Зображення сторінки


“his painful labours to the good of his church.” And yet in this place he met with many oppositions in the regulation of church affairs, which were much disordered at his entrance,by reason of the age and remissness of Bishop Grindal (his immediate predecessor), the activity of the Non-conformists, and their chief aslistant the Earl of Leicester; and indeed by too many others of the like sacrilegious principles. With these he was to encounter; and tho' he wanted neither courage nor a good cause, yet he foresaw, that without a great measure of the Queen's favour, it was impossible to stand in the breach that was made into the lands and immunities of the church, or to maintain the remaining rights of it. And therefore by justifiable sacred infinuations, such as St. Paul to Agrippa (“ Agrippa, believest thou? I know thou believest”), he wrought himself into so great a degree of favour with her, as, by his pious use of it, hath got both of them a greater degree of fame in this world, and of glory in that into which they are now entered.

His merits to the Queen, and her favours to him were such, that she called him her little black husband", and called his servants her servants; and she saw so visible and blessed a sincerity shine in all his cares and endea

vours • Rather, according to Strype, “By reason of his fuspension or fequesitation which he lay “ under (together with the Queen's displeasure) for some years when the ecclesiastical affairs “ were managed by certain Civilians.”. During the latter part of his life Archbishop Grindal was confined to his house, and sequestered for a non-compliance with the directions of the Queen, when she ordered him to forbid the exercises and prophecies which were then much practised by the Puritans. He became totally blind in 1582. The resignation of his archbishopric being frequently urged by her Majesty was delayed from time to time, until broken down with infirmity he died July 6, 1583, aged 63 years.--Though he has been blamed for holding the reins too loose in respect to the Puritans, and for his slackness in the government of the affairs of the church, yet this has been considered as too severe a charge. Hollingshead says of him, " That he was so studious, that his book was his bride, and his study his “ bride-chamber, wherein he spent both his eye-fight, his strength, and his health."--In fact, he was a person of mild manners, and of fingular moderation, and very unwilling to have recourse to extremities. Hence the Puritans claimed him as their own, though in reality no one was ever more sincerely attached to the Church of England.

d Whitgift's name gave occasion to the Queen to make a descant upon him, expreslive of her regard, calling him “ her White Gift.” Mr. Hugh Broughton styled him “ Archbishop “ Lucodore;" and with the same allusion the following lines were written :

“ Quod paci, Whitgifte, faves itudiisq; bonorum,
“ Det tibi pacis amans candida dona Deus."


vours for the church's and for her good, that she was supposed to trust him with the very secrets of her soul, and to make him her confessor, of which she gave many fair testimonies, and of which one was, “That she would never

eat flesh in Lent, without obtaining a license from her little black huf“band:” And would often say, “ she pitied him because she trusted him, and “had eased herself by laying the burthen of all her clergy-cares upon his « shoulders, which, she was certain, he managed with prudence and piety.”

I shall not keep myself within the promised rules of brevity in this account of his interest with her Majesty, and her care of the church's rights, if in this digression I fhould enlarge to particulars; and therefore my desire is, that one example may serve for a testimony of both. And that the reader may the better understand it, he may take notice, that not many years before his being made archbishop, there passed an act' or acts of Parliament, intending the better preservation of church-lands, by recalling a power which was vested in others to sell or lease them, by lodging and trusting the future care and protection of them only in the crown; and amongst many that made a bad use of this power or trust of the Queen's,, the Earl of Leicester was one; and the good bishop having by his interest with herMajesty put a stop to the Earl's facrilegious designs, they two fell to an , open opposition before her; after which they both quitted the room, not friends in appearance. But the bishop made a sudden and seasonable return to her Majesty (for he found her alone), and spake to her with great humility and reverence, and to this purpose":

“I befeech: And a scholar at Oxford composed this epitaph upon him :

“ Candida dona tibi, Whitegyfte, sunt nomen et omen.
“ Nomen habes niveis nunc inscriptum ergo lapillis,

“ Et stola pro meritis redditur alba tuis." e Licenses were granted at that time by the Archbishops of Canterbury for a man to eat: flesh and white meats, even during his whole life; but with this proviso, “he do it foberly, 6, and frugally, cautiously, and avoiding public scandal as much as might be.” i Eliz. cap. 19.

. 8 This nobleman professed a great desire of unity in the church, and yet was an earnest patron of Cartwright and others of the Puritan strain. He preferred Cartwright to the mastership of his hospital, founded by him at Warwick. (Strype.)

+ This animated speech was delivered before the Queen in 1578, when Whitgift was, Bishop of Worcester,


" I beseech your Majesty to hear me with patience, and to believe that “ your's and the church's safety are dearer to me than my life, but my con“ fcience dearer than both; and therefore give me leave to do my duty, “ and tell you, that princes are deputed nursing fathers of the church, and “ owe it a protection; and therefore God forbid that you should be so “ much as passive in her ruin, when you may prevent it; or that I should “ behold it without horror and detestation; or should forbear to tell your

Majesty of the sin and danger. And though you and myself are born in

an age of frailties, when the primitive piety and care of the church's “ lands and immunities are much decayed; yet, Madam, let me beg that

you will but first consider, and then you will believe there are such sins as profaneness and sacrilege: for if there were not, they could not have

names in holy writ; and particularly in the New Testament. And I “ beseech you to consider, that though our Saviour faid, “He judged no “6 man;' and to testify it, would not judge nor divide the inheritance be“ twixt the two brethren, nor would judge the woman taken in adultery,

yet in this point of the church's rights, he was so zealous, that he made “ himself both the accuser and the judge, and the executioner to punish “ these fins; witnesled, in that he himself made the whip to drive the pro“ faners out of the temple, overthrew the tables of the money-changers, “ and drove them out of it. And consider, that it was St. Paul that said " to those Christians of his time that were offended with idolatry, yet, «« « Thou that abhorreft idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?' supposing, I " think, sacrilege to be the greater sin. This may

occasion your Majesty to consider, that there is such a sin as sacrilege; and to incline you to

prevent the curse that will follow it: I beseech you also to consider, that “ Constantine the first Christian Emperor, and Helenak his mother; that King Edgar', and Edward the Confessor”, and indeed many others of

your i See “ Ant. Univers. History," Vol. XV. p. 564, 569. “ Hooker's Works,” Vol. III. p. 248, Oxford edit. 1793.

Nn 2

k " Ant. Univers. Hist.” Vol. II.

p. 406.

i See “ Collier's Ecclesiastical History,"Vol. I. p. 185.

* Ibid. Vol. I. p. 227, 229.

not, but

them as

your predecessors, and many private Christians, have also given to God “ and to his church much land, and many immunities, which they might “ have given to those of their own families, and did

gave an absolute right and sacrifice to God: And with these immunities and lands they have entailed a curse upon the alienators of them; God prevent your Majesty from being liable to that curse.

“ And to make you that are trusted with their preservation the better to “ understand the danger of it, I beseech you, forget not that, besides these “ curses, the church's land and power have been also endeavoured to be

preserved, as far as human reason, and the law of this nation, have been “ able to preserve them, by an immediate and most sacred obligation on the “ consciences of the princes of this realm. For they that consult Magna “ Charta shall find, that as all your predecessors were at their coronation, “ so you also were sworn before all the nobility and bishops then present,

and in the presence of God, and in his stead to him that anointed you,

to maintain the church lands, and the rights belonging to it"; and this testi“ fied openly at the holy altar, by laying your hands on the Bible then

lying upon it. And not only Magna Charta, but many modern statutes “ have denounced a curse upon those that break Magna Charta. And now “ what account can be given for the breach of this oath at the last great

day, either by your Majesty or by me, if it be wilfully or but negligently “ violated, I know not.

“And therefore, good Madam, let not the late lord's exceptions against “ the failings of some few clergymen prevail with you to punish posterity “ for the errors of this present age; let particular men suffer for their par“ ticular errors, but let God and his church have their right: And though I

pretend not to prophesy, yet I beg posterity to take notice of what is “ already become visible in many families ; That church-land, added to an “ ancient inheritance, hath proved like a moth fretting a garment, and “ secretly consumed both: or like the eagle that stole a coal from the altar, “ and thereby set her nest on fire, which consumed both her young eagles,

[ocr errors]

• The first Article of Magna Charta is “ Que les Eglises de Engleterre feront franches et 6 aient les drcitures franches, et enterinés, et pleniéres."

“ and herself that stole ito. And, though I shall forbear to speak reproach“ fully of your father, yet I beg you to take notice, that a part of the “church's rights, added to the vast treasure left him by his father, hath “ been conceived to bring an unavoidable consumption upon both, not

withstanding all his diligence to preserve it.

“And consider, that after the violation of those laws, to which he had “ sworn in Magna Charta, God did so far deny him his restraining grace, " that he fell into greater fins than I am willing to mention, Madam,

religion is the foundation and cement of human societies; and when

they that serve at God's altar shall be exposed to poverty, then religion “ itself will be exposed to scorn, and become contemptible ; as you may


“ already

• This beautiful apologue is taken with some alterations from “ Æsop's Fable

Æsop's Fable of the Fox and the Eagle.”-Apposite to this paffage are the remarks in a very scarce and curious tract, written by Mr. Ephraim Udall, and entitled “ Noli me tangere,” London, 1642. “And it is “ a thing to be thought on, that many antient families (as some intelligent men have observed) “ who inherited the lands of their ancestors, longâ feriedeductá a majoribus; when they took in “ some of the spoiles made in tithes and glebe by the statute of diffolution, their possessions “ quickly fpued out the old possessors of them as a loathsome thing, the bread of God “ proving as the bread of deceit, gravell in their teeth; and the portion of God's mini“ fters becoming like antimony or some such poyfon, that dranke into the stomacke pro“ vokes such a nauceous abhorrence in it, that it never rests till it hath emptied itself both of “the poyfon that troubles it, and of whatsoever else before lay quietly and inoffensively “therein. I could therefore wish that all our gentry would preserve their inheritances with“out ruin to their posterity, would beware they bring not any fpoiles of the church into “ their houses, left they be spoyled by them: for they are like the eagle's feathers by which “the Ægyptians in their hieroglyphicks signifie pernitiofa potentia ; for they are said to con“fume all feathers among which they are mingled, as Pierius relateth of them. And to pre“ serve them from this sin, that they would have a tablet hang up alwaies in the dining-roome where they ordinarily take their repast, in which should be drawne an altar with fresh and fire on

it for sacrifice, with an eagle ready to take wing, having in her talons a piece of flesh with a burn

ing coale at it, and something beside it, and higher than the altar a tall tree with an eagle's nest in it, " and the heads of her young ones discovered above the nest, and the nest flaming with a light fire about them, with this inscription over the altar, NOLI ME TANGERE NE TE ET TUOS PERDAM. For " things belonging to the altar will certainly prove a fnare to devourers of them.—(Page 32). This subject is fully discussed in Dr. South's twelve sermons, printed in 1692, p. 339, 345; and by Sir Henry Spelman, in “ The History and Fate of Sacrilege, discovered by Examples of Scripture, of Heathens, and of Christians, from the Beginning of the World, continually to this Day.”

« НазадПродовжити »