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the confuter; opportunely. For why then should the servant take upon him to use those things which his master had unfitted himself to use, that he might teach his minifters to follow his steps in the same ministry? But “they were offered him to a bad end.” So they prove to the prelates, who, after their preferment, molt usually change the teaching labour of the word, into the unteaching ease of lordship over consciences and purses. But he proceeds, “ God enticed the Ifraelites with the promise of Canaan;" did not the prelates bring as slavish minds with them, as the Jews brought out of Egypt? they had left out that instance. Besides that it was then the time, whenas the best of them, as St. Paul saith, “was thut up unto the faith under the law their schoolmaster," who was forced to entice them as children with childish enticements. But the gospel is our manhood, and the ministry should be the manhood of the gospel, not to look after, much less so bafely to plead for earthly re. wards. “But God incited the wisest man Solomon with these means.” Ah, confuter of thyself, this example hath undone thee; Solomon asked an understanding heart, which the prelates have little care to ask. He asked no riches, which is their chief care ; therefore was the prayer of Solomon pleasing to God; he gave him wisdom at his request, and riches without asking, as now he gives the prelates riches at their seeking, and no wifdom because of their perverse asking. But he gives not over yet, “ Mofes had an eye to the reward.” To what reward, thou man that lookeft with Balaam's eyes ? To what reward had the faith of Moses an eye? He that had forsaken all the greatness of Egypt, and chose a troublesome journey in his old age through the wilderness, and yet arrived not at his journey's end. His faithful eyes were fixed upon that incorruptible reward, promised to Abraham and his feed in the Messiah; he fought a heavenly reward, which could make him happy, and never hurt him, and to such a reward every good man may have a respect; but the prelates are eager of such rewards as cannot make them happy, but can only make them worfe, Jacob, a prince born, vowed that if God
would would " but give him bread to eat and raiment to put on, then the Lord should be his God.” But the prelates of . mean birth, and ofttimes of lowest, making show as if they were called to the spiritual and humble ministry of the gospel, yet murmur, and think it a hard service, unless, contrary to the tenour of their profession, they may eat the bread and wear the honours of princes: so much more covetous and base they are than Simon Magus, for he profered a reward to be admitted to that work, which they will not be meanly hired to. But, faith he, " Are not the clergy members of Christ, why should not each member thrive alike?" Carnal textman! as if worldly thriving were one of the privileges we have by being in Christ, and were not a providence ofttimes extended more liberally to the infidel than to the christian. Therefore must the ministers of Christ not be over rieh or great in the world, because their calling is fpiritual, not fecular; because they have a special warfare, which is not to be entangled with many impediments; because their master Christ gave them this precept, and let them this example, told them this was the mystery of his coming, by mean things and persons to subdue mighty oncs: and lastly, because a middle estate is most pro- .. per to the office of teaching, whereas higher dignity teaches far less, and blinds the teacher. Nay, faith the confuter, fetching his last endeavour, " the prelates will be very loth to let go their baronies, and votes in parliament,” and calls it “God's cause," with an infufferable impudence. “ Not that they love the honours and the means," good men and generous ! “but that they would not have their country made guilty of such a sacrilege and injustice !” A worthy patriot for his own corrupt ends. That which he imputes as facrilege to his country, is the only way left them to purge that abominable facrilege out of the land, which none but the prelates are guilty of; who, for the discharge of one single duty, receive and keep that which might be enough to satisfy the labours of many painful minifters better deserving than themselves; who possess huge benefices for lazy performances, great promotions only for the execution
of a cruel disgospelling jurisdiction ; who ingross many pluralities under a nonresident and subbering dispatch. of souls; who let hundreds of parishes famith in one diocese, while they the prelates are mute, and yet enjoy that wealth that would furnish all those dark places with able supply; and yet they eat, and yet they live at the rate of earls, and yet hoard up; they who chase away all the faithful shepherds of the flock, and bring in a dearth of fpiritual food, robbing thereby the church of her dear-' est treasure, and sending herds of souls starveling to Hell, while they feast and riot upon the labours of hireling curates, consuming and purloining even that which by their foundation is allowed, and left to the poor, and to reparations of the church. These are they who have bound the land with the sin of sacrilege, from which mortal engagement we shall never be free, till we have totally removed with one labour, as one individual thing, prelaty and sacrilege. And herein will the king be a true defender of the faith, not by paring or lessening, but by distributing in due proportion the maintenance of the church, that all parts of the land may equally partake the plentiful and diligent preaching of the faith, the scandal of ceremonies thrown out that delude, and circumvent the faith; and the usurpation of prelates laid level, who are in words the fathers, but in their deeds, the oppugners of the faith. This is that which will best confirm him in that glorious title. Thus ye have heard, readers, how many shifts and wiles the prelates have invented to save their ill got booty. And if it be true, as in scripture it is foretold, that pride and covetousness are the sure marks of those false prophets which are to come; then boldly conclude these to be as great seducers as any of the latter times. For between this and the judgment day do not look for any arch deceivers, who in spite of reforination will ule more craft, or less Thame to defend their love of the world and their ambition, than these prelates have done. And if ye think that soundness of reason, or what force of argument soever will bring them to an ingenuous filence, ye think that which will never be, But if ye take that course which Erasmus was wont to say Luther took against the pope and monks; if ye denounce war against their mitres and their bellies, ye shall soon discern that turban of pride, which they wear upon their heads, to be no helmet of salvation, but the mere metal and hornwork of papal jurisdiction; and that they have also this gift, like a certain kind of some that are poffeffed, to have their voice in their bellies, which, being well drained and taken down, their great oracle, which is only there, will soon be dumb; and the divine right of episcopacy, forthwith expiring, will put us no more to trouble with tedious antiquities and disputes,
MASTER SAMUEL HARTLIB.
MASTER HARTLIB, ., I am long fince persuaded, that to say or do aught worth memory and imitation, no purpose or respect should sooner move us than simply the love of God, and of mankind. Nevertheless to write now the reforming of education, though it be one of the greatest and noblest designs that can be thought on, and for the want whereof this nation perishes; I had not yet at this time been induced, but by your earnest entreaties and serious conjurements; as having my mind for the present half diverted in the pure suance of some other assertions, the knowledge and the use of which cannot but be a great furtherance both to the enlargement of truth, and honest living with much more peace. Nor should the laws of any private friendship have prevailed with me to divide thus, or transpose my former thoughts, but that I see those aims, those actions, which have won you with me the esteem of a person sent hither by some good providence from a far country to be the occasion and incitement of great good to this island. And, as I hear, you have obtained the same repute with men of most approved wisdom, and some of the highest authority among us; not to mention the learned correspondence which you hold in foreign parts, and the extraordinary pains and diligence, which you have used in this matter both here and beyond the seas; either by the definite will of God fo ruling, or the peculiar sway of nature, which also is God's working. Vol. I.