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• papists are greatly encouraged, and the Queen's safety
endangered. 1-I have read over your twenty-four arti. ticles, found in a Romish style, of great length and curicosity, to exanıine all manner of ministers in this time, 6 without distinction of persons, to be executed ex officio smero.—And I find them so curiously penned, so full of
branches and circumstances, that I think the inquisition • of Spain used not so many questions to comprehend and to trap their priests. I know your canonists can defend
these with all their particles ; but surely, under correc. tion, this judicial and canonical sifting poor ministers, is not to edify or reform. And in charity I think they ought not to answer to all these nice points, except they were • notorious papists or heretics. I write with the testimony
of a good conscience. I desire the peace and unity of the • church. I favor no sensual and wilful recusant; but I ? conclude, according to my simple judgment, this kind of
proceeding is too much savoring of the Romish inquisition, and is a device rather to seek for offenders than to reform 6 any. It is not charitable to send poor ministers to your common register, to answer upon so many articles at one instant, without a copy of the articles or their answers.• I pray your grace bear with this one (perchance) fault, . that I have willed the ministers not to answer these articles except their consciences may suffer them. • July 15, 1584.
W. Cecil." This excellent letter was so far from softening the archbishop, that, two days after, he returned his lordship a long answer, vindicating his interrogatories, from the practice of
23. Item, “ That you have taken upon you to preach, read, or expound the seriptures, as well in public places as in private houses, pot being licensed by your ordinary, nor any other magistrate having authority by the laws of this land so to license you. • Declare the like « circumstances hereof.' Et objic. ut supra.
24. Item,“ Quod præmissa omnia & singula, &c. i. e. “That all and singular the premises, &c.”
Could the wit of man invent any thing more like an inquisition ! Here are interrogatories enough to entangle all the honest men in the kingdom, and bring them into danger.
# Life of Whitgift, b. iv. Rec. No. 4.
the Star-chamber, the Court of Marches, and other places. The treasurer found it was to no purpose to contend, and therefore replied in a short but smart letter, in which he tells him, “That after reading his grace's long answer, he
was not satisfied in the point of seeking by examination 6 to bave ministers accuse themselves, and then punish
them for their own confessions : That he would not call • his proceedings captious, but they were scarcely charit
able ; his grace might therefore deal with his friend Mr. • Brayne as he thought fit,--but when by examining him
it was meant only to sift him with twenty-four articles, he had cause to pity the poor man.”*
The archbishop, being desirous to give satisfaction to the treasurer, sent him two papers of reasons, one to justify the articles, and the other the manner of proceeding ex mero officio. In the former he says, That by the ecclesiastical or canon] laws, articles of enquiry may be administered, and have been ever since the reformation; and that they ought not to be compared with the inquisition, because the inquisition punished with death, whereas they only punished obstinate offenders with deprivation.t In the latter his lordship gives the following reasons, among others, for proceeding ex mero officio. If we proceed only by presentment and witnesses, then papists, brownists, and family men, would expect the like measure. It is hard to get witnesses against the puritans, because most of the parishioners favor them, and therefore will not present them, nor appear against them. There is great trouble and charge in examining witnesses, and sending for them from distant parts. If archbishops and bishops should be driven to use proofs by witnesses only, the execution of the law would be partial, their charges in procuring and producing wit. nesses would be intolerable; and they should not be able to make quick dispatch enough with the sectaries. These were the arguments of a protestant archbishop! I do not wonder that they gave no satisfaction to the wise treasurer; for surely, all who have any regard for the laws of their country, or the civil and religious rights of mankind, must be ashamed of them.
Life of Whitgift, p. 160.
The treasurer having given up the archbishop, the lords of the council took the cause in hand, and wrote to his grace and the bishop of London, in favor of the deprived ministers, Sept. 20.* In their letter they tell their lordships, • That they had heard of sundry complaints out of divers 5 counties, of proceedings against a great number of eccle
siastical persons, some parsons, some vicars, some curates, 6 but all preachers ; some deprived, and some suspended • by their lordships' officers, chancellors, &c. but that they • had taken no notice of these things, hoping their lordships
would have staid their hasty proceedings, especially a. gainst such as did earnestly instruct the people against popery. But now of late, hearing of great numbers of zealous and learned preachers suspended from their cures in " the county of Essex, and that there is no preaching, prayers or sacraments in most of the vacant places; that in some few of them, persons neither of learning nor good name are appointed; and that in other places of the country great numbers of persons that occupy cures, are notoóriously unfit; most for lack of learning; many chargeable
with great and enormous faults, as drunkenness, filthiness • of life, gaming at cards, haunting of ale-houses, &c. against 6 wliom they (the council] heard of no proceedings, but é that they were quietly suffered.” To fix this charge home on the bishops, they sent with their letter a catalogue of
names; one column of learned ministers deprived; a second of unlearned and vicious persons continued; “a matter veóry lamentable, say they, for this time!" and a third of pluralists and non-residents ; “ against these latter we (the
council] bave heard of no inquisition ; but of great dili. gence, and extreme usage against those that were known
to be diligent preachers; we therefore pray your lordships to have some charitable consideration of their causes, that people may not be deprived of their diligent, learned, and • zealous pastors, for a few points ceremonial, which en
tangled their consciences." "This letter was dated from Oatlands, Sept. 20th, 1584, and signed by lord Burleigh, the earls of Warwick, Shrewsbury, and Leicester; the lord
* Life of Whitgift, p. 166.
Charles Howard, Sir James Crofts, Sir Christopher Hatton, and Sir Francis Walsingham secretary of state.
But this excellent remonstrance had no manner of influence upon our archbishop.* After this Mr. Beale, clerk of the Queen's council, a man of great learning and piety, drew up a treatise, shewing the injustice and unlawfulness of the bishop's proceedings; and delivered it in manuscript into the archbishop's own hands, which, together with some freedom of speech, inflamed his grace to that degree, that he complained of him to the Queen and council, and used all bis interest to have him tried in the Star-Chamber, and turned out of his place.f Among his misdemeanors, drawn up by the archbishop, were these, That he had printed a book against ecclesiastical oaths: That in the house of commons he had spoke of ecclesiastical matters, contrary to the Queen's command: That he had defended his book against the practice of the ecolesiastical courts : That he had disputed against the Queen's having authority, by virtue of the statute of the 1st of Elizabeth, to grant power to her eccle. siastical commissioners, to imprison whom they please ; to impose fines upon offenders ; and to administer the oath ex officio, saying they are within the statute of præmunire : That he had condemned racking for grievous offenders, as contrary to law and the liberty of the subject; and advised those in the marches of Wales, that exécute torture by vir. tue of instructions under her majesty's hands, to look to it, that their doings are well warranted; but the court would not prosecute upon this charge.
All that the puritans could obtain, was a kind of conference between the archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of Winchester on the one part, and Dr. Sparke and Mr. Travers on the other, in presence of the right honorable the earl of Leicester, the lord Gray, and Sir Francis Walsingham. The conference was at Lambeth,concerning things needful to be reformed in the book of common prayer.
The archbishop opened it with declaring, “That my lord of Leicester, having requested for his satisfaction, to hear • what the ministers could reprove, and how their objec
* Life of Whitgift, p. 143.
+ Ibid. p. 212
6tions were to be answered, he had granted my lord to pro•cure such to come for that purpose, as might seem best to • his good lordship; and now I perceive said he, you are • the men, of whom one I never saw or knew before [Dr. • Sparke ;] the other I know well. Letus hear what things . in the book of common prayer, you think ought to be . mended : you appear not now judicially before me, nor as o called in question by authority for these things, but by • way of conference ; for which cause it shall be free for . you (speaking in duty) to charge the book with such mat• ters as you suppose to be blame-worthy in it.
Dr. Sparke replied ; “ We give most humble and hearty * thanks to Almighty God, and to this honorable presence , • that after so many years, wherein our cause could never • be admitted to an indifferent hearing, it hath pleased God 6 of his gracious goodness so to dispose things, that we have
now that equity and favor shewed us, that before such • honourable personages, as may be a worthy means to her most excellent majesty for reformation of such things as . are to be redressed, it is now lawful for us to declare with . freedom, what points ought to be reviewed and reformed
which our endeavor is, because it concerns the service of • God, and the satisfaction of such as are in authority; and . for that the good issue depends on the favor of Gon, I • desire, that before we enter any further, we may first seek • for the gracious direction and blessing of God by prayer." At which words, framing himself to begin to pray, the archbishop interrupted him, saying, he should make no prayers there, nor turn that place into a conventicle.
Mr. Travers joined with Dr. Sparke, and desired that it might be lawful for them to pray before they proceeded any further ; but the archbishop not yielding thereunto, terming it a conventicle if any such prayer should be offered to be made, my lord of Leicester and Sir Francis Walsingham desired Dr. Sparke to content himself, seeing they doubted not, but that he had prayed already before his coming thither. Dr. Sparke therefore omitting to use such prayer as he had proposed, made a short address to God in a very few words, though the archbishop continued to interrupt him all the while.