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By the Queen.
A Proclamation against the Sectaries of the Family of Love.
HEREAS by report of sundry of the Bishops of this Realm, and others, having cure of souls, the Queens Majesty is informed, that in sundry places of her said Realm, in their several Diocesses, there are certain persons who do secretly in corners make privy assemblies of divers simple unlearned people, and after they have craftily and hypocritically allured them to esteem them to be more holy and perfect men than other are, they do then teach them damnable Heresies, directly contrary to divers of the principal Articles of our Belief and Christian Faith; and in some parts so absurd and fanatical, as by feigning to themselves a monstrous new kind of speech never found in the Scriptures, nor in ancient Father or Writer of Christs Church, by which they do move ignorant and simple people at the first rather to marvel at them, than to understand them: but yet to colour their sect withal, they name themselves to be of the Family of Love, and then as many as shall be allowed by them to be of that Family, to be elect and saved, and all others of what Church soever they be, to be rejected and damned and for that upon conventing of some of them before the Bishops and Ordinaries, it is found that the ground of their sect is maintained by certain lewd, heretical and seditious books, first made in the Dutch tongue, and lately translated into English, and printed beyond the seas, and secretly brought over into the Realm, the author whereof they name H. N. without yielding to him upon their examination any other name, in whose name they have certainly books set forth, called, Evangelium Regni, or a joyful Message of the Kingdom, Documental Sentences, The prophecie of the spirit of love, a publishing peace upon the earth, and such like, And considering also it is
found, that these Sectaries hold opinion, that they may before any Magistrate Ecclesiastical or Temporal, or any other person not being professed to be of their sect, (which they terme the Family of Love) by oath or otherwise deny any thing for their advantage, so as though many of them are well known to be teachers and spreaders abroad of these dangerous and damnable sects, yet by their own confession they cannot be condemned, whereby they are more dangerous in any Christian Realm Therefore her Majesty being very sorry to see so great an evil by the malice of the Devil first begun and practised in other Countries, to be now brought into this her Realm, and that by her Bishops and Ordinaries she understandeth it very requisite, not only to have these dangerous Hereticks and Sectaries to be severely punished, but that also all other means be used by her Majesties Royal authority, which is given her of God to defend Christs Church, to root them out from further infecting of her Realm, she hath thought meet and convenient, and so by this her Proclamation she willeth and commandeth that all her Officers and Ministers temporal, shall in all their several vocations, assist the Archbishops and Bishops of her Realm, and all other persons Ecclesiastical, having cure of Souls, to search out all persons duly suspected to be either teachers or professors of the foresaid damnable sects and by all good means to proceed severely against them, being found culpable, by order of the Laws either Ecclesiastical or Temporal; and that also search may be made in all places suspected for the Books and Writings maintaining the said Heresies and Sects, and them to destroy and burn. And wheresoever such Books shall be found after the publication hereof, in custody of any person, other than such as the Ordinaries shall permit, to the intent to peruse the same for confutation thereof, the same persons to be attached and committed to close prison, there to remain, or otherwise by Law to be condemned, until the same shall be purged and cleared of the same Heresies, or shall recant the same, and be thought meet by the Ordinary of the place to be delivered. And that whosoever in this Realm shall either print, or bring, or cause to be brought into this Realm any of the said Books, the same persons to be attached and committed to prison, and to receive such bodily punishment and other mulct as fautors of damnable heresies. And to the execution hereof, her Majesty chargeth all her Officers, and Ministers, both Ecclesiastical and Temporal, to have special regard, as they will answer not only afore
God, whose glory and truth is by these damnable Sects greatly sought to be defaced, but also will avoid her Majesties indignation, which in such cases as these are, they ought not escape, if they shall be found negligent and careless in the execution of their authorities. Given at our Mannour of Richmond, the third of October, in the two and twentieth year of our Reign.
God save the Queen.
Imprinted at London by Christopher Barker, Printer to the Queens most Excellent Majesty.
By the Queen.
A Proclamation against certain seditious and schismatical Books and Libels &c.
HE Queens most Excellent Majesty considering how within these few years past, and now of late, certain seditious and evil disposed persons towards her Majesty, and the Government established for causes Ecclesiastical within her Majesties Dominions, have devised, written, printed, or caused to be seditiously and secretly published and dispersed, sundry schismatical and seditious Books, diffamatory Libels, and other phantastical writings amongst her Majesties subjects containing in them Doctrine very erroneous, and other matters notoriously untrue, and slanderous to the State, and against the godly reformation of Religion and Government Ecclesiastical established by Law, and so quietly of long time continued, and also against the persons of Bishops, and others placed in authority Ecclesiastical under her Highness, by her authority, in railing sort, and beyond the bounds of all good humanity: All which Books, Libels, and Writings, tend by their scope to persuade and bring in a monstrous and apparent dangerous Innovation within her Dominions and Countries, of all manner of Ecclesiastical Government now in use, and to the abridging, or rather to the overthrow of her Highness lawful Prerogative, allowed by Gods Law, and established by the Laws of the Realm, and consequently to reverse, dissolve, and set at Liberty the present Government of the Church, and to make a dangerous change of the form of Doctrine, and use of Divine Service of God, and the ministration of the Sacraments now also in use, with a rash and malicious purpose also to dissolve the Estate of the Prelacy, being one of the three ancient Estates of this Realm under her Highness, whereof her Majesty mindeth to have such reverend regard, as to their places in
the Church and Common-wealth appertaineth. All which said lewd and seditious practises, do directly tend to the manifest wilful breach of great number of good Laws and Statutes of this Realm, inconveniences nothing regarded by such Innovations.
In consideration whereof, her Highness graciously minding to provide some good and speedy remedy to withstand such notable dangerous and ungodly attempts, and for that purpose to have such enormous malefactors discovered and condignly punished, doth signifie this her Highness misliking and indignation of such dangerous and wicked enterprises; and for that purpose doth hereby will and also straightly charge and command, that all persons whatsoever, within any her Majesties Realms and Dominions, who have or hereafter shall have any of the said seditious Books, Pamphlets, Libels of Writings, or any of like nature already published, or hereafter to be published, in his or their custody, containing such matters as above are mentioned, against the present Order and Government of the Church of England, or the lawful Ministers thereof, or against the Rites and Ceremonies used in the Church, and allowed by the Laws of the Realm: That they, and every of them do presently after, with convenient speed bring in, and deliver up the same unto the Ordinary of the Diocess, or of the place where they inhabit, to the intent they may be utterly defaced by the said Ordinary, or otherwise used by them. And that from henceforth no person or persons whatsoever be so hardy as to write, contrive, print, or cause to be published or distributed, or to keep any of the same, or any other Books, Libels, or Writings of like nature and quality contrary to the true meaning and intent of this her Majesties Proclamation. And likewise, that no man hereafter give any instruction, direction, favour or assistance to the contriving, writing, printing, publishing, or dispersing of the same, or such like Books, Libels, or Writings whatsoever, as they tender her Majesties good favour, will avoid her high displeasure, and as they will answer the contrary at their uttermost perils: and upon such pains and penalties, as by the Law any way may be inflicted upon the offenders, in any of these behalfs, as persons maintaining such seditious actions, which her Majesty mindeth to have severely executed. And if any person have had knowledge of the Authors, Writers, Printers or despersers thereof, which shall within one month after the publicacyon hereof, discover the same to the Ordinary of the place