetables, do proceed from the same Principles. It was the defect of Justice, the restraining of Oppression and Violence, the first brought Government into the World, and set up Kings, the most excellent way of Government; and by the maintenance of Justice, all Kinds of Government receive a sure Foundation and Establishment: It is this that hath in it an Ability to preserve and secure the Royal Power of Kings, yea, to adorn and increase it.
In the Second Article, your Lordships may observe absolute and unlimited Power defended, by Preaching, by Sermons, and other Discourses printed and published upon that Subject. And truly (my Lords) it seems to be a prodigious Crime, That the Truth of God and his holy Law, should be preverted to defend the Lawlesness of Men: That the holy and sacred Function of the Ministry, which was ordained for Instruction of Mens Souls in the Ways of God, should be so abused, that the Ministers are become the Trumpets of Sedition, the Promoters and Defenders of Violence and Oppression.
3. In the third Article, my Lords, you have the Judges, who under his Majesty are the Dispensers and Distributors of Justice, frequently corrupted by Fear adn Sollicitation; you have the course of Justice, in the execution of it, shamefully obstructed; and if a wilful Act of Injustice in a Judge be so high a Crime, in the Estimate of the Law, as to deserve Death, under what burthen of Guilt doth this Man lie, who hath been the Cause of great numbers of such voluntary and wilful Acts of Injustice?
4. In the fourth Article, he will be found in his own Person to have sold Justice in Causes depending before him; and, by his wicked Counsel, endeavouring to make his Majesty a Merchant of the same Commodity; only with this Difference, That the King by taking Money for Piaces of Judicature should sell it in Gross, whereas the Archbishop sold it by Retail.
5. In the fifth Article, there appears a Power usurped of making Canons, of laying Obligations on the Subjects in the Nature of Law; and this Power abused to the making of such Canons as are in the Matter of them very pernicious, being directly contrary to the Prerogative of the King, and the Liberty of the People. In the manner of pressing of them, may be found fraud and shuffling; in the conclusion, Violence and Constraint, Men being forced, by Terror and Threatening to subscribe to all: Which Power thus wickedly gotten, they labour to establish by Perjury; enjoyning such an Oath for the maintenance of it, as can neither be taken nor kept with a good Conscience.
6. In the sixth Article, you have the King robbed of his Supremacy; you have a Papal Power exercised over his Majesty's Subjects in their Consciences, and in their Persons: You have Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction claimed, by an incident Right, which the Law declares to proceed from the Crown.
And herein your Lordships may observe, That those who labour in Civil Matters, to set up the King above the Laws of the Kingdom, do yet, in Ecclesiastical Matters, endeavour to set up themselves above the King. This was first procured by the Archbishop, to be extrajudicially declared by the Judges, and then to be punished in a Proclamation: In doing whereof, he hath made the King's Throne but a Footstool for his own and their Pride.
7. You have, my Lords, in seventh Article, Religion undermined and subverted; you have Popery cherished and defended: You have this seconded with Power and Violence, by severe punishment upon those which have opposed this mischievous Intention: And by the subtil and eager Prosecution of these Men, hath the Power of Ecclesiastical Commissioners of the Star-Chamber and Council-Table, been often made subservient to his wicked Design.
8. My Lords, You may observe in the eight Article, great care taken to get into his own hand the Power of nominating to Ecclesiastical Livings and Promotions: You have as much mischievous, as much wicked Care taken in the disposing of these Preferments, to the hindrance and corruption of Religion. And by this means, my Lords, the King's sacred Majesty, instead of Sermons fit for spiritual Instructors, hath often had Invectives against the People, Encouragement to Injustice, or to the Overthrow of the Laws. Such Chaplains have been brought into his Service, as have, as much as may be, laboured to corrupt his own Household, and been eminent Examples of Corruption to others; which hath so far prevailed, as that it hath exceedingly tainted the Universities, and been generally dispers'd to all the chief Cities, the greatest Towns and Auditories of the Kingdom: The grievous Effects whereof, are most manifest to the Commons House there being dives hundred Complaints there depending in the House against scandalous Ministers; and yet I believe the hundredth part of them is not yet brought in.
9. The Ninth Article sets out the like Care to have Chaplains of his own that might be Promoters of this wicked and traiterous Design, Men of corrupt Judgments, of corrupt Practices, extreamly addicted to Superstition. And to such Mens Cares hath been committed the Licensing of Books to the Press; by means whereof many have been published that are full of Falshood of Scandals, such as have been more worthy to be burnt by the Hand of the Hangman in Smithfield (as I think one of them was) than to be admitted to come into the Hands of the King's People.
10. In the Tenth Article it will appear, how he, having made these Approaches to Popery, comes now to close and join more nearly with it; he consedarates with Priests and Jesuits; he, by his Instruments, negotiates with the Pope at Rome, and hath Correspondence with them that he Authorized from Rome here; he hath permitted a Roman Hierarchy to be set up in this Kingdom. And though he hath been so careful, that a poor Man could not go to the Neighbour Parish to hear a Sermon, when he had none at home; could not have a Sermon repeated, nor Prayer used in his own Family, but he was a fit Subject for the High Commission Court; yet the other hath been done in all parts of the Realm, and no notice taken of it by any Ecclesiastical Judges of Courts.
11. My Lords, You may perceive Preaching suppress'd in the Eleventh, divers Godly and Orthodox Ministers oppressed in their Persons and Estates. You have the King's Loyal Subjects banished out of the Kingdom; not as Elimelech, to seek for Bread in Foreign Countries, by reason of the great Scarcity which was Israel; but traveling abroad for the Bread of Life, because they could not have it at home, by reason of the Spiritual Famine of God's Word, caused by this Man and his Partakers: And by this means you have had the Trade, the Manufactory, the Industry of many Thousands of his Majesty's Subjects carried out of the Land.
It is a miserable Abuse of the Spiritual Keys, to shut up the Doors of Heaven, and to open the Gates of Hell, to let in Prophaneness, Ignorance, Superstition and Error. I shall need say no more, these Things are evident, and abundantly known to all.
12. In the 12th Article, My Lords, you have a Division endeavour'd between this and the Foreign Reformed Churches. The Church of Christ is one Body; and the Members of Christ have a mutual Relation, as Members of the same Body. Unity with God's true Church every where, is not only the Beauty, but the Strength of Religion; of which Beauty and Strength he hath fought to deprive this Church, by his manifold Attempts to break this Union. To which Purpose he hath suppressed the Privileges granted to the Dutch and French Churches: He hath denyed them to be of the same Faith and Religion with us: And many other Ways hath he declared his Malice to those Churches.
13. In the Thirteenth Article, as he hath fought to make an Ecclesiastical Division of Religious Difference between us and Foreign Nations, so he hath fought to make a Civil Difference between us and his Majesty's Subjects of the Kingdom of Scotland: And these he hath promoted by many Innovations there, press'd by himself and his own Authority. When they were uncapable of such Alterations, he advised his Majesty to use Violence. He hath made private and publick Collections towards the maintenance of the War, which he might justly call his own War; and with an impudent Boldness, hath struck Tallies in the Exchequer for divers Sums of Money procured by himself, pro defensione Regni; when by his Counsels, the King was drawn to undertake, not a Defensive, but an Offensive War.
14. He hath, lastly, thought to secure himself and his Party, by seeking to undermine Parliaments, and thereby hath laboured to bereave this Kingdom of the Legislative Power, which can only be used in Parliaments; and that we should be left a Kingdom, without that which indeed makes and constitutes a Kingdom, and is the only Means to preserve and restore it from Distempers and Decays. He hath hereby endeavoured to bereave us of the highest Judicatory; such a judicatory as if necessary and essential to our Government, some Cases of Treason, and others concerning the Prerogative of the Crown, and Liberty of the People. It is the Supream Judicatory, to which all difficult Cases resort from other Courts. He hath fought to deprive the King of the Love and Counsel of his People, and of that Assistance which he might have from them; and likewise to deprive the People of that Relief of Grievances, which they most humbly expect from his Majesty.
My Lords, The Parliament is the Cabinet wherein the chiefest Jewels both of the Crown and Kingdom are deposited. The Great Prerogative of the King, and Liberty of the People, are most effectually exercised and maintained by Parliaments. Here, My Lords, you cannot pass by this Occasion of great Thanks to God and his Majesty for passing the Bill; whereby the frequent course of Parliaments is established; which I assure my self he will by experience find to be a strong Foundation both of his Honour and of his Crown.
This is all, My Lords, I have to say to the Particulars of the Charge. The Commons desire your Lordships, that they may have the same way of Examination that they had in the Case of the Earl of Strafford; that is, to examine Members of all Kinds, of your Lordships House and their own, and others, as they shall see Cause; and those Examinations to be kept secret and private, that they may with more Advantage be made use of when the Matter comes to Tryal They have declared, That they reserve to themselves the Power of making Additional Articles; by which they intend to Reduce his Charge to be more particular and certain, in respect of the several Times, Occasion, and other Circumstances of the Offences therein charged. And that your Lordships would be pleased to put this Cause in such a quick way of proceeding, tha these great and dangerous Crimes, together with the Offenders, may be brought to a just Judgment.
The Archbishop sent to the Tower.
Upon the Reading of these Articles, the Lords made an Order, That the Archbishop should, on Monday following, being the first of March be removed from Mr. Maxwell's, and sent to the Tower; and that he and the Earl of Strafford should not come together. And so he continued a Prisoner without putting in his Answer, or petitioning for Tryal, or being further prosecuted for near two Years space; and then the Commons exhibited Additional Articles against him, and proceeded to his Tryal, as in its proper Place shall be shewn.