THE COPY OF A LETTER SENT FROM THE Cardinall du Perron Embassadour for the French King at Rome, CONCERNING THE Divisions of the Papists of England, their difference in Government, whether by Bi­shops or Jesuites, with the Care of his Holinesse in the agreement, and his Judgement in placing of Bishops in England, for making Priests to increase the Catholike Number. Whereunto is added a certaine Conjecture of the use both Prelates and Papists have made of the Cardinals Counsell to augment and establish their Greatnesse.

Printed in the yeere, 1641.

IT is not long since accidentally I did fall upon a Book written in French of the Negotiations and Embassages of the famous and learned Cardinall du Perron. Where amongst many notable passages which happened in his Embassage at Rome, and wherewith hee acquainted the French King Henrie the fourth his master, he has one in one letter to the King his master concerning the divisions of the Papists in England, and the meanes to be used for their reconciliation. With his judgement of the Bishops of England. Which after I had read and considered, I was induced thereby not without reason to believe that it had served for a Counsell to both the Bishops and Papists to ground their greatnesse upon and to advance both the one and the other to that height they were in before the Par­liament began. Now imagining that it might serve to in­forme the judgements of many, and help them to rip up the arcana principia, and hid Maximes the Prelates and Papists have used these many yeeres to increase their owne greatnesse, oppresse all those that should dare to oppose them. I have set down the true Coppy (not vary­ing from the originall) so truly as I could, to which I have added my conjecture in few words of the advantages Prelates and Papists have taken from it, as also of their complying together to uphold one another.

The Coppy of a Letter sent from ROME by the Cardinall Du Perron to HENRY the fourth King of France, his Master; extant in the second volumn of his negotiations and Embassages, being this Argument.
TO HENRY the Great.

He communicated to the Pope, that which it had pleased his Majesty to write to him, of the estate of affairs in England, and of the dis­pute betwixt the Fathers Jacobines and Jesuites there: that which his Holinesse spake to him, and desired him to do: a dissension a­mongst the English Papists: the means proposed to appease them: contrary difficulties and remedies to be used.

Sir,

I Shall supply in this Letter, my shortnesse in the last I sent to your Maiesty by the Ordinarie. On Tuesday the 23. of the last Moneth, I had audience of the Pope, and did com­municate to his Holinesse, that which it pleased your Ma­iesty to impart to me of your opinion concerning the affairs in England, and the dispute betwixt the Fathers, Jacobines and Jesuites: he was much satisfied with both the one and the other advise, and often thanked your Maiestie for the good duties your Maiesty had done him, in blotting out of the King of Englands imagination the sinistrous impression divers had moved him to conceive of his intentions. Concerning the dispute, he seemed highly to approve of your Maiesties opinion, which was to endea­vour by all means to end that difference by one agreement; to which pur­pose, he gave me charge that at the first Congregation of the Cardinals, which should be holden for that effect, I should propose somethings to try if possibly that expedient might be used. I did communicate also to his Holinesse, concerning the affairs of England two Letters sent to me from Venice, the one from Mounsieur De Beaumont to Mounsieur De Fresnes; the other from Mounsieur De Fresnes to mee, accompanied with a third sent from a certain Doctor of England, (by their means) to his Holinesse. The end of all those Letters was, that the divisions a­mongst the English Papists might be taken away, some of them obeying [Page 2] one Arch-priest governed by the Iesuites: others appealing from the unlawfully administred authority of the arch-priest. Their common opi­nion for removing that difference was, to establish a good number of Bishops, to whom neither the appealers nor the Iesuits could lawfully refuse obedience. I read those Letters gladly to his Holinesse, as being written with great wisdome and discretion, evidencing also the care your Maiesties servants had for the advancement of Religion in that King­dome, and especially because the Letters of the English Priest heretofore well known to his Holinesse, was filled with the praises of your Maiesties prudent carriage in the matter of the Catholike Religion there, and much blaming that of the Spaniards: as also because myself had propo­sed the same things to the Pope at his first Inauguration, esteeming it profitable, not onely for the good of the Church, but also for your Maie­sties service: because the faction of the Iesuites in that Kingdome de­pendeth on Personius, and other instruments of the Spanish faction. His Holinesse made me answer, that Pope Clement had continually made scruple to hearken to that expedient, fearing least it should stirre up a greater persecution in England against the Catholikes, I answered him that on the▪ contrary, it would rather diminish then augment it, because that in generall the Heretiques did not carry so much hatred against the Bishops, as against the Iesuites, who (as they beleeve) do meddle them­selves much more with the estates and lives of Princes, nor any other of the Ecclesiasticall orders. Morever that the name of Bishops was yet in great reverence amongst them, and where as they do reiect and abhor the title of Priest, because they beleeve there is no sacrifice in the Chri­stian Religion: they do honour and respect the name of Bishops, and by this means they should moderate and diminish their persecutions against Bishops, much more against the simple Priests or Iesuites. To which I added, that there being no Bishops in England, there could be no Priests consecrated there, and that it behooved those who desired to be promoted to the order of Priesthood, should come take their orders here beyond the Seas: whence did arise two notable inconveniences. First, that it did hinder the multiplication of Ecclesiastique persons in England, inregard of the expence, perils, and incommodities it behooved them to undergoe in passing and repassing the Seas. The other, that this communication and acquaintance they came to make here with strangers, made them af­terwards suspected to their Countrey men, as having been corrupted and suborned of them, by whose means they had obtained those orders; so that [Page 3] I did foresee great utilities in the proposed advice, and did onely find one incommodity, which was that the Protestant Bishops of England (wher­of many do secretly favour the Romish Religion, allured possibly in hope to be confirmed by the Catholikes in their dignities) should fall from all such hopes, when they should perceive his Holinesse had consecrated others in their place. But the remedy that might be used, was to consecrate onely some Bishops in place of those who were married, and already out of hopes they should keep their wives and Bishopricks together in the Ca­tholike Religion. His Holinesse took time to think upon it: after which according to the commandment I shall receive from your Maiestie, I shall continue, or leave off to present the businesse further; and thus much from that Letter.

NOw I hope ye see clearly from the Cardinalls Letter, what his judgement was of our Bishops, wherein if he was deceived or not, I will not judge, onely this I may say confidently, if he spoke falsly of Bishops of his time, he hath been an oracle of truth concern­ing the Bishops of our time, as may easily appear to those, who will informe themselves but slenderly of their doctrines and practices so well known to most sorts of men, that it is wonder they should find so much as one, to speak but one word in their defence, for have they not used all violent courses to suppresse the truth of the Gospell by pilloring, scourging, imprisoning, fining, banishing, and confining numbers of the most zealous professours of the truth, for no other known offence, but because they would not submit themselves to the superstitions, tyrannies, and oppressions of those bloodthirsty persecu­tors? Did ever any of that cruell society hitherto, publikely disapprove either by word or writing the barbarous rage of their Tygerlike fel­lows, the misery of those injustly persecuted men, the deplorable c [...]la­mities of their distressed Mother the Church, oppressed by the too too prevalent factions of Papists and Arminians to this day? But for all this, some will not spare to averre that divers of the Bishops had ne­ver any hand in those businesses, but on the contrary cherished piety, abhorred cruelty, resisted superstition to the utmost of their power, and endeavoured (as they were able) to conserve the peace of the Church, and State. My onely desire is, that those men would consi­der, that neither love, affection towards the one party, nor hatred to­wards the other doth so much move me as the love to the truth, [Page 4] which ought to be freely spoken at all times, but especially when men seem as it were to doate on those Bishops who seem innocent to divers, and it may be they neither did contrive nor desire those abo­minations; which charitie would make me beleeve, if I should find reason to perswade me, that they did either disapprove or reject them being once urged by their fellow companions; nay on the contrary, divers reasons induce me to believe that they did approve all, without any the least opposition; as first, suffering all things to be imposed upon them without any repining. Secondly, urging the practice upon all men punishing severely the refractory. Thirdly, their unanimous consent to the late diabolicall Canons (whence I Imagine all things to have been done in the same manner) Lastly, their prodigious silence which is one infallible signe that even to this day they allow of them, for qui tacet, consentire videtur.

But the end of introducing those superstitions, and setting those persecutions on foot, is most probable, as I can conjecture to curry fa­vour of the Papists, and seek by their means and assistance to raise their monstrous greatnesse, and boundlesse ambition to such an height as they might easily crush and ruine all those who should attempt to oppose their superstitious, cruell, bloudy, and hellish designes. As for the Papists, humane policie could never have invented one surer foun­dation (then the Cardinals councels) for them to have builded their greatnesse in this Kingdome, all things wisely considered; for hath not the pacifying of discords amongst the Papists here, and the sending over of Bishops, been the chief instruments, and in a manner the sole causes of the excessive increase of the Romanists in these Kingdomes? Let Papists themselves speak, who tell us plainly, that the dexterity of the Romish Bishops (who are no fewer then the Protestant Bishops in number) hath been such, that in complying the one with the other, they have equally shared in the divisions: for if we may believe some of their catalogues, there be above 6000. Priests in England, which number being compared with that of the preaching Ministers, shall not come farre short, if not equall them, as I suppose. And truly this councell of the Cardinall hath been received by his part with as great policie and good successe, as it was given with solidity and wis­dome. Now if the number be so excessive in England, what shall we expect of Ireland, where the most part of the Natives hath known no other Religion from their infancie; truly the prodigious multitude [Page 5] of that whores sonnes (who in blind zeal to that Idolatrous strum­pet and blasphemous beast) can, finding opportunitie, devote them­selves to murder Kings and Princes, blow up Parliaments, betray their Countrey, and bring all to confusion without fear of God, or re­verence to man, as wofull experience, the master of fools, hath too too often taught by lamentable examples, to the infinite dammage of the Christian world.

The sympathy and affinitie of those men with our Bishops, is such as I conceive, would not require much labour to make in most things a notable parallel, which I leave to some other, contenting my self onely to shew that their correspondency hath been such these many years, that the Bishops have taken all things done against Pa­pists as done against themselves, and the Papists all things done a­gainst Bishops, as done against their head the Pope and them; but this hath been so cunningly performed, as few could heretofore per­ceive it, whilst at last the Papists seeing both themselves and the Mi­ter of Bishops wronged (as they thought) by the factious covenant­ers of Scotland, could contain themselves no more, but burst out in rage against those Hereticks, and openly undertook to defend, that our Bishops were Iure Divino tales, more I am sure then ever they would have said for their infallible head the Pope, whom they defend onely to be Iure Ecclesiastice Pope: but this they did, perceiving that if ours should not be proved to be Iure Divino tales, no Ecclesiastick or humane constitution could hinder their Miters to be fallable, al­though themselves beleeve all that the Church the Pope beleeveth, who will never beleeve any thing to his own disadvantage. And least our Bishops should seem to be behind with the Papists in mutuall courtesies, I assure you, they have rendred them tenfold the league be­ing offensive and defensive; for they will have us beleeve that the Pope is not Antichrist, but the true successour of Peter; that the Ro­mish Church as it is presently, is the true Church; that in it they de­fend no materiall or substantiall errours; that our Religion differeth from the popish in matters of small or no consequence; that invocation on Saints, prayer for the dead, worshipping of Images, crucifixes, and other reliques, with more then seven mountains of other abomi­nations of that blasphemous beast, and her whorish Locusts, are not onely lawfull, but expedient and profitable to be used. I may further averre that Papists have been the men of greatest esteem with our [Page 6] Bishops, and that they went free being convicted by the Laws of the land, when Godly and laborious Ministers, zealous professours, and sound Christians were most barbarously martyred, and that for o­beying the Laws of God, and the King; all this undoubtedly to please that man of sinne, who under promise of assistance caused them to sin. But I can tell them that he hath [...] written on the triple crown, which covereth his blasphemous head: and though this seem a myste­ry to most men, yet they may perswade themselves it is true, that the Pope would redeem their dignities with millions, & furnish them all with competent maintenance, onely to cover under their wings, the nest of his newly cleked vipers, not without reason, suspecting that their fall shall be his ruine in this land. And although divers will affirm, that Segnior Conne and Rosseti brought bags full of Apostolicall bene­dictions, to all those who would spend their lives & estates, where the Miter was so much concerned, yet their infallibility [...]ea [...]ed them, all those things not being capable to save from censure C. C. and some others, who received a yeerly pension of Angelicall and Pi­stolicall benedictions from the P. his H. and the K. of S. to advance their affairs in England.

And now diverse Merchants assure mee that Gregorie is to have the bill of exchange to pay them the last wages for their service, who (as I am informed) will be so ready upon the first receipt thereof to shew them the same courtesie he useth to others, that they shall have no just occasion to complain of his sound dealing, more then o­thers have done before; for my part, I am so confident, he will doe them right, even behind their backs, that I could heartily wish all such as their Lordships to addresse themselves to him who can cer­tainly end their desires.

FINIS.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.