THE HONOURS OF THE Lords Spiritual Asserted: And THEIR PRIVILEDGES To VOTE in CAPITAL CASES IN PARLIAMENT Maintained by Reason and Precedents.

Collected out of the RECORDS of the TOWER And the Journals of the HOUSE of LORDS.

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee, Peace be within thy Walls, and prosperity within thy Palaces.Psal. 122. ver. 6, 7.

LONDON, Printed by Tho. Braddyll, and are to be Sold by Robert Clavel at the Peacock in St. Pauls Church-yard. 1679.


TIS not unknown to any in our English Israel, that there are yet here amongst us some Remainders of the Men of 42. and that the Disease it self sticks as close to Them, and particularly to some eminent Parts of the Nation where they skul, and for the present where they make their Refuge (for in the Countries they are more easily discovered) as the Leprosie did under the Law to the very Walls of the House; and it seems to be as hardly removed as that Levitical Distemper, which some Naturalists and Physitians say cannot be done but only by Blood, and that is the thing which their fingers itch to be at again, Witness their late Rebellious Commotions in Scotland, which had they taken effect, there would not have been wanting these who would have justified them: Nay, I speak what I know, and have heard, did excuse them, as a poor People Opprest; and You know Oppression makes a Wise man Mad, especially at this time of the year, the Season being a little Hot. I must confess I am no stranger to the Men or their ways, having been for many Years last past, a strict Observer of them, though I thank God I have al­ways, and do still from my Heart, Abhor and Detest any Confar­reation with them, or any the least Approbation of their Actings or Principles; for I have discovered so much of ill Nature, Censori­ousness, Covetuousness, Self-seeking, and want of Charity in this sort of Men, that it did always give me a great suspition that their Cause was Evil; especially reflecting upon the Means which they made use of to carry on their pretended Reformation, (viz.) The throwing down of Episcopacy, a Government of Gods Church, as Antient in this Nation as Christianity it self; the takeing away, and Abolishing the best of Liturgies either Ancient or Modern, a justified taking up of Arms against their Native Soveraign, the Lords Annointed, to whom, and to whose Ancestors they and their Fore-fathers had Sworn Allegiance: the Plundering and Devesting of the Kings most faithfull Subjects of their Goods, Estates and [Page] for their dutiful adherence to the best of Kings who ever raign'd in this our Isle. And lastly the embrewing their Violent, Rebellious, and Wicked hands in His most Sacred Blood; a course which the Moral Heathen would Blash to take, to save his Country ready to be Lost and Ruined, and yet these men in a Bad Cause to pretend Conscience and Religion, which hereto fore Conquered the Heathen World, not by resi­sting though they were able and wanted not Numbers to do it, but by their Sufferings; for these Men I say to pretend Conscience and Reli­gion, Clament Melicerta Perisse Frontem de rebus. These are the Men I Confess against whom the following Discourse is aim'd: For I very well know that it lies not in the Power or Wit of these, though they gladly would and do flatter themselves perhaps in this their Folly that they may be able to Cajole any Persons of Loyal Hearts or Prin­ciples, to take part with, or appear against the Bishops in the present Controversie: No, Gentlemen believe it, you smell too strong, and you are too well known, and I can never believe the contrary, till I see you perswade them to carry in once more their Plate to Guild-Hall, for the Carrying on Your Ʋnholy Cause; or to shut up their Shops, as you know who did heretofore and go with you to Releive Glocester. Atqui parvas spes habet Troja si tales habet.

And so I Refer the Reader to the Perusal of the Book.



The Honour of the Priesthood asserted by the Law of Nature and Levitical Law; the Immu­munities thereof under Primitive Christianity. The returns of Gratitude to God for the Blessings and Labours of the Ministers thereof in the Reformation of the Church, in the last and present Age wherein we Live; together with some close Reflections thereupon.

REligion a thing so Excellent, (that to be careless in it, or neglectful of it, is accounted a great disreputation and shame to any Party or Person) hath ever had since there were Professors of it, and that is so long as there have been men in the World, a select number of Persons, who have been the Ministers of it. These men dureing the first times, and the Administration of the Law of Nature, were the First Born, and they both Princes and Priests too; so that the Administration of Justice, and the Performance of Religious Worship we find then to have been linked together in one and the same Person, Adam, Seth, Enoch, and Noah, and other the Antediluvian Patriarchs were in their Order and Succession both Kings and Priests also; as any person may be satisfied, if he will peruse those Writers of the Jewish Antiquities Philo and Josephus: Afterwards, when the Law was given by positive Precepts to the Sons of men, one of the Twelve Tribes (viz.) that of Levi had [Page 2] the Priesthood annexed to it, together with other great Immunities, Honours and Priviledges, and in the division of the Land of Canaan (if Mr. Seldens Authority may sway any, Rev. Hist. Tithes, c. 2.) they of Levi had near three times the Annual Re­venue of the largest among them, they had their Places and Voices in their Sanhe­drims and Councils: yea and Cognizance of Capital Causes also, as we may find large­ly proved by the Learned Spelman in his History of Sacriledge; What sense the very Heathens themselves had of the Honours of their Priesthood, it would be very tedious to relate. The Priesthood was not esteemed any shame to him that bore the Scepter and wore the Crown. In Egypt as Sr. John Marsham in his Cronic. Canon, Ad. Sec. 1. well observes those Ancient Kings after the Flood Thoth, or Mer­curius, Tosorthrus, or Aesculapius, Suphis the Builder of the greatest of the Pyramids were Kings and Divines too. See him at large, c. ad Sec. 4. [...]. Nay in the first Ages of the World, the Legislative and Executive Power went along with the Priesthood, Melchizedeck, Abraham, and Jacob after the Flood, as well as the Antediluvian Patriarchs were as well Executors as makers of Laws. Let us peruse the Holy Records, and we find David a King and a Pro­phet, his Son Solomon the wisest of mortal men, stileing himself by the name of the Preacher and valuing himself more upon that name, then upon the score of his other Royal Titles; and in the fullness of time Jesus Christ himself the King of Kings, the Eternal Son of God and Original of all Power thought it not below him telling us expresly Luke 4. 18. That he was sent into the World on no other end than to Preach the Gospel. True it is, his Kingdom was not of this World, and he never went about to dipossess either the Roman or Jewish Governours in Judaea; nei­ther did his Disciples ever go about to do any thing like it; yet when the Empire became Christians, the Prudent Piety of the first and most Christian Emperors for the better Encouragement of Religion and Learning, conferred large Immu­nities and Exemptions upon Church-men, freeing them from Subsidies, Imposi­tions, and sundry services wherewith other of their Subjects were burdenedEuseb. Ecc. Hist. 10. c. 7. Zom. l. 1. c. 9. Eusebius and Zozomen, record several Priviledges granted by Con­stantine, That those who Minister in Holy Religion be wholly free and exempt from all publick Burthens: And some have very well observed, that during the continuance of the gift of Tongues, extraor­dinary Learning, and other Miraculous effusions of Gods Holy Spirit upon the Primitive Church, there were no need of the Piety and Charity which subse­quent Christian Emperors bestowed upon the Church, the Apostles had no need to study for their Preaching, and therefore had leisure enough to fish and make Tents for a livelihood, whereas ours are forced to pore upon Books, to Meditate, Write, and all hardly sufficient to search out the deep Mysteries which cost Them no Pains, the Spirit supplying the place of all. Therefore to make amends for all these extraordinary qualifications, and abundant measure of Spiritual Graces wherewith they were furnished above us, it hath pleased the Lord of the Har­vest in these latter days to raise up Christian Magistrates to assist and encourage his Labourers, and appoint them a more setled and plentifull allowance; yea and honour also, and power together with it, for that Wisdom without these is com­monly contemned. Who ever was chosen a Magistrate in our Neighbour State of Holland, or here at home? who had not Riches, and therefore Honour to sup­port them, Wisdom in the esteem of the Vulgar is always thought to be accom­panied with Riches and Power: So that the pretences of those men who for a Cloak to their Innovations and Sacriledges, vainly vaunt that all things should [Page 3] be brought back to the Primitive Purity, and the Clergy also to the Apostles Po­verty, seem to argue thus much that they are no farther true Gospel Ministers, and the Successors of the Apostles than they are able to work Miracles, and that they though not enabled to it by any Education may be required to work in any of those Callings of which the Apostles were, whose Successors they pretend to be. We read in Lud. Vives in his Commentary upon St. Aust. de Civitate Dei, That the Priests of Ceres [no other than the Mendicants amongst them of Rome] were to renounce the World and Riches and Honour too; and therefore that on the day of their Initiation they were to put on a Coat which they never left off till such time as it was so ragged that it would no longer hang to their backs; cer­tainly if Spiritual Persons were left to some mens allowance, this would be their Portion from them to be clad with Poverty, Contempt, and Rags, and their Callings as well as their Necessities would constrain them to Fast and Pray. I know some men (particularly Luther) amongst our Reformers have sleighted Ho­nours, and that Portion due to their Callings, out of sincere Principles and a good meaning, who have yet lived to Repent their Error, though not able to redress it, when they have seen how much the Church has thereby suffered, and Religion been damnified, Witness Luther Epist. p. 131. Ego per meo stipendio annuo tantum novem antiquas Sexagenas habeo, praeter has ne obolus quidem mihi; aut fratribus è Civitate accedit. A great and noble reward for such matchless deserts, and if so happy an Instrument of Europes Reformation, so valiant a Champion, who singly oppo­sed the United Power of Rome and Hell, What may the Clergy of our days ex­pect? viz. To be devested of their Revenues, Honours and Immunities, because they are the Successors of their Forefathers the Bishops and Reformers in Queen Marys days, some of the Principal whereof were publickly Burnt as Martyrs for that Religion which (God be thanked) maugre the Monstrous ingratitude of some, we yet through the Blessing of God enjoy, by the Pains and Labours of their Wor­thy Successors. Who are the Persons who have to the Eternal Shame and Infamy of Rome laid open the Vileness, Wickedness, and Immorality as well as the false Doctrines, Idolatries and Superstitions of that Church? Who are they who have been the Watchmen upon the Wall, that have ever since the Reformation Beaten and Foiled them in their Assaults upon our Church? Was not the Walls thereof Watered, and as it were Cemented with the Blood of Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley, Hooper, and others; the Supestructure raised by Jewel, Reynolds and others, Sed me reprimo. And yet now those days through Mercy are over, Must their Successors still be wounded by the hands of their pretended Friends, and re­ceive such hard measure from their Pretended Well-wishers? This strikes to the very Heart.


Hoc Ithacus velit & magno Mercentur Atridae.


The Clergy under the Law and Gospel also, have ingaged in Secular Causes, and the State very happy in this their Administration in the Primitive times of the Gospel proved from the Ex­amples of St. Ambrose, St. Austine, &c.

WE all know it was a Political Maxim mentioned by Josephus as derived from Moses, [...]. Philo. in vit. Mos. The King must ever take the advice of the Priest, Moses himself was a Priest as well as a Ruler; and he appointed Priests dureing the Levitical Administration to be Overseers of all things, Judges of Controver­sies, and Punishment of Malefactors, Joseph. lib. 2. cont. App. who saw the pre­cept reduced to practice, tells us the thing in fact was so. Who hath not heard that Ely and Samuel the Lords Priests were at the same time Civil Judges in Israel. Chytraeus makes three Consistories amongst the Jews, of all which the Priests were the Principal and Essential Members: (1.) A Triumvirat in every City wherein many matters and lighter Trespasses was decided; these Grotius calls Pedaneos Judices. (2) The little Sanhedrim Consisting of 23, wherein Capital Causes were determined in the Gate of every City. (3.) The Council of State or grand Senate of 70 Elders, which some make to consist of 71, taking in Mo­ses; others in 72. Six out of each Tribe, the High Priest being commonly of the Number. Now that the Priests and Levites were part of this great Sanhedrim, Exerc. 13. c. 5. Causabon will bear me out; who makes it appear out of their best Authors, quod hujus Concilii ea fuit institutio ut si fieri possit e Solis Levitis & Sacerdotibus constaret, That as near as might be, the endeavour was it might consist only of Priests and Levites; whence Josephus and Philo often­times under the Title of Priests understand the Sanhedrim. Come we down to David whose Government was a Pattern to all his Successors, his Reign was peace­able and flowrishing; nor did he want States-men of the most raised abilities for his employments: Yet did not this Wise, this Holy Prince think it inconsistent with the Sacred Function (which yet St. Austin tells us in some respects Ope­rosius Ministerium than that of the Gospel) to engage Levites in his weightiest secular Charges. For we find Hathaliah and his Brethren appointed Officers on this side Jordan, not only in the business of the Lord, but in the Service of the King: And Jerijah another in Holy Orders is made Plenipotentiary or Ruler over the Reu­benites, the Gadites, and the half Tribe of Manassah in every matter pertaining to God, and in the affairs of the King likewise, 1 Chron. 26. 30. 32. Nor was he sin­gular in it, but was Imitated by good Jehosaphat who made the Priests and the Levites Judges of all the Controversies in Israel, not excluding matters of Blood, 2 Chron. 19. 8, 10. Now run over the Catalogue of all the Kings of Israel and were any to be paralled with these? I am sure that none went beyond these, none whose Government did more prosper with Righteousness, Justice, and Tranqui­lity. And though under the rest of the Kings we have no express mention of the same practice; yet all things considered, we have more reason to conclude it held than the contrary, for we find Jehoiada the Priest chief Counsellour to Joash, 2 King. 11. And if we look into after times at the Babylonian Captivity, the [Page 5] Priests command all and possess the Scepter for some Hundred of years, for the Assamonaean, Race continued absolute Princes till Pompeys Conquest, Joseph. l. 13. c. 9. We may further add that many Civil Causes are by name reserv'd to the Levi­cal Cognizance, as the Inquisition for Murther, false Witness, &c. Deut. 21. And yet after all, the Preachers of the Gospel do not hence draw arguments that they are chiefly and solely to be instructed with these great and Important Ministe­ries, but I do on their behalf averr, and will be ready to prove and maintain, That a fit allowance being made to the difference of Times and Persons; the model prescribed by God himself under this Levitical Administration may safely be followed now in some things, and those no Circumstantials also.

But leaving Moses, let us come to Christ, and see how matters stood under the Gospel, here though we have no instances of Honours conferr'd by our Saviour upon his Apostles, yet have we Prophesies, that after the publication thereof Kings should become the Nursing Fathers of it, and that the feet of those that brought the glad tydings of Peace should be Beautiful upon the Mountains, which Mr. Calvin applyeth to the Bounty and Munificence of Princes to the Church, Isa. 49. But for the first 300 years, What could rationally be expected from the profes­sed Enemies of Christianity? no other honours than cruel Persecutions whilst the persecuting fury lasted, whilst they were burnt in usum nocturni luminis, as Tacit. the Historian hath it. The ordinary sentence was,

Toeda lucebis in illa
Qua stantes ardent & fixo gutture fumant, Juven.

But no sooner was Gentilism abolish'd, but we have a new and smiling face of Affairs under the happy Reign of Constantine the Churches great Patron, as well as the Clergies Friend. And henceforth the Primitive Piety was not wanting, who thought no Honours or Powers misplaced upon their Spiritual Fathers, for whom they judged nothing too dear. All Histories ring of Constantines kindness to his Clergy, by whom the most weighty Affairs of his Empire dureing his time was most happily transacted, and that most of his Successors wrote after his Copy will appear by what follows; for it were very easie to muster a little Army of Fathers engaged in Secular Employments. We read Zozomen l. 6. c. 32. that Epiphanius Bishop of Cyprus, a Person of singular vertue, prudence, and piety, [...], a man busied in Political matters, Theodoret reports l. 2. c. 30. that one Jacobus Bishop of Nisibis or the Mygdonian Antioch was [...], Bishop, Governour, and Captain of the same City. In Baronius, A. 610. I find that John Patriarch of Alexandria was accustomed to sit twice a Week and Judge between those that were at variance, and to reconcile them, and once when none came to him, he departed weeping, That all that day he had done no good, but Sophronius replyed, That he had more cause of rejoycing than of Weeping; for having brought the City to such good Order, and to so great Peace, that they were more like Angels than men, having no differences left, but were all in friendship and amity. A rare Example to the Immortal Fame of an Ex­clesiastical Judge. We all remember that Sir Thomas Moore commanded it to be sco­red up as a wonder, That he had once been able to clear the High Court of Chan­cery from Suites, and not one cause to remain unheard: But here we have a Populous City (hardly short of any in our Nation) by the pains of a good Bishop, without any charge to the Litigants, reduced to a perfect unity within it self.

[Page 6] But wee will pass over such obscure Names, whom it were endless to reckon up and Select only a few, whose eminent Labours have Eternized them to poste­rity, and begin with St. Ambrose, who flourished A. C. 378. and to his Con­duct and Government was the great City of Milan entrusted, so that St. Austin. Conf. l. 6. c. 7. Complains that he was a long time kept from access to him Secludentibus me ab ejus aure atque ore Catervis negotiorum hominum quorum infirmit atibus serviebat; He had whole troops of Suiters about him to dispatch their worldly business. The next shall be that great Affrican Light St. Austin, who Ep. 147. hath this passage, Homines quidem suas saeculares causas apud nos finire capientes, dum iis necessarii fuerimus, sit nos Sanctos & Dei Servos appellant, ut negotia terra suae peragant aliquando agamus negotia & salutis eorum non de auro, non de argento non de fundis & pecori­bus pro quibus rebus quotide submisso capite salutamur ut dissentiones hominum terminemus. He saith he was every day sollicited to make up some breaches about Gold, Silver, Land, Cattel, &c. And yet where have we found a more Faithfull and Assiduous Preacher and Pastor than this good father? Were any more engaged in contests with Hereticks, or any that left a larger Legacy of his Learned Labours to the Church? I dare challenge any before or since the Churches Reformation, who have done the like, and who will say that the good Father had mispent his time, that had better been laid out in painfull Preaching to his flock? Whereas we all know that Preaching is but a very small part of the Ministers Calling, yet of late times it hath been made by some to swallow up the rest of the Ministers Duties as necessary and Essential to his Callings as that can be; and have observed also, that some Ministers themselves, otherwise good men, have been a wan­ting to themselves and the Church, in complying too much with a sort of men amongst us, whose interest it is to draw all Causes into their own Courts for the support of their own Grandeur and Faculty; whereas otherwise those Suites and Causes might perhaps with little or no charge have been more speedily, yea and satisfactorily determined. Our last instance shall be in Gregory the Great, de Cur. Past, (with who some close the good Popes) whom we find complaining that Sub colore Episcopatus ad seculum retractus sum in quo tantis terrae curis inserrio quantis me in vita laic a nequaquam deseruisse reminiscor. He was never in all his Life time so en­cumbred with Worldly business, as after he came to be a Bishop; but he after­wards adds that, Et si cogamur terrenis negotiis intendere, mens tamen nostra saeculari va­rietate non delectatur, sed tota in unum currit, atque confluit finem. Though he was forced to do this for the good of his People, yet he took no Pleasure in it, and his mind was taken up with better things, for all agree that these must not be un­dertaken out of love to them, but Christian Charity and Compassion to the op­pressed, Aug. de Civ. Dei l. 19. c. 19. Now these Imployments were conferred upon those Fathers not as Bishops but as Subjects more Eminently qualified than others, both by their Prudence, Experience, and Integrity, as well as Humane Learning. But Three there are (in which they did Principally engage) and which may seem most agreeable to their Coat: First, To be in the Commission of Peace; and to speak Impartially, Who fitter for such a Work than they, whose business and Calling it is to reconcile those that are at variance: And this was the design of the Ancients, though at first it began in a way of Charity; yet being found profitable, it was upon mature Deliberation by the Christian Emperors confirmed, particularly by Constantine, Zozom. lib. 1. c. 9. who leaves it free to any, [...]. Valens and Valentinian enlarged it and intrusted them with the Rates of Commodities Sold in the Mar­ket, [Page 7] Cod. l. 1. de Aud. Ep. tit. 7. Their Jurisdiction I confess hath been in several ages various, sometimes more sometimes less as the Emperors were more or less favourable to the Church, whoever kept the Soveraignty in their own hands, Constantine was the first that passed the Royal Grant in favour of the Clergy, permitting the Cognizance of all Civil matters, even between Laymen to the Epis­copal Tribunal if either party did require it, though the other denyed his consent, and their appeal was to be obeyed by the Magistrates whenever made, though the action was already commenced in another Court. Arcadius and Honorius did a little retrench this unlimitted power, yet still allowing it by the joint con­sent of both parties, and making the Bishops as it were Referees, l. si quis ex con­sensu. de Aud. Episcop. and their decision to be binding and final without appeal. This Law was after ratified by Theodosius and Justinian l. Episc. c. eod. Nay this latter Emperor Justinian reposed so much confidence in them, that he made them Overseers of the Secular Judges, Novel. Const. 56. This then has been the practise of that pure and Primitive Age, and the greatest Enemies the Church had, could never deny but that the Bishops have had their Tribunals for above these 1300 years Erected by Constantine, confirmed by Arcadius and Honorius, The­odosius and Valentinian, &c. Only some Curiously mince the matter, and allow them power to hear Causes, and to become Referees and Umpires by the consent of both Parties, but yet they will not hear talk of any Coercive Jurisdiction, though as eminent Civil Lawyers as any are, Attribute it to them, and particu­larly Accursius interprets Audientia Episcopalis, a term frequent in the Code by Ju­risdictio; and Constantine forbad expresly the greatest Prince in the Empire to re­voke what once the Bishops had Decreed, Euseb, Vit. Const. l. 4. c. 27. In pro­cess of time the Magistrates having encroached upon, and almost outed the Clergy, Charlemaine revives that good old Law of Constantine, confirming the same Jurisdiction to all Bishops, repeating the Charter word for word, Car. Mag. in Capit. l. 6. c. 28. What the practise was in our own Country of England shall God willing be made out in what follows, wherein I doubt not but to give abun­dant satisfaction of the Factum that the Clergy were employed as much as the Laity in the Decision of Secular Causes, so far as we have good Authority and Record in the times of the Saxons, and so downwards till our late and unhappy Divisions 1640, &c. which God grant may be ever buryed in Oblivion, and that we may never live to see the same again. Secondly, To be of the Privy Coun­cil, where frequently Cases of Consciences relating to State-matters may arise: As suppose there be a Consultation about a War or Marriage, the Lawfulness or Unlawfulness thereof, must be judged in foro Conscientiae, and so is the proper Subject of a Divine or Clergyman; and perhaps the thing will not bear so much delay, as to Summons Prelates together for Advice nor Reason of State to be so much published, for want of such Knowing and Religious Counsellours, Prin­ces may often be entangled in unjust Massacres, and rash Wars, and Innocent Blood be spilt, which otherwise might have been prevented: And for preven­tion whereof the Godly Prudent Princes both of our own and other Nations have ever admitted some spiritual Persons to their Counsel Tables, and Closet Debates. To the good advice of Bishop Fox of Winchester we owe the Union of the two Kingdoms of England and Scotland; for the other Privy Counsellors advi­sing King Henry the 7th to Marry the Eldest of his Daughters to France, the more Noble and Rich Kingdom: the old and wise Bishop adviseth his Majesty the contrary, at which the King seeming somewhat surpriz'd, the Bishop gave him [Page 8] this as the reason of his Opinion, that by Marrying the Elder to Scotland, that Kingdom would be brought to England, and old Enmities reconciled and for ever buryed: Whereas on the contrary England being under France, we should have here been ruled by a French Liuetenant of Deputy, which the English he doubted would hardly brook, and perhaps our Government and Laws by reason of their unagreeableness to the French, might have been attempted to have been changed into those of France, which the English man (his Opinion was) would hardly bear: Whereas those of Scotland were not so much differing from the Laws and Customes of England, and twas to be hoped the two Nations would better accord together than the English and French would. The good event of which Counsel we have seen with our own Eyes, and may it long continue. It is re­corded of Constantine that he would not in any wise dispense with the absence of his Bishops from him, who had he lived in our Prophane age, the Churches E­nemies would have said that the good Emperour had been Priest ridden, a well-meaning man but not overwise: But the good Emperors joy it was to see His Court to be as it were a Church. Nay so much use of these Holy men he made, that he made them follow him in his journeys and warlike Expeditions, Euseb. de vit. ejus l. 1. c. 35. Idem l. 4. c. 56. So that we read in Peter Blesensis Ep. 84. ad Alex. 3. how he proves at large there, That it is not only lawfull but very expedient for Prelates to be in the Courts and Counsels of Princes upon such like impor­tant reasons as those are, and therein excuses the Bishops of Winchester, Ely, and Norwich.

Thirdly, To be employed in Treaties and Negotiations of Peace and Com­merce, and this both the Ancient and Modern practise will justifie, that none have been more frequently or more successfully used and employed in such Mes­sages than the Ambassadours of Christ: Solemn Embassies cannot be expected before the Magistrate embraced the Gospel. But in the very beginning of the 4th Century we have Maruthas Bishop of Mosopotamia sent Embassador from the Emperor of Rome to the King of Persia, Socrat. l. 7. c. 8. Presently after Theo­dorick dispatcht Epiphanius Bishop of Ticinum or Pavia to Gunebald King of the Bur­gundians, Eunoch. Tisin, vit. Epiphan. who at his request released great numbers of poor Christian Captives. Then we have St. Ambrose sent by Valentinian to Max­imus that commanded the British Armys, to desire Peace, which he happily effect­ed to the great contentment of his Master, Ambros. Ep. 27. l. 5. where he men­tions an other Embassy wherein he was imployed. I might add St. Chrysostome imployed to treat with Gainas as Baronius informs us. John Bishop of Rome com­missioned by Theodorick to Justine the Emperor, Niseph. with multitudes of others in latter times, whereof if I should give instance some perhaps would reply upon me that those were times of Popery and Ignorance; yet perhaps of more candid simplicity and honesty than the times wherein we live; and for the Moderns the time would fail me to speak of our own and Neighbour Nations; for this con­tinued the Universal practise of Christendome till Sincerity gave place to Hypocrisie, and that new Definition of an Embassadour came up, that he was, Vir peregre missus ad spetiose mentiendum Reipub. causa. A good man sent abroad to tell specious lies for his Countries service. Then indeed it was high time for these Holy men to resign up these Employements to others whose Education and course of Life better became them.

Thus we have seen both Ancient and Modern Usage on the Clergys side, the uninterrupted practise of the World for above 5000 years before and under the [Page 9] Law in the purest times since the Gospel all sorts of men both Pagan, Jewish and Christian, allowing it in their practise, and none ever questioning it, save some late, and those few Innovators, who though they have disclaimed the infallibi­lity of the Church of Rome, seem to stick a little to close to that of Geneva or Scotland, we have heard the most eminent amongst the Fathers engaged by their Princes in Secular Employments, and if yet still this must be an Error, sit Ani­ma mea cum patribus, I dare cast my Lot on that side. 'Tis confest 'tis pitty that any should be misled by Authority, but 'tis most miserable not to be moved by Authority.

This then being the Factum or usance as is Evident, let us a little in the next place examine the Jus of it, and for any Fanatick to except against it, is a self-con­tradiction, since their avowed Principles and dayly Practise allow their Teachers to follow any other Calling, either of Camp, Country or City without con­trol. But it is the rigid Disciplinarian who takes the most Offence at it, and therefore to him we shall address our selves, and for once suppose him to be of the little Commonwealth of Geneva, and to have the best parts, and to be Master of the best head-piece amongst them. If the Senate or Syndi [...] should com­mission him to decide a difference between his quarrelling. Neighbours, or send to him to advise with him about a War with their great Enemy the Duke of Sa­voy, or engage him to Solicite at the Court of France, or at the Suisse Cantons as a Publick Agent, there being none more likely to prevail in such an Embasie than himself; and the little Commonwealth otherwise would be in danger to be lost. In this case should he be heard pleading the inconsistency of his Holy Profession with such an imployment, and thereupon return a denyal; if so, then the Magistrate will be an ill condition, who must be obeyed in nothing more than the others Calling enjoins him whether commanded or no, and his being a spiritual Person will make the Civil Magistrate loose the service and use of his Subject: A thing yet which the most eminent amongst them have not declined; for that neither Mr. Calvin formerly in the one, nor Mr. Henderson of later times in the other, have not scrupled greater matters.

But let matters be made never so clear, it may be feared that the Vulgar have taken up such prejudices from the inexcuseable business of some late Preachers here amongst us interesting their very Pulpits in State matters dureing our late Troubles (a practise never sufficiently to be condemn'd) that all perhaps may be bound to their good Behaviour for a while for the Miscarriages of these men, who have been so notoriously guilty of the supposed crime, they have been guilty of in their Preaching against it, and chargeing it upon other men, who never (as they did) engaged in any thing of that nature, but when they were commanded to it by the Magistrate: Though 'tis hoped that all learned and judi­cious Persons will be more considerate, and distinguish between the frantick mad­ness of a few giddy Pates, and the sober actings of Eminent Prelates commis­sion'd by lawfull Authority, and not take an advantage from the miscarriages of this other sort of men to bring an irreparable injury on Posterity by debarring others more sober than they. It is a true saying and confirmed by the experience of many hundred of years. Laici sunt semper inimici Clero. When the World was Pa­gan, the Devil taught the multitude to cry out if any publick Calamity hapens, that the Christians were in the fault, and they must to the Lyons: but now the cun­ning Sophister hath changed his note, and if any thing be amiss either in Church or State, presently the blame must be cast upon the Clergy; They must be Sa­crificed [Page 10] to appease the many-headed Multitude, their Lands Sequestred or Sold, and all places of Honour and Trust interdicted them; certain we are, the qua­lifications of a Bishops Calling do not in the least incapacitate him such employ­ments as we have been speaking of: For (1.) 'tis required that he be Vitae Probatissi­mae, of an upright unblameable Conversation. (2.) Nullius Criminis reus. (3.) Aetate gravis, well stricken in years. (4.) Doctrina praestans, excelling in Lear­ning, with many other of the like nature. Now if these are not kept, they have the more to answer for whom it concerns, if they be observed, will not any one who reads this, conclude no Persons more fit than they for the most weighty Affairs? For all Polititians make Integrity, Prudence, and Learning the Principal ingredients of an accomplisht Magistrate; so that if Aptitude be respected, we may safely affirm there are none better qualified for Counsel than the Clergy, whose Education and Institution hath enabled them to look into all the Idaeas and Models of Government; to search the Depths and Mysteries of Empires, most of which are lockt up in strange Languages, and 'tis not every capacity that can gain the Key. Then for true Politicks (the late Florentine's Reaches let other men learn and admire) there's as much to be found in the Historical part of the Scripture, as in any Books in the World, so that Divines may in all probability make good Statists. And is it not pitty then that their Countrys should be deprived of such hopefull and eminent abilities? doubtless those of the contrary Opinion do not throughly weigh the consequences of their Assertion, clearly leading to disjoin the Church from being a part of the Commonwealth, which for 1300 years and better have been happily united; if the Bishops and other Spiritual Persons who yet by their Revenue are so considerable in the Com­monwealth, must no longer be lookt upon as Citizens, or parts of it, and eo ipso be debarred from Employments, but incontinently forfeit all their Priviledges as such, the consequence I presume would not be very good.


Some Authorities from Scriptures, and the Canons of the Antient Church seemingly contradict­ing the former position explained.

AND yet for all this we confess we find many good men are strongly perswaded that Ecclesiasticks ought wholly to be excluded from Civil matters: An Opinion indeed much pretending to Humility and self-de­nyal, and receiving some countenance and colour from Scriptures, the practise of three first Centuries, and some Canons of Counsel which must be the Subject of our next consideration.

The Text that is most insisted upon is, 2 Tim. 2. 4. which being mistran­slated by the Vulgar Latine Militans Deo begat greater prejudice in the minds of many.

First, Then we may take notice that the Sentence is general, and belongs to every calling and sort of men, though in a more peculiar manner 'tis referred to the Preachers of the Gospel, yet none can plead exemption, but others are willing to slip their necks out of the Collar,, and the Clergy only must be tied to it, whom [Page 11] for the present we will grant to be principally concern'd. The stress of all lies upon the words [...] which Theophylact expounds by [...] the tu­mults and confusions of this Life, Corn. a Lapide saies [...] are such employ­ments as concern food and rayment, and instance in these agricultur; mercatura & artes mechanicae. Now who does not readily approve of this, and judge it very im­proper that a Preacher should be a Merchant, a Plowman or a Mechanick, do not both Common and Cannon Laws forbid the same? Estius has much to the like purpose, [...], &c. Quae quis exercet ut habeat unde vivat, and therefore quotes to this purpose a saying of Ambrose, Indecorunt est homines [...] qui militant Deo, this then rather flies in the face of them that permit their Preachers to put on Blew Aprons, and make them such sordid allowances, that they must either work with their hands or starve, seeing it is not comely that the Lords Warriours should busie themselves about inferiour matters that tend to get a live­lihood, and so Valla render it, not negotiis but negotiationibus, when our Saviour em­ployed Fishermen to Preach his Gospel, weak instruments to confound the pow­ers of this World, though he furnished them with suitable abilities that they needed not to study, yet he made them leave their nets, and not use them as their ordinary Profession. But lastly, and most satisfactorily, the Apostle here makes a comparison between Prophane and Spiritual Warfare, and therefore the better to understand the genuine sense we must consider what Military Discipline did re­quire, Veg. l. 2. says that by the Laws of War he must not have any private affairs committed to him, nor mind his own gain. Hence we read in Florus of the Romans severely proceeding against Posthumius for imploying his Soldiers to till the ground, Vid. Leg. Arcad. & Honorii Tit. Miles. And Leo the Emperor says expresly, those that are armed and maintained by the Commonwealth must only mind publick affairs, and not till the ground, keep Cattel, or Traffick, L. Mil. C. de re Militari l. 12. All avocations were inhibited, and such matters as tended only to the publick good enjoyned them, and why then should not the same A­nalogy hold here, and such affairs be permitted to the Clergy, as tend to the good of the Church, and the Glory of their great Commander.

Next we are urged by the Apostles practice who were so tender of any interrup­tion that they denied to attend upon tables, and make provision for the Poor. 'Tis true, in the infancy of the Church, when the Gospel was to be published all the World over, the Work great, and the Labourers exceeding few, the least diver­sion at such a time would prove a considerable hindrance and destraction to them. But now when the Lord of the Harvest has encreast the number, and plentifully furnished his peaceable settled Church, every Village being now supplied, and if the complaints of some be true, the Nation so overstock'd, that there's hardly employment, much less maintenance for the Multitude. In this case to make no difference of times, when the mercifull Providence of God hath made so vast a distinction seems little agreeable to reason. But if from this, occasion must be taken presently to forbid every petty interruption and disturbance; how came St. Paul to contradict himself, and to follow his Tent making, labouring with his hands for a livelihood, which must needs take up a good part of his time, and hinder his Praying and Preaching. Add to this, that the seven Deacons appointed by the Apostles to succeed them in the care of the Collections, were according to Epiphanius of the number of the 70 Disciples, and yet for the publick benefit, their constant Preaching was now and then dispenced with to attend on Tables.

[Page 12] Thirdly, They argue from the Canons of the Primitive Church, prohibiting Clergy men to judge and intermeddle in Civil Matters, or any Causes Secular; the Prohibitions of this sort are many and various, they may be seen in Balsamon, Zonarus, Binias, &c. It would be an infinite task to give particular answers to each Canon, and therefore I shall lay down some general Rules, which may the bet­ter conduce to the understanding of them all, which if well applyed will make an abundant solution to that so complicated an Objection.

And here I cannot but admire the Modesty of the Primitive Church, and the Charity of the People the earnestness of Princes in Commissioning of Spiritual Persons to compose all emergent differences, and the forwardness of the oppres­sed in flying to the Tribunals for Justice, whereupon the Holy Fathers in pro­cess of time to take off their Clergy from those Affairs made sundry and severe Ca­nons in divers Counsels, and therefore (1.) 'Tis clear, the great design was to forbid ambitious seeking after, and voluntary engageing in Secular matters for Sordid ends, and out of Covetous Principles, and this may probably be collect­ed, because we find a dispensation given when imposed by the supreme Magi­strate. In the Counsel of Sardis tis granted upon the motion of Osius, Si religiosi imparatoris literis vel invitati vel vocati fuerint, and undertaken in obedience as causes of Piety and Charity, overseeing Widdows and Orphans, provided it extended not to the notorious neglect of their Religious Callings. And thus Justin Martyr calls the Bishop the great Steward of all the poor, Apol. 2. the Contributions of the Faithfull being laid down at his feet, and by him distributed. And Ignatius Ep. ad Polycarp. calls the Bishop the great Trustee of the Widdows. (2) 'Tis not a total prohibition, but only a prudent restraint, least animosities and jealousies should arise in the Laity, by too much encroaching upon their Courts, and there­fore the wisdom of sundry Counsels confin'd the Clergy to such matters as were properly of Ecclesiastical Cognizance.

But (3.) The ground and reason of these interdictions was not the unfit­ness and incapacity of spiritual Persons, but out of respect to their eminent Call­ings, least they should be disparaged by mean and vile employments, and express mention is made of sordid Offices about Princes and Noble men, as of Stewards, Bailiffs, &c. But when by the favour of Princes their employments were ho­nourable, and their temporary diversions did bring abundant recompence to the Church; we find those that had the principal hadn in enacting these Canons themselves engageing. Now can it be supposed, if this had been the meaning, they would have been guilty of so great a contradiction, and no future Counsel reprove it. St. Cyprian much confirms me in this Opinion, l. de Lapsis, is perswa­ded that God sent the great Persecution under Decius onely to awaken the Christi­ans, who were growing exceeding corrupt, especially the Clergy; for he there complains that the Bishops themselves abandoned their holy Functions, and dealt in matters of the World, haunting Marts and Fairs for filthy lucre sake. And much to same purpose we find in Writers of our own Country, as Gildas, Bede, &c. But to make peace between quarrelling Nations, to compound differences a­mongst Christians, and such like, tending to the honour of God and the Glory of the Gospel, which may be often practised without detriment to their Spiritual charges, I never find these expresly forbidden, or such as engaged in them, as Cyprian, Austin, Chrysostom, Gregory, Bernard, &c. Condemned; for St. Paul be­came all things to all men to gain a Soul: Will not the example bear his Succes­sors out, if they go to the utmost verge of their Christian Liberty, still keeping [Page 13] on this side sin, to preserve Kingdoms, the Churches Peace, and to prevent the effusion of Christian Blood, their absence some days from their private charges will be abundantly recompenced by such happy consequences.


The Ancient Estate of the Clergy and Priests in this and other Kingdoms.

WE have before intimated that the Prudent Piety of the first Christian Emperours, for the better Encouragement of Religion and Learn­ing did confer many and great Priviledges and exemptions upon their Clergy in those Primitive times. Come we now to manifest that the Franchise, of our Brittish Church, were neither short for number or extent, and that they a reall confirmed by Magna Charta without restraint, the words are we have granted to God; and by this our present Charter confirmed and for our Heirs for ever, that the Church of England shall be free, and have all her whole Rights and Liberties invit­olable, all the Nation being content to stand accursed if this grant were at any time infringed. You may see in Ancient Authors the manner of its Publication (viz.) The King, Prelates, and Peers, &c. came with burning Tapers in their hands, throwing them down on the ground, and saying, so let his light be extinguish­ed in the other World, which shall go about to break this Charter and Agreement, yea more if any thing should be done against it and contrary to it, it was ipso facto declared void, 26. Edw. 1. c. 2. And must Magna Charta be violated only when the Clergys Priviledges are invaded, Why shall it not stand firm and good for them, and on their behalfs, as for the Laity? Did not the Clergy la­bour as much as any for the Procurement of it? Nay were they not they who procured it from the several and respective Kings? Let us desire the Enemies of the Clergy to see their own Cronicles, and they shall receive satisfaction. Now what the Liberties of the Church were, to set them down would ask a Volume; the Lord Chief Justice Cooke says expresly, they had more and greater than other of the Kings Subjects, some few he recites, as that they were discharged from Pur­veyances, Tolls, Customs, Distresses by the Sheriff in the old inheritance of the Church, with others of the like nature. It might fetch tears from some to look back upon the Piety and Charity of our Saxon Ancestors who in their greatest impositions ever held their Ecclesiasticks excused, no part of that insupportable Tax of Danegelt, under which the Kingdom so much groaned, being ever paid by them, Vid. Spelm. Gloss. in Danegelt. and it may be made appear that till after the Conquest (the tenure of their Lands being at that time Frank Almoigne) they were ever priviledged. For King Ethelwolf in a full Convention of his States at Winchester, Ann. Dom. 858. Enacted that Tithes and Church Lands throughout all his Dominions should be free from Civil Burdens and Exactions, as much as Royal Tributes great and small, Vid. Spelm. Concil. ad Annum dictum. But dureing our late intestine Wars, How unequal were Quarterings and Contributions? What heavy Burthens did the poor Clergy bear, no redress being found to their bitterest complaints from the Lay Judges, who in some places made sport at their Miseries and Oppressions, as if nothing had been too hard or insupportable for their shoulders; now those days through Mercy are over, and must be forgotten, to receive almost in all places the same hard measure from their pretended well-wishers, [Page 14] This strikes to the very heart. When no regard is had of all their past sufferings; First-fruits, Tenths, (no small standing revenue of the Crown, a­mounting as some compute to near 40000 l. per annum) which they joyfully dis­charge, but they must still be left to the arbitrary disproportionate Impositions of every Domineering insolent Officer: The consideration hereof hath convinced many (formerly of a different perswasion) that 'tis not only usefull but expedi­ent, yea necessary for the Church, to have some of his own Ordering Power to protect them, and to hear and redress their just grievances. But what further concerns the Clergys Priviledges and just Rights, being so learnedly handled by the Immortal Spelman; and the general ones so fully Collected by Rebuffus de Stud. Priv. and others, I shall not here any further enlarge upon them. The grand concern at present, and which we principally design is, how far they were Priviledged as to publick Assemblies and State Consultations. And that the Holy Constantine, and many other famous Kings and Emperours have made use of their advice both at Home and Abroad, employed them in Embassies and other important Trans­actions hath been already demonstrated. And here in the first place, if such an argument could hope to sway with us Christians, it would soon be proved that those who attended the Worship of the Heathen gods were admitted in Greece, the then most knowing and civilized part of the World, into their Pan-Aetolium and Amphyctionian Counsels. Amongst the Athenian Areopagites and Roman Senators, and that the Old Gauls divided their states in Druidas (who had omnium rerum immu­nitatem) Equites, Plebem, as the Egyptians before did into Priests, Soldiers and Trades­men. But leaving Gentilisme we will hasten to Christendome: And here once for all, desire our Reader to consider, that by the fundamental Constitutions of the most and best settled Nations in Europe, there are three States generally settled whereof the Clergy is ever one: Now to make this good, though we might produce variety of instances, yet we shall content our selves with the single Testimony of Calvin alone, knowing that it will go farther with some, than a Jury of others, This we find expresly asserted in his Institutions, l. 4. c. 20. Sect. 31. In singulis regnis tres sunt ordines, &c. which how to make up without the Spiritualty will be hard and beyond my skill. In our Neighbour Nation of France the pra­ctise is notoriously known, the ancient stile of the Royal Edicts always running, as 'tis Recorded of Pepin, Ann. 744. Per Consilium Sacerdotum & Optimatum ordinavi­mus, Per Consilium Sacerdotum & optimatum ordinavit Carolamanus, Thuanus passim. It might farther be noted that six Prelates are here Pairee of that great and famous Kingdom, three of them being stiled Dukes, and three Counts, See Seldens Titles of Honours, and yet the whole number of the Pairee exceeds not Twelve. As likewise the Arch Bishop of Paris hath a peculiar indulgence in being present in every Court of that Royal City without exception Chappinus. Look we into Hun­gary where Thwroczius informs us that by the Fundamental Constitutions of King Stephen, the Bishops in Concilio Regis primi adsistunt. Poland comes behind none in its Reverence and Respect for their Clergy, where the Arch Bishop of Gnesna is Primas Regni & Princeps primus, Stanis. Kristanowick in discrip. Polon. whose jurisdict­ion is not limited to the Spirituality alone, but hath the chief place in the Rank of the Senators assigned him, and is of the greatest Authority in all publick Consulta­tions: And when at any time there happens an Interregnum (as it frequently doth in those Elective Kingdoms) it belongs to him to summon a Dyet to give Audience to Forreign Embassadours, and to appoint a time and place for the Election of a New King. Our Author farther enlargeth this to have proceeded from the Piety [Page 15] of the Popish Kings towards the Church, that the Sons of it should for ever hold the highest places in their Conventions, with many other Priviledges which to this day they enjoy in his own words, [and he no Clergyman neither, but a Lawyer] Maxi­me illius Regni commodo, emolumento, adjumento, addo & ornamento. Cromerus another Hi­storian of that Country adds, that there is ever a Royal standing Council assigned the King, of which there is to be two Arch Bishops, and seven Bishops. And how considerable a number in all the German Dyets the Ecclesiasticks are Panvi­nius is a Witness beyond exception, who reckons thirty four Bishops that have their Votes there besides Abbots, Priors, &c. who pass for Religious Persons, and in the Septemvirate we find no less than three Clergy-men, Mentz Arch Chancellour of Germany, Coln of France, and Triers of Italy. I shall wholly out of this Collecti­on omit Spain and Italy, as being such known vassals to the Pope, where the Cler­gy Rule the Roast. But one word dashes all this [with some] They are Papists, a doughty argument to condemn any thing though backed by never so strong rea­sons: And let us examine how matters stand with others, Andreas Bureus in his Description of Sueden, acknowledges that the Ecclesiasticks were heretofore the Prime men in the Senate, till the Covetousness of Gustavus the first despoiled them of their Revenues: Yet since the Reformation, they still to this day retain their suffrages in all Publick Dyets of the Kingdom. And when the New Crowned King makes choice of his Counsellors, the Arch Bishop of Upsal is still the first, who is allowed a greater proportion of Attendants, when he comes to the King than any Noble man in the Nation, no fewer than Forty Horse being permitted him; whereas the retinue of the other Noble men must not exceed Thirty. And in the great Assembly at Lincopen, Ann. 1600. we find both Bishops and other Ecclesiasticks. And as to Denmark, Pontanus recites Seven Bishops as the Eccle­siastical Nobility, and these have their Votes in all Grand Meetings. Jonas ab Elvervelt distributes the States of Holstein into three Orders, 1. King and Princes. 2. Prelates. 3. The Families of the Nobles. And he makes the Bishops of Lubeck and Slewick the two Prime Peers in all their Dyets. In Scotland it is known that anciently the Bishops and Prelates were Essential Members of the Parliament, and had their Seats as ours here in England on the Right hand of the King: And in a Parliament held at Edenborough, Ann. 1597. a Vote passed for restoring the Clergy to their Original Priviledges, as the Third Estate in that Kingdom; the Learned Prince King James Condemning that Act of Annexing their Temporali­ties to the Crown as Vile and Pernitious, Basil. Dor. l. 2. p. 43. Then for Geneva it self, who is so much a stranger to that Reformation, as to be ignorant what a stroke Calvin and others had upon the Senate or grand Counsel, which gave occa­sion to that complaint of some, that they had expelled One Bishop and admitted many. If remote Countries be to be regarded, amongst the Abissines the Clergy is Para­mount in Affairs of all natures, and we read in Damianus a Goes of Zaga Zaba an E­thiopian Bishop Viceroy of Bagana sent Embassadour to the King of Portugal, Dress. Orat. In Muscovy their supreme Convention, which those Inhabitants call Zabore, consists of the great Duke, Twenty Ecclesiasticks, and as many Nobles, the com­mon People being wholly excluded; and when they are met together, the Patri­arch and Ecclesiasticks are always first Consulted, and first deliver their Opinion. I shall conclude this Paragraph, onely reminding, that neither the Pagans nor Ma­hometans are so inhumane or irreligious, or discourteous to their Priests as to deny them this Liberty: For that Tully acquaints us that it was the appointment of the Gods, that the Roman Pontifices should not only take care of their Religion, but [Page 16] further Sumnis Reipub. praeesse voluerunt, Orat. pro. dom. sua. Nay at this very day the Barbarous Turks never exclude their. Mufti, but allow him free entrance, and Vote into all their Divans and Counsels; yea the great Sultan himself so Honours the Mufti, that as often as he comes into his Presence, he rises from his Seat, and according to their mode, putting his hand to his breast, bows his head in token of reverence and Honour, which he shews not to any other Subject, and will hard­ly vouchsafe the like honours to the mightiest Monarch upon Earth.


Englands more particular Respect and Kindness to the Clergy.

I Might here be very large should I but give the World a brief account of the Honour which our Saxon Kings had for their Clergy, neither was this a mat­ter onely precarious, and by the Courtesie (as we say) of England, Sed ipsis confir­matum legibus, Spelm. Concil. Ep. ad Regem. The Person who Ministred at the Altar was esteemed equal in all things in censu pariter Capitis, to the Lord of the Mannour or any Knight, Leg. Aethel. c. ult. de Wirgildis. The Abbot was esteemed no less than a greater Thane which now we call a Baron of the Kingdom. The Bishop of no inferiour Rank than the Count or Earl, Qui integro fruebantur comitatu. The Arch Bishop equal to any Duke, who might happen to be set over, and have the Rule of many Countries; for that saith the Learned Spelman, in these times our Kings gave always the greatest respect and honour to their Clergy; for that in their keeping were the Keys of Learning and Knowledge, the Seculars in the mean time addicting themselves most what to the Wars, so that in those times it came to pass that the Priests mouth was the Oracle of our Common People no less than of the King and Commonwealth; for that they had ever the first Place in our Com­mitia's and Assemblies, no less than in the Kings Courts of Justice, and Law Tribunals in the Kings Palace with the Nobles of his Kingdom in the Counties with the Comittees and Justices of the Counties, in the Sheriffs Courts [turno Vicecomites] together with the Sheriffs, the Bishops had their Adsessors, yea in the Hundred Courts, they or their Ministers sate together, with the Lord of the Hun­dred: so that one sword was ever helpfull to the other in the Administration of Justice, and nothing of moment was done in these Courts of Judgment, but by their advice and assistance, Spelm. l. prius citat. The practice of the Kingdom ran parallel with the Law; for in all Antient Charters and Laws which heretofore were passed and made by signing their names cum signo crucis, the Spiritual Lords ever preceeded the Temporal. In a donation of Ethelbert, A. D. 605. to the Monaste­ry of St. Peter in Canterbury, the first witness subscribing it, is Austin the Bishop, and after him several Dukes and Earls, Monast. Angl. & Spelm. Conc. passim. In a Charter of King Inas, Ann. Dom. 725. To the Monastery of Glassenbury, after the Bishops, Boorthwald and Fordred, occur Waldhere, Ethelherd, Ummin and Winchelin, the greatest Peers in the Nation putting their Names. Not long after in a Grant of King Offus to the Abby of Worcester, Ann. Dom. 708. Brotdran, Berthand, Eadbald, and Eadbald, two Princes, and two Dukes, follows the Bishops. And at the same Kings Consecration at St. Albans, Ann. 793. No less than 10 Dukes, besides [Page 17] other Nobles give place to the Prelates. And to make an end, in a Charter of King Edward the Confessor to the Monastery of Winchester; immediately after the King subscribed Plegmund and Frithestan the Bishops, being followed by Ethelward the Kings Brother, Aethelstan, Aelfweard the Kings two Sons, Oredluf, Orced, Brorh [...]f and Heerferth Dukes, many more of this nature might be produ­ced out of the same Authors, and others, as standing monuments of the Clergies Reputation, and the Reverence our Religious Ancestors bare to their Functions, particularly the third Charter of King Edward the Confessor of the Foundation of the Abby of Westminster, where more particularly we find Osberne and Peter two of the said Kings Chaplains, signing the Charter before several of the Earls. And furthermore, here is Statute Law in the Case that this usage may not be thought to proceed meerly from the Curtesie of England, 'tis confirm'd by the Statute of the 31 Hen. 8. c. 10. Wherein all degrees and offices are placed in Assemblies and Conferences, and there the Arch Bishop of Canterbury as primus Par regni the first Peer of the Kingdom is ranked before all the Nobility, and Sea­ted at the Kings right hand, next and immediately after the Royal Blood, and the Vicegerent, and the rest of the Bishops follow him in their due precedency, according to the Dignities and Aunciencies of their respective Sees. See farther, the Statute of 8. of Eliz. c. 1. where in that Statute they are called an high, and one of the greatest Estates of the Kingdom, nor were they ever excluded from the greatest Employments of Honours and Trust in the Kingdom, and to evi­dence, that this is not spoke without Book, we will subjoin a Catalogue of Churchmen Collected out of Godwin, Malmesbury, Spelman, Dugdale, and others, &c. that have born all, at least the most honourable Offices of State, and (how ever bespatter'd by some) discharged them with much integrity and repute; Eng­land owing more of its happiness to men of this Calling than any other, though it cannot be denyed but some miscarriages might be here and there found, and yet as few as can be expected in such a Multitude: and if a man were disposed to find fault, he might without much pains takeing two for one in Critically examining any other Profession. Let us begin then with Englands Metropolitan, to whom this Primacy justly appertains, and take the rest in Order, onely pre­mising this, that tis true indeed we find fewer of this See upon the Civil Stage than any other, most Offices being lookt upon as below the Archiepiscopal Dig­nity, and therefore a Nobleman upbraided Hurbert Arch Bishop 1199. when he was made Chancellour of England, Chief Justice of England, and high Governour of all the Dominions under King Richard the first, however we shall begin with his Person and See.


Hubert under Richard 1. and King John, who intrusted the same Prelate with the Government of the whole Realm at his departure into Normandy. Gualter, Reynolds Chancellour, Ann. Dom. 1310. John Stratford Chancellour under Edw. 3. And when the King Invaded France, no Person thought so fit in his absence to have the Government of the Nation entrusted to him. Simon Islip of the Privy Counsel to the Edw. 3. John Stafford to Hen. 5. John Morton to Hen. 6. and Edw. 4. But we need not stand upon this, when in truth it hath been seldom known that any of them have been at any time omitted: Nor was this proper only to the times of Propery: Come to the Reformation, we find Arch Bishop Cranmer [Page 18] of the Privy Counsel to Hen. 8. and Edw. 6. and very active in Civil matters, yet a man so averse to Rome, so instrumental in planting the Gospel, so Labori­ous, so Holy, that a great Apocalyptical man Mr. Brightman, in his Commentaries oa the Apocalypse [a man no friend to the Hierarchy] takes him to be that Angel pointed at by God, Rev. 14. that had power over the fire. Under the renown'd Queen Eliza­beth, John Whitgift of the Council, and had the Government of the Principality of Wates given to him.


Waler Gray Chancellour under King John, had the Government of the Realm entrusted to him under Hen. 3. William de Melton Successively Treasurer and Chancellour of England, 1317. William de Zouche Vicegerent to King Edw. Ann. Dom. 1346. John Kemp, Ann. 1425. twice Lord Chancellour. And Thomas Young Lord Precident of the North, An. Dom. 1561.


There was not long since to be seen in St. Pauls the Monument of William Bishop of London, who obtained from the Conqueror the City Charter, to which the Lord Major and his Brethren the Aldermen used in a gratefull Commemora­tion every year to walk on foot: He was Privy Counsellor to King William the Conqueror. Mauritius Chancellour under the same King. Eustachius de Falcon­bridge one of King Rich. 1. his Justices, Chancellour of the Exchequer, Treasu­rer of England, and twice Embassadour into France. Henry de Wingham Chancel­lour under Edw. 3. Ralph Boldoc under Edw. 1. Richard Bintworth under Edw. 3. Robert Braybrook under Rich. 2. Richard Cox Dean of Westminster (whom I crave leave to name here as belonging to the Diocess) of the privy Counsel to Edw. 6. And Bishop Bancroft sent Embassadour to Embden, to treat with the King of Denmarks Commissioners, Ann. Dom. 1600.


Geoffrey Rufus Chancellour of England, Ann. Dom. 1140. Richardus de Maris­co, Ann. Dom. 1217. Anthony Beake of the Privy Councel, Ann. Dom. 1294. Ri­chard de Bury Cancellarius, Ann. Dom. 1334. and Treasurer, Ann. Dom. 1336. Tho­mas Langley Chancellor, Ann. Dom. 1406. Thomas Ruthal of the Counsel to Hen­ry 8. and as his Monument at Westminster testifies, Secretary to Hen. 7. Richard Neyle of the Privy Council, A. D. 1627. And here we cannot omit that known passage of Newbrigensis, who brings in K. Richard, making himself merry with the Bishop, boasting what a feat he had done, E Vetusto Episcopo novitium Comitem ego mirus artifex feci, To make a New Count of an Old Bishop, a Priviledge yet conti­nued to that Ancient See.


Swithan Chancellour of England under K. Egbert, Ann. Dom. 860. William Gif­fard Chancellour under the Conqueror, William Rufus, and K. Henry 1. Peter de la Roch. Lord Chief Justice under K. John. Sendall Chancellour, 1316. [Page 19] William Edenden Treasucr under Edw. 3. William of Wickam, Founder of New Colledge in Oxon, Principal Secretary of State, Keeper of the Privy Seal, Master of the Wards, and Treasurer of the Kings Revenues in France, Ann. Dom. 1360. William Wainfleet Founder of Magdalen Colledge Oxon, for his great Wisdom and Integrity long Lord Chancellor of England under Hen. 6. Richard Fox (Founder of C. C. C. Oxon) one of the Privy Counsel to Hen. 7. (as Prudent a Prince as this Nation hath known) and this Bishop as wise a Privy Counsellor as he a Prince) continually employed either in matters of Counsel at home, or Embassies and Treaties abroad.


William Longchamp Chancellor, Ann. Dom. 1189. after Chief Justice and Pro­tector of the Realm, when K. Richard the first undertook his Journey to the Holy Land. Eustacius Chancellor, Ann. Dom. 1196. John Hotbam Chancellor, Ann. Dom. 1317. Simon Laughan, And. Dom. 1361. first Treasurer, then Chan­cellor of England. John Barnet Treasurer, A. D. 1366. John Fordham Treasu­rer, Ann. Dom. 1385. William Gray Treasurer, Ann. Dom. 1469. John Alcock Chancellor, Ann. Dom. 1486: And Thomas Goodrick Chancellor under Edw. 6.


Robert Bleuet Chancellor under the Conqueror, Ann. 1092. Alexander under K. Henry the I. Lord Chief Justice of England. Galfridus Chancellour, A. D. 1180. Hugh de Wells Chancellour. Ann. Dom. 1209. Walter de Constantiis Chancellour under Hen. 6. and Dr. Williams Dean of Westminster, and after Bishop of this See made Lord Keeper by the Learned K. James.


Roger de Wiseman Keeper of the Great Seal, Ann. Dom. 1245. William de Langton Treasurer, Ann. Dom. 1226. Roger Northbrough Clerk of the Ward­rope, afterwards Treasurer, Ann. Dom. 1322. Geoffrey Blyth Lord President of Wales, Ann. Dom. 1513. Rowland Lee his Successor in the same Office, Ann. D. 1535. Richard Sampson in the same, Ann. Dom. 1537. William Smith Founder of Brazen-Nose Colledge Oxon; in the same under Hen. 8.


Osmond Chancellor of England, always of the Privy Council, and seldom se­parated from the Court, under the Conqueror. Roger Chancellor, 1107. and under K. Stephen, Ann. Dom. 1136. John Waltham Master of the Rools, Keeper of the Privy Seal, and after Treasurer of England under Richard the II. Nicolas Bubwith Treasurer, Ann. Dom. 1407. William Ayscoth Clerk of the Counsel, Ann. Dom. 1438.


Robert Burnet first Lord Treasurer then Chancellour of England, and always of the Council under Edw. I. John Drokensford Keeper of the Wardrope, Ann. 1309. Robert Stillington first Keeper of the Privy Seal, then Chancellour, Ann. Dom. 1465. Oliver King Principal Secretary of State, 1492. John Clark Master of the Rolls, A. D. 1523.


Leofricus first one of the Privy Counsel, then Chancellour of England, under the Conqueror, though Sir Henry Spelman reckons him of Bath at that time, and possibly he might be of both. William Brewster of the Privy Counsel under Hen­ry the 3. Walter Stapledon Founder of Exon Colledge Oxon first of the Privy Coun­sel, then Treasurer under Edw. 2. John Grandesson Privy Counsellor to Edw. 3. John Voysey Lord President of Wales under Hen. 8. Gervase Babington Vice Preci­dent of Wales, A. 1597.


Hen. 2. by a special Commission makes the Bishops of Norwich, Winchester, and Ely, Lord Chief Justices of England in my Authors words, Radalphus de Diceto, Archi Justitiarios Angliae, who there adds, Clergymen were pitched upon by the Kings for this employment, rather than others, for that they were the likeliest per­sons not to oppress the poor, nor to respect the face of the Rich. John Salmon Chancellour, A. D. 1319. Robert Baldock Chancellour, An. Dom. 1324. John Wakering Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal, A. D. 1416.


Thomas Cantelupe Chancellour, A. D. 1275. Thomas Charlton Lord Treasurer, 1329. John Gilbert in the same employment, 1386. Thomas Melling of the Privy Counsel to Edw. 4. Charles Booth Chancellour of the Marches of Wales, Ann. Dom. 1517.


Galfridus Giffard Lord Chancellour of England Ann. Dom. 1267. Walter Rey­nold first Treasurer then Chancellour of England under King Edw. 2. John Bar [...]s Lord Treasurer Ann. Dom. 1362. Henry Wakefield Treasurer, An. Dom. 1376. Nicholas Heath Lord President of Wales and Chancellor of England under Queen Mary.


Ralph Nevil Chancellor of England, Ann. Dom. 1222. But Sir Henry Spelman reckons it 1226. who saith he was appointed to that Employment by Parliament. John de Langton Chancellor under Edw. 1. and 2. John Stratford Lord Chancellor [Page 21] Ann. Dom. 1360. Adam Molins Clerk of the Privy Council, Ann. Dom. 1451. And that very Learned Prelate and industrious Preacher Lancelot Andrews Privy Councellor of England and Scotland, under a Prince who knew the worth of Learn­ing, and advanced it accordingly.


Walter de Merton Founder of that Colledge that bears his name in Oxon, Lord Chancellor of England, Ann. Dom. 1274. John de Shepey Lord Treasurer, Ann. Dom. 1358.


Hugh Curwyn Lord Chancellor of Ireland.


Adam de Houghton Lord Chancellor of England, Ann. Dom. 1376. Lindwood the famous Canonist Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal, Ann. Dom. 1440, and a person much employed in Embassies to the King of Spain, Portugal, &c.

I might here add several Deans and Arch-Deacons promoted to the same and like Dignities, and with industrious Mr. Stow, take notice that till the dissolution of Abbies and Monasteries, the Prior of Christ Church in London was ever a Mem­ber of the Court of Aldermen; and that the Dean of Westminster is by his Charter allowed no small interest in the Government of that Neighbouring City. But I shall not nauseate the Reader any longer with the repetition of any more antient names, but observe (as others have done before me) that in the Catalogue of Chancellors Recorded in Spelmans Glossery, amounting to about 170, near a 100 of them were Clergymen, more than all the other Professions put together can make up.

These then are the Honours which (if any humane Testimony can make a thing certain by an uninterrupted Custome (equal to Law) which Wise Antiqui­ty in the best of times gave them, through all the Saxon, Danes, and Norman times, without Controul and Dispute till within these 40 years or thereabout, since which England hath groaned under the very great sin of Dispiseing the Embassadors of Christ, and with some it hath been no small step to preferment to rail at them, to murmure at, and decry their advancements for secular ends of their own, yea to rank the great Trustees of Souls with the vilest Peasants in the Nation; as if there were no better way to shew their Love to their Redeemer, and their own Christianity, than by hatred to his Ser­vants who conveyed it to them; as if men had no other way to manifest their re­spects to the Majesty of the great God, but by powring out contempt and obloquy upon those who represent his Person. And thus Corah and his accomplices great complaint and grievance against Moses and Aaron was, That they were too high, took too much upon them, Numb. 16. They were advanced and honoured above the rest, this was the main Eye-sore, but the revengeing hand of God would not then bear it. Nay have we not here in England dureing our late and unhappy troubles, heard such Language as this (nay have we not seen the thing reduced into practise?) All the Congregation is Holy, and one may Preach as well as another: Thus would these Sons of [Page 22] Confusion have brought upon us a Munster Confusion and Disorder, by taking away the Distinctions of Callings. The Wise God (we know) appointed it otherwise under the Old Testament, when every one we know was not admitted to the Priesthood. We cannot but think, that there were 1000 in Israel who knew how to kill, slay, and dress a Sheep, Ox, or Goat, as artificially as the Sons of Levi, yet none ever attempted it in reference to the Altar without a severe rebuke. And was Moses a more Prudent Lawgiver or Steward of Gods house than Jesus Christ the Wisdom of the Father? Would it be fuffered in humane Societies, in any well regulated Corporation that every man who should conceive himself fitter to discharge an Office, manage a Trade, Husband an Estate, should presently exclude another legally possest of it, and invade his propertys? grant this, and farewell Government, and welcome Babel. Let me say it once for all, 'tis folly for any to expect the prosperity of the Nation, whilst the Clergy of it is in Misery, a Low and Despicable Condition, whilst the sacred Function is deposed, nay with black ingratitude revil'd; to whose learned labours do we owe the Translation of our Bibles, and who, (as before once was intimated) under God were the princi­pal Instruments of delivering us from that Egyptian Darkness our Forefathers sate in: Is not this like the Deer we Read of in Plutarch, who browsed on that Bush in a Calm he was glad to creep under in a Storm? Certainly they are not worthy the Name of Christians or Friends of the Gospel (whatever their pretences may be) that despise and vilifie the Ministry, than which, nothing more bespeaks a vile and reprobate Heart. We all know that under the Law presumptuously to rise against the Priest was punishable with no less than Death, Deut. 17. for these are the Embas­sadors of the King of Heaven, and how sacred such persons were esteemed by the Laws of all Nations, all Histories do abundantly Witness: 'twas the shame of our Neighbour Nation of Scotland, the Murder of the late learned Prelate there, and that small indignities offered to persons of his Rank have been highly resented; the Ammonites are a lasting testimony in the days of King David, and prood Corinth was for no other reason burnt to ashes by the enraged Romans, Florus.


The Antient Estate of our Bishops and Clergy under the times of the Britains, Saxons, Danes and Normans.

VVHat incouragement the Clergy found in the times of the Britons will appear to have been very great if we will but read Arch Bishop Usher de Primordiis Ecclesiae Britanicae, through the Series and Suc­cession of Kings, who when Converted to the Christian Faith, were not scanty in Conferring Honours and Riches upon them: See him in his Sixth Chapter un­der these Respective Heads, Antiquitatis Glastoniensis Ecclesiae assertio & nova ab Ina rege instauratio. Privilegia varia eidem a Saxonibus Regibus. Arthur. donatio & Sepulchri inventio, Hen. 2. & Edw. 3. Diplomata. Possesiones & libertates Ecclesiis a Lucio Rege Tributae. Wintoniensis Ecclesiae libertates & Antiquitates. Fundatio Ecclesiae Sancti Petri Westmonasteriensis. B. Marcae Doveriensis & Sancti Martini Cantuariensis. Afterwards in his 7th Chapter, De pace Britanici Ecclesiis post caeptam persecutionem Constantio Chloro, [Page 23] Aug. Constant. M. patre restituta. And afterwards in his 8th Chapter of the Bri­tish Bishops, Qui variis consiliis interfuerunt, Concilio Arelatensi, Sardicensi & Ariminenst; where any persons may receive satisfaction of the Clergy Honour in those first British times. In the times of the Saxons what their immunities were will appear if we instance in but one single one, as more eminent and glorious than the rest (viz.) Their Admission to all Publick Debates and Assemblies. Such were (1) their Scire Gemotis, which Spelman and other Learned Antiquaries resemble to our Country Courts, and Sheriffs turn in which all causes both Criminal and Civil, concerning Church or State were handled; the persons bound to be present were the Sheriff, the Bishop and all the Nobles of the County; till at last upon their humble Petition in Parliament, the Clergy were dispensed with by the Statute of Marleborough, 52 Edw. 3. unless urgent necessity required it. Secondly, their Folk Gemotts a kind of Annual Parliament commonly held in the beginning of May, in which the Princes of the Kingdom, Bishops, and Magistrates, and the Laity took the Oath of Allegiance, and confirmed their mutual Union before the Bishops. The Original of this is intimated to be as high as King Arthur, Vid. Leg. Edw. Confess. 35. Thirdly, their Wittena Gemotts, or Michel Synoth, the grand Convention of their Wise men. These who desires to look farther into, may have recourse to Spelmans laborious Glossary, V. Gemot. Now out of none of these were the Clergy excluded, but ever reckoned an eminent and principal part of each, their Counsels Votes and Approbation demanded and given before any Laws were constituted.

For Proof of this, we shall look back above 1000 years to the Laws of King Ethelbert, and the Authors we shall produce, and on whose Authority we lean are Bede, Spelman, and Lambard. And as to King Ethelbert presently after the arri­val of Austin the Monk here in England, we find as Spelman hath it in Spelm. Conc. 126. The King to have called a grand Assemby, A. 605. Tam cleri quam populi. In the Laws of King Ina, which Florentius Wigorniensis dates, Ann. Dom. 686. Spelm. 692. Lambert 712. we find these Laws were made and wrote by the per­swasion and advice of his Bishops Hedda and Erkenwald; and though the Learned Spelman Excerps out of the body of those Laws only those which more particularly relate to the Church, as being only proper for this design, yet Lambard mentions many Civil matters there determined. And when the great League and Union between the Britons, Saxons and Picts was concluded, we find it Ratified per Com­mune Concilium & assensium omnium Episcoporum, Procerum, Comitum & omnium sapientum seniorum & populorum & per preceptum regis Inae. The very manner of our passing Laws in Parliament now used in England, Bed. Eccles. Histor. l. 1. In the Laws of King Athelstan about the year 924. (Spelm. 922) there's no mention of any other Counsellors for the enacting, though certainly the form was the same, but his Arch Bishop Ufhelme and his other Bishops, and these were at least the prime persons there, though the Body of the Laws concern secular affairs. Spelman selecting only Ecclesiastical, yet in the Title he owns others passed. In the Laws of K. Edmund about 946. the King had a full meeting of Ecclesiasticks, and Laicks at London, in which were present Odo and Wulstan the Arch Bishops, none of the rest though without doubt there present once named. Again 948. to a great Convention of the Estates at London under Edred, Writs of Summons are issued out to the Arch Bishops and Bishops, and yet their agitur de negotiis Regni, Ingulph. p. 87. Spel. Conc. p. 428. Come we to the Danes, 1021. we find a Publick Assembly called at Winchester by Canutus, where were present Wulstan and Adelholme the Arch Bishops [Page 24] with other Bishops Dukes and Earls, &c. Spelm. Conc. p. 534. Now dureing these two Periods theres no mention of Baronies, but all the Churches tenure was in Pura Eleemosyna, Frank Almoigne and the Bishops sate onely as eminent Prelates by vertue of their Spiritual Dignities; for there being hardly any Laws but some way or other concerning Religion, and the good of Souls: therefore in the en­acting of them the Cergy was ever required by our Prudent Ancestors. Thus much for the Grand Assemblys, stiled usually by the Learned Knight Sir Henry Spelman Pan Anglica and Pan Britanica. We will only mention the Private Statute of King Edgar which was thus, ex omni comitatu bis quotannis conventus agitur cui quidem illius Diocaesae Episcopus & Senator intersunto, quorum alter jura divina alter popu­lum edoceto. Nor doth Mr. Selden no friend of the Clergy ever deny or question but the Bishop was joyned in Commission with the Aarlderman, nay he expresly affirms the same Titles of Honour, l. 2. c. 5. Hitherto of the British, Saxon, Danish Governments, pass we down to the Normans, and here we have King William so­lemnly with an Oath ratifying the Laws of St. Edw. the Confessor, and this parti­cularly is added. Si quis sanctae Ecclesiae pacem infregerit Episcoporum est Justitia, Lambard, p. 139. And in several Old Precidents of Grants such Clauses as these Occur, Nolumus quod libertas Ecclesiae per nos vel ministros nostros quoscunque aliqualiter violetur & jura & il­bertates Ecclesiasticas illaesas volentes in omnibus observari. Yet more particularly in a Char­ter to the Church of St. Pauls in London, Tam liberam volumus Ecclesiam, D. Pauli London, quam sit anima mea in die Judicii.

And here now at last we come to that great change in the State Ecclesiastick, the Bishops who had ever enjoyed the privileges of Majores Thani among the Saxons are translated to Barons, which gave occasion to that groundless error of some, to date the first sitting in Parliament hence, as if the Conquerour to curry favour with the Clergy, and the better to settle his new gotten Kingdom, confered this Honour upon them; But certainly if there were truth in this, the Clergy are much to blaim, and very ungrateful to their Patron K. Willi­am, for that we find them loosers by his favours, and looked upon their Condition under him much worse than before, and all the Writers of that Age must be corrected for representing him, as a perfect Enemy of the Church. To clear up this we will only give you one Instance, cited from an Old Record, En­tituled, Liber Sancti Albani. Where we read this Passage of Frederick the then Ab­bot of St. Albans, that to obstruct the March of the Conquerour, he caused all the Trees round to be cut, and laid them cross the ways, wherewith the Con­querour being stopt in his march sent in some passion for the Abbot, who under his security coming to him, the Conquerour demands the Reason for the cutting down the Woods, the Abbot resolutely answers him, that I have done, but what became me, and if all the Spiritual Persons through the Kingdom had used their En­deavours against thee, as they might and were in duty bound to have done, Thou wouldst never have been able to have entered the Land thus far. The Duke then replying, Is the Spiritualty of England of such Power? if I live and enjoy that, which I have gotten, I will make their Power less. Add to this that stategem of the Kentish­men in surrounding the King, and forcing him to a Composition, which they did under the Conduct of Stigand their Arch-Bishop, which thing ever after netled him, and that he was never heartily reconciled to the Church. and proved after­wards as good as his word to the Abbot, oppressing the Clergy all his Reign, bring­ing them under Knights-Service, and Ordering how many Souldiers each Bishop should maintain for him and his Successors: the Church, as beforesaid, being ever [Page 25] free from that bondage. Let no Man then say, that the Conqueror (who was e­ver look'd upon by the Bishops as their Enemy) did them any Acts of Grace or Ha­vour by erecting each Bishoprick into a Barony, which thing was ever by the Bishops look'd upon as a grievance, and a more glorious piece of slavery. This was in deed a shrew'd shaking to the Bishops, yet still they preserv'd their Votes in all Assembli [...]s, and Parliamentary Summons are ever directed Archiep. Ep. &c: all antient Charters and Grants subscribed after the usual Form in those times, Testi­bus Archiep. Ep. In a Treatise Entituled, The Form and Mannor of keeping Parliaments, whereof it seems there are two very antient Copies, the M. S. in Arch Bods, the other in Sr. Rober Cottons Library, the first of which was perused by Mr. Selden, and he allows it to be as long standing, as Edw. 3d. but the Lord Chief Justice Cooke adds near 200 years more, and raises it to the Conqueror's time (which the Title indeed pleads for) we are here told, that 40 days before Summons are to be issued out to the Archbishops, Bishops, and other great Clarks, that held by County or Barony, and that the Clergy in each Shire are to have Two Proctors representing them, which in some things had more Power than the Bishops, for we are there informed, that the K. may hold a Parliament for the Commonalty of the Realm, without Bishops, Earls, or Barons, so they had summons, though they come not, but on the cottrary, if the Commonalty of the Clergy and Temporalty being warned, either doth not, or will not come, in this Case whatever the King doth with his Bishops, Earls and Ba­rons is of none effect, for that to all Acts of Necessity the Commonalty of Parliament must consent, i. e. the Proctors of the Clergy, Knights of the Shire, Citizens and Bur­gess [...]s, for their Persons represent the Commonalty of England, but the Bishops, Earls, and Barons represent only their own Persons. There is, they say, another M. S. in Bibl. Cotton, confirming the same, and citing other large Priviledges of the Cler­gy, I know indeed Mr. Prinne hath questioned the Authority of both these books, in Bar of which I return the Authority of Cooke and Selden, and particularly the first, who saith, in his Institutes, that 26 Spiritual persons ought ex debito Justitiae, to have a Writ of Summons sent them every Parliament. These things pre­mised, we will now desire of the Clergies greatest adversary that he would produce instances of any solemn meetings, Wittena gemots or Parliaments whereunto the Clergy were not summoned; any Statutes publickly enacted during all the Christian British, Saxon, Danish, or Norman times, without their assistance and advice. As for the precedent of their Exclusion under Edw. 1. at the Parliament held at St. Edmondsbury, which some triumph in, if there be any truth in the Narrative (as hath been, and is still, questioned) we know, and can prove, 'twas done in a pett and transport of Royal displeasure for their too obstinate adhering to the Bishop of Rome in the Scottish quarrel, and for their noncompliance with their Kings demands. Who yet the very next Parliament, about a year after, makes an Apology for this charging all upon the Exigen­cies of his affairs. And why should this single instance so circumstantiated be urged more against the Clergy than that other is against the Lawyers who were shut out of a Parliament under Henr. IV. where we yet find the Bishops and amongst others, Thomas Arundel stoutly resisting and preserving the Cler­gies Temporalities, which these Church-robbers gaped after, who, so they might spare their own Purses were content to spoil their God to relieve their King. Certainly if envy it self could have found the least colour of Law to deny them this privilege it had never been reserved for this last, and our most unhappy age. Many times have they been struck at, many great blows have they re­ceived, [Page 26] as at Clarendon, under Henr. II. where their wings were indeed much clipt, yet their privilege of sitting and voting in Parliament is left entire to to them for that the words are Episcopi intersint Curiae Domini Regis cum Baronibus quousque perveniatur ad diminutionem membrorum vel mortem, and though they never voted of late in Capital Causes, yet that they however made their Proxies I hope shall be made appear by what follows, together with their forbearing to vote in Capital Causes, and the reason of it shall be farther discoursed of.


The Estate of the Bishops and Clergy from the Conquest (as to their Voting in Capital Causes in Parliament) till the times of King Henr. VIII.

VVE have before intimated the common usages and rights of the Bishops to sit and vote in Parliaments in all antient times, and that as Peers and Barons of the Realm, we now aver they have a Power to sit and vote in all, as well Criminal as otherwise, either by them­selves or Proxies lawfully constituted, which is a privilege of the Peerage, and therefore, belongs to the Bishops as such, 'tis very well known what Mr. Selden hath wrote in his Book of The Privileges of the Peerage of England, that the Bishops was debarred of their privileges by an Act of Parliament 17 Car. I. Ann. 1641. and that he was a great notorious stickler in it, but 'tis as notorious that not long after we find the Commons, nay a small and inconsiderable part of that House, voting the Temporal Lords useless and dangerous, and that how they were enabled by being assisted by the help of Cromwell the late Usurper, and the Army, to accomplish what they had begun, and the bad consequence of all we have seen with our eyes, and Bishops God be thanked restored to their undoubted Rights and Privileges, and that for as much as they were e­qually Barons (nay the Bishops had usually the first in Summons) they have also equal privileges to make their Proxies in Parliament as the Temporal Ba­rons had, we confess, as before, for that they were Spiritual persons they were not by the Council of Clarendon to sit in Capital Causes, and loss of limb, but then we must know that long before this they both had and exercised this Power, as may be made appear out of John Crampton's Chron. c. 24. where amongst the Laws of Athelstane we read, Episcopo jure pertinet omnem rectitudinem promovere Dei (viz.) & saeculi & debent Episcopi cum saeculi judicibus interesse judiciis, and the or­dering of all the Measures and Weights is there made of Episcopal cognizance the Standard being still left in the Bishops hands, and out of Sir Henry Spelman's Glossary, voce Comes. Comes praesidebat foro comitatus non solus sed junctus Episcopo, ut alter alteri auxilio esset & consilio, praesertim Episcopus Comiti nam in hunc illi animad­vertere saepe licuit & errantem cohibere, so much confidence did the Antients repose in the Clergy that the guidance and overseeing of most temporal affairs was en­trusted to them, nay, they had a check upon the Laity. And thus lovingly with all sweetness and candor for 4 or 500 years, during all the Saxons times and till that unhappy division by the Conquerour, who defaced this beautiful and regular composure did the Church and State-Officers sit together in the [Page 27] morning determining Ecclesiastical affairs, and in the afternoon Civil. There were then no jars or clashings of jurisdictions heard of, no prohihitions is­suing out of one Court to obstruct the course of Justice in another; thereby hampering the poor Client that he knew not which way to turn himself; and I am perswaded there is no better expedient to prevent lasting vexatious suits, and to relieve the oppressed, than again to reconcile these two jurisdictions, that according to the primitive usage as well Spiritual as Temporal Judges may be appointed in all Courts, that Moses and Aaron may not interfere and quarrel, but walk hand in hand. Though I know this design does not rellish with many of the Long Robe, yet 'tis feared that attempting some such thing purchased the late Archbishop Laud no few enemies and was one especial cause of hastening his ruine: yet we find Mr. Selden a Lawyer too, lib. 2. de Synedriis, proving that for the first 4000 years and better the Civil and Ecclesiastical Courts con­tinued united, and the first distinction proceeded from Pope Nicholas, Gratian. Distinct. 96. c. cum ad verum, and that the Clergy do not meddle personally to vote in loss of life or limb proceeds from the Canons of the antient Church which forbad their presence in cases of blood, but I hope that no sober man will hence argue that they being Barons of this Realm they must lose their Privi­ledges which belong to the Spiritual Lords as well as to the Temporal; viz. To make Proxies though in Capital Causes (when by the antient Canons of the Church they are forbid to be present,) which they have done, and still have right to doe comes next to be discoursed of.

And (first) I shall make use of Mr. Selden's authority, though no friend to the Bishops, (for reasons he best knew of) who expressly saith in his Book of the Priviledges of the Barons of England, Printed 1642. that omnes Praelati, Magnates, &c. has this Priviledge. Introduct. Though he says there they had lost it by the Parliament 17 Car. 1. 1641. I hope now they are restored to it again, that they had before he gives you sundry instances Cap. 1. these are his words § 2. That the course of Elder time was not that Barons onely made Proxies but other men, as Bishops, and Parliamentary Abbots, and Priors, who gave their Let­ters usually to Parsons, Prebendaries, and Canonists. In the Parliament of Carlisle un­der Edw. 1. the Bishop of Exeter sent to the Parliament Henry de Pynkney Par­son of Houghton as his Proxy. The Bishop of Bath and Wells sent William of Cherlton a Canon of his Church, and in like sort other of the Spiritualty of that time, in the beginning of the 17th year of King Richard the Second the Bishop of Nor­wich made Richard Corqueaux being then Deane of the Arches, Thomas Hederset being Archdeacon of Sudbury and John Thorp Parson of Epingham his Proxies by the name of Procuratores sive Nuntii, and in the same time the Bishop of Dur­ham's Proxies were John Burton Canon of Bewdley, and Master of the Rolls and John of Wendlingborough Canon of London, and other like in the same time. By which also that of the preamble of the Statute of Praemunire is understood, where it is said that the advice of the Lords Spiritual that was present and of the Procurators of them that were absent, was demanded. The like under Henry the 4th and 5th, are found in the Rolls, and under Henr. 5. the Archbishop of York gives the Proxies to the Bishop of Durham, and to two other Clerks of his Province. Nay farther, that the Bishops used to give their Proxies in Cases of Attainder, the said Mr. Selden expresly saith in the place forecited, and also what sort of persons they used to make their Proxies, he there likewise tells you, adding withal this unhandsom reflexion, That the Lords Spiritual had so much mistaken of late the Laws of the Kingdom, and the Original of [Page 28] their own Honours by endeavouring to enlarge the Kingdom of Antichrist, that they had now (he means, A. D. 42) lost both Priviledge and Vote in Parliament. All sharp, Reply to which I shall purposely forbear. And secondly, proceed to shew you ex­press Precedents wherein they have Voted either Personally, or by Proxies in Capital Causes, and here I will produce Mr. Selden himself, the Bishops adver­sary become their advocate, who saith expressly p. 125. lib. cit. That though in the Case of Appeal of Treason in a Parliament of the 11 of Richard the Second, commenced by Thomas Duke of Gloucester and others against Alexander Archbishop of York, Robert de Vere, &c. they absented themselves, I mean, the whole Spiritualty in that Parliament, and would make no Proxy in their room for that time, yet afterwards they agreed to do it in Cases of Judgments of Death, Rot Parl. 2. Henr. 4. & Rot. Parl. 2. Henr. 5. But he there saith, that the first use of such Proxies was 21 Ric. 2. so that we have him confessing the Bishops sitting in cases of blood by their Proxies, the next authority I shall make use of, is a Parliament Roll it self, of that year as I find it in Sir Robert Cotton's Collections intituled as followeth. Placita Coronae coram Domino Rege in Parliamento suo apud Wegmonast. diae Lunae proximae post Festum Exaltationis Sanctae Crucis Anno regni Regis Ric. 2. Post Conquestum 21. The Roll it self you may see in the Tower among the Records there kept. It is of an Impeachment of the Earl of Arundel and Warr. &c. for Treason, &c. the Articles were exhibited against him by several Lords, as Edward Earl of Rutland, Thomas Earl of Kent, John Earl of Huntington, &c. which the said Lords were ready to prove the Crimes objected, and demanded the Prisoner to be brought to the Bar, which the Lord Nevil then Constable of the Tower did, and the aforesaid Lords in their own Persons appeared also. His Articles being read, the Earl of Lancaster Lord Steward of England by the King's commandment, and assent of the Lords, de­clares the whole matter. And thereupon the said Earl's answer to the Articles was demanded, who pleaded two Pardons, and prayeth they may be al­lowed, but they were not, whereupon Sir Walter Clopton Lord Chief Justice de­mands of him what he had farther to say, for that if nothing more to say the Law would adjudge him guilty. And the said Earl not pleading any thing else, the Lords Appellants in their proper persons require that Judgment may be given against the said Earl, as Convict of the Treason aforesaid. Whereupon the Lord Steward of England, by the assent of the King, Bishops and Lords, adjudged the said Earl Guilty and Convict of all the Articles aforesaid, and thereby a Traitor to the King and Realm, and that he should be therefore Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered, and forfeit all his Lands in fee, &c. though the Punishment, in regard he was of Noble Blood, was changed, and he was ordered to be Beheaded; which was done by the Lieutenant of the Tower, and this is a short account of that Trial for Blood in Parliament. Where 'tis plain and evident that the Bishops were there present, for 'tis said, that the said Earl was adjudged Guilty and Convict by the assent of the King, Bishops and Lords. Q. E. D. Next we will produce another Instance and Precedent of the Condemnation of Thomas Arun­del Archbishop of Canterbury, who was accused by the Commons in full Parli­ament, die & loco praedictis, where we find the Commons by their Speaker Sir John Bussy Petitioning the K. in manner following. For that divers Judgments were hereto­fore undone, for that the Clergy were not present, the Commons prayed the King that the Clergy would appoint some to be their common Proctor with sufficient authority thereunto. Where­upon the Clergy appoint Thomas de la Percy by their Instrument their Proctor, [Page 29] who together with the King and the said Lords adjudged him the said Arch­bishop guilty of Treason, and himself a Traitor. The Crimes objected to him was his traiterous obtaining a Commission from the King, whereby the Kings Royal Power was encroached, his Subjects put to death without Royal Assent, &c. for all which he was found guilty as aforesaid. What I observe in brief is this, from this Trial.

(1.) That there had been divers Errors in Judgment, which Judgments were in Law void, for that the Bishops were not present, (2.) That hereupon the Commons Petitioned the King that the Bishops would appoint their Proxy, and which accordingly they did Thomas de la Percy. (3.) He was Condemned by the said Court wherein sate Percy accordingly. (4.) That the said Bishops did not Vote there personally, for that the Arch-bishop their Primate was Arraigned and it might not be seemly for them so to do. And here we have the Case adjudged, Judgments in Parliament Revers'd, for that the Bishops were not Present by themselves or Proxys, the Commons Petitioning the King that they would make Proxys, a Judgment obtained for that the Bishops had made their Proxys. Q. E. D. And if any be not satisfied, they may see the Roll of Parliament as before, among the Records in the Tower to which they are Referred. Furthermore to make another discovery of the Inconstancy of the said Mr. Selden, I find him in his Titles of Honour in the latter end of his Book, Confessing that Thomas Becket Arch-bishop of Canterbury was Condemned by the Bishop of Winchester in Case of High Treason, Vid. Titles of Honour. And if any person would but a little reflect upon the Reason, why the Bishops have not sometimes Voted in Cases of Blood but by their Proxies? (viz.) Their respect they had to the Canons of the Primitive Church, which might give them umbrage for their so doing: And toge­ther with this, what hath been said before, of their being frequently appointed by the King, and acting as Lord Chief Justices of England, any person of an or­dinary Capacity may guess at the Reason of their forbearing to Judge in Matters of Blood for the Reason aforesaid, and their ready and chearfull compliance with their Princes Command; when by the Law of this Land they were ena­bled so to do, and which is a sufficient Supersedeas to the former Canon of the Church. Another Precedent we have of the Bishops Personally sitting in Par­liament held at Westminster on Monday next after the Feast of All Saints, in the 3d, of Hen. 5. wherein Henry Bishop of Winton was Chancellour, wherein was Try­ed Richard Earl of Cambridge and others for Treason, for having Levyed men a­gainst the King, and procured Edmund Earl of March as Heir to Rich. 2. to take upon him to be King of England, and had Proclaimed him such in Wales, and set one Thomas Trompington an Ideot and Scotchman to Personate Rich. 2. where the said Earl, and others his adherents in that Action, were Tryed and found Guilty; the Lords Spiritual in Parliament being Present, &c. See the Records in the Tower, Parl. 3. H. 5. p. 2. M. 4. Many other Precedents of a later Date and Time might be here Ex superabundanti added, but I shall referr them for the matter of another Chapter, they being all of them taken out of the Journals of the Lords House beginning in 32 Hen. 8. and ending 29. Eliz. 2. I might have enlarged in these which I have taken out of the Tower, but I have purposely forborn to do it; for that I find Mr. Selden himself in the days of 1642. granting me the Matter of Fact as clear and evident from the Ancient Records in the Tower, of the Spiritual Lords Priviledges in this Matter. And will now proceed to another Argument that the Bishops have Right to sit in all Cases as well Capital as Civil. For that (4.) they are undoubted Peers of the Realm; which also I find Mr. Selden [Page 30] himself granting in his Priviledges of the Barronage of England, p. 192. For there he saith, Though some have doubted (we know whom he means) whether the Spiritual Barons are Peers, he saith there, that they are so, is true and plain, and the Testimonies many & various, as in the Bishop of Winchester's Case, who departed from the Parliament at Salisbury about the beginning of Edw. 3. and was questioned for it afterwards in the Kings Bench he pleaded to the Declaration, Quod ipse est unus e Paribus Regni & Pre­latus, and in that short Disputation of the Case, which is left in the Year Books; he is supposed both by the Court and Council to be a Peer. But for this if his Authority be not good, the Year Books themselves may be seen. Bishop of Winchesters Case, Year Book, 3 of Edw. 3. And Pas. 3. Edw. 3. coram Rege Rot. 9. Rep. So afterwards see the Bishop of Londons Case in the Year Book, 3 Edw. 3. in a Writ of Wards brought against the Bishop of London; he pleaded to Issue, and the Defendant could not have a day of Grace; for he said (as the words of the Books are) That a Bishop is a Peer of the Land, & Haec erat causa, Year Book, 3 Edw. 3. fol. 186. pl. 28. And in a like Case, an Action of Trespass against the Abbot of Abing­ton who was one of the Lords Spiritual, day of Grace was denyed against him, because he was Peer de la terre, 13 Edw. 3. Titulo Enquest. So expresly upon a question of having a Knight returned into a Jury where a Bishop was Defendant; the Rule of the Court was that it ought to be so, because the Bishop was a Peer of the Realm, Plowden Comment. pl. 117. So the Judgment given against the Bishop of Norwich in the time of Rich. 2. he is in the Roll expresly allowed to be a Peer. We find also Stafford Arch Bishop of Canterbury upon his being exclu­ded the Parliament under Edw. 3, thus challenging his place, Ego tanquam major par Regni post Regem vocem habens jurae Ecclesiae meae tantum vendico, & ideo ingressum in Parlimentum peto. The same may be made out farther by an Assignment of Errors under Hen. 5. for the revearsal of the Attainder of the Earl of Salisbury, one Er­ror is Assigned that Judgment was given without the Assent of the Prelates which were Peers in Parliament, which is clearly allowed in the Roll and Petition too, that they were Peers. So also in an Act of Parliament under the same King, Sta [...]. 4. Hen. 5. c. 6. where the Arch-Bishops and Bishops are called Peers of the Kingdom. But of the truth of this Mr. Selden himself saith, That no scruple could ever be made till the unhappy Act of the 17 Car. 1641. And how that Act was procured we all know, How full of tumults and uproars were those Times? to how great a distress was Majesty then brought? How many Repulses did it meet with? Was it not Past to serve the present Interest? and by what subtile contrivance was it at last carried it is very well known? Have we not reckoned the Date of our late Embroilments and wild Confusions from this fatal Apocha? Under what Miseries, Violencies, and Rapins hath not our native Country for 20 years time from hence to be reckoned, with so much pitty from all true-hearted English-men long laboured and groaned? and the whole Christian-world about us stood amazed and agasht. All the Wealth which the Piety of our Forefathers had been so many years in heaping up, all their Priviledges which their prudence had so deliberately conferred, being in a few days Passion swallowed up. Had those good men, the then Bishops, unadvisedly acted any thing against their Prince or Kingdom, could no Personal-fine or punishment expiate their Crime and fault? must the whole Order be raized, and Episcopacy it self destroyed root and branch? must so many merits of their worthy Predecessors be buryed in the grave of ungrateful Oblivion? It were an easy matter to produce a large Catalogue of eminent Prelates, who by their prudent advice have oftentimes prevented Bloodshed, preserved Peace, saved a sinking Kingdom and a dying Religion, [Page 31] many good works have they done amongst us, many Colledges and Schools erected and endowed, many material Churches by their munificence, and living Temples of the Holy Ghost built by their Ministry; and for which of these must they now be thus dealt withal? thus disfranchised? That they who here­tofore carried the principal stroke in all Cabinet Counsels and publick Diets, are acknowledged in several recorded Statutes of this Kingdom, an high, and one of the greatest Estates of this Kingdom, as particularly 8 Eliz. c. 1. that they are Peers of this Realm, 25 Edw. 3. c. 6. before recited, and 4 Henr. 5. c. 6. must now be debarred those immunities of which our Nation hath ever reaped the greatest benefit, they must be curtailde in, or excluded from, what is their just right, to Vote as Peers in the higher House of Parliament, certainly 'tis now high time, if ever, for men to relent of their merciless cruelty to to learned Industry; the crafty Jesuite, who is now at our Doors, thinks his day is coming, this will make him keep a Jubile, to see England fall again by her own hands. How much ground hath he got by debasing and pouring con­tempt on our English Clergy, (of all the World) whom he most dreaded? Let us but enquire of other Nations, our Neighbours, and they will tell us, That the English Divine is the terrour of the Papal-world, aud that they have wrote more, and better, against Rome, than all the World besides. We ought not to take pleasure in upbrading an ungrateful Nation: But is this the reward of their unwearied pains, incessant studies, early rising and late watching, beating their brains, wasting their bodies, and contracting incurable diseases, neglecting their fa­milies, relations, and accquaintance for the glory of God and good of their Countrey? Must they onely have discouragements heaped upon them, bread and water, and raggs (if some men had their will) thought to good for them? Must another Profession, of which a Forreiner, by way of disdain, said, Causi­d [...]i Angli gens indoctissima ultra Doroberniam nihil sapiunt? Must they get honour, riches and preferments without the regret and frowns of any, nay more in 60 years last past than Divinity in 600 preceding, and if the matter was not invidious I could easily make appear: 'twas an old saying, Nulli sua pietas debet esse damnosa, in earnest, This is not for the honour of the Gospel, neither doth it become the Refor­mation. Of late years some of the Long Robe, no well wishers to the Church, whose names I forbear, have started a very unhappy and destructive notion, and not over beneficial to the English Scepter; and there yet want not those who with much industry keep this notion up, that the three Estates of this Nation consist of King, Lords and Commons, which how far it may countenance for­mer actings and endanger future disturbances, I humbly submit to the prudence of those who sit at the Helm, and are much better able to determine than my self; But the consequences of that opinion seem directly to aim at the Level­ing of Sovereignty, and making it accountable to the other two in their esteem Coordinate Estates. Now by restoring the Spiritualty the only true third Estate to its due Rights and antient Priviledges, for that it is the true third Estate, the Lord Chief Justice Cook saith in the Fourth of his Institutes and the Act of Par­liament of the 8 of Eliz. c. 1. speaks to the same thing, this may be the most ready and most natural expedient to remove that destructive and dangerous opi­nion out of the minds of an unlearned and fickle multitude. So may the Crown be safe, and the Mitre no longer trampled on. Et quae Deus olim conjunxit, nemo hoc sequiori saeculo seperet, Faxit hoc Deus qui solus potis est!


Precedents of the Bishops Sitting and Voting in Capital Causes from the Reign of of King Hen. 8. till the 29th of Eliz.

I shall begin with the Attainder of Cromwel Earl of Essex, who was attainted in Parliament for Treason, &c. the Articles are every extant, and may be seen; the first reading of his Bill, as I find it in the Journal of the Lords House was upon the 17th of June, 32. Hen. 8th, at which reading were present Fourteen Bishops; who they were you may see in the Journal; at the second reading, which was the 19th of June of the said year, 32. Hen. 8. were present sixteen Bishops, whose Names, and Sees there you may find; at the third and last reading, were sixteen likewise, Vid. Journal ut supra, the Bill it self past the Royal Assent, the 24th of July following, when were 14 Bishops present. The next shall be the Attainder of Tho. Duke of Norf. and Henry Earl of Surry. 38. H. 8. This also was an Attainder in Parliament: The first reading of the Bill against these Noble Lords, was on the 18th of January, Anno Regis supra dicto, when were present ten Bishops; the second rea­ding, was the day following, when were present nine Bishops: The third and last reading was on the 20th of the same Moneth, when were present thirteen Bishops; the Bill past the Royal Assent, January 27th, 38. Hen. 8. the Bishops likewise then present. The third in­stance of Hen. D. of Suffolk, which indeed was an Attainder at Common Law, but after­ward confirm'd in Parliament. A. 1 & 2. Phil. et Mar. at the first reading were present 12 Bishops: the Bill was read, 5 Jan. Anno supradicto, at the 2d. reading, which was two days after on the 7th of January were present eleaven Bishops; and on the next day, the Bill had its last reading in the Lords House, at which were present eleaven Bishops: the Lords Spiritual, were likewise present at the passing of the Bill; which was on the 21 of Jan. follow­ing; in each of these, the Journal if consulted will satisfie any. The 4th Precedent shall be in Seymore the Lord Admiral, who was attainted for Treason, in the 2d. of Edw. 6. for that he purposed to destroy the young King, and to translate the Crown unto himself; for which, and other Crimes objected, he suffered Death, on the Tower-Hill: at his Attainder were Present nineteeen Bishops. I might have before added the Case of the Lord Hungerfords-Attainder in Parliament; who was condemned in Parliament, in the 32. of Hen. the 8th. at whose Tryal and Condemnation, were Present no fewer than seaven­teen Bishops, Vid. Journal of the Lords House, I will only add two more Precedents, and close with them; they are in the Reign of the Peaceable Queen Elizabeth, in whose times if ever, the Actings in Parliament were regular, and orderly: the first is, the Case of the Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland, for their Rebellion in the North, and endea­vour to bring in Popery, at whose Condemnation were present thirteen Bishops, Vid. Jour­nal, and lastly that of Pagets, in the 29th of the said Queen, at which were ten Bishops, Vid. Journal as before: I shall only add one thing more, and that is the Protestation of the Bishops. 11. R. 2 where they give the reason why they refused, to be put in some Parlia­ments, their words Quia in hoe Parliamento agitur de nonnullis materiis in quibus non licet no­bis juxta sacrorum Canonum instituta quomodolibet personaliter interesse; but they there add a Salvo to their right, in the beginning of their Protestation. Quod ad Archiepiscopum Cantuar. qui pro tempore fuerit, n [...]c non caeteros suos suffraganeos Confratres, Co-episcopos, Abbates et Prio­res aliosque Praelatos quoscunque Baroniam de Domino Rege t [...]nentes in Parliamento Regis ut Pares praed. personaliter interesse pertinet, ibidem (que) de regni negotiis & aliis ibi tractari consuetis cum caeteris dicti regni Paribus & aliis consulere, ordinare, statuere desinire ac caetera facere, quae Parliamenti tem­pore ibid. intendet facien', &c. tis true indeed, that as they never intended, but that the Appeals, Pursuites, Accusations, Judgements, had and rendred, &c. upon their voluntary absenting themselves; they should be good and valid in the Law, as their Protestation expresly gran­teth: yet by the same their Protestation, they reserve their right of being present, &c. doing every thing else which any other Peer, though Temporal might do. And that they did Vote in the 21st of this Kings Reign, by their Proctor in the Condemnation of the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury (Yea and upon the Commons Petition too, for that many judgments had been reversed, for that they were not present as is before proved) and Personally also in the Condem­nation of the Earl of Arandel and Wardour, &c. the Duke of Lancaster being then Lord High Steward, Vid. Plaoit. Coron &c. 21 Ric. 2. in the Records in the Tower. The Roll marked with the Letters F. I. It is well known that out of respect to the constitution made in the Council held at Westminster. that no Clergy-man should agitare Judicium San­guinis. (This Council is mentioned in R. Hovenden in H. 2. p. 30.) the Clergy have some time forborn to intermeddle in such matters: and on the other side 'tis as notorious, that many of that Order have been Lord Chief Justices of England, and that none have dischar­ged that Office better, more to the Content of the King and Subject, and the Benefit of the whole Commonwealth.


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