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of my time: but that which is better, I can affure this confuter, I have read into them all. And if I want any thing yet, I shall reply fomething toward that which in the defence of Muræna was answered by Cicero to Sul. pitius the lawyer. If ye provoke me (for at no hand else will I undertake such a frivolous labour) I will in three months be an expert councilist. For, be not deceived, readers, by men that would overawe your ears with big names and huge tomes that contradict and repeal one another, because they can cram a margin with citations. Do but winnow their chaff from their wheat, ye shall see their great heap shrink and wax thin past belief. From hence he passes to inquire wherefore I should blame the vices of the prelates only, seeing the inferiour clergy is known to be as faulty. To which let him hear in brief; that thofe priests whose vices have been notorious, are all prelatical, which argues both the impiety of that opinion, and the wicked remiffness of that government. We hear not of any which are called nonconformists, that have been accused of scandalous living; but are known to be pious or at least sober men. Which is a great good argument that they are in the truth and prelates in the errour. He would be resolved next, 6. What the corruptions of the universities concern the prelates ?" And to that let him take this, that the Remonstrant having fpoken as if learning would decay with the removal of prelates, I showed him that while books were extant and in print, learning could not readily be at a worle pass in the univerfities than it was now under their government. Then he seeks to justify the pernicious fermons of the clergy, as if they upheld fovereignty; whenas all Christian sovereignty is by law, and to no other end but to the maintenance of the common good. But their doctrine was plainly the diffolution of law, which only fets up sovereignty, and the erecting of an arbitrary sway according to private will, to which they would enjoin a slavish obedience without law; which is the known definition of a tyrant, and a tyrsonised people. A little beneath he denies that great riches in the church are the baits of pride and ambition ; of which errour to undeceive him, I shall allege a reputed divine

authority, authority, as ancient as Constantine, which his love to antiquity must not except against; and to add the more weight, he shall learn it rather in the words of our old poet Gower than in mine, that he may see it is no new opi. nion, but a truth delivered of old by a voice from Heaven, and ratified by long experience.

“ This Constantine which heal hath found,
Within Rome anon let found
“ Two churches which he did make
- For Peter and for Paul's sake:
66 Of whom he had a vision,
And yafe thereto poffeffion
“ Of lordship and of worlds good;
« But how so that his will was good
“ Toward the pope and his franchise,
“ Yet hath it proved otherwise
« To see the working of the deed:
" For in cronick thus I read,
" Anon as he hath made the yeft,
“ A voice was heard on high the left,
" Of which all Rome was adrad,
" And said, this day venim is shad
" In holy Church, of temporall
" That meddleth with the spiritual ;

And how it ftant in that degree,
“ Yet may a man the footh fee.
" God amend it whan he will,
“ I can thereto none other 1kill."

But there were beasts of prey, saith he, before wealth was bestowed on the church. What, though, because the vultures had then but small pickings, shall we therefore go and fling them a full gorge? If they for lucre use to creep into the church undiscernibly, the more wisdom will it be so to provide that no revenue there may exceed the golden mean ; for so, good pastors will be content, as having need of no more, and knowing withal the precept and example of Christ and his Apoltles, and also will be less tempted to ambition. The bad will have but small matter whereon to set their mischief a work, and the worst and subtlest heads will not come at all, when they shall see the crop nothing answerable to their capacious greediness; for small temptations allure but dribbling offenders; but a grcat purchase will

call call fuch as both are most able of themselves, and will be most enabled hereby to compass dangerous projects. But, faith he, "a widow's house will tempt as well as a bishop's palace.” Acutely spoken ! because neither we nor the prelates can abolish widows houses, which are but an occasion taken of evil without the church, there

fore we Thall set up within the church a lottery of such - prizes as are the direct inviting caufes of avarice and

ambition, both unnecessary and harmful to be proposed, and most easy, most convenient, and needful to be removed. “Yea but they are in a wise dispenser's hand." Let them be in whose hand they will, they are most apt to blind, to puff up, and pervert, the most seeming good. And how they have been kept from vultures, whatever the dispenser's care hath been, we have learned by our miseries. But this which comes next in view, I know not what good vein or 'humour took him when he let drop into his paper ; I that was ere while the ignorant, the loiterer, on the sudden by his permission am now granted " to know something." And that “ such a volley of expreffions" he hath met withal, “ as he would never desire to have them better clothed.” For me, readers, although I cannot say that I am utterly untrained in those rules which best rhetoricians have given, or unacquainted with those examples which the prime authors of eloquence have written in any learned tongue; yet true eloquence I find to be none, but the serious and hearty love of truth : and that whose mind soever is fully poffeffed with a fervent desire to know good things, and with the deareft charity to infuse the knowledge of them into others, when such a man would speak, his words (by what I can express) like so many nimble and airy servitors trip about him at command, and in well-ordered files, as he would wish, fall aptly into their own places. But now to the remainder of our discourse. Christ refused great riches, and large honours at the devil's hand. But why, faith he, “ as they were tendered by him from whom it was a fin to receive them.” Timely remembered : why is it not therefore as much a fin to receive a liturgy of the masses' giving, were it for nothing else but for the giver? 6 But he could make no use of such a high estate," quoth

the

the confuter ; opportunely. For why then should the servant take upon him to use those things which his master had unfitted himself to use, that he might teach his ministers to follow his steps in the same ministry? But “they were offered him to a bad end." So they prove to the prelates, who, after their preferment, most usually change the teaching labour of the word, into the unteaching ease of lordship over consciences and purses. But he proceeds, “God enticed the Israelites with the

Dental they had left out that instance. Besides that it was then the time, whenas the best of them, as St. Paul saith, "was shut up unto the faith der the law their schoolmaster," who was forced to entice them as children with childish enticements. But the gospel is our manhood, and the ministry should be the manhood of the gospel, not to look after, much less so basely to plead for earthly rewards. “But God incited the wiselt man Solomon with these means.' Ah, confuter of thyself, this example hath undone thee; Solomon asked an understanding heart, which the prelates have little care to ask. He asked no riches, which is their chief care ; therefore was the prayer of Solomon pleasing to God; he gave him wisdom at his request, and riches without asking, as now he gives the prelates riches at their seeking, and no wifdom because of their perverse asking. But he gives not over yet, “ Moses had an eye to the reward." To what reward, thou man that lookeft with Balaam's eyes ? To what reward had the faith of Moses an eye? He that had forsaken all the greatness of Egypt, and chose a troublesome journey in his old age through the wilderness, and yet arrived not at his journey's end. His faithful eyes were fixed upon that incorruptible reward, promised to Abraham and his feed in the Messiah; he fought a heavenly reward, which could make him happy, and never hurt him, and to such a reward every good man may have a respect; but the prelates are eager of such rewards as cannot make them happy, but can only make them worse. Jacob, a prince born, vowed that if God would " but give him bread to eat and raiment to put on, then the Lord should be his God.” But the prelates of mean birth, and ofttimes of lowest, making show as if they were called to the spiritual and humble ministry of the gospel, yet murmur, and think it a hard service, unJess, contrary to the tenour of their profession, they may eat the bread and wear the honours of princes: so much more covetous and base they are than Simon Magus, for he profered a reward to be adınitted to that work, which they will not be meanly hired to. But, faith he, “ Are not the clergy members of Christ, why should not cach member thrive alike?" Carnal 'textman! as if worldly thriving were one of the privileges we have by being in Christ, and were not a providence ofttimes extended more liberally to the infidel than to the christian. Therefore must the ministers of Christ not be over rich or great in the world, because their calling is spiritual, not fccular; because they have a special warfare, which is not to be entangled with many impediments; because their master Christ gave them this precept, and set them this example, told them this was the mystery of his coming, by mean things and persons to subdue mighty ones: and lastly, because a middle estate is most proper to the office of teaching, whereas higher dignity teaches far less, and blinds the teacher. Nay, faith the confuter, fetching his last endeavour, “the prelates will be very loth to let go their baronies, and votes in parliament," and calls it “God's cause,” with an infufferable impudence. “ Not that they love the honours and the means,” good men and generous ! “but that they would not have their country made guilty of fuch a sacrilege and injustice !” A worthy patriot for his own corrupt ends. That which he imputes as facrilege to his country, is the only way left them to purge that abominable sacrilege out of the land, which none but the prelates are vuilty of; who, for the discharge of one single duty, receive and keep that which might be enough to satisfy the labours of many painful ministers better deserving than themselves ; who possess huge benefices for lazy performances, great promotions only for the execution

would

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