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But who considers duly of thine ire ?
Or doth the thoughts thereof wisely embrace ?
If thy displeasure thou dost not refrain,
Teach us, O Lord, to number well our days,
Thereby our hearts to wisdom to apply;
This bubble light, this vapour of our breath,
Return unto us, Lord, and balance now,
With days of joy, our days of misery;
Then shall thy servants both with heart and voice,
Begin thy work, O Lord, in this our age,
Shew it unto thy servants that now live;
Our handy-work likewise, as fruitful tree,
not deny, but this judgment is, as I said before, o the nature of God's judgments; of the which it is a model. For as the judgment of God taketh hold o the least sin of the impenitent, and taketh no hold of the greatest sin of the convert or penitent; so excommunication may in case issue upon the smallest offence, and in case not issue upon the greatest : but is this contumacy such a contumacy as excommunication is now used for? For the contumacy must be such as the party, as far as the eye and wisdom of the Church can discern, standeth in state of reprobation and damnation : as one that for that time seemeth given over to final impenitency. Upon this observation I ground two considerations: the one, that this censure be restored to the true dignity and use thereof; which is, that it proceed not but in causes of great weight; and that it be decreed not by any deputy or substitute of the bishop, but by the bishop in person; and not by him alone, but by the bishop assisted.
The other consideration is, that in lieu thereof, there be given to the ecclesiastical court some ordinary process, with such force and coercion as appertaineth ; that so the dignity of so high a sentence being retained, and the necessity of mean process supplied, the Church may be indeed restored to the ancient vigour and splendour. To this purpose, joined with some other holy and good purposes, was there a bill drawn in parliament, in the three-andtwentieth year of the reign of the queen deceased; which was the gravest parliament that I have known;
and the bill recommended by the gravest counsellor of estate in parliament ; though afterwards it was staid by the queen's special commandment, the nature of those times considered.
TOUCHING NON-RESIDENTS AND PLURALITIES.
For non-residence, except it be in case of necessary absence, it seemeth an abuse drawn out of covetousness and sloth: for that men should live of the flock that they do not feed, or of the altar at which they do not serve, is a thing that can hardly receive just defence; and to exercise the office of a pastor, in matter of the word and doctrine, by deputies, is a thing not warranted, as hath been touched before. The questions upon this point do arise upon the cases of exception and excusation, which shall be thought reasonable and sufficient, and which not. For the ease of chaplains, let me speak that with your Majesty's pardon, and with reverence towards the other peers and grave persons, whose chaplains by statutes are privileged : I should think, that the attendance which chaplains give to your Majesty's court, and in the houses and families of their lords, were a juster reason why they should have no benefice, than why they should be qualified to have two: for, as it standeth with Christian policy, that such attendance be in no wise neglected ; because that good, which ensueth thereof to the Church of God, may exceed, or coi tervail that which may follow of their labours in a though never so large a congregation ; so it we reasonable that their maintenance should honoural and liberally proceed thence, where their labours employed. Neither are there wanting in the Chur dignities and preferments not joined with any exa cure of souls; by which, and by the hope of whic such attendants in ordinary, who ought to be, as f the most part they are, of the best gifts and sol may be farther encouraged and rewarded. And : for extraordinary attendants, they may very we retain the grace and countenance of their places an duties at times incident thereunto, without discont nuance or non-residence in their pastoral charge Next for the case of intending studies in the univei sities, it will more easily receive an answer ; fo studies do but serve and tend to the practice of thos studies : and therefore for that which is most princi pal and final to be left undone, for the attending o that which is subservient and subministrant, seemet! to be against proportion of reason. Neither do ) see, but that they proceed right well in all knowledge, which do couple study with their practice ; and do not first study altogether, and then practise altogether; and therefore they may very well study at their benefices. Thirdly, for the case of extraor- | dinary service of the Church ; as if some pastor be sent to a general council, or here to a convocation; and likewise for the case of necessity, as in the particular of infirmity of body, and the like, no man will *** contradict, but that there may be some substitution for such a time. But the general case of necessity is the case of pluralities; the want of pastors and insufficiency of livings considered, “posito,” that a man doth faithfully and incessantly divide his labours between two cures; which kind of necessity I come now to speak of in the handling of pluralities.
For pluralities, in case the number of able ministers were sufficient, and the value of benefices were sufficient, then pluralities were in no sort tolerable. But we must take heed, we desire not contraries. For to desire that every parish should be furnished with a sufficient preacher, and to desire that pluralities be forthwith taken away, is to desire things contrary ; considering, “ de facto,” there are not sufficient preachers for every parish : whereunto add likewise, that there is not sufficient living and maintenance in many parishes to maintain a preacher ; and it maketh the impossibility yet much the greater.
The remedies “ in rerum natura” are but three ; union, permutation, and supply. Union of such benefices as have the living too small, and the parish not too great, and are adjacent. Permutation, to make benefices more compatible, though men be over-ruled to some loss in changing a better for a nearer. Supply, by stipendiary preachers, to be rewarded with some liberal stipends, to supply, a they may, such places which are unfurnished of su ficient pastors : as queen Elizabeth, amongst oth her gracious acts, did erect certain of them in Lan