¶ To the most reuerend Father in God, TOBIE by di­uine prouidence Archbishop of YORKE, Primate and Me­tropolitane, of En­gland, &c.

MY Most reuerend good Lord, The late experience of some defections and reuolts in children of lewde behauior, which haue contemptuously prophaned all obedience to parents, together with some desire of mine owne, to retaine the wauering dispositions of others, which may be in like ieopardie to be abused here­after, haue put me into a businesse would God so helpfull for them, as necessarie for the time, I meane this English translation, of a most excestent Latin Originall. It treateth for the honorable maintenance of parents au­thoritie, and was compiled some fiue and [Page]twenty yeeres since by the famous French Ciuilian Petrus Aerodius, in purpose to re­claime his sonne Renatus, who at that time, being vnder age, and without his fathers leaue had betaken himselfe to the Iesuites, company. Doubtlesse, the good parents griefe for an iniurie of such hainous qualitie, (if he may be heard speaking out of the tender bo­wells of his affection,) is euer within mea­sure though it be excessiue, iust, though past hope of recouery. A sonne, nay the eldest son, the first fruits of his strength, so faire a bud, to be stript from his naturall barke perforce, and inoculated in a stocke of astrange kind, would abate the imputation of being censu­red passionate without a cause: euery man, to my thinking, vpon the supposall of such a person, being apt to acknowledge so much in himselfe, and that in the Poets phrase, Huic vniforsan poteram succumbere culpae, The dignity of the discourse, needs no enlarge­ment by a preface, for (if too much increduli­tie ouerweene not my iudgement) the most censorious Criticke, if he find patience to per­use it in the natiue edition, will in meer iustice [Page]commend most, or allow all. The stile is close wrought, and full of stuffe, the choice of his words apt and frugall, the sentences deepe and ponderous, the shafts of his arguments, drawne by a strong arme vp to the head, the nouelty of examples delightfull, the authori­ties venerable, yet infinitly various, his dea­ling faire and fatherlike, contending, rather for truth than conquest. Now might I take so much presumption vpon me, as to hope of some degree of your Graces good acceptance, (to whom especiallie, for discourse or title it is most properly belonging) I would farther alleadge for my selfe, that I haue often seene my worthy predecessor M. Doctor Gentilis, his Maiesties professor for the Ciuill lawes, reading me some Lectures, and teaching me how to offend in this kinde, whom I euer found of this opinion, that his excellent Lucubrations neuer prospered bet­ter than when they receiued lustre from your Graces iudicious confirmation: to whom, as he was very much obliged, so was he not spa­ring rather by preuenting occasion than by taking it, thankfully to report the same. And [Page]lastly because the age wherein we liue, is so much visited with an Epidemiall distemper of disobedience, the cure would be sought for at their hands, who by reason of their eminent place of practice, best know (out of their great learning) to apply soueraigne anti­dotes against such malignant qualities: and if that will not worke, then me thinks Lucius Brutus his seuerity well allaied would not come out of season, that derobed himselfe of all respects of a father, that he might the better act the part of a Consull, exuit patrem vt Consulem ageret. For such austeritie in parents many times proues pitty, and is powerfull, to make obedience where it finds none. A reformation of so generall impor­tance that euery man may be said to haue a part in it, though he can challenge no proper­tie, because quod commune est meum est, and (without peraduenture) an vndutifull sonne so reclaimed to his naturall obedience is that commune bonum.

Your Graces in all humble seruice to be commanded, IOHN BVDDEN.

¶ The Author to the Reader.

HAuing for three whole yeeres together, made continuall enquirie after my eldest sonne, and that to small purpose, (for hee is among the Iesuits) I am now deter­mined to present that to publique view, which otherwise I should haue seque­stred to priuate vse. I treat with him as with an offender, that contemptuouslie refuseth to make his appearance, and as a man should doe wth a runaway, that is, by writ of outlarie, and proclamation of rebellion. Therefore I beseech thee [Page]good Reader, if this expostulation and complaint of mine appeare vnto thee al­together causelesse, and if it happilie so fall out, that thou meet with this poor youth, thus esloigned and seduced from me, be ameanes, that he may sometimes peruse this small treatise: then if he find himselfe resolued, to bee at his owne reines, and disposing, I passe not, father or not father, whether he so take me or so refuse me. From Angiers 1589 in October.

A DISCOVRSE for Parents honour, and Authority ouer their Children.

WHat is the reason that the famous Doctor Gregory Nazianzene in his oration Apologeticall which hee made to the people saith, that there is a great deale more in the authority apertaining to parents which is giuen thē from almighty God, than in that which hath bin established by men, ei­ther in their written lawes, or long continued customs? Is it so that this one commandement Honour thy Father and thy Mother com­maunds more with children, than that hi­deous thunderclap of disinheriting them, in­uented by the Grecians, or then the com­mission [Page 2]of life and death, which though it be detestable in nature, yet was it our owne French law, and in vse likewise with many o­ther nations beside; or then those three so­lemne alienations, whereby children were freede from their parents subiection, and so many countersales, which made them bond againe: deuises (as it is well knowne) of the Romane policy? Should the sonne beene found disobedient to his Father, by these lawes, the father did right himselfe, and was both accuser, witnesse and iudge. Moreouer the execution of punishments, whereunto he might sentence them, were of such nature, as the very representation of them to their me­mories (they were so bloudy & cruell) might presently deterre from attempting or enter­taining the least breach of their bounden duety: but on Gods part, a bare commande­ment onely is sufficient: be the childe duti­full, theres a reward for him; be he obstinate, theres no punishment inflicted. And yet wee say, that lawes preuaile more when they bee penall, then when they simply doe but will and require, and that authority is more awful, which is properly our owne, and exercised in our owne name and right, then that forsooth which is indented with couenants, and taken vpon curtesie from an other.

Now sir, how wrought that same soue­raigne fatherly authority, I meane that which issued from the prouision of man, and not from the sacred constitution of God? why it wrought thus much, that this priuate disci­pline, did sometimes farre exceede the pub­lick, insomuch, that wherein the Magistrates immediate authority seemed feeble and in a manner maymed, there the domestique dis­cipline (being appealed vnto as to an higher iurisdiction) gaue present help and assistance; that is to say, parents were able to doe more with their children, then law or legion, or Dictator himselfe. Cn. Martius Coriola­nus marched forth with a dangerous army, against his country, breathing forth nothing but ruine and vastation, whomade him to dis­arme himself, forsake his ensignes, & leaue the commaund of the field but Ʋeturia only? He that neither yeelded to Senators sent vnto him, nor Magistrates, nor priests, yeelded to his mother. He that neither the Maiesty of the Empire, nor any touch of religion could cause once to retire, did soone relent at the name of his mother.

Cn. Seruilius, L. Sergius, M. Papirius, being Tribunes together, and in like authority, which was also Consular, were vehement competitors, which of them should be gene­rall [Page 4]in the war against the Lucani: euery one was for himselfe: and thereupon despised the charge of the City as an office altogether thanklesse and base: the Senators beheld the contention with astonishment, Dictator was there none, that by strong hand might order these factious Tribunes, saith Q. Seruilius, nay sith there is no respect hereby carried to your owne ranke and quality, nor duty to the estate of this common wealth, my fathlery au­thority shal soone dispatch this controuersie. I tell you, my sonne without drawing of any lots for the matter, shal bide at home, and go­uerne the City. And what did the Father of C. Flaminius tribune of the common people, which enacted the law about the partage of some french grounds, by the poll, the Senate was against it, his colleagues mainly opposed him, which he set light by, an army was mu­stred against him (in case he should persist in that opinion (but that danted him nothing, his father, euen as he was in the place to haue proclaimed his new made Law, seizes vpon him: how was it now with my yong master? downe comes he from his chaire of estate, and this braue gallant that before set at nought all the maiesty, authority and prero­gatiue of his country, is now subdued at a poore priuate mans check, and as M. Valerius [Page 5]storieth it in his fift booke, was not so much as once blamed for it, by the least muttering of the sessions so disappointed and broken vp. How then is it possible, but that in the point of parents authority, there should be more force in mans law than in the bare and simple precept as it was deliuered from God by Moses, especially if that be true which Halicarnassus reporteth that contempt, im­piety, murdering of parents, were therefore ordinary monsters among the Greekes, but exceeding scarce and seldome to be found in Rome, because the authority which those ancient Law makers Charondas Pittacus and Solon, assigned to parents, was a mild and fee­ble regiment contrariwise that which Romu­lus gaue, was absolute, full, and without limi­tation, whence it came to passe that in all the large territory of the Romane Empire, hard­ly will you meete with one Malleolus that is, such a desperate ruffian as butchered his own mother?

What then may we say of this diuine com­mandement established (as we see) neither by threat of abdication, nor losse of life? here is only commanded that which honesty and good conscience perswades vnto. Nor let any man thinke that it is a good answer to the obiection to say that Moses Law, aswell as [Page 6]any other law, did not only sharply censure parricide, but euen euery dishonest and idle speech vttered by a sonne, for we intreat not, what authority a publique magistrate hath, neither of a iudiciall proceeding held in con­sistories, and common Assises, we talke of that which may be exercised at our home dwel­lings, in our owne priuate housholds, which fathers, not officers, by vertue of their office, challenge ouer their children, that is to say without appeale to any higher bēch, without assistance of any other Iudges office? For so it is, he that punisheth by the helpe of ano­ther, doth in deed not punish but complaine. But yet ouer and aboue al that which we haue already obiected against S. Gregory, it falls so short that parents by this heauenly oracle haue any more dominion ouer their chil­dren, than either by these, or other humane lawes, that in truth they cannot be said, to haue receiued thence any one iot of power or authority. For let a sonne be negligent in performing of that one command, honour thy father, what may the father doe in such a case? It is true, it allures him with reward, that is, with a prosperous and a long life, but it puts ouer no punishment into the fathers hands, no none at all. As though in so doing, some­what would be found, which nature of her self [Page 7]could not well abide. Did Moses then mistake, and when he deliuered Gods lawes was he somewhat more carelesse in this point which concernes Fathers? A sinne it is so to say; for this authority of parents, which wee seeke after, was for precedency of time farre more ancient than the commandement it selfe, which is demōstratiuely, proued by this very instāce that God almighty, would neuer haue commanded Abraham to haue sacrifi­ced his sonne Isaacke, if hee had had no com­mission of life and death ouer him. Would God haue enioyned it, would the father haue executed it, would neighbours and strangers haue endured it, which in no case at no time, by no law a father might bee able to iustifie? besides they that liued long before Moses, would neuer haue busied themselus so much in matching of their children in wedlock: for that was a matter resting in their choyce, not in the choice of the parties contracting mari­age, which sinne of theirs was cause of the v­niuersal deluge) nor wold the children bin so eager in pursuit of their parents blessing: and what shall we say more? surely the bare en­ditement brought in by the father to the Magistrate, would neuer haue serued for a sufficient euidence against an vndutiful child, if euen in those dayes, the power of a father [Page 8]and his domestique discipline had not beene very transcendent. What shall wee say then? Did God by his latter law repeale the former and confine this duety to an inhibition of wordes alone? If the case were so, what then might wee say for Nazianzene? Without doubt something might bee spoken for him, and very much, were it not, that the very selfe same Christian Religion, which in a manner we receiued from him, did in some sort now crosse the good Christian Bishops assertion. For this authority of parents (if there be any such thing extant) is so far reuolted from that which was ordained and established by God, by nature, by the Law of nations, and Law positiue, and that forsooth vpon no othet occasion (but that wee (I cannot tell how) seuer this filiall duetie from religion) that a­mong Christians now a dayes to be a Father, is nothing else but so to bee tearmed, the du­tie is gone though the name continue. Can Christian religion then, and Gods heauenlie commandement, wich Saint Gregory so highly commendeth, maintaine the home discipline, if Christians bee the men which especially ouerthrow it? But before we passe any further in the discourse, let vs satisfie this great Diuine, and then consider, whether it be true, that now a daies there is any authority [Page 9]left vs ouer our children or no, and if it bee any, and yet but of verie small esteeme, whether notwithstanding it bee such, or so much, as should be exposed to all contempt and wrong. Certaine it is, that the outragious cruelty which the ancient Lawmakers deui­sed to improue the power of parents withall, was but a cast of policy, that so in regard ther­of, either out of pure constraint, or of a ready mind, children might conforme themselues to better behauiour, and at no hand bee with­drawne from that reuerent obeysance, which naturall affection (and no law nor ordinance of man) taught them, as they were sucking of their mothers breasts. They in their wisedom knew right well, that youth was so prone to riot and lust, so arrogant and lasciuious in be­hauiour, so hard to bee tamed and menaged, that they concluded it to bee a case of meere necessity by way of enacting such terrible pu­nishments, to renue and repaire that, which was so far corrupted and depraued from na­tures primitiue institution; that as in old time they kept debters to their word by tearing their lims in sunder, & drawing bloud from them, & the like, so the very shew and re­presentation of such horrible tortures and martyrdomes which parents might inflict vpon their children, might lesson them obe­dience [Page 10]and beare them downe, if they should euer attempt or vndertake any thing that past not first by their allowance and leaue, by whom they liued, & had their education: but yet thereby no checke was giuen to naturall affection, for it was to be intended that al­though parents might be so tender of their childrens good as to enter into such seuere termes of consultation for them, yet the law­makers neuer dreamed it would once so hap­pen, which they permitted: that is, that a son might be sold by the father for a bond-slaue, disinherited, and then kild. Or if perchance it might so fall out, that it should be vpon such as had worthily deserued it, and with such circumstantiall considerations, that iu­stice her selfe, should sne haue giuen iudge­ment could neither haue said better, or done more vprightly. But God almighty handles matters otherwise, that which he commands is plainly set down, not with fetches and de­uices. For hee needs no compassing or pre­facing to perswade that to be iust and good which he once requires, he is so essenti­ally good of himselfe, and hath such a pre­rogatiue of iustice and equity cōsubstantiall to him as his bare command necessarily en­forceth our precise obedience. Religion keeps men more in aw, than feare: for were the son [Page 11]loose or dishonest, of conuersation, and for that cause oftentimes turnd out of doores, nay lastly refused of the parents for their child, because no gentle meanes preuailed ought with him? Why if once he were con­uerted to christianity presently (saith Sep­timius) he became to liue in good order, and good counsell regaind him to duty and obe­dience. Doubtlesse though God vnto these lawes of men and nature inserted also his hea­uenly behest, yet did he nothing thereby pre­iudice those former lawes; he commanded obedience, but neuer abrogated any part of their authority. Nay long time after Christs passion, the commission of life and death which parents might exercise vpon their children, was still currant amongst Christi­ans, and though the more ancient of them reproued some things amongst the Pagans, as the murdering of yong infants, the bloudy fencing of sword players, yet against that ter­rible authority of parents they spake not a word. And howsoeuer God in bare termes pronounced this Commandement, honour thy father and thy mother, yet notwithstanding for two reasons especiallie it farre exceeds the lawes of men. The one is, because what he commands is constant and perpetuall, but our lawes bee mutable and repealeable: if [Page 12]anything please vs to day, to morrow we are out of loue with it: a patterne whereof wee may see in that verie lawe which Romulus ordained. For at first without all exception or bar, it was free for a father to put his child to death. Afterwards it might not bee done but vpon the assistance and aduice of o­thers, then the cause must bee heard iudici­allie: lastlie the magistrate might decide it, but no priuate iurisdiction, nay in conclusion that rigorous lawe, vtterlie vanished and became voide: the other is, because if the iniunction of a Consull bee greater, than the Pretors and the Pretors greater than an order of the Edilis, it will necessarilie follow, in good proportion, that the lawe of God is to bee preferred before any ordi­nance of man whatsoeuer. And why so? be­cause men in their wisedomes may erre, and therupon be of meane reputation by reason of such escapes & ouer sights, as saith the same Tertullian. In God there is no such matter; so then S. Gregory who vnderstood this well enough, and was of opinion that this precept of our Lord God should be left at large, and neuer concluded by any limitation, (when he had forsaken the world, against the will and expresse commandement of his father, and had betaken himselfe to a monastery, [Page 13]and had refused a Bishopricke which before was his fathers, yet at length he began to be toucht with a sence of inward regreeting: and can I (saith he) be vndutifull and disobe­dient vnto so good a father, and be blameles; can I endure to be accused for a stubborne and contemptuous sonne, to be guilty of vi­olating and distaining my natural obedience vnto my father? and thereupon leauing the solitary life, he gets him home, accepts the sea and Bishopricke which had been before his fathers: and all this doe I (saith he) more for God almighties commandement sake, than for any feare of mortall men: therefore now good father, I pray giue me your blessing. And in this sence (you see) may S. Gregory be well vnderstood. For euen S. Chrysostome in his eleuenth booke against such as discom­mend the monasticall life, writes in this man­ner: Thy son loues and obserues, and honors thee, not because the law of nature enioynes him so to doe, but much more for that in so doing hee may testifie his duetie to the commandements of almighty God, for whose loue he hath perfitly despised and re­linquisht all the world. But if notwithstan­ding all this, it be true, that now a dayes there be no trace left of this fatherly power which we so much hunt after, and if this home bred [Page 14]authority be scarce remaining in shadow or shew among vs, how may S. Gregory be then defended? the power of life and death long since hath bin discontinued by an immemo­riall custome to the contrary (as before we mentioned) you cannot pawne or sell your sonne, much adoe you will haue to disinherit him. If he get any thing it is for himselfe, his father hath no part nor property in it, hee will serue his father with processe, he will en­dite him at the common Assize without as­king him any leaue. And in a word such is the religion now adaies, such is the Churches tradition (as men say) that let the sonne en­tet into any kind of life, bee married, bee a monke, or so forth, all this may he doe in spight of his fathers teeth, and absolutely a­gainst his will. How then (good father Na­zianzene) or wherein stands that sanction so much inforced by God and nature, ho­nor thy father. What didst thou see in that au­thority royall, and preheminence of parents when thou vpon a timorous scrupulositie of conscience durst not once so much as to tres­passe against it. If in the cases before mentio­ned our children may disobey their parents, and yet not be punshed by them, put mee some cases out of the old law, why they shold not now enioy the like libertie? or what be [Page 15]the principall points of this domestique mo­narchie, which the christian religion, doth yet retaine and defend for lawfull? can it bee possible, that heathen parents haue puni­shed euen to the pit of hell a shamelesse and vngratious sonne (so far were they in loue with the childrens obedience) it is a matter spo­ken of that father which (as Pausanius rela­teth it in his tenth booke) Polignotus drew in a picture of hell taking paines to bee his owne sonnes hangman for a speciall prancke of vndutifulnesse, that he had plaid him in his life time: And haue christians on the con­trary inuented cases, to authorise vnnaturall impietie and breach of duty against parents? can it be possible (as saith Theophilus in his third booke to Eutol.) that Platoes law for the communitie of wiues, was principallie vpon that point disliked, because the danger might be, that the sonne might somtime honor him that was not his father, and vpon ignorance at another time might also doe him no re­uerence, who was his father indeed, (a re­uerence neuerthelesse so due by the rules of the lawe of nations, and in such order mar­shalled by them, that (as Pomponius testifieth) it is to be ranged in the second place, first God, after him our parents, and then our country) and should we vnder colour of reli­gion [Page 16]in that one point principallie offend. First and foremost, therefore we will speake thus much in generall (as men do vse to sell wares in grosse that the position and assertion is very sottish and impious, because the go­uernment of parents, is weakned and rebated in some points, and circled within an or­der, that, Ergo there is no such matter at all remaining, because the preheminence of pa­rents is abrogated, (to speake in the Romane dialect) ergo it must follow there is no duty no naturall reuerence at all left vnto them. Then descending to particular dueties, wee will take a view, whether euery one of them bee so important, as that of pure ne­cessitie parents ought to bee obeied in spe­ciall or no? Which will be soone found if we take some farther view, and make a quire, what that was which the ancients did so ex­actly require of their children when they past ouer such a large iurisdiction and power vn­to the parents; the case is cleere, that they did it not therefore, that parents should bee as magistrates to their children, and so admi­nister iustice at home to euery one that their children had offended, againe as the Praetor did in the Court of the common pleas, nor that there should be one authority publique, another priuate and domestique. For if the [Page 17]crime were publicke, and committed with­out the verge of the fathers house, the officer was to order it. Nor is it a good conclusion, the child hath offended, therefore he must haue no other iudge but his father. Indeed it is true that there were such fathers in times past at Rome, and likewise amongst other na­tions (whereof we haue written in the sixt book of our reports, the seuenth Chapter) that by vertue of such fatherly authoritie, wold take cognisance of such crimes as their children had offended in abroad; as Cassius, Manlius Torquatus, C. Flaminius and some others besides,) so then this was no occasion, that gaue such a prerogatiue to the power of parents, but that rather which Halicarnasseus in the life of Romulus alleadgeth, that when children did perceiue, how they were awed at home and that their subiection vnder their priuate parents, was much more strict than vnder the publique Magistrate, (for they are commanded first to yeeld obedience to their parents, after that to their country) that the Prince himselfe might scarce doe any thing without iudiciall proceeding. But the father might do euery thing at his own will & pleasure (for so speaks Aristotle in his poli­tiques) they might learne to be more duti­full to doe nothing without line and leuell, [Page 18]that is, without expresse commandement and iniunction from their parents, might neither will, nor nil ought, saue that which proceeded first from their parents pleasure and by his allowance. In a word, that as the bit, spur, and switch, makes the horse obedient to his rider, so the feare of so great chastisements might enforce the sonnes conformity to his father, as to a demie God on earth, and sole founder of his being And surely, had our forefathers meant no other thing hereby then to put a snaffle into youthes mouth, to restraine them from such vices as nature is prone vn­to, why then they would haue determined this their authoritie, at some certaine time or age of the sonne, vpon some certaine office or honour, that might haue befallen, or some condition and estate of life whereunto they might possiblie be aduanced. But the sonne, were he neuer so old, bare he neuer so great office, yea had it been the high Priesthood, was euer notwithstanding vnder his fathers checke. And what thinke you was the issue thereof? marry sir, whatsoeuer the father had once determined concerning his children, to what kind of life soeuer he had bound them, yea and though it had been to the cart and plough, as L. Manlius did vse his sonne, why by reason of so eminent a power, against [Page 19]which there was no helpe, no remedie to be had, he must of necessity rest content. Hence it was that all the sonnes negotiations had such dependance on the fathers will, as you see counterpaines haue, that must accord with their originalls, or riuers haue, that must be fed from their fountaines head. And though (put case) the sonne swaruing some deale from this course of duty, as being stubborne and past all shame, found his penalty there­upon executed, sometime with more rigour, sometimes with more clemency, though the father by the ordinances of some countries might sentence his sonne to death, by others complaine of him to the magistrate, and only giue in euidence against him [...]ay though by long prescription these domestique censures haue been altogether disused. For to small purpose is their instance, and (God knowes it is a poore one) that alleadge why but yong children be still yet vnder their parents cor­rection: it will be no good inference to con­clude that therefore it is not now any longer iust and reasonable because law had once de­termined it to be so; it will be no good infe­rence to conclude, that the law and edict of all nations, which decrees an absolute obe­dience to parents, is now clearely vanished and out of vse. Lawes be lawes still, though [Page 20]they be not penall, though there be no losse of life nor forfeiture of goods ensuing: as for example, adultery though there be smal adoe made about it, now adaies, yet in its owne na­ture, it is alwaies foule and dishonest. If either by negligence or coniuencie it be not sharply punished, the law notwithstanding is stil chast and honorable which forbids it. And so the law for childrens obedience, is euer right & conuenient, though many times no penal­tie ensue This is euident specially out of Mo­ses. it is true, he would not that a father should put his child to death with his owne hands, but rather seeke for it by petition from the magistrate, and so haue it executed, and that also without any other enquest, or euidence, than at the fathers suit: from whence it is more then probably collected, that in the common wealth of the Iewes the father had a soueraigne authority, in cases of life and death, for although by this order of Moses, it were somewhat staid from speedy executi­on, yet the matter is plaine, that it is easier for me to bee a petitioner that another man should be executed and die, than that I should be his executioner with mine owne hands. But howsoeuer, I would faine know and learn, why and for what offence a father might en­dite his sonne, by this Hebrew Law-makers [Page 21]decree, that vpon such conuiction he might be presently stoned to death. Was it because he was a murtherer a Church-robber, a traitor, a theef, a fornicator, or an vsual offen­dor against the peace of the King, his crown and dignity? Let vs heare his owne words de­liuered to this purpose:

If any man haue a sonne that is stubborne and disobedient, which will not harken to the voice of his father, nor the voice of his mother, and they haue chastised him and he would not obey them.

Then shall his father and his mother take him, and bring him out vnto the Elders of his Citie, and vnto the gate of the place where hee dwel­leth:

And shall say vnto the Elders of his City, this our sonne is stubborne and disobedient, and he will not obey our admonition, he is a robber, and a drunkard.

Then all the men of the Citie shall stone him with stones vnto death.

I pray what manner of offences be there herein mentioned? be they not trespasses a­gainst parents, priuate misdemeanours and domesticall, hatcht within doores, not acted in publique view? certainly as by order of mi­litary discipline contempt in a souldier is a crime very capitall, because there is nothing so far endangers the state of an army, as one [Page 22]mutinously disposed, so by the same cor­respondencie of reason, it is fit and requisite that all persons belonging to my charge, as my seruants, my children, my wife, my cattell, all should be at my becke, all should be vn­der my conduct as the chiefe generall, all should be actuated by my motion, as hauing surrendred the interest of their liberty into my plenary disposition and authority. Aeli­anus tells vs a story of one Rhaco Mardus, who hauing brought his sonne Cartomes like a pri­soner with his armes fast pinacled into the presence of King Artaxerxes to receiue iudgement of death, vpon suggestion that he was a gracelesse desperate castaway, and grew to be very earnest to that point, why (saith the King of Persia) canst thou endure to be­hold thy sonnes life taken from him? his an­swer was, I haue in my garden a lettice rudely ouergrowne with leaues, and though they be lims of the bodie, yet doe I now and then crop off and prune some of the bitter stalkes, and such as may be spared: What doth my lettice thinke you die for griefe vpon the matter, or doth it mourne, because there is a limbe or two lopt off? nay, it flourisheth the better and such a maim makes him eat a great deale the sweeter. In like manner may it please (you O King) to deeme of me, for albeit I [Page 23]shall see and behold the death of this wret­ched varlot that hurts and anoies my house­hold, corrupts, by his stubborne and lewde example his poore yong brethren, I will ne­uerthelesse be still of the opinion to speed the better by it, yea and rather thriue by such a maim than any waies be endamaged by it, and this is sutable to that of M [...]s [...]s and Halicar­nasseus. But that I may the better proue this point, how is it that this question, namelie whether a sonne, in some case may lawfullie disobey his father, first stepping aside out of priuate mens houses, entred into the pub­lique schooles of the vniuersitie, to bee disputed and questioned there, and after to be decided finallie at the seat of iudgement, but that it was neuer in mans memorie heard of before, nay the contrarie was euer held for certaine and true, that such a question would neuer haue been propounded? when Danaus much against his will, had matcht his fiftie daughters to Egisthus his grandchildren, and had charged the yong virgins that on the mariage day euerie one should murther hir husband with such a sword, as to that end he had giuen them, (the iust like tale may you read in Chalcōdilas, of a Physition of Florence that commanded his daughter to poison Lantislaus King of Naples the first night [Page 24]they should lie together) euerie one did as their father had enioined them excepting on­ly Hypermnestra which saued her husband Lynceus his life. But what followed hereupon? these murderous paricides were so far from being brought, to answer the law and plead not guiltie for the matter, or that their obe­dience herein was deemed culpable, that con­trariwise Hypermnestra, for that she had not performed hir fathers behest, was thereupon publiquelie arraigned, and much adoe to be freed at the common Assis [...]s, so that in point of obedience vnto parents no exception wold be taken, to haue denied them or to haue doubled with them had vtterlie been vnlaw­full. The truth is, freed she was, but the ver­dict was brought in vpon euen voices, with such demurring, and so much hazard of life, (the record is famously knowne by her owne letter in Ouid) that as though she had escaped some dangerous shipwracke, she built a Tem­ple vnto Venus and Diana, and hung vp a ta­ble in memoriall of her deliuerie. How then should that domestique dutie be blemisht or broken, when children though they had offended in obeying, their obedience notwithstanding, was vnto them their chiefest com­mendation, their refusall a crime vtterlie vn­pardonable. That great Oracle of the Law [Page 25] Vlpian holds this opinion, that he may not properlie be said, to haue any will of his owne that liues vnder commaund of a father or master, and well worthie is he of pardon (as he thinkes) in this case, that pretends necessa­rie obedience for his excuse. L. 11. F. de his qui notantur infamia. And question lesse Tiberius was of the same mind, that a sonne might by no meanes refuse the com­mand of his father. But howsoeuer, it hath been alwaies held (saith Gellius) be the thing honest which is commanded, or be it indiffe­rent, the obedience thereunto ought to bee absolute. Be it dishonest and against good manners, yet the care must be neuerthelesse such so not to obey, as that it bee done with a modest and lowly behauiour, notwith­a vaine of tart reprehension, or refusall, or the least shew of dislike. Respite the doing of it for a time or put it off handsomelie, rather than refuse to doe it, let there appeare a maidenlie bashfulnesse in a constant deniall, and let the sonne discouer some zeale that he would fain obey his father, when he obeieth him not. As Agesilaus did, who when his father charged him that he should giue a sentence against law, marry father saith he I well remember, that long since you willed me to be euer for the law, I will therefore at this time not doe that which you command me now, but that [Page 26]which was your pleasure I should haue done long agoe. And as Acrotatus did, of whom when his parents required some thing vniust­lie hee denied it honestlie in this manner: I know you would haue me to doe that which is honest and iust, for so you bred me vp (I thanke you) I will therefore doe that which you once willed me to do, but that which you now command, I may not. He that should openlie gainesay and arrogantlie oppose himselfe against his father, should proue no better than a malepert wicked vngratious impe. Euen in a good cause, a sonnes speech towards his parents should be humble and reuerent, (as Saluianus saith) for how else should that be true, which our forefathers were wont prouerbiallie to speake, a man may wrong his dutie, by the cast of his coun­tenance, if by any law in the world a sonnes disobedience were maintainable. Should the person of an Embassador be sacred, and inuiolable, among enemies, and must you spare to vse the least word of disgrace against him? and would you haue the master of a fa­milie entertaine, and harbour within his owne walls, vnder the roofe of his owne house, one authorized to be his comptroller, his check­mate, nay his profest mortall enemie? but why bestow we so much time, and proofe [Page 27]about this position? forsooth to this end, to make good the deuise and plot of this dome­stique authoritie, that in case children should obiect or pretend ought against it, all passa­ges of contradicting or questioning might hereby be preuented: for it is an obligation wherein wee are bound to nature, and the condition is that we be euersubiect to our parents It is holie and acceptable, not only before God, but euen amongst men, that chil­dren should be obedient vnto their parents in singlenesse of heart and without all ma­lice, as saith Theophilus to Eutolicus. And whereas almighty God added nothing be­sides the bare and simple commandement to threaten the offendor, he did it vpon this rea­son, that he thought it sufficient for him briefly to comprize that, which otherwise was naturall among all men and notoriously knowne in their conscience well enough to be a true, vnchangeable, & perpetuall notion. To the intent therefore, that we may shew that this authoritie of parents streams foorth from natures spring tell me, is there any rea­son to be giuen, that a woman should be more in subiection to a man than a child is to his parents? why; but a woman in respect of the sole infirmitie of her sex is subiect to a man, and there is no other reason but the sonne [Page 28]owes him double seruice, the one in respect of disparitie of yeers, between them, the other in respect of his fathers goodnes towards him. But grant there be no fee of duetie to bee ac­knowledged: for the first, which is ods of age, and when once they come to strength and full yeares, in Gods name cancell that obli­gation; (and yet Aristotle will tell you, that such prerogatiues of aduantage can neuer be determined) I would faine know of what sort you take this last to bee. I meane a parents bounty, and whether that may expire by any age or time: tis a doctrine of naturall reason, that wee are bound to requite them which haue beene good vnto vs: for in this point none can be of a contrarie opinion to Vlpi­an, (and as it is fairely deliuered by Philo,) the vnthankefull man sinnes against huma­nity, if according to the meanes of his abili­tie, he require not kindlie a benefite receiued; nay, not to returne one good turne for ano­ther, in the sense of Saint Ambrose, is little better than wilfull murther. Well then, but there is no greater obligation, thē that which is due from children to their parents, after God they be our Gods; that wee are, that wee liue, and moue, tis the bounteous gift of our deare parents, and such a gift as may admit no manner of recompence, for it can neuer bee [Page 29]possible, that the sonne should beget his Fa­ther: now concerning the mothers tender care and diligence, what thinke you of the sweet food wherewith shee nurses her poore infant? what thinke you of those pretty loue­lie iniuries which the innocent Babe manie times doth to his mother? as soone as hee is thirstie, the mothers dugge is ready to giue him drinke; and before they breede teeth, they meete that with their lippes, which needes no chewing; as he speakes, that is the supposed author of Saint Ieromes epistle, De honor and is parentibus, for the honouring of parents; and he addes moreouer, that for this cause parents ought to bee dearely e­steemed of their children, because they can neuer bee repaired by any other; for when once the law of all flesh hath taken them out of this world, a man shall neuer bee able to finde another father or mother; then what a diuelish ingratitude were it (as that other Plato saith right well;) If we for great matters cannot finde in our hearts to bestow small trifles? for manie benefites a few poore retri­butions? whatsoeuer to the vttermost of our power wee should render to them of what value were it; what scale would it beare being compared with this light which wee see, this educatiō which we haue, this Country which [Page 30]we enioy, this natiue Country wherein wee liue, those large possessions from Fathers and Grandfathers, lineally discended vpon vs, which must maintaine vs & ours: for al these we are tenants in fee, and holde them from our parents donation. (Let Seneca speake his pleasure to the contrarie, he speakes but like a disputer;) but what saith the great Doctor Origen, who when hee speakes well, no man speakes better: hee in his eleuenth Homily vpon Leuiticus, writes in this wise: The name of a father is a great misterie, the name of a mother is a concealed reuerence, God is thy spirituall father, and heauenly Ierusalem is thy mother. First, God thy father that crea­ted thy soule, and therehence it is said, I haue begotten sonnes and exalted them; se­condly, thy bodilie father, is thy father, by whose meanes thou wast borne and begotten in the flesh, and camest into this world, that bare thee in his loines. Now then, because the name of a father is so sacred and venerable, therefore whosoeuer shall curse his father, shall die the death. In like sort must wee ima­gine of our mothers also, by whose labour & care we were borne, and bred vp, wherefore as the Apostle saith, thou oughtest to be re­ciprocally thankefull to thy parents, for if thou dishonour thy carnall father, his con­tempt [Page 31]reflecteth vpon thy spirituall father, and if thou iniurie thy mother, that iniury redoundeth to the heauenly Ierusalem, ther­fore at no hand must wee be at variance, or contestation with our parents, no not so much as in word. He is thy father, she is thy mother, let them in Gods name doe and saie as they please, they know well enough what is fitting to be done. As for vs be we neuer so obse­quious and dutifull to them, yet shall we come short, of that full measure of thank­fulnesse, which we owe them, for our birth, for our bearing, for the fruition of this glo­rious sweet light which we behold, for our food, and lastly for the course of institution (perhaps as it may so fall out) in some of those learned and liberall sciences, nay oftentimes they be the cause, that wee come to the knowledge of God, that we frequent his Church and heare the word of his heauenly law. Now if this instinct which pro­ceeds from God and nature, and this kind retaliation of benefits be found euen in sence­lesse and bruit beasts, then should man, whom the graces haue fostered, to whom curtelie and good manners is hereditarie, be worse than a lion, a Storke, a parde? for of the piety of Storkes and Swallowes, S. Ambrose speakes excellentlie in his fift booke of the Exam [...]ron [Page 32]the sixteenth and seuenteenth Chapters, and if so be (as Epictetus will haue it) that nature is not ouer curious, of what qualitie or condi­tion thy father be, be he good or bad, base or honorable, he is still thy father, the obli­gation which thou enterest into by being his sonne can neuer become voide Can then any doubt be made, whether his will and com­mandement be in all cases to be fulfilled? the verie person of parents and patrons should be alwaies religiously honored, and obserued of the sonne and the freed man, as Vlpian the father of the Law hath adiudged it. But put case that the sonne should obiect that, which Diogenes sometimes did obiect to Zeno. That children were nothing beholding to their parents for their begetting, because that pro­ceeded rather from a passion of pleasure and sence than from any sound loue or good affe­ction. He that imploies himselfe about the begetting of children lest of all intends that which he goes about, he heeds not procrea­tion, but the satisfying of his owne appetite and voluptuous desire. Indeed this were well spoken for a Cynicke, and well said to turne away the imputation from bruite beasts and put it vpon men; yet euen verie beasts when by course of nature and season of the yeere, they couple together for breed, do it more to [Page 33]reare their yong than for any rage of sensuall appetite, (as Athenagoras thinks) twere Well, if there were no ods between their copulation and our mariages, if matrimonie proceeded whollie from the law of nature, taught in ge­nerall to all liuing creatures, not from the law of nations peculiar onlie to men of reason: or that now it were no longer held for a matter of high misterie amongst vs christians, but of shame and dishonor: not a league of loue to liue together in the estate of holy wed­locke, but some partnership, or conspiracie rather to the satisfying of brutish lust, and carnalitie. But such mens iudgements concer­ning mariage, comes either from ignorance, as not knowing what it meanes, or from some tedious discontent, which they find in liuing single. But Socrates in Zenophon hath giuen Diogenes his answer in this point to the full. For (saith he) why should men marrie, if chil­dren were begotten to satisfie sensuality: can­not the fire of lust be quenched except ye first must needs marrie? but now, in that we are content to vndertake the yoke of mari­age, (which I must needs say lies heauy vpon some of vs) we do it to multiplie the world by propagation of children. For were it other­wise, we would neuer be so curious about the matter, I warrant you, to enquire of what age [Page 34]she was whom we meant to marrie, of what house she came, what good conditions she had, we would neuer bee so carefull, for the education of our children borne vnder that mariage, giue them such meanes for their in­stitution, take so much deliberation for their matching afterwards, if lust and pleasure had been our onelie ends and respects. Far more diuine was that conceit of Philo in a dialogue of his concerning mariage, who expresseth himselfe thus, Parents when they beget chil­dren, be deputie officers, and vicegerents vn­der God, both serue and be subordinate for procreation, the one frames the body, the o­ther workes the soule: and therefore Ignatius writing to the Philadelphians tearmeth parents fellow labourers with God, in which sense man is the liuelie image, and counterfeit of God, as Clemens Alexandrinus reporteth in his eleuenth booke of Institutions. There­fore neglect one, neglect both: condemne the vnderworkman, and set at nought the master workman himselfe. Nay saith Philo, they be not workmen, they be euen Gods amongst vs, and when they beget their children, they represent one God, that is from all eter­nitie not begotten. The difference is, God is the creator vniuersall, man the indiuiduall, God of all creatures, man of his children on­ly: [Page 35]whereupon it followeth, in his opinion ne­cessarilie, that he must needs be implous, against the inuisible, and incomprehensible God, that is carelesse in performing all good offices, and duties to these inferior Gods our parents, that liue amongst vs, be euer in our eie, and in our familiar acquaintance. The ve­ry same witnesseth S. Iohn in his first epistle and fourth Chapter, If any man say, I loue God, and hate his brother, hee is a lier, for how can hee that loueth not his brother, whom he hath seene, loue God whom hee hath not seene? for loue God and the sparkes of loue will be kindled towards your neighbour: loue your neighbour and then your loue to God ward will be in a burning fire, as Gregory the great speaketh in the seuenth of his Mo­ralls, the tenth Chapter Nay besides all this, Moses that gaue lawes to the Iewes, in deliue­ring his holy ordinances, marshalleth the ho­nour due vnto God in the first table, but re­peating afterwards in Leuiticus the verie same precepts, he begins with the honor due vnto parents, requiring vs to yeeld them ho­nor and obedience: afterwards in a second place he commands the same for God, as who should say, they be both Gods alike and the definitions are but one in sence and signification, he that honors his father and [Page 36]mother, honours God, and he that honours God, by an infallible consequence, honoreth his parents also. Most certaine it is, that when Zenocrates the Philosopher, wrote; that the Athenians kept most religiously in their Temple of Eleusis, three fundamentall precepts, whereunto their vse was to reduce all such lawes as euer Treptolemus had made for them: the first begins with parents, (as S. Ierome testifieth writing against Iouinian) say­ing honour thy parents, worship thy God, abstain from flesh meat. And that most diuine Plato, who may truly be stiled another Moses, after that he had written many things concer­ning God, why saith he, these be no lawes, but the preambles and prefaces to such lawes, as we intend to make for the honor of parents. Marke, how he that sayes the father must be worshipped deduceth his premisses from God himselfe. What an holy speech was this in comparison of that of Telencer, who though he knew the nature of this dutie well enough, being on a time demanded why the yong men of Lacedemon rose vp, and gaue place to their ancients, made this answer, that being trained vp so in ciuilitie towards strangers, they might be more apt to honour their pa­rents also? Tertullian in his booke of praier, is verily of the opinion that the name of a fa­ther [Page 37]is a name of reuerence and authority, and he which should attempt to take away dutie from children, or gouernment from parents, or vpon partialitie leane more to the one than the other, he in so doing, should take away both, and rob parents of that prehe­minence which the Lawes of God, nature, and men haue euer inuested them with. So then if we must still continue this dutie to­wards our parents, euer be heedful to obserue and keep it, why may wee not conclude the same for parents auhoritie ouer vs, in this manner. Children must alwaies honor their parents, ergo parents must euer cōmand their children. These sweete louing affections were both iointlie worshipt in one oratorie by the old Romans, and in my fancie should not now bee sequestred from being mutuallie dependant one to the other. For my better proofe herein, I would pray leaue a little to examine an argument of Tertullians, and to consider the necessity of his illation wher­by he will demonstrate Christ to be God, yet not God the father, but God the sonne. I am not come saith Christ to do mine owne will, but the fathers that sent me, this did he euer fulfill euen to his death. Hereupon he infers the conclusion ergo he was not the fa­ther but the sonne. Now sir, how could this ar­gument follow if the sonnes will should be [Page 38]distinct or any other, thā the fathers wil? what maiestie or honor were there added vnto God, in calling him a father (wee haue no name else whereby to know or expresse him) if there were no proper or naturall signifi­cation for the name to this purpose? if there were no more difference betwixt pa­rents & children, but a nominall distinction, and the diuersitie to rest onlie in name, but no title of authoritie or iurisdiction? but now a daies where can you find anie other diffe­rence for fathers at this time to emancipate or enfranchize their children, is held not ne­cessarie If my sonne could speake as soone as he were borne, I thinke this would be his lan­guage, Sir I acknowledge you thus far foorth for my father, as to giue me maintenance and bring me vp. I came a free man into the world and if I liue but one welue or fourteene yeers to an end, I hope to sue out my liuerie for my wardship. If I can but keepe my hands from doing violence to your person, I am sure though in other matters I proue respectiue or vndutifull, no man will much complaine of me. The power and authoritie of you parents is cleane reuersed, and abrogated. Now should you threaten him with some curse or reuenge that would follow vpon this contempt, this answer would be, tis a long while ere that comes Sir, and I shall loose nothing by the [Page 39]forbearance. But if so be this thorow per­swasion did sinke into mens hearts, that he that offended his father offended God, that to be excluded from the fathers presence, were aboue all other punishments the chie­fest, in briefe, if the sonne could be made to to vnderstand how dreadfull the bitter curse of a father were (whereof we may chance to speake somewhat more at large hereafter,) why these might be sufficient props to de­fend and keepe vp, this excellent fabrique of rule and authoritie which in these daies is so much ruinated and decaied. But now (such is our corruption) all this will not serue the turne, that ancient seueritie of the Romanes would better preuaile with them, that is, they should neuer be brought to anieiudiciall trial for the matter, but be condemned and neuer heard speake, which is a course of proceeding that Halicarnesseus and Quintilian oftentimes mention. And why? because a common­wealth is nothing else but a bodie incorporate of so many priuate families, and so founded & begun by parents, that as (me thinks the re­semblance were not much vnfit) to terme a family the nurse, the wombe, and the roote of a common wealth: contrariwise a common wealth, a swarme, or colonie deduced from a priuate familie. He therefore that will go­uerne [Page 40]a common wealth in good fashion, and banish al loose & dissolute behauiour thence and all crimes and exorbitant offences, let him looke first to good order at home. If he can make them lowlie, sober, and dutifull within doores, they will come into the world, so nurtered, so taught, so affected, well may they change their homes, they will be sure neuer to leaue their old manners. Contrari­wise, let him looke careleslie to it, let him but once suffer the reines to be at libertie, present­lie shall you see treasons, murders, rapes, adul­teries, gush out in large swelling streames, and surround the countrrie. And this is the cause (if I be not mistaken) why in ancient time they appropriated to priuate families peculiar gods, taking it for good policie, to countenance the infirmitie of domesticall iurisdiction, with the authoritie of diuine re­ligion, that both these two like mighty cable ankors, might hold them in all tempest fast to their obedience. That euen as the ten­der infant, ledde and guided by the little finger, is able afterwards of himselfe to walke without a guide; so comming to mans estate, the meanes of this priuate education, might awe and order him in the Common wealth, to carrie a due respect to the Magi­strate, but not to dread his person, as hauing [Page 41]the sword borne before him to grace his of­fice withall, not to terrifie well-doers. But ve­rily in mine opinion there can bee nothing more absurd or incongruous, than once to thinke that Religion is any way assistant to this good order; for (if it be true, which before I toucht) certes Christian Religion as it is vsed, doth more suppresse and pul down, than either establish or set vp this authority of pa­rents: and there is nothing so much with­drawes our children from duetie and obedi­ence as those two precepts of the first and se­cond Table, which now a daies men make meere contradictories, Honour God, and honour thy parents. Its a maruellous mat­ter, that whereas euer heretofore these two commandements, held good corresponden­cy with each other, and might both be fulfil­led together, they should now bee tearmed opposite, and so repugnant one to the other, that hee which fulfilles the one, must of ne­cessity breake the other. But whence come these strange & newfound problemes? Marry Sir I will tell you, euen from the disputes of our ancient Philosophers that wrāgled about this question, whether at all times, and in all matters, we ought to obey our Fathers com­mandements? for as there haue been some that handled this question iust as Bias did [Page 42]the question of sacriledge; there is no body, saith Bias, that is sacrilegious, for if some God or other be resiant in euery place of the world, then doth a thiefe conuey nothing out of one hallowed place, which hee carrieth not into some other hallowed place; so haue some of our Philosophers vsed the like subtlety in treating the matter of this power of parents. There is no necessity (say they) why you shold obey your parents: for either they command that which is iust, and we must doe it, not be­cause they commaund it, but because it is iust; or els they commaund that which is vnlaw­full, and vve may not doe it, not because they commaund it, but because it is vnlavvfull. Whereupon the conclusion follovves, ergo there is no obedience due to them at all; yea but Gellius replies, the Dilemme is not perfect, for that some things are of a nevv­ter and indifferent nature, vvherein vve must obey them absolutelie, and some things are in their ovvn nature good, and honest which vve are the more bound to do, because they commaund them. Some distinguish other­wise; in some cases wee must obey, in others wee may not. For, what if my father should commaund mee to plot treason against my Country, to murther my mother, to kill my Prince, or facts of the like detestable and [Page 43]impious nature. Right so, whilest the Schoole Diuines began to argue, whether one might serue God and man, or whether God were to bee serued before father (as though there were any question to be made of it, but God must, without all exception bee obeide, when the matter commaunded tends to impietie) they fell fowle vppon the same tenents, with the Philosophers, which were verie vncertaine, idle, and blasphemous. In good south, I hate not the person of any man that makes difference betwixt honest and vnho­nest, lawfull and vnlawfull, nor yet them nei­ther, which make some things neuter and in­different. The opinion in some sort is to bee excused: but without doubt, the safer way had been, neuer to haue stirred in the mat­ter, that is, if they had not reuolted from those mens iudgements, which helde the question affirmatiuelie, and without distinction, that parents in all things were to be obeide. For say it be true, which by a cauilling distinction they haue put vpon vs, yet to my thinking they haue no sound footing to stand vpon for it: and to speake my opinion, the determi­nation of such questions is exceeding dange­rous. How much more cautelous and cir­cumspect then was Philo, writing vpon the decalogue, when treating of the two first com­mandements [Page 44]of the two Tables, he saith (as his manner is to doe all things) most diuine­lie: they that leauing all other affaires of the world, bestow themselues wholly vpon con­templation, or they that abandoning all de­uotion, apply themselues to action wholie to obserue their parents disposition, conforming themselues respectiuelie to liue in the world, as though they would bee taken apart, either for Gods seruants in the one, or mens friends and followers in the other: I tell you these mens vertues are but perfect by the halfes: nay, he that offends against either partie of­fends against both. Doubtlesse some such matters there be which will neuer bee drawne to anie manner of mediocritie or indifferen­cie, but presentlie they doe some harme or o­ther: for doe but shake them a little, & they stagger presentlie; bring them to the touch, you will finde they cannot endure the triall. These diminitiue questions be like fine cates, for as the more dainetie and delicate they be, do sooner putrifie and corrupt in the sto­macke, so these if they be too much minsed and refined, they mar the generall tenant which is defended of all men. Whether the Bishop of Rome be aboue or vnder a generall Councell, whether the Emperor be aboue the people, whether democracie be better then [Page 45]monarchie, whether in religion contrarietie of sects may be tollerated, at first sight, they be set forth with a maruellous faire show, but if you marke them well, there is poison ser­ued in, when you come to the reckoning. For vpon these and such other like disputes, e­uerie day ensue, schismes, seditions, ciuill wars, & this questiō now in handling, is much after the same sort. For he that once made but a doubt whether the dutie and respect which we owe to our parents were to binde vs for terme of life, and not rather of Turuus his opinion maintained against Tarquinius) that there was no such summary proceeding, as when father and son were parties, where the issue was soone tried, if he be vndutifull, fare him wel, and al ill luck go with him. Make but the least breach into the fort of naturall dutie, ye shall presentlie see how he falls to railing, and reuiling, to stabbing, nay to mur­thering of it. And so hauing begun with his father, he is like enough to finish it with in­surrection against his Prince. This then was euer a maine determination, amongst the an­cient philosophers, that obedience in all things was precisely to be yeelded vnto, when our parēts required it. Or put case, any incon­uenience should happen thereupon, better were it to admit the proposition, in termes of [Page 46]largest extent, than out of any priuate or par­ticular case to argue against a common and receiued opinion, and to determine it accor­dinglie, either in schooles, consistories, or pul­pits. And this doth Cicero wifely obserue in his booke of offices, yee shall not find anre such question in all his booke: he was euer resolute and confident vpon the point, that children must not be their parēts master, nor subiects their Princes, nor schollers their teachers, nor seruants their Lords: not, but that sometimes they far surpasse them for wit and pregnant discourse, but that it cannot be auoided but that iniuries and contempts will be offered, when such comparison and oppo­sition of persons is once endured. Let autho­ritie be once disgraced, and farewell autho­rity. When in a great session of the Centum­uiri holden at Rome, Accia Variola, went about to disproue the will of her father, which som­times had borne the office of a Pretor there, for that he had bequeathed vnreasonable le­gacies to her stepmother, there came to the hearing of the cause so many fathers together with their children, vpon a feare and expe­ctation of which side the fathers or the daug­ters, the sentence should passe, that the Iud­ges (as Plinie reports) like wise men left the matter as they found it. For no other occasion [Page 47]than this, least peraduenture if iudgement had been giuen for the daughter, other chil­dren by her example might in time presume to contest with their parents. But to come neerer to the matter, in these like questions, I would faine learne whom we should follow, prophane Philosophers, or the blessed Apo­stle Saint Paul who in his Epistle to the Co­lossians, aduiceth thus, Children obey your parents in all things, for this is pleasing with God, where when he expresly setteth downe in all things, hath he not vtterly excluded, those two parts of the distinction, In some things you must obey; in some things you may chuse whether you will obey or no? and the conclusion withall, we be not bound to obey? nay but why did God the father of all parents, forbid A­dam to eate of the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden, but that he would trie whether Adam would obey him in all things or no, as saith Theophilus to Eutol? nor is the obiecti­on worth the standing vpon: why but what if the father should command any treasona­ble practise or attempt against the estate? be­cause here is a case put which neuer happens at the hundreds end, or so seldome, that it would be past ouer in silence, and neuer more lookt after. Nay contrarie wise, (as I should thinke) the presumption is strong and holds [Page 48]for the father, what manner a man soeuer he be; good or bad that he will neuer command his sonne, that which he in his conscience knowes to be fowle and dishonest. Yea let the mother be neuer so lasciuiouslie giuen, yet will she traine vp her daughter in chaste and vertuous demeanour. Moreouer, he that argues this act of a fathers command makes that a reason for his allegation, which is mainly against all reason, that is, he supposes old men doting fooles, and yong men graue counsellors: he makes the sonne iudge whe­ther the fathers actions be lawfull or against law, good in their owne nature, or by his con­struction and surmise. And all this can neuer agree to discretion, and honesty. For so he sowes matter of question and debate, where indeed the only vertue should be (the vertue so highly esteemed of the noble Lacedemo­nians) to yeeld obedience and that readilie. But because error is growne potent, and hath giuen such a deepe wound as the scarre will hardlie be couered ouer, let vs a little by the way consider what were those neuter and in­different things which Gellius speaketh of? to my remembrance they be these, as if (saith he) thy father bid thee to be a souldier, to till his land, to be an officer, to be an aduocate, to marrie a wife, to goe vpon his errand, come [Page 49]when thou art sent for, and such like, which in themselues be neither good nor bad, but as the intent is and manner of doing them, so may they merit blame or commendation. For if the father should charge me to marry a wife that were infamous, past all shame, or disparagious for any enormious crime, if he would haue me plead Catiline or Bibulus, or Clodius his cause, then were his commāde­ment herein not indifferent because here is a troupe of dishonesty one vpon the necke of another. So that if his pleasure were to enioin me such actions, the question were at an end, how far forth I should obey him: were it not that the thing which Gellius plainly pronoun­ceth for indifferent, as to marrie a wife, to en­ter into this or that kind of life, now adaies are taught to be of such nature, that consent & authoritie of father is nothing thought of or respected in them: my sonne may marrie, may be a Church man, may be a monke, not onlie without my leaue, but spight of my teeth though I doe expresly forbid him, and that which all Vniuersities, all Consistories, all o­pinions, of learned men, without any inter­ruption or impediment haue euer permit­ted in fauour of naturall dutie, that doe these men, vnder pretence of faith and religion, vt­terlie reuerse and disanull. But our ensewing [Page 50]discourse shall speciallie in this place be con­fined within the compasse of religious vowes, wherin I must haue leaue to tell thee, that either thou art in falt that without any priuity or consent of mine betookest thy selfe thus to the Iesuits order; or I am to be blamed that notwithstanding holy Church affoords thee such a libertie, grieue and take on for the same. For as concerning the argument of mariage & the freedom thereof, whether pa­rents haue any voice in their childrens be­stowing, our countriman Paquerius hath writ­ten so learnedlie thereof in his Epistles, as who should but offer to adde one line, to that which he hath written of that subiect, might rather preiudice his owne iudgement, than a­ny way the picture drawne by the pencill of so curious a workman. I must needs confesse that the determination of the Bishops assem­bled in the Councell of Trent makes much for my contryman his purpose, that although clandestine contracts, made without the pa­rents aduise and leaue) stand for good mari­age till the Church disalow them, yet neuer­thelesse for many weighty and important considerations, the Church thought it best altogether to interdict and disauow them. It seems she would haue a reseruation in her selfe to determine the controuersie, and not per­mit [Page 51]it ouer to the arbitrement of parents, whether such mariages were good and accor­ding to lawe, or contrarily void and of none effect. I must likewise grant that sundry con­stitutions enacted heretofore by many of our christian Princes in their Diets and Parlia­ments, are pregnant for his purpose, namely that such matches are no better than a rape and no mariage at all, or if it be, they take or­der to vndoe the mariage knot with the point of an imperiall sword. Yet for all that which Paquerius hath written about the question, I would pray leaue to adde two no­table precedents, not with that selfe con­ceipt or arrogancie, as though I meant to confirme or confute ought about the cōtract of maiarge, which either the Church or our most illustrious Princes haue beene pleased hitherto in their excellent wisedomes to determine, but that our children might hereby know and be well instructed, that all that is according to lawe, is not therefore by and by according to honestie, least perhaps that contempt and neglect which now they measure vnto vs, be afterwards by a iust sen­tence of reuenge written in heauen, measured by their children vnto them also. The one example is of Rebecca, and the woman of Timnath, both which although God had [Page 52]appointed the one for Sampson, and the other for Isaacke, yet it pleased him notwithstan­ding that these marriages should first be made by the aduise and liking of their parents, that Rebecca should be demanded of Bathuel, of the mother, and of the Vnckle, yet so, as Abraham the father must giue charge about the message, and not the sonne Isaacke, thou shalt be discharged from my oath, saith Abraham to his seruant, if thou goe vnto my country and to my kinsfolke, and they shal not giue her vnto thee. The Angell of the Lord made way to these mariages, but their parents contracted them; The other example is of Tertullian in a treatise written to his wife: Oh how shall I be able (saith he) worthily to describe and set foorth the blessed estate of that couple, whom the Church hath ioined together, praier and thanksgiuing haue confirmed, angels in hea­uen proclaimed, and the father in earth ap­proued, for euen here in the world children may not marrie without their parents con­sent and approbation, either in respect of due solemnitie or force of law. Doubtlesse his meaning hereby was, that mariage among Christians had better successe and prosperity when first it was approued by almighty God, as hauing in this world the consent of pa­rents, [Page 53]and in that other the consent of our father which is in heauen. The same opinion was maintained by Soterus liuing vnder the raign of the Emperor Commodus, as also auer­red by Euaristus and S. Ambrose. Proceed we then in Gods name and let vs now dis­course of religious vowes, not questioning their validitie, nor the perfection of the reli­gious or lay life, which of them both is better nor any such matters. But whether children be at their owne libertie and pleasure to con­ceiue and make solemne profession of a vow, if the father be not acquainted first with it, or else if he disclaime it; as also whether without him a sonne may enter into the Ecclesiastical vocation, and the father must not present him before he be admitted to holy orders. Hereof I say we will presume to entreat so far foorth as a meane Ciuilian may haue good leaue, either to know or take in hand, such secret misteries of your profession. And if the whole faculty of Diuines, or those sedu­cers of yours, haue any thing else in store, to giue me satisfaction in my question, let me vnderstand of it as soone as may be possible, that so for mine owne part I may set downe, and rest contented by their resolution. But for you sir, I would haue you to lurke no lon­ger in corners, but make your personall ap­pearance [Page 54]to the summons, and be not afraid boldly to chant that high sentence of S. Ie­rome, against them, which in a depraued sence they haue perhaps trumpt in thy way: Cruelty in such a case is your only piety.

First then let it be considered how paynim people obserued their vows. For though they were far wide of the true worship of God, yet in their religion, they left out nothing which might any waie make, either for the honor, maintenance, or enlargement of it, nay it were hard to say, whether therein they surpassed not vs Christians. True it is, that these pay­nims were not very scrupulous to offer either themselues or their goods to Idolls, nor was it very materiall with them why and where­fore they made such rash vowes. Neuerthe­lesse, this was euer a disputable question a­mong them, whether the vow were of any va­lidity, without the fathers consent and au­thoritie. Most certaine it is that in the matter of sacrificing the children the parents were to offer them to the sacrifice, the case is cleare out of Tertullian in his Apologeticus, whereas saith he, Saturne neuer vsed to spare either his owne children or other mens, but indifferent­ly deuoured both; thereupon such as were pa­rents offered their sonnes and daughters to be his sacrifices, and willingly exposed them [Page 55]to him, nay they would fawne and flatter the poore innocents, to the intent, that they shold not howl & crie, when they were to be sacrifi­ced which you may likewise read in Plutarch in his booke which he entitles Of Superstition, to­wards the end: but say, there were no parents liuing to giue vp their childrē to this diuelish abomination? what was to be done in such a case? Its well inough knowne, that the Priest had no such power or authoritie, to take whom he pleasde for the sacrifice. This was a speciall prerogatiue reserued for the Magi­strate (and more then this came to) hee chose out the virgin by lot, which was appointed to be sacrificed, that so the Gods might seem to be at their own choice for the oblation, and not at the Priests deuotion, and on whomsoe­uer the lot fell, shee was to be offered, as you may reade in Homer of Iphigenia Agamem­nons daughter, in Pansanias, of Lyciscus and Aristodemus their daughters, in Plutarch of Smincheus his daughter, whom the Dolphins safely set a shore, with her sweet heart Eualus. Hence come those themes vsuall & frequent in declamations. A virgin sacrificed to the pestilence. A sonne that is disinherited, to bee offered for sacrifice. A sister liuing infamou­sly to be sacrificed. Which sort of Rhetoricall exercise, partly you may read in Quintilian, [Page 56](an Author by me first restored to his inte­gritie) partlie in Calphurnius, for whome the learned Pitheus did as much; but in all these and the like, it would be noted, that should the sonne or daughter voluntarily offer them­selues, their parents are euer opposed as meet and able persons in law to except against thē. For no man would haue admitted such a bar (I promise you) I thinke scarce among boyes in the Schoole, if children might haue beene permitted to sacrifice themselues. And hence it commeth (as you may reade it in Philostra­tus) that Meneceus Creons sonne, vpon an answere of Tiresias the Prophet, sacrificed him selfe without his fathers priuitie, which other­wise meant to hinder him from such a pur­pose. But most memorable is that which is written by Plutarch in his booke of Superstiti­on, that if a man had not any children of his owne, the fashion was to buy them of some poore people: but in that case, it might not serue the turne to haue him present, and con­senting, that made sale of his childe, it was besides requisite that the naturall mother, should come forth, eyther to testifie her wil­lingnesse, that her sonne should die in that manner, or to forbid the sacrifice. Virgil in the eleuenth of his Aencidos glanceth at such like sacrifices, when he brings in Metabus, dren­ching [Page 57]of his daughter Camilla in the riuer A­masenus, and thus bespeaking:

Faire Queen of the springing woods, chast Lady Diana,
Here to thy seruice I do vow Camilla my daugh­ter.

Vpon which place, Seruius his note is good. Twas well said, the father himselfe vowed her: for that none but fathers had their children vnder such bonds of obedience. And Plutarch in his booke of Isis and Osiris, talkes to Clea the Nunne, in a Phrase of the like straine: E­uen since thou wast a childe, thy parents dedica­ted thee to the seruice of the Goddesse Osiris. And thus much in briefe for the Grecians.

Now to come to our Ancestors, among the Gawles (as it is yet with vs) there were three estates and orders among them: the Druidet were the men of most principall marke and esteeme, and were so highly reputed of, and had such large priuiledges, by reason of their sacred Ministeries, and their interpretations of doubtfull questions in religion, that well was hee that could bee of their company, to be enrowled and profest in their rule. What? but might children so doe without their pa­parents liking? No forsooth, as you may well vnderstand by Caesar his owne relation, some (saith he) be allured with great rewards, some [Page 58]out of a voluntarie disposition enfrock them­selues into the Religion; some their parents send thither, and some their kinsfolke. Such were Voluntaries, as were at their owne dis­posing, such as were sent thither, liued vnder awe and charge of parents or guardian. The Romanes haue a title in their booke of Di­gests, De Pollicitationibus, of Promises, in them there is special mention made of such promi­ses, as either we make solemnely to God, or to our Countrie: but if a sonne liuing in sub­iection to his Father, should make any such promise, it were nothing worth, and this, Vl­pian out of his learning deliuers vnto vs for law. Men that be Masters of families after they come to bee of full age, are bound by their vowe and solemne promise: but as for a son during his minormity, or a bondslaue whilst he is a villain, neither of them can bind themselues by their vowe without the fathers or Lords authority. Indeed he that is a master of a family after the death of the auncestor, must necessarilie be of full age, to make his vowe good, but let the sonne be neuer so old, and make a vow, be it not ratified first by the fathers approbation, it is vtterlie voide and of no effect in lawe: and the case is the same, though he haue a stocke of monie or anie patrimonie of his owne, to imploy and occu­pie [Page 59]for his preferment: the vow notwithstan­ding al this is of no force or obligatiō in law. And what may the reason hereof be? be­cause he that is not his owne man, can neither come in bond himselfe, nor statute out anie thing that he hath. Moreouer he that hath right and interest to any thing, cannot loose it but by some fact of his owne. And there­fore a sonne liuing in subiection vnder his father, howbeit he might be termed to doe a godlie and religious act by vowing and pro­mising that which is none of his owne, yet were the act (though to neuer so religious vse) no better than plaine theft and pillage: first in vowing his patrimonie, and substance, be­cause the father hath a propertie in it, then in vowing his person which is a matter in deed of greater consequence, because he is no free man to this intent, absolutelie to dispose of himselfe: and the parents by such a conse­cration should wrongfully be depriued of the heire of the house, the hope of their linage, and the propagation both of their name and familie, and lastlie of all such goods and chat­tels, which being purchased by the child, were after him, to reuert vnto the fathers possessi­on, so that for iustifying of the sonnes vowe, the consent and allowance of the father was essentiallie necessarie. Very fauourable is that [Page 58] [...] [Page 59] [...] [Page 60]interpretation which makes for religion, (we doubt not) yet withall not to be rackt to so high a straine, as thereby to neglect all due and laudable solemnities, for that were the next way rather to prophane religion, than to aduance it. Our father and our country haue each one as much authoritie as the o­ther (let that be grāted) yet (as Liuy storieth it) when P. Cornelius Scipio was Pretor in Spaine, and had vpon the great ieopardie of a battell, promised solemne plaies and shewes, after the victorie was obtained, made afterwards suit to the Senate for some alotment of monie out of the treasurie to that vse, their answer was, that his vowe bound not the Senate of Rome and therefore he should make plaies and shewes in Gods name, at his owne charge, and vpon his owne purse, or with such spoiles and booties as he had taken in the war. Now may a sonne doe that with his fathers goods, and that without asking him any leaue, which the greatest officer in Rome could not doe without the Senates warrant? if you tell me, that thevestall virgins might bestow them­selues against their fathers will, because they were said to bee taken, not to bee chosen, and that therefore the high Priest, did not receiue them as presented by their parents, but tooke them away perforce; such kind of reasoning, [Page 61]from the nature of the word, will stand them in small stead: for this solemnitie or phrase of speech which the Bishop vsed, I take thee Amy, is so far from implying, that there was any vn­willingnesse or violence in the action, that it makes most especially for that purpose which we maintaine. Surely there was no taking with­out some giuing, and in this sence the high priest, tooke her that was dedicated to Vesta, but by your leaue she was first giuen and pre­sented by her father. Whence Metabus in Virgil infers, Take here thy seruant Goddesse chast. but Gellius cleares the point in his first booke: therefore it seemes to be said, that the maiden is taken because (saith he) the high Priest taking her by the hand, lead her away as a captiue from her father vnder whose obe­dience she liued: and some few words before that, hauing recited the ancient solemnitie of the Papian law, which enacted choice and lot as fittest meanes to be vsed in the admission of any person vnto religion. At this time, saith he, if any man of credit or worship, come to the high Priest, and offer his daughter to be a Nunne, the profession is as lawful, as if all the ceremonies had been performed, which the Papian law requires. And it was a matter of such necessity, that the daughter should be offered by the parents, that if she were an or­phan [Page 62]fatherlesse and motherlesse, she was re­puted vneligible for that religion. The same may be said, if either she her selfe were eman­cipated, and set at libertie by her father, and in the life time of the father, became subiect to the power of her grandfather, she was to be refused and put by, as a person vneligible: and why so, might not her grandfather pre­sent her? might not her guardian? might not her ouerseer? if she were at her owne dis­posing, might she not vowe and offer vp her selfe? Labeo Antistius wil tel you she might not, because a girle vnder six, or aboue ten could not be receiued into the order. Why but might not any other present her? no, there was none so fit, and without all exception for the purpose, as her owne father. If any else had done it, there must haue beene some ordi­nary hearing and debating of the matter, but had the father done it, it was thought need­lesse and vnnecessary. For as when a naturall father, will adopt his naturall and base borne child, to be his lawfull sonne, the adoption wil hold vpon anie termes, so it is in point of consecration; let but the father tender his child to religion, and there is nothing else expected For what if the daughter, vpon som dislike or other would leaue Vestaes cloister, and lay it to her grandfather or gardians [Page 63]charge, that they had no such authoritie or commission, to make her change her estate and manner of liuing, that this power belongs only to him that hath power of her life and death, that is, her father, as Seneca tels me? For the grandfather had nothing to doe with it: surelie he that makes a poore yong girle enter into an order of religion, that liued before in the world at large, doth in manner execute her aliue, and make her a banisht woman in her owne country: and therefore not without good cause, the father alone was put in trust with this high authority. For as for the chiefe Priests authoritie & vsurped right, were it not first giuen & takē by the fathers leaue and per­mission, it was iudged to all intents and pur­poses clearelie voide in lawe. Now should it be vrged, why but this which you speake of, was of vse onelie in vest all Nunnes, and that principallie by reason of their minoritie, when they were professed Nunnes, this ob­iection is easily answered and the contrarie opinion clearely euicted by Gellius his owne words which be these, Manie be of opinion that onlie virgins should bee taken after this fashion, to orders of religion, nay but euen Iupiters Priests, the Bishoppes, the soothsaiers, were to bee taken and admitted in the selfe same fashi­on. And certaine it is, that male children in [Page 64]their parents life time, were so taken. Doe we not read in Dion, that when the great contro­uersie was about Cornelius Spinter his admissi­on into the Chapter of the high Priests, though Faustus were both his kinsman and an high Priest, likewise in the Colledge, that the naturall and adoptiue fathers did both ioine in this, to make good their presentation for their sonne and not the sonne for him­selfe? questionlesse it is, that children could not exempt themselues from filiall obedi­ence, had not the father first allowed them the libertie, which needed neuer to haue been granted them, if they might haue made vows at their owne pleasure, and without their fa­thers consent. But that I may come by little and little to times of christianitie, (for per­chance these heathenish examples, can doe little good with you) I pray you, as you think, what lawe or custome had the Iewes for their precedent in this case? first, it is not said anie where in expresse tearmes to the sonne, Leaue father and mother, but with this prouisoe, that he should cleaue to his wife. If any thing be otherwise spoken it is by way of aduice, and may not passe vpon trust without stricter ex­amination, as it shall else where be declared more at large. In deed in case of mariage there is an absolute commandement penned, with­out [Page 65]all limitation, to renounce all naturall affection and dutie, but in other cases it is done with so many cautels and deliberati­ons, that in my iudgement it were better still to keepe on the high rode way, than to iour­ney by coasting. But whatsoeuer it be, that A­dam in that place speakes of the relinquish­ment of our parents, doth the argument thereupon conclude, that the knot of wed­locke, is of more force and power then the bond of filiall dutie? nay verily, for this pro­ceeds and springs from nature, and (which is more) from our owne indiuiduall and per­sonall subsistence: that other, from a desire to propagate a mutuall societie and conuer­sation amongst men. And whereas, a man and his vvife be accounted as it were for one per­son, this is in the intent and imagination of the law, and therefore we see them easily to be parted againe, as Anastasius speaketh in the tenth booke of his commentaries vpon the Hexameron. But the sonne is altogether bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, he is one and the selfe same person with his father, a par­cell of the selfe same substance, and (as I may so say) a verie piece carued out of his body and soule: whence it followes, that come what can come, a sonne must euer be a sonne: Disinhe­rit him, turne him into the wide world to shift [Page 66]for himselfe, sell him, leaue him to his owne libertie, suffer him to be adopted into another family, still nature holds her owne, bloud and kindred will neuer be altered Before the Emperor Constantines daies, had the father vnnaturally forsaken and cast off his daugh­ter, yet might she not marry an husband with­out his consent But a man might be rid of his wife (God he knows) many wais: by the sentēce of a Iudge in Court, by madnesse (such a law the Emperor Leo made) by a separation from bed and boord, by bondage and lastly by di­uorce: but in children the case is admirable: that, though the principall obligation be ex­tinguished, (as say I am diuorced from my wife) yet the accessorie holds, that is, children which be wedlockes pledges, though their mother be not my wife, yet are they my children: they be morgaged by nature, and so must they euer continue. But if the case stand so, then why doth a sonne forsake father and mother to cleaue vnto his wife? why doth he forsake the greater commandement, and be­take him to the lesse? because in this case, the parents vnderhand be willing hereunto, as in a desire to haue the world peopled, by propa­gation of children, so to maintaine a lineall succession in posterity, and the inheritance [Page 67]euer to descend vpon the grandchild after the death of the sonne and heire. And yet to keepe house with a wife, in anie construction, is this, to leaue or abandon ones father? nay herein consists their principall dutie and obe­dience. And if they marrie, and keepe house together and so deduct as it were new Colo­nies, all is done with leaue, and reference to their parents. And for my part, I would faine know, how it can in anie sence be construed that for a man to marrie a wife is to forsake and relinquish his father and mother, where­as children though they be maried neuer so often, are not thereby exempted from obe­dience, and though they be eftsoones man and wife, yet be they stil in subiection to their father? and mariage changes not the lawes of nature, and ciuilitie? But be it as it may be, al­mightie God calling to his remembrance the law which first he established in paradise, ad­ded also this heauenlie diuine commande­ment to Adams sentence, that whether chil­dren marrie or not marrie his oracle should continue without all exception and instance to the contrarie, honour thy father and thy mo­ther: yea and that in more precise and deter­minate manner of speech than if he should haue said obey father or mother, for obedi­ence is contained in honour, and he that is [Page 68]not bound to obey, must neuerthelesse be bound to honor. For examples sake, if by ex­tremitie and rigour of law, you may marry or professe your selfe a monke, against my will, and that such a vow and mariage, is in a sort iustifiable and good, yet should you notwith­standing euen by force of that commande­ment come and aske me first leaue, and craue mine aduise in the matter, which though it be no obedience in your part yet it is mine ho­nor. Lastlie you should haue shewed me, what mooued you to this or that course of life, whether your owne naturall propension, and deliberate inclination, or some strange circumuention & forraine perswasion? But let that dutie and custome be omitted, and let the act neuerthelesse, be accounted as lawfull as is anie, yet where is the honor which God hath prescribed? where is that reuerence and dutie, which humanitie bindeth you vn­to? if it be done onelie but for solemnitie, why then you must know that solemnity giues the essence to the act. Let vs proceed. It is storied by Marius Victor that famous orator of Mar­seiles in his third title of his Commentarie vpon Genesis, that God commaunded not Abraham (albeit from his youth vp he wor­shipped the true God with all his soule, and [Page 69]abhorred gentilisme) to leaue his country, and that wicked land and polluted house, before that he saw, that after his fathers death, hee might without offence keepe that comman­dement, which he had giuen him. What shall we say thē? that the Iesuits haue greater com­mand ouer thee, then God had ouer Abra­ham: he was 75. yeere old, and his parents were dead, before God commanded him that he should leaue his country, and goe vp vnto the land of Canaan, & dost thou which art yet but 16. yeers old, my selfe and thy mother yet liuing, forsake me & thy countrie, because the Iesuits bid thee? if thou dost it for the keeping of anothers vow, yet that dutie which both by the law of God and nature, thou owest me is greater. But Marius of Marseiles (for your learning) liued in the time of Theodosius and Valence the Emperors, and the Iesuits were not heard of: there were no such creatures, till the raign of Francis the first our King. Moreouer why did God command the same Abraham, to sacrifice vnto him his owne sonne, and to be the Priest himself, but because he thought the counsell of the fathers was expedient to be vsed in euerie cause, that concerned their children? if it had been all one vnto God, who had offered vp Isacke vnto him, and if [Page 70]the sacrifice should haue been as gratefull and acceptable vnto him being offered by ano­ther man as by the hands of his owne father, why surelie he would haue commanded this office to some other, rather than to his fa­ther Abraham. For religion is not the holier or the more sanctified because it is ioined with parricide. what then? God would haue Isaacke offered vp vnto him. But because this oblation was to proceed from his father, he commanded him to doe it, who by reason of his fatherlie authoritie, could not offend in slaying him. A father is not guilty of parricide, saith Aelius Martianus the great counsellor at the Ciuill law. If thou wilt say that in Isack & Samuel the cause, why it was necessarie that their parents should offer them to the Lord, was by reason of their minoritie, in regard they were yong & vnder age: why the daugh­ter of Iephthe for certaine was sacrificed by her father (as was Praxithea by Erictheus, and Calpurnia, by her father Marius) after the Cim­brian war, when she was fit for mariage. More­ouer what might be obiected against Eliseus? he being called to the office of a Prophet (which was a regular and strict kind of life, as appeared both by their vnction mantell and abstinence) albeit he was an elder in yeers and called thereunto by the Prophet Elias, [Page 71]and that by a speciall command from God, made this answer, I pray thee let me goe kisse my father and my mother, and then I will follow, thee. The kisse was the fathers benediction, & the leaue was that which he desired so much of the Prophet, to take before his departure? what said Elias? Goe and return, for what was my dutie, I haue done vnto thee. As if he should haue said, that which remaineth to be done, be­longeth to thy parents. For although God ex­preslie commanded me, that I should annoint thee to be a Prophet, in my roome, after me, yet how could this be done, if these second Gods our parents, should haue gaine said it? therefore afterwards when the Prophet had cast his mantell on him, forthwith Elizeus left his plough, and followed Elias. But he de­parted not from his father, before he had first taken his leaue of him. Certaine it is, that in the time of the old law personall vowes were ransomed by monie, and the vowes of the Na­zarites endured but for a time. But in the thir­tieth Chapter of Numbers, it is so manifestlie set downe what ought to be obserued concer­ning the daughter, that it were shame for a mā to vouch anie thing to the contrarie. If a wo­man (saith Moses) vowe a vowe, and bind her selfe with an oath, being in her fathers house, her vowe shall stand, except she hath done it, against [Page 72]her fathers consent. But least her youth might be pretended for an excuse, the same is written of a wife also, whether she as yet remaine in her fathers house, or whether she be brought vnto her husbands, her vowe should not stand, if her husband consented not vnto it. Moses excepted none besides a woman diuor­ced, or a widdow; whence was this? because Gods power was lessened, by reason the fa­thers or husbands consent, concurred with his? surelie no. But because those very powers which they haue, are from God, and by esta­blishing theirs, he confirmeth his owne. But those exceptions of widdowhood or matri­monie vere not necessarie in a sonne; For as soone as he was out of his fathers command there was no doubt, if he were at mans state, but he might lawfullie bind himselfe with any of those vowes, which were admitted in the old law. For except it were with the vowe of fasting or abstinence from meates, they scarce bound themselues with anie other. But a wo­man (as at Rome) was in perpetuall wardship sometimes of her father, sometimes of her husband, and sometimes also of her brother, if her father died before she was married. Wherefore if the woman voweda vowe, there the lawgiuer you may see) was more cautelous and difficult. But of the sonne so long as he [Page 73]remained in his fathers house, who euer dou­ted in that case, but that he was of the same condition with his sister? vowed he the gift of anie peece of monie? why it was anothers monie? vowed he his owne person? vvhy he had no right to it? that was subiect vnto ano­ther. How then could he, vvhich vvas not at his owne disposall, bind himselfe and vvrong his father, vvho had all dominion and rule o­uer him. It wil not be wel, to say that there was more dutie expected from vvomen than from men. For tell me, vvhy did those ancient law­yers so much varie in the question, vvhether the sonnes of a furious and phranticke man might contract mariage, and yet did all agree that the daughter might. Why did they make such doubt of the sonne? vvas it not because he vvas the pillar and proppe of the familie? in him was the hope of their posteritie? from him vvas expected the continuance of their stocke, and on him depended the line of their petigree? therefore it is requisite that greater care be had, that he be not disparaged in his match, of vvhom more reuerence, more re­spect, and more obedience is required. If hee enter into nevv alliance, if he make his fa­ther a grandfather, and beget an heire for him, ought not all this to be done with more aduice, and circumspection than ordinarie. [Page 74]And was it not also, because age in a sonne did not so importune and call for mariage, but in a daughter it did euen enforce and hasten it before her time? A sonne, albeit he staied till his father were perfectlie recouered, and well in his wits, there was no inconuenience befell, for thereby his iudgement was ripened, and he prooued the worthier man after, (and I may tell you) good behauiour is as necessarie at home as abroad, if old Cato may be belee­ued. But a daughter may be the worse, if she stay beyond her time. And that did Phalaris once tell Claeneta that for the same reason, she should not defer the mariage of her daughter that was twentie yeers old in anie case, because her father Philodamus was absent in a forraine countrie. For he was trauelled farther, than that her daughter might conuenientlie ex­pect his returne home. But concerning a son percase he would haue altered his opnion. It followeth therefore that what Moses did forbid in a daughter, he would haue much more forbidden in a sonne likewise.

But you thinke it long perchance ere I come to the times of christianitie, you do wel. For that is the point of the card whereunto all our courses should be intended and dire­cted. Christian religion (you will say) other­wise determines of childrens dutie. Let vs [Page 75]see then whether Christ came to destroy it, or to perfect it, corrupt & mar all good man­ners, by abrogating God his fathers precepts to teach children contempt and stubborne behauiour, or rather whether it were not laid as an imputation vpon him, to the end it might bee beleeued, that hee did deface all respect of amity and alleagiance, to rent in sunder all dutifull affection, and make heart-burning and discord betweene the fa­ther and his children, as saith Saint Ambrose writing vpon Saint Luke? We will therefore beginne with Christ himselfe, and afterward come vnto the Church, where if your more refined Diuines haue anything for me, that is in truth more learned and witty, let it haue the victory: for albeit we are all Christians, yet all of vs are not interpreters of the faith: therefore all such Disputes of greater mysterie, wee leaue to deepe Diuines; and will content our selues with such as are ob­uious and triuiall. Christ was twelue yeers olde (Luke 2.24.) when hee went vp to Ieru­salem with Mary and Ioseph, but forsooke them at their departure, therefore they re­turned backe to Ierusalem to seeke him, and it came to passe, that three dayes after they found him in the Temple sitting among the Doctors; to whom Mary said; Sonne why hast [Page 76]thou thus dealt with vs? thy Father and I haue sought thee with heauy hearts. Hee answered somewhat obscurely; but yet (if I am not de­ceiued) no lesse fitlie for the mitigation of their sorrow, (than thou supposest that thou hast done for the appeasing of mine anger) viz. That it is better to obey God than men. Yet he returned and went downe with his parents, and came to Nazareth, and was subiect vnto them, saith Luke in his Gospell, did he euer afterwards forsake them? no not vntill the time of his passion. But I pray thee, let vs heare farther, what Bernard the Abbot saith. Although Mary and Ioseph vnderstood Christs words (for it is likely they did) because he thus bespake them, Knew you not that I must goe about my Fathers businesse? yet not­withstanding they would not bee quiet, saith hee in his 19. Sermon on Solomon, but would haue him obedient vnto them: therefore all the rest of his time, he euer afterwardes fol­lowed them. Now, from whom may we draw a better patterne of obedience and duety to­wards parents for children, than from Christ. Learne (saith S. Ambrose vpon these words) what thou owest to thy parents, when thou readest that a sonne was neuer contrary to his father, either in fulfilling his will, performing his duty, or obseruing his opportunity. Thou [Page 77]owest to thy mother the hazarding of her chastity, the losse of her Virginity, her perill in thy birth, her tedious sorrowes, her conti­nual troubles (who, wretched as she is) is then in greatest danger, when she hath the fruition of her desires, and brought forth the sonne of her desire: for albeit she is free from the sor­row in his birth; yet is shee not free from the feare of his death. What need I speak of those Fathers, which are so prouident for their chil­drens good? or of the riches which they haue so multiplied and laied vp for them? or of be­ing so warie husbands for their childrens thrift? might not this goodnesse of theirs at the least, challenge some tribute of obedi­ence? The same Author in his first booke de Virginibus, saith, how sweete a pledge is that which hath its beginning in perill, and its en­ding in perill, which first is a griefe vnto pa­rents before it can bee a pleasure vnto them? The Master disdained not (saith Bernard) to follow his Disciples, nor God to follow men, nor the word and wisdome it selfe to follow a Carpenter and his wife: and yet Ioseph was not properly his father. Iesus fulfilled the will both of his heauenly and earthly father, teaching vs thereby that nothing hinders, but that they may bee both obeyed at once, and that it is not necessarie, that one should be [Page 79]neglected for the other. Iustin Martyr out of this place in his 136. question, handles some other questions also very wisely, (as he vseth to doe all.) If it bee forbidden by Gods holy Scripture, to contemne our parents, (saith he) and if he who dooth that which is forbidden, is to bee tearmed a sinner; how commeth it to passe that our Lord Iesus Christ in many places despised his parents, and yet neuerthelesse is saide to bee without sinne? For at the marriage of Cana hee chec­ked his mother, saying: Woman what haue I to doe with thee? And when his mother would faine haue seene him, he called those his mo­ther and his brethren, that did the will of God: Furthermore, when it was said vnto him, Bles­sed is the wombe that bare thee, and the pappes that gaue thee sucke: hee replyed, yea blessed are they that obey the will of God. All which words are thought to bee spoken of him in some contempt of his mother; because wher­as shee was properly called blessed; others in opposition of her by him, were tearmed bles­sed also. But now since this most holy Vir­gin was chosen for the conception and birth of our Sauiour Christ, how came it to passs, that shee was accounted vnworthie to be called blessed? Here Iustin Martyr ma­keth this answere. These words (what haue I [Page 78]to doe with thee?) were not spoken by way of obiurgation, but as if he should haue saide in other tearmes; I am not such a one as haue vndertaken the care of wine, which is spent in marriages; yet notwithstanding if your desire bee that there bee no want of wine, bid the seruants doe whatsoeuer I shall say vnto you, and you shall easily perceiue there shall bee no want of Wine; which as he spake, so it fell out. Therefore it is not likely that he did checke his mother in wordes, that did so much honour her in deedes. As for other places Christ spake not so, as if hee would depriue her of that honour, which was due vnto a mother; but he taught her how she was entituled to true blessednesse. For if hee that heareth the word of God, and keepeth it bee Christs brother, sister and mother; and Christs mother hath done both these, then it is cleare, that Mary in this respect ought rather to be called blessed. And because God chose not an ordinary woman to be the mo­ther of Christ, but such a one that was [...] other the most excellent in perfection and vertues, therefore Christ would that his mother should bee most commended for that vertue, which gaue her preheminence aboue all women, that a Virgine should be­come his mother. Moreouer Luke the E­uangelist [Page 80]testifieth, that Christ neuer did a­ny thing in contempt or disgrace of his pa­rents, when he saith, Hee went downe with Io­seph and Mary to Ierusalem, and was obedient to them, euen to his death: And so also saith S. Augustine interpreting these wordes in his booke, De Sancta Virginit. Now Christ after that hee began to preach to the people, and withall perceiued that the Scribes and Pha­risies did erre most grosly in this commande­ment, whereof we treat, and retorted the same against their parents, vnder this colour, that forsooth they might performe any thing else in stead of their bounden duety, so they did that which they thought to be as iust and ho­ly, said, Why doe you transgresse the law of God by your tradition? for God hath said, Honour thy fa­ther and mother, and hee that curseth father or mother let him die the death: but yee say, Whoso­euer shall say vnto his father or mother, by the gift that is offered by mee thou mayest haue profite, though hee honour not his Father and Mother, he shall bee safe. O yee hypocrites, yee worship God in vain, preferring mans precepts before Gods. Why spake Christ this so seuerely? was it because the Pharisies so greatly abused those offe­rings, and that sacred treasure which they cal­led Corban? or was it because those oblations, which were destinated vnto the Temple, were [Page 81]by them misapplyed to themselues, and to their owne lusts, and not vnto God? surelie no, for then hee would haue noted onely their luxurie and abuse. But hee checked the priests because they made comparison of pre­cepts, and preferred their owne (which were otherwise good) before Gods. And because they tooke occasion by their gift, howsoeuer holy to contemne their domesticke rites and lawes of piety, and that bond of naturall du­ty which is more ancient thā any whatsoeuer. And yet there is somwhat more in it, then so: For the first commandement, that you stand so much vpon, and the fifth you so lightly regard, are both Gods commandements, they both issue from the same Author, and the same Law-maker. It is necessary therfore that either the one hinder the other, or that the latter be abrogated by the former (which is against all law that euer I could reade) or else that both of thē be kept, as well the first per­taining vnto God, as the fifth pertaining vnto parents. But the truth is, that some pre­cepts are immutable, and they are (sayeth Hildebert in his last Epistle) such as the eter­nall decree of God hath established. Of which sort (saith the Archbishop of Towres) are these, Thou shalt loue the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy soule, [Page 82]and thy neighbour as thy selfe. And honour thy Father and thy mother, and such like: Other precepts are mutable, which the eternall Law of God hath not decreede, but the wis­dome and policy of some later wittes haue in­uented for some conuenience and vse, & not so principally tending to saluation. And of this sort it is to be a Iesuite; Certaine I am, that the law, whereby thou standest bounde vnto mee, is perpetuall, and vnchangeable. But what if here we be bolde to say, that God himselfe is lesse sollicitous for his owne ho­nour, than for our parents honor? And ther­fore of those two commandements, the latter in a sort is to be preferred before the former. And shall yet these Pharisies please thee more than Christ? It was not without a misterie, that God gaue those commandements con­cerning his owne honour simply, without imposition of punishment, if any brake them, or proposall of rewarde if any kept them: but when he gaue this commandement con­cerning our duty towards our parents, he ad­ded this clause, that thy dayes may be long vpon earth. For albeit hereby it bee clearely eui­dent, that nature cannot suffer, that he should liue long vpon the earth, that respectes not these of whom he hath receiued life, nor en­dure that it should goe well with him any [Page 83]where, that will hide himselfe for no other end, but that he may not shew himselfe grate­full vnto them that with so great care and trouble after they had giuen him life, haue nourished and sustained him; yet that which wee so principally intend, appeares from thence. For he sayth that he is full of iealou­sie, if a man worshippe strange and false gods; but if he worshippe his parents, God is so farre from enuying it, that by all meanes possible, he wils and commāds it, & that with such a re­ward, which of mankind is most desired. Why presseth he all these things so earnestly? be­cause when parents, these second gods are ho­noured, whom hee so much acceptes, and so well accounteth of, whatsoeuer is done vnto them, he taketh it done vnto himselfe: but if any duety bee left vndone vnto them, let vs worship him in the best manner wee can deuise, yet doth it not excuse vs. And perhappes this may be the reason, that God (if I may so speake) is not so hard to please in that honour and worship which wee owe vn­to him, as euery man is curious in the duetie, which is to bee done vnto him. God is reue­renced as sufficiently as he would be, if euerie one according to his sexe, age, and quality do honour him as he is able. For it is not the Ec­clesiasticall dignity that makes a Christian, [Page 84]sayth Ierome. One man in the Church is an eye, another the tongue, another the hand, and another the foote or the eare. In whatso­euer vocation a man be, if therein hee serue God as he is able, hee pleaseth God excee­ding well. For God exacteth not the same o­bedience of all. But in man it is farre other­wise, except his sonne be obedient and duti­full at his beeke, and at his seruice, when hee shall thinke fitte, he is by no meanes conten­ted. Neither is it much materiall, of what condition both of them are, for whosoeuer is a father, is a father in the same proportion, and whosoeuer is a sonne, is a sonne in the same degree. Therefore that we may honour our parents without exception, and beyonde that voluntarie obedience, which wee ought to shew them, the Lord saith, this I will, this I commaund and for this duety I prolong thy yeares, that thou mayest performe it alwayes. What then? if Christ did iustly and deser­uedly reprehend those Iewish Priestes, doest thou thinke (especially seeing both of vs pro­fesse one Religion) that thou being my sonne shouldest addict thy selfe to some certaine Colledge, Rule or Societie, (which say it bee lawfull and holy, yet is it but the inuention of men) and thereupon contemne and despise mee thy father (a sinne which God and Na­ture [Page 85]hath forbidden thee?) Excepting that worshippe, which wee owe vnto our God, (such as is adoration and inuocation.) What is there in religion it selfe, more religious and more diuine, than to honour and reuerence our parents? Sacrifice is a holy worke, yet Christ (as you may see) lesse esteemeth it than the duety and obedience of children. It is a holy and religious work for a man to deuote himselfe vnto the Church, Ministery and ser­uice of the brethren. Neuerthelesse S: Paul commaunds in his first Epistle to Timothy 5. Chapter, and 4. verse: If widdowes haue children or nephewes, let them learne first to shew godlinesse to their owne house, and to recompence their parents, for that is honest and acceptable be­fore God. Certainely, if wee ought to choose any to that Ministery, hee or shee ought to be chosen, who are well reported of for their good works, and they are of this kinde, if shse hath nourished her children, &c. Would Paul haue prescribed this so earnestly, except hee himselfe being the author had well percei­ued that there were some priuate and dome­sticall duties, which of necessity were to bee preferred before all other though sacred and publique? the truth is, that these latter pro­ceed from those former. For when the que­stion is of morall and naturall institution, [Page 86]Christians differ in nothing from Pagans. He that liues contrary to Nature, keepes not Gods commandements, as Nilus saith in his institution to certaine Monks. And as Athe­nagoras in his Apologie for Christians ob­serues, that God mooues not man to those things which are against Nature. And there­fore Saint Paul spake nothing, but that which Socrates had spoke before him in Zenophon, & which the Atheniās had long before thoght vpon and prouided for in their lawes. If any one be disobedient to his parents (sayth he in his 2. booke de fact. & dict. Socrat.) let him be vncapable of all Magistracy. For how can he offer pure Sacrifice or sit well at rhe sterne of the common-wealth, if hee be a bad liuer at home, and if he be vnkind, vnnatural and iniurious to the people of his own house? As for the lawes of the Athenians, you shall finde them in Aeschines against Timarchus, & in Plutarch in the life of Aeschines: but what saith Saint Paul? hee as if hee were in some emulation with Socrates sayth; If there be any of you that prouideth not for his owne, namely for them of his owne houshold, hee denieth the faith, and is worse than an Infidell. Now see what con­iecture may be gathered of thee to the con­trary. Certainely (say they) he cannot chuse but of necessitie bee most obedient to the ge­nerall, [Page 87]Prouinciall, Presbyters, who so reso­lutely contemnes his Father, and so co­ragiously renounceth him for a stranger and a Publican. See (my good sonne) how far thou art diuerted from the way of the Lorde, & how exceedingly thou art estranged from his commandements, although thou arro­gantly thinkest, that thou doest know and vnderstand them better, than all thy fathers and thy forefathers did, yea better than Christ himselfe. Without doubt a father and a mo­ther are not to be compared with God, yet are they to be beloued with God, saith Tertul­lian against the Gnostickes. And in his book of Chastitie he saith, you may know by the placing of euery commandement, the manner: by the order, the state, and by the end the re­ward: therefore hee which honoureth not his father and mother, is worse then an adulterer, worse than a murtherer, and worse than a theefe. But I had rather cōpare vertues with vertues, than vices vvith vices. vvhat is so good a work in the Church as to giue lega­cies to charitable vses. And yet saith S. Augu­stine, whosoeuer will disinherit his sonne, and make the Church his heire, let him seeke one that will accept it, truly he shall not find that Austin will be his heire, and by Gods grace he shall find no man will be. And in his 119. Epistle vnto Ec­dicias; [Page 88]doth he not reprehend her, because she vowed continencie not acquainting her hus­band first with it? and when he had afterward consented vnto her vowe, doth he not blame her because she tooke vpon her the habite of a Nunne, against his will? and did he not re­proue her because she gaue her goods to two poore Monkes, when she had a sonne liuing on whom she might haue bestowed them? which I speake not (saith he) as though I thought that if any of vs should be ill spoken of and scandalized for our good works, there­fore we should desist from doing them, but because in euerie societie the respect we beare to our kindred ought to be one, and the re­spect we shew to strangers, another, the condi­tion of a christian is one, and the condition of an infidel another, the duty of parents to their children one, and the dutie of children to their parents another. Write therefore vnto him a letter of satisfaction and aske him par­don (saith he to Eridicea) because thou hast sinned against him, and disposed of thy goods after thy pleasure, without his aduise, and con­trary to his will: not that it repenteth thee, that thou didst bestow thy goods on the poor but because thou wert vnwilling that he shold haue any share or part in so charitable a worke. Is not the fact memorable, which is [Page 89]recorded of Aurelius Bishop of Carthage, who restored a deed of gift he had receiued of a father that then had no children, vnto him againe, when afterwards hee had children? For it is not likelie nor to be presumed in any case that he had rather haue another man to be his heire, than his owne sonne; See here a far better iudgement of filiall duety, than that which those vpstart Pharisies put vpon thee, viz. That there is neither sacrifice nor vow, nor any oblation that is to be preferred before the obedience which God commands vnto children. But let vs proceed and try by ex­amples borrowed from him, that is both God and man, whether it be true that a man which is desirous to take the ministery, or to lead a mona­stricall life, may renounce all kind of obedience, and that it is to no purpose for him to aske his fathers consent and iudgement in taking those orders vp­on him or no? I pray thee whom did Christ call to be his Apostles? called he such a one as thou art a yong boy? and tell me if they left their ships, their nets, and all their tackling to follow Christ, did they for all that leaue their parents? or if they left them did they leaue them without leaue? yea, which is more, did they that were husbands put away their wiues, or did they which were fathers, for that cause forsake their children? Certaine it is that [Page 88] [...] [Page 89] [...] [Page 94] Iames and Iohn were aboue 25. yeers old, when they departed from their father. But did they further to shew their more impudencie in de­parting, leaue Iudea and trauaile into Italie, Lorraine, or Spaine? or else because them­selues were Christians, could they not endure to looke vpon their fathers? or was his pre­sence, speech, or conuersation, irksome vnto them? Had they done so, they should haue done otherwise than their Lord and Master had done before, who (as I said) neuer went from Mary and Ioseph. But that I may de­monstrate vnto thee, that they went not out of their country, or fathers houses, vntill such time as after Christs passion, they were to goe into the whole world, and that albeit after their calling, they accompanied Christ, yet neuertheles they were conuersant at home, & dwelt with their parents; It is written that Ie­sus came to the house of Peter and Andrew, where when he saw their mother in law sicke of an ague, hee cured her, and forthwith she ministred to him and to his disciples. Therfore to follow Christ was not to forsake ones friends, his parents, his wife, his chil­dren, or his household, yea (which is more) Iames and Iohn, albeit they were growen in yeeres, would not haue followed Christ, if Ze­bedeus their father had not consented there­unto. [Page 95]For seeing they were together, with their father, whē Christ bad them follow him, it cannot be but that either Zebedeus did ex­presse his consent in words, or imply it by holding his peace. But tell mee whether thou thinkest all vocations be of one kind, as well they that proceede expreslie from Gods immediate will, as they whereunto the Church calleth vs? God knoweth directlie and changeth the hearts of men, therefore he is not deceiued. But men in their elections doe onlie coniecture and ghesse, wherefore they oftentimes exceedinglie erre? for to be a man and subiect to error be termes conuer­tible: as to be God and not to be subiect to error. what then? why we had need vse all di­ligence and be verie warie, in these vocations so that no solemnitie be passed ouer especially the consent & good leaue of our parents. If I should alleadge that place vnto thee, where Christ said vnto his Apostles. Suffer little ones to come vnto me, thou wouldst say, that there he speaketh of such as are yong in age. And in very deed you shall find in the Gospell that these little ones were brought vnto Christ, and that they came not of their owne accord vnto him, therefore he said not, Come vnto me, but suffer them to come, and againe forbid them not, to teach that the calling of little ones, as well as [Page 93]their Baptisme did depend both, vpon their fathers tutors and curators suit and promise made for them. But whereas it was said ouer and aboue, forbid them not, that was not spo­ken to their parents but to the disciples, that found fault with such as brought them vnto Christ: and this without doubt is spoken of such as are in their minoritie. But that which was before alleadged, makes no distinction at all of anie age. It is written to all in generall tearmes, Honour your parents, I know when the sonne is once come to fiue and twenty, that then his fathers approbation, yea his dissi­mulation, and which is more, his very silence, (such as was that of Zebedeus) goeth for his consent. But yet that, such as it is, is verie re­quisite. Neither canst thou depart from thy father or mother if they be vnwilling. What said I? from thy parents? I say thou canst not goe from thy brethren or thy kindred (for S. Paul speakes generallie of the whole fami­lie) but thou must perforce sinne against God and be guiltie of a cruell and faithlesse con­science. But I suppose there is a text alleadged thee to the contrarie, that when one of Christs disciples desired him, that he would permit him to goe and burie his father, before that he followed him, Iesus replied vnto him, Follow me and suffer the dead to burie their dead, [Page 92]whereupon they dispute thus: Buriall is a very religious and holie dutie, especiallie if it be done to a mans father. But Christ ne­uerthelesse willeth vs rather to attend him, than the buriall of our parents. Againe, lay­men are accounted as dead men, for they which are so hampered and entangled in the pleasures of this world, that they cannot swim out of them, may iustly be esteemed for drow­ned and dead men. Hence saith S. Paul, The widdow that liueth in pleasure, is dead while she liueth. 1. Timoth. 5.6. The cleargie men on the contrarie may properlie be said to liue: For they are the part and portion of the li­uing God, therefore well may he be said to abstaine from the dead, who hath left his fa­ther and his mother to follow Christ (that is as they make it) to be a Iesuit. Verie acutelie collected, Sir, but we haue our answer in a rea­dinesse for you. First it followeth not, that whatsoeuer was pronounced of Christ must forthwith necessarilie be applied to the Cler­gie, and all such at haue betaken themselues to a regular course of life. Indeed all his do­ctrine was deliuered ouer vnto them, but not all power, saith Tertullian, in his book of Cha­stitie. And verilie it is one thing, to embrace Christ and another thing to follow, so manie orders of monks as be now adaies; yea though [Page 91]there were small ods between them and those of whom Dorotheus spake of old. Secondlie, when the father of that disciple was once dead, that exact reuerence which perhaps he pretended to Christ, ceased, and was no lon­ger to be performed. For it was certaine that he was then no longer a sonne. Lastlie, the Lord commanded not that the burial should be whollie omitted, but that it should be pro­cured to be done by some other, and who­souer that was, he was said to celebrate his fathers funerall, in regard that we commonly call all those, which are departed out of this life before vs, our fathers or forefathers. The charge and cost of funeralls is a publique businesse, saith Papinian the sanctuarie of the law, whence also Iustinian in his 43. and 59. Nouell manifestlie sheweth, that in Constan­tinople the charge and expences of funeralls was wont to be defraied out of the publique treasurie. Why therefore should this celebra­tion hinder the disciple frō following Christ, since that it might be done as well by ano­ther as by himselfe. But yet ther is great diffe­rence whether children destitute their pa­rents in malice or pure simplicity. This ex­position will serue thee against all these ar­guments wherewith they haue beguiled thee. If thy parents be dead, that is if they be Iewes. [Page 90]if Idolaters, if Pagans, if Infidels, & if the son contrariwise be a christian, if a Catholique, and the father would burie this his sonne with him, that is, command him to commit ido­latrie, leaue this father and follow mee (saith Christ) let the dead burie this dead. That these words ought so to be taken, and vnderstood, is cleare bothout of S. Ambrose, when he saith, The sonne is not disswaded from his duty towards his fathers, but a beleeuer is seuered from the fellowship of an vnbeleeuer. And also out of S. Austin as well in that one booke of obseruations on S. Mathew, as in his first booke to Marcellian concerning the Baptisme of chil­dren. Canst thou therefore perswade any man that the Iesuits onlie liue the best kind of life, and that we miserable christians, because we are of the laitie must be reputed for dead and buried. S. Hierome writing vnto Furia think­eth far otherwise: whosoeuer beleeueth in Christ (saith hee) liueth. And Tertullian in his booke, de carne Christi, doth not there­fore ranke Marcion among those that were dead, because he was not a Monke or an Her­mit, but because whilst he was an heretique, he was not truly and properly a good christi­an. But we fathers, poore men though we be, euen we are beleeuers we are called the sonnes of God, his friends, his brethren, and coheires [Page 96]with him, and wee also are made partakers through him of the holy Ghost. As many as haue a true faith, and lead an vpright life, yea although they worke not miracles, nor cast out diuells, yet they are holie, saith S. Hierome in his 59. Homilie. But if you pre­tend the same, yea, if thou boast of greater things than these, why this also is our benefit, this also is our aduantage. For if you aske any of vs Christians of what religion we are, euerie of vs being taught by you, can make you this answer: of the same religion, whereof our fathers and ancestors were. There was no oath more inuiolable, than that which wee sware by our fathers faith, saith Philo, who bor­rowed this sentence of an ancient Philoso­pher: therefore why thou shouldst so ex­credinglie despise vs, now there is no reason: or if thou wilt needs contemne vs, doe it then, when we can expect nothing from thy hands but our buriall. You shall haue in this case if not the meaning, yet the words of Christ to his Disciples, when our Sauiour Christ said vnto him follow me, he well knevv that his fa­ther was novv dead, saith the same S. Ambrose in this verie place. But I beleeue the text in S. Matthewes Gospell hath most seduced thee. He that loueth father or mother more than mee, is not worthy of me: And againe in S. Luke, if [Page 97] any man commeth vnto me and hateth not his father and his mother, his wife and his children, his brethren and his sisters, yea and his owne soule, he cannot be my disciple. These and such like places seem to yeeld thee great and forceable arguments for thy defence: but since those reasons and authorities, which we haue alrea­dy brought to the contrarie, be as pregnant and forceable to all intents, it had been your course to infer, that surelie these latter places do require some farther exposition and de­claration, least God should seem to be con­trary, or to contradict himselfe. For, I pray you, tell me, what manner of doctrine is this, or what kind of religion may this be called, which teacheth, that a man of necessity must hate his father, and his mother, his wife, and his children, his brethren and his sisters, yea his owne deare soule also that will be Christs disciple, if we should sticke vnto the words and not stand vnto the meaning? for if he that should hate his father, must therefore be a good disci­ple, doubtlesse he that should well beate him, were worthy to be a patriarch, and hee that should kill him, might exceedinglie well de­serue to be a Pope. See how many absurdi­ties and mischiefes, would arise from these words, not ill conceiued, but il vnderstood. So S. Chrysostome in his 36. homily, vpon S. Mat­thews [Page 98]Gospell, he did not absolutelie com­mand thee, to make inuectiue speeches, a­gainst thy familiar friends and acquaintance, for that were an action sauouring of indiscre­tion, and might procure harme. But look how much any other desires to haue thee loue him more than me, hate him, saith he, so much the more. I confesse then that we ought rather to loue God than our parents: and that is the lesson which Salomon teacheth vs, begin your loue with me, as Origen witnesseth. Which is also spoken by S. Ambrose on S. Luke, if men ought to performe dutie to their parents, how much more then ought they to render their most bounden dutie, to the creator and ma­ker of their parents, in yeelding him alwaies thanks, that gaue thē parents. But I am much mistaken if the consequence hold, ergo, it is more blessed, to become a Franciscan Frier, or a Iesuit, than either to loue or reuerence thy father. For christian religion is grounded especiallie vpon faith, but doth not depend, vpon this or that particular order of religion. Nay I may further tell you may a generall Councell haue been summoned, that neuer confirmed or approued these orders. And if (put case) it be a degree of more perfection to be a Cleargie man than a lay man, I thinke it must not be inferred, ergo, a sonne need not [Page 99]refraine anie stubborne vndutifull or vngod­ly behauiour to his parents, if he intend to be a Priest rather than a lay man. God hath no where (that I cā find) laid any such precise cō ­mandemēt, on either of vs both to be Priests, his especiall charge to thee wards, is that thou shouldst doe me honor, by all meanes. Hast thou then wilfullie done me this open wrong? thy sinne is of so hainous a nature, that Gods curse & mans is vpon thee for it. For I tel thee sonne it is a matter of meer indifferency to be one of the Iesuits companie. A man may be a good christian, and walke in the way of Christ, which is the path to euerlasting life, and yet neuer turne Iesuit for the matter. And therefore it ill became thee to put by an act of absolute necessitie, for a proiect of thine owne priuate fancie, & voluntarie concept, as S. Thomas verie wiselie informeth thee. I pray thee tell me, if there were two waies to follow Christ in, and the one were so faire and plaine, that thou mightst loue me, and thy sauiour Christ also, the other so stonie and craggie that vnlesse thou didst perfectly hate me, it were impossible for thee to loue him, which of these waies wouldst thou rather chuse? but (O sonne) S. Matthew and S. Luke are so cleer in this point, that there is not so much as the least letter which may cast thee into any [Page 100]such labyrinth, or intricate maze. Read these Euangelists and read them from the begin­ning to the end, thou shalt find it deliuered, that if question be of vndergoing martyr­dome for Christ (which they call to carrie the crosse and follow him) and these two should be in tearmes of opposition, To denie God before men, or to honor and loue ones father, it is farre better to hate father, yea to hate himselfe and his owne foule, than once to distrust the pro­mises of his sweet Sauior Christ. So then if I should haue perswaded thee to abiure the Christian baptisme, wherunto I first brought thee, and might well enough haue beene thy Bishop in it, had I aduised thee to cast away that most pretious pearle, which S. Iohn the Apostle gaue him that told him where hee might find the woluish God, that had yeere by yeere had 12. young children offered vp vnto him for sacrifice, had I requested thee to renege Christianitie, to entertaine Maho­metisme, Atheisme, or heresie (I may not haue thee tell me now with Saluianus, that such a time may happen, wherein some thing that is not God ought to be preferred before God) then mightst thou by vertue of this scripture, in these cases haue lawfully refused to do me such duty, and reuerence, as apper­taineth to a father: and Saturus, or the worthy [Page 101]Lady Victoria, would haue been good pre­cedents for thy imitation (of whom Victor the Bishop reporteth in his first booke De persecutione Vandalica, that they had rather be held from their children, parted from their husbands, depriued of all their world­ly wealth, than by any seducements whatsoe­uer, become Arrians. In such a case it would haue been good for thee, to haue been with­out father or mother like Melchisedech, who was therefore said to be without both, because he was a deuout holy man, though his parents were wicked, and cruell Canaanites. Heathen people loue their natiue country exceedingly, and none can haue any part in their loue but their parents. Now we (saith Pontius, S. Cyprians Deacon) we detest and abhor our very pa­rents, when once they goe about to perswade vs for anie thing against our God. But sith we are both good christians and Catholiks, who should preuaile more with thee than my selfe, that haue done more for thee than all the world besides? if any father might be iustlie despised of his childe, abused and wronged by him, choaked with that text in Leuiticus (I am ignorant, I know you not) certainlie it were such a father, as shold dedicate his childrē to strange Gods, or aduow them to the worship of the molten Calfe, according to that of [Page 102] Moses, (let thy hand be vpon them and powr foorth their blood which would seduce thee from the truth) in which place notwithstan­stāding, maybe obserued as also out of the 32. of Exodus; that although Moses in this case, allowes of parricide, yet he exemplifieth it in the wife, in the sonne, in the brother, in the si­ster, in the kinsman and friend, he makes no mention at all of the father. So sacred, vene­rable, and inuiolable is that name of a father, nothing may lawfullie be attempted against a father. Read the Epistle of Moses, Maximus, Nicostratus, Rufinus, and other Confessors (it is the 77) to Cyprian, thou shalt find these words vnderstood in this sence; peruse like­wise Chrisostome in his 65. homilie vpon S. Matthew, where he expounds them. These words (saith he) to my vnderstanding, closelie do betoken persecutions. For many sonnes haue been drawn to wicked courses by their parents, manie husbands by their wiues, which whensoeuer they attempt, let them neither be respected for wiues, nor parents. And the au­thor which wrote on the same Euangelist in his 27 homilie. It is not to be beleeued (saith he) that God which commanded thee to ho­nor thy father and mother, would bid thee forsake father and mother: if therefore thou hast an vnbeleeuing father, continue thy [Page 103]obedience to him for in so doing, thou shalt receiue the reward of thy dutie, and contrari­wise he shall find the condemnation of his in­fidelitie. And therefore our Sauior said not he that loueth his father is not worthy of me, but he that loueth his father or mother, more than me, is not worthy of me. For as to loue our parents after God it is dutie, so to honor them more than God, is plaine impietie. If therefore (he repeats it againe) thou hast an vnbelieuing father, still obey him, but if hee would haue thee swallowed into the gulfe of infidelitie, loue God more than thy father, for he is the father not of the soule, but of thy bodie onlie. Howsoeuer yet, he doth not re­quire that the sonne vpon any such occasion, should desert him by his bodily presence, but by dissenting from him in point of reli­gion. Marke how these words of the olde law, these men, saith the Lord, haue kept my commaundementes, which haue saide vnto fa­ther and mother we know you not) are ex­pounded by Philostratus sometimes Bishop of Brixia, and S. Austins ancient in his booke of heresies. You are not to vnderstand hereby, to condemne your father, for begetting you, but to condemne the grosse impi­etie of your father that would mislead you. And this was the opinion of Salonius Bishop [Page 104]of Vienna, writing vpon Ecclesiastes. For the profession of our faith in Christ, wee must contemne, yea and hate, father and mother, and all our kindred, when they be anie stops or impediments vnto vs, in the way of the Lord: as vve read that the holy Martyrs, ma­nie times did: whence it is that S. Austin in his sermons, saith, these words, seeme to encou­rage men to martyrdome. Finallie, Christ Ie­sus himselfe being readie to giue vp the ghost (to speake in the words of Arnold the Abbot) that he might superlatiuelie commend this noble and great article of the second table, Honour thy father and thy mother, and that by al the bonds and leagues of pietie, doth giue & bequeath it to his mother the blessed virgin, (woman behold thy sonne) and to his best belo­ued disciple S. Iohn, (behold thy mother). And that S. Iohn was likewise of his masters mind, Prochirus relateth Chap. 21. for hauing bap­tized Chrysippa in the Iland Pathmos, and she would thereupon in all speed leaue hir vnbe­leeuing husband, S. Iohn told her, no, that is by no meanes to be permitted, for God hath not sent me to separate man & wife, I haue no such commission, & therfore returne in peace to your owne house. For if it were lawfull, that a woman might separate her selfe from her husband, yet were it not expedient (saith [Page 105] Austen in his book De Adulterinis coniugijs) to Pollentius. Now if it should be said, that in these daies there be no martyrdomes, and therfore the former exposition wil not now hold: then Gregorie the great in his 37. homily De Di­uersis Euangelij lectionibus, will giue this inter­pretation, that the place is to bemeant of con­cupiscence, and carnall affections. For then saith he, we truelie hate our owne soule, when wee repose not our selues on carnall desires, when we subdue our inordinate appetite, and striue against our delicious pleasures. Yea but the Iesuites buzze into thy eares, that twere better for thee to spurne and trample thy Fa­ther vnder thy feet than to be without a cowle. Well, then I would faine know for my better learning, whether S. Iohn Chrysostom attained to the true sence of these words, of S. Mathew and S. Luke, (now wee are come to be tride by God & the Church) vvhen in his first book de Sacerdotio, he reports of himselfe (and so doth Leo the Emperour report of him in a certaine Panegyricke oration) that hauing finished the course of his studies in the Vniuersity of A­thens hee returned to Antioch, and there through the often admonitions of one Basi­lius (for it was not Basil the great, if wee may take Simeon Metaphrastes his worde.) had a great longing to haue beene a monke, vvho [Page 106]hindred him from his course of deuotion, for hee vvas pittifullie perplexed a long vvhile? It was no conceit of nonage, hee vvas then 25. yeares olde, and was a pleader in the Court: tvvas no respect of reuerence to his father (for hee was departed out of the vvorlde:) twas not that his resolution was somwhat stag­gered by the remembrance of his olde friends and fellows, for he more regarded Basile then them all? how then, where was the impedimēt? it was obseruance to his poore mother: for when she set vpon me with this speach, O son I was a fresh young beautifull widdow, when I refused the profers of a second mariage, ther­by to enable my selfe to doe thee the more good, and then (alas poor childe) when thou wast a small infant, all my care was, that thou mightest haue plentifull meanes for thy edu­cation and preferment; And now in liew of all these my kindnesses, in stead of al those thāks and comforts which so many benefits might challenge from thee, canst thou finde in thy heart to forsake me now? to contemn and disdaine me now? make mee twice a widdow? and waken my time of mourning which vvas novv laide asleepe? why tell me (good sonne) didst thou euer lacke any thing that I could helpe thee to? did I euer vvrong thee in al my life? If thou wilt needes enter into a monaste­rie, [Page 107]vvhy first see me honestlie buried in my graue? Hearke: dost thou not hear the voice of the Lord crying aloud [sonne honour thy mother Authusam.] Surely he performes faire obedience to Gods commandements, that by such demeanour grieues his mother: O sonne hadst thou done for mee all that possi­bly a sonne can doe for his mother, yet hast thou payd me nothing for my manifold sor­rowes, for my throbs in childbed, which for thy deere sake I so patiently endured, for my paines in bearing thee, for the sustenance which I gaue thee, when I stroaked my brests into thy lippes, with the true affection of a most naturall mother! What haue I for my hunger and fasting which I sustained for thee, when I refrained to eat any thing that might hurt thee, and drinke anie thing that might marre my milke. If I kept fast, it was for thee, if I did eate, it was for thee, If I refused any meat, it was for thee, if I accepted of any meat it was for thee, and many a night I haue wat­ched for thee, and manie a bitter teare haue I shed for thee, and doest thou now vtterlie for­sake me? I could hould out no longer (saith he) but forthvvith yeelded, as being strongly ouercome with a reuerent respect to so good a mother. And thereupon he makes his excuse to Basilius, and in despite of al these arguments [Page 108](which haue bene forceably bent and dischar­ged against thee) chose rather to continue with his mother, than to abide in a monaste­ry. He himselfe writing afterwards to Basilius, vseth these words: I confesse I haue broken my promise, for vvhen I left Athens, & such familiar acquaintance as I had in that vniuer­sity, my purpose vvas to haue addicted my selfe vvholly to your companie, and vvith you to haue spent my daies in contemplation. But I haue broken my worde and that not vp­on anie wilfull disposition (I would haue you so to vnderstand mee) but, for that one law hath more preuailed with me than another, I meane that law which requires dutifull obedi­ence vnto parents, more than the sociable Law of friendship and good fellowship. Now parallell thy selfe with S. Chrysostome. When thou wast yet in thy nonage, all thy contri­uing was, how to be a Iesuite; fatherles, I am sure thou wast not, except thou wilt say thou wert fatherlesse in this sence, that thou hadst a Father, but such a one as thou didst not care for: nor motherlesse, for, that thou hadst a most kinde and louing gentlewoman to thy mother. How was it then? that neither thy fathers authoritie, nor thy mothers tender loue and affection might ought preuaile with thee in not attempting anie thing [Page 109]without their approbation and aduice. Thou hast shunned their presence, wandred vp and downe the worlde like a vagabond, and for three whole yeeres together concealed thy selfe, after such a manner of insolent indigni­ty and arrogancie, that in all that long time, thou hast neither vouchsafed to write me one letter, nor send me so much as one word how I might know to find thee out, either in France, Lorryne, or Spaine. Perhaps, you stood in some feare that your Mother Hortensia should affront you with such an encounter as this. Why son, if God should haue called away thy Father (which I hope neuer to see) what stay should I haue found in the worlde after him? Thy brethren, alas poore soules they be too young. And what hope could I haue had from them, that haue thee for a patterne of disobe­dience? No doubt God is much bound vnto you for your good seruice done vnto him, that in a iealous comparison thereof, cannot endure any commerce or correspondency with your parents? no not so much as for the returne of a few letters? If this you haue done vpon some nice conceit, that they respect you too too neere, because you are of their bloud, and alliance, yet remember withall they bee good Christian folke, not pagans, and that this tender affection of theirs proceeds rather [Page 110]from a feare of thy well doing, than from a­ny doubt which they can possibly make of the articles of their Christian faith and religi­on. It was not without good cause (I perceiue now) that good Veturia refused vtterly to be employed in embassage to Martius Cariola­nus hir sonne. For what saith she, shall I get at his hands? what shall all my little nephewes get, when he that hath liued in banishment for 4. yeares together, in all that while neuer sent me so much as one letter? hath quite forgot­ten his kindred, as well as his natiue coun­trey, which (might I speake like a mother) most vncurteously and vndeseruedly con­demned him. Shee notwithanding all this, embarkt her selfe in the message, and forced him to come in, by no other stratagem of war than the name of a mother. What thinkest thou? art thou more religious than S. Chryso­stome, more hard harted than was Coriolanus? yet he came to meete his mother halfe way, thou fliest from thine, and eschewest her very presence. What? fearest thou to write vnto me? in Gods name write, write without date of day or year. Indeed if S. Basil be your coun­tenance for this irreligious deuotion, the im­putation were the lesse, and the fault more ex­cusable on you part, I must needs grant.

But (I feare me) that we haue little aduan­taged [Page 111]our cause all this while by quoting of so many ancient Fathers, except it be, the filling vp of a long empty catalogue with names. Our best way therefore in my iudgement to deale with thee, will be with some records and pre­cedents of antiquity. And whereas S. Chryso­stome hath written some bookes, against such as discommend the monasticall life, & hath giuen counsell to parents to take some care that their children bee trained vp in such spe­culatiōs, rather then to make them swordmen or of the long robe, his intent is therby in pre­ferring that kinde of life before any other, to aduize men rather to bestow their children in a course of religion, than a secular employ­ment; but not to make them in any sort diso­bedient to their friends, and in despite of them to abandon cities, and inhabite vast moun­tainous deserts, nay hee wills them after some time spent, after they haue bene well seasoned in Christianity, to repayre home againe to their parents. Which makes mee to thinke that the Monkes of that world, were not ter­mers for life in their monastery, as now they vse to be, but at curtesie to return home when they list. Againe reade the same S. Chrysostome in his bookes de prouidentia, there you shall obserue how hee spends himselfe in comfor­ting Stagyrius the Monke, who was therefore [Page 112]vexed with a deuill, because that contrary to the aduice of his Father, he had cast himselfe into a cloyster, and whom for that cause, he terms an intruding Frier. But Stagyrius was thē of ripe yeares and his father had not expresly forbid him that calling, onely hee counselled him otherwise. S. Austine himselfe and S. Am­brose in his first booke, De Virginibus, towards the end, proues that parents should not hin­der a daughter from consecrating her selfe to theseruice of the Church, but yet withall so, that a Father may (if his pleasure bee) pe­remptorily to forbid it. And doth not Saint Austin in his 109 and 110. epistle to Ecdicia plainely say, that shee had made a deede of gift of her sonne in her life time, whereby to kill him, in that his father was not first made acquainted therewith, what course of life vpon more maturitie and discretion hee after­wards might follow, to bee either a Monke a Priest, or a married man: therefore till hee came to such an age, his fathers voice and consent was absolutelie necessarie thereunto: but the conclusion of all is, that the son borne in lawfull and holie Wedlocke is more to be in subiection to the Father than to the mo­ther. And therefore he cannot be denied him wheresoeuer he be, when once hee is lawfullie demanded. The same Father in his 233. E­pistle [Page 113]to Benenatus, doth not he write of a cer­taine girle, that as the report went, would faine haue beene a Nunne, how hee consulted a­bout the matter with Felix her Aunts Hus­band, and that otherwise he neither could nor would haue giuen way vnto it. What would his opinion haue beene (thinke you) of hir mother, whose direction and vvill in bestow­ing of hir daughter, was euer to bee preferred before all others? Without doubt if the mo­thers interest be so much, the fathers is a great deale more, and so great as he would not haue much demurred, vvhether the sonne were vn­der yeares or aboue, for such a questi­on would neuer haue beene proposed. Last­ly, I appeale to thy conscience (good Father Saluianus) wast thou a stranger to this newe Church discipline, when thou tookest such extraordinary paines to Hepatius and Quie­ta, that they would please to excuse that acti­on of their daughter Palladia, for that shee was conuerted from Paganisme to Christiani­tye, without their priuity? do I say her action? nay to excuse thine owne, that after the birth of thy daughter Auspiciola, refrainedst the companie of thine owne wife, the better to giue thy selfe to fasting and praier, hauing no warrant so to doe from thy father in laws per­mission. When they betrothed Palladia to [Page 98]thee, they gaue her to a Christian husband, and thereby sufficiently exprest their consent that she likewise for hir behalf should become a Christian. Yea and certaine it is, that a little after this blessed match, thy wiues parents that so dearely affected their daughter, became Christians also. Howsoeuer then they might haue taken it ill at thy hands, that vndertoo­kest this without their speciall leaue, (for what hope could they conceiue of any grand-child to be borne vnder that marriage, where the man and wife liued a part?) what reproache was it vnto them, that in a matter of such weighty importance they should not be wor­thie so much as to be lookt after? If they for such an insignious contempt done vnto them should haue said vnto thee, Sirra, packe out of our sight, and write letters vpon letters as long as thou list, and it bee seauen yeares together thou shalt receiue not one line from vs in way of answer, (and yet I must haue tolde you that Palladia now after the enter-marriage, belon­ged not to hir Father but to hir husbands dis­position) couldst thou in defence of thy selfe haue said, that it was a point of feruent zeale to Godwards, first to hate and set at naught thy Father? Oh, but reade his epistles, and reade them ouer, thou wilt tell me another tale: there is nothing but bitter teares, pitti­full [Page 99]suites: and begging pardons, although saith he, for my part, I do not well know how, or wherin I haue offended them. Now vppon these premises, see how I could conclude a­gainst thee: I haue writtē many letters to thee, but neuer receiued any one for answere backe again. Thou art not yet come to yeers of dis­cretion, thou hast entred into a vow, (I wil not say of chastitie but of single life,) and neuer told me of it. Poore soule, how couldest thou make any vow at that yeares? thou canst not defend thy selfe and say, why but Father, I had your consent, though you did not openly ex­presse it. For thou knowest vvell enough that I did mainely withstand it: in a worde whereas thou hast reuolted to the Iesuites companie, tis not paganisme that thou hast forsaken: but the holy fellowship and Communion of thy Christian brethren. Why then dost thou not vpon thy bare knees aske me forgiuenes, thou hast more reason so to doe, sonne, than euer Saluianus had: for hee in humility acknowled­ged his offence, but thou canst not be brought to confesse thine. Now I pray thee, sonne, be­think thy selfe how greeuously this holy man would haue bene affrighted with the remorse of his disobedience, if hee had offered such wrong, I will not say to Idolatrous parents, such as they vvere, but to beleeuing, whereas [Page 116]he takes on so much, for being the occasion of their heauinesse, which were yet infidells, and not his parents by birth, but by affinitie only, and thought himselfe no good Christi­an, for not honoring them, as Gods cōman­dement would haue enioined to honour his naturall parents, that is, without distinction of being good or bad, Iew or Gentile, faith­full or vnbeleeuer.

Doubtlesse hee tooke this lesson out of Aristaeus, where King Ptolomie asking one of the 72. interpreters, how he might be kind and thankfull to his parents, receiued this answere, that the next way was, neuer to grieue or molest them. Or else he had read the description of the last iudgement in the Poet where they are ranked among the dam­ned ghosts by Sibyila,

That do forsake their aged Sires, and care not to reward
Their parents which did foster them, or spitefullie refuse
To doe them seruice at their need, or them with soornes abuse.

Certain it is, that Bishop Faustus in his first booke De libero arbitrio, and the twelfth chap­ter, interpreting those words in the Gospell, Let vs nowfeast and bee merry, for this my sonne was dead and is aliue, lost and now is found, ex­pounds the losse to be his departure from his father: he was not lost in person (saith he) but [Page 117]he that forsooke his father, and by such his contempt was no better than a dead man, by a dutifull desire that he had to come home to his father, was againe reuiued, and restored to life. For as it was a sinne in him, to trauaile in­to a far countrie, out of his kind fathers pre­sence, so was it a point of his good nature and dutie, resolutelie to change his course, and to returne with teares to his fathers mercifull embracements.

And now I take it to be high time, to cease to instance any farther by example, and dire­ctly passe ouer to the decrees and Canons of the Church, least happilie it be replied, that all which is hitherto alleadged, is but for par­ticular ends, and not sufficient to proue the generall assertion. For albeit, I must ingenu­ouslie confesse, an Idolatrous father may be destituted and forsaken by his sonne, if hee should offer vpon violence to compel him to Paganisme (as Theodoret hath it it his third booke and fourteene and 22. Chapters, and Chrysostome in his second booke, against such as discommend the retired and solitarie life) yet if there be no compulsion vsed, I can shew you generall and prouinciall Councels both, which haue ordained, that neither the father may forsake the sonne, nor the sonne the fa­ther, nor the wife her husband, nor the seruant [Page 102]his master, for this cause only, that they differ in religion. Sir it is not your Friars cowle, nor Monks habit, nor anie order of knighthood, that ye can enter into, shall euer be able to raz or blot out, that fast tie and obligation, which in this case, God and men haue inter­changeablie sealed and deliuered the one to the other It is a fashion well becomming Bar­barians and heretiques (so saith Bishop Victor in his first booke De persecutione Vandalica) to separate husbands from their wiues, or chil­dren from their parents. And when Valentini­an the Emperor like a most glorious Prince, had authorised the profession of Christian re­ligion, and the citie of Carthage, whence by reason of Arrianisme it was for a season exi­led, the first worke that the Bishop did, was, that al mariages should hold though the par­ties were of different religion, and parents should haue their children againe, that the Arrians had forceably taken from them.

So then to begin our relation with the story of a slaue. If he would fall off from his master because he was a Gentile or a Iew, might not the fauour of libertie, but especiallie of religi­on, plead his excuse? the Canons, which bee tearmed the Canons of the Apostles, flatlie say no. If seruants bee promoted to holie orders without their masters consent, ipso facto, their [Page 103]masters may challenge them backe againe for slaues, (it is to be found in the 81. Chapter, But if any person of seruile condition be wor­thie the degree of holy orders (as was One simus and the master yeeld therunto) after they be enfranchised and made free men, it may bee done. The Councell of Gangrene which was held An. 324 and somewhat after the Nicene, forbids it likewise, saying: Let him be accursed whosoeuer he be that shall seduce another mans seruant to be vndutifull to his master vnder colour or occasion of his religion, and doth not rather teach him to serue him with an honest heart and all due obseruance, that so he may be a free man of Christ, (as Ignatius supplies it) let him be accursed. Certaine it is, that this is to be ment of the slaues of hethen, and the religion there mentioned is to be in­tended of the Christian. But in the Councell held at Orleance vnder King Childebert, there is a great deale more: for ouer and besides that it disauowes the voluntary obla­tion of a slaue to the seruice of the Church, without his masters knowledge, it laies a pe­nalty vpon the Bishop that so admits him: to wit, that in six months after, he is not to ce­lebrate. Iustinian in his 123. nouell Constitu­tion, apointed a certaine time, wherin the ma­ster was to recouer his slaue from the Church, [Page 120]but Leo the 9 made an act, that the challenge should still hold and be perpetuall. Yea but if you say the case is altered, in a Monk, for his estate being regular, is more to be priuiledged than a secular priest. Charlēmaine (as it should appeare by a certaine constitution of his) is of a contrarie opinion. Let no man, saith he, entice another mans slaue, to become a Priest or a Monk, without leaue and license of his master (you may read the Act in the 20. and 27. Chapter. The primitiue Church obserued as much, not that she thought God was any way dishonored by the ministerie of a poore slaue, (for with God all men are alike) how then? Tertullian against the heretique Mar­tion will giue you the reason. Saith he, what action is there more vniust, wrongfull, and wicked than so to demerit my seruant, with your kindnes, as that neuer afterwards he shal liue to doe me any more seruice? another man shall lay claime to him, and let me haue any suit in law, he shall produce him for a witnes against me, and that (which of all bad is the worst) euen then, and at that time, whilst he liues in my house with me, liues vpon my al­lowance, trembles and quakes vnder the stripes of my rod. A wise man should bee as sparing to do another mans wife, his slaue, free man, or any vnder his charge, any cur­tesie [Page 121]extraordinarie, as to procure them any harme. For a man cannot possiblie inueagle or allure anie of them, but withall of necessi­tie he must bereaue them particularlie of that loue and truth which in conscience the wife should beare to her husband, the slaue to his master, the freeman to his patron, and lastlie the subject to his soueraigne. And no doubt by Gods grace, but he that liues in subiection to another mans rules, in that course of obe­dience, may be partaker of eternall blisse: whereas he that spurnes and murmurs in that he is called to be a seruant, should I say, di­uorceth himselfe from the religion & faith of Christ, nay maliciouslie reneges it, which consists whollie in loue and obedience, ex­cept there be som such action inioined, which is directlie opposite to pietie. And so writes S. Chrysostome in his 35 homilie vpon those words of S. Paul, Children obey your parents in all things.

Now concerning wiues (for that is our next passage) ye find it thus decreed, Let neither Bi­shop, Priest or Deacon, put away his wife, vnder colour of religion: if he doe, let him be excommuni­cated, and if he so continue, let him be degraded. The same Canon is thus transcribed into Gratians decree, at the 28. distinction, who­soeuer shall teach that a Priest vpon pretence [Page 106]of religion, may refuse his wife, let him be ac­cursed. And the Fathers assembled in the Councell of Gangrene publisht this decree, that whosoeuer should put a difference be­tween a married or vnmarried Priest, as though his mariage disabled him from ad­ministring the holy communion, and for that cause refuseth to communicate with him, let him be accursed. And a little after: Whoso­euer shall condemne mariage, or thinke that a faithfull deuout woman, cohabiting with her husband, is therefore iudiciallie to bee indited, as if, forsooth, the married cou­ple could not possiblie enter into the king­dome of heauen, let him bee accursed. What canst thou say for thy selfe to the con­trary? dost thou not find by these lawes, that as well she is to be reputed for an excommuni­cate person, which vpon pretence of liuing continent, liues a part from her husband, and refraines his bed, as they, which stand so high­ly vpon commendation of chastitie, (and be­cause they would be tearmed abstinent) do vilifie and disgrace the holy estate of wed­locke?

Now concerning parents and children, their obligation, as well as their relation, is mutuall. Therefore the Synod saith thus much first of parents: Whosoeuer shall for­sake [Page 107]his own children, & shal not bring them vp, as it is the part of a father, and giue them not things necessary, but vnder pretence of li­uing continentlie, thinks they may be forlorn let him be accursed. Son, thou neuer foundest me yet defectiue in any one point, that a kind father should doe for his child, which if I had I must haue been extreamlie negligent, and so reputed in the iudgement of Ptolomie. I haue maintained, cherisht, and taught thee: for Greek and Latin, I dare be bold to say, thou hast been instructed, so far foorth, as was fitting for a yong gentleman, Thy good vn­ckle Monsieur Iames Aerodius the president, and my selfe, haue made it our eager conten­tion (as indeed we exceed both in our loue and affection, towards thee) that thou sholdst faile of nothing that might be any way deui­sed meet for any excellent purpose, that so fin­ding the course whereunto thou wast most inclined, we might in time accordingly dis­pose of thee, (which Nazianzene saith was the fashion among the Athenians) or that thou mightest dispose of thy selfe, in case we were dead before, and thou come to full age. And haue we this faire recompence for all our loue and kindnesse to be forsaken by thee now, & not thought good enough to be spo­ken vnto at thy departure. It is reported in S. [Page 124]Hieromes Epistles, that the holy matron Paula left both towne and children, excepting only her yong daughter Eustochia, whom she took in her companie with her to Bethleem, vpon a resolution there to liue retired. But I must tell you, all these children (beside Toxotius) were come to yeers, and he was not left vn­prouided neither, for the mother made him, and his sister Rufina, that was mariageable, her sole executors, and gaue them all that she had, and appointed them guardians to ouersee them. And the like story you may read in Paulinus in his 10. Epistle to Seuerus, how he commends exceedinglie the holy woman Melania, that hauing buried her husband, and being the mother of one little boy, left him behind her, sailde to Ierusalem, and there be­tooke her selfe to a life of more perfection. But she left him (which likewise would be ob­serued,) exceeding rich, she left him kin, and allied to all the great men of Rome.

But now that I may haue a saying to thee, come on sir, stand neere, and hearken to the doome which shall be pronounced against thee, and bethinke thy selfe, who shall giue thee absolution from the curse of the fore­said Synod, whereunto without doubt thou art notoriouslie liable. If any sonne (saith the 16. Canon) shall forsake their parents, espe­ciallie [Page 125]such as are beleeuers, taking occasion by pretence of religion, and shall not yeelde them more dutie and reuerence in that re­spect, let them be accursed. Now I pray thee, tell me trulie did they conceale this Councel from thee? I verilie beleeue they did. I cannot be perswaded that thy iudgement is so erro­neous as to imagine that a sonne may doe more against his father, than a slaue against his master: as to imagine that it were a grie­uous sinne for a father (not to prouide for his children) and but a peccadilio in a sonne to stand out vndutifull, despitefull, and con­temptuous against his parents. See, the Councell makes noe distinction of be­leeuing parents or vnbeleeuing, of chil­drens minority or their fulage. But peraduen­ture, they vvill priuily whisper, and tell thee that this Councel vvas but to hold for a time, not to continue. To this I answere, that the reuerend fathers of the Church, for a long time after, approued that Synode, as you may find it recorded in the fifth generall Councell of Constantinople, and so did Gratian also in his Decrees: for to what purpose else did hee incorporate it among them? Lastlie, that an­svvere might stand for good, if the Councell of Gangrene had intended their Canon a­gainst desertion of heathen parents onely: for [Page 110]vvhereas Gentilisme vvas then in more re­quest and sway than Christianity, the greater care was to be taken for it, that they should not loath our Christiā religion too much (as pos­sibly they would) and not vnlike, but at that time, the Church might directly inhibite the beleeuing man to forsake his vnbeleeuing wife, vnlesse in point of violence forced to pa­ganisme and Idolatry. But sure it is, that the Councells meaning neuer was that Children should forsake their parents, because they were Christians, for it saith in expresse words: [Let children reuerence their parents, if for no other ende, yet for this, because they are Christians], a reason (as I conceiue) that will euer holde for Christians: for Vigoreus, a wri­ter of our time, cites the same Synode to this very purpose. But it will not bee amisse in my opinion, to set downe the cause and occasion of the summoning of this Synode. It was not because Pagan parents did make it their com­plaint of grieuance, that their children did a­bandon and forsake them, the cause was clean contrarie, which was, that they which were Christians left them which were of their owne profession, and religion, malapert and sawcie sonnes and trespasse so against their pa­rents, as thou hast lately done against mee: marry, the difference if any bee, is this, that [Page 111]they in former time, affected a true monasti­call retired life, and thou according to the fa­shion of the time, dost affect a professiō bare­lie consisting in an habit of apparell, and for­malitie of words: they crucified the worlde to the flesh, and the flesh to the vvorlde, but men of your coate saue halfe the labour; and cruci­fie the world onlie. From whence then comes such a corruption in this discipline? I will tell you. About the time that some newe fangled fellowes sprung vp in the Church, and termed themselues Anchorites, Eremites or Monkes, there steps me vp one Eustatius, who led by an inconsiderate zeale, began wheresoeuer hee came, to thunder out those glorious magnifi­cent words written in the Gospell, [that they were vnworthy of Christ, that loued Father or mother more than Christ,] and thereupon to inferre that all things in the world are to bee contemned and set at naught: as house, posi­sessions, parents, children, brethren, yea (and to make short worke,) all the vniuersal world, the better to liue in some solitary hermitage, vnder some rule, and in some company seue­red and shut from all men. And why so thinke you? because it was nothing worth to bee a Christian, except you had bene also of the or­der of Eustatius. But what was the issue of this Doctrine? Sir this, that the wife wold leaue her [Page 128]husband, and be his wife: the seruant his ma­ster, and he his seruant: the parents their chil­dren, and they their parents: that Chri­stians set light by marriage, and all duty else, which euery man owes vnto his countrie: that religion, which was wont to keepe all in good order, was now become ringleader to all con­fusion and disorder. Lastly, that the Gentiles might well say (and Zozimus by name) The Christians be barren & unfruitfull in all affairs of dutie, which is a speech that Tertullian in his a­pologeticus, holds to be the most disgracefull & scandalous that ouer yet was vttered against Chri­stians. But the sectaries of Eustatius reioynde, why but this desertion is, because wee would bee the freer for the seruice of God. But the Fathers assembled in Councell, condemne this faire occasion, and prooued full & whole, that it was an act far more Christianlike and Religious, to worship and loue our parents, (for that is the commandement of God) than so to serue God, as thereby to despise the pa­rents, a thing which he vtterly forbids. For God and parents may well bee honoured to­gether, but no man liuing can truely worship God without he honor his parents also. Ther­upon this new founder Eustatius, shortly af­ter changed his copy, and came to be a Bishop in the Church, and not a cloisterer. And that [Page 109]this was the true occasion of assembling that Councell the very letter of that Councell, as also Socrates, Sozomen, Isidor and Gratian in his 16. and 30. Distinct. doe apparantly testifie. How now sir? Will so many and so waighty authorities do no good with you? for (I thank you) you haue beene bold to set my authority at naught? or are you eftsoones perswaded, that should I affoord my consent neuer so much, you could not yet bee a true and ab­solute Iesuite? peraduenture you are yet some what grauelled in this doubt? so then let vs take some view of that which they alleadge vnto you out of S. Hierome, and withall con­sider, whether there be any cloyster Diuinity, or new found Gospel lately sprung vp among them, to repeale these auncient Canons and decrees of the Church, which you in your braue ruffe doe so lightly esteeme of. It may not be denied, but that S. Hierome writing to Heliodorus in commendation of a solitary life, vseth these words [should thy little nephewe hang fast clasping about thy neck: & thy mo­ther with her tresses disheueled about her ears renting & tearing her garmēts, discouer those paps which gaue thee sucke: should thy father that begate thee lie downe before thee in the way: passe ouer thy father, and trample him vnder thy feete, shed not a teare, but with an [Page 130]heroicall resolution, flye towring vp in high speed to the standard of thy Sauiours crosse. Sauage cruelty in such a case is your onely pi­tie. Doubtlesse, heere is a right noble sentence and well becomming the high spirit of so ex­cellent a Father in the Church: but before I cleare the point, & shew in what meaning this was spoken, wherein S. Hierome (as it should seeme by this) makes such cheape reputation of parents authority, and in so dooing disho­nours the chastity of all naturall kindnes: I would faine see that passage in him, concer­ning parents obedience, (it is in his Epistle de vitando suspecto contubernio) reconciled to this. There you shall reade him thus, Father and Mother, saith he, are names of dutie, wordes of respect, bonds of nature, and vnder God, the second truce and league of our loue. It is none of your commendation to say you loue them not, it is a notorious sinne in you, if you hate them. Our Lord and Sauior Iesus Christ was subiect to his parents. He reuerenced that mother to whom hee was father, loued that nurce; whom he fostered, and forgot not that wombe where hee was conceiued, nor those armes that so oft bore him. You will perhaps replie and say, but heere lies the exception, when a sonne liuing vnder the gouernment of his Father is once resolutely determined to [Page 131]goe into a monasterie, why then hee may bee bolde to forbeare all shew of dutie, and passe neither for good nature nor good manners. Then crueltie in that case may be interpreted mercie; incluilitie, good conditions; contempt obedience. But thinke not (good son) though S. Hierome vsed such a faire colourable speech to Heliodorus that if hee should haue dealt in earnest with him, he would haue aduised him, to ben so behaued, as his words doe implye. God forbid that S. Hierome should euer be ta­ken for principall or accessory in parricide: that for the same verie cause that Aeneas was surnamed the pious (as Virgil in all places stiles him)

Amids the scorching flames, and thousand shot of darts
I rescued mine aged Syre, and made these shoulders bowe
To garde him from the enemies troope.

For an action directly contrarie, a Christian man should goe about to merit, the same sur­name & appellation: or that S. Hierome by any meanes, should rather propose wicked Tullia for an instance of pietie, that roade in her coach ouer her fathers coarse, than deuout Aeneas, for an imitation to Heliodorus. Yea though hee might purchase thereby all the kingdomes and seignories of the world, or all the vast territories of hell, where ghostes Lorde it, as Painims suppose: or lastly, that [Page 112]who so profest himselfe a Monke in such a scornefull fashion to his parents, should bee better thought of than Cleobis and Piton, that drewe their aged mother in a litter, (to a place where she was to sacrifice) in stead of a payre of co [...]tch-horses. Or those brethren, which for they rescued their impotent parents, from the rage of a tempestuos fire, the people of Catanna, in a reuerence of their deuotion, called by no other name than the godlie-chil­dren. Certainely it is so far from S. Hieromes meaning to haue his words peruerted & drawn to the maintenance of such a barbarous cru­city and impity, as that when hee spake this to Heliodorus, neither his Father or mother were then liuing: so that the inference is impossible that had his Father & mother forbad him to haue beene an Eremite in the wildernes of Sy­ria, he would haue gone ouer them, and stam­ped them vnder his feete. What then may S. Hieromes meaning be? why this: After Helio­dorus had long time beene a souldier in the wars, and dealt much in negotiating of state matters, growing into some years, and hauing no issue, (as we tolde you before) he bad fare­well to the world, and in S. Hieromes compa­ny which was his puysne, vowed a solitary and retyred life, and to that end they both entred into a monastery, liued there long time toge­ther, [Page 113]at last Heli [...]dorus had a great longing to see how his onely sister, and hir young sonne did: and there (lo) did he alter his former re­solution, for there he betakes himselfe to the Church, and in stead of being a Monke, be­comes a Cleargy man. This was the time without all peraduenture, when S. Hierome wrought these matters in commendation of the monasticall life, beeing for yeares but a stripling, and almost a very boy, (as he speaks of himselfe in another place,) and comming fresh from the vniuersity, then he vseth these flourishing speeches vnto him, alluding from his secular to the heauenly warfare, interlacing withall such strong motiues, and perswasions as friends vse often to their friends, all to this purpose in effect, that wheras we are comman­ded to be Eunuches for Christs sake, to put the verie eies out of our head if they offend, to leaue and forsake all that we haue in this pre­sent worlde, as if the case were desperate for a rich man euer to come to heauen, (a point whereof S. Austen discourses excellently in his 89. epistle to Hilarius) not to be carefull for to morrow, to turne thy left cheeke to him that smites thee on the right, and many moe say­ings of the like nature, which were they lite­rally vnderstood and not spiritually, without question, would fill the Church full with he­resies, [Page 134]and yet concerning worldlie vvealth doth not S. Austen in an Epistle to Bonifacius tell vs, a valiant Christian minded man should not be puft vp if he haue it, nor be de­iected if he loose it? vvas not Leontius a Bi­shop of Laodicea, condemned of the Church for dismembring himselfe? vvhereupon Ana­stasius a Bishop of Nice in his 73. and 79 que­stion saith, vvhat is meant by this Gospell, (if thy right eie offend thee, or thy right hand, cut it off from thee) Christ meant it not of our bo­dilie parts and members, (God forbid) but of our friends, and kinsfolke, for hee slanders Gods workmanship, that dismembers him­selfe? And euen S. Hierome himselfe, hath he not vvritten so manie things in that strain of vehemencie for commendation of virgi­nitie and single life, that he seems in a manner to disallow and condemne all mariage? yet questionles he neuer meant it. For were it so that he spake as he thought, and perswaded Heliodorus rather to make his way ouer his fathers body, than to forsake that blissefull estate (which as it seems in your conceipt) the cloister affoords, why then would he prefer Priesthood before it? indeed he confesseth that Heliodorus answer, may serue any other mans turne else, but cannot serue his owne, who hauing profest in precise tearmes, the [Page 135]actiue life, might not without blame, renoūce his former profession, and betake himselfe to an order of higher perfection, as namely Priesthood. Indead he describes the good and happie estate of them that liue in mona­steries, and likewise how perilous and subiect to all manner of temptations, their condition is, that liue at large in the world and saith he was a glad man, to see him come vp so high, but very fearefull to thinke of his fall. So that he blames not Heliodorus, for leauing his cloister, nor his entrings into Priesthood, nay he perswades him not directly, to forsake the one, and returne to the other. But because first he reuolted from being a souldier, to be­come a Monke, and afterwards grew wearie of his cowle, abjuring the profession which he vndertook in S. Ieromes company, his endea­uour is now by these forceable reasons, or ra­ther rhetorique schemes and colours, to draw him backe againe into his monasterie. And as for these words of the Gospell (he that lo­ueth father or mother more than me) I pray marke whether Heliodorus answered S. Hierom well, that they were to be vnderstood in case of martyrdome, or whether S. Hieromes reply to this answer, be sufficient. But be it as it may be, that no man should stand to too stiffelie vpon the authoritie of that speech, which is [Page 116]not altogether so true, as neat and elegant, obseruing more his words, than his meaning, for an vpshopt of all, when he came to riper yeeres, he recants that opinion, in an epistle written to Nepotian, who by this time also, was both in yeers and discretion grown to be a man. And as concerning such arguments, as he had proposed to Heliodorus, he saith he did it as a yong man, after the fashion of the schooles, when the fire of his study and lear­ning in Rhetorique was not clean beat out of him for verily at that time, a man might free­ly enter into a monasterie, and when him list leaue him. And then the question was idle, whether a man might follow this course of life, without his parents liking, because then there was no such obligation by vowes as now a daies there is, and had a man misliked of his profession, his punishment was none other but the imputation of lightnesse and in­constancie, which is euident out of S. Austins epistle to his friend Boniface. The professi­on of being a Monke in those daies was no­thing else but the meditation, and exercise of the ancient, free, and trulie christian manner of liuing. And therefore in this pretence, they might with much more honestie loose them­selues from their kindered, and alliance. So then let no man father it vpon S. Hierome, [Page 117]which makes nothing for his purpose. Indeed he went about to solicite some of his fellows, to enter into this kind of life with him, but e­uerie one liked it not, and among others Pa [...] ­machius that was his chiefest friend, had least fancie vnto it. For his desire was rather to liue married than to be tied to such strict rules of religion. Onlie Bonosius followed him, and profest himselfe a Monke, not passing for mother, brother, or sisters, yet still respecting his father. Nay euen S. Hierome himselfe, after he had been an Hermite for some time, retur­ned backe againe to Rome. S. Austin indeed in his 76. Epistle, is not throughlie resolued in this point, whether a Monke forsaking his cel, might afterwards be in holy orders. Ther­fore bethinke now with thy selfe, and consi­der it well, whether that assertion of S. Hie­romes can be thy iust excuse, I say whether it can be any iust excuse, for thee that art not yet fiue and twentie yeers of age, that hast a father and mother yet liuing, that neuer madest any vow to the Iesuits before hand, that art not hereupon either to renege Paganisme, or to secure thy selfe from persecution, or to wan­der into vast and vncouth wildernesses, and there to continue, but to be entertained into as delicate and pleasant places and cities, as the worlds yeeld any, that hast an abbie for [Page 138]thy prison, and a good town for thy paradise. But make of S. Hieromes speech what can be made, make him of what age thou wilt, when he wrote this Epistle, if notwithstanding all this, the name of such a great workmā so deep­lie with you, why may you not for your satis­faction herein parralell Heliodorus example with him? why not the example of Letus (e­speciallie if that be S. Austius epistle which is written vnto him:) who hauing vowed a reli­gious life, and that not in his minoritie but at mans estate, vpon the sole discontent and griefe which he conceiued afterwards, because he had neglected the dutie to his mother, in not making her acquainted with this vow, re­turned fairelie home againe to his countrie, which before in the hot zeale he bare to a religious life, he had abandoned. Why may you not oppose S. Iohn Chrysostomes example. these men were neuer for all this, either the lesse holie, or worse Christians, most certaine it is there is nothing can be a bar to a godlie life. You may not plead pretence that you are maried, that you are a father of children, that you are a souldier, a merchant, an artificer, a seruant, a rich man, a begger, (for so speakes S. Chrysostome in a certaine mariage sermon.) I tell you one that dwells in the Citie, may com very neer to a Monks deuotion, & a ma­ried [Page 139]man, that liues at home, may say his prayers, and fast, and be penitent for his sinnes, as the same Father also affirmes in another place. Now that you may not thwart me, and say, that such precedents were proper onlie for the primitiue Church, and that the com­parison stood then betwixt gentilisme and Christianity, betwixt a religious life in a cloi­ster, and an vpright godlie life abroad in the world, when this controuersie was treated of. I will produce you that verie age wherein S. Bernard liued, and lastlie to leaue you with­out all scruple of doubt, I will answer an ob­iection, which is made out of the Emperor Iustinians constitution, which in some mens conceipt, is verie strong for the libertie of children, in dedicating themselues to the ser­uice of the Church, without their parents leaue, to the intent, that hauing throughlie considered what can bee alleadged of both sides, thou thy selfe mayst be iudge, and pro­nounce the sentēce, whether this fact of thine which thou hast thus committed against me, be to be termed a fact of honest behauiour, or cōtrariwise altogether of vnrespectiue de­meanour. Here then the question consists ge­nerallie betweene Catholiques, nay in a far more narrow compasse, than Catholiques, it consists between monkes: that holie Abbot [Page 120]had a nephew whose name was Robert, his fa­ther purposed to make him a Monke of the order of Cluniacenses, but he dying before his sonne was tendred, Robert profest himself a Cisterian Monke, and S. Bernard himselfe adopted him thereunto. Soone after this, cer­taine Monkes of the order of Cluniacenses, se­duced the poore youth, and drew him from that Abbie to their owne. Heare then began the brige between the two regulars. S. Bernard was the first man that accused this their fact, and said it was done by meer seducement and enueagling of the youth, in that they had vsed fraude, flatterie, and craftie conueiance, to effect this their purpose. For they that should seduce his nephew, first attempted it by a nouice of their order, after that by a Monke that was better able, lastlie by one of their greatest Priors, amongst them. Then hee laid to their charge, forceable intrusion, in that they had hurt the porters of the Cel, and so rescued yong Robert out of his cloister, as if they would haue broken a Gaile. With­out acquainting either the superior of the or­der withall, or the Abbot, or his vncle S. Ber­nard, now I pray thee tel me whether thy case and this be all one, first, because one that was penitentiarie and Confessor there, buzd this into thine eare, and after him, another that [Page 121]was master of the chamber, came and told thee that there was no estate of men so bles­sed, as the Regular was, and lastlie the prouin­ciall of the order came, & said, that among al the regular, there was none comparable with your society, as beeing called after the name of Iesus: but marke what S. Bernard alleages, and that will sufficientlie refute and condemn your so highly magnified vocation and inspi­ration: there was no suite (saith hee made for his admission by his parents, which the rule expressely enioyneth.) as though hee should haue said, albeit his Father when he was aliue did much wish to haue his sonne of the order of Cluniacensis, but being preuented by death neuer liued to see his desire fulfilled, and the common rule expresly requires, that he that will enter into a monasterie, must bee offered vnto it first, by his parents, in the view and presence of some witnesses (for that is also in the rule) this wants in his profession, to your order of Cluniacensis: but these prouisions, were not necessarie or requisite, for his admis­sion to the Cistertians, because then hee was past his nonage, and was at his owne choyce and bestowing. Why then (exclaymes the good Abbot) why then haue you robd me of my nephew? why haue you bereft mee of my ioy? Why haue yee taken away the fruite of [Page 142]my spirit, and the one halfe of my poor soule? might he not haue beene saued with me, if he had continued with me? O nephew saith hee, the vizard of holines hath beguiled thee, the pretence of religion hath seduced thee, the authority of the Ancients hath vndone thee. Now surely if the good Abbot inueigh so bit­terly against these monkes, that thereupon he calls them rauening wolues, what might bee fit for me to do against these Iesuits that haue robd me in my life time of my son, in such an vnworthy fashion? and when I challenge him, they deny him trecherously? peraduēture they tooke some compassion of thee, as the monks did of young Robert. peraduenture thou hadst beene in state of damnation, if thou hadst re­mained with thy Christian Catholique pa­rents, thy Vncles and Aunts, Brothers and Si­sters. But if the bare changing of one mona­stery for another, was of such feareful sequele, that the poore soule was in danger of beeing damned for it (for so thinkes S. Bernard) what will betide thee, that treadest vnder thy feete and in such a presumptuous insolent manner, spurnest at, not God almighties commaunde­ments alone, but also the decrees and canons of our reuerend prelates and pastors? & why forsooth? not to chaunge thy religion but thy habite, not the Church, but thy ranke and or­der [Page 143]in the Church. Pray let me tell you what Ʋigorous once wrote in a sermon of his, which he made of S. Martin, it is written to vs French men, you shall neuer find him vary in opini­on from the auncient and most sanctified Church gouernement: his words be these. S. Martin was a nouice in the Christian religion, and not admitted into the congregation by the Sacrament of Baptisme, and albeit hee dwelt with his parents which were gentiles, yet did he perform all good offices vnto them as became a Christian: (for the Law of God doth not acquit that obligation, wherein a son is bound to his Father, or a seruant to his ma­ster. And surely the Church neuer taught Martin to be a rebell against his parents, but rather in all things to yeelde them due obedi­ence and respect, so God were not offended.) Whereupon by reason of such reuerent con­formity vnto his parents commaund hee got this graunt from them, that considering for what vocation hee was most fit and addressed vnto that they would bee pleased to bestow him in, for questionlesse the sonne is not left to any such libertie, as either to marrie or be­take himselfe to anie sort of liuing, without his Fathers approbation, I say vnto anie sort of life, heeres no limitation [except he will be a monke]. And now that wee passe not ouer [Page 124] Iustinian the Emperor, grant him to bee of the opinion, that for a sonne to vow a monastical life without his Fathers consent, was neither a sinne of ingratitude, nor any cause able in law to disinherit him. Doth it therfore follow that because it is no such hainous offence as parricide or incest, therefore it is no offence? or it deserues not disinheriting, therefore must it passe without all correction, or if it be no sinne is it therefore no fault? Why I tell you, a sonne might not marrie without his fa­thers leaue, put case he had married, there was no law could extend so far as to disinherit him, vnlesse his wife were some leaud and in­famous person: will your inference hereupon be, that therefore he offended not his father in marrying against his vvill, this is a noto­rious nonsequitur. And novv sir, I tell you for your learning, let Iustinian speake or thinke as pleaseth him, all the Emperours before him made this case a matter of disinheriting: aske you me what warrant I haue for it? marry sir this, because he professeth in this one point, to correct the auncient Ciuill Law, and this I tell you withall, that take all those Emperors together, especially those that were Christian Emperours, and I trust their ioint authorities shall sway more, than Iustinians alone: who in all likelihood might haue as good leaue, to [Page 145]erre therein, as he did mistake in the matter of diuorce, & in participating with the heresie of Eutiches. But certaine it is that in the ende of that constitution, [which is an act for bondmen comming to Christianity,] wheras Iustinian takes away the penalty of disinheriting, it is to bee vnderstood of such children of the Gentiles, as entring into holy orders, or monasticall profession, were therfore emancipated in case they were sonnes, or ipso facto enfranchised, if they were bond-men. For had the act beene generall, comprizing all, or more speciall ex­tending onelie to the children of Christians, it is not to bee presumed, but that hee would haue vsed some distinction, concerning their age, that thus betook themselues either to ho­lie orders, or monasticall profession; and haue said, before fourteen yeares be compleat theres a nullity if a man professe: after four­teene, there is none, the vow holds, and there is no danger of beeing disinherited for the matter. So then Iustinians constitution (in the titles of Bishops and Cleargy men) is in this sence to bee vnderstood, that whereas the cause of our Christian religion is to all intents much more fauourable, than Pagan Idolatry, there­fore Pagans children, liued they vnder their parents verge and iurisdiction, or liued they without it, both the one and the other might [Page 146]vowe and professe religion, without paine or perill of being disinherited, (the forme wher­of is described by Theodoret in his two and twentieth chapter:) and so might the bond­men of infidels be enfranchised, and in lieu of such manumissiō the church to yeeld no ran­some backe againe vnto their former masters as it was enacted before Iustinians time, (the like prouision is made also by Gregory the first in his second booke, and 78. epistle; if a Chri­stian mayden would become a Conuert in anie house of religion, against her maisters leaue) whereupon the close of the constitution fol­lowes in this maner, and thus much hath our Imperiall maiesty beene pleased to ordaine and decree in contemplation of Gods cause and the enlargement of Christian Religion. And if it bee lastly replyed, yea but Iustinian made the same Law euen for Christians also in 123. nouell constitution, and one of the last Paragraphs there: Probable it is, and in all likelihood to intended, that the case in most mens opinions would haue beene hardly thought of, for one to be disinherited because he was a monke, for in so being, hee still notwithstanding continu­ed Laye, and entered not into holy orders, He succeeded his father by inheritance, his goods escheated not to the Abbey, he kept himselfe still master of his owne, (as it is euident out of [Page 147]the 239. epistle of S. Austin to Alipius (and as I said before) it rested in their own free choice whether they would stil continue in their mo­nasterie, or forsake it. But when once vowes of pouertie and single life, came to bee in re­quest, it had beene verie idle, for the parents to haue disinherited them, that ipso facto by their entrance into the monasterie disinheri­ted themselues, there was then no farther controuersie to bee made of the matter, but whether the profession would hold good a­gainst the Fathers consent. Doth all this dis­please you sir, and sticke you yet so close to Iustinian? To encounter him, I oppose the sixt generall Councell of Constantinople, I op­pose that great Canon of the Church in both which the heauie sentence of excommunica­tion which the Councell of Gangrene pro­nounceth against all such kinde of offenders, is againe renewed & confirmed. But in a word to this forraigne Emperour, (whose lawes haue no authoritie to binde vs) I oppose the most excellent and flourishing Princes of our own natiue countrie, the decrees & constituti­ons of our French Church, the most commō and receiued opinions of al men, and the book cases as they were debated and determined in the court of Parliament. Charles the great, with the aduice and consent of his Lords spi­rituall [Page 148]and temporall enacted sundrie lawes about Church matters (my Author for that which I deliuer is Ansegistus) amongst the rest, these be some in the fift booke, and 95. Chapter.

Now concerning boies and yong maidens it is flatlie forbidden that either the one should be clipped, or the other veiled, without leaue of their parents. And whosoeuer shall at­tempt ought against this act, shall be liable to that fine and amercement which is men­tioned in some of the branches of our tem­porall lawes, and in deed the fine in that Sa­lique law is vnder the title of them which ei­ther kill or clip yong boies or maiden children. Where it would be principallie noted, that in the intent of the law, it is absolutelie all one, to kill our children and to match them to a monasterie against their parents liking. For I pray tell me, is it not a kind of murder so to tirannize ouer them, that now they must become aliens to their owne parents, no kin to their kinsfolke? must die intestate, leaue no issue, keep no companie, must neuer see them so long as life lasteth, as though they were dead men, and out of mind? I euer before this thought that the Fabian law had onlie taken order with these purloining companions and man-stealers. But now I find that this great [Page 149]Emperor hath brought thē within compasse of the Cornelian law, and made them murde­rers. So then to summe vp all in a word, what manner of reproofe is this, what a strange kind of challenge, that such holie and blessed men forsooth our Sauiour Christ should not onlie deem hypocrites, the Church accursed miscreants, the law manstealers, S. Bernard wolues, but the Emperor should brand them also for murderers? Looke to it in time Sirra, and looke to it, that such and the like enorme­ous crimes doe not turne you and your mates one day out of this countrie and all the kings dominions, for some such kind of spirituall murder, as hereafter you are verie like to haue a hand in. And now let vs take a short view, of that which remaines whether there be any such statute at this time in force, as was that of Charles the great. Charles the ninth a Prince of famous memorie in a Parliament holden at Orleance, the 19. article, makes this order, that no parents, gardians, or kinsmen, man or woman, should suffer either their children or their wards to enter into any monasticall pro­fession, vnlesse the one first, were going into fiue and twentie, the other into twentie. And if anie were professed before such times, the parties so professed might neuerthelesse haue power and interest to make and declare their [Page 150]last wills and Testaments (euer with this pro­uiso) that they bequeathed nothing therein to their monasterie, anie former lavve or custome to the contrarie notwithstanding. This constitution is of larger extent, than the Councell of Mentz in their 16. and 20. que­stion, the third and seuenth Chapters. For in case any man before such age should haue shaued his crowne, the intendment of the law is, that it vvas done in fraude and couin alto­gether, and to satisfie the monkes hungrie couetous humour. Furthermore it is so short of permitting children before that age, to en­ter into religion vvithout parents leaue and liking, that it expresly forbiddeth parents, gardians, or kinsmen, to giue any such leaue. Now if reports and book cases can doe any good with you, see here is the iudgement of a parliament assembled both of Lay and Ecclesiasticall persons as it was punctuallie giuen in thy verie case, by name (a case per­aduenture, which the Iesuits of purpose haue concealed from thee) and it is this, that where­as Petrus Aerodius Iustice of the Pleas of the Crowne hath put in a bill of complaint against his yong sonne Renate by the Iesuits fraudulentlie seduced and purloined from him, and whereas the Rector and President of Clerement Colledge haue beene cited and brought personallie into the [Page 151]Court about the matter, it is therefore ordered and thought good by the Court at the motion of Faius the Kings Atturney general, that Aerodi­us shall haue a commission granted vnto him to enquire and make search after his stolne sonne, (for had they not stood vpon the negatiue in pleading not guilty, the decree would haue been that they must haue laine fast by it till they had rendred thee openlie in Court) in the meane while the Court doth straightlie forbid that ought be done to the preiudice of this their order, and that the Iesuits entertaine him not into their societie as they will answer to the contrarie, and that no excuse of ignorance may be herein pre­tended by the brethren of that company, they charge and require with all that they of Cleremont Colledge certisie so much vnto their seuerall com­panies wheresouer. Giuen at the Parliament the 20. of May. 1586. Happily you shall also in time reade, what the states of France assembled at Blois haue humblie besought his maiestie now our king, Henry the third in this verie businesse, and what he will conclude thereupon after his brother the king decea­sed. I am sure in the Interim his pleasure was that the Pope should bee certified thus much, that whereas all good men were much offended heere­with, his holinesse would set to his helping hand, that it might be reformed and redressed. Now sir [Page 152]what can you answere to all these reasons? all these lawes and precedents? If for this offence of thine, or rather thy seducers offence (to whome indeede it is more proper) I haue bin grieued, am I grieued (thinkest thou) without cause? or is it naturall affection, flesh & bloud that makes me beyond measure passionate? or is it my grosse ignorāce that knowes not in the matter of religion what appertaines to pietie, honesty, or any duty else of great importance. I trust you are informed and throughly resol­ued by this time, that bee the religious life good and commendable in it selfe, or newter and indifferent, it ill beseemed you, (sonne) in making choyce of either so contemptuously to haue neglected me. For were it indifferent theres a necessitie would haue forced you to o­bedience, but had it bene good and commen­dable, it would neuer haue proued the worse for my approbation. Indeede if none could bee sound now a daies, that would offer their children to the Churches seruice, and if it were absolutelie necessarie that young men should minister in the Church, in Gods name then let religion bee priuiledged to robbe and steale our children from vs (as thou wast from me) it skills not much by force or policie: but whereas there is such a number of Churches and Abbeyes, can any man say, that there is [Page 153]not plenty enough to supply such places but if (and speake what may bee spoken for the contrarie) the vow which children make, bee good & iustifiable, without the parents leaue, yet, me seemes somewhat should bee left vnto their disposition, wherein they should beare some stroake, as peraduenture; to make choice of one Abbey before an other, for their children to be profest in; and if there be no remedy but that parents must besosleight­ly put by, when the question stands betwixt them and religion, yet me thinkes twere well, that some few reliques should still remaine of that ancient dutie & reuerence, which God & nature prescribed for parents. But the case is farre otherwise now, for it comes so short to the businesse in hand, that parents in any lawe, should bee relinquisht and destituted of their children, that euen they which haue written in an high stile for commendation of the solitarie life (as most monkes haue done) confesse that children may bee dismissed out of their cloyster, and disclaime their vow, to bee attendant on their parents. And that this vow is of a greater obligation, and much more ancient for continuance, then any other vow whatsoeuer, it may be prooued out of S. Gre­gory Nazianzene, for he being sent for to come home from his monastery by his Father, be­cause [Page 154]he was now growne olde, and not able to follow suites in law, which came thicke vp­on him by reason of a publique charge where­in hee bare office, and hauing lost also his o­ther sonne Caesarius, forsooke his Couent, made speed to returne to his Father Gregorie, and his mother Nonna, which then to their farther griefe, had buried their daughter Gor­gonia: the same appeares in like manner out of Heliodor of whom wee spake before, who left to be an Eremite, and left S. Hieromes compa­ny, to assist and helpe, not his Father, but his sister and nephew. S. Austin holds the same opinion or whosoeuer be the Authour ad fra­tres in Eremo; and will haue no man enfor­ced to returne backe againe to his monastery, except his Father bee dead first. S. Hierome in an Epistle to Fabiola, speakes of this kinde of desertion, where hee saith, how many monkes haue beene cause of destroying their owne soules, in compassionating the estate of their Fathers and Mothers? in which wordes hee doth not simply condemne such desertion, so it be without frawde, to do true seruice to their parents, but his meaning is, that many monks pretending such manner of excuses, doe ther­by hazard the vtter vndoing of their owne soules. Wherefore put case I had beene con­tent and willing to haue made thee a Iesuite, [Page 155]couldst thou yet find in thy heart, now at this time especiallie, to leaue mee, and liue apart from me? couldest thou holde it for a religi­ous course, to lurke in a Cell, (nay a Gayle for that is Baccharius word for a monasterie) where thou mightest sleepe in a whole skinne at pleasure, and vnderstand of our ciuil broils or rather lawlesse open robberies, that ruine and lay wast thy flourishing natiue coun­trye? nay couldest thou forbeare, to repayre home with al speed possible, to be helpfull, at­tendant and seruiceable vnto vs, to allay and mittigate the surpassing sorrow, whereof eue­rie good mans hart is sensible in this our coun­tries combustion? But perhaps they detaine thee by violence; Well, bee it so, for I am more prone to think so, then to imagine thou art cleane past all sence of humanitie, al good nature & gentry, chieflie at this time & season, when Princes ioyn issue in armes, not for mat­ter of religion, but for a soueraign monarchy? but laying aside all prerogatiue of antiquity in our present question (if you be so pleased) let vs argue the matter by reasō a while: wheras it is so that you accōpt marriage for a Sacramēt and for precedence in time, the first that euer was ordained in this world, how happens it, that you giue it no better entertainment a­mongst you? doth it not necessarilie follow, [Page 156]that Church and common-wealth both must partake euident losse, when either it is so pro­phanelie polluted, or not set by? when it is bereft of the fruit of mariage, which are chil­dren, robd of those sweet loue pledges? when you vntie that knot, which is knit faster, than any knot that fire and water, bed and boord, or plighting of troth, did euer tie? Why, who will take any paines to bring vp his children, if after all his care taken, and costs bestowed, when all is done, they must be another mans children, and not the fathers? If by direct au­thoritie or indeed rather by a kind of Maho­meticall immanitie, they be hald and lugd away from their parents? if as soone as our wiues be brought to bed, and deliuered, the shaueling that first can seize vpon our child must haue him for his paines? he that robs a father of his child, a foster father of his fo­ster sonne, or a master of his man, in the opi­nion of Tertullian writing against Marcion, commits an act of impietie against God, sins against the parent, wrongs the foster father, and trespasses against the master. To take away filiall obedience, and dutie to parents, is to grub vp nature by the root, to windshake all that commerce and societie, which is be­tween man & man, euen from the very groūd plot, and foundation. Obedience saith S. Cy­prian [Page 157]in his booke of the abuses of the world, is the mother of all gouernment, then fare­well all gouernment when parents cannot be obeied. And because paritie in honour and e­state breeds quarrells and contention, there­fore hath God made many formes of go­uernment, many of subiection. As husband and wife, father and sonne, old and yong, bond and free, Prince and subiect, master and scholler, as S. Chrysostome speaks in his Epistle to the Romanes, take away these subordina­tions, and there is no companie or societie of men can possiblie continue. Nay the conclu­sion cannot be gainsaid, doe but once proue disobedient to parents, and presentlie you fall downe headlong into Atheisme, or heresie, as it is deliuered with common consent, by all sorts of men, as well Christians as heathen; and by name, by Plutarch in his booke de fra­terna amicitia, and by the author of a late dis­course. But it were better to hear the Authors in their owne words. There is no man saith Plutarch, who though he thinke otherwise in his conscience, would not affirme and in words maintaine that the Gods ought to bee worshipped in the first place, our parents next to them, and that in so large an extent, that nothing can be so acceptable to the Gods as when they see children repaying some v­surie [Page 158]for their parents bounty, whereas they be not able to pay the principal. Contrariwise that there is no argument so pregnant, to conuince them of Atheisme, as by despising their parents, and trespassing neuer so sleight­ly against them. The other vtters himselfe thus; What makes yong men now a daies so soone turne schismatiques? why saith he, they do not honor their parents, as they ought to do, as if he should haue said, it is no great wonder if they forsake the faith and religion of their forefathers, when they once take a taste of contempt and disobedience against their naturall parents. Good God, if such dis­loyall behauiour might either be endured or commended, what? ought this to be a time for such tolleration? to be a place? where there is scarce to be found any one, who by some meanes or other claimes not an immu­nity, from doing his duty to God, or the king, or the Magistrate, or lastly to his Elders? why but all these preheminences are to be found in a father, all these relations of duty in a son. Is it then honest and conuenient for mee, to shew any countenance to him that besides his gracelesse neglect: of mee, is so vngrate­full and irreuerent? In the latter daies (as S. Paul writeth to Timothie) there shall come perilous times, men shall be louers of themselues, [Page 159]blasphemers, disobedient to fathers and mothers vngratefull, without naturall affection. Shouldst thou now replie and say, why but good fa­ther, after I am once profest into religion, I will honor you a great deale the more, I will esteem of you much more highly than be­fore? I tell thee againe, duty can neuer spring from disobedience. Besides all this, I would faine know what colour can be giuen, why those grand schoole men, as Scotus, Durandus, Aquinas, Paludanus, Dominicus Soto, and many mo, should enter into such serious and deepe disputes, whether the children of infidells might lawfullie be baptized against their pa­rents will, Thomas absolutelie holds that they may not, and saies that the Church neuer per­mitted such a baptism, (not Pope Siluester to Constantine the great, nor S. Ambrose to The­odosius) And yet to make no question of main­taining this doctrine, that our children may bind themselues by a religious vow, though the father neuer so much protest against it. Doubtlesse if the parents be christians, the generall tenent is, that they may be forceably compelled, to initiate their children in the same religion: but if it be but a particular rule or couent of Regulars, then they hold they may not, for that is left to their owne discre­tions. As for example, they say, that to be [Page 160]baptized in the faith of Christ it is sufficient for any: but to be of Dominickes or S. Austins order, it is not necessary. But were a man Iew or Gentile, Saint Thomas peremptorily de­nies, that either in case he bee of full age, hee should be violently constrained, or being vn­der yeares, his parents should bee forced to yeeld their consent to his baptisme. And the Toletane Councell, whereof you shall finde Recorde in Gratians decrees, at the fiue and fortith distinction, in the chapter of the Iews. And Gregory the greate, writing to Virgilius and Theodorus, Bishoppes of Fraunce, in his fiue and fortieth Epistle; If you list (saith he) you may speake him fairelye, and aske him whether hee likes better, to liue in a cloyster, then in the worlde at large. But I pray you tell mee, is it force or fayre dealing when such a promise as this hath beene extor­ted from him (as to say I will be a monke) after­wards to keep him a close prisoner, or to lead and driue him vp and downe, to the intent he shall neuer light vpon his father or any one of his kinne, which might perchance diuert him from that resolution, which was put vpon him before hee came to yeares, or in the prime of his youth when (as Cicero saith) counsell and discretion is at the weakest? What sir, are you become an other Hercules Prodicus, that must [Page 161]forsooth by and by be wise, as soone as you are eighteene? what, is there no other course to be held, for the furnishing of Churches and mo­nasteries, but that children doe presently ab­iure their parents sight and company, as if they were banished persons? the Church of God neuer allowed of this course, but in the childrē of the Iews, which was to this end, that hauing bene once voluntarily Christned; they might not afterwards relapse into their pa­rents errors. And so it is in the Canon. But for one Christian brother to suspect or di­strust an other, in such a case as this, of infide­lity or Iudaisme, what manner of strange Gos­pell were this? how can any man make this good, that whereas by the discipline of the Church, Priests may not blesse the married couple, if they be not giuen by their parents, a Bishop of one Diocese may not giue orders to one of another Diocese, without the leaue of his Diocesan: A Clarke that is a forrayner may not bee entertained to serue any where, without letters dimissoryes, or a certificat from him that made him: but our sonnes and our daughters may make vowes, which shal be ad­mited & accepted of, though there beno giuing no cōmending of them, no aprouing of them? yet the vovv must stil be obserued. And now at length to conclude all this discourse, whatso­euer [Page 162]hath beene hitherto alleadged against thee, reckon thou of it at thy pleasure, make as light account of my fatherly authority as thou wilt, or rather as they please to com­mand thee to make, with whom thou liuest in so blessed and deifying an estate, yet such as be well borne, not of base kinde, will bee of a different opinion from thee, and thinke it built vppon foure maine columnes. The principal piller which beares vp the fabrique, is the indignation of the liuing God, that esteemes a wrong done to parents as done to himselfe. How ill is the report of him that forsaketh his Father (saith the Preacher,) and accursed of God that is bitter to his mother? The second is the iudgement of banishment, which the Father pronounceth against him for his vndutifulnesse. Depart from me, come no more in my sight: for albeit, (as it should appeare) thou hast but a very meane conceipt of it, yet very certaine it is, that Gods seuerity is then greatest, when a Father wil not vouch­safe to see his childe, a Prince not deigne to looke vpon his subiect, nor admit them vnto their presence, which ought to be most glad­som & cheerfull to them. I said Gods seueritie was then greatest, for is it not so that euerla­sting damnation of body and soule consisteth only in the depriuatiō of Gods blessed vision, [Page 163]and Gods blessed [...] the wages and re­ward that man, can [...] for from God? And men vse to be must seuere likewise in this kind. For Dauid punished Absalon so. Wher­upon, after two yeeres space continued in this disgrace, oh (saith hee) if my Father bee yet mindfull of mine iniquity, good [...]oab, be thou a suiter for mee rather that hee will kill mee? And did not Ma [...]lius Torquatus proceed in the selfe same manner against Iunius Syllarius of whome the Macedonians complained of for briberie and extortion. Because thou hast not (saith hee) demeaned thy selfe so in thy office, as thy woorthy Ancestors haue done before thee, therfore I forbid thee from henceforth euer to approach vnto my pre­ [...] surely hee was not able to endure the [...], he slew himselfe. The like is repor­ted of Marcus Scaurus, that when his son re­turned dishonourably out of the field, sent him this message, since I heare you are turned base coward, let me neuer see you more. The message deliuered, he fel vpon his sword with more valour and resolution than euer before he had vsed against the enemy. And Augustus Caesar, when one Tarrius his son was conuen­ted before him for the like offen [...], gaue this iudgement, that hee was punished with a wit­nes, whom the Father would not endure once [Page 164]to looke vpon. Plato yeelds an excellent rea­son, if there bee no shrines in the Temple so beautifull in the eie of the children to looke on as the portraiture of the Gods, no treasure so pretious at home, as their aged and impo­tent parents, what worse punishment can you deuise against them, than so to doom them, as to depriue them of their presence, that be the patrō gods of their family, & neuer to be suf­fered, to touch or to kisse them more. If ba­nishment seeme only in this respect, a punish­ment intollerable, because it depriues vs of beholding certaine faire buildings, and tomb stones, which we term monuments, what then may we thinke of such a punishment as wher­by we shall be bard, of their sweet companie that erected such sumptuous buildings for vs, nay erected vs? that would possesse no more then what they might leaue after their death to vs their children. Now con­cerning the King, Augustus Caesars ex­ample is at hand to proue it, who vppon a reuenge to punish the Athenians chose ra­ther to ariue at the Iland Aegina which was much out of his way, than (as he thought) to do them so much honor as to be seen at A­thens. The like example haue we in Marcus Antonius the Philosopher that trauailing by [Page 165] Antiochia would not be entreated to come in­to the City, because they took part with Aui­dius. Fresh also is the example of Charles the eight our French king, who comming with his army back from the expedition of Naples, and rendring his deuout thanks to God at S. Denis for the victory, would not so much as endure to come at Paris, because they aided him not in his iourny for the wars. The third sort of animaduersion which parēts, euer had, and euer shall haue, (as saith S. Ambrose in that one book of his which he entitles de be­nedictionibus patriarcharum,) is that blessing which they giue to their kind and dutifull children, and that curse which they denounce against vnnaturall and disobedient ones. The fathers blessing (as Elias the Cretiā speaketh) is the wages of obedience, and therefore S. Gregory that had bin dutifull to his father, de­sires not that he would giue him his blessing, but that he would pay it him for his seruice. But be it that thou value it not at any such high rate as Iacob, or Ioseph, or Nazianzene, yet I would wish thee stand in feare of the curse. Remember Noahs sonnes, think on that which is written in Deuteronomy and is second in order of the Comminations: Cursed is he that honoureth not his father and mother and [Page 166]all the people shall say Amen. Meditate of that which is written in the third of Ecclesia­sticus, the blessing of the father establisheth the houses of their children, but the curse of the mother roots vp the foundatiōs: al which you shall find in Antiochus who was him­selfe a Monk, in his 108. Homilie. Look vpon that in Homer his 2. Odissea, where Telema­chus stands fearefull to cast his mother out of doores, because of her curse. Call to thy re­membrance that which is written by Plato, in the eleuenth book of his Lawes, how that all those imprecations of Oedipus, Amynter, and Theseus vttered against their children, were entertained and ratified in heauen, oh there is nothing in the word saith he so per­nicious to a child, as the curse of his father! Lastly bethinke thou of that which is in Sui­das of Leōtius a Bishop of Tripoly, whose praier God almighty heard, and that was, that his sonne might rather die, than that he should see him liue a gracelesse & dissolute life. The last remedy that parents may vse in this case, is the helpe of the Iudge who vpon complaint made, seuerely censures or imprisons the of­fenders, and giues such iudgement against them, as the parents do require. For so Alex­ander the Emperour answered one that made [Page 167]the like petition. All hard measure, and rigor would be vsed towards a saucie and malepart sonne, though should a stranger so offend, the offence I grant were not so hainous. And what is the reason? mary sir, that children might not so much as conceiue, that there was any thing in the world more sacred or inuiolable than their parents. It is storied in the French Chronicles in the raigne of King Lewis, that Steuen Boley Pro­uost of Paris, caused one to be hangd, for no other reason, but that his mother had com­plained of him, that do what she could do, he would neuer leaue filching and stealing. To conclude then, that may be spoken to you which Ierom hath in his book de honorādis pa­rentibus, you that wil be fathers hereafter, you must honor your fathers, and loue your mo­thers with a tender affection, that your wiues after you be married may deserue to be mo­thers also. It remains therfore that if you haue a purpose to free thy selfe from these punish­ments, which as thou seest all lawes do inflict vpon a disobedient son, and if this discourse of mine, worke so well with thee that thou come to thy selfe again, if there be any good­nesse in thee, bethinke thee of thy dutie in Gods name, presentlie and out of hand thus [Page 168]doe, fulfill Christs parable in me, let vs make good chear my friends and be merrie, for this my son was dead and is aliue, lost and now is found. The Church hath her armes alwaies open, to embrace the penitent soule (it is true) yet this mercifull disposition they first lear­ned from parents. Before thou canst crie, I will heare thee, come then and we will bee friends, returne vnto me and all shall be well: and now will I vse the like words to thee as S. Bernard did to his nephew: Against all due proceeding of law, I, that haue been wronged, doe yet withdrawne mine action, I haue bin offended and despised, yet sue I vnto the scor­ner, I haue been iniuriously dealt withall, yet I offer amēds vnto him that did me the wrong, and in few words, I seek vnto him that first should haue besought me. Or to vse the speech of Caesarius, in his 30. homilie, he that is the iudge entreates to pardon the prisoner: but if they buz into thy head that when thou shalt once be fiue and twenty yeers old, then maist thou be at thy owne disposition, and after that age who can challenge thee for thy disobedience. I tell thee sonne, and tel thee againe, though naturall duty, can nei­ther be dayde nor yeard, nor determined by age, or eldership, nay the more yeers the more [Page 169]duty, (whereupon Plato vsed more seueritie to one of thirty, then to one vnder fiue and twenty, for being vndutifull to his father, (I tell thee I say, hadst thou been with me, and so continued to the terme of lawfull age, by that time, in likelihood I might haue yeel­ded somwhat vnto thee, especially if I had seen a suitable disposition in thee for that kind of life, whereunto thou wast addicted. But now the case is far otherwise, for as a wo­man child vnder the age of twelue being for­ced and abused, by any man, and she after the rape committed abide with the rauisher, can not be said all that while to be of yeers, and theres anullity in the mariage, if any such be contracted between them, as it hath been de­creed in the Councel of Trent: so what age soe­uer thou comest to in that place, where thou art kept prisoner much against my will, think not that any such aduantage acrues thereby, but may be void, and frustrate, to the intent either of law or religion, notwithstanding all your prescription. Would you haue a reason? why sir, because the Iesuits seduced thee, and still deteine thee, with an euill conscience, and a scādalous example. The excuse wil not serue to say, the action was the holy ghosts, for sure­ly the holie Ghost hath no hand in a sinful [Page 170]action. As stolne goods till they come home to the true owner, be still felonious, so be the neuer so old, and continue with them neuer so long, thou shalt neuer be better then felons goods. Is there anie tells thee the contrarie? tell him againe, and say that Plato said it, Sir you are much scanted in the faculties and po­wer of your vnderstanding: For there is nei­ther God nor good man were he well in his wits, that would enueagle any mans child to be vndutifull to his parents.


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