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FTER this spake the Earle of Northampton, to this effect.
Though some of Platoes followers, and those not of the meanest rancke, have rather apprehended in conceyte then demonstrated by streight lines that nothing is which hath not bene before, if it were possible to take right observations out of true records, and that all counsels and attempts as well as configurations and aspects return as it were ex postliminio, by revolution to the poynt from whence they first began, yet if my ephemerides fayle me not in setting up the figure of this late intended Plot, I may confidently pronounce with a grave senator, repertum est hodierno die facinus quod nec poeta fingere, nec histrio sonare, nec mimus imitare poterit [today a crime is discovered such as no poet could imagine, no actor could enunciate, no mime could imitate], so desperatly malicious, and so unkindly and unseasonably fruitful is our age in producing monsters, when the force and heate of charitie decayes, and so violent are the damned spirits of Satans blacke guard now before the winding up of the last bottome of terrestiall affayres, in spinning finer threeds of practise and conspiracie under the maske of piety and zeale, which the spirit of truth termeth most significantly spiritualis nequitia in coelestibus [a spiritual evil in the heavenly bodies].
Upon this ground I am moved at this instant, Master Garnet, to addresse my discourse to you, not so much in respect of your owne person, aut quia te nostra sperem prece posse moveri [or because I should hope you to be moved by my entreaty], (though from my heart I pitie the shamefull shipwracke of your obedience and conscience upon so false a sande), as for their sakes that have not yet learned in our Saviour that in one element a man cannot duobus servire dominis [serve two masters], and withall in the King our soveraignes behalfe to exact at your hands (that hold the hearts of many followers by lease for life) a precise account of the lives of all those castawayes, quos vel apud te perditos invenit vel per perdidit [either ruined men he has found in your company, or ruined by means of yourself]. For either you that are an object unto many watching eyes may bee drawen by Gods grace working with my charitable wishes to lament, not the bad successe (for so do men that are desperate), but the wicked purpose and intent of this crying sinne (which is proper only to the penitent), or bee brought so farre at the least out of the blacke deepes of induration, with the mother of Petrus Lombardus, as to be sory that you cannot be sory.
The streights of time, the length of the triall, and the wearinesse of the auditors, may be and are great discouragements to such a discourse as craves time, and were better not begun at all then not perfected. But since the Law and the Prophets in this case in hand stand chiefly as the groundworke of deposing kings and absolving subjects from that right which they owe to their owne naturall and lawfull soveraignes by the lawes of God and man, I shalbe forced in discharge of duty at this instance to borrowe so much time of these attentive hearers as must bee payd againe forthwith to the service of the State. For otherwise vae mihi, as the Prophet threatens, qui tacui [woe is me, for I have kept silent]. And yet wee may conclude with another of the same rank that, etiamsi tacuero, clamabunt lapides [even if I keep silent, the stones will exclaim].
But first I am to let both you and the whole world know that you are not called this day to the barre for any matter of your conscience, as some perhaps may publish out of rancour or perversitie of heart, to set a fairer glosse upon the ground of your profession. Since the first time of your comming to the Counsell board, you have not beene so much as asked any question about the places of your resort, the supporters of your imploiment, or the meanes of your maintenance before the Powder Project, which hath no kinde of affinity with religion or caution, but with fury and implacability came to bee resolved on by a packe of boutefeaux [firesbrands], though you cannot bee ignorant what the Parliament hath decreed, and some persons of your society have suffered in the late Queenes time for presuming to exercise a kind of jurisdiction within this realme that neither policie of State can admit, nor alleageance can justifie. I will adde somewhat more for the greater improvement of the Kings mercie, and the more just aggravation of your ingratitude. You are not pressed to any perill of your life with publishing those Bulles, which in the Queenes time neither had (as by confession appeares) nor could have had any other end then the forestallment of the Kings lawfull claime, when the fruite should fall from the wasted tree, and the fainting sunne (whose beames about that time began to wax both dim and waterish) must of necessity set in our hemisphere.
The Kings free pardon (which, as the times stood then, should have called for a melius inquirendum [a better inquiry] before it had found passage without obstruction of any doubt) was applied by you and others of your ghostly complices to many festered and filthy ulcers of this kinde. By this free pardon (so farre as you have not since relapsed into worse attempts) even your selfe, Master Garnet, stand at this present rectus in curia [innocent in the courtroom], wherein though it become mee not to descant about the measures and proportions of my masters infinit grace, yet I may taxe you for the bad requitall of so high a benefit, and lament the Kings misfortune, that like an eagle was in so great peril of receiving wounds (almost to the death) by the quils of his owne clemencie. These are not the true grounds, nor proper motives of your standing forth. But your art in cherishing, your malice in encouraging, your impietie in strengthening a kinde of practise never heard nor thought upon before in any age, against the life of the most gracious and just King that ever raigned on either side of Trent, of a Queene renowned both for her owne worth and for her happy fruit, and of a Prince whom without assentation I may bee bold to call the sweetest and fairest blossome that ever budded, either out of the white or the red rosary. Gods Law forbids a man that would live long and see cheerefull dayes to destroy matrem cum filiis [a mother with her sons], even in those creatures that are not images of the deitie. But you, Master Garnet, out of your anoynted influence of superabundant grace, endevoured you best and uttermost to broose the very neast-egge of this royall and hie flying ayerie, if it had beene possible. Peeres, bishops, knights, burgesses, judges, serjeants, and all sorts of officers were drawn in by a writ of corpus cum causa to this feu de joy [bonfire], that it might blase more gallantly. It is not the wearing of a crucifix, which you compare to the signe of Tau, that could have secured any of your owne affection if they had bene left unwarned, though it had bene hallowed at Rome. No relique (in stead of the red list that was a token of protection to Rahab and her family) could have distinguished a Catholicke from a Protestant when Guy Fawkes had the match in his hand. No kinde of holy graines could have added the weight of one graine to the reputation of any Romanist, after once the hand of Greenwell had written the sense of the Hebrew word trecell upon the wall, that is, appensi in statera, inventi sunt minus habentes, being waked in the skoles [scales] of your Schooles, should have bin found overlight in the ballance. Your ende, as I imagine, was according to the threats of the Stoicks to purge this world by fire, or in some way with Democritus, to create a new world ex atomis, or because Catesby did set Thomas Pearcies offer light, which was tollere unum [to kill one man], your desire was by this one act tollere not the man but humanitie, not unum but unitie. The plot wherof Livie speakes, of dispatching the whose Senate of Rome in an houre, the device at Carthage to cut off one whole faction by one enterprise, the conspiracie of Brutus and Cassius to kill Caesar in the Senate, the project of destroying in one conclave the greatest part of the Cardinalls, the Sicilian Evensong, and the Parisian Mattins, nay, the wish of Nero, that Rome had but one head, which he might cut off at one blow, came farre short to the mischiefe of this invention, which spared neither age, sex, nor degree. And therefore I confesse, if Catesby your disciple were alive, thus farre he might vaunt and without exception, that he had surmounted and transcended Catiline in the spheare of his owne treacherie. But thus we learne by Tertullian, that favos etiam vespae faciunt, waspes aswell as bees make combes, though instead of hony we find gunpowder.
Surely this was not the fire that appeared unto Moyses in the burning bush. It was not the fire that should purge the sonnes of Levi, though your Levites conceived so. It was not the fire which was cast into the world by Christ with a purpose that it might burne. It was not that by which men shall be saved that build over weakely upon the true foundation of faith. But it resembles most lively that false fire which began to glimmer post commotionem, quando in commotione non erat dominus [after the commotion, when the Lord was not in the commotion]. It is like to that strange fire which Nadab and Abihu would have offred upon Gods altar with a zeale that was preposterous,. It hath the wasting qualitie of that wilde fire, which issuing ex rhamno, out of the bramble would have destroyed the stately cedars of Libanus. Nay, to speake properly or draw nearest to the nature of that quicke dispatching fire, which you and your disciples, Master Garnet, utterly despairing to draw downe from heaven (because you know that such a like demaund received a repulse while Christ was conversant on earth among your betters) sought by a tricke to obtaine at the hand of Sathan (the great master of the fire-workes), and as the poet writeth, flectere cum nequeas superos, Acheronta movebas [when you could not bend the gods above, you moved Acheron]. But God wrought so, that by this fire (since per illum fides proborum collucet [since by Him the faith of the righteous shines]) the faith of subjects that are dutifull doeth shine more brightly, and the State winnes honour. Looke not now therefore that the ladies of Israel shall meete you with the timbrels in the honour of this attempt, for all actions are not praise-worthy which some persons of your profession studie to enamell with pretence of godlinesse. In thinking of Telemachus, wee set little by Astianax. Easily may affections wander where the rules of conscience doe shift, and we finde that umbra is not ever eo maior quo serior [shadow is greater as it is later]. But if bloody passions can thus farre prevaile in arido [in arid soil], what hope is there of better proofe in viridi [in fertile], which in comparison is but linum fumigans [smouldering match]. You seeke to rayse your glory out of your sinne, but quae est gratia? What thanke is it to you according to the demaund of an Apostle, if for your evill deserts you suffer stripes? For what the Jewes objected to our Saviour (though impudently) we dare speake truely and confidently to all those that were privy to this packe with you, that non de bono opere lapidantur, sed de blasphemia [men are stoned, not for good works, but for blasphemy]. Saint Augustine speaketh of some hote headed fellowes in his time, that notwithstanding their life led in this world more latronum [in the manner of thieves], yet in their ends affected cultum et honorem martyrum [the cult and honors of martyrs]. Among whome I shall ever ranke (with just cause) these powder men. But if, as Saint Peter saith, bene facientes patienter sustinetis [you do well, suffering with patience] (which is farre from the rage of your hote spirits), haec est apud Deum gratia [this is grace in God’s eyes], which your projects merit not. These are perhaps the dayes which Nabal meant, complaining, hodie increbuisse servos qui fugiunt [today there are many runaway slaves], nay, which is worse, qui persequuntur dominos [who persecute their masters]. And therefore if you will not learne of Balaam to beware of speaking more then that which God putteth into your mouth, yet howsoever passions may spurre you forward, learne of Balaams asse to shrink when you finde the angel of Gods wrath opposed, lest as Abigail spake religiously and wisely to King David, cum mors advenerit, when death shall approach, who stands upon the threshold and beginnes at the dore of your heart, sit tibi in singultum, it cause you to sigh inwardly, not quod effuderis, sed quod effundere volueris, not for having shedde, but because you would have shedde blood that is most innocent.
How well the project of supplanting princes and subverting states agrees either with the title of a Jesuite, or the duetie of a priest, who should rather temper passion then disclaime charity, the Pharises themselves expresse in teaching non licere, that it was not lawfull for them to kill any man. Much lesse would they, as it is more then probable in the warpe of youth, when their haire began to waxe as white as snow, have taken eyes into their heads like burning glasses to give fire to this traine. And yet truth it selfe hath said (which both sides must beleeve) that unlesse our righteousnesse exceede theirs, we must not expect to be heires of eternity. It will be long before some of you can protest with Paul that you are mundi, cleane and pure from all mens blood, or with Gregorie to Mauritius the Emperour, that hee would never miscere se in cuiusquam mortem [involve himself in the death of any man], or cal mind either the piety of that godly bishop in a better time, that would not suffer those hands to be imposed on his head by ordination that were respersae sanguine [blood-spattered], or the mishap of David that might not reare the Temple for the staining and embruing of his hands with blood. Resort to the very text it selfe (or, if it please you, to your owne Canons) to enquire whether Paules restraint of entermedling with secular affaires were injoyned with a non obstante [without objection], so farre onely as concerned projects and plots for gunpowder. Your safest course, Master Garnet, as I suppose, is to stay your judgement with that staffe of old Jacob, whereof mention is made in Genesis, in these breake-necke passages, that is, with the advised sentence which he pronounced against Levi the father of succeeding priests, for killing the sonnes of Hemor after circumcision, the same being in that case as well a bonde of promise, as a seale of faith, since I do verily beleeve that the Protestants accord with the Catholiques in more poynts of fayth and grounds of doctrine at this day, then those of Sichem did with Jacob and his family. By resolving this passage into parts, wee shall finde a great resemblance both in the point of fact and in the resolution of right with this present case, upon which we have reason to fixe both our eyes and observation. For first Jacob out of conscience and humanitie resolves non ituram animam suam in consilio Levi, that his soule should never march into the counsell of Levi, nec in coetu illorum futuram gloriam, nor his honour shine in their society. What is the reason? Because in their rage they have slaine a man (much lesse then the destruction of a prince with his posteritie and whole estate). Et in malitia suffoderunt murum, and in their malice digged downe a wall. Which in my opinion eyther misseth hardly one haire, or very narrowly, your projects invention, in digging at the wall of the Parliament. What is Jacobs sentence upon the fact? Maledictus illorum furor quia pertinax, et indignatio quia dura [cursed be their rage because it is stubborn, and their indignation because it is harsh], which curse in a more lively maner (if possible it be) then the very fact it selfe suites the comparison. For who knoweth not that when malice taketh hold of humour only, as fire doeth of straw, though it cause a great blaze at the first kindeling, yet it is quickly spent and onely the smoake remaines? But when it taketh hold of conscience, as fire doeth of steele, quod tarde acquisivit diu retinet [what it acquires slowly it long retains], then such marks are monuments. Touching the title which Jacob bestoweth for their labors, calling them vasa iniquitatis bellantia [contentious vases of iniquity], I may protest that both you and Greenwell, and all they that were privie to this accursed Plot, deserve this stile upon better ground than Simeon and Levi, by so much as your indignation compared with theirs by due circumstances, was by infinit degrees durior, more hard then theirs. For though the feate (Gods name be praised) were not fully wrought, yet you know, Master Garnet, who it is that compriseth our consent both within the compasse and the censure of a deadly sinne, and what Father saith that quod deest operi inest voluntati [what is missing from the deed is present in the will]. The Common Law would punish treason int he very heart, if the eye of inquisition could extend so farre, and therefore the providence of God in preventing by His mercie this destruction is no discharge to your intention in contriving it. By the course and recourse of times and accidents, wise men observe that very seldome hath any mischievous attempt bene undertaken for disturbance of a state without the counsell and assistance of a priest in the first, the middle, or last acte of the tragedie, and that all along with such a chorus of confederates to entertaine the stage, while the lives and fortunes of great princes being set upon the tenterhookes, have put all in hazard. For while Moyses stoode in conference with God upon the Mount, his brother Aaron impatient (as for the most part churchmen are in their desires) of pauses or delayes, fell instantly to mould and worship the Golden Calfe, to their commaunders vexation and Gods dishonour. Abiathar was condemned for complotting with the Sunamite and Joab lieutenant generall against his soveraigne. With what distemper and disorder some priestes have rocked the cradle of the Churches infancie in raysing heresies (the seeds of factions) only to that ende, no man can be ignorant that hath run over the Churches histories.
Odo Bishop of Bayon was imprisoned by his brother the first William as a stirrer of sedition, and after conspired with Robert, Earle of Mortaigne, to depose his sonne, against whom also Geffrey Bishop of Constance fortified in actuall rebellion the castle of Bristoll. The captivitie of the lyon-hearted Richard, champion of the holy warres, was by the practise of Savaricus Bishop of Bathe. Gervas the great preacher entred with Lewis the French kings sonne, purposing to root up the race of our kings, and to plant himselfe and his progenie. Of the rebellious armie that usurped against Henry 3 the title of exercitum Dei [God’s army] (although by the Popes Legate reputati sunt filii Belial [they were adjudged the sons of Belial]), clerici fautores erant [priests were favorers] sayeth the monke of Chester. For conspiracy against the first Edward was the Archbishop of Canterbury exiled the kingdom. And before that Isabel the wife of the second durst undertake the plot of deposing her husband by a damnable device for the raysing of her sonne, she sent in a packe of preachers posyned with prejudice against the present State, to prepare the peoples mindes by false suggestions to the change which was intended to follow. And Adam de Orleton Bishop of Hereford that was the first deviser, continued the chiefest feeder of that dissention betweene the husband and the wife, taking occasion in a sermon preached at Oxford in the presence of the Queene and all the rebels, upon that text of the Scripture caput meum doleo [I feel anguish in my head] to expresse by depravation of his lawfull soveraigne how many mischiefs grew to the Common wealth by a corrupted head that governed them. For ayding the enemies of Edward 3 was the Bishop of Hertford arraigned. And the chaplaine of Wat Tyler that advised his chieftaine (as you, Master Garnet, did your followers) to destroy all the clergie and nobilitie, was Balle, a Masse priest. With Glousters Duke against his soveraine Richard was Oswold Bishop of Gallaway the chiefe complotter. Priests and friers they were that suborned a false Richard against the fourth Henry, whereof eight being Minors were hanged at Tiborne, and Maudelin himselfe that tooke upon him the habit and person of the King was a priest also to keepe them companie. Scroope the Archbishop of Yorke, for complotting a conspiracie with the Earle of Northumberland against the same King, lost his head for his labour. Beverley an anoynted priest, not to be behinde some other of his fellowes in the seditious attempts, conspired against the fift Henrie with the Lord Cobham Sir John Oldcastle.
I have seene the copie of a learned and wise letter written by Bishop Cicheley, a prelate of your owne, Chancellour to that King, gravely advising him to beware of admitting a Legate resident in the realms in respect of the sharpe effects by stirres that have been raysed in former times by persons of that habit, poynting as it were to Henry Beauford, who afterward was both author and actor of more mischiefe then almost could be expected or feared.
They were priests and friers that in the first of Edward the Fourth conspired with Jasper Earle of Pembroke, and were afterward attainted and executed by Acte of Parliament.
Doctor Shaw was a priest, whom Richard the Third made the trumpet at Paules Crosse of his wrongfull claime against the rightfull possession of his innocent nephewes.
That imposter that suborned Lambart to take upon him the person and usurpe the right of the Duke of Yorke against the blessed union of the two roses was a priest in Ireland. Wherein I note that, as a priest would then have forestalled, so now to priests, Greenwell and Garnet, would have cut off the Union. Hee was a monke of Henton that intised the Duke of Buckingham by seducing hopes to the ruine of as great a house as any subject in Europe (bearing not the surname of a king) can demonstrate, whereof both I receive a wound, and all that descend of him.
I speake not of those Popes that, exercising more the sword of Paul with passion then the keyes of Peter with instruction, have bene kindlers of great broyles, nor of the three powerfull Cardinalles, Yorke, Lorraine, and Arras in our age, that during their times were not much answerable for sloth or idlenesse, whatsoever they are otherwise for time ill imployed, being persons of great spirit and too great activitie, nor of those churchmen that by their doctrine in the pulpit and subscription of hands to trayterous decrees, embased the two daughters of King Henry the Eight, both before and after the death of King Edward the Sixt, for satisfaction to the pride and ambition of an aspiring humour.
I passe over the brainsicke opposition of Knox and Goodman against the two renowned Majesties, both Queenes of Scotland, Regent and inheritrice in our dayes, nor of the fierie triplicitie of Ballard, Clarke, and Watson, of which number the first practised the slaughter of the Queene deceased, the other two of the King our soveraigne. I rip not up the complots of Sergius the monke to bring the Turke into the Empire of the East, nor of those false prophets that established the race of Xarif in Barbarie. My only drift and purpose is to compare former practises with the late attempt (though farre exceeding and surmounting all that went before) to make true subjects see for the better triall and examination of spirits, that as well some priests in Christendome as those Salii that were chaplaines to Mars at Rome in the reigne of idolatory, tooke delight by fits in tossing firebrands from campe to campe for the inflammation of evil affections and worse practises. But the circle of a crowne imperiall cannot be souldered, if it once received the smallest cracke. Sinewes that are cut in sunder can never knit, neither is it possible that there should be integralis unitas in solutione continui [integral unity in continual dissolution]. I will therefore conclude this point with the grave and learned judgement of Sozomen, an ancient writer of the Church Primitive,universim accidere in sacerdotum dissidiis ut respublica motibus et turbis agitetur, that it happens generally in the dissentions of priests, that the Common wealth it selfe is shaken with the convulsions of conspiracie.
It is very probable, Master Garnet, that the late Queene, in case the thread of her worne life could have beene spunne further on toward these mistie dayes (that have somewhat overcast the brightnesse of your entising hopes upon the setling of this State in the succession of so rare a King) should have run some strange hazard both of her State and person among your mynes and powder traines (having in deede imbrued her sword in the blood of some choise persons of your societie by the warrant of her lawes), since this sweete Prince our soveraigne, that before his comming alwaies wrote his lawes in milke, and ever since hath bene very carefull not to write in blood, can thus hardly either by his owne gracious deserts, or his Councels incessant care, bee secured from the shambles. I have not read, neither doe I beleeve, that the murther of any anoynted king hath bin accounted in any religious or just age either an acte of prowesse or a steppe to martydome. I could not have thought, without this demonstration of proofe, that any man had bin left in the world since the death of George Buchanan to proclaime prices for the slaughter aswell of kings as of tygers. But if it were not unpossible (which now I finde with griefe of heart) for any one sparke of loyaltie to live in an ocean of immoderate and exorbitant affections, surely I should have expected from you and your friends, Master Garnet, effectes of better inclinations toward so milde and gracious a Prince, as never searcheth ulcers but with a shaking hand, and in searching all, hath a more earnest desire non invenire quod quaerit, quam invenire quod puniat [not to find what he seeks, than to find something to punish]. For, to speake trueth without flattery (which I abhorre as the canker of all generous and worthy mindes), have not both you and yours received and enjoyed many favours from the King, which in all likelihood were not in the last time to bee looked for? Would the late Queene, thinke you, have bestowed honour by laying the sword of knighthood upon the heads of so many Catholicks, as the King hath done since his entrance? Would the Queene have allowed unto all, or to any, of the Recusants that free kinde of accesse both to her person or to her Court, which the King hath done (not onely upon just occasions, but for their comfort), and in effect, at their pleasure, without making any separation betweene those that before his comming saluted the faire promise of his hopefull day, and others that would have prevented it? Was not the gate of justice opened Troiano Tirioque to Protestants and Catholicks alike, with that indifferent and equall regard that it hath bin since to the shutting up of those mouthes that were most mutinous? Was the late Queene so confident in the fidelitie of any Catholicks, as to employ them without distrust to forraine princes in embassie? Would the Queene have called the chiefe Catholicks to her Counsel board, that upon the laying open of their just complaints, they might have redresse with favour? Might the Recusants of best haviour and countenance in the late Queenes time live in their owne countries, dispose of their estates and tenants, and enjoy their pleasures, without any other mulct then the former lawes had layd on them? Was it free for Recusants in those dayes, that had bin cast behinde in arrerages (for want of answering their payments in due time to the Crowne) to compound with a commission directed onely to that ende, almost for what tearme and at what rates he might best satisfie? Did the compassion of the late Queene extend so farre in favour of Recusants, as to put them in possession of their whole states, drawn out of the farmers handes upon due proofe made of spoile, without further damaund of any other contribution or taxation then the law limited? Was it any part of the late Queenes care, to give order for the chastisement of informers and messengers that prayed upon the prostrate fortunes of Recusants with harder measure then the justice of the State warranted? Was it free for subjects of all affections and religions (during the late Queenes life) that delighted in the warres to serve what prince or state it pleased them, without either exception or punishment? Did the late time leave it to the choice of yong gentlemen that had licence to travaile, during the time of their abode in forraine partes, to frequent places, courts or companies they would, without yeelding an account at their returne of their adventuring? Had it bin possible to have drawen from the late Queene either restitutions or pensions for the maintenance of Recusants, in respect of service done to antecessors or ancestors? Was the late Queene as cautious and tender in forbearing to take the lives of priests and Jesuites upon the point of summum ius, before she were made acquainted by the judges thoroughly with the state of their evidence? Was any magistrate ever called to his answere for proceeding in cold blood against a priest, that for want of meanes to procure a pardon had bin kept in prison since the time of the Queene deceased? Was the late Queene ever pleased that in the pardon generall at the closing up of the Parliament, priests and Jesuites should bee comprised in the list, and among others you and Greenwell, that at the first opening of the spring resorted thither with as violent a thirst as every you did to Jubile, and yet in recompense thereof since that time have bin well content that the distributor of so great a portion of grace and bountie should be blowen up by your boutefeaux [firebrands]? A man would thinke in likelihood, that both you and all they that were incouraged and warranted in this attempt by you, having received at the hands of so gracious a King so many talents in a royall kind of trust, should rather have studied by your best endevours to encrease the stocke, then to lesse the principall by burying your talent under ground among the powder works, especially considering that our King is not like the other mentioned in S. Luke, homo austerus qui tollit quod non posuit, et metit quod non seminat [a harsh man who takes up what he did not put down, and reaps what he does not sow], but rather desirous with Moyses to be raced out of the booke of life, with Paul to be made anathema for common good of those subjects that live under him. Our royall master travailes not as other did in longinquam regionem ut accipiat regnum, into a forraine region to obteine a kingdome, but brought a kingdome with him out of the next region to ours, that hereafter we may live unanimes, that have been so long severed and divided in fraternitie. But such are the qualities of many men, and especially of you and your complices in this complot, that as one saith, non tam agant gratias de tribunatu, quam queruntur quod non sunt evecti in consulatum [they are not as grateful for the tribuneship as they are vexed that they have not been elevated to the consulship]. But when you, or any man of your affection and humour, shalbe able out of quintessence of wit, or positions of State, or grounds of common sense to proove that a Prince as opposite to your religion as you are to his, and that vowes to set up his whole rest and adventure not onely of all his crownes but of his life and succession upon those principles of faith (which hee hath sucked from his infancie with his nurses milke), to take a milder course with the Catholikes then hee hath hitherto done, without offence or scandale to the tender conscience of his owne Church, which he doth chiefly regard, I will acknowledge that you had more reason to bemoane your selves (which is the furthest period of a subjects power) then (as your case is now) I can admit, looking into sundry circumstances of perill with a single eye which is neither daselled with selfe love, nor distracted by slight appearance. For though you may perhaps conceive that there wanted somwhat to the ful measure of your vaste desires, yet all men know that you prevailed farre above the likelihoode of any reasonable hope, which may move you to call to minde with more evenly poized thoughts that judgement of a wise author, that inter voluptates tam numeratur id quod habes, quam id quod speras [there are accounted among your pleasures the thing which you have, as well as that for which you hope], a good rule for a perverse interpreter.
The quicke sand upon which you plant the great artillery of your sentences and decrees against the states and persons of all princes that square not with your rules, I take to be that idle impression, rather than true supposition, of a certaine kind of prerogative thought to bee left by our Saviour to his spouse the Church in deposito for the deposing of princes upon conviction of contumacie, from their seat of government. For as the great philosophers conclude the whole world to be composed of three certaine concurrent principles, that is, Matter, Forme, and Privation, holding the last of the three to bee rather a principle of transmutation than of embellishment, so likewise the Schoolmen within these last sixe hundred yeeres have dragged into the discipline a new kinde of privation also beside the matter (which is the flocke), and the forme which is the government. And this privation hath undoubtedly metamorphosed as many states and policies as the other hath done shapes and figures, if either the complaints of majestie or the smart of patience may be accounted of in our audit. I confesse with the woman of Samaria, that this well is not onley deepe, but that I want the bucket which from such a well may be fit to draw. For every plummet is not for every sound, nor every line for every levell. Neither is it possible out of every blocke to carve Mercury. But yet since it is confessed by Robert Winter, Rookwood, Guy Faulx, and others, that their error in beleeving this conclusion upon the warrant of a learned man (which, as appeareth now, was your selfe) hath beene the greatest cause and the strongest motive of their fatall fault, since in like sort it agreeth fitly with my desire to reduce as many of those silly erring sheepe that followed Absalom, sed corde simplice, et penitus causam ignorantes [but simple of heart and quite ignorant of the cause], as I can from your Acheldama or ager sanguinis [field of blood] (considering how many priests have practised in these late yieeres to sound points of war) it were as meete that somewhat were set downe for confutation as for caution. And therefore I have bin the more willing to engage my zeale and duety, though perhaps above the measure of my strength, upon this argument, et quantum in me est [and as much as is in my power] to shake the whole foundation of future conspiracies.
But before that I prepare my selfe to this encounter, or that I enter into this narrow list (wherein I expect as many adversaries as there bee men that have humours to limit or to conquer kings), I hold my selfe bound in duety as well as drawen in method, to wipe away that weake excuse which you make of your disloyall heart in publishing this doctrine of curbing, suspending, or deposing princes of high estate upon this ground onely, that in forreine parts you found it neither severely taxed nor capitally punished. To let go that maxime which bindes all sorts of subjects to frame their actions rather to the law of the countrey wherein the live then wherein they wander, and likewise the great improbability of so grosse ignorance in your selfe and your friends, as not to take notice of a poynt of state so deeply rivited in all the courts of justice within the realm, I must tell you further also that princes feare not those fires which are kindled in forraine states, before that some sparke light either upon their neighbours houses or their own palaces. Idle lookers on and franke adventurers have not an equall sense of the danger which the shippes and vessels richly freighted endure at the sea, either by false pirats or foule weather. Qui sani sunt, according to your constuction of sanitas, Master Garnet, nec medicis egent, nec metuunt medicinam [Those who are in good health neither want physicians nor fear medicine]. Their eares are very dull and unapt to musike that cannot keepe time when fortune plaies, and all sorts of instruments are set in one key to make full harmonie. So long doeth the great brood hen clocke her chickens as she takes them to be hers, but if once they flie from the protection and safe defence of her wings, she leaveth them as a pray to the puttocke [the hawk]. I will search no further then our owne time for satisfaction in this poynt, how far princess would bee patient in case they were as violently pursued and plyed as the King our soveraigne hath bene, then by observing what kinde of obedience hath bene performed by some of that ranke when they were shot with the same arrowe. For any men are very slacke in making hue and cry after the theefe that stealeth their neighbours goods, which are very forward to fly with the wings of an eagle when they find themselves pressed in their owne particular. Et hic si fuerint sentient aliter [And if men would be in this position, they would feel otherwise], and in like cases wise men out of experience resort to like remedies.
But if there be no drugs in your shop to purge that sharpe humor that hath bene the cause of so many burning feavers and distempers in this State, then your diacatholicon [nostrum], I may tell you plainely, that it strive so much against the stomack of the King, and worketh upon nature with that violence and loathsomnesse as he doeth rather chuse to feele the paine then take the pill, and to endure the worst of the disease then to make the best use of that remedy. In this case he wil trust his owne receipts that are made familiar by time and use, leaving other princes to their owne free choise, which may make al drugs to taste in their mouths like manna, that is agreeable to their owne appetite. Princes cannot bee too suspitious when their lives are sought, and subjects cannot be too curious when the State brandles. I remember that when Jouah tooke notice of a single man that came from Jericho, standing with a sword in his hand ready drawen, he asked instantly, noster es an adversariorum? art thou of our side, or of our adversaries? Directing us that are now in commission, as it were by line and leavell, in what maner and with what caution wee should examine you and Hall (since Greenwell is out of our reach), for you draw not one sword (as the other did), but two at once (that is, both the spirituall and the temporall against our soveraigne), and to enquire withall at what time, and in what place, and upon what advantage you and your suborned confederats intend to wound his royall Majestie.
For since wee finde that to secure litigious possessions that lie subject to surprise, it is usuall and ordinary, even among persons meerely private (so long as they live in feare) to sound the dispositions and affections of their owne dependents, followers and tenants, upon suspition of a false tricke, at a dead lift, it much more behoveth great princes (upon whom whole states and successions depend) to take the surest hold that is possible of their subjects affections and hearts, least if they should chance in the day of triall not to bee nostri sed adversariorum, and thereby draw their swords of another side and deceive the trust that is reposed in their faith, we might, with Rachael, plorare filios nostros quia non sunt [bewail our sons, for they are not ours] and cal for help too late, when destruction were in the doore of desolation.
This doctrine, Master Garnet, is not drawen out of the fusty vessels, as some call them, nor from the lees of the latter times which you suspect. It caries not the least taste of prejudice or festered suspition upon particulars. It knew no difference either of name or reputation betweeene Catholike and Protestant when it was first set on broach by those princes, states, and divines which are accounted Catholikes, and some of them canonized for Saints in the rubrickes of your owne religion. For proofe whereof you shall find a patent in the records graunted to one Whaleton for the seaching of all shippes and vessels inward or outward bound in the Port of London, and for the sifting of all persons likewise, qui bullas vel alia Papalia instrumenta deferebant [who have brought Bulls or any other Papal instruments]. In the same Princes raigne, Sir William Brian was sent to the Tower only for procuring the Popes Bull against certaine burglerers that robbed his house, quamvis abundans cautela non noceat [though abundant caution should not be incriminating] by the civill law, and the Bulles themselves were adjudged prejudiciall to the Kings prerogative. With these I match Stephanus de Malolacu, sharply fyned in the rayne of Edward 1 for putting a Bull in execution against a certaine knight his adversary without acquainting first the King or the Counsellours. Roger Sherbrooke was called in question for procuring Bulles from Rome in contemptum regis et coronae exhaeredandae periculum [for holding in contempt the danger of disinheriting King and Crown], which was the best construction that was then made of these traverses. Edward the Second sent a commission, as appeareth by records, to inquire of any processe or sentence brought over from Rome into this land se inconsulto, without his privitie. It appeareth againe in the time of Edward the Third, all the ports were layd for interception of Bulles by the Kings order. To the Archbishop of Ravenna was graunted a safe conduct at his comming into England by the same King, with this proviso, that hee should onely report sanctas Papae exhortationes [the Pope’s holy exhortations], but neither send out processe nor give sentence in coronae et regni praeiudicium [in prejudice of Crown and realm]. It was not lawful in those dayes to bring in any letters either from the Pope or any forraine prince, without imparting them first to the Chancellour or the Warden of the Quinque Portuum, which in time of the best correspondence, as it seemes to me, implies weake confidencie. Edward the Third give instructions to certain noble men that were to treat of a peace with France in the presence of the Pope, to proceed with great caution, that, is, not tanquam coram iudice, sed coram privata persona [not as if before a judge, but before a private person], and not as in figura iudicii, sed amicabiliter [not with courtroom formality, but in friendly wise]. When the Scots would have had all differences between both kingdomes referred to the conscience and discretion of the Pope, the Peeres of England utterly refused to give their assent, though the Kings owne facilitie should incline so far, because their King, as they vouched, was not to make his answere in matters of that quality before any judge whatsoever vel ecclesiastico vel seculari, either ecclesiasticall or secular. To bee short, these sparks of jelousie were so far kindled between the Church of Rome and our ancestors in former times, although they were no Lutherans nor Hugenotes (as our countreymen are tearmed in these dayes) but as Catholickes according to the Romane catechisme, that an order was set downe by the wisdome of the State, that the Popes Collector at his first arrivall on our coast should sweare solemnly to be faithfull to his Crowne, to attempt nothing to the Kings prejudice, or in disgrace of the lawes established, to put none of the Popes orders in execution to the weakening of the Kings prerogative, to deliver no mandates or letters from the Pope before they had bene viewed and allowed by the Councell of the King, to write nothing to the Pope from hence without the Kings leave, to deale no further in the businesse of benefices then the Privy Councell should allow, nor without the Kings Privie Seale to depart out of the kingdome.
These poynts are tender, and such as during peace were never offred by the Kings of England to the ministers of any other forrein prince, and yet we read of no such invectives or decrees against Prince and State, as in our dayes are ordinarie. Other princes in like manner stood upon their guard, and with like circumspection, as is evident by Philip le Beau the French King, who, being advertised of the Popes peremptory proceeding upon the committing of a bishop for evill words against himselfe, inquired of all his Peeres both ecclesiasticall and temporall at a publike convention how farre hee might rest assured of their fidelitie and loyaltie notwithstanding that decree, who answered unanimo consensu se illius tantummodo esse beneficiarios [with unanimous consent that here were obliged to him alone], and that what Pope or potentate soever durst adventure to put out his hornes or to raise his creast by opposition to royall prerogative, they would live and die with him.
If princes that were absolutely Catholikes, according to the Romane list, that were directed by one Canon, tuned by one wrest, obedient to the voyce of one high shepheard, and betweene whom and the Pope there was but cor unum et anima una [one heart and one soul], found so just cause and so great reason (notwithstanding union in points of conscience, and orders of conformitie) to be tender and suspicious of their temporall prerogative, and to cast a watchfull eye upon the Popes encroaching steppes in quarters that perteined neither to the churchyard nor the Church, how much more jealous ought true subjects and sworne servants in our dayes to be of that Princes state, who being (as the case standeth now) susteined and fed by another roote, directed by the voyce of other pastors, and as careful to reforme as his antecessors to conforme, while they sayled by another compass, and upon another coast? And whosoever will not bee instructed by the recordes, let him search in the vaults and the powder-traines of the Parliament. If in the time of Henry the Second (who touching point of conscience was obedientissimus ecclesiae filius [a most obediant son of the Church]) Vivian the Popes Legate was precisely sifted and examined by the Bishops of Ely and Winchester (that were of his owne profession, and ware the same badge) by what warrant he durst presume to land without special licence from the King, and therefore gave othe in verbo veritatis [on his word of truth] to doe nothing against the Kings authoritie, how much more watchfull and reserved ought this State to bee in admitting Greenwell, Hall, and Garnet with their Buls and censures, in regis et coronae praeiudicium, without inquisition or search, since their ende is not, as before, implere manum, to fill the hand, but to replenish the churchyard, and to stirre up all conceited or discontented men to the taking of armes against their lawfull and redoubted soveraigne King James? And though the Pope shewing himselfe (in this point more moderate and discreete then other of his predecessors, hath not as yet cut off the King formally as a withered or unfruitfull branch, yet to their precipitate and brainsick giddinesse it was thought sufficient that the Pope on Maundie Thursday censures schismatikes in generall (though the most judicious among the Schoolemen, divines and canonists on their part, hold directly ad oppositum, and dare not warrant any conscience according to the rules of their own discipline), by that censure which wee may probably conceive to be more narrative than active in respect the processe followes not. This record concerning Henry the 2 drawes to my memory a message of the same effect sent by a Scottish legate by Alexander the King of Scotland after that time. For it is true, that Legate purposing to assesse every parish at foure markes of silver, and ever monasterie in that kingdome at twenty times so much for the supply of maintenance to the warres in the Holy Lande, was commaunded by King Alexander intra regni fines consistere, to stay upon the border of the realme, et per literas mandata exponere, and by letter to deliver his instructions. For neither Scotland could forbeare or spare so great a summe as the Legate would exact, neither (albeit the realme could) yet his meaning was to send it by so unlucky a messenger as the Legate was, complayning that he had bin robbed of the money gathered in forraine states before, to the losse both of his owne labour and the charities of other Catholikes. In conclusion, a faire offer was made of men for encrease of strength, which was not the Legates ayme, but of no treasure to fill coffers, which was the chiefe and ende. And a thousand markes were sent to the Pope as a meere benevolence, which sealed up the drift and purpose of this ambasie. This answere was exceedingly commended by the King of England, qui idem expertus sapiebat, who having tasted of the same cup, grew wise, as I find by Hector Boetius a Romane Catholike. I meane not in this place to insert or adde the judgment of a Scottish bishop, that these kinde of exactions were tyrannie, advising further all that state in a full convention that the Legate might not onely be sent away empty handed and with like successe to those which, as the Prophet sayes, dormierunt somnum suum, et nihil invenerunt viri divitiarium in manibus suis [men who slept their sleep, and have found nothing of riches in their hands]), but further than acte might passe in that assembly to cut off all such errands by provisionall accord, as might in futuro tend to the states impoverishment, which was universally agreed and determined.
I did very well approve, and was glad to heare the distinction and difference which you made in one part of your speech, betweene the King our soveraigne (that was never swathed in the bands, nor daunced in the lappe of the Romane Church) and other princes Romane Catholikes, that were first incorporated by union, and after cast off for their contumacie. For this is somewhat, though I hold it not to bee sufficient. And beside that, every graine in measure is well gotten at your hand, that held the ballance so unevenly and unstedily, that the passage also of S. Paul prohibiting the Church, or at the least confessing himselfe prohibited to judge those qui foris sunt [who are outside], as you repute the King inclined to that side, which your owne admission and exposition doth beare. But as it is unpossible for any man that is not a perfect Gileadite without lisping to pronounce shibboleth, howsoever otherwise they drunke water [on bended knees]. So the mischiefe is, that you flee too suddenly from that foundation which your owne hands had fastened, and upon the question asked, what you would thinke of any sentence privative proceeding from the Pope against our King, in case this man, or any successor of his should heereafter take any course differing from that moderation which hath bene used hitherto? your vocales or vowels were changed into mutes, your demonstrations into doubts, and your eloquence into so deepe silence as the passing bel might have bin tolled for a man so quickly striken speachlesse with one demaund to make your last testament, ut unusquisque Theophrasti discipulum te posset agnoscere [so that every man might recognized you as a student of Theophrastus].
It now remaines that, in discharge of promise and for satisfaction of curiositie, I make it cleare by the fairest evidence, the most pure and uncorrupted witnesses, and with the shortest cut that my compasse in so vaste an ocean wil admit, that none of the Patriarks before the Law, none of the priests and Prophets under the Law, nor Christ or his Apostles at the last expiring of the old Law, nor any of the godly bishops that governed the Church of God for the space of one thousand yeeres in auditu novo, by the new Law, did ever exercise, approve or claime that kind of jurisdiction or any branch of it, that is extended to deprivation of right, suspension from rule, or sequestration from royaltie. For this I take to be that ball of wildefire which hath caused so great losse of lives and states by combustion in monarchies.
Before the Law, though it pleased God upon the breach of his decree to drive Adam out of Paradise (the lively figure of the Church) that in poenam culpae [suffering penalty for his sin] he might worke for that sudore vultus [by the sweat of his brow] which before sprung up naturally beneficio creatoris [as his Creator’s benefice], yet hee left him monarch of the universall world, a course farre different from the maner of proceeding among many of those Roman pastours, which claiming the dispensation of St. Peters keyes κατ᾿ ἐξοχλούς, have onely by the strength and vertue of that supposed warrant sought upon displeasure, and often causa inaudita [the case untried], not onely to expell great princes out of the state of grace, but very often also to strip them out of the robes of majesty.
In the sequestration of ungodly Cain a Dei facie, from the face or presence of God (which is in effect the same censure which the Church useth this day tradendo Sathanae [in handing over to Satan], because these two lordes are in one regiment incompatible), we read not that immediately upon the sentence this grievous sinner was set up for a reproachfull marke whereat either justice might shoot or errour might ayme, as the King our soveraigne, who hath bene roaved and pricked at of late. For so far was the providence of God from arming any creature in this world to the least harm , much lesse the disinherison of Cain. And for so much as concerned life, he set upon him his owne marke of sure defence, with a seven fold curse against any that should ridde him out of the way, and beside left him a large scope wherein to walke upon his owne ground almost all the world over. To these two I will onely adde a third, which is Esau the lost child, whom (notwithstanding deprivation of that heavenly blessing by which all nations should by the merite of the blessed seede and holy Covenant in plenitudine temporis [in the fullness of time], prefixed by His providence, bee reconciled to Himselfe), yet wee finde that hee was inlarged in his temporall possession, secured in his person, and increased far and neere in the wide spread of his posteritie. Nay, that which maketh more to the blemish and reproofe of our rash emprickes, that can hit upon no other way to cure diseases then by letting blood, I inferre, and that upon a sure foundation, that Jacob, Esaus yonger brother, but yet by mercy the true and lawfull heire to the promise, and the chiefe commaunder after Esaus fall among the Saints of God, did a long time after not only call him dominum, his lord, which the Holy Ghost approveth by the title which is given by Sara to her husband, to be a word of power, but falling prostrate in an humble manner at his feete with words expressing as great love as reverence, did respectively and truely honour him. For nondum venit hora [the hour had not come], nor many thousand yeeres after, wherein persons excommunicated must ex consequente be deprived of dominion rather then left to Gods chastisement.
Betweene the rootes of Juda and Levi by the Law of Moyses, the separations and distances are so wide as neither need to crosse anothers walke, to intermeddle with anothers office, or to eclipse anothers dignitie. Beside, I observe that among all the conditions affirmative and negative, positive and privative, religious and politique, that are enjoyned by the first institution to kings, this kind of tenure holden of Aaron or his successors ad placitum [at pleasure], is neither expressed in the graunt, embroydered on the skirt, nor engraven in the seate of his office, unlesse some will argue that the kings of Juda were aswel bound to submit their scepter to the priests direction as to receive the booke of the Law at their hands, though we find that it was entailed by strong words to the tribe of Juda, without any reservation of superintendencie. Beside, the plague which God doeth threaten with His owne mouth to send princes in his anger, and hypocrites propter peccata populi, for the peoples sinne, were meerely idle if it were free for us at al times upon these visitations and sharpe corrections, by the Popes helpe either to abate our penance, or to ende our punishment. It is expressed and improved in the Scriptures, as a portion of the divine prerogative, to chastise kings; then belike no part of a priestes jurisdiction, that is confined to another element. Per Deum regnant reges, by God they reign, then not at the Popes pleasure. Of God onely they hold their crownes and dignities, then not bound by divine lawes to yeeld up their crowns in manus papales [into Papal hands], in feare of processe, as some more fearefully then royally have done in other ages when the Popes summond them. From His mouth they receive their charge, therefore to Him onely and no other they are bound to yeeld a just account of their stewardship. It is sayd by holy Job that God placeth kings in their thrones in perpetuum, then farre from these weake tenures by copy of court roll, at will, or in courtesie. But suppose they waxe violent and apt to quarrell upon the pride of their owne strength, who shall censure them with any prejudice to their estates? Not the pastor by commission, but God by prerogative. It is the propertie of God Himselfe regna transferre et consistuere [to transfer and establish kingships], if wee beleeve the Prophet Daniel, and of no pastor upon earth. And Hee will take it for as great presumption in any mortall man that caries spiritum in naribus [breath in his nostrils], and is but earth and dust, to call His viceregents to account, as any earthly prince would esteem in any ordinary subject, to oppose or strive against his deputies. God giveth no commandment in His Law for observation whereof wee neede to aske leave of any deputie subordinate, for then were man more absolute in his election then God in His ordinance. The reverent regard which Aaron had of Moyses in respect of the civill strike may tender unto all the sonnes of Adam (how high or how great soever) that live under kings a scale whereby to take the true latitude of a pastors libertie, so farre as concernes this comparison. For no man shall averre that God did ever give a state to any prince (so as the same were meerely independent upon the challenge of any superiour commaund), but He made him likewise free from checke in the scope of his soveraigntie. If then the question bee put in this sort, as it ought (before it work that effect which you desire), whether the Crowne of England remayne free from dependencie upon superiour commaund or not. If Symancha, Navarre, Sylvester, or any of the Scholasticall divines will either examine our recordes or resort to our Parliament, where matters of like qualitie ought to bee argued and decided, because according to the rules of all divines religion alters not the formes of civil governments, or search the reports of the Popes owne rolls, undoubtedly they would receive the same answere which Popes in former times have had, and with the same quick dispatch that our antecessors in this case have thought to be requisite.
By observing with carefull heed the respective maner which was used to the kings of Israel and Juda by the legall priests upon their transgression in those matters and degrees which are now drawen within the compasse of the censures of the Church, it will appeare that within the five bookes of Moyses and all the stories of the kings, no one decree, reason, or example can bee found to make good the formall processe which within some few hundreds of yeeres have bin rashly put in practise against kings and emperours, upon supposition of contumacie. For though I graunt that many of them did erre, and in the same degrees, yet not one flower of their crownes was blasted, no not one haire on their heads ruffeled, nor one graine of their royall dignitie diminished. I doubt not but if more many priests that were deposed during the practise of the legall centuries by anointed kings, and those of the best kinde also, as David, Solomon, Joas, Ezechias, and Josias, there could be drawen but one example of a king deposed by a Leviticall anoynted priest, all the Schooles and pulpits of Italy would ring of it. But it falles out happily, ut quod praecepto non iubetur, exemplo caret [that that which is not enjoyned by precept lacks an example].
It were hard to picke out any grievous sinne against the first table of the Law whereof Saul was not guilty in his declining dayes, for he despayred in Gods protection, hee consulted with Sathans instruments, hee slew the Prophets. And yet it is cleare that ex solo indelebili unctionis charactere, onely by the character of regall unction uncancellable, he was so farre priviledged and secured as well against lay practises as Leviticall decrees, that David himselfe entitles him christum domini, Gods anointed (which may seeme strange even after God had appoynted David himselfe to bee anoynted in his place). And the same king and Prophet likewise forbeares at two sundry times to take those advantages against him upon fit occasion which the lawes of God and man allow against an unlawful usurper to a magistrate, with a non obstante from above to moderate.
But one instance above all closeth up the mouth of contradiction it selfe, and unlooseth the hardest knots that the Gordians of our age can devise to tye upon so smoothe and playne a thred. For God Himselfe by His own injunction layes a heavie charge upon his owne elect, without all shifts of Equivocation or opposition, during time of their distresse, while they sate mourning by the streames of Babylon, and hanged their harpes upon the willowes, that they should not only quaerere pacem illius civitatis, seeke the peace of that state, which was the seate of their exile by divine direction, but (which is much more pregnant to this purpose) that they should pray for it, et in pace illius civitatis suam stabilirent pacem, and in the peace of that state politicke, enfold, settle, and establish their owne peace and tranqulitie. So hard it is for the policies or passions of men either to worke or to dispence against the directions of God. And so farre is the purpose and providence of God from leaving the raynes of order loose in the necke of precipitate audacity.
Now, Master Garnet, whether your scope and drift hath bene to pray for the peace and prosperitie of the Kings estate (which of necessitie must enjoy the priviledge of Babylon, if you will needes accompt it Babylon), I will not appeale to your owne seared conscience, but that hymne Gentem auferto perfidam, fowly wrested and abused by your wreckfull rage.
And touching the second point, whether you have sought to enwrap the peace of your profession in the peace of the State or not, I will be tried by the powder-workes. But the bee short, these reasons and examples drawen out of the Law of Moyses maketh the matter cleare, how far the Levites might undertake to deale in censuring the crimes of Kings, their office consisting altogether in humilitie and pietie. For though I graunt that assaults were made in those dayes upon the persons of some kings, sometime by expresse direction from God (which ceaseth in our daies), and sometimes by the practise and presumption of traitors, which are no more to bee justified then the robberies that are committed daily at Stangate Hole, or at Shooters Hill, yet for our instruction it ought to suffice that no such plaine songs are set out in the bookes of divine tablature, and therefore upon false grounds no state ought to suffer either any kinde of new descant to make new division of olde integritie, or such a conceited kind of voluntary, as onely serveth to please factious humors. Sure I am that though the rod of Moyses were once onely turned into a serpent to give terrour, yet the rod of Aaron was preserved ever, not in campo Martio [on the field of Mars], but in testimonii tabernaculo [in the shrine of witness], sprouting foorth greene leaves and sweet blossomes.
But now to draw neerer to the life of that discipline, which among Christians ought rightly to be reputed regular, to examine principles, and enter into the schole of Christ orderly, wee must refresh your memory, Master Garnet, in putting you in minde that our Saviour himselfe (who ought to bee the highest object of your imitation) lived obediently to the lawes of the state in which hee was borne, though perverted by Pharisaicall constructions and glosses in senum reprobum [in a debasing sense] and ex diametro repugant to that scope of reformation which He onely aymed at, without practising with discontented persons against the Roman tyranny, either to displace the governours or to change the government. Hee commaundeth His disciples to give unto Caesar what is due to Caesar, reserving unto God what of right doth belong to Him. Christ would not take upon Him to divide a temporall inheritance, though pressed earnestly by the partie that was in suite. Much lesse is it possible that out of passion Hee would have disturbed monarchies or transformed monarchies.
To proove further that His kingdome is not of this world, he reasons a consequenti, because His followers did not put themselves in armes in his defence, as otherwise undoubtedly (in case His empire had beene squared by the common rules of secular affections and devotions) they would have done, though in our dayes that argument was easily discharged, and that want powerfully supplied by others of that suite that account it a breach of the Churches liberty to dissolve or forbid garrisons. It is true that change of accidents may breed a change of temper, as well in bodies ecclesiasticall as naturall. For the Church may bee at one time more quiet, safe, and prosperous, as we may be better or worse disposed, more hott or cold, more sicke or whole at one time then another. But as it were a strange kinde of fit that could transforme a man with Apuleius into an asse, so were it as strange a variation in the compassse of the Church to alter patience into power, the spirit into flesh, and humility into crueltie. For philosophie doth teach that externall accidents change inward qualities. But without an absolute transformation ipsius speciei, of the very kind it selfe, they change no substances. Therfore I wonder how Gregory the Seventh, and after him Boniface the Eight durst adventure to claime the exercise of two swords (like warie fencers) in one scabberd, out of a text pitifully set upon the racke, for the countenance of a two fold jurisdiction, the pursute whereof hath and will cost many lives prius sententia iudicis (touching that particular) in rem iudicatam transeat [before the sentence of the judge might become a judged matter]. Yet I am sure that Christ the law maker gives them over in the plaine field, when they fall to dealing blowes, and in stead of sounding a point of war, cries out to all His owne followers, cur non potius patimini? [why do you rather not endure it?]. Since it is certaine that in patientia possidentur animae, soules are possessed in patience, a maxime farre more sound and honest then that other of the Scholemen, praecipitantur principes [princes are cast down] by censuring and skirmishing. From the consistory of our Saviour commeth a direct prohibition that his disciples should not dominari sicut reges gentium, domineere in that fashion or maner that the kings of the gentiles did. But if those bishops (that derive their painted and pretended right of deposing kings from the power of Christ) might bee justified according to the nature of the plea which they put in, they should dominari plusquam reges, more then kings, both by setting themselves above all kings in their temporall estates, and presuming by censure to deprive them of their dominions, which (setting aside the due of homage by such kings as owe suite and service to superiours) none could expect, much lesse demand of other, nor did ever set their foote so hard in the necks of their peeres as Pope Alexander did in the necke of Fredericke. For is it likely that when Christ not onely commanded Peter to put up his sword drawen with greater zeale in passion then judgement upon deliberation, but added also to that charge a commination in generalitie that whosoever drew the sword should perish by the sword, his purpose was to binde the hands of his Apostles, but yet to leave the passions of those that should succeed them at full liberty? Christ paid tribute unto Caesar, as appeareth aswell for Peter as for himselfe, thereby moulding the measures and proportions of the Churches conformitie. For strange it were, that haeres succedens in defuncti locum, the heire succeeding in the place of the deceased, should by any law bee strengthened and enabled to doe more then the testator himselfe might have done, or the party to whom delegation is transmitted then the principall that did delegate. One rule can never faile, that discipulus is not supra magistrum [that pupil is not above teacher] because can never faile that gave out that rule, and if a man observe it well betweene the function of Christ which was magisterium and the scope now shot at which is imperium, the difference is infinite. Our Saviour acknowledged unto Pilate that the power which he both had and exercised over him was not terrestiall, nor temporary, but it was desuper, from above. To which doctrine nothing can be more repugnant then the Schoolemens dreame that our princes having at this day the like jurisdiction with pietie to that which Caesar held with pride, should bee subject touching their estates and dignities to the censure of his disciples, who in person (whiles His conversation was here on earth) renounced that prerogative out of disparitie to the scope and ende of His office. For as our Saviour doeth prove a minori in another place, that his disciples ought in reason to wash one anothers feete, because Hee that was their Master had vouchsafed out of humility to wash theirs, by the same consequence I prove that whosoever professeth to be imitator Petri (as Peter was imitator Christi) ought to desist from forcible intrusion upon these undue claymes of more then imperiall prerogatives, which were neither challenged by any Leviticall predecessor, nor possessed by the testator, nor conveyed by the testament. For the graunt which was conveyed by God the Father to His Sonne omnis iudicii, of universal judgement both in heaven in earth, is absolute, whereas the charter which the Church of Christ receiveth of her spouse is limited and tied to the validitie of the evidence and the strength of witnesses, with the prescription of antiquitie. When Christ knew that some would even in passion make Him a king perforce and maugre his affection and resolution, fugit in montem solus [He fled alone to a mountain], whereas they themselves as successores Christi, et haeredes apostolorum [successors of Christ and heirs of the Apostles] descend from the mount of contemplation into the valley of secular agitation, to make a partie for their advancement ad regalia Christi, made a difference between His disciples (following a Master that had not so much as the foxe a hole wherein to put his head) and those that dwell in regum domibus [the houses of kings], whereas now the difference (if there bee any) is on the other side. This orderly and modest maner of proceeding, recommended by the Lycurgus of the Gospel, which is Christ, was continued by the reverent Apostles during their time, and likewise by the godly bishops that succeeded them for the space of a thousand yeres. For further then the censure of esteeming those as ethnickes and publicanes that wilfully refused to give eare to the doctrine of the Church, I finde not that the Church presumed, the Popes challenged, nor princes acknowledged.
Saint Peter (from whose prerogative many seeke to derive this priviledge of deposing kings upon conviction, or rather supposition, as it happened for the most part, of contumacie) commaunds the faithful to obey even that prince that was a butcher of the flocke and a bloody tyrant in his time (because he was superexcellent), and all magistrates that were subordinate in charges and employments under him. He forbiddeth all good pastors also, which ought to bee forma gregis, the paterne of the flocke, providere coacte, to provide by compulsion, or in cleris dominari, to domineere among the clergie (though that bee within the compasse of their owne square), much lesse meant hee to set them over emperors and kings, that are fixed in the highest element. Nay, which is more, he denies flatly (if we may give any credite to that author which beares the title of Saint Clement) that any of his successors were ordeined by God to be cognitores negotiorum secularium, examiners or judges of causes that are secular, which is now become the chiefest scope and object of your primacie.
Wherefore, if Peter were commanded to put up his sworde when Christ was at his elbowe to heale (as he did) the greatest wound that it could make, how much more ought his successors to keepe the sword within the scabbard, since it is soberly and orderly put up, and that they may doe more hurt in their passion then they can helpe by their priviledge. Saint Paul his fellow martyr and Apostle would never have subjected omnem animam, every soule, whether they were bishops or monkes, regular or secular (as Chrysostom notes) to superiour authority in case he had bin prive to an exemption of some soules by expresse warrant. The qualitie of evil princes ought not in reason to extenuate the force of the inhibition, tending to the peace and order both of Church and state, for then S. Peter would not have commanded servants to be subject to ther lords, non solum bonis et modestis, sed etiam discolis, not only to those that are good and modest, but also to those that are perverse, non propter metum, sed propter conscientiam, not for feare but for conscience, saith Gods spirit. Neither would S. Jude have censured those malcontents that doe spernere potestatem, blasphemare maiestatem [scorn power, blaspheme majesty], not in respect of their glory, but of their lieutenancie. This is not the readiest and best resolution manendi in vocatione, of continuing in our vocation without impatience or strife, to winde our obedience out of that obligation wherein the Gospel found us, and God hath elected us. The servants of God had recourse in all times to lawful remedies, upon the offer of unlawfull wrongs. And though there could not bee a worse prince, or rather a more oughly monster upon earth, then hee that held the place of Caesar in the time of Paul, yet Paulus appellavit Caesarem [Paul appealed to Caesar], and, being taken at his word, was sent thither to be tried orderly. It was lawfull for the Prophet Nathan to reprove David for his sinne, though he did not plucke him out of his chaire of state. Our Saviour describing Herods quality in craftie circumvention of Gods Saints, did properly and aptly terme him vulpem, a foxe, though he did undertake to hunt him out of his earth. And though to warne, admonish, and assure the tetrarch non licere, that it was not lawful for him to keepe his brothers wife, were an office fit for a John Baptist and a worthy pastor of a holy Church, yet he neither would durst adventure to release his subjects of their faith which they ought him by their homage. Polycarpus the disciple of S. John, as wee finde him reported by Eusebius, dispensed with no breach of any bond, though in cases that intend perill to salvation, as idolatrie and the like. The Christians of the first age were neither Albinians nor Nigrians, sayeth Tertullian, that is, stained with no faction either to those aspiring parties or affections of the time, but devoted to the service of the soveraigne, quomodo licuit et ipsis expedierit, so farre as it was lawful for the person and expedient for the prince himselfe. How farre is that? Even so long as they honor him ut hominem a Deo secundum, et solo Deo minorem, as the next person to God and inferiour to Him alone, without making him (as some did) a competitor with the Omnipotent.
Honest men wil start and shrinke at those loud alarmes when they read with how great obedience and humilitie that blessed father Athanasius (upon whose shoulders our aged mother the Church of God leaned in the time of sharpest persecution, to take her rest) cleared himselfe of the false suspitions and wrongfull aspersions that were cast on him by device of speaking evill of Constantius the great Arrian Emperour. His dutifull respect was grounded upon the warning of the Holy Ghost not to curse the king in the secret of our conscience, nor in the most private and inward corner of our cabinet to wish evill to him. S. Hillarie would not so much as moderate or stint himselfe, but leaves it wholly to the discretion of a wicked Emperour, quatenus et quomodo eum loqui iubeat, how and how far he would bid him speake. Saint Ambrose acknowledgeth no weapons of defence to bee so proper to the priest as teares and prayers, for I can pray, saith he, I can sigh and weepe, but I cannot resist any other way. And therefore Saint Jerome to Heliodorus saith a king ruleth men whether they wil or no, a bishop those that are willing: ille terrore subiecit, hic servituti donatur [the one subjects men to him by terror, the other is endowed for service].
To that question moved by Donatus out of faction and scorne, quid imperatori cum ecclesia? what hath the Emperour to deale or intermeddle with the Church? Optatus, a learned Father answeres tunably to the note and dittie of Tertullian that is mentioned before, that (since God onely is above the soveraigne) Donatus in extolling himselfe above the Emperour (as Antichrist out of pride shall above all that is called God) iam hominum excessit metas, hath now transcended the bounds of humanitie. The patience and piety of thirty Popes laying downe their heads upon the blocke successively (at the first planting of the Church) to seale the bond of conscience with the blood of innocencie, may teach those that come after as well to follow their example as to claime their primacy. For though Liberius, a pastor of that ranke, was unjustly banished and exiled from his Church, yet he never sought to right himselfe by the bloody sword, but rather by that golden rule of obedience and patience which our Saviour left to his disciples sub sigillo [under His seal], and they to the Church in deposito. Symancha with his fellowes may perhaps answere to these passages that the Church was swathed all this while in the bands of weaknesse, that the sickle carried not at that time an edge sharpe enough for those stubborne weedes, and that the faythful had not as yet raysed themselves to that height of credit that might give life to their execution. But if the constancie of obedience had bene squared by the liberty of mens election, and this had bene the latitude of loyalty in whose well disposed times, when bishops onely sought Gods honour, not ther owne prerogatives, surely the Church of Christ had wanted a great part of those martyrs and confessors which are ranked at this day in the Roman calender. They that take this scope may conceive and publish when it pleasesth them, that lay subjects in like manner are no longer bound to obedience and loyalty then they finde themselves overweake to make powerfull opposition to ungodly magistrates, and so confound all lawes of justice in the state, and all degrees of subjects that in privat are bound to live orderly. Tertullian doth notably convince this paradox as well of falshood as levitie, by making a cleare demonstration of the strength and potency of godly Christians in his owne time (which was among the first) in case they would have put their forces to the strongest proofe, since all publike places, as courts, consistories, campes, and fortes, were stored and furnished with men of that profession and qualitie.
The legions that were entertained by faithles princes in pay, and prospered in the greatest actions they undertooke, might have purchased a farre better fortune at an easier rate, in case they could have satisfied their owne consciences by opposing against order. If the godly Christians that lived under Constantius an Arrian would have sought their ease by stepping over to the service of Constance and Gratian that were religious, they might have caused their own soveraigne to shrinke at their transport, that before made advantage of their humility. If any man will take upon him more in these dayes, saith Chrysostome, then was granted heretofore to subjects that were under infidels, quod maiora sibi concredita esse dixerunt, because they say that more is committed unto them, they must be taught non nunc honoris sui tempus esse, that it is not the time and place of their preferment, since they are as pilgrimes in this world, but they shall in another shew appear more bright and glorious to all men, quando Christus apparuerit, et tunc cum Christo comparebunt in gloria, when Christ appeares, and they with Him shall then appeare in glory. Though Saint Gregory confesse himselfe to have beene so powerful in Italy that he needed not to have left among the Lombards either Duke or Count in case he would have opposed confidently his endevour against their rage, yet finding Theodolinda the queene to have beene seduced slily by some serpent of that sort from the sinceritie of her profession, and dangerously withdrawen from God to Belial, from pietie to heresie, tooke no harder course then by forewarning her with a fatherly affection, and in humble termes, to take heede in time, that she tainted not the sweet bread of many morall vertues (worthy to be served in the supper of the lambe) with the leaven of the falshood and impiety of those misbeleeving teachers that abused her credulity.
It had not bin hard for Chrysostome (in respect of the tender love which was borne him by his flocke, not ad aras [at the altars] onely, but ultra aras [beyond the altars], if his patience had beene pliant to their desire) to have wearied that ungodly princesse Eudoxia that would never give him rest nor breath in the crooked wayes of her owne wickednesse. But if the doctrine of some Schoolemen in this age be found to differ so much from the former demonstration of obedience and trueth, why should I not complain that nunc desinit esse remedio locus, ubi quae fuerant olim vitia nunc mores sint [now there ceases to be any place for remedy, when what used to be vices are now customs]? It is true that long after this the officers of the French King Philip the Faire complained, and upon just cause, augendo sacerdotum iura, iura regia minui, that the kings rights or liberties were appaired by the raysing of the rights and priviledges of the priests. It may be likewise true that is written by a countreyman of ours, that Gregory the Seventh confessed on his deaths bedde (but with what remorse or touch of conscience God knowes) ex minutione laicorum se sacerdotum promovisse gloriam [he had promoted the glory of the clergy by the diminution of the laity], which in divers words is of one effect. But yet al bishops were not of that mind, but keeping fast in memory that observation of the Prophet David, that to drinke of waters drawen from the springs of Bethel with peril and hazard of mens lives was sanguinem bibere, to drinke blood, were as cautious in quenching sparkes of dissension and strife by charitie, as others were to kindle them out of ambition and vaine glory. For in cases of this nature, non est opus saevientis animae sed medentis studio [there is no need for a raging soul, but for the healer’s zeal], for charitie is patient and courteous, nec inflatur nec est ambitiosa, [and is neither puffed up nor ambitious]. Peter hath two keyes, one of knowledge, another of power. These are prepared and fited also to locks, that is, induration and ignorance, and hardly shall we finde that, without both, and a sure use of both, any strong lockes of opposition or obstruction hath bene opened. Wherefore no man need to doubt but that among so many godly, grave, and learned bishops (as will ever rancke themselves tanquam in acie ordinata [as in arrayed line of battle] to discourage and affright the forlorne hopes of Symanchas schoole) these positions will sinke, and some that have bene lothe to yeeld out of humour, yet will be forced to faint out of cowardise.
Go to Part VI