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Case of Hacket and his Adherents.

419 more than the common sort of men did, might have a purpose BOOK V.

Dedication. by their means to bring a wonderful work to pass, beyond all men's expectation, for the advancement of the throne of Discipline by some tragical execution, with the particularities whereof it was not safe for their friends to be made acquainted; of whom they did therefore but covertly demand, what they thought of extraordinary motions of the Spirit in these days, and withal request to be commended unto God by their prayers whatsoever should be undertaken by men of God in mere zeal to his glory and the good of his distressed Church. With this unusual and strange course they went on forward, till God, in whose heaviest worldly judgments I nothing doubt but that there may lie hidden mercy, gave them over to their own inventions, and left them made in the end an example for headstrong and inconsiderate zeal no less fearful, than Achitophel for proud and irreligious wisdom. If a spark of error have thus far prevailed, falling even where the wood was green and farthest off to all men's thinking from any inclination unto furious attempts; must not the peril thereof be greater in men whose minds are of themselves as dry fuel, apt beforehand unto tumults, seditions, and broils ? But by this we see in a cause of religion to how desperate adventures men will strain themselves, for relief of their own part, having law and authority against them.

[7.] Furthermore let not any man think that in such divisions either part can free itself from inconveniences, sustained not only through a kind of truce, which virtue on both sides doth make with vice during war between truth and error ; but also in that there are hereby so fit occasions ministered for men to purchase to themselves well-willers, by the colour under which they oftentimes prosecute quarrels of envy or inveterate malice: and especially because contentions were as yet never able to prevent two evils; the one a mutual exchange of unseemly and unjust disgraces offered by men whose tongues and passions are out of rule ; the other a common hazard of both to be made a prey by such as study how to work upon all occurrents with most advantage in private. I deny not therefore, but that our antagonists in these controversies may peradventure have met with some not unlike to


420 Evils of Controversy to the Orthodox. BOOK V. Ithacius*; who mightily bending himself by all means against

the heresy of Priscillian, the hatred of which one evil was all
the virtue he had, became so wise in the end, that every man
careful of virtuous conversation, studious of Scripture, and
given unto any abstinence in diet, was set down in his calen-
dar of suspected Priscillianists, for whom it should be expe-
dient to approve their soundness of faith by a more licentious
and loose behaviour. Such proctors and patrons the truth
might spare. Yet is not their grossness so intolerable, as on
the contrary side the scurrilous and more than satirical im-
modesty of Martinism; the first published schedules whereof
being brought to the hands of a grave and a very honourable
knight, with signification given that the book would refresh
his spirits, he took it, saw what the title was, read over an
unsavoury sentence or two, and delivered back the libel with
this answer : “I am sorry you are of the mind to be solaced
“ with these sports, and sorrier you have herein thought
“ mine affection to be like your own."

[8.] But as these sores on all hands lie open, so the deepest wounds of the Church of God have been more softly and closely given. It being perceived that the plot of discipline did not only bend itself to reform ceremonies, but seek farther to erect a popular authority of elders, and to take away episcopal jurisdiction, together with all other ornaments and means whereby any difference or inequality is upheld in the ecclesiastical order; towards this destructive part they have found many helping hands, divers, although peradventure not willing to be yoked with elderships, yet contented (for what intent God doth know) to uphold opposition against bishops ; not without greater hurt to the course of their whole proceedings in the business of God and her Majesty's service, than otherwise much more weighty adversaries had been able by their own power to have brought to pass. Men are naturally better contented to have their commendable actions suppressed, than the contrary much divulged. And because the wits of the multitude are such, that many things they cannot lay hold on at once, but being possest with some notable either dislike or liking of any one thing whatsoever, sundry

* Sulp. Sever. Ep. Hist. Eccles. [lib. ii. c. 63.]


A corrupt Aristocracy the natural Ally of Puritanism.

421 other in the meantime may escape them unperceived: there- BOOK V. fore if men desirous to have their virtues noted do in this respect grieve at the fame of others, whose glory obscureth and darkeneth theirs; it cannot be chosen but that when the ears of the people are thus continually beaten with exclamations against abuses in the Church, these tunes come always most acceptable to them, whose odious and corrupt dealings in secular affairs both pass by that mean the more covertly, and whatsoever happen do also the least feel that scourge of vulgar imputation, which notwithstanding they most deserve.

(9.) All this considered as behoveth, the sequel of duty on our part is only that which our Lord and Saviour requireth, harmless discretion; the wisdom of serpents tempered with the innocent meekness of doves *. For this world will teach them wisdom that have capacity to apprehend it.

Our wisdom in this case must be such as doth not propose to itself lòlov, our own particular, the partial and immoderate desire whereof poisoneth wheresoever it taketh place; but the scope and mark which we are to aim at is tò kolvòv, the public and common good of all; for the easier procurement whereof, our diligence must search out all helps and furtherances of direction, which scriptures, councils, fathers, histories, the laws and practices of all churches, the mutual conference of all men's collections and observations may afford : our industry must even anatomize every particle of that body, which we are to uphold sound. And because be it never so true which we teach the world to believe, yet if once their affections begin to be alienated, a small thing persuadeth them to change their opinions, it behoveth that we vigilantly note and prevent by all means those evils whereby the hearts of men are lost : which evils for the most part being personal do arm in such sort the adversaries of God and his Church against us, that, if through our too much neglect and security the same should run on, soon might we feel our estate brought to those lamentable terms, whereof this hard and heavy sentence was by one of the ancient uttered upon like occasions, “ Dolens “ dico, gemens denuncio, sacerdotium quod apud nos intus 66 cecidit, foris diu stare non poterit t." * (St. Matt. x. 16.]

† Leg. Carol. Mag. fol. 421.

BOOK V. Dedication.

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422 Duties of Churchmen in critical Times of the Church.

(10.) But the gracious providence of Almighty God hath I trust put these thorns of contradiction in our sides, lest that should steal upon the Church in a slumber, which now I doubt not but through his assistance may be turned away from us, bending thereunto ourselves with constancy; constancy in labour to do all men good, constancy in prayer unto God for all men: her especially whose sacred power matched with incomparable goodness of nature hath hitherto been God's most happy instrument, by him miraculously kept for works of so miraculous preservation and safety unto others, that as, • By the sword of God and Gideon*,” was sometime the cry of the people of Israel, so it might deservedly be at this day the joyful song of innumerable multitudes, yea the emblem of some estates and dominions in the world, and (which must be eternally confessed even with tears of thankfulness) the true inscription, style, or title, of all churches as yet standing within this realm, “ By the goodness of Almighty God and “ his servant Elizabeth we are.” That God who is able to make mortality immortal give her such future continuance, as may be no less glorious unto all posterity than the days of her regiment past have been happy unto ourselves ; and for his most dear anointed's sake grant them all prosperity, whose labours, cares, and counsels, unfeignedly are referred to her endless welfare: through his unspeakable mercy, unto whom we all owe everlasting praise. In which desire I will here rest, humbly beseeching your Grace to pardon my great boldness, and God to multiply his blessings upon them that fear his name.

Your Grace's in all duty,


* Judges vii. 20.





1. True Religion is the root of all true virtues and the stay of all well

ordered commonwealths. II. The most extreme opposite to true Religion is affected Atheism. III. Of Superstition, and the root thereof, either misguided zeal, or igno

rant fear of divine glory. IV. Of the redress of superstition in God's Church, and concerning the

question of this book. V. Four general propositions demanding that which may reasonably be

granted, concerning matters of outward form in the exercise of true

Religion. And, fifthly, of a rule not safe nor reasonable in these cases. VI. The first proposition touching judgment what things are convenient

in the outward public ordering of church affairs. VII. The second proposition. VIII. The third proposition. IX. The fourth proposition. X. The rule of men's private spirits not safe in these cases to be followed. XI. Places for the public service of God. XII. The solemnity of erecting Churches condemned, the hallowing and

dedicating of them scorned by the adversary. XIII. Of the names whereby we distinguish our Churches. XIV. Of the fashion of our Churches. XV. The sumptuousness of Churches. XVI. What holiness and virtue we ascribe to the Church more than other

places. XVII. Their pretence that would have Churches utterly razed. XVIII. Of public teaching or preaching, and the first kind thereof,


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