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hand to build, when they thought merit was annexed to their performances. Oh! with what might and main did they mount their walls, both day and night; erroneously conceiving, that their souls were advantaged to hëaven, when taking the rise from the top of a steeple of their own erection.
Abbeys engrossed Träde, impoverished Parish Priests,
encouraged Offenders.. .
The specious pretences of piety, and contempt of the world, abbots and monks, were notoriously covétous, éven to the injury of others. Witness their tenting and stocking of farms, keeping of tan-houses and brew-houses in their own hands. For though the monks themselves were too fine-nosed to dabble in tan-fåtts, yet they kept others (bred in that trade) to follow their work. These convents having bark of their own woods, hides of the cattle of their own breeding and killing; and (which was the main) a large stock of money to buy at the best hand, and to allow such chapmén as they sold to a long day of payment, easily eat out such who were bred up in that vocation. Whereupon, in the one-and-twentieth of king Henry VIII, a statute was made, " that nô priést, either regular or secular, should, on heavy par nalties, hereafter meddle 'with such mechanic employments.”.
2. Secondly, They impoverished parish priests by decrying their performances, and magnifying their own merits. Alas! What was the single devotion of a silly priest, in comparison of a corporation of prayers (twisted cables to draw down blessings on their patrons' heads) from a whole monastery? And suppose (which was seldom done) the parson in the parish preaching to his people, yet sermons in a church once constituted were needless, as ministring matter of schisms and disputes, and at the best only profiting the present ; whilst prayers benefitted as well the absent as the present, dead or living. But especially prayers of monasteries commanded heaven, pleased with the holy violence of so many and mighty petitioners. By these and other artifices, they undermined all priests in the affections of their own people, and procured from pope and prince, that many churches presentative, with their glebes and tithes, were appropriated to their convents, leaving but a poor pittance to the parish vicar ; though the pope (as stiling himself but a vicar) ought to have been more sensible of their sad condition.
3. Besides appropriation of such churches, abbeys also wronged parish priests by procuring from the pope Paschal the Second, Anno Domini 1100, in the council of Mentz, that their demesnes, farms, and
granges (anciently paying tithes like the lands of other laymen) should: hereafter be free from the same; but this exemption was afterwards, by pope Adrian the Fourth, about the year 1150, justly limitted and restrained; religious orders being enjoined the payment of tithes, of whatsoever increase they had in their own occupation (save of new improvements by culture of pasture of their cattle, and of garden fruits). Only three orders, namely, the Cestertians, Teniplers, and Knights Hospitallers, (otherwise called St. John's of Jerusalem) were exempted from the general payment of all tithes whatsoever.
4. And why Cestertians rather than any other order? Give me leave to conjecture three reasons thereof. 1. Adrian the Fourth, our none countryman, was at first a Benedictine monk of St. Albans, and these Cestertians were only Benedictines refined. 2. They were the Benjamins, one of the youngest remarkable orders of that age, and therefore made darlings (not to say wantons) by the holy father the pope. 3. It is suspicious, that by bribery in the court of Rome they might obtain this privilege so beneficial unto them. l'or I find that king Richard I. disposed his daughter Avarice to be married to the Cestertian order, as the most grasping and griping of all others.
I leave it others to render reasons why Templers, and Hospitallers, being mere laymen, and divers times . of late adjudged in the court of Aides in Patis, No part of the clergy should have this privilege, to be exempted from tithes.” But we remember they were sword-men, and that awėth all into obedience," &c. &c.
The above extract, though it contains some curious information, is not, perhaps, á veřý striking specimen of Fuller's very singular style of writing. But it is difficult, out of voluminous works, always to please one's self.
6. The year after his death, or in 1662, was published his “ History of the Worthies of England." He had this work in hand during seventeen years. It possesses no very high character for authenticity; yet it deserves to be consulted, since it contains many lives not to be found elsewhere prior to the author's time. It besides proposes to give an account of the native commodities, manufactures, build ings, proverbs, &c. of all the counties of England and Wales, as well as their great men in church and state. According to bishop Nicholson, the best things in it are, “ The cata
logues of the sheriffs, and the lists of the gentry, as they were returned from the several counties, twelve only excepted, in the twelfth year of Henry VI. ; (and that) his chief author is Bale for the lives of his eminent writers; and those of his greatest heroes are commonly mis-shapen scraps mixed with tattle and lies.”
R. Turner Qinquadns, who laboured to revive the everlasting fame of Paracelsus, says that, “ His slaai. . han som vnaminiously unraked out of their silent grave by one whose scribbling pen was Fuller of scandals than modesty; his head seemed owl-like, Fuller of folly than wit, and his words Fuller of falsehood than truth; else certainly he would not have fallen so foul upon the dead whom he never knew; and if he had, was not capable of mak. ing him an answer, but dwarf-like, tramples on a dead giant." [Preface to Paracelsus of Ches mical Transmutation, &c.).
Besides these works, he published sermons, and various other tracts, which it is unnecessary to particularise. His compositions abound in the quaintest wit, in puns and quib. bles ; as if his design had been to give to the