THE ANSVVERE OF THE VICECHAN­CELOVR, THE DOCTORS, both the Proctors, and other the Heads of Houses in the Vniversi­tie of Oxford:

(Agreeable, vndoubtedly, to the ioint and Vniforme opinion, of all the Deanes and Chapters, and all o­ther the learned and obedient Cleargy, in the Church of England.)

To the humble Petition of the Ministers of the Church of England, desiring Reformation of cer­taine Ceremonies and Abuses of the Church.

Beware of the Concision. Philip. 3.2.
Cum sub specie studij perfectionïs, imperfectionem nullam tolerare possu­mus, aut in Corpore, aut in membris Ecclesiae: tunc Diabolum nos tu­mefacere superbia, & hypocrisi seducere, moneamur. Calvin advers. Anabapt. Art. 2.

AT OXFORD, Printed by Ioseph Barnes, and are to be sold in Paules Church-yard at the signe of the Crowne by Si­mon VVaterson. 1603.

TO THE MOST REVEREND, and Right Honorable the L. Archb. of Canterbury his Grace, Primate and Metropolitane of all Eng­land: the L. Buchurst, L. High Treasurer of Eng­land, and Chancelour of the Vniversity of Oxford: the L. Cecill of Esingden, Principall Secretarie to his Maiestie, and Chancelour of the Vniversity of Cambridge; Lords of his Maiesties most Honorable Privie Counsell.

MANY and excellent were the bles­sings, which it pleased Almightie God to bestowe vpon this Nation, by the Ministery of his chosen ser­vant our late Soveraigne; yet none of thē were comparable vnto these, the Purity of Religion, perpetually supported by one Vniforme most ancient kind of commendable Church government; and the plenty of al manner of good learning, abundantly de­rived from the two Welsprings therof, into al the parts, both of the Church and Common-wealth. For the con­tinuance, both of them and the rest, it was her wise and happy care, to select and take neere vnto her successiuely [Page] Men of rare Endowmēts & personal gifts, men of deepe iudgment, long experience, great moderation, loving learning and fearing God. Whome therefore shee did place in chiefest authority vnder her, that vnder her they might be the greater comfort to the Ministery, the bet­ter encouragement vnto learning, the more noble coun­tenance to Religion, and as the Prophet speakethPsal. 21.6. set as blessings to the whole land.

In this honorable rancke we cannot, (Most Reverend & Right Honorable) without open wrong, but acknow­ledge your Lordships to be second vnto none of all your predecessours. The long experience that this kingdome hath had, of your honorable Imployments for the main­tenance of Religion and learning, as your severall places doe speciallie require, would checke our want of duty, if wee did dissemble it; and silence the detraction of any o­ther, that should goe about to impeach it.

Which as wee recount with singuler comfort, for the daies that are past; so for the present, it is the very stay of our harts, that the same [...]od, of his accustomed goodnes, hath given the same minde, vnto our most gracious and dread Soveraigne, to preserue and propagate the same things in Church and Common-wealth, by the Godly care & prudent counsaile, of the very selfesame Persons. For had we not vnder his Princely wisedome & clemen­cy, such immediate Patrones, (which now with long vse, are growne into a very sympathy of our estates;) to whō we might resort in our needful times of trouble: it would amate our mindes, and vtterly astonish vs in our vnder­standdings, to see the insolent endevours & straunge at­tempts, of sond Familists, absurd Brownists, & perfidious Papists; all of them with importunity, and selfe-concei­ted [Page] confidence, intending and expecting the innovation of Religion, through the overthrow of the Cleargy, and ruine of the Vniversities.

All which notwithstanding, had not opened the dores of our lips, nor made way to this our iust complaint; but that there came to our sight long since, An humble peti­tion of a Thousand Ministers at once: Which wee may well resemble vnto still running streames, which are dee­pest there, where they seeme to be most calme. This wee beheld with great sorrow of heart: considering how it is repleate, with vnthankefulnes towards God for his mer­cies towards vs; with iniury to Her gracious governmēt, (whose Memory be precious vnto all posterity;) with re­proach to their Fathers that begot them in the Gospell; with preiudice to the Breasts, that (if they be any thing) did give them sucke; with contempt of their Brethren, and fellow Laborers (at the least) in the Lordes harvest. Howbeit as long as it passed in private, vnder the name of a particular motion, made to his most excellent Maie­stie; we l [...]id our handes vpon our mouthes, and with due reverence expected in silence, the wise resolution of His religious heart.

But these men (as they are impatiēt of delay, or els to 1 gaine credite with the people, on whom they greatly do rely) soone after, send forth into al quarters of the Realm, store of these pretended Petitions: accompanied vvith such lewd, false, and absurde suggestions, as if our noble King, had lent their motion a favourable eare, and given it some kind of consenting intertainment; as if in all this, they had done nothing, whervnto they were not anima­ted and encouraged, by some of speciall credite with his Highnes; as if some busie headed strangers, had vnderta­ken [Page] their cause, and ensured the safe conduit of their wea­ther beaten barge, to the haven of their hope. Were there any such, wee would request them to remember, that it is neither manners nor discretion, to take vppon them in a State, wherein (for ought we know) they haue nothing to doe. It may suffice, that they are partakers of the good things of the land; let them thanke God and the King, and be quiet. But wee are verily perswaded, there are none such; that this, as all the rest, is given out vnder hand among their credulous adherents, onely ad facien­dum populum. A tricke of theirs, with which we have bin long acquainted.

This course (Right Honorable) did make vs thinke, that nowe they had altered the nature of that foresaide Schedule; and of an Intitled Petition to his Maiesty. Had made it a covert kind of libell. Wherby (securely as they thought) they might depraue and slaunder, not only the Communiō booke, but the whole estate of the Church, as it standes reformed by our late Soveraigne. VVhich vndue & dishonest practise, having so changed the qua­lity of their Petition; whether it hath brought the Con­trivers and Preferrers of it within the compasse of that statute. 1. Elizab; and made them lyable to the Penalties of the same: we take not vpon vs to determine. Howbeit hereof we could not but take notice; that by their impu­nity, diverse other very lewdly affected, haue in diverse parts of the kingdome, presumed to trouble his Maiesty, and taxe the state, with the like clamorous libelles, and defamatory supplications.

The consideration whereof beganne to admonish vs, that now it sorted with our duty, to shewe our selues, as truly zealous, & carefully religious in the defence of the [Page] Church, for the quieting of mens mindes, and setling of their consciences, by some shorte animadversions vpon their proceedings: as these factious persons haue beene audatiously venterous, & praeposteriously heddy, to ma­nifest their malice; thereby to distract and draw the peo­ple, from their loue & liking of the present state. Where­vnto wee were the rather invited, by the commendable example, of our Reverend brethren of the Vniversitie of Cambridge; who to make knowne their dislike of these & such like factious Schismatikes, haue passed a grace in their publicke Congregation to this effect.

Placet vobis, A grace pas­sed in the Vni­versity of Cā ­bridge Iun. 4. 1603. against factious Puri­taines. vt quicun (que) doctrinam vel disciplinam Ecclesiae Anglicanae, vel eius partem aliquam, dictis aut scriptis, aut quocun (que) alio modo, in Academiâ Cantabrigi­ensi publicè oppugnaverit: ab omni suscepto gradu suspen­datur, & à suscipiendo excludatur ipso facto.

By which their wise and necessary Decree, they haue not only encouraged vs, vnto this our Apology; but with all assured vs, that both they themselues, and (as we con­ceaue) many thousands moe, of the iudicious and obedi­ent Ministers of this land: are readie to giue vs the right­hand of fellowship in this worke, and willing to subscribe vnto the same, if the cause did necessarily require it, or the time would permitte.

But your Lordships know right well, that Truth ob­taineth no great auctoritie, by the many voices that ac­knowledge it at once. And for our parts we vtterly con­demne the course, that these Schismatikes have therein taken. Who to bolster out their stale obiections and false calumniatiōs, have trudged vp & downe diverse Shires, to get the consent, of they care not whom; so they may make vp the tale, and pretend a number. In which kind, [Page] that was a notable Stratageme which (farre besides the Authors purpose) we did light vpon of late. May it please your Lordships to haue patience, while wee propose it, and so leaue it to your Honorable censure.

2 H. I. a man that was of ordinarie partes, & of as or­dinary place, when he lived among vs; is now, it seemes, become a principall Agent, and a speciall Procurator of the publicke cause among the factious. He, (much mista­king in his strong conceipt, that to insinuate with a man of wisedome, woulde bee sufficient to fetch him over to that side.) Writes vnto one of eminent sorte among vs, after this fashion.

MOreover I am to let you vnderstād, that many lear­ned and godly Ministers,Scilicet in Iune, when their Petition was Exhibited in April before are about to exhibite to the Kings Maiestie, a Petition for the Reformatiō of things amisse in our Church; wherevnto a consent of as many, as cōveniently we can get, is very behooueful. My opi­niō & trust is cōcerning you, that you will be, not only a par­taker, but also a furtherer of this Christiā duty. I have sēt you here inclosed the forme to be subscribed, by all such, as have good will to this purpose I pray you let me have an an­swere hereof from you, as soone as you may; vvith so manie of your well affected friendes handes therevnto, as shall bee (thought) good. It is not intended that your names shall bee rashly shewed, to any mans preiudice, but be reserved to a fit opportunity; if we shall perceive, that they altogither being brought forth, will further our desires & suite. Of the good successe whereof, we conceave good hope, thanks be to God. Thus beseeching God to keepe and sanctifie vs for his ser­vice, and to give vs vvisedome in all thinges: Ibid [Page] you hartely farewell. VVoodstreete in London the XXX. of Iune. 1603.

Yours to his power H. I.

Post script. I could wish you to conferre with D. A. about this matter.

Thus much of the Letter.

Now the Forme to be subscribed vnto, is this.

VVe whose names are vnder written doe agree to make our humble Petition to the Kinges Maiestie, that the pre­sent state of the Church, may bee farther reformed in all things needefull; according to the rule of Gods holy worde, [...]nd agreeable to the example of other reformed Churches, which haue restored both the Doctrine & Discipline, as it was delivered by our Saviour Christ, and his holy Apostles.

Your Lordships see the manner of the men. This col­lusion and coven, were very base betweene man & man. But for them, thus to vse their Soveraigne; first to give him a Petition in the name of a Thousande, and then to scatter it abroad with this glosse,, Of the good successe of our suite, we do conceaue good hope: thanks be to God; Ther­by ex post facto, to begge and steale as many hands to it, as could be got: this is such stuffe, as wee will passe over with reference to that of Tully vnto Antonie; Philip. 2. Tu autem eò liberior, &c. It is the advantage some Men have, that they dare to do such things, as a modest Adversarie can­not well reprove. But it is suteable to the Imputations they have laide vpon their late Princes governement. And now also, whē his Maiesty shall frustrate their vaine [Page] imaginations; they have lefte their olde wont, if some of them doe not verifie that of the Poet,

— Fermentum, & quae semelintùs
Pers: Satyr. 1.
Innata est, rupto iecore, exibit Caprificus.

Howsoever; the Thing that we would specially obserue out of this Script; is in the māner of Subscriptiō. Where hence it doth most plainely appeare, that the particulars specified in the Petition; are not the vtmost End whereat they aime; they haue another marke.

"All thinges needefull according to the rule of Gods VVord & agreable to the example of other reformed Chur­ches; is their Vp-shot. But is it so indeede? Why, They of the Petition desire (onely) Reformation of certaine Cere­monies and Abuses: They neither as factious men, affect a Popular Paritie in the Church, nor as Schismatickes, aime at the dissolution of the State Ecclesiasticall: their humble suite is, that the offences follovving may bee re­moved, amended, qualified: They (good men) desire That vvhich shall be preiudiciall vnto none, but &c. It is true; The voice of the Petition, might seeme to be the voice of Iacob, though the hands of the Subscription appeare plainely to be the hands of Esau; were it not that there is also a Clause in their Petition. (Now that we have their owne exposition of it, we can observe it; and, that it is re­peated thrice for failing, viz. These and some other vsed; These and other such like; These vvith other such Abu­ses;) which houldeth very good correspondēcy with the forme of Subscription. Heeretofore, we could not tell what to make of those wordes, and therefore made them no answere. They seemed vnto vs a very Nemo Scit; a Mathematike Line, diuisibilis in semper devisibilia: but now vpon this new Advertisement, having cōpared thē, [Page] we finde them Paralele, to those All things needfull &c. in the Subscriptiō: Which tell vs plainly, They wil never have an end, till either they have set vp the Presbitery, Or else be cut of by Authority.

The third & last remarkeable matter, which we hum­bly 3 referre vnto your Lordships due regard, is a certeine Semblance, which in this our halfe yeares silence, vvee haue observed in two contrary Factions, that haue shew­ed themselues by their Petitions, discontented with the praesent State, & Ecclesiasticall Government: namely in the Papists and the Puritants. VVe will vse their owne style, and come as neere as we can, to their very words.

1 They Both intitle themselues the Kinges afflicted subiectes, and aboue all other, his devoted servants.

2 They Both pretend an enforcement of a speedy re­course to his Maiestie, for a present Redresse and Refor­mation.

3 They Both cōplaine, of being overwhelmed with enduring persecution through losse of Living & Liberty.

4 They Both ground their Doctrine and Discipline vpon the sacred text of Gods word and Gospell.

5 They Both condemne the obedience of Prote­stantes to the Lawes Established, to bee, not for Consci­ence and zeale: but for Morall honestie, and feare of tem­porall punishment, saith the Papist; For their owne quiet, credit, and profit in the world, saith the Puritaine.

6 They Both renoūce a publicke alteratiō, & dissolu­tiō of the State Ecclesiast. but the one pleads for a private Toleration, the other (forsooth) for a Godly Reformation.

7 They Both deny that they exhibite their Petitiōs, with a tumultuous spirit, or with a disloyall & Schismatical minde. Of vvhich their Semblable Assertions, in argu­ments [Page] so opposite, we might say in a word, as the Orator doth of contrarie Opinions; It cannot be that more then one of them should possiblie bee true, but it is very possible, that both may bee false. Yet we rather take vp that in the Booke ofIud. 15.4. Iudges, and say of them and their designes:

Verily these men are like Samsons Foxes. They have their heades severed indeed; the One sort looking to the Papacy, the Other to the Presbiterie. But they are tyed to­gither by the tailes, vvith fire brandes betvveene them. Which if they bee not quenched in time, are able to set the whole Land in a Combustion and Vprore.

IF in any of these, or in them all, there do appeare vn­to your Lordships such matter of moment, as might move men of care, & some discretion to write in defence of themselues, and the present State; if in our manner of writing, wee haue held that hand, (not by way of large discourse, but as the brevity of Notes will suffer,) which doth beseeme a modest and ingenuous answere; if in nei­ther of them there be any thing so offensiue, or defectiue, or impertinent, but that, vnder the winges of your Ho­norable Patronage it may passe into the Presence of his Excellent Maiestie, and there attend his most iudicious and learned Censure, yet so attempered with his rare & singuler mildnes, as in it he is wont to accept the duty & service of his meaner Subiects: then (and not otherwise) we beseech your Lordships that of your wonted favour, you will accompany it with your gracefull Presence, and as the Argumēt of our religious Affectiōs in al humility present it to his Highnes: then wee entreate, that in the Honorable regard you have of those Noble partes of this Church, which God hath specially betaken into your Protectiō; in the loyal remembrance you retaine of Her [Page] Maiestie that late was, and her happie Government; in the bounden dutie you owe to his Maiestie that nowe is, and the Well doing of his whole Kingdome; in the Pie­tie and zeale which you beare to God, his Church, and to his sacred truth: you will take occasion heereby, All as one man, ioyntly to imploy that great Grace, and high Favour, which God hath given you in the eies of your Soveraigne; to the present supporte of Religion, maintenaunce of Learning, defence of the Church, strengthening the State, setling the mindes of the Peo­ple, establishing peace and tranquillitie in the Land: by taking the Foxes, the little Foxes, vvhich marre our Vines, that they beare small Grapes; and by chasing a­way the wilde Boare of the Wood, and the Beastes of the Forrest; that otherwise would eate them vp, and vtterly destroy them. So God shall take Pleasure in your Care and Conscience; the King in your faithfull Service; his Subiects shal dwel safe, vnder the shadow of his Wings; and we your Clients shall send this testimony after you: Many Patrones of the Clergie, many Chauncelours of the Vniversities, have done vertuously, but These surmoū ­ted them all.

Now the God that giveth both Glorie, and Grace, give your Lordships all manner of Graces fitte for your High Callings in this World; and That farre most ex­cellent and eternall waight of Glorie, in the World to come.

Your Lordships in all dutie, The Vicechancelour, the Doctors, the Proctors, and other the Heades of Houses in the Vniversitie of Oxford.

To the Reader.

IMmediately after the Printing of our an­swere to the Petition, there came vnto vs, a very kinde and wel-penned Letter, con­cerning this matter. Which wee might not suppresse, (though it bee but rudely here inserted) without great iniury, to that whole Vni­versity; and no lesse detriment vnto the cause it selfe.

JNDORSED To the Vicechancelour, and others of the Vniversity of Oxford.

CVm nuperrimè, & quidem serò ad­modum, ad aures nostras pervenis­set fama de libello Regiae Maiesta­ti pro reformandà (scilicet) Eccle­sià à Ministris mille, vt perhiben­tur, exhibito: et si nihil in eo novi reperiretur, cui non plus millies an­tehàc responsum sit, tamèn quoni­am numerum iactant, vt intelligerent Millenarij isti, Si Saulo mille adstent, Davidi in hac causa decies mille nun­quam de futuros; nihil prius habuimus, aut antiquius, quam vt Operi omni responsione indignissimo, aliquod tamen re­sponsum pararemus. Quod dum meditamur, defertur ad nos Academiae Oxoniensis Apologia certè disertissima, quae rationum momentis brevissimè refutaret, quicquid ab Istis tanto anteà labore confectum esset, aut confictum. [Page] Qua conspecta, nihil nobis reliqui videbatur, quos ita an­teverterat Fratrū nostrorum in causa optima zelus & in­dustria prompta satis & parata ad hominum levissimorum ictus omnes vel ex tempore refellendos: quàm cum illi pon­dere certassent argumentorum, nos numero, quo Isti maxi­me gloriantur, pugnaremus. Quod & anteà, quasi divi­nantes & praevidimus, & providimus. Cum enim defun­cta Elizabetha Regina optima, & in causa optima, (quod in muliere prope singulare est, & inauditum) semper constan­tissimâ, semper eâdem, non tam Principis Religiosissimae interitum, & religionis si non intereuntis, at summè certè periclitantis casum deplorare, quam in adventum Regis no­vi novas res meditari Isti caepissent & in dies moliri: per­opportunè succurrendum censuit Academia, & convoca­to senatu frequenti admodum, & celebri decernendum; vt Quicun (que) Ecclesiae Anglicanae doctrinam, vel Discipli­nam, vel ejus partem aliquam legibus publicis stabili­tam, scriptis, vel dictis, vel quocun (que) modo, in Acade­mia Cantabrigiensi publicè oppugnaverit, ab omni gra­du suscipiendo excludatur, & à suscepto suspendatur ip­so facto. Quod quidem Decretum concensu propè vnanimi comprobatum, & tabulis publicis IunijOur pri­vate instru­ctiō was, as if it had bin decreed the 4. of Iune. 9. 1603. consigna­tum, nunc demum testatum cupimus vniversis, vt intelli­gant omnes de Disciplina nostra, non imposita, sed suscep­ta liberè & retenta quid existiment, non in angulis Opini­astri nonnulli, sed in aperto Senatu Cantabrigienses propè vniversi. Quorum consensus, cum tam fraternè concinat & conspiret cum Apologia Oxoniensi, cum Scrip­turis, Patribus, Concilijs, Principum nostrorum Decretis, Legibus, Parliamentis; eant nunc mille Isti, & libris no­stris fere mille in hunc finem editis & conscriptis cum erit otium & facultas, respondeant prius, quàm Cramben toties [Page] decoctam Regitam prudenti, tam literato, tam impudenter obtrudant. Aut si numerari malint quam ponderari suffra­gia, cogitent homunciones miseri, ab Academijs Musis (que) relicti, quam nullius numeri sint, quam planè nihili. Va­lete fratres in Christo Charissimi, & nos nostram (que) Acade­miam summa vobis & studiorum & morum similitudine coniunctissimā, vt facitis, amate. Cantab. Octob. 7. 1603.

SVBSCRIBED By the Vice chancelour, and others the Heades of the Vniver­sity of Cambridge.

THE HVMBLE PETITION OF THE MJNJSTERS OF THE Church of England, desiring Reformation of certaine Ceremonies and abuses of the Church.
To the most Christian and excellent PRINCE, our Gracious and dread Soveraigne, IAMES by the grace of God &c. Wee the Ministers of the Church of England that desire Reforma­tion; vvish a long prosperous and happie Raigne over vs, in this life, and in the next everlasting salvation.

MOST gracious & dread Soveraigne, seeing it hath pleased the devine Maiestie, to the great comfort of all good Christians, to advaunce your Highnes, according to your iust title, to the peaceable goverment of this Church and Common wealth of Eng­land: we the Ministers of the Gospell in this land, neither as factious men, affecting a popular Paritie in the Church, nor as Schismatikes ayming at the [Page 2] dissolution of the state Ecclesiasticall: but as the faithfull servants of Christ, and loyall subiectes to your Maiesty, de­siring and longing for the redresse of diverse abuses of the Church; could doe no lesse, in our obedience to God, service to your Maiestie, love to his Church: then acquainte your Princely Maiestie, vvith our particular griefes. For as your Princely penne writeth, The King as a good Physiti­on, must first know what peccant humors his pacient na­turally is most subiect vnto, before he can begin his cure: And although divers of vs that sue for Reformation, have formerly in respect of the times subscribed to the booke, some vpon Protestatiō ▪ some vpon expositions given them, some with condition, rather then the Church shoulde haue beene deprived of theie labour and Ministery: yet now we, to the number of more then a thousand, of your Maiesties subiectes and Ministers, all groaning as vnder a common burden of humane Rites and Ceremonies, do with one ioint consent humble our selues at your Maiesties feete, to be ca­sed and relieved in this behalfe. Our humble suite then vnto your Maiestie is, that these offences, following, some may be removed, some amended, some qualified.

1 In the Church service. That the Crosse in Bap­tisme, interrogatories ministred to Infants, Cōfirmation, as superfluous may bee taken away Baptisme not to bee mi­nistred by VVomen, and so explaned. The Cap and Surplice not vrged. That examination may goe before the Commu­nion. That it bee ministred with a Sermon. That diverse termes of Priests, and Absolution, and some other vsed, with the Ring in mariage, & other such like in the booke, may be corrected. The long somenes of service abridged. Church songs and Musicke moderated to better edification. That the Lords day be not prophaned. The rest vpon Holy­daies [Page 3] not so strictly vrged. That there may bee an vnifor­mity of doctrine prescribed. No popish opinion to be any more taught or defended. No Ministers Charged to teach their people to bow at the name of Iesus. That the Canoni­call Scriptures onely be read in the Church.

2 Concerning Church Ministers. That none here­after be admitted into the Ministery, but able and suffici­ent men, and those, to preach diligently; and especially vpon the Lords day. That such as bee already entred and cannot preach, may either be removed, and some charitable course taken with them for their reliefe: or else to be forced ac­cording to the valew of their livings, to mainetaine prea­chers. That Non-residencie be not permitted. That King Edwards statute for the lawfulnes of Ministers mariage, be revived. That Ministers be not vrged to subscribe, but, according to the Law, to the Articles of Religion, and the Kings supremacy onely.

3 For Church livings and maintenance. That Bi­shops leave their Cōmendams: some holding Prebends, some Parsonages, some Vicarages with their Bishoprickes. That double beneficed men, be not suffered to hold, some two, some three benefices with cure and some two three, or foure dig­nities besides. That Impropriatiōs annexed to Bishoprickes and Colledges, be demised only to the Preachers Incumbēts, for the old Rent. That the Impropriations of Lay mens fee, may be charged with a sixt, or seaventh part of the worth, to the maintenance of the preaching Minister.

4 For Church Discipline. That the Discipline, and Excommunicatiō may be administred according to Christs ovvne institution. Or at the least, that enormities may bee redressed. As namelie, That Excommunication come not forth vnder the name of Lay persons, Chauncellours, Offi­cials [Page 4] &c. That men be not excommunicated for trifles and twelue-penny matters. That none be excōmunicated with­out consent of his Pastor. That the officers be not suffered to extort vnreasonable fees. That none having iurisdicti­on or Register places, put out the same to farme. That di­verse Popish Canons, (as for restraint of marriage at cer­teine times) be reversed. That the Long-somnes of suites in Ecclesiasticall courts, (which hang sometime two, three, foure, five, sixe or seaven yeares) may be restrained. That the Oth ex officio, wherby men are forced to accuse them­selues bee more sparingly vsed. That Licenses for mariage without Banes asked, be more cautiously granted.

These with such other Abuses yet remaining & practi­sed in the Church of England, we are able to shew, not to be agreeable to the Scriptures, if it shall please your Highnes farther to heare vs, or more at large by writing to be enfor­med, or by cōference among the learned to be resolved. And yet we doubt not, but that vvithout anie farther processe, your Maiesty (of whose Christian iudgement we have re­ceived so good a tast alreadie) is able of your selfe, to iudge of the equity of this cause. God we trust hath appointed your Highnes our Physition, to heale these diseases. And we say with Mordecai to Hester, who knoweth; whether you are come to the kingdome for such a time? Thus your Maiesty shall do that, which we are perswaded, shall be acceptable to God, honorable to your Maiestie in all succeeding ages, pro­fitable to his Church which shall be thereby encreased, com­fortable to your Ministers, which shall be no more suspen­ded, silenced, disgraced, imprisoned for mens Traditiōs: & preiudiciall to none, but to those that seeke their owne qui­et, credit, and profit in the world. Thus vvith all dutifull submission, referring our selves to your Maiesties plea­sure, [Page 5] for your gracious answere, as God shall direct you: wee most humbly recommend your Highnes to the divine Ma­iesty; whome wee beseech for Christ his sake to dispose your royall heart to doe heerein, what shal be to his glory, the good of his Church, and your endles comfort.

Your Maiesties most humble Subiects, The Ministers of the Gospell, that desire not a disorderly innovation, but a due and godlie Reformation.

THE ANSWERE OF THE VICE-CHAVNCELOVR, THE DOC­tors, both the Proctors, & other the Heads of Houses in the Vniversity of Oxford, To the Petition of the Ministers of the Church of England desiring Reformation.

In their Petition, there are three principall partes.
  • 1 A Preface.
  • 2 A Conplaint consisting of fowre speci­all pointes; In everie of them the de­sire that certaine Ceremonies and A­buses, may bee some of them removed, some amended, some qualified.
  • 3 A Conclusion.

FOR ANSWERE WHEREVNTO: [Page 7] 1 In Generall.

WEE most humbly beseech his most excellent Maiestie, that it may bee considered, how inconvenient and vnsufferable it is in Christian poli­cie, to permit a long and well setled state of government, to be so much as questioned; much more to beeIpsa mutatio consuetudinis etiam quae ad­iuvat vtilitate, novitate per­turbat August ad Ianuar. Ep. 118 cap. 5. altered, for a few of his Subiects: especially considering the matter, pretended to bee the cause of these mens griefe, and of their desired Reforma­tion, vniustly so called. For it is either the Ceremonies of the Church, or Abuses in the Church, as they alleadge. Wherein wee humbly recommende to his Princely re­membrance.

First concerning Ceremonies, that they are either su­perstitious; & thē no waies to be admitted. Of which sort it should seeme by the Petitioners, (and we are ready to proue) that the Ceremonies of our Church are not. Be­cause these men cōfesse, that in respect of the times they did subscribe vnto them: or if they were such, with what conscience did they subscribe, in respect of the times?

Or els, things in themselues indifferent. And then the supreme Christian Magistrate, hath lawfullMelan. in 13. ad Rom. Pec­catū mortale est violate edicta Magistrat. &c. Heming. in Syntag ca de Adiaph Qui vi olat Ecclesia­sticam politiā peccat multis modis, &c. Bez. Epist 24. ad artic. 7. authoritie to forbid, and we must forbeare: to commande, and wee must obey; not only for feare, but for conscience sake. Of which kinde if these Ceremonies be (as wee will iusti­fie, and they cannot deny) where is then their pretended obedience? Where is their applause of his Maiesties peaceable government? Why doe they trouble both Church & Common wealth, in respect of matters which in duty and conscience they may wel, and ought willing­ly, to submit themselues vnto?

Secondly concerning Abuses, be it considered: first of what qualitie they are; secondly of what degree.

1 Touching the nature or quality of them, whether they are in the very Constitutions of our Church, or ra­ther in the Execution of the said Constitutions. If not in the Constitutions themselues, (as when we descende to the particulars it wil appeare:) there is no cause why the government should be changed; or these men suffered, thus to calumniate the State, wherein there is nothing Positiue, that is worthy of blame. If in the Execution; (which as we wil not absolutely deny, so these men can­not easily proue,) that may be remedied by amending or removing of some certaine offendors, without alterati­on of the state.

2 Touching the degree or grievousnes of these abu­ses, (whether in the Constitution, as they suppose, & we deny; or in the Execution, vvhich simply and in every particular,Calv. adv. A­ab. art. a. V­ [...]i (que) (sc. Ca­ [...]ari & Dona­stae) in eodē rrore fuerūt, Quo isti som­iatores; Ec­ [...]lesiā quaerē ­ [...]s in qua ni­ [...]il posset desi­ [...]rari, &c. no Church in Christendome is able to iusti­fie, and yet none, so much as this of ours:) we vndertake to proue against the Thousād, that maske vnknowne vn­der that generalitie, that they are not such, nor so hey­nous, as deserue this their bitter reprehension: much lesse such an alteration, in the Church and Common­wealth, as would ensue; if these Petitioners might haue their desire.

2. In Particular. Concerning the Preface. VVe doe but note.

1 WHAT reckoning (in truth) these men doe make, of iust titles vnto kingdomes, vvho fa­vour [Page 9] themDe lur. reg apud Scot. De lur Magist in subd: Vind cont tyr. Hotto. Frācog. to much, that were wont to subiect all kings titles vnto popular election and approbation.

2 What comfort (in deede) the Petitioners take in the peace of his Maiesties government; who in the ve­ry entrance thereof, by seeking this and the like daunge­rous alterations, doe disquiet & disturbe the same. Were other men as litle inured to peace & subiection, it might occasion some inconvenience.

3 Howsoever in wordes they decline the imputati­on of factious men affecting popular parity in the Church, &, of Schismatikes ayming at the dissolution of the State Ecclesiasticall: yet it is to well knowen in this kingdome, and by experience it hath bin felte in that of [...]. pag. 39, 40, 41, &c. Scotland, what manner of men they be: as also, what haue bin the lamentable effects of their reformations there, & would haue bin likewise heere, had not the prudent fore-sight, and constant resolution of our late gracious Soveraigne, continually repressed their attemptes.

4 These men might haue performed better, Their obedience to God, their service to his Maiestie, their love to his Church: (as in the particulars will appeare) if they had forborne to trouble his Maiesty, the church of God, & this common-wealth, with these their causeles griefs and discontentments. They haue thereby made such a breach as will not easily (without much wisedome & pa­tience) bee cured. For what are these men, that they should assume so much for what are the whole Cleargy of England besides, that they should bee so abased and contemned?

5 That which they alleage out of his Highnes [...], is a childish fallacie; absurdly taking that for granted, which is the maine question. They must proue [Page 10] (and not assume,) that these are the peccant humours of this Church, which in trueth is theIuel. Apo. 170. Accessimus quantū maxi­mè potuimus ad Ecclesiā A­post &c. Et 46. Ea om­nia quae aut lu­perst [...]ola &c. Aut cum lacris literis pugnā ­tia aut etiam sobrijs homi­nibu [...] indigna &c. prorsus sine vl la exceptione repudia [...]imus. least peccant of any in the world, and would be much lesse peccant, if it were cleane purged, of these vnquiet and malecontented hu­mours.

6 That diverse of them have formerly subscribed to the booke, (as skornfully they tearme it) doth manifestly evince, that either our Leiturgy is iustifiable, themselues being Iudges; or els that they did liberally dispence with their owne consciences, which is not the parte of honest men. To do that in respect of the times, which in it selfe is not lawful, proveth litle lesse then hypocrisie: to alleadge vnknowne Protestations, Expositions, and Conditions in their subscription, doth argue no sincerity; and vpon due examination, will fall out to be nothing, but meere fal­sitie.

7 As for their labours in the Ministery be they such as they are. This Church of England had beene happy if it had not beene troubled, with their factions sermons &Mart. Mar. P. Miles monop. Hay any work & the rest of that spirit. scurrile Pamphlets: which have given the Adversary, much matter of advantage, distracted the minds of ma­ny weake ones, and quite turned some other from the loue of the Truth.

8 The number of more then a Thousand, is but a vi­zard, which we humbly intreat, may be pul [...]ed from their faces, that we may see and know the men, that thus grone vnder the yoke of a Christian & commendable governe­ment; which (maliciously and iniuriously) they woulde have reputed, a most heavy burden of humane Rites & Ce­remonies. The vanity of which their complaint, comes now more particularly to be discussed.

Concerning the matters of their Complaint: 1. Of Church service.

1 IN the Church service, we are ready to mainetaine, (but they must obiect first and proue the contrary.) That the Crosse in Baptisme, Interrogatories mini­stred to Infants, and Confirmation, are most ancient, iusti­fiable, and convenient Ceremonies, and therefore to be continued.

2 That the Church of England, nor the booke of Common praier doth not prescribe, that Baptisme should be administred by women. Though we deny it not, to beeChytrae. de Bap. & in Lev. Sneph. de Bap. Zuingl de Bap. Hierbr. in Comp. Theol. Baptisme, if perchance de facto, it bee by them admini­stred. Fieri non debuit, factum valuit.

3 That the Cap and Surplice be not vrged, it is an ab­surde speach and implyes confusion. For so every man should be suffered in that behalfe to doe what him liketh. Againe, do not their owne words import, that they may well be vsed? but they must not be vrged. Why? what is there in a Cap or in a Surplice, that shouldBuc. de re vest pag. 707. Pet Mart. Ep. ad Hop. Aug. Ep. 154. Calv. in Ex. 23 offende any man of iudgement?

4 That Examination where neede is, should goe be­fore the Communiō, who disliketh? Or that it be ministred with a sermon? But that it should not be ministred vvith­out a sermon, is absurd; and hath bred in many a vaine and false opinion, as if, not the worde of Christs Institu­tion, but rather the word of a Ministers exposition, were aT. C. lib. 1. pag. 158. necessarily and an essentiall part of the Communion. Besides he that readeth our Communion booke, shall see that therein the whole manner, end, and vse of that holy institution, is so excellently described, as may be insteede of many sermons. Also that none should be admitted to [Page 12] that blessed Sacrament, (of what age, state, or condition so ever) except they were first examined after the Con­sistorian fashion, were insolent, iniurious, & in many re­spects most inconvenient.

5 The termes ofIsai 66 21. Where the Geneva note doth shewe, that the Mini­sters of the new testamēt are to be tear­med Priests. Priests and Absolution: the Bucer in Cē. sur. cap. 10. Ring in Marriage and such other, which they haue heretofore traduced in their vnlearned discourses; are by diverse of our learned Devines, and shalbee iustified. As contrary­wise by the Petitioners they wil neuer be evicted worthy to be abolished.

6 Their desire to haue the long-somnes of service a­bridged, doth well befit their great Devotion. Who not­withstanding are wont to spende an houre sometimes or little lesse, in extemporarie, inconsequent, and senslesse praiers conceived rashly by themselues. From hence, their dislike of set & stinted formes of praier, it doth pro­ceede, that some of them omit, some refuse to repeate, some condemne the vse of the Lords praier; from hence hath Barrow and Greene wood taken their beginning, and fetched the premisses of their pestilent and blasphemous Conclusions.

7 Church Iust Mart in quaest ad Or [...]h q. 107. Aug Conf. li. 10. cap 33. songs and Musicke, are much beholden to these men now: in as much as they can be content to disgest them, so they bee moderated to better edification. The time was when wee haue heard them speake in this point, after another sort. Meretricious Church-Musicke, Tossing of tennis bals, and such like; were there phrases of Gods devine service. But thanked bee God, that his Maiesties devout affection in this kind, hath forced from them this moderation.

8 That the Lords day be not prophaned, hee is verie prophane that desireth not from his hart. But what man­ner [Page 13] of law-givers are they, that lay downe their constitu­tions in such Negatiues, in such Comparatiues? For who can devine what they would haue, when they desire that the Rest vpon Pet Martyr. Epist. ad Hop­perum. Holy daies be not so strictly vrged? Would they haue men vpon such daies goe to plough and carte, as some of their humor haue caused their servants to do, on the very feast of Christs Nativity? Or do they meane, that we should take to our selues such liberty therein, as certaine Persons lately haue done; who being comman­ded by lawfull auctority to celebrate the fifte of August, with ioy and thanksgiving for his Maiesties most strange and wonderful deliverance, vpon the said day now three yeares past; did notwithstanding spende the same (as wee are credibly informed) in fasting and mourning and such like workes of their obedience? Nay these & the like ex­periments doe cause vs, humbly and instantly to desire, that both Sundaies and Holydaies may bee religiously observed; and the intollerable prophanation of them, which is the rather brought in, by these mēs preachings and examples may be very severely punished.

9 That there may be an Vniformity of Doctrine pre­scribed. That no Popish opinions may be any more taught or defended? What imputations are these? howe preiudici­all? How iniurious? Not only vnto the Church governe­ment, but vnto the Christian faith established in this Realme? What advantage do these men in these shame­lesse suggestions reach vnto the Papists? As if there were noWe refer to the Articles of Religion a­greed vpon & established in Convocation. Anno 1562. vniformity, no cōsent of doctrin amōg vs? (so ye ex­cept thē.) As if there were some Popish opinions taught and defended in our Leiturgy? (as they deeme who are ready to make every thingZanch. conf. cap 24 de Ec [...]l. Milit. Aph. 19. Popery which they doe not fancy) These are the weapons with which Bellarmine & [Page 14] that broode, are wont to wounde, or rather falsely to re­proach our faith and profession. Good had it beene that these men had never beene able to write, rather then to write thus, to the scandall of Gods Church, & his sacred truth.

10 Reverence done at the name of Iesus, is no super­stition, but an outward signe of our inward subiection to his devine Maiesty, and an apparant token of our devoti­on. Why doe they not likewise finde fault with kneeling, sighing, weeping, lifting vp of eies, knocking of breastes, holding vp of hands vnto heaven? All which good men may vse in Gods service with great piety, though Hypo­crites doe otherwise.

11 They are grosely ignorant if they know it not, or wilfully malicious and turbulent, if knowing it to be law­full, they yet oppugne the reading of the Apocriphall scriptures or writings in the Church. Non ad confirma­tionem fidei, sed ad reformationem or institutionem mo­rum, as the AuncientHiero. praef. in Pro. Cypr. in Simb. Pellic. praef in Apocr. Hyper. Metho. Theol l 1. c. 6. fathers speake and approue. As also the Articles of Convocation, & the Prefaces before the Apocriphal bookes in the English Bibles, doe direct­ly shew: adding that they giue light, to the devine story.

2. Concerning Church-Ministers.

1 WEE hartely desire that able and suffici­ent men bee admitted into the Ministery. That they preach diligently, and that on the Sunday especi­ally. But who shall iudge of their sufficiency? Or doeth not the sufficiēcy of Ministers Suscipere magis & minus? Were the Ministers of the Primitiue Church, al of them able to preach? Did not some of them preach the Gos­pell,Chrysost. in 1. Cor. 1. Pet. Martyr. in 1. Cor. 1 Gualt. in 1. Cor. 1. Cal. in 1. Cor. 1. Bucer. in Eph. 4. [Page 15] and other some reade the Scriptures, & administer the Sacraments? Or hath not the vrging of that strange doctrine, viz. That he is no Minister that cannot preach, first forced men to take vppon them to expound Gods word, that thereby haue brought the word of God, and the sacred exercise of preaching into lamentable con­tempt, through their absurde, sencelesse, and irreligious gl [...]sses and paraphrases, and discourses: whiles they have chosen rather so to doe, then to be accounted, Idol [...] sheap­h [...]rds, Dumbe dogges, No Ministers, and such like? Se­condly hath it not made the Brownists confidently to re­proach vs, that ourBarrowes bookes &c Perpetual go­vernment of the Church. pag. 339. Church is no Church, our Sacra­ments no Sacraments, our Prince and people Infidels, as not being baptised at all, our Christian Congregations prophane multitudes, &c. only because some in the Mi­nistery could not or did not preach? But in this pointe it would be considered especia ly, first that it is not possible to have all Ministers men of worth, til al Church-livings be very sufficient to maintaine men of worth. Secondly that the way to invite men of best partes to take vppon them the Ministery, is not to expose and subiect that cal­ling, to want and beggery, which in the third part of this their complaint, these men doe principally intend. And lastly that howsoever these men doe please themselues in their extemporary gift; yet many of them, though in shew very audacious, doe notwithstanding deserve for their grosse ignorance, to bee blotted out of the number of preachers, truely so called.

2 Howe charitable these men are, that would haue menHar conf. ex Helu Post. De Minist ca. 18 Agnosci­mus &c. Vnde ne h [...]d [...]e qui­dē reijcimus simplicitatē quorūdā pro­bā &c. removed out of the Ministery, because they cannot preach; (whereas some of them were intreated to take that function vpon them, whē men more able could not [Page 16] be gotten; and others in their yonger yeares, have beene of more sufficiency, then now their age, sicknes, or other infirmitie, will permit them to be:) And how indicious, that would have them to mainetaine preachers, who (for the most parte) haue not wherewith for to mainetaine themselues, wee leaue to the consideration of the wise. How much better hath our Church devised, to supply the defects of some men, in some places, of mean valew, by other meanes? As namely by the frequent reading of the Scriptures: A matter moreZanc. Conf. obs. in cap. 15. Aph. 10.11. availeable vnto faith & godlines, then the Petitioners doe imagine; and woulde be much more, if it were not brought into contempt, by their suggestions. 2 By a most religious and excellentB. Ridley to M. Grindall then beyonde the seas. Alas that brother Knox, could not bear with our booke of cōmō praier, &c The rea­sons hee ma­keth against the Letany, &c. I do mar­vell howe hee can or dare a vouch thē, &c. forme of Common praier. 3 By Sermons & Homilies printed and appointed to be read, both for the confirma­tion of the faith, and for reformation of manners. All which in a Church not new to be planted, but now set­led and well grounded in the profession of the truth; are ordinarie effectual meanes, to continue and increase thē, in the true faith and feare of God. Herevnto may be ad­ded the manifold provisions in our Church, for sermons quarterly, or more often, in those Cures, where the In­cumbents cannot preach.

3 That Non-residency be not permitted. It is a matter of wise and sound deliberation: first,The bounds of Parishes are not de iu­re divino. what Non-residen­cie is; for many men in our Church, haue two parishes committed to their chardge, which both will not make one living. Againe, manie haue but one parish vnder them, which yet would require more then two, or tenne men to speake at once to all the Congregation. Second­ly it is, and long hath beene permitted, by wise and godly Magistrates, that haue given way to it, by their positiue [Page 17] prudent lawes, as necessary, in some Cases, in a few men, and them (generally and by intendment) of the best de­serts. Thirdly that it is absolutely vnlawful, & in noThe answere to the 2. trea­tise of the Ab­stract. sort to be suffered, neither hath beene proved, nor ever will, by all the Puritanes in the Land. Fourthly, in what Con­gruity may he be counted an idle Non-resident, that is al­waies present and taketh paines, in some part; and often in everie parte of his charge? Fiftlie, there are not more intollerable Non-residents in England, then some of those, that are either included in the Thousand afore mentioned, or that favour this their attempt: Especially if they shall bee measured, by those places of Scripture, which they are wont to alleage against Non-residents, af­ter the Texts be well examined. Lastlie, it is not possi­ble, (as Church livings are nowTo alter the precincts of parishes, is a matter of greater con­sequence, thē the Abstractor or many moe such shallow heads can pos­sibly cōceave. allotted) that simply no Non-residency should bee permitted, and yet withall, a learned Ministery mainetained, Princes and Peeres of the Land attended, Colledges & Cathedrall Churches continued, the Vniversities present, and hope of successi­on in them for hereafter, preserved, propagated, and sup­ported.

4 The Marriage of Ministers wee doe not dislike, but maintaine the lawfulnes thereof against the Church of Rome: and humblie desire (if there be need,) that the supreme Magistrate, will adde therevnto, by his royal au­thority and the law of the land, such farther strength and confirmation, as shall seeme fit to his high wisedome.

5 We know of no Subscription that is vrged, which is not agreeable to law, required by the orders of our Vni­versity, necessary in a Christian Common-wealth, pro­fitable for the Church of God, approueable by all iudici­ous learned men, and disliked of none, but a few folke, [Page 18] that are overmuch addicted to their own opiniōs. Who notwithstanding whereThe lawes & statuts of Gen. In the forme of Oth, which the Ministers receiue, Sect 2 Beza in vita Cal pag 910. they beare the sway, it is worth the Consideration, how strictly they tie all them that wil liue among them, to the observation of their Church go­vernment. And in truth, (so the things in themselues bee not intollerable) better so, then that which is heere pro­posed. For the not vrging of a cōformity in Church dis­cipline, is to set open the high way to all disorder and Confusion.

3. Concerning Church mainetenance.

1 THat Bishops leave their Cōmēdams. In case some of the auncient revenew might bee restored to their Bishoprickes, hee were vtterly vnworthie to be a Bishop, that would desire a Commendam. But, as now the most of them are impaired, to take away frō all Bishops al manner of Commendams, is (in truth) to tie the Kings hands, that he shal not be able, though he would, (and where he will not, no Commendam can be given;) to make his most faithfull servants, or other men of best de­sert in the Ministery, able to mainetaine their places and callings, by his Maiesties favour, and gracious dispensa­tion; when otherwise their Bishoprickes are not suffici­ent so to doe. So as if it bee well wayed, they doe not so much intend in this particular to impoverish some fewe Bishops, as indeede vtterly to overthrow them, and ge­nerally to restraine the Kings prerogatiue.

2 Of the same nature is that which followeth. For no man except hee bee the Kings Chaplaine may holde Three benefices with Cure; and those of his Highnes own gifte. So that here also they desire to limit the Kings fa­vour. [Page 19] Againe it is not knowne, that there be fiue in al this land, that hold three such benefices. And then what good dealing is this in the Petitioners, to make the worlde be­leeue, that it is a cōmon fault, which is scarse to be found in a few?

3 Their disposing of Impropriations, doeth notably bewray their lacke ofThe Ecclesi­astical discipl. pag. 114. Cōscience; their litle loue to lear­ning and religion; their temporizing and fitting their motions to the Laities good liking. For who seeth not that it would bee the certaine overthrow and vtter ruine of Bishoprickes, Colledges, and Cathedrall Churches; if their Impropriations should bee demised to the Vicars or Curates the Incumbents at the old rent, without fine, without im­prouement? Againe who be they, and how many, that by this meanes would be provided for? A few, and those the meanest of the Cleargy. But the inconveniences that would hereof ensue, are very many, & intollerable. Ther­fore we reserue that discourse, to a fit opportunity. On the otherside, who doth not know, that for a Lay-man to hold an Impropriation (which is a Tith) is originallie vn­lawful, and cleane contrary to their first institution? Yet these men in all their puritie, zeale, & conscience, can cō ­tent themselues, and their preaching Incumbents, vvith the seventh parte onely of an Impropriation, in a Lay­mans fee.

4 Are these al, or the best meanes, that a Thousande mē, such as they would be reputed, can propose to his Highnes for the bettering of the Church maintenance? If we might know that it would stand with his Maiesties good liking, and should not be imputed vnto vs as a breach of duetie; It were very possible, that the men whom they so much contemne, woulde bee able to propose some other [Page 20] course for the bettring of the Church maintenance, with out the alteration or iniurie of any other state.

4 Concerning Church Discipline.

1 VNder the name of their Discipline, we haue bin heretofore taught by these men to vnderstand, The kingdome of Christ vpon earth: A thing of no lesse importance then the Eccles Disci- pag 13 T C Epist to the Church of England. Gospell of Christ Iesus; An essentiall part of the Gospell: A matter of faith to be recei­ved vpon paine of damnation; An essentiall marke of the true Church: without the which our Church was no Church our faith no faith, our Gospell no Gospell, &c. And it is now come to be so indifferent, as that it may bee administred accordingly; Or els at the least, that these enormities may be redressed? Will it now suffer such an Or else, at the least?

Were we perswaded, that their Discipline, their Pres­bytery, the life and being of their Discipline, were indeed of Christes institution; were we perswaded it were a part of Gods word, an essentiall part of his word; coulde wee be contented to be without it? Could we content our selues to liue any where, but vnder it? Would we not redeeme it with much perill and paine? With certaine losse? And that willingly?

But the experience that his most excellent Maiestie hath had, of the manifolde mischiefes and miseries, that attend their pretended Discipline, doth make them not dare to speake plainly for it. They therefore faulter in seeking to obtaine that, which yet in hart they do affect, and specially desire.

But to these Enormities; these heinous Enormities. Is [Page 21] it not well, that nowe at length, these quick-sighted men, can espie no fowler enormities in our Church governe­ment?


1 THAT Excōmunication come not forth vn­der the name of Lay persons. First, it may truely be said, that though it did come forth vnder the name of a Chauncelour, or a Comissarie; yet came it not forth vnder the name of Lay-persons. For a Chauncelour or a Comissary, is not a Lay-man in this case: The ordinary and he are but Vnus iudex. Or rather, whatsoever the Chauncelour doth in this behalfe, hee doth it in the auctority of the Ordinary, according to the power that is committed vnto him. A thing not vnusual in the Civill state: wherein the Lord-Chauncelour doth dispose of many thinges, which are Originally in the Crowne; and againe, writeth Teste meipso vnto manie particulars, that never passe by bill assigned.

Secondly, no Lay-Chauncelour or Comissary what­soever doth at any time excōmunicate any man; or sen­de [...]h out in his owne name any excōmunication. But this is the practise of the Church of England. InConst. Ecc [...] 1597 cap d [...] Excest circ. Excom. ref [...] the cēsuring of notorious & more grievous crimes, the Arch bishop, the Bishop, the Deane, the Arch-deacon, or a Proben­dary that i [...] a Priest, pronounceth the sentence of Excō ­munication in his owne person. And in matters of lesse offence, as contumacy in not appearing and the like, the Vicar generall, Officiall, or Comissary, that is not in holie orders, houldeth this course. First vpon knowledge and examinatiō of the cause, he adiudgeth the party worthy [Page 22] to be excommunicate; then the Minister (associated vn­to him by expresse authority from the Ordinarie) doeth pronounce the sentence of excommunication against him; Lastly the Chancelour sendeth to the Pastor of the parish, where that party dwelleth, requiring him publik­ly to declare the saide party to bee a person excommuni­cated by the sentence of the Minister his associate. And all this, according to the forme of the Articles set forth by her Maiesties auctoritie Ann. 1597.

Thirdly, are not these excellēt Enormity makers, that can finde such an Enormitie in the Name of a Lay-man, (in whose name notwithstanding the excommunication never cōmeth forth,) when yet if it did come forth in his name, the nature of the thing it selfe is such, as iustly can­not be reproved? They are not ignorant, that excommu­nication doth proceed as is afore-said; if not in the name, yet in the Autoritie and Iurisdiction of the Bishoppe, or some other chiefe Clergy-man, to whom the power of the Keies doth belong, and vnto vvhom the Church of England hath assigned the execution of that part of our Discipline. Who if they vse the advise and Ministerie of a wise and religious Civilian, in decreeing who is to bee excommunicate; (Whervpon thosePerpetuall govern of the [...]hu. pag. 320. ontward penalties do ensue, which attend the auctority, and follow the sen­tence of excommunication in this Church & Common wealth:) how doth that in any wise violate Christs Insti­tution as touching excommunication?

Lastly, if the Discipline they long for, were once on foote among vs, wee should then heare tell of certaine Lay-parsons that ought to haue a principall hand in their Excommunications. Thus as they are weake in Iudge­mēt for matter of Learning in this point, not being able [Page 23] to resolue of any thing in certaine; so are they as partiall in prescribing their plottes for matter of practise; whiles they reproue that in others, which in themselues they do allow. Except peradventure they will tell vs, (and wee must needs beleeue them) that their Lay-Elders become Clergy mē ipso facto; because they are of their Cōsisto­ry; and haue voices (according to their learning) in these Ecclesiasticall censures.

2 That none bee excommunicated for The order of Excom. &c in the Chur. of Scot. Print. Iune 1571. Cap 4. Thus any small of­fence, may iustly deserve Excommuni­cation, by rea­son of the cō ­tempt & diso­bedience of the offendor. trifles and twelue pennie matters. They are not. Contempte is then the greater, when the matter wherein they shewe their contempt, is of lesser valew: As contrariwise, obedience is then more commendable, when it is seene in a matter of greater difficulty. But these men are so accustomed to disobedience, that they account it but a trifle; And ther­fore calumniate vs and our discipline, as if with vs men were excommunicated so trifles, when (in truth) they are censured for their contempt.

3 That none be excommunicated without consent of his Pastor. VVithout consent, is a captious tearme. For in our vnderstanding, the Minister of the parish doth give his consent, when he publisheth the excommunication; as also when hee doth certifie what hee hath done in de­nouncing of the same. And this manner of consent, wee take to be sufficient, and as much as is requisite in a pri­vate Pastor that hath no Iurisdiction.

But what is it that these men do meane? Would they (thinke you) that every Pastor should haue a Negatiue in the excommunicating of his parishioners? Vndoub­tedly they would. Therby intending the vtter overthrow of the present Church government, and in steed thereof the setting vp of a Presbitery in every parish. Or rather, [Page 24] that which is worse (if worse may be) the enabling of e­very particular Pastour to excommunicate by himselfePerpetuall governement of the Church pag. 321. alone.

Except peradventure they wil say, that the particular Pastor ought to be ioyned in cōmission with the Chan­celour. And then beholde what would ensue. On the Minister, a world of troubles: he must be sent for as oft as any of his parish is presented, he must attend the hearing and debating of the whole cause; he must bee present as oft as the Chauncelour sitteth, as long as the matter de­pendeth: to his great travaile and paines, his excessiue charge, and the causlesse neglecte of his calling. On the otherside, if this Minister wil be wilful, and in fine dis­sent from the Chauncelour in opinion; then is al the la­bour lost; the Iudge hath spent his skill and care in vaine, and the Bishops Consistory must downe to the ground: either Pastor must prevaile, or nothing must be done; To the intollerable hinderance of Iustice, and excessiue de­triment of the plaintife. These and the like, are the well advised Propositions, whereof there is store in their Dis­cipline. By which it doth sufficiently appeare, that as yet it is not throughly refined.

4 Extorting of vnreasonable fees, who approveth? Who disliketh not? Who would not haue it redressed, in any that offend? Besides there are veryConstit. Eccl. 1597. cap. de Foedis quae off. Eccles. severe lawes al­ready made in that behalfe.

5 Farming out of Iurisdictions and Registers places, though we commende it not, nor greatly like of it; yet it is of it selfe a matter indifferent; neither good nor ill, but as it is vsed.

6 The restraint of Marriage at certaine times (false­ly called a Popish Canon) vvasCōsil. Laodi. Can. 2. auncientlie vsed in the [Page 25] Church of God; & being rightly vnderstood, is now cō ­mendable in this of ours.

7 The Long-somnes of Suits in Ecclesiastical Courts, is a matter of fact, not of Constitution; nor is the fault of the Courte, nor of the Iudge necessarily (as these men would seeme to imply,) but sometime error in pleading, sometime the intricatenes of the cause, somtime the per­versenesse of the Clyent, sometime the cunning of the Proctors, are the occasion that suites depend long. And when al is said, that they can say, this is none other fault, then is incident to the course of Iustice at the Common Law; and might befall their Consistory, or a better and more equal kinde of trial.

8 The Oth ex officio, is vsed as it ought, by men of place, of wisedome, and experience; by men of religion, learning, and conscience. Vnto whom the authority to administer it as occasion is offered doeth iustly belong, not by special Commission only, but by the laws of this land, by the two Laws Canon and Civil; and by the war­rant of sūdry Examples of the word of God: as that wor­thy & learned Deane of the Arches (the ornament & ho­nor of his profession in his time) in his iudiciousThe Apolog. 2 part Cha. 9. and so forth to the end of the same. Apolo­gy of certain proceedings in Courts Ecclesiastical, doth proue at large.

9 Licenses for Marriage without Banes, are most cautiously graunted; and that vponConst. Eccl. 1597 cap. de moder. Indulg severe punishmente to ensue, if so be the Constitution be violated. But what wil satisfie these men, who thus intimate vnto his High­nesse, that there is rigor in the former point, and negli­gence in this, when as al moderation and carefulnes is v­sed in them both?

And are not these heynous enormities?

Their Conclusion.

THe idle vaunt that the Petitioners make of being a­ble to shew that these and other such abuses (as they call them) remaining and practised in the Church of England, are not agreeable to the Scriptures, doth ap­peare to be the more ridiculous; because they haue pas­sed over in deepe silence many learnedThe perpet. gover. of Chri. Chur. A survey of the pret. holy disc. The answer to the Abstract. The Apol. of certaine pro­ceed in Cour. Eccle. A treatise of Eccles. Discip De Presbyt e­ius (que) nova. &c. De div. Minist. Evan. grad. &c The Remon­strance. Querimonia Ecclesiae. The 5. bookes of the laws of Eccles. polit. Tracts publish­ed long since, wherein their vaine fancies, and illiterate obiections are refuted at large. If notwithstanding they wil yet venture to vvrite, it vvil bee answered; If they wil needes argue and dispute, there are ready that wil either satisfie them, or by argument silence them. And were it not in regard that we would not seeme as vndutiful in ac­cepting, as they haue beene in the offering of this Chal­lendge: it is the thing we would vrge, & instantly entreat, that these matters might be debated betweene vs in wri­ting. But in the mean time, what motiōs are these for the Reformers to make vnto a most prudēt Prince in his set­led & peaceable government; who for many years, hath had trial in that his other kingdome, of their pretēded re­formation; & in this also hath seene the gracious effectes vnder her Maiesties late happy Raigne, of that Church discipline, which they would ruinate and ouerthrow.

God hath appointed his Maiestye vnto this kingdome. It is true; and wee magnifie the goodnesse of God for it, and congratulate his Highnes in the prosperous possessi­on of it, from the ground of our heartes. But that God hath appointed him to this kingdome for such a purpose as they conceite; what spirit of divination is in them, that they should forespeake it? Nay rather, seeing almighty God hath ordained him as the great Physition (next and immediatelie vnder himselfe,) to take care of the body politique both of this Church and Common-wealth; he [Page 27] will surely cure such diseases, as these men are sicke of. (For turbulent and discontented humors, whether in Papist, or in Puritane are like to breede very daungerous diseases in a civill State:) And not bee perswaded (as they fondly imagine) by such suggestions as these, to al­ter that state of the Church, which is acceptable to God, honourable to his Highnes, comfortable to many thou­sand Ministers, the Nurse of good learning, admirable to strangers, approved by ourThe letters that Mr Beza hath written to the ArchB. of C: that nowe is: Opposites, envied of our e­nemies, distastfull vnto none, but such as know neither how to rule, nor how to obey.

The very names of Punishmentes are vnpleasant in­deede; but the thinges themselues are necessary some­times, and their effects good and profitable for preserva­tion of the whole; howsoever the induring of thē, may be grievous in the particular. And he that will indifferentlie cōsider the true causes of the correctiōs here mētioned; shall haue iust cause to approue the Iustice,Conspiracy for pretended Reformation. & commēd the mildnes, that hath bin vsed towards this sort of men.

As for that clause of Mens traditions, it is too too odi­ous; & would imply superstition or popery to be in some of them. But how vainely, and how iniuriousty; hath in some sort bin heretofore declared.

That other of beeing preiudiciall to note but those that seeke their owne &c. is as iniurious to all the rest of the Ministers of this land. Be we the men that are so addicted to our owne Quiet, Credite, and Commoditie in the world? Where then be the fruits of our covetousnes, the effects of our ambition, the markes of our idlenes? VVe be the men, that in the testimony of a good Conscience, for the repelling of such a malicious contumely, & slaunderous reproach, may truly say: We put not out our mony to V­sury; we detest al filthy lucre; we cōtaine our selues with­in [Page 28] our Vocations; we forsake not our holy callings; we o­mit not to labour in our severall chardges; we sustaine the places of great labour travaile and expense, wee neglect not in publike, in private, in word, in writing, at home & abroad, to put to silence, and stop the mouth of the com­mon Adversary, which these men haue enlarged against vs, and our most holy faith.

To conclude, the thinge they seeke is so preiudiciall, both to the Civil state in general, and in particular, to so many of the very best of the Ministery; that if it shoulde take effect, (but God of his mercy, & the Kings most ex­cellent Maiesty in his Christian wisedome, will not suffer it) it would breede a strange alteration in the One; and in the Other it would for the present, not only impoverish vs, and our Vniversities, but make both them and vs, and the whole Cleargie very base and contemtible in the eies of our own people, as also a By-word & a skorne to our neighbour Nations; And for succeeding ages, it would cut off all hope of a learned Ministery, and of that grounded learning, which as yet is, and heretofore hath beene, the glorie and honour of this kingdome.

For manifestation of this point, looke vpon the face of all the reformed Churches in the world; and whereso­ever the desire of these Petitioners doth take place, be it duly cōsidered; First, how wel their proceedings do suite with the state of a Monarchy; And then, how poverty on the one side, & lacke of learning on the other, doth creep vpon the whole Clergy in those Dominions.

As to the first: woulde it not beseeme the superemi­nent auctority and Regal person of a King, to be himselfe confined within the limites of some particular parish; & then to subiect his soveraigne power, to the pure Apostolical simplicity, of an over-swaying & al-commaunding [Page 29] Presbitery? Would it not doe him much good, in a time of neede, that his people should be rooted and grounded in this truth, viz. That his meeke and humble Clergie, have power to bind their King in chaines, & their Prince in lincks of irō? That is, (in their learning) to censure him, to enioine him penance, to excommunicate him? yea (in case they see cause) to proceede against him, as a Tyrant?

We speake not heere of other points, as namely, that all appeales in causes Ecclesiasticall, (and what doe they not make Ecclesiasticall?) must finallie lye, not vnto the Prince, but vnto the Assembly Provinciall; That they al­low the supreme Magistrate, not potestatem iuris, but only facti; while they make him, the maintainer of their proceedings, but no commander in them. These and the like, are but petty Abridgments of the Praerogatiue Roy­all, while yet the King T.C. l. 1. pag. 180. submits his scepter vnto the scep­ter of Christ, and lickes the dust of the Churches feete.

Neither may it be truly said, that these are onely Spe­culations. There are some of High place yet alive, and o­ther some are dead, that haue felte the smarte heereof in their owne experience, and haue seene the worst of all this put in wofull execution.

As to the second. Do we not see it at this day verified among them, which hath beene so often truly saide, & as often vnadvisedly denied, that Hones alit artes; and con­trariwise, where due reward of learning and liberal main­tenance of the Ministery, is fraudulently impaired, or in­iuriously taken away,Ecclesias. dis­cipl. pag. 114. there Religion and learning come to decay? There Atheisme and Barbarisme & Confusiō must needes ensue? It is to apparent, that as the reve­newes of those Churches haue bin embeazeled by men of corrupt mindes, which saide in their hearts, as it is in the Psalme,Psal. 83.11. Let vs take to our selues the houses of God in [Page 30] possession: so the remainder of that grounded learning, which was bredde vp in former times, is nowe through succession of time, almost cleane morne out: ‘Nec bonatam sequitur, quam bona prima fuit.’ Insomuch, that there is neither sufficient maintenāce in those parts for any store of excellēt learned men, nor yet many men brought vp among thē in this last reforming age, worthy of that wonted honorable maintenance.

God knowes we speake not this with a detracting spi­rit, but with griefe of hart: to see the ruines of the Mini­stery in particular, & generally of al profound learning in other reformed Churches. As likewise to stirre vp this whole Nation, to a thankefull acknowledgement of that singular blessing in this behalfe, which God of his good­nesse hath longe, and yet doth continue, vnto vs of this Realme. And with all, to put to silence the malicious in­gratitude of those evill men, which looking vpon vs and this Church, through the coloured glasse of their praeiu­dicate opiniōs; can see nothing among vs, but defects & deformities, and abuses, and Enormities, and the like. And therefore in their high discretion, would haue vs reduced & made conformable, to the calamities of other places.

Wheras (in truth, if we shal bring backe the eies of our minds frō forraine parts, & indifferently (without either detractiō or flattery) take notice of the presēt state of this Church & Cōmō-wealth; we shal easily discerne, that it were an incomparable happines for them, if all that pro­fesse the truth as it is in Christ Iesus, were in our cōditiō.

We shal see, how that our Church governmēt, is du­ly subordinat vnto the supreme civil state, & withal doth mightily support the same. That our Reverend Prelates (mē of singular worth, not to be matched in any one kīg­dome) though preferred vnto highes roomes; do yet cō ­taine [Page 31] thēselues within such boūds, as preserue that estate, from creeping to any Papal corruptions. That our inferi­our Clergy, by their godly & painful labours in their Vo­cation, haue bin, & are the most effectuall meanes, to set­tle the tranquillity of this land; by inducing mens mindes vnto piety towards God, Loyalty to their King, & Civill honesty amōg thēselues. That our people generally, (ex­cepting some few Malecōtents of al sorts, whō wee leaue to the mercy of the Magistrate) are invred vnto peace, accustomed to subiectiō, detest disloyalty, & with al ala­critie yeeld their obedience vnto their Soveraigne.

That the Colledges, the Cathedral Churches, the Bishops, & other Ministers of this Land, haue yet remai­ning vnto thē, (yet, after the many & great spoiles of this Church; which notwithstanding,Saravia de sa­crilegijs, ca 9. never prospered vvith thē that got thē; but were as Rust to the rest of their silver & their gold, or as a Cāker, that fretted out themselues, their posterity, or their possessiōs:) that yet there is remaining vnto thē, more competent, & sufficient maintenāce; more cōfortable & honorable encouragemēts: thē there are, vnto all other the reformed churches in Christēdōe.

That answerable thervnto, (to stop that mouth of Ini­quity, which is wont to traduce vs, for a dumb, vnlearned, Idoll Ministery) there are at this day, more learned men in this Land, in this one Kingdome; then are to be found among al the Ministers of the Religion, in France, Flaun­ders, Germany, Poleland, Denmarke, Geneva, Scotland; or (to speake in a word) in all Europe besides.

Which yet, may not iustly be imputed vnto vs for va­nity. The Apostle that knew how to be abased,1. Cor. 9. 2 Cor. 12. & to make himselfe of no reputation; yet whē the impeaching of his personall giftes, was abused to the disgrace of his calling: did without either arrogācy or folly, giue his Detractors [Page 32] plainly & roundly to vnderstand, that he was not inferior to the chiefe Apostles; nay that he labored more thē they al; & so by his own iust defence & cōmendation, did free himselfe, his worth, & his Vocation, from their base and odious imputations. In a like case (we doubt not) a truth may be averred of our selues, even by our selues, without any ostentation at all; when it is so iniuriously impeach­ed and troden vnder foote, to the high dishonor of God, the disgrace of his Gospel, and to the slander of this most Christian Common-wealth. Yea the rich mercies, that God hath cōtinued vnto vs, now these fiue & forty years, ought to replenish our harts with ioy; so that our lippes should breake forth with thankfulnes and sing,Psal. 47.20. Non fe­cit taliter omni nationi; neither haue the Regions round about vs, beene made partakers of the like blessings.

Now the Father of Mercies, and God of al Consolati­on, enlarge the wise and vnderstanding hart, of our thrice noble King, noble in birth, noble in wisedome, noble in al manner of good learning; assist him ever with his holy spirit, the spirit of Counsaile, of sanctificatiō, & of truth: make him admirable in the swaying of this Scepter as was Salomon in al the world, as long as hee walked in the first waies of his father David: That so hee maye longe weare this mortal Crowne, in al abundaunce of Piety, Peace, & Prosperity; & hereafter obtaine that immortal Crowne, that Christ hath purchased for them, which by continuance in well doing, seeke glory and honour and im­mortality.


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