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cashire ; towards which pensions, I see no reason bu reading ministers, if they have rich benefices, should be charged.




Touching Church-maintenance, it is well to be weighed what is “jure divino," and what “ jure positivo.” It is a constitution of the divine law, from which human laws cannot derogate, that those which feed the flock should live of the flock; that those that serve at the altar should live at the altar that those which dispense spiritual things should reap temporal things; of which it is also an appendix, that the proportion of this maintenance be not small or necessitous, but plentiful and liberal. So then, that all the places and offices of the Church be provided of such a dotation, that they may be maintained, according to their several degrees, is a constitution permanent and perpetual: but for particularity of the endowment, whether it should consist of tithes, or lands, or pensions, or mixt, might make a question of convenience, but no question of precise necessity. Again, that the case of the Church “ de facto” is such, that there is want in the Church of patrimony, is confessed. For the principal places, namely, the bishops livings, are in some particulars not sufficient; and therefore

enforced to be supplied by toleration of Commendams, things of themselves unfit, and ever held of no good report. And as for the benefices and pastors places, it is manifest that very many of them are very weak and penurious. On the other side, that there was a time when the Church was rather burdened with superfluity, than with lack, that is likewise apparent; but it is long since; so as the fault was in others, the want redoundeth unto us. Again, that it were to be wished that impropriations were returned to the Church as the most proper and natural endowments thereof, is a thing likewise wherein mens judgments will not much vary. Nevertheless, that it is an impossibility to proceed now, either to their resumption or redemption, is as plain on the other side. For men are stated in them by the highest assurance of the kingdom, which is, act of parliament; and the value of them amounteth much above ten subsidies; and the restitution must of necessity pass their hands, in whose hands they are now in possession or interest.

But of these things which are manifestly true, to infer and ground some conclusions. First, in mine own opinion and sense, I must confess, let me speak it with reverence, that all the parliaments since 27 and 31 of Henry VIII. who gave away impropriations from the Church, seem to me to stand in a sort obnoxious, and obliged to God in conscience to do somewhat for the Church, to reduce the patrimony thereof to a competency. For in thay have barred Christ's wife of a g

were reason they made her a competent jointure Next to say, that impropriations should be only charegd, that carrieth neither possibility nor reason Not possibility, for the reasons touched before : not reason, because if it be conceived, that if any other person be charged, it should be a re-charge, or double charge, inasmuch as he payeth tithes already, that is a thing mistaken. For it must be remembered, that as the realm gave tithes to the Church, so the realm since again hath given tithes away from the Church unto the king, as they may give their eighth sheaf or ninth sheaf. And therefore the first gift being evacuated, it cannot go in defeasance or discharge of that perpetual bond, where with men are bound to maintain God's ministers. And so we see in example, that divers godly and well-disposed persons, not impropriators, are content to increase their preachers livings; which, though in law it be but a benevolence, yet before God it is a conscience. Farther, that impropriation should not be somewhat more deeply charged than other revenues of like value, methinks, cannot well be denied, both in regard of the ancient claim of the Church, and the intention of the first giver: and again, because they have passed in valuation between man and man somewhat at the less rate, in regard of the said pretence or claim of the Church in conscience before God. But of this point, touching Church-maintenance,

I do not think fit to enter into farther particularity, but reserve the same to a fitter time,

Thus have I in all humbleness and sincerity of heart, to the best of my understanding, given your Majesty tribute of my cares and cogitations in this holy business, so highly tending to God's glory, your Majesty's honour, and the peace and welfare of your states : insomuch as I am persuaded that the papists themselves should not need so much the severity of penal laws, if the sword of the Spirit were better edged, by strengthening the authority, and suppressing the abuses in the Church.

To conclude, renewing my most humble submission of all that I have said to your Majesty's most high wisdom, and again, most humbly craving pardon for any errors committed in this writing ; which the same weakness of judgment that suffered me to commit them, would not suffer me to discover them, I end with my devout and fervent prayer to God, that as he hath made your Majesty the corner-stone, , in joining your two kingdoms, so you may be also as a corner-stone to unite and knit together these differences in the Church of God; to whose heavenly grace and never-erring direction, I commend your Majesty's sacred person, and all your doings.

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The pains* that it pleased you to take about some of my writings, I cannot forget ; which did put me in mind to dedicate to you this poor exercise of my sickness. Besides, it being my manner for dedications, to choose those that I hold most fit for the argument, I thought, that in respect of divinity and pocsy met, whereof the one is the matter, the other the stile of this little writing, I could not make better choice : so, with signification of my love and acknowledgment, I ever rest

Your affectionate Friend,


* Of translating part of the Advancement of Learning into Latin.

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