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Or a good motion among many bad ones.

Being a diſcovery of an old way to root out Sects and he­reſies, and an earneſt deſire for a complyance with all men to ſettle Peace with Juſtice.

As alſo a Relation of a Remarkable piece of Juſtice done by Duke WILLIAM called the Good.

Likewiſe an Epiſtle to the Reader. By John Muſgrave, a Lover of Peace and Juſtice.

Published according to Order.

2 SAM. 8.15. Thus David reigned over all Iſrael, and executed judgement and ju­ſtice unto all his people.
PROV. 21.3. To do juſtice and judgement is more acceptable to the Lord then ſa­crifice.

LONDON, Printed for Thomas Watſon, and are to be ſold at his ſhop in Duck-Lane, MDCXLVII.

To the Reader.

IN the beginning of theſe our late troubles and Civil warres, I was impriſoned by the Juſtices of the Peace, and Commiſſioners of Array in Cumberland, maintaining the Parliamentary Proteſtations, and oppoſing the Arbitrary and Tyrannicall Government of our cor­rupt Magiſtracy and Miniſtery there: after a long and chargeable Impriſonment, I was removed by an Habeas Corpus to London, and freed by Parliament Authority: but upon my returne back into my Countrey, I was con­ſtrained to undergo a voluntary exile in Scotland, moſt p•••of two years, even till the reducement of that Coun­try to obedience of Parliament; hoping to have found ſuch placed in Authorities there, as had beene of appro­ved Integrity, and men hating Covetouſneſſe.

I returned to my Country, but contrary to my ex­pectations, finding the Militia and Authorities there, ſet­led in the hands of ſuch as were the ſworne and profeſſed enemies of the Kingdome: I and ſome other exiles for the Parliaments cauſe, by certain Propoſitions repreſent­ed our grievances, and made knowne to the Parliament Commiſſioners how the Militia and Authorities with us were intruſted to declared Traitors; but the Parliament Commiſſioners would not redreſſe our grievances: Af­terwards Mr Oſmotherley and I, were ſent to London, to petition the Parliament, in the behalf of the well affected of Cumberland and Weſtmerland: after we had attend­ed the Parliament ſome four moneths, upon a falſe report of the Chair-man of the Committee, I was committed to the priſon of the Fleet, by an Order of the houſe of Commons, where I have beene priſoner: yet in all that time, could I never have acceſſe unto Juſtice. During my reſtraint here, reading the Hiſtory of the Nether­lands, I found the riſe and growth of the warres and trou­bles of thoſe Provinces, was not ſo much from the diſ­ſenting Opinions in matters of Religion; as from pride and covetouſneſſe of the King of Spaines evil Counſel­lours, and worſer Miniſters of Juſtice; who under a coun­terfeit zeale and pretext of ſetling Church Government, abuſing this their Princes favour and their authority, went about to lay a foundation of their own greatneſſe, in the ruines of the people, and to enrich themſelves by impove­rishing and ſubjecting thoſe Provinces to their lawleſſe wills and Tyranny: and the more eaſie to bring that peo­ple under their Iron yoke, they ſet up the Spanish Inqui­ſition, where-from to free themſelves, they were con­ſtrained to take up Arms in defence of themſelves, and for preſervation of their almoſt overthrown Liberties: but finding no reconciliation could be had, relying upon the equity and juſtice of their cauſe, by publique Edict, did declare the King of Spain to bee fallen from the Seignory and authority he had in and over thoſe Provinces; a good crution for Princes by oppreſſion not to loſe the affecti­on of their people. In France a fire was kindled, which the blood of millions could not quench, till free exerciſe of Religion was granted.

The bloudy wars, and fearful maſſacres and cruel mur­thers in Germany upon the denying the Proteſtants there their Liberty, were ſo great and many, as the ſame indan­gered the utter devaſtation of that great Empire.

If wee take a view of the hot perſecutions of the Po­pish Prelates here in England, in Queene Maries dayes: wee shall finde the ſame, the very cauſe and grounds of thoſe ſevere Lawes enacted by her ſiſter, a­gainſt Papiſts and their Prieſts: our late Bishops and their Clergy, were ſo puffed up with pride, as they could not be contented with their great Lordships, and large dominions, without they might Lord it over the Conſciences of others, which proved to bee their ruine, and now they be caſt out with shame, as an abhominable branch.

Our New Presbyters, who ſo cryed downe their Fathers the Bishops, and proclaimed againſt them for their cruelties, and in forcing men to a blinde obedience, Are they more moderate? Nay, Theſe our pretended Reformers, ſince they have beene backed by Authority, and ſet up their great Idol, Kingdomes-deviding, break­ing Covenant, by this new forgery, they endeavour and threaten to enſlave all men to their lawleſſe luſts. Doe they not cry out, No Covenant No Parliament; as the Prelates did, No Bishop No King; every Parish Prieſt more Lording it, then any Prelate ever did, ſurely their deſtruction will be ſudden, if they longer perſiſt in theſe Godleſſe courſes: with our Prieſts, our new State Poli­ticks comply; by this new deviſed Covenant: they to hold up their faction, have caſt off, or kept out of all place and office ſuch as bee conſcientious or honeſt; but left their Fathers the Prelates in caſe ever should recover their former power and credit should condemne them in their convocation houſe, for Hereticks, theſe pretenders and great Reformers, as they retain their old Names and Of­fices of Parſons and Vicars, ſo are they zealous obſer­vers and maintainers of the old Popish Ceremonies, as ſwearing upon a Book, ringing of Bells for the dead, ſer­mons, reading and praying for and over the dead, which to do, their dear brethren of Scotland do abhominate, having rejected the ſame as Antichriſtian: But left any should think what I have ſaid touching our Covenanting Magi­ſtracy and Miniſtery to bee out of diſaffection to their Cauſe, and not of Truth; I know that the great maſters of this City, who ſo cry up the Covenant, will not admit any the freedome thereof, notwithſtanding they have ſerved ſeven years for the ſame, without ſubmitting to Book-ſwearing: the other day the Major and Cham­berlaine of this Metropolis put backe and denyed one his freedome becauſe bee would not take the Freemans Oath upon a booke: Depoſitions of witneſſes are now diſa­lowed and rejected by our new Reforming Juſtices, without the ſame be ſworn upon a Book, as I can prove: Theſe our Reformers doe they not diſcover how ready they will be to face about, and willing to bow againe un­der the Epiſcopall yoak, by their continuing the Statutes in force, for not repairing to the Book of Common Pray­er, the English Maſſe (as the Scots calls it:) for not re­pairing to the Common Prayer Booke, 34. perſons in Cumberland, at Midſomer Seſſions laſt, were indicted by Order of our Parliaments Juſtices there: In Yorkshire the 15. of June, 1647. Mr Worſley had his Oxen and Cowes taken from him for his recuſancy in not comming to the Common Prayer Booke, yet Papiſts in both theſe Countries are tollerated and protected. Let Scotland beware whiles they contend for Conformity, they again ſet not up our English Dagon: but paſſing by formali­ties, let both Kingdomes ſecure their owne Peace, by yeelding to publick liberty and exerciſe of Religion with­out making ſearch of their friends Conſciences, which no force can maſter, but exulcerate rather, and make worſe, as (Courteous Reader) thou maieſt well diſcover by this enſuing diſcourſe of Mr Baldwin, delivered to the King of Spaines own hand, which I have published for thine and my Countries peace, and how we ought to behave our ſelves towards men of different Judgements and Religi­ons. For a Concluſion I give thee an exemplary act of Juſtice done by a Popish Earle upon a covetous and cor­rupt miniſter of Juſtice: If our Parliament thereby would bee ſtirred up ſo to punish their Delinquent Committee men and wicked Judges; injuſtice and oppreſſion would ſtand afar off, Juſtice depreſſe thoſe factions which other, wiſe will break this Nation, whoſe welfare as my owne I deſire.

John Muſgrave.

A DISCOVRSE OF Francis Bavvdvvine, Shewing the means to prevent the troubles of a King­dom; and to root out Sects and Hereſies.Delivered at a Conference to the King of SPAYNE, Anno MDLXV.

ALL men which live under one King, are bound to ſeek the preſervation of the pub­lick good and quiet,Hiſtory of the Netherlands, written Anno 1609, in folio 356. and the entertain­ment of the Kings greatneſs and proſpe­rity, who is the Head of the Body, whereof we are members. I have thought that I am not to be taxed of arrogancie, if (according to the ſmall Talent which I have received from the Lord) I endeavour to diſcourſe briefly of the means that might be held in theſe times, in the which there is ſuch great diverſity of opinions: To prevent all trou­bles2 and tumults that many ariſe, as we have learned by the exam­ple of our Neighbours; and withal, ſatisfie (as much as is poſ­ſible) the will and pleaſure of the King our Lord, whom by Gods law and commandment weare bound to obey and ſerve to the uttermoſt of our powers: ſeing then as well here, as in France, England, Scotland, and Germany (although there be ſome ſmall difference) a great part of the people are moved by exhortation and doctrine of thoſe which they call Goſpellers: (for that as they ſay, they make profeſſion to receive nothing but what is expreſly contained in the Doctrine of the Goſpel, and of the Bible) rejecting the ancient and accuſtomed manner of ſerving God; as to go to maſſe, to confeſs, to receive the Sacra­ment, faſt for certain daies, go on pilgrimages, and other like exerciſes; to joyn themſelves to a new Doctrine and Religion, which they call Reformed. The queſtion is, how (according to the Kings will and pleaſure) the people may be maintained in the ancient Faith, without ſeeking any innovation; and if happily the means ſeems ſomwhat difficult, or rather impoſſible, how we may prevent and ſhun many inconveniences which may ariſe or grow by the diverſity that is among the Inhabitants of the Country.

Firſt, We muſt conſider when any one ſpeaketh of a Religion or Law, it is to be underſtood that he ſpeaketh of the Faith and apprehenſion which men have conceived and imprinted in their hearts and mindes, touching God and his ſervice; and alſo touch­ing the doctrine of their ſalvation: Or elſe they comprehend not by this word Religion, but the exerciſe and outward profeſ­ſion, by the which we ſhew outwardly what we believe inward­ly, or (at leaſt) what we ſhould believe in our hearts. As for the firſt, It is moſt certain that they which follow the new Religion, have a conſtant perſwaſion and impreſſion in their hearts, that what they do and believe, is conformable to the word and commandment of God; and they muſt above all things obey their Creator, and rather endure death, and all the tor­ments of the world, then willingly to go againſt his Word and commandments: Seing then this maxime is graven in the hearts3 of men, It is more then reaſon that God our Creator preſcribe us what law he pleaſe, and we are bound to obey him without any contradiction or exception whatſoever: which maxime is not poſſible to root out of their hearts, neither were there any rea­ſon to attempt it. There muſt then ſome other means be ſought to divert them from their faith; Many have thought it beſt to proceed by force and terror; by fire, flames, and all ſorts of tor­ments; to the end that thoſe which have not yet embraced this faith, might by this means be terrified, to remain in their anci­ent manner of doing: but doubtleſs they are much abuſed, as reaſon and daily experience doth teach; for how is it poſſible to force and command the Conſcience and minde by corporal vio­lence? How can any one perſwade me that that man hath a bad faith, whom I ſee die conſtantly and joyfully, although I know not the ground of the one not the other? Even as it is im­poſſible for all the Monarchs of the world to keep the fire from exerciſing his heat when it encounters an object fit to burn; In like ſort it is as impoſſible for all men (how mighty ſoever) to reſtrain and hinder the ſpirit of man from diſcourſing and judging as he pleaſeth, and not to apply himſelf to that which he findeth beſt to agree with his natural impreſſion; the experience where­of is daily ſeen: For what hath it availed to have put to death ſo many poor ſouls for the faith? whereto have ſerved the fires, gib­bets, ſcaffolds, tortures, and torments which they have uſed in France, in England, yea and in theſe Countries? Without doubt, neither the power nor authority of men, nor the ſharp­neſs of all the torments in the world avail any thing in this point. The Kings of Aegypt were mighty, but they could ne­ver command the conſciences of the children of Iſrael. The Romane Emperors held almoſt all the world in ſubjection, who neither ſpared fire nor flames, croſſes nor gibbets, cords nor tor­tures, nor any kind of torments that could be deviſed or invent­ed to root out the Chriſtian faith, and to terrifie their ſubjects, to divert them, and to retain them in their ancient belief and Pa­gan Religion; and yet they prevailed nothing in their deſignes, but contrariwiſe did much hinder their intents: So that the4 Chriſtians were wont to uſe a common proverb amongſt them, That the blood of their Martyrs was the ſeed of their Churches. And indeed Iulian the apoſtate Emperor, a malicious and ſubtle man, ſeing that to root out the Chriſtian Religion, all his Predeceſſors had prevailed nothing, but contrariwiſe that it was much aug­mented by means of the perſecutions, and that thoſe which died for their faith, took it for a glory and honour; from that time forward he would no more perſecute them neither by fire nor ſword, nor by any corporal violence, although they hated him deadly; but ſought by gentleneſs and perſwaſions to draw them from their Faith; and forbearing all outward violence, he ſought by all policy to hinder their increaſe; wherein he pre­vailed much more; for that ſome through covetouſneſs, others through ambition, ſuffered themſelves to be perſwaded to that whereunto they could not be forced by any violence or threats. I will not compare here this new kind of Doctrine, (which is now in queſtion) with the Pagan Religion, (for it is not my in­tention to interpoſe my cenſure) but I will onely conclude, that in that which conſiſteth in the perſwaſion of the heart, corporal violence prevaileth no more then the vapour of wind that blows, to hinder the heat of the fire: And daily experience hath taught us.

The means then to divert them from their opinions, is to perſwade them that their faith and belief is not conformable to the word of God: To effect the which, there is no other means then to give them free audience; to the end, that they may propound their reaſons and motives with all liberty, and that they be confuted of error and herefie by the Word of God: If they remain obſtinate, yet when this diſputation and inſtruction ſhall be performed in the eye of the World, thoſe that are weak ſhall by this means be perſwaded not to follow their errors; for as for the obſtinate, even as inſtruction would avail them little or nothing, ſo much leſs would fire or death turn them from their reſolved opinions. But on the other ſide, thoſe which be­hold others to die with ſuch conſtancy, take a delight to ſeek the opinions; and they which by this means came to fall in the like5 inconveniences, ſhould be wholy preſerved, when they ſhould hear them vanquiſhed by the word of God, and by reaſons which they cannot contradict. If then Prelats and Biſhops truſt in the bounty of their cauſe (as with all reaſon they ought) There is not in the world a better means to attain unto the Kings intenti­on, and to prevent the multiplying of Sects, then to confer to­gether publickly; that all the world may know, that the others do falſly bragg, that they have the word of God on their ſide; for it is moſt certain, that when truth is compared with falſhood, ſhe muſt of neceſſity ſhew her beauty, and obtaine the Victory; diſco­vering to the eye of all men, what is falſe and counterfeit; and by this means a great good ſhall riſe; for that they which now know not what to follow in ſo great a diverſity of opinions, may ſettle a firm judgment of the Truth, after that they have heard the grounds of either ſide; ſo as in conference all confuſion and diſor­der, all noiſe and rayling be laid aſide.

As wee have ſeene in the diſputations and conferences which Saint Paul hath made, aſwell with the Jews as againſt the Pagans; then preſently thoſe which ſought the truth, knew that he had rea­ſon, and that the other were in errour: ſo in the Councels of Nicene, the Arrians were admitted to propound their reaſons and grounds with all liberty; and being convicted by the word of God of error and hereſie, were forced for a time to deſiſt from their enterpriſe: but preſently after when they preſecuted them, they had many diſciples; ſome moved by pittie, ſome by their falſe perſwaſions; the which was the cauſe of great miſchiefs and inconveniences in the Church: Yea, in our time, we have ſeene in all places where the Anabaptiſts have beene perſecuted, they have increaſed infinitely: And contrariwiſe, where they have been heard in publique conference and diſputation, and convicted of errour and hereſie, by the word of God, they have had no more tredit in the world; And therefore Mabomet hath ſo carefully for­bidden that they ſhould never diſpute upon the points of Religi­on brought in by him; knowing well, that the truth being once confronted againſt his lyes, his doctrine of neceſſity muſt goe to ſmoake. Its a true marke, and a badge of truth, that it deſires to6 be known, made manifeſt, and debated; being like unto the Palm tree, the more it is depreſt and charged, the higher and ſteight­er it growes: For this reaſon the ancients did appoint to hold free and generall Councels every yeare; although by the cor­ruption of time many abuſes have beene brought in by the ambiti­on and covetouſneſſe of thoſe that ſhould give their Voyces: So it is, that the Hereticks and Sectaries feare nothing in the World more, then to be made manifeſt; be it by a free and gene­ral councel, or in any other place, where as matters may be freely debated on either ſide; the which we ſee at this day apparently in the Anabaptiſts, who fly all diſputations more then death.

If then thoſe which deſire to root out this new Religion, which multiplies ſo faſt, are aſſured of the bounty and truth of their cauſe, and of the falſhood of their Adverſaries.

There is no fitter means then to come publickly to field, and to give their adverſaries free audience and leave to diſpute: with­out doubt, if they maintaine herefies, there ſhall neede neither fire nor gibbets to hinder the courſe of their doctrine; for that the more manifeſt it is, the more it will decay: It will be to no pur­poſe to ſay that they have been often heard and confuted; for ad­mit it were ſo, yet a great multitude of people, which are inclined thereunto, deſerve ſo much paine, as to bee inſtructed in hearing and examining their reaſons: but when you have ſaid all, they were never heard with patience; for when as Luther began to preach this doctrine in Germany, it was preſently condemned by the Pope, and perſecuted by all the Kings and Princes of Chri­ſtendome: he was once called to be heard, but it was to ſee if hee would recant or maintaine his writings and his doctrine: And he on the other ſide proteſted nothing more, then the deſire hee had to bee better taught and inſtructed by the holy Scripture. The like proceeding was held againſt Iohannes Huſſe, at the coun­cel of Conſtance, who was never heard in his own defence; but aſſoon as he was arrived there, they laid before him certain Arti­cles, drawn by ſome adverſary of his, out of his books, asking him if he would maintain thoſe Articles, which were reproved and con­demned by the holy Church; and thereupon they gave ſentence7 that he was an heretick, and damned; the which the world ſees to be againſt all right and reaſon. To ſay that thoſe were condem­ned by other Councels before, is nothing to the purpoſe; for if it be ſo (as they ſay) it will be the more eaſie to overthrow them now; for that the ancients have never condemned any doctrine, but that which they held contrary to the word of God; the which they have alledged to that effect: I ſay, to confute errours and he­reſies. So as now the way ſhall be traced, and they ſhall need only to quote the ſame ſcriptures to confute theſe: for that the word of God remaineth eternally, and the ſcripture hath now as much force and vertue to confute hereſies as ever. But to condemne them by the very name and authority of ſome Councels, without alledging the ſcriptures, and reaſons of the ſaid Councels, were out of reaſon; for they ſubmit themſelves to prove, that the Councels (by the which their doctrine hath beene condemned) were but petty Councels, aſſembled and allowed by the tyranny of ſome who alone have decreed what they pleaſed, againſt the authority of the ſcriptures, without hearing or admitting of their adverſe parties. And doubtleſſe in the ancient primative Church, there were many Biſhops which have rejected ſome Councels, as ſuſpect, and not lawfull, nor grounded upon the authority of the word of God, but upon the authoritie of men: as we read of Maximus Bi­ſhop of Ieruſalem, and of St Hillary Biſhop of Poictiers; yea, and of St Athanaſias, Chriſeſtonie, and Photinus; ſo it is not without reaſon, if many ages after them there have been Councels ſuſpected to theſe men: But as for the moſt Ancient and Received on either ſide, they are content to allow of them, ſo far forth as they prove their ſayings by the word of God: There reſteth then nothing but that their reaſons may be heard, that the truth may be known, and their hereſies and errours avoided; ſeeing there is no other means to procure a publick peace, and to draw all the ſubjects to one Re­ligion; that if their adverſaries (as if there were no controverſie in this point) challenge the name of the Church, and without hearing their reaſons examined by the ſcriptures, will that all that they ſhall ordaine or decree, ſhall bee infallibly kept as an ordi­nance of the Church, and ſo of God; as they have done in the laſt8 Councel of Trent, where the Pope was head, and the adverſe par­ty not called, but to be condemned and judged according to the ordinance of the Church (that is to ſay, of the Pope and Prelates) or els to recant, and then to bee receive into favour: Without doubt there will be never any means to draw them from their be­liefe, ſeeing this Maxime will alwayes remaine graven in their hearts; that they muſt in all things follow the word of God, which alone hath authority to judge all Controverſies, and to define which is the true and the falſe Church; which Maxime can never be wreſted away by the authority of any man; much leſſe that the Pope and Prelats, have any ſuch Credit: not by fire nor ſword, ſo as if their adverſaries would not give them free audience, (as it is ſaid) but uſe violence: they ſhould but impaire their own Cauſe, and make theirs better and more favourable whom they ſeek to root out. Seeing then it is a Maxime or point reſolved upon among all men of Judgement, that touching the Faith and inward Beliefe, no Corporall violence can command; and that men muſt be confuted of errour in their Conſciences; we muſt examine the ſecond point which wee have propounded; which is, Whether it were not poſſible to hinder the outward ex­erciſe of their Religion, forbidding them to aſſemble, preach, teach, nor to make any outward profeſſion of that which they be­leeve in heart.

And firſt, In it were feaſible, whether it were fit and conveni­ent to do it: No religion whatſoever can ſubſiſt, if it hath not ſome exterior exerciſes or ceremonies by the which it may be enter­tained; whereupon the Emperor Gratian was wont to ſay, that it was neceſſary the people ſhould be maintained in ſome outward diſcipline of ſome Religion, whatſoever it were, good or bad. For as man by nature is enclined to reject the yoke of God, it is neceſſary he ſhould be kept in awe and diſcipline, elſe hee would bee like an untamed horſe, rejecting the fear of God and man.

Being then impoſſible to root out the Faith which they have in their hearts, it were not convenient (although it were poſſible) to hinder their exteriour diſcipline and exerciſes, by the which the people are maintained in their Religion, and in the feare of God,9 and of the Magiſtrate, unleſs (whereas in their Aſſemblies they are taught to be good men, and to fear God, and honour the King and his officers) they will make them wicked Atheiſts, Libertines, and ſeditious, perturbers of all good or­der and policy; as we ſee plainly by daily experience: For we ſee a number which have caſt off the yoke of the Romiſh Church, mocking at the Maſſe and Prieſts; yet fear to loſe their goods or honours, refuſe to apply themſelves to diſcipline and exerciſe of any other Religion; have become very Atheiſts, without faith or law: Yet there are no ſmall number of villanous Libertines, which make fects of themſelves; teaching that we muſt not ſerve God outwardly with any exterior form or diſcipline, but onely in ſpirit; and under this pretext, they give themſelves to all villa­ny and abhomination; to murthers, rapes, inceſts, and adul­teries; holding that the outward things ſerve to no end, ſo as the heart be cleer, as they perſwade themſelves.

Yea, ſome have been ſo audacious as to vaunt themſelves to be Chriſt himſelf. Others, the Spirit of God: And others Charity. To conclude, they are prophane people, and con­temners of God and the Magiſtrate; maintaining that there ought not to be any ſword or ſuperiority uſed among men, but that the ſpirit ſhould rule, govern, and guide the heart of man as it pleaſeth: The which groweth through no other occaſion, but ſeing the great abuſes which have reigned, and do ſtill reign in the Church; and not being ſuffered on the other ſide to joyn themſelves to any diſcipline and exerciſe of Religion; they are grown to that paſs, as to think that diſſimulation is not bad, ſo as the heart be good: and ſo mocking at Religion (whereof they make a ſhew) they muſt needs fall into wicked Atheiſm: And there are none in the world more ſeditious and greater di­ſturbers of all good order, then theſe people: as hath been ſeen in the Anabaptiſts of Munſter, and their like. For the rooting out of which, there were no better means (whoſo would conſi­der all things without paſſion) then to ſuffer them, yea to com­mand them expreſly, that all them which make profeſſion of the Religion (which they call Reformed) ſhould aſſemble in view10 of all the world, and keep good diſcipline, fit for the obedience which they owe unto God, and the Magiſtrate correcting vices and exceſs: for although there were no other good, yet by this means they ſhould get thus much, (which is of great impor­tance for the preſervation of the publick quiet) That whereas we daily ſee ſpring up new and abhominable ſects, full of ſedition and mutinies, yea, and of horrible blaſphemies againſt the Majeſty of God; when as there ſhould be but two publick kinds of profeſ­ſion in the view of all the world, either of them performing the obedience which they owe unto God and the King; when as any new one ſhould ſpring up, it would be eaſie to ſuppreſs it by the word of God. But foraſmuch as this ſeemeth ſtrange to ſome to give Hereticks leave to ſow their hereſies: let us ſee if it be poſſible to ſuppreſs their aſſemblies: And doubtleſs if we look unto experience, (the perfect miſtreſs of all things) we ſhall find it is as impoſſible to hinder it, as it is impoſſible to keep them from believing of that which they think fit and agreeing with the word of God. Have we not (I pray you) ſeen the great power of the moſt victorious Emperor Charles the fift (of famous memory, who made all the world to tremble? Have we not ſeen his moſt incredible diligence to ſuppreſs this Religi­on? Have we not ſeen the rigorous edicts which he made? and whereto tended it, but to hinder the preaching of this new Re­ligion; and that they which made profeſſion thereof, ſhould forbear their Aſſemblies? For he knew well their hearts could not be forced; and yet he prevailed nothing, notwithſtanding all his prohibitions: It may be they aſſembled in ſome ſtrange Country where they had greater liberty: No, no, but contra­riwiſe, all the Princes of Chriſtendom together with the Pope, were reſolved to root them out, and to give them no place of re­treat; but all was in vain. How do we then think that the Kings power (the which out of doubt is not greater then the Emperors) can hinder it? ſeing that now, France, England, Germany, Scotland, and all the Countries about, are open unto them, to retire themſelves, and to uſe the liberty that is here de­nied them; whereas they have ſo many Kings and Princes on11 their ſide; whereas the number is multiplyed by many and infi­nite thouſands; without doubt, they which gave his Majeſty this counſel, ſhew plainly, that either they want judgment, or elſe they ſeek to ſettle their own greatneſs, to the prejudice of the King, and the ruine of the Countrey; Let them examine all the Hiſto­ries of the world, and they ſhall find, that when any new Reli­gion hath been grounded upon the inward perſwaſion of the word of God; that all the ſtriving in the world could never hinder, but the exterior diſcipline thereof would have its courſe.

The Romane Emperors could never force the Jews to receive their Statues into their Temples; nor hinder the Chriſtians from their Aſſemblies; who deſired rather to live like ſavage beaſts in caves and rocks, then to abandon the exerciſe of their Religion. I will not examine whether their quarrel be like unto this; ſo it is, that they are as well perſwaded in their hearts that they follow the word of God, and that they are commanded to aſſemble and preach, as they were; which perſwaſion can never be wreſted from them by any violence; for they ſay among themſelves, that if they ſhould be allowed to believe what they would, ſo as they would forbear to teach and aſſemble; were as much as if they ſhould ſuffer a man to live, ſo as he would take no refection and nouriſhment: for they maintain that faith is entertained by the preaching of the word, even as the life of the body is by the nouriſhment of meat. But admit it were poſſible to forbid their Aſſemblies; they muſt proceed either by rigor and force, or by gentleneſs and perſwaſions: that is, they muſt either corrupt them, or elſe force them to do againſt the teſtimony of their con­ſciences, and ſo falſifie their faith which they owe unto God. It is moſt certain that the conſtant and vertuous will rather chooſe a thouſand deaths, then to do any thing againſt their Conſciences; ſo as with them there were nothing to be gotten. As for the reſt who for fear or hope would deny their faith; Firſt, they ſhould grievouſly offend the divine Majeſty, and damn their own ſouls by this falſhood and diſſimulation, for that they ſhould ſin doubly: firſt to have embraced the error, and afterwards more to have fal­ſified12 ſified their faith and teſtimony of their Conſcience, and to have dealt doubly; whereas God requireth ſincerity and plaineſs: ſo as they that ſhould force them thereto, ſhould be the cauſe of their more grievous damnation. They then which counſel the King to force or corrupt his ſubjects, to the end that they ſhould diſſem­ble and make ſhew of any other Religion then that which they believe in their hearts, are the cauſe of the diſloyalty which they commit againſt God and the King; for without he ſhall carry himſelf diſloyally to God either for fear or hope; it is to be pre­ſumed that by the ſame paſſions he will carry himſelf as diſloyally unto the King, when as time and occaſion ſhall be offered. Con­ſtantius father to Conſtantine the Great, although he were a Pa­gan, yet he called Chriſtians into his Court, and admitted them to favour, whom he did ſee ready to abandon goods and honours, yea their own lives; rather then to be diſloyal unto the God whom they did worſhip; yea, he held them worthy of his friendſhip, and did impart unto them moſt of his important af­fairs. And in-truth the King hath no Subjects more faithful then thoſe which obey him for Conſcience; that is to ſay, becauſe God hath ſo commanded it: they which falſifie their conſcience to pleaſe the King, or for any other private reſpect; ſhew that they do not obey the King for Conſcience onely, but for ſome other particular affection: and if they make no difficulty to fal­ſifie their Conſciences in the ſervice of God, without doubt it is to be feared that when any paſſion or affection ſhould move them, either the fear of death, or the loſſe of goods and credit, or ſome ſuch like thing; they would make no great difficulty to falſifie their faith which they owe unto their King: ſo as they which give this Counſel unto the King, ſhew their ignorance; for that they ſeek to root out them which in ſimplicity and ſin­cerity of heart yeild obedience unto God and the King. And as for thoſe which proceed diſloyally and againſt their Conſcien­ces, they are not onely content to ſuffer them, but alſo to ad­vance them unto honour: as we have ſeen by ſome examples of thoſe, who (before having made profeſſion of this Religion) have afterwards without being condemned of error, onely13 to aſpire to honour and credit, turned their Coats.

To conclude, Although it were a thing poſſible to force or cor­rupt the Proteſtants to abandon their Religion, and to doe againſt their Conſciences; yet were it not expedient for the good of the Common weal. But as I ſaid, It is not poſſible to hinder them, unleſſe they will ruine them, and put them to death, the which were hard to compaſſe; for in the place of one (they ſhould put to death) ten others wouldriſe: and thoſe which dy ſo con­ſtantly, (rather then remove their faith,) are held for good men, by the common people, who have more regard to the conſtancy, then to the cauſe which they maintaine: whereupon they have deſire to examine the Cauſe, and come to fall into the ſame opi­nions; ſo as this muſt needs cauſe them to multiply and encreaſe: wherefore they that adviſe the King to this means, are much abu­ſed; for beſides that they fruſtrate his Majeſties intention, they thruſt the Countrey into great deſolation, and almoſt apparant danger of a ruine, yet it is plainly to bee ſeene, that the Arts, Oc­cupations and trades, by meanes whereof this Countrey was wont to flouriſh above the reſt, do now decay, and are tranſported to their neighbours; the ancient enemies to the houſe of Burgoign and Austria.

It is almoſt incredible what prejudice the perſecutions have brought within theſe forty yeares to the making of Cloth, and Sayes, and Tapeſtry: which trades being (as it were) proper and peculiar to the Netherlands; they have chaſed away by this means to the French, Engliſh, and other Nations: I forbeare to ſpeak of an infinite number of other good and profitable trades, which are retired into forraigne Countryes, to enjoy the liberty〈◊〉••eir Conſciences: For in generall, all the trafique of Mar­chandize hath been wonderfully intereſſed, (as many good men can witneſſe) In Antwerp, Lillee, Torney, Valenciens, and o­ther ſuch Townes: and this hath beene one of the chiefe occaſi­ons why of late years the Engliſh have beene perſwaded to leave Antwerp, and goe to Embden; that is to ſay, from the flower of all Marchants townes, full of infinite Commodities; to a petty Towne, (obſcure, and of no commoditie:) Yea, they are grown14 ſo proud, by reaſon if this Drapery (the ſpoiles of his Majeſties Netherlands) as they ſeeme to have no care to compound; thinking that we have more need of them, then they of us. The French in like ſort bragg, that they are clothed with our ſpoils, by reaſon of the Marchants that are fled for Religion: ſo as that which did ſerve them as a bridle, to bring them the ſooner unto reaſon, in time of warre, will now make them more proud and untractable.

Beſides, It is well known, that within the Countrey there be many ſufficient Marchants, which (upon this occaſion) refuſe to contribute in time of neceſſity; fearing that this queſtion of re­ligion, will be a ſubject unto their enemies, to make them con­fiſcable.

But above all, It is to be conſidered, That the profeſsion of Armes and Warre, (which hath beene flouriſhing in theſe parts) hath, and will be greatly intereſſed, (if it be not other wayes pre­vented) I will not ſpeak of many Gentlemen, good and faithfull ſubjects, which might doe good ſervice to his Majeſty, which are now retired to their houſes; fearing for this onely occaſion, to employ themſelves in any occaſion whatſoever. Neither will I ſay, that many others, who deſired to doe the King good ſervice (yea, even of thoſe which knew the ſeats and ſcituations of Coun­tries) are forced to leave their native ſoyle, and to retire to their enemies; prefering the liberty of their Conſciences, before all things in the world.

Without doubt there muſt a care be had; for if any war ſhould happen, either againſt the Engliſh, French, or any other neigh­bour Countrie; wee know not whom to truſt: and without doubt, the enemies will not forget to make their profit upon〈◊〉occaſion, by all manner of practiſes; to the great prejudice of his Majeſty, and all his Countrey: and it is to be feared, that among ſo many men, there will bee ſome, which (under colour to ſeeke their Liberties) will bee perſwaded to attempt ſome Innovations.

The deſire to live, and ſerve God in Liberty of Conſcience, is of ſo great force, as it makes men forget all other affections and15 paſſions, how vehement ſoever, for it not only maketh the ſubject neglect the duty which he oweth to his naturall King and Prince, but it doth even eſtrange the hearts, and withdraw the affections of Fathers and Mothers from their Children; yea, it maketh them forget themſelves: ſo as they make no difficulty to expoſe their bodies to the burning flames, and to all ſort of torments, and to abandon wife and children, leaving them nothing but poverty and famine, rather then to loſe this good, in regard whereof, there is nothing in this world that they eſteem.

So that it is no wonder (which ſome report for a truth) that many among the Gaſcoignes and Provencials, (during the perſe­cutions in France, for matter of Religion) have treated to yeild themſelves tributary to the Turk, hoping that by that meanes, they would ſuffer them to live in liberty, (which they valued a­bove all things, and it may be they had put it in execution (to the great prejudice of all Chriſtendom) if one onely reſpect had not reſtrained them, which was, that they held it too grievous, to give their firſt borne children to the great Turk, to be bred up in Mahomet's Religion: for this affection is incredible, and ex­ceedeth all others: the which being well conſidered (with the great diverſity of humours and conditions of men: it were no ſtrange thing, if in ſo great a multitude of them that are perſecu­ted for their Conſcience, ſome ſhould be found more ſuddaine or more revengefull or impatient then the reſt, who would make no, difficulty to attempt ſuch exploits: yea, if it were but to revenge the grievous wrongs and injuries that were done for that Cauſe unto their kinsfolks and friends; wherein it is greatly to be con­ſidered, that there are no forts nor caſtles that maintain Kings in their greatneſſe, ſo much as the faithfull love of their ſubjects: So contrarywiſe, the King doth but provoke their hatred againſt his Majeſty: yea, who otherwiſe are good and wel-governed men, and live without reproach.

If the Inquiſitors and their adherents, feare not the Hugonots, for that (as they ſay) they have not the wit to revenge them­ſelves, who maintain, that they muſt do good for evil, yet they may well have heard the common Proverb, that patience too16 much urged, in the end turneth to fury: And if they be not void of all ſenſe, they muſt thinke, that all the Kinsfolks, friends, and allies of them that they perſecute, are not of one minde, and e­quall patience, that they can ſo eaſily paſſe over the wrong which they thinke they have received: ſo although there were no dan­ger they ſhould attempt any thing againſt his Majeſty, or his eſtates; yet will they carry an irreconcileable hatred againſt his Officers; whereby there will grow bad intelligence amongſt his ſubjects; which is a matter (as every man knowes) of very great importance: as we may well ſee by the troubles of France, the which partly took their beginning from ſuch occaſions; and it is moſt manifeſt, that if King Henry, or his Father, King Francis, had in their times granted free exerciſe of Religion, (reſtraining them with good Lawes and Ordinances) without doubt, they had left their Realme much more happy and flouriſhing, and had prevented ſo many calamities which have enſued.

I know there is ſome will ſay, the like is not to be feared here, conſidering the ſmall numbers there is; and therefore it were no reaſon, that for a handfull of men, and of the baſer ſort, they ſhould bring in any innovation.

But they that uſe ſuch ſpeeches, diſcover their groſſe ignorance, or their unſupportable malice: If there be any queſtion to give aſſiſtance to the Inquiſitors, to inſtall the new Biſhops, or to ſend Garriſons into any Townes; then can they ſay, except they uſe extreme rigour, and great diligence, it will not bee poſſible to maintain the ancient Religion; Importuning the Court, with their continuall complaints, how wonderfully the Hereticks doe multiply.

But if there be any queſtion to finde ſome milde and fit courſe to ſettle the Countries quiet, without any great effuſion of bloud; then they ſay, there are ſo few Hugonots and of ſo baſe qualitie, as nothing ought to be altered for them: So as any man may eaſily ſee, that their intent is to maintain themſelves onely in their great­neſſe, were it with the totall ruines of his Majeſties Countries: and they that doe earneſtly affect the Kings greatneſſe, and the preſervation of his ſubjects, much reject them, as partiall, and17 ſuſpect; and make diligent information and ſearch of the num­ber, quality, and ſufficiency of them that deſire to be the Kings faithful ſubjects, ſo as they may ſatisfie and enjoy their conſcien­ces; and without doubt you ſhall find a greater number then is generally believed: let them look to the multitude of thoſe that are retired into England, where they have their publike Aſſemblies in infinite number; then let them turn unto thoſe that are gone into France, in as great numbers: from them let them number up them that are at Franckfort, Straesburgh, Hiddelburgh, Franckendal, Collen, Aix, Dousburgh, Emb­den, Geneva, Hamburgh, Breme, and other Towns of the Eaſt Countries; without doubt (in my opinion) they ſhall find an hundred thouſand; and as for thoſe which remain yet in the Countrey, it is moſt manifeſt there are many more. There hath ſomtimes been ſeen at an aſſembly or preaching at Tournay, four or five thouſand perſons; the like hath been known at Valenci­en; beſide thoſe that have remained ſecretly in their houſes; elſe the Garriſons had been needleſs which have been ſent thither, if the multitude had not been ſo great: It is thought that Lille hath not many leſs; whoſo will look into the petty Towns and neighbour Villages, ſhall undoubtedly find an infinite number: come into Weſt-Flanders, the numbers are wonderful great, notwithſtanding any purſuit or ſearch which the Dean of Rennay hath made. Have we not ſeen at Miſſennes (as I remember) ſeven or eight hundred Country-men force the Priſon, and de­liver a Priſoner, and they could never diſcover who they were? I leave Eand, Brugges, and Yperen, in which notwithſtand­ing are good numbers. What multitudes meet together at Ant­werp is apparent; and at Bruſſels where the Court remaineth, yet can they not by any means keep them from aſſembling them­ſelves together in good numbers. What ſhall I ſpeak of the Countries of Holland, Zeland, Gelderland, and Frieſland? where it ſeemeth they have greater liberties: and in truth, the officers dare make no more ſearches nor executions, by reaſon of the great numbers. Have we not ſeen at Vtrecht, an Epiſcopal Town, and full of rich Chanons, one called Thijs or Stephen,18 preach this doctrine publikely, for the ſpace of a whole year, in the view of the whole world, in deſpite of all ſuch as did op­poſe themſelves; and notwithſtanding all their purſuit, yet could they never apprehend him, for that all the people did accompa­ny him-both going and coming out of the Church, ſo that ſom­times he was carried upon their ſhoulders; and lodges ſomtime in one houſe, ſomtime in another? whereby we may ſee, that the number is not ſo ſmall, as ſome maintain: Yea, they com­plain that they cannot furniſh them with Miniſters and Preachers enough. Without doubt, if they were gathered together in one place, as well thoſe which are retyred, as they which re­main; there would be found at leaſt two or three hundred thou­ſand: if they will have reſpect to them that are of the ſame opinion and diſſemble, attending ſome change or fitter opportu­nity; I do certainly believe that all joyned together, would equal the number of the reſt, ſo that they which maintain that the number is ſo ſmall, and that for them they ſhould not alter nor change any thing; ſhew that they have no ſenſe nor judgment, or elſe that they would reign alone in the world.

Whereas they ſay that they are all people of a baſe condition; The contrary hath been ſeen in Germany, France, England, Scotland and Denmark; whereas not onely the common peo­ple, but alſo Princes and Kings have embraced this Religion: and doubtleſs if they might diſcover themſelves without danger of life and goods, they ſhould alſo find here a great number of Gentlemen, and others of good ſort, that would declare them­ſelves to be of their party; but although the number were not ſo great, yea if there were but very few, yet it were befitting the clemency of a King, to have regard unto the health of the meaneſt of his ſubjects. The Emperor Trajan was wont to ſay, that he had rather ſave one Citizen and ſubject, then defeat a whole army of his enemies; a ſpeech worthy of a Monatch and Emperor: ſuch then as think they ſhould not ſpare to ruine (as much as in them lies) the bodies and ſouls of the Kings poor ſubjects, ſhew themſelves ignorant what Chriſtianity, Huma­nity, or the Clemency of a King means or requires; the very19 name whereof, makes his fame more glorious than all the tro­phies and victories that he could obtain of his enemies.

But they will ſay that theſe men are wicked and prophane, and that they corrupt the reſt: whereunto I anſwer, that the point of Religion onely excepted, whereon it is not my inten­tion here to judge; you ſhall find that they are otherwiſe good men, fearing God, yeilding obedience to the King and Magi­ſtrate, and doing wrong to no man; although there be ſome that cover themſelves with their name, and are not ſo: the which happeneth for that they are not ſuffered to have the exer­ciſe of their Religion as they would: and as for the point of their Religion, let it be what they pleaſe: but ſo it is, they are not all perſecuted ſo much for that they follow hereſie and error; but for that they are conſtant and faithful in that which they think conformable to the word of God: for they ſuffer them to believe what they pleaſe (which indeed they cannot hinder) ſo as they will be diſloyal, and hypocrites; and ſeing they ſub­mit themſelves to be inſtructed by the word of God, there is no reaſon to eſteem them ſo wicked: Moreover, we muſt in de­ſpite of our ſelves confeſs, that the greateſt and beſt wits, and the moſt learned men maintain their party; I will not diſgrace the others, but if we will lay by all favour and affection, we ſhall find, that the moſt excellent wits have been and are of their profeſſion: Yea, the reſtauration of Arts and Sciences (which were buried in darkneſs) is come from them; the knowledge of the Tongues, eſpecially of the Greek and the Hebrew, hath been beautified more by them then by any others. To conclude, their adverſaries themſelves are forced to confeſs, that there are fingular men among them in all ſort of ſciences: beſides that the life of many of them is it reprehenſible. If then there were not ſo great a number as there is, yet they ſhould have reſpect not to ruine and chaſe away thoſe whom God hath endued with ſuch excellent graces; and deprive the King and his Countries of ſo great a good, in chafing away or murthering them which might have ſerved either for Counſel, Learning, or ſome other way; ſeing it is ordinarily found, that they deſire to yeild all20 obedience and duty unto the King, and to ſerve him with body and goods, ſo as they would leave them the exerciſe of their Re­ligion free.

To conclude then, If his Majeſty will be pleaſed to grant this liberty, he ſhould not onely prevent troubles and inconvenien­ces which have hapned in France, and elſe-where, through this occaſion, but alſo it ſhould be a means by the which his ſubjects ſhould be induced every one to imploy himſelf in his vocation, to the ſervice of his Majeſty, and the advancement of the Com­mon-weal; ſeing that in the end they ſhould be forced to come unto it, were it after his deceaſe; as in other Countries where the like accidents have hapned.

It remains now to conſider the inconveniences that may ariſe, the which I find to be two principal: The firſt, that if the exerciſe of their Religion were allowed them, they might mul­tiply in ſuch ſort, as the ancient Religion would decay, and come to nothing; the which the King would not endure by any means. The other is, They hold commonly that in one Coun­try there cannot be two divers Religions, without great trouble and diſorder.

As for the firſt, they muſt underſtand that all Religions are ei­ther grounded upon the authority of God, or the authority of men: For a Religion may be grounded upon the authority of men, when having regard unto that which our Anceſtors have done and followed, or to that which our King commands, or to that which ſome great perſonage doth enjoyn us, we ground our Religion upon thoſe reſpects, without any firm reaſon, or feeling in our hearts, that we do well or ill: as the Turks, Pa­gans, and Idolaters have alwaies done; yea and the greateſt part of the world do at this day; changing their Religion and man­ner of ſerving God, in what ſort, and as often as it ſhall pleaſe the King, or thoſe to whom they ſhall defer this credit: but for that thoſe Religions proceed not from a Religious heart fearing God, but from the reſpect and reverence of men, it is eaſie to hinder the courſe, and to plant in other by humane means; as by armes and violence: ſo as it was no difficult thing for the21 Romanes to bring their Gods and Religions into Greece, and other Countries of their conqueſts, the which were grounded but upon the authority of their Princes and Kings. But if the Religion hath its foundation upon the authority and word of God, upon the teſtimony of their Conſciences, be it with rea­ſon or otherwiſe; force or outward violence cannot prevail; as we have ſhewed; and there is no means to hinder the courſe and progreſſe thereof, but in ſhewing the foundations ill laid. If then the King will maintain the old Religion, and ſtop the courſe of the new, it is neceſſary that he give them leave to be heard; to the end that they may be confuted; and that all the world knowing wherein the abuſe doth conſiſt, may fly their acquaintance: If it be hereſie they ſow, ye cannot but ſtop the courſe in ſuffering them to publiſh their doctrine, ſo that their errors be laid open to the people by the truth of the word of God; elſe the more you ſeek to ſuppreſs it, the more it will en­creaſe. But contrariwiſe, if happily their doctrine be conform­able to the word of God, it is not to be preſumed that his Ma­jeſty would oppreſs it. Wherefore that inconvenience alledged, is of no conſequence.

The ſecond point alledged, ſeems to be of great moment: For they ſay commonly, that for to entertain the publike quiet, we muſt have but one Law, one Faith, and one King: a thing without doubt which were much to be deſired, for it would us li­ken to that golden age. But ſeing that Religion and faith is a meer gift of God, engraven in the heart of man, over the which none can command but God onely: It were great in­diſcretion to think it poſſible to reduce all the Inhabitants of one Country to one Faith by force or corporal violence. It is true that they ſay that as in a Family the Father ought to foreſee that all thoſe of his houſe worſhip but one onely God, and be of one Religion; ſo the King ſhould provide that in his Realm there ſhould be but one Faith, and one Law; the which were wonderful good and healthful, but it is not poſſible to attain unto it, if it be not among thoſe people whoſe Religion is grounded upon the Kings ſimple Authority; the which is no true22 Religion, but a meer hypocriſie and counterfeting, whereunto they may haply be drawn which have no fear of God: As it was ſeen among the Romans, who received as many new Gods as their Emperors commanded them: but this will never take place among them which have any inward feeling grounded upon any reaſon, be it upon the word of God, or of their own Conſcience: In which caſe ye are ſo far from reducing a whole Nation to one Religion, as you can hardly reclaim one Family: the which was manifeſt among the Jews, where there were three famous Sects more contrary the one unto the other, then thoſe of the new Religion unto them that maintain themſelves under the ancient obedience of the Pope.

But which is much more from the beginning of the world, un­to this day, it was never ſeene that all were of one law, and one faith; no not according to the exteriour exerciſe. For before the comming of Chriſt, the Kings, of Egypt, Perſia and Baby­lon, were forced to leave the Jews in their Countrey, and to al­low them the free exerciſe of their Religion, the which they held abhominable.

And after his comming, the Romane Emperours have alſo ſuf­fered it; as Antonius Pius, and Mark Antonie, nor that they were of one accord with them: (for they had the name of a Chriſtian in horror) but for that they found they were not ſeditious, nor diſturbers of the publique quiet; and ſo of many other Emperours who have ſuffered them, and forbidden that no injury ſhould bee done them, although they were of a meere contrary opi­nion.

True it is, that ſome one may ſay, That all theſe Examples ſerve but to advance the Chriſtian faith, which the King intends to maintaine, in rooting out the new Religion.

Yet it is moſt manifeſt, It is no new thing to endure two Reli­gions in one Countrey, yea, and that all wiſe Kings and Princes have done according to the neceſſities of the time; for although the Religion of thoſe Emperours were bad, yet they held it good and holy, as the King holds his, and it was the Religion which they received from their Anceſtors, above three thouſand years paſt.

23But wee finde alſo, that Chriſtian Emperours have endured alſe Religions, as it appears by the example of Theodoſius, Ho­ratius, and Arcadius, who gave Temples to the Arrians and Nova­•••ns, ſometime within, and ſometime without the City, as the neceſſity of the time and place required.

In the Eccleſiaſticall Hiſtory, It is reported for a remarkable thing, that Valentianus the Emperour, was Orthodox, and a good Chriſtian, yet he ſuffered the Arrians, though he favoured them not ſo much as the others: Vallens his Colleague or Companion in the Empire, was an Arrian, and would by no means ſuffer the Chriſtians in his Government, but did perſecute them in all ſorts; whereby we may eaſily gather, that in all well-governed com­mon weales, to avoid ſedition and tumults, it is ſometimes ne­ceſſary to grant Temples unto Hereticks; not to the intent they ſhould diſperſe their Hereſies more, but that the people hearinghe truth confronted with falſhood, might (without mutinies or tumults) apply themſelves quietly unto the true and right Religi­on. But our Lord and Saviour ſaith, that he came to bring war, and not peace into the world, ſo as in one houſe there ſhall bee diſſentiou betwixt the Father and the Son, the Brother and the brother: How can we then maintain the Religion of Jeſus Chriſt, if they will reduce all the world to one faith, and to one Law, ſeeing that for the ordering thereof, hee doth not command the faithfull to kill the reſt; but contrary wiſe he ſaith, that the Apo­ſtles and faithfull, ſhould bee betrayed, excommunicated, and put to death, for their faith and Religion, and therefore he will have them win the field through patience and the vertue of his word? So as I cannot wonder ſufficiently at the impudency of theſe men, who making a ſhew to be well read in all ancient Hiſto­ries; do maintain, that there were never two different Religions in one Common weale: for what will they ſay or anſwer to the diverſity already alleadged, betwixt the Phariſees, Sadduces, and•••ſſes; without doubt, they ſhall never finde, that by reaſon of theſe Sects, there was any great difficulty in the Government nor that Jeſus Chriſt, nor his Apoſtles, did ever command to burne them for their Law.

24What ſhall we ſay of the diverſity of Religions that were among the heathen, whereof one did not know anothers Gods, No not the Names? And ſome alſo maintained publiquely, that God did not care for humane things: And yet wee finde not, that the Government of the Romanes was troubled for this cauſe.

But who doth not ſee at this day, under the great Turk, a great diverſity of Religions, ſo as among the Chriſtians alone, there are fifteen or twenty Sects and ſundry Religions: beſides the Jewes, Perſians, and Mahumatiſts, all ſubjects to his Empire; the which are more contrary the one to the other, (for matter of Re­ligion) then water is contrary unto fire.

Without doubt, if theſe diverſities were the true cauſe of ſediti­ons and tumults, It were not poſſible that the Turks power ſhould grow ſo great: It is then a great ignorance to think that ſubjects cannot be maintained in quiet, when they are of divers Religions; for who ſo will look neerly to the ſpring and beginnings of tu­mults and ſeditions, he ſhall find that they proceed not ſo much from the diverſity of Religions, as through private paſſions; as through covetouſneſs, ambition, revenge; hatred, and ſuch like, from the which ſmall quarrels may grow; and when the Magiſtrate prevents it not in time, then by little and little they inflame, and are cauſe of tumults and publike ſeditions: wit­neſs the troubles and ſeditions in Italy betwixt the Guelphs and Gi­bellines, the which continued four hundred years, and was the cauſe of infinite murthers, rapes, wars, and all ſorts of vio­lence; and yet there was no difference in the Religion, but all did grow for that the Magiſtrate did feed the private paſſions of their Subjects, inſtead of ſuppreſſing them by Juſtice. And as for controverſies touching Religion, it is not two hundred years ſince that the controverſies betwixt the Franciſcans and the Iaco­bines for the Conception of the Virgin Mary, had cauſed great troubles throughout all Chriſtendom: Not that the controverſie was of any great importance, but through the negligence of the Magiſtrate, who nouriſhed theſe factions, and became par­tiſans. Seing then it appeareth that whereas good order hath been ſetled, people of divers ſects and Religions have been qui­etly25 governed, without any ſedition or tumult; and contrariwiſe whereas no order was, not onely diverſity of Religion, but e­ven ſmall quarrels have bred horrible ſeditions and tumults: any man of Judgement may gather thereby, that ſeditions and tu­mults take not their increaſe from the importance of the quarrel whereupon they are grounded; but rather through the want of good order, for that the Magiſtrates neglect to puniſh them that entertain them, or elſe themſelves maintain one party: the which is confirmed by many ancient and modern examples. And who ſo will examine ſtrictly the laſt troubles of France, ſhall find that the greateſt part have hapned for that ſome mighty men or Go­vernours themſelves, having no regard to the publick good, nor to the ordinances of the States, have at their own pleaſures plaid the Kings, and inſulted of their own authorities over them of the Religion. I think no man is ſo ignorant, but knows that the murther committed at Vaſſey by the Duke of Guiſe, againſt the laws of the King and State, hath been the true and onely cauſe of the Civil Wars which followed, to the ruine of the whole Realm: for whileſt the Kings proceeded by their authority, there was no newes of any ſedition, how grievous ſoever the perſecu­tion were, but when as Governours of their owne authorities, offered violence to thoſe of the Religion, preſently all theſe tu­mults grew; the which may ſerve us for a good example: where­by we may learn to avoid the like inconveniences, and take ſome good courſe for the benefit of the King, and of all his good ſub­ject, which ſeek onely to obey him.

It is then eaſie to reſolve that good order would be ſetled, if li­berty ſhould be granted to them of the Religion, to aſſemble and exerciſe their diſcipline, reſtraining and bridling them with ſuch laws as ſhall be thought good, and that the Kings Magiſtrates and Officers be careful to execute his Majeſties intention; foreſeeing above all things, that the people uſurp not the autority of the ſword under colour of the factions of great men; ſo as above all things there muſt be a prevention that all violence be forborn on either ſide, and that thoſe which proceed by any other unlawful means, as by taxing and ſlandring, ſhall be well puniſhed; which26 doubtleſs will be a moſt aſſured means, and the ſubjects ſhall live in good unity and concord together, and will carry a perfect o­bedience unto his Majeſty: and in the mean time truth will lay open falſhood in ſuch fort, as that the King ſhall not need to fear that hereſies ſhall multiply by this means, to root out the truth; but contrariwiſe, we ſhall ſee truth flouriſh, and all hereſies and falſe ſects decay; Gods glory ſhall be generally celebrated, and the Kings Greatneſs and Proſperity increaſe. The which God grant us by his holy grace, to whom be all glo­ry for ever and ever. Amen.


A HISTORY OF A BAYLIFFE OF Sonth-Holland touching the taking away of a poor mans Cow, and of the juſtice done upon him by Duke WILLIAM, intituled the Good. A remarkable example for Magi­ſtrates to execute Iuſtice.

IN the year 1336. there was a Countryman in South-Holland who had an exceeding fair and good Cow, with the which he maintained his wife and children (as there are ſome in that Country which give twenty pottles of milk and more in one day) The Bayliffe of that quarter deſiring this Cow, would gladly have bought it of the good man: but as it was all his ſubſtance and means to live by, he would never be drawn to ſell it. The Bayliffe ſeing himſelf refuſed, cauſed the Cow to be taken out of the paſture, and another to be put in the place, the which was no­thing comparable to it; wherewith the Countryman being diſ­contended, and ſeing that he could not have his owne, by the advice of his friends he went to complain to the good Count Wil­liam of this violence, being then at Valencien grievouſly ſick: The Earl having heard him, took pity of him, and cauſed letters to be written to the Schout of Dordrecht, that all other affairs ſet aſide, he ſhould come preſently unto him, and bring with him his Co­ſen the Bayliffe of South Holland. The Schout having viewed the letters, demanded of the Bayliffe if he had offended the Earl in any thing; the other anſwered no, and that he knew not any thing if it were not for a Cow which he had exchanged with a Countryman: but making no account thereof, they went toge­ther to Valencien: The Schout preſented himſelf firſt before the Earl to know the cauſe of his ſending for him; The Earl having received him courteouſly, asked where the Bayliffe his Coſen was; who anſwered that he was alſo come: Whereupon the Earl commanded him to enter; being entred, the Earl asked him if he were Bayliffe of South-Holland; he anſweted with great humility, ſo long as it ſhall pleaſe you my Lord: The Earl asked him how all things did in Holland, and if Juſtice were duely28 adminiſtred: very well (ſaid the Bayliffe) all things are in quiet: Said the Earl, How comes it that thou Bayliffe and Judge of that Quarter, haſt uſed force and violence againſt a poor Countryman that is my ſubject, taking away his Cow in deſpite of him? Then calling for the poor man, he asked him if he knew him, and what he could ſay for his Cow: The Bayliffe anſwered that he had given him another: Yea ſaid the Earl, but if it were not ſo good as his, doſt thou think to have ſatisfied him therewith? no, no, not ſo; I will take the cauſe in hand, and be the Judge. The Bayliffe and the Countryman referred themſelves willingly to what it ſhould pleaſe the Earle to decree: Whereupon the Earle appointed the Schout of Dordrecht, that aſſoon as he ſhould re­turn to his houſe, he ſhould preſently without delay pay unto the Countryman an hundred Crowns of good gld, to be levied upon the Bayliffs goods, and that he ſhould never after moleſt the Countryman neither in word nor deed. This ſentence thus pronounced, both parties were ſatified: which done, The Earl ſaid unto the Bayliffe, thou haſt now agreed with the poor man, but not yet with me; then he commanded the Schout to retire himſelf, and to fulfil what he had enjoyned him; but the Bay­liffe ſhould remain by him to make reparation of his faults: and having ſent for a Ghoſtly Father, and the Executioner, he con­demned the Bayliffe to loſe his head, to ſerve for an example to others; then being confeſs'd, the Earl cauſed him to come be­fore his bed, and he himſelf drawing out the ſword, gave it to the Executioner, who cut off the Bayliffs head in the Earls preſence, being thus ſick in bed: Who having called the Schout, ſaid unto him, take your Coſen with you, and beware of ſuch facts, left the like happen unto you. The Schout returning to Dordrecht, carryed back the Bayliffe in two parts, and paid the Countryman his hundred Crowns.


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TextGood counsel in bad times, or, A good motion among many bad ones being a discovery of an old way to root out sects and heresies and an earnest desire for a complyance with all men to settle peace with justice : as also a relation of a remarkable piece of justice done by Duke William called the Good : likewise an epistle to the reader / by John Musgrave ...
AuthorMusgrave, John, fl. 1654., ; Baudouin, François, 1520-1573..
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Bibliographic informationGood counsel in bad times, or, A good motion among many bad ones being a discovery of an old way to root out sects and heresies and an earnest desire for a complyance with all men to settle peace with justice : as also a relation of a remarkable piece of justice done by Duke William called the Good : likewise an epistle to the reader / by John Musgrave ... Musgrave, John, fl. 1654., Baudouin, François, 1520-1573.. [8], 28 p. Printed for Thomas Watson ...,London :MDCXLVII [1647]. ("To the reader" signed: John Musgrave.) (Caption title: A discourse of Francis Bawdwine.) (Running title: An old way newly found out for the prevention of sects and schisme.) (Imperfect: print show-through with loss of print.) (This item appears at reel 1153:10 as Wing M3149 (number cancelled in Wing 2nd ed.) and at reel 2246:9 as Wing (2nd ed.) G1041A.) (Reproduction of original in the Huntington Library.) (Includes bibliographical references.)
  • Sects -- England.
  • Great Britain -- History -- Civil War, 1642-1649.

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