Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

as for a liberal pension, with good assurance to have been BOOK obtained: and yet weighing my duty to God, and to the Queen's Grace, in such respects as it may please your worshipful wisdoms to peruse here following, I have not given place. But now perceiving the continuance to be in danger, and not to be stayed by my ability, I thought it good in time to make my refuge to your Worships, to give your. wisdomes occasion to consult, (as ye do in other matters pertaining to the Queens honor and commodity,) what ye shal think meet to be don in this said case.

The suppression thereof cannot be great advancement to the Kings Majesty, the lands being but 3001. and altogether, except a very little, stonding in spiritual rents. The house stondeth so, that her Graces tenants be round about it, as wel to be refreshed with almes and daily hospitality, as is there kept, as to be instructed with Gods word of certain of her Graces orators, occupying the same. Beside the commodity, that the childer of her Graces tenants and farmers freely enjoy, by their teaching and bringing up as wel in grammar, as in singing and playing *, * On the with other exercises and nourtures meet for their ages and organs capacities : being there sundry teachers attending upon their instructions in the same. The number of which scholars, with other honorable and worshipful childer, amount

Moreover, it may please your honorable wisdomes to cal to remembrance, that her Grace, being lady and patroness but of that one in that country, where her Graces honorable revenues in some part lyeth, and the house being situate as it is, and so competently furnished with lodgings for the maintaining of her Graces Council at their repair down; I trust yee wil expend, whether in this respect it were not convenient some stay to be made therein. As heretofore have been received there at some survey the most part of her Graces Council eight days together, with the resort of the most part of her farmors and tenants to the same: and have been entertained there without cost of the Queens Graces coffers, in such wise as was to the conten-, tation of them, worshipful as they were, at that time.

to

I.

BOOK Which expence so by us gladly susteined, I report not

for any other cause, but to some little testification of our ready good-wil and service to the Queens Highness and her Council; and to declare no less readines of service to remain in us hereafter, to our abilities in the same.

Moreover, whatsoever your excellent wisdomes shal thus, or otherwise, more prudently consider in the premisses, I thought it to be to the discharge of my duty and conscience to signify unto you, as officers under God and the King, to provide for the preservation of the Queens honour in this behalf, to the plesure of God, and relief of her poor orators

tenants; by suggesting such or like respects to the Queens 10 Grace, for information of the Kings Majesty. Who, at the

contemplation of her Graces suit, I doubt not, wil be good and gracious Lord : as I have of late made supplication to the Queens Highness by my self, with declaration of these considerations aforesaid, it may pleas your worshipful goodnes to pursue the same, as your opportunities shal serve you. Wherby, beside the discharge of your conscience, I trust it shal redound to Gods honor in special. To whose merciful tuition I most humbly commit your honorable state.

Number VII.
A learned discourse of Dr. Parker against alienation of

the revenues of the Church.
Non debere res ecclesiasticas ad publicum sacri ministerii

usum destinatas, ad alios usus, aut ad privatas hominum commoditates transferri. Et proinde, non posse bona cum conscientia Episcopum aliquem designatum, aut de

signandum hujusmodi alienationibus consentire. MSS. C. C. I. IN omni actione sive à Christiano ministrata, sive ab Mis- Ecclesiæ Ministro suscipienda, hii præcipuè fines esse

debent, ut ad divini nominis sanctificationem, et Ecclesiæ suæ pedificationem, actiones suas dirigant. Si sibi alios

C. C. Mis cell. A.

scopos proponant non possunt rectè Patrem cælestem invo BOOK care, et pro nominis sui sanctificatione (quod primum omnium à Christo facere docemur) orare.

II. Hos autem fines nihil magis promovet, quam sacrum Christi ministerium ; quod Paulus, Ephes. iv. ad ædificationem corporis Christi institutum esse, ait. Adeo ut quum maximè vigeat ministerium, tum maximè etiam floreat religio et pietas. Quum illud aut extinctum aut corruptum fuerit, extinctâ etiam verâ religione, omnia aut in superstitiones, aut in profanam impietatem et epicurismum pessum eunt.

III. Jam verò quis dubitare potest, quin ad hos fines primum collatæ sunt ecclesiæ possessiones et redditus, ut homines promptiore animo ministerium sacrum ingrederentur, ut numerum episcoporum augerent, ut omni de vita solicitudine carentes, functionibus sacris, et piis studiis melius invigilantes, et ut cum gaudio quod sui est muneris faciant, non gementes, quod Paulus gregi Dominico inutile esse putat: et præterea, nè iis quos docent essent oneri, ut eos haberent obsequentiores. Postremò, ut haberent etiam ipsi quod in pauperes, et alia pietatis opera impenderent. Quum ergo, hæc omnia pia sint, et Deo 0. M. gratissima, quantumcunque ecclesiis detrahitur, tantum hiis piis institutis, tantum sano ministerio, tantum Christo detrahitur.

I will relate the rest of the discourse in English.

Then he proceeded to several places of Scripture, where the depriving of spiritual men of their incomes is disallowed. That the magistrates of the people of Israel were severely chid by Nehemiah, because the Levites, defrauded of their portions, had left their ministry, and were fled to their countries, Ez. ï. That there was need of some such Nehemiah in our age, that might bring into the magistrates? mind the condition of our time. Great is now the need, said he, of pious ministers, preachers, and learned men. That the Universities, as to the hope of the sacred ministry, promised not a sufficient crop. That there was a great ruin of scholars, and paucity of learners. That these evils were so far from being corrected by this alienation of

BOOK the ecclesiastical revenues, that they did more and more inI. _crease, the hope of reward being taken away.

By what means can this commandment of the Decalogue be dispensed withal, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's .wife, house, field, nor whatsoever is thy neighbour's ? For when as by the munificence of former pious princes, churches were made civil bodies, so now to spoil them is

more than to spoil a private and single man. 11 That the weak were offended, and rendered more un

willing and averse towards the Gospel by these alienations. The mouth of the enemy and obstinate Papist was not stopped; and so the progress of the Gospel hindered.

That it would reflect both upon magistrates and Bishops.

Magistrates; that when ill Bishops and enemies of the Gospel were removed, and the revenues went into the profits of private persons, it would be said, that magistrates did not this out of a true zeal, but for their own ends.

Bishops; who corroborated these donations by their own consents, more offence would arise hence. For they were held for simoniacs, who by making bargains climbed to their bishoprics; and for covetous persons, and menpleasers ; and so were not unreproveable, as St. Paul required Bishops to be ; nor having a good report of those that are without

It was easily yielded, that it was lawful for Christian magistrates, where a very large portion happened to any one single person, to disperse it into more parts; that stipends might be enjoyed by more that laboured in the word and doctrine, for the greater edification of the Church. But so that not a farthing might go from the uses of the ministry to the profit of others.

We read, that many Christian and truly noble princes conferred much upon the Church, and did confirm the immunities of the Church by laws; as Constantine, Jovian, Justinian, Charles the Great : but we can produce no one honest man out of history, who transferred the revenues of 'the Church to external men.

I.,

That in the first times, the Churches had very ample BOOK revenues conferred upon them; even then, when pious and -learned Bishops flourished in the Church. It appears from Chrysostom, Hom. 67. in Matt. that in the Church of Constantinople the revenues maintained three thousand widows and poor people, beside the Ministers of the Church; and beside that assistance that was sent to prisons and hospitals from the Church.

That as we read in Theodoret, lib. iv. cap. 4. when Julian had rescinded an edict of Constantine the Great, for granting of bread-corn to the Churches, Jovian restored this right of it back to the Churches, and confirmed it by a new edict.

That the lovers of the purer religion should be moved somewhat by the learned and godly German writers. Of whom not one, either by word or writing, had approved of these alienations. Bucer, that incomparable man, never would use milder words in this argument, than to call it Sacrilegium et diminutionem patrimonii Crucifixi ; that is, “ Sacrilege and lessening the patrimony of the crucified “ Christ:" and was wont to ascribe God's wrath upon Germany to two causes : one was, that the princes would never admit the discipline of the Church. The other, that though they were so often warned, they would not abstain from the anathema, i. e. “ the cursed thing.” For so he called the possessions of the Church. These evils, said he, have destroyed Germany.

He proceeded, and alleged, that laponoid, that bold speech of St. Ambrose, out of his Epistles: “ When it was “ propounded, that we should again deliver up the vessels of “ the Church, I made this answer, that if it were demanded 6 of me to give away any thing of mine own, my farm, my “ house, my gold, my silver, I would freely give it. But " that nothing could be taken from the house of God, nor “ could I deliver that which I received to keep, not to « deliver.”

That it could not serve these Bishops' turns that many of these alienations and donations were made before they

« НазадПродовжити »