SPEECH OF THAT VVORTHY KNIGHT, SIR BENIAMIN Rudierd, spoken in Parliament; CONCERNING THE PLACING OF GOOD AND ABLE DI­vines in Parishes miserably destitute of Instruction, through want of Maintenance.

AND CONFIRMED BY THE Testimonies of three judicious, and Learned Men.

London Printed for W. Ley, and are to be sold at his Shop at Pauls-Chaine. 1641.

SIR BENJAMIN RUDDIERD His Speech in Parliament.

MAster Speaker, I did not think to have spoken again to this Bill, because I was willing to believe that the forwardnesse of this Committe would have prevented me, but now I do hold my self bound to speak, and to speak in earnest.

IN the first yeare of the King, and the second convention, I first moved for the encrease and enlargement of poore Ministers Livings; I shewed how necessa­ry it was to be done, how shamefull it was, that it had been so long neglected. This was also commended to the House by His Majesty. There was then, as [...]ow many accusations on foot against scandalous Ministers. I was bold to tell the House, that there were scandalous Livings too, which were much the cause of the other: Livings of five Markes, or five pounds a yeare▪ that men of worth and of parts would not be musled up to such pittances. And that there were some places in England, which were scarce in Christendome, where God was little better known then amongst Indians. I exampled it in the utmost skirts of the North, where the prayers of the common people, are more like spels and charmes, than devotions; the same blindnesse and ignorance is in divers parts of Wales, which many of that Countrey do both know and l [...]ment.

I declared also, that to p [...]ant good Ministers in good Livings, was the stron­gest and surest meanes to establish true Religion, that it would prevaile more against Papistry, than the making of new laws, or executing of old▪ That it would counterwork court-conscience and luke-warm accommodation. That though the calling of Ministers be never so glorious within, yet outward poverty will bring contemp [...] upon them; especially among those who measure men by the acre, and weigh them by the pound, which indeed is the greatest part of men.

Mr. Speaker, I cannot but testifie how being in Germany, I was exceedingly scandalized to see the poore stipendary Ministers of the reformed Churches there despised and neglected by reason of their poverty, being otherwise very grave and learned men. I am afraid that this is a part of the burthen of Germany which ought to be a warning to us.

I have heard many objections and difficulties even to impossibilities against this Bill: to him that is unwilling, there is over a Beare or a Lion in the way. First let us make our selves willing▪ then will the way be easie and safe enough.

I have observed, that we are alwaies very eager and fierce against Papistry, against scandalous Ministers, and against things which are not much in our pow­er; I should be glad to see that we did delight as well in rewarding, as in puni­shing, and in undertaking matters within our own reach, as this is absolutely within our power. Our own duties are next us, other mens farther off: I doe not speak this, that I doe mislike the destroying or putting down of that which is ill, but then let us be as earnest to plant and build up that which is good in the room of it, for why should we be desolate. The best and the gentlest way to dispell darknesse, is, to let in the light; we say that day breakes, but no man ever heard the noise of it; God comes in the still voice; let us quietly mend our Candle­sticks, and we cannot want lights.

I am afraid this backwardnesse of ours, will give the adversary occasion to [Page 3] say, that we chuse our religion, because it is the cheaper of the two; that we would willingly serv [...] God with somewhat that would cost us nought. Beleeve it Mr. Speaker, he that thinkes to save any thing by his religion, but his soule, will be a terrible looser in the end. We sow sparingly, that [...]s the reason we reap so sparing­ly, and have no more fruit. Me thinkes whosoever hates Papistry, should by the same rule hate covetousnesse, for that's Idolatry too. I never liked hot professions and cold actions. Such an heat is rather the heat of distemper and disease, then of life and saving health.

For scandalous Ministers, there is no man shall be more forward to have them severely punished, then I will be: when salt hath lost its savour, let it be cast out upon the unsavory place, the d [...]nghill. But Sir, let us deale with them, as God hath dealt with us. God before he made man, made the world, an handsome place for him to dwell in; so let us provide them convenient livings, and then punish them in Gods name, but till then scandalous livings cannot but have scandalous Ministers. It shall ever be a rule to me, that where the Church & common-wealth are both of one religion, it is comely & decent, that the outward splendor of the Church should hold a proportion, & participate with the prosperity of the tempo­ral estate: why should we dwel in houses of cedars, & suffer God to dwel in skins?

It was a glorious and religious work of King Iames, (I speake it to his un­speakable honour, and to the praise of that Nation, who though their Countrey be not so rich as ours, yet are they richer in their affections to Religion) within the space of one year he caused to be planted Churches through all Scotland, the Highland and the Borders, worth 30. l. a yeare a piece, with a house and some glebe land belonging to them; which 30. l. a yeare, considering the cheapnesse of the Countrey, and the modest fashion of Ministers living there, is worth double as much, as any where within an 100. miles of London. The printed Act & Com­mission whereby it was executed, I have here in my hand, delivered to me by a noble Gent▪ of that nation, & a worthy member of this House, Sir Fran: Steward.

To conclude, though Christianity & Religion be established generally through­out this Kingdom, yet untill it be planted more particularly, I shall scarce thinke this a Christian Common-wealth. And seeing it hath been moved and shewed in Parliament, it will lie heavy upon Parliaments, untill it be effected. Let us doe something for God here of our own; and no doubt God will blesse our procee­dings in this place the better for ever hereafter. And for mine own part, I will ne­ver give over soliciting this cause as long as Parliaments and I live together.

TO confirm the complaint of this worthy and religious Knight: there fol­lows the testimony of two excellent men of God, whose piety and zeale may move some to consider of the matter more seriously then they have done hitherto, especially if they will please to reade what is written more at large in their Sermons of this argument.

The Reverend and learned Bishop Iewell in his Sermon before Q. Elizabeth on Psal. 69. 9. The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up, saith thus▪ In England since the Gospell hath been received, the maintenance of learning hath been decay­ed; and the lack of learning will be the decay of the Gospell. Loth I am to speak, yet the cause so requireth, that it is needfull to be spoken: I trust I shall speake in the hearing of them that will consider it. Maintenance of learning whereby an [Page 4] able and sufficient Ministry may grow and be established in all the Churches of this Realme, is to be wished for. The good estate of this noble Kingdome, the comfort of posteritie, the stay of Religion, the continuing of the Gospell, the re­moving of darkenesse hangeth upon it. One asked sometimes how it was, that in Athens, so good and great a Citie, there were no Physitians: to whom this answe [...] was made, because there are no rewards appointed for them that practise Phy­sick. The same answer may be made for our times; the cause why the Church of God is so forsaken, is the want of zeale in them that should either for their cour­tesie, or for their ability be fosterers of learning, and encrease the Livings, where occasion is, and give hope and comfort to learned men. Which said I? encrease? nay the Livings and provisions which heretofore were given, or taken away.

Have patience, if any such be here (as I well know there are) whom these things touch. Suffer me to speake the truth, it is Gods cause: the Livings of such, as are in the Ministery, are not in their hands, to whom they are due. All other labourers and arti [...]icers have their hire encreased double as much as it was wont to be; one­ly the poore man that laboureth and sweateth in the vineyard of the Lord of hostes hath his hire abridged and abated.

I spake not of the Curates, but of the Personag [...] & Vicarages, that is, of the places, which are the Castles and Towers of fence for the Lords Temple. They seldome passe now adayes from the Patron, if he be no better than a gentleman, but either for the lease, or for present money. Such Merchants are broken into the Church of God, a great deale more intollerable, then were they, whom Christ whipped and chased out of the Temple. Thus they that should be carefull for Gods Church, that should be Patrons to provide for the consciences of the peo­ple, and to place among them a learned Minister, who might be able to preach the Word unto them, out of season, and in season, and to fulfill his ministery, seeke their owne, and not which is Jesus Christs. They serve not Jesus Christ, but their belly. And this is done, not in one place, or in one countrey, but throughout England. A Gentleman cannot keepe his house, unlesse he have a Personage or two in farme for his provision.

O mercifull God! whereto will this grow at last [...] if the misery which this plague worketh would reach but to one age, it were the more tolerable: but it will be a plag [...]e to the posterity, it will be the decay and desolation of Gods Church: young men which are toward and learned see this, they see, that he which feedeth the flock hath least part of the milke; he which goeth a warfare, hath not halfe his wages; therefore they are weary and discouraged, they change their studies, some become prentises, some turne to physick, some to law, all shun and fly the Ministery. And besides, the hinderance that thus groweth by the wic­ked dealing of patrons, by reason of the Impropriations, the vicarages in many places, and in the properest market towns, are so simple, that no man can live up­on them, and therefore no man will take them. [...]they were went to say, Ben [...]ficia sine cura; benefices without charge: but now may be said, Cura [...]ine benefici [...]: charge or care without ben [...]fit.

But there be many which can say, such as [...]e Ministers in the Church should teach freely, without hope of recompence, or hire for their labour, our Preachers are no better then Peter and Paul, and the other Apostles. They are no better than the [Page 5] [...]ly Prophets, who li [...]ed po [...]ely, poverty is a commendable state. So say some [...] like devotion, as did Iudas. What needeth this waste? this might have beene sold [...] much and given to the poore, not that he cared for the poore, but because he was a [...]eefe, and had the bagge, and bare that which was given. I dobut not there are many [...]hich teach Christ for Christs sake, which say in their soule, the Lord is my por­ [...]on; vvho seeke you and not yours; I doubt not there are such.

But for the hope of posteritie, I report me to all you which are Fathers and [...]ve children, for whom you are carefull: although your selves have a zeale [...]d care for the house of God, yet will you breed them up, keepe them at [...]choole, and at the Universitie, untill 30. or 40. yeares old, to your great char­ [...]s, to the end, they may live in glorious povertie, that they may live poorely [...]nd naked like the Prophets and Apostles. Our posterities shall [...] that ever [...]ch Fathers went before them, and Chronicles shall report this contempt of lear­ [...]ing, among the punishments and murraines, and other plagues of God, they hal [...] leave it written in what time, and under whose raigne this was done.

In the meane time, what may be guessed of their meaning, who thus ruine and [...]olle the house of God, which decay the provision thereof, and so basely esteeme [...]he Ministers of his Gospell? they cannot say to God, the zeale of thine house [...]ath eaten me up: however in other things they doe well; however they seeme to [...]ejoyce at the prosperity of Sion, and to seeke the safety and preservation of the [...]ords anointed: yet needs must it be, that by these meanes forrain power, of wch [...]his Realme by the mercy of God, is happily delivered, shall againe be brought [...]n upon us. Such things shall be done unto us, as we before suffered in the times of Popery; the truth of God shall be taken away, the holy Scriptures burnt and consumed in fire, a marveilous darkenesse and calamity must needs ensue, &c.

The oxe that treadeth out th [...] corn is musled, he that goeth to warfare, receiveth not his wages, the cry hereof goeth up into the eares of the Lord of hostes; hee will not abide so great contempt of his Word and Preachers, his owne name is thereby dishonoured: our Saviour saith: Luk. 10. He that despiseth you, despiseth me, and Saint Paul, 1 Thess. 4. he that despiseth these things, despiseth not man but God; and thinke we, that he will suffer his holy name to be despised? nay his wrath is already kindled▪ he hath already begun his judgements, and therefore many pla­ces are left desolate, there is none that can warne them of their sinne, none that can move them to repentance, none that can preach unto them forgivenesse through Christ, none that can instruct them in the comfort of everlasting life.

For this cause you will live still in your sinnes, in adultery, in covetousnesse, and in pride, without any feeling of conscience, without any feare of God, thus we provoke God to anger; many walke (of whom wee cannot thinke but with weeping) they are the enemies of the Crosse of Christ; the name of God is blas­phemed among them, &c. These words happily seeme sharpe & over vehement, but the darkenes of our hearts against God, and the lacke of zeale for his house, inforce me to them: we are almost fallen into the lowest pit; we are left without zeale, as sencelesse men, and as if we had cleane forgotten our selves, as the Hea­thens which know not God: therefore unlesse we repent, the kingdome of God shall be taken away from us: he will send upon this land a famine of the Word. [...]erusalem shall be overthrown and made an heape of stones, the man of sinne, [Page] and they which have not the love of the truth shall prevaile with many, and w [...]draw them from obedience to the Prince; this noble Realme shall be subject [...] forraine nations; all this will the zeale of the Lord of hostes bring to passe.

I could have spent this time in opening of some other matter, but nothing, [...] my judgement, is more worthy your good consideration & speedy redresse, & [...] Wherefore he concludes with a grave exhortation to her Majestie, as followe [...]

O that Your Grace did behold the miserable disorder of Gods Church, or th [...] you might foresee the calamities that will follow! It is a part of your kingdom [...] and such a part, as is the principall prop and stay of the rest: I will say to yo [...] Majestie, as Cyrillus sometimes said to the godly Emperours Theodosius and V [...]lentinian, ab ea quae erga Deum est pietate Reipub vestrae status pendet, The good stat [...] & welfare of your common-weale hangeth upon true godlinesse, you are our go­vernour, you are the nurse of Gods Church, We may open this griefe befor [...] you; God knoweth if it may be redressed it is runne so farre: But if it may be redressed, there is no other besides your highnesse, that can redresse it. I hope [...] speake truely that which I spake without flattery, that God hath indued you [...] Grace with such measure of learning aud knowledge as no other Christia [...] Prince; He hath given you peace, happinesse, the love and the hearts of you [...] Subjects. Oh turne and employ these to the glory of God, that God may con­firme in your Grace the thing vvhich he hath begun. To this end hath God pla­ced Kings and Princes in their State, as David saith, that they serve the Lord [...] that they may see, & cause others to see to the furniture of the Church. The good Emperour Iustinian cared for this as much, as for his life, Constantine, Theodosius [...] and Valentinian, and other godly Princes called themselves vassales, the subject [...] and bond-servants of God. They remembred that God furnished them in th [...] houses, and were not unmindfull to furnish his house.

When Augustus had beautified Rome, with setting up many faire buildings [...] he said, inveni lateritiam, manmoream reliqui. I found it made of brick, but I leav [...] it made of marble. Your Grace, when God sent you to your inheritance and th [...] right of this Realme, found the Church in horrible confusion, and in respect of the true worship of God, a Church of bricke; or rathe [...], as Ezekiel saith, dawbed [...] up with untempered morter. Your Grace hath already redressed the doctrine, now cast your eyes towards the Ministery, give courage and countenance unto learning that Gods house may be served: So shall you leave a Church of God, and a testimony that the zeale of the Lords house hath eaten you up.

Let us have care for the house of God, whosoever is not after this sort zealous, is a man of a double heart, we may not halt betweene two opinions: If the Lord bee God follow him, but if Baal bee hee, then goe after him. Hee that is not with Christ is against him. Many talke of the Gospell, and glory in their knowledge, but it is neither talke nor knowledge, which shall save them in that day: he that feareth the Lord, and serveth him with a pure heart, and may true­ly say, the zeale of thine house hath consumed me, he shall be saved; if they shall no escape, which have zeale without knowledge, what shall become of us which have knowledge without zeale.

And you, whosoever you are, that have decayed the Lords house, and abridged the provision and maintenance thereof, and see the miserable wracke of God [...] [Page] [...] any zeale of God in you, if you have any fellowship of the [...]pirit, if any compassion and mercy, if you love God, if you desire the conti­ [...]uance of the Gospell; Oh remember you have the patrimony due to them that [...]ould attend in the Lords house; you take unto your selves wrongfully that [...]hich was not lotted for you. Give unto Caesar those things that belong unto Caesar, [...]d unto God the things which appertaine unto him, and make for the beautie and [...]rniture of his house. Enrich your selves by lawfull meanes, and without the [...]oile, and wast of Gods Church. Let not the Ministery by your meanes be de­ [...]ised. You enriched them heretofore in the dayes of Popery, which mocked, [...]d blinded, and devoured you: spoyle not them now, that feed, and instruct and [...]omfort you.

That reverend man of God Mr. Perkins in his Sermon of the duties and dig­ [...]ies of the Ministery giveth three reasons of the rarenesse and scarcenesse of [...]ood Ministers. The first is, the contempt and disgrace of their calling by wick­ [...]d and worldly men. 2. The difficultie of discharging the duties of their cal­ [...]ng. The 3. reason is more pecul [...]ar to this age of the now Testament, namely: [...]ant of maintenance and preferment for men that labour in this calling. Men are flesh [...]d blood, and in that respect must be allured and wonne to embrace this voca­ [...]on by some arguments, which may perswade flesh and blood; the world hath [...] all ages beene negligent herein, and therefore God in his Law tooke such [...]ict order for the maintenance of the Levites; but especially now under the Gospell, this calling is unprovided for when it deserves best of all to be rewar­ [...]ed: certainly it were a worthy Christian policy to propound good preferments [...] this calling, that thereby men of the worthyest gifts might be wonne with it; [...]nd the want thereof is the cause, why so many young men of speciall parts and [...]reatest hope, turne to other vocations, and especially to the Law, wherein at this [...]ay the greatest part of the finest wits of our Kingdome are imployed, and why? but [...]ecause they have all the meanes of rise; whereas the Ministery for the the most [...]art yeeldeth nothing but a plaine way to beggery: this is a great blemish in [...]ur Church, and surely, I wish the Papists, those children of this world, were not wi­ [...]er in their kinde in this point then the Church of God: the reformation hereof is a worke worth the labour of a Prince and people, and speciall care is to be had in [...]t, else it will not be reformed: for doubtlesse had not God himselfe in the Old Testament taken such straight order for the livings of the Levites, they had bin put to no lesse extremities then is the Ministery of this age, and this reason ad­ded to the other makes them perfect, and all put together make a reason infalli­ [...]le: for who will undergoe so vile a contempt, and undertake so great a charge for no reward: and where there is so great contempt, so heavy a burthen, and so mean a reward, what marvell if a good Minister be one of a thousand?

Rulers and Magistrates are hereby taught, if good Ministers be so scarce, to maintaine and increase, and doe all good they can to the Schooles of the Prophets, to Universities, Colledges and Schooles of good learning, which are the Seminaries of the Ministery: herein the example of Samuel is very worthy to be followed, in whose dayes the Schooles of the Prophets flourished; and [...]ven Saul himselfe, though he did much hurt in Israel, yet when he came to the [...]hooles of the Prophets, his heart relented, he could doe them no hurt, nay he [Page] [...] his rob [...] and [...] amongst them. So should Christian Princes [...] Magistrates advance their Schooles, and see them both well maintained [...] well stored; the reason is evident and forcible, a good Minister is one of a [...] sand, if therefore they would have the number encreased, let them maintain [...] Seminaries. And againe, if Antichrist to uphold his kingdome (the kingdom [...] Satan,) be so carefull herein to erect Colledges and indow them with liv [...] to be Seminaries for his Synagogue, and use so great meanes to sow his [...] the hearts of young men, that so they may sow them in the hearts of the [...] abroad, shall not Christian Princes be as carefull, or rather much more [...] for the encreasing of the number of Godly Ministers? shall Baal have his [...] Prophets, and God have his Eli [...] alone? great shame must it be to Aha [...], [...] any King, whose kingdome is in that estate.

Adde hereunto that passage of an exc [...]lling and worthy [...]ight, Sir Henry S [...]man, in his tract, de non temerandis Ecclesiis.

Perhaps Lay Approprietaries think they may hold Parsonages and tithe [...] example of Celledges, Deanes and Chapters, Bishops of the land, and of [...] of our late Kings and Princes. Before I speak to this point, I take it by protest [...] on that I have no heart to make apologie for it; For I wish that every man [...] drinke the water of his owne Well, eate the milke of his owne flocke, and live [...] the fruite of his owne vineyard: I meane that every member might attract [...] other nutriment, but that which is proper to it selfe: yet are they greatly decel [...] that draw any juyce of incouragement from these examples, for all these [...] ther the Seminaries of the Church, or the husbandmen of the Church, or the [...]thers and nurses of the Church; all de familia Ecclesiae, and consequently belo [...] ­ing to the care of the Church, and ought therefore to be sustained by it. For [...] Paul saith. He that provideth not for his owne, and namely for them of his houshold, [...] denyeth the faith; and is worse then an infidell. 1 Tim. 5. Therefore before the sta [...] of suppression of Abbies, those that were not meerely Ecclesiasticall persons, [...] if they were mixt, or had Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction, they might by the la [...] of the land participate Ecclesiasticall livings, and tithes particularly. And [...] seemeth to take some ground out of the Word of God; for the provinciall [...]vites (as I may tearme them) whom David severed from the Temple, and [...] abroad in the countrey to be rulers of the people, i [...] m [...]tters pertaining to [...] and the Kings businesse, 1 Cron. 26. 30. 32. (That is spir [...]ually and temporal [...] had their portion of tithes notwithstanding, as well as the other Levites [...]ministred in the Temple.

For a farewell; heare what Saint Augustine saith Homil. 48. ex lib. 50. Ho [...]om. 10. majores nostri ideo copiis omnibus abundabant quia Deo deci [...]as dabant [...] Caesari censum reddebant. Our Ancesters did therefore abound in all riches [...] cause they did pay tithes unto God, and tribute unto Caesar: but now they [...] not willing to doe either.

Act. 28: 24. Some were perswaded with things that were spoken, and some bele [...] not.


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