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3.1. Of the ancient and present estate of the church of England. Chap. 1.

Of the ancient and present estate of the church of England. Chap. 1.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 _THere are now two prouinces onelie in England, of which the first and greatest is sub|iect to the sée of Canturburie, comprehending a parte of Lhoegres, whole Cambria, & also Ireland, which in time past were seuerall, & brought into one by the archbishop of the said sée & assistance of the pope; who in respect of méed, did yéeld vnto the ambitious desires of sundrie archbishops of Can|turburie, as I haue elsewhere declared. The second prouince is vnder the sée of Yorke, and of these; ei|ther hath hir archbishop resident commonlie within hir owne limits, who hath not onelie the cheefe dea|ling in matters apperteining to the hierarchie and iurisdiction of the church; but also great authoritie in ciuill affaires touching the gouernement of the common wealth: so far foorth as their commissions and seuerall circuits doo extend.

In old time there were thrée archbishops, and so manie prouinces in this Ile; of which one kept at London, another at Yorke, and the third at Caer|lheon vpon Uske. But as that of London was translated to Canturburie by Augustine, and that of Yorke remaineth (notwithstanding that the grea|test part of his iurisdiction is now bereft him and gi|uen to the Scotish archbishop) so that of Caerlheon is vtterlie extinguished, and the gouernement of the countrie vnited to that of Canturburie in spirituall cases: after it was once before remoued to S. Da|uids EEBO page image 132 in Wales by Dauid successor to Dubritius, and vncle to king Arthur, in the 519 of Grace, to the end that he and his clearkes might be further off from the crueltie of the Saxons, where it remained till the time of the Bastard, and for a season after, before it was annexed vnto the sée of Canturburie.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 The archbishop of Canturburie is commonlie cal|led primat of all England; and in the coronations of the kings of this land, and all other times, wherein it shall please the prince to weare and put on his crowne, his office is to set it vpon their heads. They beare also the name of their high chapleins continu|allie, although not a few of them haue presumed (in time past) to be their equals, and void of subiection vnto them. That this is true, it may easilie appéere by their owne acts yet kept in record; beside their e|pistles & answers written or in print; wherein they haue sought not onelie to match but also to mate them with great rigor and more than open tyrannie. Our aduersaries will peraduenture denie this ab|solutelie, as they doo manie other things apparant, though not without shamelesse impudencie, or at the leastwise defend it as iust and not swaruing from common equitie; bicause they imagine euerie arch|bishop to be the kings equall in his owne prouince. But how well their dooing herein agreeth with the saieng of Peter, & examples of the primitiue church, it may easilie appéere. Some examples also of their demeanor (I meane in the time of poperie) I will not let to remember, least they should saie I speake of malice, and without all ground of likelihood.

Of their practises with meane persons I speake not, neither will I begin at Dunstane the author of all their pride and presumption here in England. But for somuch as the dealing of Robert the Nor|man against earle Goodwine is a rare historie, and deserueth to be remembred, I will touch it in this place; protesting to deale withall in more faithfull maner than it hath heretofore beene deliuered vnto vs by the Norman writers, or French English, who (of set purpose) haue so defaced earle Goodwine, that were it not for the testimonie of one or two méere Englishmen liuing in those daies, it should be impossible for me (or anie other) at this present to declare the truth of that matter according to hir cir|cumstances. Marke therefore what I saie. For the truth is, that such Normans as came in with Em|ma in the time of Ethelred, and Canutus, and the Confessor, did fall by sundrie means into such fauor with those princes, that the gentlemen did grow to beare great rule in the court, and their clearkes to be possessors of the best benefices in the land. Hervpon therefore one Robert, a iolie ambitious préest, gat first to be bishop of London, and after the death of Eadsius, to be archbishop of Canturburie by the gift of king Edward; leauing his former sée to William his countrieman. Ulfo also a Norman was prefer|red to Lincolne, and other to other places, as the king did thinke conuenient.

These Norman clerkes, and their freends, being thus exalted, it was not long yer they began to mocke, abuse, and despise the English: and so much the more, as they dailie saw themselues to increase in fauour with king Edward, who also called diuerse of them to be of his secret councell, which did not a litle incense the harts of the English against them. A fraie also was made at Douer, betwéene the ser|uants of earle Goodwine and the French, whose mai|sters came ouer to see and salute the king: whereof I haue spoken in my Chronologie, which so inflamed the minds of the French cleargie and courtiers a|gainst the English nobilitie, that each part sought for opportunitie of reuenge, which yer long tooke hold be|twéene them. For the said Robert, being called to be archbishop of Canturburie, was no sooner in posses|sion of his sée, than he began to quarrell with earle Goodwine (the kings father in law by the mariage of his daughter) who also was readie to acquit his de|meanor with like malice; and so the mischiefe begun. Herevpon therefore the archbishop charged the earle with the murther of Alfred the kings brother, whom not he but Harald the sonne of Canutus and the Danes had cruellie made awaie. For Alfred and his brother comming into the land with fiue and twen|tie saile, vpon the death of Canutus, and being lan|ded; the Normans that arriued with them giuing out how they came to recouer their right, to wit, the crowne of England; & therevnto the vnskilfull yoong gentlemen, shewing themselues to like of the ru|mour that was spred in this behalfe, the report of their demeanor was quicklie brought to Harald, who caused a companie foorthwith of Danes priuilie to laie wait for them, as they roade toward Gilford, where Alfred was slaine, and whence Edward with much difficultie escaped to his ships, and so returned into Normandie.

But to proceed. This affirmation of the archbishop being greatlie soothed out with his craftie vtterance (for he was lerned) confirmed by his French fréends, (for they had all conspired against the erle) and there|vnto the king being desirous to reuenge the death of his brother, bred such a grudge in his mind against Goodwine, that he banished him and his sons cleane out of the land. He sent also his wife the erles daugh|ter prisoner to Wilton, with one onelie maiden at|tending vpon hir, where she laie almost a yeare be|fore she was released. In the meane season, the rest of the peeres, as Siward earle of Northumberland surnamed Digara or Fortis, Leofrijc earle of Che|ster, and other went to the king, before the departure of Goodwine, indeuouring to perfuade him vnto the reuocation of his sentence; and desiring that his cause might he heard and discussed by order of law. But the king incensed by the archbishop and his Normans would not heare on that side, saieng plainelie, and swearing by saint Iohn the euangelist (for that was his common oth) that earle Goodwine should not haue his peace till he restored his brother Alfred aliue againe vnto his presence. With which answer the peeres departed in choler from the court, and Goodwine toward the coast.

Comming also vnto the shore and readie to take shipping, he knéeled downe in presence of his con|duct (to wit at Bosenham in the moneth of Septem|ber, from whence he intended to saile into Flanders vnto Baldwine the earle) and there praied openlie before them all, that if euer he attempted anie thing against the kings person of England, or his roiall estate, that he might neuer come safe vnto his cou|sine, nor sée his countrie any more, but perish in this voiage. And herewith he went aboord the ship that was prouided for him, and so from the coast into the open sea. But sée what followed. He was not yet gone a mile waie from the land, before he saw the shore full of armed souldiers, sent after by the arch|bishop and his freends to kill him yer he should de|part and go out of the countrie: which yet more in|censed the harts of the English against them.

Being come also to Flanders, he caused the earle, the French king, and other of his fréends, among whome also the emperour was one, to write vnto the king in his behalfe; but all in vaine: for nothing could be obteined from him, of which the Normans had no liking, wherevpon the earle and his sonnes changed their minds, obteined aid, and inuaded the land in sundry places. Finallie ioining their powers they came by the Thames into Southwarke néere London where they lodged, and looked for the king to EEBO page image 132 [...] EEBO page image 133 incounter with them in the field. The king séeing what was doone, commanded the Londoners not to aid nor vittell them. But the citizens made answer, how the quarrell of Goodwine was the cause of the whose realme, which he had in maner giuen ouer vn|to the spoile of the French: and therevpon they not onelie vittelled them aboundantlie, but also recei|ued the earle and his chiefe fréends into the citie, where they lodged them at their ease, till the kings power was readie to ioine with them in battell.

Great resort also was made vnto them from all places of the realme, so that the earles armie was woonderfullie increased, and the daie and place cho|sen wherein the battell should be fought. But when the armies met, the kings side began some to flée to the earle, other to laie downe their weapons, and not a few to run awaie out right; the rest telling him plainelie that they would neuer fight against their owne countriemen, to mainteine Frenchmens quarrels. The Normans also seeing the sequele, fled awaie so fast as they might gallop, leauing the king in the field to shift for himselfe (as he best might) whi|lest they did saue themselues elsewhere.

In the meane season the earles power would haue set vpon the king, either to his slaughter, or apprehen|sion; but he staied them, saieng after this maner: The king is my sonne (as you all know) and it is not for a father to deale so hardlie with his child, neither a subiect with his souereigne; it is not he that hath hurt or doone me this iniurie, but the proud Nor|mans that are about him: wherefore to gaine a king|dome, I will doo him no violence. And therewithall casting aside his battell ax he ran to the king, that stood altogither amazed, and falling at his féet he cra|ued his peace, accused the archbishop, required that his cause might be heard in open assemlie of his péeres; and finallie determined as truth and equitie should deserue.

The king (after he had paused a pretie while) see|ing his old father in law to lie groueling at his féet, and conceiuing with himselfe that his sute was not vnreasonable; seeing also his children, and the rest of the greatest barons of the land to knéele before him, and make the like request: he lifted vp the earle by the hand, had him be of good comfort, pardoned all that was past, and freendlie hauing kissed him and his sonnes vpon the chéekes, he lead them to his palace, called home the quéene, and summoned all his lords vnto a councell.

Wherein it is much to read, how manie billes were presented against the bishop & his Normans; some conteining matter of rape, other of robberie, extortion, murder, manslaughter, high treason, adul|terie; and not a few of batterie. Wherwith the king (as a man now awaked out of sléepe) was so offen|ded, that vpon consultation had of these things, he ba|nished all the Normans out of the land, onelie thrée or foure excepted, whome he reteined for sundrie ne|cessarie causes, albeit they came neuer more so néere him afterward as to be of his pritie councell.

After this also the earle liued almost two yeares, and then falling into an apoplexie, as he sat with the king at the table, he was taken vp and carried into the kings bedchamber, where (after a few daies) he made an end of his life. And thus much of our first broile raised by the cleargie, and practise of the arch|bishop. I would intreat of all the like examples of tyrannie, practised by the prelats of this sée, against their lords and souereignes: but then I should rather write an historie than a description of this Iland.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 Wherefore I refer you to those reports of An|selme and Becket, sufficientlie penned by other, the which Anselme also making a shew,Anselme. as if he had bin verie vnwilling to be placed in the sée of Cantur|burie, gaue this answer to the letters of such his fréends, as did make request vnto him to take the charge vpon him. Secularia negotia nescio, quia seire no|lo, eorum námque occupationes horreo, liberum affectans ani|mum. Voluntati sacrarum intendo scripturarum, vos disso|nantiam facitis, verendúmque est nè aratrum sanctae ecclesiae, quod in Anglia duo boues validi & pari fortitudine, ad bo|num certantes, id est rex & archiepiscopus, debeant trahere, nunc oue vetula cum tauro indomito iugata, distorqueatur à recto. Ego ouis vetula, qui siquietus essem, verbi Dei lacte, & operimento lanae, aliquibus possem fortassis non ingratus esse, sed sime cum hoc tauro coniungitis, videbitis pro disparilitate trahentium, aratrum non rectè procedere, &c. Which is in English thus: Of secular affaires I haue no skill, bicause I will not know them, for I euen abhor the troubles that rise about them, as one that desireth to haue his mind at libertie. I applie my whole indeuor to the rule of the scriptures, you lead me to the con|trarie. And it is to be feared least the plough of holie church, which two strong oxen to equall force, and both like earnest to contend vnto that which is good (that is the king and the archbishop) ought to draw, should thereby now swarue from the right forrow, by matching of an old shéepe with a wild vnta|med bull. I am that old shéepe, who if I might be quiet, could peraduenture shew my selfe not altogi|ther vngratfull to some, by féeding them with the milke of the word of God, and couering them with wooll: but if you match me with this bull, you shall sée that thorough want of equalitie in draught the plough will not go to right, &c: as foloweth in the pro|cesse of his letters.Thomas Becket. The said Thomas Becket was so proud, that he wrote to king Henrie the second, as to his lord, to his king, and to his sonne, offering him his counsell, his reuerence, and due correction, &c. Others in like sort haue protested, that they owght nothing to the kings of this land, but their counsell onelie, reseruing all obedience vnto the sée of Rome.

And as the old cocke of Canturburie did crew in this behalfe, so the yoong cockerels of other sees did imitate his demeanor, as may be séene by this one example also in king Stephans time, worthie to be remembred; vnto whome the bishop of London would not so much as sweare to be true subiect: wherein also he was mainteined by the pope, as ap|peareth by these letters.

Eugenius episcopus seruus seruorum Dei, dilec|to in Christo filio Stephano illustri regi Anglorũ salutẽ, & apostolic ã benedictionẽ. Adhaec superna prouidẽtia in ecclesiapontifices ordinauit, vt Chri|stianus populus ab eis pascua vitae reciperet, & tam principes seculares, quàm inferioris conditionis homines, ipsis pontificibus tanquam Christi vica|rijs reuerentiam exhiberent. Venerabilis siqui|dem frater noster Robertus London episcopus, tan|quam vir sapiens & honestus, & relligionis ama|tor, à nobilitate tua benignè tractandus est, & pro collata à Deo prudentia propensiùs honorandus. Quia ergò, sicut in veritate comperimus cum ani|mae suae salute, ac snae ordinis periculo, fidelitate quae ab eo requiritur astringi non potest: volumus, & ex paterno tibi affectu consulimus, quatenus praedictum fratrem nostrum super hoc nullatenus inquietes, immò pro beati Petri & nostra reueren|tia, eum in amorem & gratiam tuam recipias. Cùm autem illud iuramentum praestare non possit, sufficiat discretioni tuae, vt simplici & veraci verbo promittat, quòd laesionem tibi velterrae tuae non inferat: Vale. Dat. Meldis 6. cal. Iulij.

Thus we sée, that kings were to rule no further than it pleased the pope to like of; neither to cha|lenge more obedience of their subiects than stood al|so EEBO page image 134 with their good will and pleasure. He wrote in like sort vnto quéene Mawd about the same matter, making hir Samsons calfe (the better to bring his purpose to passe) as appeareth by the same letter here insuing.

Solomone attestante, didicimus quòd mulier sa|piens aedificat domum; insipiens autem construc|tam destruet manibus. Gaudemus pro te, & deuo|tionis studium in Domino collaudamus; quoniam sicut relligiosorum relatione accepimus, timorem Deiprae oculis habens, operibus pietatis intẽdis, & personas ecclesiasticas & diligis & honoras. Vt ergo de bono in melius (inspirante Domino) profi|cere valeas, nobilitatẽ tuam in Domino rogamus, & rogando monemus, & exhortamur in Domino, quatenus bonis initijs exitus meliores iniungas, & venerabilem fratrem nostrum Robertum London episcopũ, pro illius reuerentia, qui cùm olim diues esset, pro nobis pauper fieri voluit, attentiùs dili|gas, & honores. Apud virum tuum & dilectum filium nostrum Stephanum, in signem regem An|glorum efficere studeas, vt monitis, hortatu, & cõ|silio tuo, ipsum in benignitatem & dilectionem su|am suscipiat, & pro beati Petri, & nostra reueren|tia propensiùs habeat commendatum. Et quia sicut (veritate teste) attendimus eum sine salute, & sui ordinis periculo, praefato filio nostro astringi non posse; volumus, & paterno sibi & tibi affec|tu consulimus, vt vobis sufficiat, veraci & sim|plici verbo promissionẽ ab eo suscipere, quòd laesio|nem vel detrimentum ei, velterrae suae nõ inferat. Dat. vt supra.

Is it not strange, that a peeuish order of religion (deuised by man) should breake the expresse law of God, who commandeth all men to honour and obeie their kings and princes, in whome some part of the power of God is manifest and laid open vnto vs? And euen vnto this end the cardinall of Hostia also wrote to the canons of Paules, after this maner; co|uertlie incoraging them to stand to their election of the said Robert, who was no more willing to giue ouer his new bishoprike, than they carefull to offend the king; but rather imagined which waie to kéepe it still maugre his displeasure: & yet not to sweare obedience vnto him, for all that he should be able to do or performe vnto the contrarie.

Humilis Dei gratia Hostiensis episcopus, Londi|nensis ecclesiae canoniois spiritũ consilij in Domi|no. Sicut rationi contraria prorsus est abijcienda petitio, ita in hijs, quae iustè desyderantur, effec|tum negare omninò non conuenit. Sanè nuper ac|cepimus, quòd Londinensis ecclesia, diuproprio de|stituta pastore, communi voto, & pari assensu cleri & populi,Forfitan natu|ralem. venerabilem filium nostrum Robertum, eiusdem ecclesiae archidiaconum, in pastorem & episcopum animarum suarum susceperit & ele|gerit. Nouimus quidem eum esse personam, quam sapientia desuper ei attributa, & honestas conuer|sationis, & morum reuerentia plurimùm commẽ|dabilem reddidit. Inde est quòd fraternitati ve|strae mandando consulimus, vt proposito vestro bo|no (quod vt credimus ex Deo est) & vt ex literis domini papae cognoscetis, non tepidè, non lentè de|bitum finem imponatis: ne tam nobilis ecclesia, sub occasione huiusmodi, spiritualium, quod absit, & temporalium detrimentum patiatur. Ipsius nám|que industria credimus, quòd antiqua relligio, & formadisciplinae, & grauitas habitus, in ecclesia vestra reparari: & si quae fuerint ipsius contenti|ones, ex pastoris absentia, Dei gratia cooperante, & eodem praesente, poterint reformari. Dat. &c.

Hereby you sée how king Stephan was dealt withall. And albeit the archbishop of Canturburie is not openlie to be touched herewith, yet it is not to be doubted, but he was a dooer in it, so far as might tend to the maintenance of the right and prerogatiue of holie church. And euen no lesse vnquietnesse had another of our princes with Iohn of Arundell, who fled to Rome for feare of his head, and caused the pope to write an ambitious and contumelious letter vnto his fouereigne about his restitution. But when (by the kings letters yet extant) & beginning thus; Thomas proditionis non expers nostrae regiae maiestati insidias fabricauit, the pope vnderstood the botome of the mat|ter, he was contented that Thomas should be depri|ued, and another archbishop chosen in his sted.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 Neither did this pride state at archbishops and bi|shops, but descended lower, euen to the rake-helles of the clergie and puddels of all vngodlinesse. For beside the iniurie receiued of their superiors, how was K. Iohn dealt withall by the vile Cistertians at Lincolne in the second of his reigne? Certes, when he had (vpon iust occasion) conceiued some grudge a|gainst them for their ambitious demeanor; and vpon deniall to paie such summes of moneie as were al|lotted vnto them, he had caused seizure to be made of such horsses, swine, neate, and other things of theirs, as were mainteined in his forrests. They denounced him as fast amongst themselues with bell, booke and candle, to be accurssed and excommu|nicated. Therevnto they so handled the matter with the pope and their friends, that the kings was faine to yéeld to their good graces: insomuch that a meeting for pacification was appointed betwéene them at Lincolne, by meanes of the present archbishop of Canturburie, who went oft betweene him and the Cistertian commissioners before the matter could be finished. In the end, the king himselfe came also vnto the said commissioners as they sat in their cha|piter house, and there with teares fell downe at their feet, crauing pardon for his trespasses against them, and heartilie requiring that they would (from thencefoorth) commend him and his realme in their praiers vnto the protection of the almightie, and re|ceiue him into their fraternitie: promising moreo|uer full satisfaction of their damages susteined; and to build an house of their order in whatsoeuer place of England it should please them to assigne. And this he confirmed by charter, bearing date the seauen and twentith of Nouember, after the Scotish king was returned into Scotland, & departed from the king. Whereby (and by other the like, as betweene Iohn Stratford and Edward the third, &c:) a man may ea|silie conceiue how proud the cleargie-men haue beene in former times, as wholie presuming vpon the primassie of their pope. More matter could I al|ledge of these and the like brotles, not to be found a|mong our common historiographers: howbeit to ser|uing the same vnto places more conuenient, I will ceasse to speake of them at this time, and go forward with such other things as my purpose is to speake of. At the first therefore there was like and equall autho|ritie in both our archbishops: but as he of Cantur|burie hath long since obteined the prerogatiue aboue Yorke (although I saie not without great trouble, sute, some bloudshed & contention) so the archbishop of Yorke is neuerthelesse written printate of Eng|land, as one contenting himselfe with a péece of a ti|tle at the least, when (all) could not be gotten. And as he of Canturburie crowneth the king, so this of Yorke dooth the like to the quéene, whose perpetuall chapleine he is; & hath beene from time to time, since the determination of this controuersie, as writers doo report. The first also hath vnder his iurisdiction to EEBO page image 135 the number of one and twentie inferiour bishops,Twentie one bishoprikes vnder ye see of Canturburie. Onelie foure sees vnder the archbishop of Yorke. the other hath onlie foure, by reason that the churches of Scotland are now remooued from his obedience vnto an archbishop of their owne, whereby the great|nesse and circuit of the iurisdiction of Yorke is not a little diminished. In like sort each of these seauen and twentie sées haue their cathedrall churches, wherein the deanesDeanes (a calling not knowne in England be|fore the conquest) doo beare the chéefe rule, being men especiallie chosen to that vocation, both for their lear|ning and godlinesse so néere as can be possible. These cathedrall churches haue in like maner other digni|ties and canonries still remaining vnto them,Canonries as héeretofore vnder the popish regiment. Howbeit those that are chosen to the same are no idle and vn|profitable persons (as in times past they haue béene when most of these liuings were either furnished with strangers, especiallie out of Italie, boies, or such idiots as had least skill of all in discharging of those functions, wherevnto they were called by vertue of these stipends) but such as by preaching and teaching can and doo learnedlie set foorth the glorie of God, and further the ouerthrow of antichrist to the vttermost of their powers.

These churches are called cathedrall, bicause the bishops dwell or lie néere vnto the same, as bound to keepe continuall residence within their iurisdicti|ons, for the better ouersight and gouernance of the same: the word being deriued A cathedra, that is to saie a chaire or seat where he resteth, and for the most part abideth. At the first there was but one church in euerie iurisdiction, wherinto no man entred to praie, but with some oblation or other toward the mainte|nance of the pastor. For as it was reputed an infa|mie to passe by anie of them without visitation: so it was a no lesse reproch to appeare emptie before the Lord. And for this occasion also they were builded ve|rie huge and great, for otherwise they were not ca|pable of such multitudes as came dailie vnto them, to heare the word, and receiue the sacraments.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 But as the number of christians increased, so first monasteries, then finallie parish churches were buil|ded in euerie iurisdiction: from whence I take our deanerie churches to haue their originall, now called mother churches, and their incumbents, archpréests; the rest being added since the conquest, either by the lords of euerie towne, or zealous men, loth to trauell farre, and willing to haue some ease by buil|ding them neere hand. Unto these deanerie churches also the cleargie in old time of the same deanrie were appointed to repaire at sundrie seasons, there to re|ceiue wholesome ordinances, and to consult vpon the necessarie affaires of the whole iurisdiction; if neces|sitie so required: and some image hereof is yet to be seene in the north parts. But as the number of chur|ches increased, so the repaire of the faithfull vnto the cathedrals did diminish: whereby they now become especiallie in their nether parts rather markets and shops for march [...]dize, than solemn places of praier, wherevnto they were first erected. Moreouer in the said cathedrall churches vpon sundaies and festiuall daies,Ordinarie sermons. the canons doo make certeine ordinarie ser|mons by course, wherevnto great numbers of all e|states doo orderlie resort: and vpon the working daies thrise in the wéeke, one of the said canons, or some other in his stéed,Ordinarie ex|positions of the scriptures dooth read and expound some péece of holie seripture, wherevnto the people doo ve|rie reuerentlie repaire. The bishops themselues in like sort are not idle in their callings, for being now exempt from court and councell, which is one (and a no small) péece of their felicitie (although Richard archbishop of Canturburie thought otherwise, as yet appeareth by his letters to pope Alexander, Epistola44. Petri Blesensis, where he saith; Bicause the clear|gie of his time were somewhat narrowlie looked vn|to, Supra dorsum ecclesiae fabricant peccatores, &c:) they so applie their minds to the setting foorth of the word,The bishops preach dili|gentlie, whose predecessors heretofore haue beene oc|cupied in tem|porall affairs. that there are verie few of them, which doo not eue|rie sundaie or offener resort to some place or other, within their iurisdictions, where they expound the scriptures with much grauitie and skill; and yet not without the great mistaking and contempt of such as hate the word. Of their manifold translations from one sée to another I will saie nothing, which is not now doone for the benefit of the flocke, as the prefer|ment of the partie fauoured, and aduantage vnto the prince, a matter in time past much doubted of, to wit, whether a bishop or pastor might be translated from one sée to another; & left vndecided, till prescription by roiall authoritie made it good. For among princes a thing once doone, is well doone, and to be doone oftentimes, though no warrant be to be found there|fore.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 They haue vnder them also their archdeacons,Archdecons. some one, diuerse two, and manie foure or mo, as their circuits are in quantitie, which archdeacons are termed in law the bishops eies: and these (beside their ordinarie courts, which are holden within so manie or more of their seuerall deanries by them|selues or their officials once in a moneth at the least) doo kéepe yearelie two visitations or synods (as the bishop dooth in euerie third yeare, wherein he confir|meth some children, though most care but a litle for that ceremonie) in which they make diligent inqui|sition and search, as well for the doctrine and behaui|our of the ministers, as the orderlie dealing of the parishioners in resorting to their parish churches and conformitie vnto religion. They punish also with great seueritie all such trespassers, either in per|son or by the pursse (where permutation of penance is thought more gréeuous to the offendor) as are pre|sented vnto them: or if the cause be of the more weight, as in cases of heresie, pertinacie, contempt, and such like, they referre them either to the bishop of the diocesse, or his chancellor, or else to sundrie graue persons set in authoritie,High com|missioners. by vertue of an high com|mission directed vnto them from the prince to that end, who in verie courteous maner doo sée the offen|dors gently reformed, or else seuerlie punished, if ne|cessitie so inforce.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 Beside this,A prophesie or conference. in manie of our archdeaconries we haue an exercise latelie begun, which for the most part is called a prophesie or conference, and erected onelie for the examination or triall of the diligence of the cleargie in their studie of holie scriptures. Howbeit, such is the thirstie desire of the people in these daies to heare the word of God, that they also haue as it were with zealous violence intruded themselues among them (but as hearers onelie) to come by more knowledge through their presence at the same. Herein also (for the most part) two of the yoonger sort of ministers doo expound ech after other some péece of the scriptures ordinarilie appointed vn|to them in their courses (wherein they orderlie go through with some one of the euangelists, or of the e|pistles, as it pleaseth the whole assemblie to choose at the first in euerie of these conferences) and when they haue spent an houre or a little more betwéene them, then commeth one of the better learned sort, who be|ing a graduat for the most part, or knowne to be a preacher sufficientlie authorised, & of a sound iudge|ment, supplieth the roome of a moderator, making first a breefe rehearsall of their discourses, and then adding what him thinketh good of his owne know|ledge, wherby two houres are thus commonlie spent at this most profitable méeting. When all is doone, if the first speakers haue shewed anie peece of dili|gence, they are commended for their trauell, and in|couraged EEBO page image 136 to go forward. If they haue béene found to be slacke, or not sound in deliuerie of their doctrine, their negligence and error is openlie reprooued be|fore all their brethren, who go aside of purpose from the laitie, after the exercise ended, to iudge of these matters, and consult of the next speakers and quan|titie of the text to be handled in that place. The laitie neuer speake of course (except some vaine and busie head will now and then intrude themselues with of|fense) but are onelie hearers; and as it is vsed in some places wéekelie, in other once in foureteene daies, in diuerse monethlie, and elsewhere twise in a yeare, so is it a notable spurre vnto all the ministers, thereby to applie their bookes, which otherwise (as in times past) would giue themselues to hawking, hun|ting, tables, cards, dice, tipling at the alehouse, shoo|ting of matches, and other like vanities, nothing commendable in such as should be godlie and zea|lous stewards of the good gifts of God, faithfull distri|butors of his word vnto the people, and diligent pa|stors according to their calling.

But alas! as sathan the author of all mischéefe hath in sundrie manners heretofore hindered the e|rection and maintenance of manie good things: so in this he hath stirred vp aduersaries of late vnto this most profitable exercise, who not regarding the commoditie that riseth thereby so well to the hearers as spekers; but either stumbling (I cannot tell how) at words and termes, or at the least wise not liking to here of the reprehension of vice, or peraduenture taking a misliking at the slender demeanours of such negligent ministers, as now and then in their courses doo occupie the roomes, haue either by their owne practise, their sinister information, or suggesti|ons made vpon surmises vnto other procured the suppression of these conferences, condemning them as hurtfull, pernicious, and dailie bréeders of no small hurt & inconuenience. But hereof let God be iudge, vnto whome the cause belongeth.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 Our elders or ministers and deacons (for subdea|cons and the other inferiour orders,Ministers & deacons. sometime vsed in popish church we haue not) are made according to a certeine forme of consecration concluded vpon in the time of king Edward the sixt, by the cleargie of England, and soone after confirmed by the thrée e|states of the realme, in the high court of parlement. And out of the first sort, that is to saie, of such as are called to the ministerie (without respect whether they be married or not) are bishops, deanes, archdeacons, & such as haue the higher places in the hierarchie of the church elected; and these also as all the rest, at the first comming vnto anie spirituall promotion, doo yéeld vnto the prince the entire taxe of that their li|uing for one whole yeare, if it amount in value vnto ten pounds and vpwards, and this vnder the name and title of first fruits.

With vs also it is permitted, that a sufficient man may (by dispensation from the prince) hold two liuings, not distant either from other aboue thirtie miles; whereby it commeth to passe, that as hir ma|iestie dooth reape some commoditie by the facultie, so the vnition of two in one man dooth bring often|times more benefit to one of them in a moneth (I meane for doctrine) than they haue had before perad|uenture in manie yeares.

Manie exclame against such faculties, as if there were mo good preachers that want maintenance, than liuings to mainteine them. In déed when a li|uing is void, there are so manie sutors for it, that a man would thinke the report to be true and most certeine: but when it commeth to the triall, who are sufficient, and who not, who are staied men in conuer|sation, iudgement, and learning; of that great num|ber you shall hardlie find one or two, such as they ought to be: and yet none more earnest to make sute, to promise largelie, beare a better shew, or find fault with the state of things than they. Neuerthe|lesse, I doo not thinke that their exclamations if they were wiselie handled, are altogither grounded vpon rumors or ambitious minds, if you respect the state of the thing it selfe, and not the necessitie growing through want of able men, to furnish out all the cures in England, which both our vniuersities are ne|uer able to performe. For if you obserue what num|bers of preachers Cambridge and Oxford doo yeare|lie send foorth; and how manie new compositions are made in the court of first fruits, by the deaths of the last incumbents: you shall soone sée a difference. Wherefore, if in countrie townes & cities, yea euen in London it selfe, foure or fiue of the litle churches were brought into one, the inconuenience would in great part be redressed.

And to saie truth, one most commonlie of these small liuings is of so little value, that it is not able to mainteine a meane scholar; much lesse a learned man, as not being aboue ten, twelue, sixteene, seuen|téene, twentie, or thirtie pounds at the most, toward their charges, which now (more than before time) doo go out of the same. I saie more than before, bicause euerie small trifle, noble mans request, or courtesie craued by the bishop, dooth impose and command a twentith part, a three score part, or two pence in the pound, &c: out of our liuings, which hitherto hath not béene vsuallie granted, but by consent of a synod, wherein things were decided according to equitie, and the poorer sort considered of, which now are equal|lie burdened.

We paie also the tenths of our liuings to the prince yearelie, according to such valuation of ech of them, as hath beene latelie made: which neuerthelesse in time past were not annuall but voluntarie, & paid at request of king or pope. Herevpon also hangeth a pleasant storie though doone of late yeares, to wit 1452, at which time the cleargie séeing the continu|all losses that the king of England susteined in France, vpon some motion of reléefe made, granted in an open conuocation to giue him two tenths to|ward the recouerie of Burdeaux, which his grace ve|rie thankefullie receiued. It fortuned also at the same time that Uincentius Clemens the popes fac|tor was here in England, who hearing what the cler|gie had doone, came into the conuocation house also in great hast and lesse spéed, where, in a solemne ora|tion he earnestlie required them to be no lesse fauou|rable to their spirituall father the pope, and mother the sée of Rome, than they had shewed themselues vnto his vassall and inferiour, meaning their soue|reigne lord in temporall iurisdiction, &c. In deliue|ring also the cause of his sute, he shewed how grée|uouslie the pope was disturbed by cutthrotes, var|lots, and harlots, which doo now so abound in Rome, that his holinesse is in dailie danger to be made a|waie amongst them. To be short when this fine tale was told, one of the companie stood vp and said vnto him; My lord we haue heard your request, and as we thinke it deserueth litle consideration and lesse eare, for how would you haue vs to contribute to his aid in suppression of such, as he and such as you are doo continuall vphold, it is not vnknowen in this house what rule is kept in Rome.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 I grant (quoth Uincent) that there wanteth iust re|formation of manie things in that citie, which would haue béene made sooner, but now it is too late: neuer|thelesse I beséech you to write vnto his holinesse, with request that he would leaue and abandon that Babylon, which is but a sinke of mischiefe, and kéepe his court elsewhere in place of better fame. And this he shall be the better able also to performe, if by your EEBO page image 137 liberalitie extended towards him, vnto whome you are most bound, he be incouraged thereto. Manie o|ther words passed to and fro amongst them, howbeit in the end Uincent ouercame not, but was dismissed without anie penie obteined. But to returne to our tenths, a paiement first as deuised by the pope, and afterward taken vp as by the prescription of the king, wherevnto we may ioine also our first fruits, which is one whole yeares commoditie of our liuing, due at our entrance into the same, the tenths abated vnto the princes cofers, and paid commonlie in two yeares. For the receipt also of these two paiments, an especiall office or court is erected, which beareth name of first fruits and tenths, wherevnto if the par|tie to be preferred, doo not make his dutifull repaire by an appointed time after possession taken, there to compound for the paiment of his said fruits, he in|curreth the danger of a great penaltie, limited by a certeine statute prouided in that behalfe, against such as doo intrude into the ecclesiasticall function, and refuse to paie the accustomed duties belonging to the same.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 They paie likewise subsidies with the temporaltie, but in such sort, that if these paie after foure shillings for land, the cleargie contribute commonlie after six shillings of the pound, so that of a benefice of twen|tie pounds by the yeare, the incumbent thinketh him|selfe well acquited, if all ordinarie paiments being discharged he may reserue thirtéene pounds six shil|lings eight pence towards his owne sustentation, and maintenance of his familie. Seldome also are they without the compasse of a subsidie, for if they be one yeare cleare from this paiement, a thing not of|ten seene of late yeeres, they are like in the next to heare of another grant: so that I saie againe they are seldome without the limit of a subsidie. Herein also they somewhat find themselues grieued, that the laitie may at euerie taxation helpe themselues, and so they doo through consideration had of their decaie and hinderance, and yet their impouerishment can|not but touch also the parson or vicar, vnto whom such libertie is denied, as is dailie to be séene in their ac|compts and tithings.

Some of them also, after the mariages of their children, will haue their proportions qualified, or by fréendship get themselues quite out of the booke. But what stand I vpon these things, who haue rather to complaine of the iniurie offered by some of our neighbors of the laitie, which dailie indeuor to bring vs also within the compasse of their fifteens or taxes for their owne ease, whereas the taxe of the whole realme, which is commonlie greater in the cham|peigne than woodland soile, amounteth onelie to 37930 pounds nine pence halfepenie, is a burden easie inough to be borne vpon so manie shoulders, without the helpe of the cleargie, whose tenths and subsidies make vp commonlie a double, if not trou|blesome vnto their aforesaid paiments. Sometimes also we are threatned with a Meliùsinquirendum, as if our liuings were not racked high inough alreadie. But if a man should seeke out where all those church lands, which in time past did contribute vnto the old summe required or to be made vp, no doubt no small number of the laitie of all states should be con|tributors also with vs, the prince not defrauded of hir expectation and right. We are also charged with armor & munitions from thirtie pounds vpwards, a thing more néedfull than diuerse other charges im|posed vpon vs are conuenient, by which & other bur|dens our case groweth to be more heauie by a great deale (notwithstanding our immunitie from tempo|rall seruices) than that of the laitie, and for ought that I sée not likelie to be diminished, as if the church were now become the asse whereon euerie market man is to ride and cast his wallet.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 The other paiments due vnto the archbishop and bishop at their seuerall visitations (of which the first is double to the latter) and such also as the archdea|con receiueth at his synods, &c: remaine still as they did without anie alteration, onelie this I thinke be added within memorie of man, that at the comming of euerie prince, his appointed officers doo common|lie visit the whole realme vnder the forme of an ec|clesiasticall inquisition, in which the clergie doo vsual|lie paie double fées, as vnto the archbishop. Hereby then, and by those alreadie remembred, it is found that the church of England, is no lesse commodious to the princes coffers than the state of the laitie, if it doo not farre exceed the same, since their paiments are certeine, continuall, and seldome abated, howsoe|uer they gather vp their owne duties with grudg|ing, murmuring, sute, and slanderous speeches of the paiers, or haue their liuings otherwise hardlie valu|ed vnto the vttermost farding, or shrewdlie cancel|led by the couetousnesse of the patrones, of whome some doo bestow aduousons of benefices vpon their bakers, butlers, cookes, good archers, falconers, and horssekéepers, in sted of other recompense, for their long and faithfull seruice, which they imploie after|ward vnto their most aduantage.

Certes here they resemble the pope verie much, for as he sendeth out his idols, so doo they their para|sites, pages, chamberleins, stewards, groomes, & lac|kies; and yet these be the men that first exclame of the insufficiencie of the ministers, as hoping there|by in due time to get also their glebes and grounds into their hands. In times past bishopriks went al|most after the same maner vnder the laie princes, and then vnder the pope, so that he which helped a clerke vnto a see, was sure to haue a present or purse fine, if not an annuall pension, besides that which went to the popes coffers, and was thought to be ve|rie good merchandize. Hereof one example may be touched, as of a thing doone in my yoonger daies, whi|lest quéene Marie bare the swaie and gouerned in this land. After the death of Stephan Gardiner, the sée of Winchester was void for a season, during which time cardinall Poole made seizure vpon the re|uenues and commodities of the same, pretending authoritie therevnto Sede vacante, by vertue of his place. With this act of his the bishop of Lincolne cal|led White tooke such displeasure, that he stepped in like a mate, with full purpose (as he said) to kéepe that sée from ruine. He wrote also to Paulus the fourth pope, requiring that he might be preferred therevn|to, promising so as he might be Compos voti, to paie to the popes coffers 1600 pounds yearlie during his naturall life, and for one yeere after. But the pope no|thing liking of his motion, and yet desirous to reape a further benefit, first shewed himselfe to stomach his simonicall practise verie grieuouslie, considering the dangerousnesse of the time and present estate of the church of England, which hoong as yet in balance readie to yéeld anie waie, sauing foorth right, as he alledged in his letters. By which replie he so terrified the poore bishop, that he was driuen vnto another is|sue, I meane to recouer the popes good will, with a further summe than stood with his ease to part with|all. In the end when the pope had gotten this fleece, a new deuise was found, and meanes made to and by the prince, that White might be bishop of Winche|ster, which at the last he obteined, but in such wise as that the pope and his néerest friends did lose but a lit|tle by it. I could if néed were set downe a report of diuerse other the like practises, but this shall suffice in stéed of all the rest, least in reprehending of vice I might shew my selfe to be a teacher of vngodlinesse, or to scatter more vngratious séed in lewd ground EEBO page image 138 alreadie choked with wickednesse.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 To procéed therefore with the rest, I thinke it good also to remember, that the names vsuallie giuen vn|to such as féed the flocke remaine in like sort as in times past, so that these words, parson, vicar, curat, and such are not yet abolished more than the canon law it selfe, which is dailie pleaded, as I haue said elsewhere; although the statutes of the realme haue greatlie infringed the large scope, and brought the exercise of the same into some narrower limits. There is nothing read in our churches but the cano|nicall scriptures, whereby it commeth to passe that the psalter is said ouer once in thirtie daies, the new testament foure times, and the old testament once in the yeare. And herevnto if the curat be ad|iudged by the bishop or his deputies, sufficientlie instructed in the holie scriptures, and therewithall able to teach, he permitteth him to make some expo|sition or exhortation in his parish, vnto amendment of life. And for so much as our churches and vniuer|sities haue béene so spoiled in time of errour, as there cannot yet be had such number of able pastours as may suffice for euerie parish to haue one: there are (beside foure sermons appointed by publike order in the yeare) certeine sermons or homilies (deuised by sundrie learned men, confirmed for sound doctrine by consent of the diuines, and publike authoritie of the prince) and those appointed to be read by the cu|rats of meane vnderstanding (which homilies doo comprehend the principall parts of christian doc|trine, as of originall sinne, of iustification by faith, of charitie, and such like) vpon the sabbaoth daies, vnto the congregation. And after a certeine number of psalmes read, which are limited according to the daies of the month, for morning and euening praier, we haue two lessons, wherof the first is taken out of the old testament, the second out of the new, and of these latter that in the morning is out of the gospels, the other in the after noone out of some one of the e|pistles. After morning prater also we haue the leta|nie and suffrages, an inuocation in mine opinion not deuised without the great assistance of the spirit of God, although manie curious mindsicke persons vtterlie condemne it as superstitious and sauoring of coniuration and sorcerie.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 This being doone, we procéed vnto the communion, if anie communicants be to receiue the eucharist, if not we read the decalog, epistle and gospell with the Nicene créed (of some in derision called the drie com|munion) and then procéed vnto an homilie or ser|mon, which hath a psalme before and after it, and fi|nallie vnto the baptisme of such infants as on euerie saboth daie (if occasion so require) are brought vnto the churches: and thus is the forenoone bestowed. In the after noone likewise we méet againe, and after the psalmes and lessons ended we haue commonlie a sermon, or at the leastwise our youth catechised by the space of an houre. And thus doo we spend the sa|baoth daie in good and godlie exercises, all doone in our vulgar toong, that each one present may heare and vnderstand the same, which also in cathedrall and collegiat churches is so ordered, that the psalmes onelie are soong by note, the rest being read (as in common parish churches) by the minister with a lowd voice, sauing that in the administration of the com|munion the quier singeth the answers, the créed, and sundrie other things appointed, but in so plaine, I saie, and distinct maner, that each one present may vnderstand what they sing, euerie word hauing but one note, though the whole harmonie consist of ma|nie parts, and those verie cunninglie set by the skil|full in that science.

Certes this translation of the seruice of the church into the vulgar toong, hath not a litle offended the pope almost in euerie age, as a thing verie often at|tempted by diuers princes, but neuer generallie ob|teined, for feare least the confenting thervnto might bréed the ouerthrow (as it would in déed) of all his re|ligion and hierarchie: neuerthelesse in some places where the kings and princes dwelled not vnder his nose, it was performed maugre his resistance, Ura|tislaus duke of Bohemia, would long since haue doone the like also in his kingdome, but not daring to venter so farre without the consent of the pope, he wrote vnto him thereof, and receiued his answer in|hibitorie vnto all his proceeding in the same.

Gregorius septimus Vratislao Bohemorum duci, &c. Quia nobilitas tua postulat, quòd secundũ Sclauonicã linguã apud vos diuinum celebrari annueremus officium, scias nos huic petitioni tuae nequaquàm possefauere, ex hoc nempe se voluen|tibus liquet, non immeritò sacram scripturam optimo Deo pla|cuisse quibusdam locis esse occultam; ne si ad liquidum cun|ctis pateret, fortè vilesceret, & subiaceret despectui, aut prauè intellecta à mediocribus in errorem induceret. Neque enim ad excusationem iuuat, quòd quidam viri hoc quod sim|plex populus quaerit patienter tulerunt, seu incorrectum dimi|serunt: cum primitiua ecclesia multa dissimulauerit, quae à sanctis patribus postmodum, firmata christianitate & reli|gione crescente, subtili examinatione correcta sunt: vnde id nè fiat, quod à vestris imprudenter exposcitur, authoritate beati Petri inhibemus; téque ad honorem optimi Dei huic vanae temeritati viribus totis resistere praecipimus, &c. Da|tum Romae, &c.

I would set downe two or thrée more of the like instruments passed from that see vnto the like end, but this shall suffice, being lesse common than the o|ther, which are to be had more plentifullie.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 As for our churches themselues, belles, and times of morning and euening praier, remaine as in times past, sauing that all images, shrines, tabernacles, roodlofts, and monuments of idolatrie are remoo|ued, taken downe, and defaced; onelie the stories in glasse windowes excepted, which for want of suffi|cient store of new stuffe, and by reason of extreame charge that should grow by the alteration of the same into white panes throughout the realme, are not altogither abolished in most places at once, but by little and little suffered to decaie, that white glasse may be prouided and set vp in their roomes. Final|lie, whereas there was woont to be a great partition betwéene the quire and the bodie of the church; now it is either verie small or none at all: and to saie the truth altogither needlesse, sith the minister saith his seruice commonlie in the bodie of the church, with his face toward the people, in a little tabernacle of wainscot prouided for the purpose: by which means the ignorant doo not onelie learne diuerse of the psalmes and vsuall praiers by heart, but also such as can read, doo praie togither with him: so that the whole congregation at one instant powere out their petitions vnto the liuing God, for the whole estate of his church in most earnest and feruent manner. Our holie and festiuall daies are verie well reduced also vnto a lesse number; for whereas (not long since) we had vnder the pope foure score and fiftéene, called fe|stiuall, and thirtie Profesti, beside the sundaies, they are all brought vnto seauen and twentie: and with them the superfluous numbers of idle waks, guilds, fraternities, church-ales, helpe-ales, and soule-ales, called also dirge-ales, with the heathnish rioting at bride-ales, are well diminished and laid aside. And no great matter were it if the feasts of all our apostles, euangelists, and martyrs, with that of all saincts, were brought to the holie daies that follow vpon Christmasse, Easter, and Whitsuntide; and those of the virgine Marie, with the rest vtterlie remooued from the calendars, as neither necessarie nor com|mendable in a reformed church.

EEBO page image 139 The apparell in like sort of our clergie men is com|lie,Apparell. & in truth, more decent than euer it was in the po|pish church: before the vniuersities bound their gra|duats vnto a stable attire, afterward vsurped also e|uen by the blind sir Iohns. For if you peruse well my chronologie insuing, you shall find, that they went either in diuerse colors like plaiers, or in gar|ments of light hew, as yellow, red, greene, &c: with their shooes piked, their haire crisped, their girdles armed with siluer; their shooes, spurres, bridles, &c: buckled with like mettall: their apparell (for the most part) of silke, and richlie furred; their cappes laced and butned with gold: so that to méet a priest in those daies, was to behold a peacocke that spreadeth his taile when he danseth before the henne: which now (I saie) is well reformed.Hospitalitie. Touching hospitali|tie, there was neuer anie greater vsed in England, sith by reason that mariage is permitted to him that will choose that kind of life, their meat and drinke is more orderlie and frugallie dressed; their furniture of houshold more conuenient, and better looked vnto; and the poore oftener fed generallie than heretofore they haue béene, when onlie a few bishops, and dou|ble or treble beneficed men did make good cheere at Christmasse onelie, or otherwise kept great houses for the interteinment of the rich, which did often see and visit them. It is thought much peraduenture, that some bishops, &c: in our time doo come short of the ancient gluttonie and prodigalitie of their prede|cessors: but to such as doo consider of the curtailing of their liuings, or excessiue prices whervnto things are growen, and how their course is limited by law, and estate looked into on euery side, the cause of their so dooing is well inough perceiued. This also offen|deth manie, that they should after their deaths leaue their substances to their wiues and children: wheras they consider not, that in old time such as had no le|mans nor bastards (verie few were there God wot of this sort) did leaue their goods and possessions to their brethren and kinsfolks, whereby (as I can shew by good record) manie houses of gentilitie haue gro|wen and béene erected. If in anie age some one of them did found a college, almeshouse, or schoole, if you looke vnto these our times, you shall see no fewer déeds of charitie doone, nor better grounded vpon the right stub of pietie than before.Mariage. If you saie that their wiues be fond, after the deceasse of their hus|bands, and bestow themselues not so aduisedlie as their calling requireth, which God knoweth these curious surueiors make small accompt of in truth, further than thereby to gather matter of reprehen|sion: I beséech you then to looke into all states of the laitie, & tell me whether some duchesses, countesses, barons, or knights wiues, doo not fullie so often of|fend in the like as they? for Eue will be Eue though Adam would saie naie.Thred-bare gownes from whence they come. Not a few also find fault with our thred-bare gowns, as if not our patrones but our wiues were causes of our wo. But if it were knowne to all, that I know to haue beene performed of late in Essex, where a minister taking a benefice (of lesse than twentie pounds in the Quéenes bookes so farre as I remember) was inforced to paie to his patrone, twentie quarters of otes, ten quarters of wheat, and sixtéene yéerelie of barleie, which he called hawkes meat; and another left the like in farme to his patrone for ten pounds by the yéere, which is well woorth fortie at the least, the cause of our thred|bare gownes would easilie appeere, for such patrons doo scrape the wooll from our clokes. Wherfore I may well saie, that such a thred-bare minister is either an ill man, or hath an ill patrone, or both: and when such cookes & cobling shifters shall be remooued and wee|ded out of the ministerie, I doubt not but our pa|trons will prooue better men, and be reformed whe|ther they will or not, or else the single minded bishops shall sée the liuing bestowed vpon such as doo deserue it. When the Pragmatike sanction tooke place first in France, it was supposed that these enormities should vtterlie haue ceased: but when the elections of bishops came once into the hands of the ca|nons and spirituall men, it grew to be farre worse. For they also within a while waxing couetous, by their owne experience learned aforehand, raised the markets, and sought after new gaines by the gifts of the greatest liuings in that countrie,Number of churches in France. wherein (as Machiauell writeth) are eightéene archbishoprikes, one hundred fortie and sixe bishoprikes, 740 ab|bies, eleuen vniuersities, 1000700 stéeples (if his re|port be sound.) Some are of the opinion, that if suf|ficient men in euerie towne might be sent for from the vniuersities, this mischiefe would soone be reme|died; but I am cleane of another mind. For when I consider wherevnto the gifts of felowships in some places are growen:Pretie pac|king. the profit that ariseth at sun|drie elections of scholars out of grammar schooles, to the posers, schoolemasters, and preferrers of them to our vniuersities, the gifts of a great number of almeshouses builded for the maimed and impotent souldiors, by princes and good men heretofore moo|ued with a pittifull consideration of the poore di|stressed: how rewards, pensions, and annuities also doo reigne in other cases, wherby the giuer is brought somtimes into extreame miserie, & that not so much as the roome of a common souldior is not obteined oftentimes, without a What will you giue me? I am brought into such a mistrust of the sequele of this de|uise, that I dare pronounce (almost for certeine) that if Homer were now aliue, it should be said to him:

Túque licèt venias musis comitatus Homere,
Si nihil attuleris ibis Homere foras.

More I could saie, and more I would saie of these and other things, were it not that in mine owne iudgement I haue said inough alreadie for the ad|uertisement of such as be wise. Neuerthelesse, be|fore I finish this chapter, I will adde a word or two (so brieflie as I can) of the old estate of ca|thedrall churches, which I haue collected togither here and there among the writers, and whereby if shall easilie be seene what they were, and how neere the gouernment of ours doo in these daies approch vnto them, for that there is an irreconciliable ods betwéene them and those of the papists, I hope there is no learned man indéed, but will acknowlege and yéeld vnto it.

We find therefore in the time of the primitiue church,Old estate of cathedrall churches. that there was in euerie see or iurisdiction one schoole at the least, whereinto such as were cate|chistes in christian religion did resort. And hereof as we may find great testimonie for Alexandria, Anti|och, Rome, and Hierusalem; so no small notice is left of the like in the inferior sort, if the names of such as taught in them be called to mind, & the histories well read which make report of the same. These schooles were vnder the iurisdiction of the bishops, and from thence did they & the rest of the elders choose out such as were the ripest scholars, and willing to serue in the ministerie, whome they placed also in their ca|thedrall churches, there not onelie to be further in|structed in the knowledge of the word, but also to in|vre them to the deliuerie of the same vnto the peo|ple in sound maner, to minister the sacraments, to visit the sicke and brethren imprisoned, and to per|forme such other duties as then belonged to their charges. The bishop himselfe and elders of the church were also hearers and examiners of their doctrine, and being in processe of time found meet workmen for the lords haruest, they were forthwith sent abrode (after imposition of hands, and praier generallie EEBO page image 140 made for their good proceeding) to some place or other then destitute of hir pastor, and other taken from the schoole also placed in their roomes. What number of such clerks belonged now and then to some one sée, the chronologie following shall easilie declare: and in like sort what officers, widowes, and other persons were dailie mainteined in those seasons by the offe|rings and oblations of the faithfull, it is incredible to be reported, if we compare the same with the decaies and ablations séene and practised at this present. But what is that in all the world which auarice and negli|gence will not corrupt and impaire? And as this is a paterne of the estate of the cathedrall churches in those times, so I wish that the like order of gouern|ment might once againe be restored vnto the same, which may be doone with ease, sith the schooles are al|readie builded in euerie diocesse, the vniuersities, places of their preferment vnto further knowledge, and the cathedrall churches great inough to receiue so manie as shall come from thence to be instructed vnto doctrine. But one hinderance of this is alrea|die and more & more to be looked for (beside the pluc|king and snatching commonlie séene from such hou|ses and the church) and that is, the generall contempt of the ministerie, and small consideration of their former paines taken, whereby lesse and lesse hope of competent maintenance by preaching the word is likelie to insue. Wherefore the greatest part of the more excellent wits choose rather to imploy their stu|dies vnto physike and the lawes, vtterlie giuing ouer the studie of the scriptures, for feare least they should in time not get their bread by the same. By this meanes also the stalles in their quéeres would be bet|ter filled, which now (for the most part) are emptie, and prebends should be prebends indéed, there to liue till they were preferred to some ecclesiasticall function, and then other men chosen to succéed them in their roomes, whereas now prebends are but su|perfluous additaments vnto former excesses, & per|petuall commodities vnto the owners, which before time were but temporall (as I haue said before.) But as I haue good leisure to wish for these things: so it shall be a longer time before it will be brought to passe. Neuerthelesse, as I will praie for a reforma|tion in this behalfe, so will I here conclude this my discourse of the estate of our churches, and go in hand with the limits and bounds of our seuerall sées, in such order as they shall come vnto my present re|membrance.

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