Master Speaker,

I Have heard, since I had the ho­nour to sit here, many grievan­ces presented, and truly Sir, my heart bleeds within me when I thinke of them, especially those that concern Religion. But what should I speake of grievances concerning Religion, when Religion it selfe is be­come a grievance, nay the very Nurse and Mother of all grievances, all scandalls, all reproaches?

‘Tantum Religio potuit suadere malorum.’

Not to trouble you with any long discourse; if I have any sight, That Bark both of Church and State hath a long time floated betwixt Sylla and Charybdis, Popery on the one side, and I know not what to call it on the other; in many respects both [Page] alike dangerous, unless the Italian Proverbe may alter the Case; God defend me from my reputed friends, and I will defend my selfe from my profest enemies.

We are entrusted by God, the King, and the C [...]y, with the managing of this Bark, fraught w [...] the fortunes of three great Kingdomes. Now should wee so decline the former Rocke, that wee d [...]sh on the other side; I humbly offer it to this Ho­nourable Assembly, whether thee might not have just cause to say, she had changed her Pilot, rather than her Condition; and only shifted places to find her ruine: For Sir, there is as much beyond Truth, as on this side it, and would we steere a right course we must be sure to keepe the Channell, lest we fall from one extreame to another, from the dotage of Superstition to the frenzie of Prophanenesse, from bowing to Idols, to worship the Calves of our own imaginations.

Sir, I beseech you consider what libellous Pam­phlets are now printed, what Sermons are preach­ed, not building hay and stubble, but utterly sub­verting the foundations of Truth; What irreve­rence in Churches, what profanation of Gods Ser­vice, to the scandall of Christianity, the reproach of Religion, and the intollerable griefe of all good men, of which I may take up the words of Petrus de Aliaco, to the Councel of Constance, Nisi celeriter fiat reformatio, audeo dicere; quod licet magna sint que videmus, tamen in brevi incomparabilia major a vide­mus, & post ista tam horrenda major a alia audiemus.

Sir, I take God to record I am no mans Advo­cate, no mans enemy, but a faithful lover of truth [Page] and peace, and a dutifull Son of our distressed Mo­ther the Church of England, in whose behalfe, and our own, my motion shall be shortly this. That the Ministers petition, with so much of their Remon­strance as hath been read, may be committed, and the rest of it concerning matter of doctrine may be referred to some learned and approved Divines, as have spent their time in that noble study. For give me leave to tell you, there is a Vulgus among the Clergy, as among the Laity, Et in utraque nil modicum; and for these and all things which strike at the root and branch as they please to call it, I shall humbly move, that we rather consider how to satisfie the petitioners with some timely declaration from both Houses, of the lawfulnesse, and conveniency of Episcopall Government, derived from the Apo­stles, and so long established in this Kingdome, ra­ther then to venture upon any alteration, the con­sequence whereof, the wisest man cannot foresee, and in truth Sir, should we once begin, for my own part, I know not how, or where we should stay.

Neverthelesse, if any one doubt the superiority of Bishops over Priests and Deacons in Ecclesiasti­call government, or in ordination, I shall be readie, whensoever this House shall command me to make it good, and I think by as pregnant testimonies, as we are able to prove the difference betwixt Cano­nicall and Apocryphall Scripture, the necessity of Infants baptisme, or that the Apostles were the Au­thors of their owne Creed: But Sir, I hope you will save your selfe and me that labour, and rather de­vise of some set way to binde up the Churches [Page] wounds, which God knowes are too wide already, that so the Clergy and Laity being made friends, and all reduced to the modell of our Ancestors since the reformation, wee may all together pre­serve the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace; and so his Maiesty having graciously, and prudently exprest himself, I am the more con­fident, we shal not only put an end to all mis-intelli­gence betwixt Prince and People, but also highly advance the Protestant cause, and give a deadly blow to the See of Rome.

I humbly crave the favour of the House, for God is my witnes,

‘Non potui aliter liberare animam meam.’


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