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The humble PETITION OF THE MINISTERS Of the Church of England deſiring Re­formation of certain Ceremonies and abuſes of the Church: with the ANSWER Of the Vicechancelor, the Doctors, both the Proctours, and other the Heads of Houſes, in the Vniverſity of OXFORD.

Printed Anno, 1641.


To the Kings moſt Excellent Maieſtie. The humble Petition of the Mini­ſters of the Church of England, deſiring Reformation, of certain Cere­monies and abuſes of the Church.

MOſt Gracious and dread Sovereigne, ſeeing it hath pleaſed the divine Majeſty, to the great comfort of all good Chriſtians, to advance your Highneſſe, according to your juſt title, to the peaceable government of this Church and Commonwealth of Eng­land: wee the Miniſters of the Goſpell in this Land, neither as factious men, affecting a popular Paritie in the Church, nor as Schiſmaticks ayming at the diſſolution of2 the State Eccleſiaſticall: but as the faithfull ſervants of Chriſt, and loyall ſubjects to your Majeſtie, deſiring and longing for the redreſſe of divers abuſes of the Church, could do no leſſe, in our obe­dience to God, ſervice to your Majeſty, love to his Church, then ac­quaint your Princely Majeſty with our particular griefs. For as your Princely pen writeth, The King as a good Phyſician, muſt firſt know what peccant humours his patient natu­rally is moſt ſubject unto; before hee can begin his cure: And although divers of us that ſue for Reformation, have for­merly in reſpect of the times ſubſcribed to the book, ſome upon Proteſtation, ſome upon expoſition given them, ſome with condi­tion, rather then the Church ſhould have beene deprived of their labour and Miniſtery: yet now we, to the number of more then a Thouſand, of your Majeſties Subiects and Miniſters, all groan­ing as under a common burden of humane Rites and Ceremo­nies, do with one joynt conſent humble our ſelves at your Maje­ſties feet, to be eaſed and relieved in this behalf. Our humble ſuit then unto your Maieſty is, that theſe offences following, ſome may be removed, ſome amended, ſome qualified.

1 In the Church Service.

That the Croſſe in Baptiſme, Interrogatories miniſtred to In­fants, Confirmation as ſuperfluous, may be taken away. Baptiſme not to be miniſtred by Women, and ſo explaned. The Cap and Surplice not urged. That examination may goe before the Com­munion. That it be miniſtred with a Sermon. That divers terms of Prieſts, and Abſolution, and ſome other uſed, with the Ring in Marriage, and other ſuch like in the book, may be corrected. The long-ſomneſſe of ſervice abridged. Church-ſongs and Mu­ſick moderated to better edification. That the Lords day be not prophaned. The reſt upon Holydayes not ſo ſtrictly urged. That3 there may be an uniformity of doctrine preſcribed. No Popiſh o­pinion to be any more taught or defended. No Miniſters charged to teach their people to bow at the Name of Jeſus. That the Cano­nicall Scriptures onely be read in the Church.

2 Concerning Church Miniſters.

That none hereafter be admitted into the Miniſtery, but able and ſufficient men, and thoſe, to preach diligently; and eſpecially upon the Lords day. That ſuch as be already entred and cannot preach, may either be removed, and ſome charitable courſe taken with them for their reliefe: or elſe to be forced, according to the value of their livings, to maintain Preachers. That Non-re­ſidency be not permitted. That King Edwards Statute for the lawfulneſſe of Miniſters marriage be revived. That Miniſters be not urged to ſubſcribe, but, according to the Law, to the Arti­cles of Religion, and the Kings Supremacy onely.

3 For Churchlivings and maintenance.

That Biſhops leave their Commendams: ſome holding Prebends, ſome Parſonages, ſome Vicarages with their Biſho­pricks. That double-beneficed men be not ſuffered to hold, ſome two, ſome three Benefices with Cure, and ſome two, three, or foure dignities beſides. That Impropriations annexed to Biſhopricks and Colleges, be demiſed only to the Preachers Incumbents, for the old Rent. That the Impropriations of Laymens fee, may be charged with a ſixt or ſeventh part of the worth, to the maynte­nance of the preaching Miniſter.


4 For Church Diſcipline.

That the Diſcipline, and Excommunication may be admi­niſtred according to Chriſts own inſtitution. Or at the leaſt, that enormities may be redreſſed. As namely, That Excommunication come not forth under the name of lay perſons, Chancellours, Of­ficials; &c. That men be not excommunicated for trifles and twelve peny matters. That none be excommunicated without con­ſent of his Paſtor. That the Officers be not ſuffered to extort un­reaſonable fees. That none having juriſdiction or Regiſter places, put out the ſame to farm. That divers Popiſh Canons, (as for re­ſtraint of marriage at certain times) be reverſed. That the long­ſomneſſe of ſuits in Eccleſiaſticall courts, (which hang ſometime two, three, foure, five, ſix or ſeven years) may be reſtrained. That the Oath ex Officio, whereby men are forced to accuſe themſelves be more ſparingly uſed. That licenſes for mariage without Banes asked, be more cautiouſly granted.

Theſe with ſuch other Abuſes yet remayning and practiſed in the Church of England, we are able to ſhew, not to be agreeable to the Scriptures, if it ſhall pleaſe your Highneſſe further to heare us, or more at large by writing to be enformed, or by conference among the learned to be reſolved. And yet we doubt not, but that without any farther proceſſe, your Majeſty (of whoſe Chri­ſtian judgement we have received ſo good a taſt already) is able of your ſelfe to judge of the equity of this cauſe. God wee truſt hath appointed your Highneſſe our Phyſician, to heale theſe diſeaſes. And we ſay with Mordecay to Heſter, who knoweth, whe­ther you are come to the Kingdome for ſuch a time? Thus your Majeſty ſhall do that, which we are perſwaded, ſhall be ac­ceptable to God, honorable to your Majeſtie in all ſucceeding ages, profitable to his Church which ſhall be thereby encreaſed, comforta­ble5 to your Miniſters, which ſhall be no more ſuſpended, ſilenced, diſgraced, impriſoned for mens traditions: and prejudiciall to none, but to thoſe that ſeeke their own quiet, credit, and profit in the World. Thus with all dutifull ſubmiſsion, referring our ſelves to your Majeſties pleaſure, for your gracious anſwer, as God ſhall direct you, we moſt humbly recommend your Highneſſe to the di­vine Majeſty; whom we beſeech for Chriſt his ſake to diſpoſe your royall heart to doe herein, what ſhall be to his glory, the good of his Church, and your endleſſe comfort.

Your Majeſties moſt humble Subjects.
The Miniſters of the Goſpell, that deſire not a diſorderly Innovation, but a due and godly Reformation.

The Anſwer of the Vicechancelor, the Doctours, both the Proctours, and other the Heads of Houſes in the Vniver­ſity of OXFORD, To the Petition of the Miniſters of the Church of England deſiring Reformation.

In their Petition, there are three principall parts.

  • 1 A Preface.
  • 2 A Complaint conſiſting of foure ſpeciall points; In every of them they deſire, that certain Ceremonies and Abuſes may be, ſome of them removed, ſome amended, ſome qualified.
  • 3 A Concluſion.

For anſwer whereunto:


1 In Generall.

WE moſt humbly beſeech his moſt excellent Majeſty, that it may be conſidered, how inconvenient and unſufferable it is in Chriſtian poli­cie, to permit a long and well ſet­led ſtate of government, to be ſo much as queſtioned, much more to beaaIpſa mutatio conſuctud. nis ctiam quae adju­vat utilitate, novitate pertur­bat Auguſt. ad I anuar. ep. 118. cap. 5. altered, for a few of his ſub­jects: eſpecially conſidering the matter, pretended to be the cauſe of theſe mens grief, and of their deſired Reformation, unjuſtly ſo called. For it is either the Ceremonies of the Church, or Abuſes in the Church, as they alleage. Wherein wee humbly recom­mend to his Princely remembrance.

Firſt, concerning Ceremonies, that they are either ſu­perſtitious; and then no ways to be admitted. Of which ſort it ſhould ſeem by the Petitioners, (and we are ready to prove) that the Ceremonies of our Church are not. Becauſe theſe men confeſſe, that in reſpect of the times they did ſubſcribe unto them: or if they were ſuch, with what cōſcience did they ſubſcribe, in reſpect of the times?

Or elſe, things in themſelves indifferent. And then the ſupream Chriſtian Magiſtrate hath lawfullbbMelan. in 13 ad Rom. Pecca­tum mortale eſt violare edicta Magistrat. &c. Heming. in Syn­tag. c. de A­diaph. Qui vio­lat Eccleſiasti­cam politiam peccat multis modis, &c. Bez. Epist. 24. ad artic. 7. authoritie to forbid, and wee muſt forbeare: to command, and wee muſt obey; not onely for feare, but for conſcience ſake. Of which kind if theſe Ceremonies be (as we will juſti­fie, and they cannot deny) where is then their pretended obedience? Where is their applauſe of his Majeſties peaceable government? Why doe they trouble both Church & Commonwealth, in reſpect of matters which in duty and conſcience they may well, and ought willing­ly to ſubmit themſelves unto?


Secondly concerning Abuſes, be it conſidered: firſt of what quality they are; ſecondly, of what degree.

1 Touching the nature or quality of them, whether they are in the very Conſtitutions of our Church, or ra­ther in the Execution of the ſaid Conſtitutions. If not in the Conſtitutions themſelves, (as when wee deſcend to the particulars it will appeare:) there is no cauſe why the government ſhould be changed; or theſe men ſuffered thus to calumniate the State, wherein there is nothing Poſitive, that is worthy of blame. If in the Execution; (which as we will not abſolutely deny, ſo theſe men can­not eaſily prove,) that may be remedied by amending or removing of ſome certain offendors, without alteration of the State.

2 Touching the degree or grievouſneſſe of theſe a­buſes, (whether in the conſtitution, as they ſuppoſe, and we deny; or in the Execution, which ſimply and in every particular,ccCalv. adv. A­nab art. 2. Vtri­que (ſc. Cathari & Donatiſtae) in eodem errore fuerunt, Quo iſti ſomniatores; Ec­cleſiam quaeren­te, in qua nibd poſſet deſiderari, &c. no Church in Chriſtendome is able to juſtifie, and yet none, ſo much as this of ours:) we undert•…e to prove againſt the Thouſand, that maske unknown under that generality, that they are not ſuch, nor ſo heynous, as deſerve this their bitter reprehenſion: much leſſe ſuch an alteration, in the Church and Common wealth, as would enſue; if theſe Petitioners might have their deſire.

2. In Particular.

Concerning the Preface.

We doe but note.

1 WHat reckoning (in truth) the men doe make; of juſt titles unto Kingdomes, who favour them9 ſoddDe jure reg. apud Scot. De jur. Magiſt. in ſubd. Vind. cont. tyr. Hotto. Francog. much that were wont to ſubject all Kin gstitles unto popular election and approbation.

2 What comfort (indeed) the Petitioners take in the peace of his Majeſties government; who in the very entrance thereof, by ſeeking this, and the like dangerous alterati­ons, doe diſquiet and diſturbe the ſame. Were other men as little inured to peace and ſubjection, it might occaſion ſome inconvenience.

3 Howſoever in words they decline the imputation of factious men affecting popular parity in the Church, and of Schiſ­maticks ayming at the diſſolution of the ſtate Eccleſiaſticall; yet it is too well known in this Kingdome, and by experi­ence it hath been felt in that ofee〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, pag. 39.40, 41, &c. Scotland, what manner of men they be: as alſo, what have been the lamentable effects of their Reformation there, and would have been likewiſe here, had not the prudent foreſight and con­ſtant reſolution of our late gracious Sovereigne conti­nually repreſſed their attempts.

4 Theſe men might have performed better, Their obedience to God, their ſervice to his Majeſty, their love to his Church, (as in the particulars will appeare) if they had forborn to trouble his Majeſty, the Church of God, and this Common-wealth, with theſe their cauſeleſſe griefs and diſcontentments. They have thereby made ſuch a breach as will not eaſily (without much wiſdome and patience) be cured. For what are theſe men, that they ſhould aſſume ſo much? or what are the whole Clergy of England beſides, that they ſhould be ſo abaſed and contemned?

5 That which they alleage out of his Highneſſe〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, is a childiſh fallacy; abſurdly taking that for granted, which is the mayn queſtion. They muſt prove10 (and not aſſume) that theſe are the peccant humours of this Church, which in truth is theffIuel. Apo. 170 Acceſſimus quantum maxi­me potuimus ad Eccleſiam Apoſt. &c. Et 46. Ea omnia quae aut ſuper­ſtitioſa, &c. Aut cum ſacris literis pugnan­tia, aut etiam ſobriis homini­bus indigna, &c. prorſus ſine ulla exceptione repu­diavimus. leaſt peccant of any in the World, and would be much leſſe peccant, if it were cleane purged, of theſe unquiet and malecontented hu­mours.

6 That diverſe of them have formerly ſubſcribed to the booke, (as skornfully they tearme it) doth manifeſtly evince, that either our Liturgie is juſtifiable, themſelves being Judges; or els that they did liberally diſpence with their own conſciences, which is not the part of honeſt men. To doe that in reſpect of the times, which in it ſelfe is not lawful, proveth little leſſe then hypocriſie: to alledge unknowne Proteſtations, expoſitions, and Conditions in their ſubſcription, doth argue no ſincerity; and upon due examination, will fall out to be nothing but meere fal­ſitie.

7 As for their labours in the Miniſtery, be they ſuch as they are. This Church of England had been happy if it had not beene troubled with their factious Sermons andggMart. Mar. P. Miles monop. Hay any work and the rest of that ſpirit. ſcurrile Pamphlets: which have given the Adverſary much matter of advantage, diſtracted the minds of many weake ones, and quite turned ſome other from the love of the Truth.

8 The number of more then a Thouſand, is but a vizard, which we humbly intreat, may be pulled from their fa­ces, that we may ſee and know the men, that thus groane under the yoke of a Chriſtian and commendable govern­ment; which (maliciouſly and injuriouſly) they would have reputed, a moſt heavy burden of humane Rites and Ce­remonies. The vanity of which their complaint, comes now more particularly to be diſcuſſed.


Concerning the matters of their Complaint:

1 Of the Church ſervice.

1 IN the Church ſervice we are ready to maintain, (but they muſt object firſt and prove the contrary) that theaaTert. de Cor. mil. cap. 3. Croſſe in Baptiſme,bbAug. Ep. 23. Interrogatories miniſtred to In­fants, andccHieron. cont. Luc. confirmation, are moſt ancient, juſtifiable, and convenient Ceremonies, and therefore to bee con­tinued.

2 That the Church of England, nor the booke of Common prayer doth not preſcribe, that Baptiſme ſhould be adminiſtred by women. Though we deny it not to behhChytrae. de Bap. & in Lev. Sneph de Bap. Zuingl de Bap. Hicrbr. in Comp. Theol. Bap­tiſme, if perchance de facto, it be by them adminiſtred. Fi­eri non debuit, factum valuit.

3 That the Cap and Surplice be not urged, it is an ab­ſurd ſpeech and implies confuſion. For ſo every man ſhould be ſuffered in that behalfe to doe what him liketh. Again, do not their own words import that they may wel be uſed? but they muſt not be urged. why? what is there in a Cap or in a Surplice that ſhouldiiBuc. de revest. pag 707 Pet. Mart. Ep. ad Hap. Aug. Ep. 154. Calvi. in Ex. 23. offend any man of judgement.

4 That Examination where need is ſhould goe be­fore the Communion, who diſliketh? Or that it be miniſtred with a ſermon? But that it ſhould not bee miniſtred with­out a ſermon, is abſurd; and hath bred in many a vain and falſe opinion, as if, not the word of Chriſts inſtitu­tion, but rather the word of a Miniſters expoſition, were akkT. Cl. 1. p. 158 neceſſary and an eſſentiall part of the Communion. Beſides he that readeth our Communion booke, ſhall ſee that therein the whole manner, end, and uſe of that holy Inſtitution, is ſo excellently deſcribed, as may be inſteed of many Sermons. Alſo that none ſhould be admitted to12 that bleſſed Sacrament (of what age, ſtate, or condition ſo ever) except they were firſt examined after the Con­ſiſtorian faſhion, were inſolent, injurious, and in many re­ſpects moſt in convenient.

5 The terms ofllIſay 66.21. Where the Ge­neva note doth ſhew, that the Miniſters of the new Te­ſtament are to be tearmed Prieſts. Prieſts and Abſolution: the**Bucer. in Cen­ſur. cap. 20. Ring in Mariage and ſuch other, which they have heretofore tradu­ced in their unlearned diſcourſes, are by divers of our learned Divines, and ſhall be juſtified. As contrariwiſe by the Petitioners they will never be evicted worthy to be aboliſhed.

6 Their deſire to have the long-ſomneſſe of ſervice abrid­ged doth well befit their great Devotion. Who not­withſtanding are wont to ſpend an houre ſometimes or little leſſe, in extemporary, inconſequent, and ſenſleſſe prayers conceived raſhly by themſelves. From hence, their diſlike of ſet and ſtinted formes of prayer, it doth proceed, that ſome of them omit, ſome refuſe to repeat, ſome condemne the uſe of the Lords Prayer; from hence hath Barrow and Greenewood taken their beginning, and fetched the premiſſes of their peſtilent and blaſphemous Concluſions.

7 ChurchmmIust Mart. in quaeſt. ad Orth. q. 107. Aug Confeſ. lib. 10. cap. 33. ſongs and Muſique are much beholden to theſe men now: in as much as they can bee content to diſgeſt them, ſo they be moderated to better edification. The time was when wee have heard them ſpeake in this point after another ſort. Meritricious Church Muſicke, Toſsing of tennis bals, and ſuch like were their phraſes of Gods divine ſervice: but thanked be God that his Maje­ſties devout affection in this kind hath forced from them this moderation.

8 That the Lords day be not prophaned, hee is verie prophane that deſireth not from his heart. But what man­ner13 of lawgivers are they that lay downe their couſtitu­tions in ſuch Negatives, in ſuch Comparatives? for who can divine what they would have, when they deſire that the Reſt uponnnPet. Martyr. Epiſt. ad Hoppe­rum. Holy dayes be not ſo ſtrictly urged? Would they have men upon ſuch dayes goe to plough and cart, as ſome of their humor have cauſed their ſervants to do, on the very feaſt of Chriſts Nativity? Or do they mean, that we ſhould take to our ſelves ſuch liberty therein, as certain perſons lately have done; who being comman­ded by lawfull authority to celebrate the fifth of Auguſt, with joy and thanksgiving for his Majeſties moſt ſtrange and wonderfull deliverance upon the ſaid day, did not­withſtanding ſpend the ſame (as we are credibly infor­med) in faſting & mourning and ſuch like works of their obedience? Nay, theſe and the like experiments do cauſe us, humbly and inſtantly to deſire, that both Sundays and Holydays may be religiouſly obſerved, and the intollera­ble prophanation of them, which is the rather brought in by theſe mens preachings and examples, may be very ſe­verely puniſhed.

9 That there may bee an Vniformity of Doctrine pre­ſcribed: That no Popiſh opinions may be any more taught or de­fended. What imputations are theſe? how prejudici­all? How injurious? Not only unto the Church governe­ment, but unto the Chriſtian faith eſtabliſhed in this Realme? What advantage do theſe men in theſe ſhame­leſſe ſuggeſtions reach unto the Papiſts? as if there were noooWee refer to the Articles of Religion a­greed upon & eſtabliſhed in Convocation. Anno 1562. vniformity, no conſent of doctrine among us: (ſo ye except them.) As if there were ſome popiſh opinions taught & defended in our Liturgy? (as they deem who are ready to make every thingppZanch. conf. cap. 24. de Eccl. Milet. Aph. 19. Poperie which they doe not fancie) Theſe are the weapons with which Bellarmine and14 that Brood, are wont to wound, or rather falſly to re­proach our faith and profeſsion. Good had it beene that theſe men had never beene able to write, rather then to write thus, to the ſcandall of Gods Church, and his ſa­cred truth.

10 Reverence done at the name of Ieſus, is no ſuperſtiti­on, but an outward ſigne of our inward ſubjection to his divine Majeſtie, and an apparent token of our devotion. Why doe they not likewiſe fin I fault with kneeling, ſigh­ing, weeping, lifting up of eyes, knocking of breaſts, hol­ding up of hands unto heaven? All which good men may uſe in Gods ſervice with great piety, though Hypo­crites doe otherwiſe.

11 They are groſly ignorant if they know it not, or wilfully malicious and turbulent, if knowing it to be law­full, they yet oppugne the reading of the Apocryphall Scrip­tures or Writings in the Church. Non ad confirmationem fidei, ſed ad reformationem, or inſtitutionem morum, as the AncientqqHiero. Praef. in Pro. Cypr. in Symb. Pellic. praefan Apocr. fathers ſpeak and approve. As alſo the Articles of con­vocation, and the Prefaces before the Apocryphall books in the Engliſh Bibles, doe directly ſhew: adding that hey give light, to the divine ſtory.

2. Concerning Church-miniſters.

1 WEE heartily deſire that able and ſufficient men bee admitted into the Miniſtery. That they preach diligently, and that on the Sunday eſpecially. But who ſhall judge of their ſufficiencie? Or doth not the ſuf­ficiencie of Miniſters Suſcipere magis & minus? Were the Miniſters of the Primitive Church, all of them able to preach? Did not ſome of them preach the Goſ­pell,rrChryſoſt in 1 Cor 1. Pet. Martyr. in 1 Cor. 1. Gualtan 1 Cor. 1 Cal. in 1 Cor. 1. Bucer. in Eph. a.15 and other ſome reade the Scriptures, and adminiſter the Sacraments? Or hath not the urging of that ſtrange doctrine, viz. That he is no Miniſter that cannot preach, firſt forced men to take upon them to expound Gods Word, that thereby have brought the Word of God, and the ſacred exerciſe of preaching into lamentable contempt, through their abſurde, ſenceleſſe, and irreligious gloſſes, and paraphraſes, and diſcourſes: whiles they have choſen rather ſo to doe, then to be accounted, Idol-ſhepheards, Dumbe dogges, No Miniſters, and ſuch like? Secondly hath it not made the Browniſts confidently to reproach us, that ourſſBarrowes bookes, &c. Perpetuall go­vernment of the Church. Pag. 339. Church is no Church, our Sacraments no Sacra­ments, our Prince and people infidels, as not being bap­tiſed at all, our Chriſtian Congregations prophane mul­titudes, &c. onely becauſe ſome in the Miniſtery could not nor did not preach? But in this point it would be conſidered eſpecially, firſt that it is not poſſible to have all Miniſters men of worth, till all Church-livings be very ſufficient to maintaine men of worth. Secondly, that the way to invite men of beſt parts to take upon them the Miniſtery, is not to expoſe and ſubiect that calling to want and beggary, which in the third part of this their complaint, theſe men do principally intend. And laſtly that howſoever theſe men doe pleaſe themſelves in their extemporary gift; yet many of them, though in ſhew very audacious, doe to withſtanding deſerve for their groſſe ignorance, to be blotted out of the number of preachers, truely ſo called.

2 How charitable theſe men are, that would have menttHar conf. ex Helv. Post. De Miniſt. ca. 18 Agnoſcimus, &c. Vnde ne hodie quidem rejicimus ſimplicitatem quorundam pro­bam, &c. removed out of the Miniſtery, becauſe they cannot preach; (whereas ſome of them were intreated to take that function upon them, when men more able could not16 be gotten; and others in their yonger yeeres, have beene of more ſufficiency, then now their age, ſickneſſe, or other in­firmity, will permit them to be:) And how judicious, that would have them to maintaine preachers, who (for the moſt part) have not wherewith for to maintaine them­ſelves, we leave to the conſideration of the wiſe. How much better hath our Church deviſed, to ſupply the de­fects of ſome men, in ſome places of meane valew, by o­ther meanes? As namely, 1. By the frequent reading of the Scriptures: A matter moreuuZanc. Conf. obſ. in cap. 15. Aph. 10.11. availeable unto faith and godlineſſe, then the Petitioners doe imagine; and would be much more, if it were not brought into contempt, by their ſuggeſtions. 2. By a moſt religious and excellentxxB. Ridley to M. Grindall then beyond the ſeas. Alas that brother Knox could not beare with our booke of common pray­er, &c. The rea­ſons he maketh againſt the Letany, &c. I doe marvell how he can or dare avouch them, &c. forme of Common prayer. 3. By Sermons and Homilies printed and appointed to be read, both for the confirma­tion of the faith, and for reformation of manners. All which in a Church not new to be planted, but now ſetled and well grounded in the profeſſion of the truth, are ordi­nary effectuall meanes, to continue and increaſe them, in the true faith and feare of God. Hereunto may be added the manifold proviſions in our Church, for ſermons quar­terly, or more often, in thoſe Cures, where the Incumbents cannot preach.

3 That Non-reſidency be not permitted. It is a matter of wiſe and ſound deliberation: firſt,yyThe bounds of Pariſhes are not de jure di­vino. what Non-reſiden­cie is; for many men in our Church, have two pariſhes committed to their charge, which both will not make one living. Againe, many have but one pariſh under them, which yet would require more then two, or tenne men to ſpeake at once to all the Congregation. Secondly it is, and long hath beene permitted, by wiſe and godly Magiſtrates, that have given way to it, by their poſitive17 prudent Laws, as neceſſary, in ſome Caſes, in a few men, and them (generally and by intendment) of the beſt de­ſerts. Thirdly that it is abſolutely unlawfull, and inzzThe anſwer to the 2. trea­tiſe of the Ab­ſtract. no ſort to be ſuffered, neither hath beene proved, nor ever will, by all the Sciſmaticks in the Land. Fourthly, in what congruity may he be counted an idle Non-reſident, that is alwaies preſent and taketh paines, in ſome part; and often in every part of his charge; Fiftly, there are not more intollerable Non-reſidents in England, then ſome of thoſe, that are either included in the Thouſand afore mentioned, or that favor this their attempt: Eſpe­cially if they ſhall bee meaſured by thoſe places of Scrip­ture, which they are wont to alledg againſt Non-reſidents after the Texts be well examined. Laſtly, it is not poſſi­ble (as Church-livings are now* allotted) that ſimply no Non-reſidency ſhould be permitted,aaTo alter the precincts of pa­riſhes, is a mat­ter of greater conſequence, then the Ab­ſtractor, or ma­ny moe ſuch ſhallow heads can poſſibly conceive. and yet withall a learned Miniſtery mainteined, Princes and Peeres of the Land attended, Colleges and Cathedrall Churches continued, the Univerſities preſent, and hope of ſucceſ­ſion in them for hereafter, preſerved, propagated and ſupported.

4 The Marriage of Miniſters wee doe not diſlike, but maintain the lawfulneſſe thereof againſt the Church of Rome: and humbly deſire (if there be neede) that the ſupreme Magiſtrate, will add thereunto, by his royall authority and the law of the Land, ſuch farther ſtrength and confirmation, as ſhall ſeem fit to his high wiſdom.

5 Wee know of no Subſcription that is urged, which is not agreeable to law, required by the orders of our Uni­verſity, neceſſary in a Chriſtian Common-wealth, pro­fitable for the Church of God, approveable by all judici­ous learned men, and diſliked of none, but of a few folk,18 that are overmuch addicted to their own opinions. Who notwithſtanding, whereaaThe lawes and ſtatutes of Gen. In the form of Oath, which the Miniſters receive. Sect 2. Beza in veta Cal. pag. 910. they beare the ſway, it is worth the conſideration, how ſtrictly they tie all them that will live among them, to the obſervation of their Church go­vernment. And in truth (ſo the things in themſelves be not intolerable) better ſo, then that which is here pro­poſed. For the not urging of a conformity in Church diſcipline, is to to ſet open the high way to all diſorder and Confuſion.

3. Concerning Church maintenance.

1 THat Biſhops leave their Commēdams. In caſe ſome of the ancient revenue might be reſtored to their Biſhopricks, he were utterly unworthy to be a Biſhop, that would deſire a Commendam. But, as now the moſt of them are impaired, to take away from all Biſhops all manner of Commendams, is (in truth) to tie the Kings hands, that he ſhall not be able, though he would, (and where he will not, no Commendam can be gi­ven;) to make his moſt faithfull ſervants, or other men of beſt deſert in the Miniſtery, able to maintain their pla­ces and callings, by his Majeſties favor, and gracious diſ­penſation, when otherwiſe their Biſhopricks are not ſuf­ficient ſo to doe. So as if it be well wayed, they doe not ſo much intend in this particular to impoveriſh ſome few Biſhops, as indeed utterly to overthrow them, and ge­nerally to reſtraine the Kings Prerogative.

2 Of the ſame nature is that which followeth. For no man, except he be the Kings Chaplaine, may hold three Benefices with Cure; and thoſe of his Highneſſe own gift. So that here alſo they deſire to limit the Kings fa­vour. 19Againe, it is not known, that there be five in all this Land, that hold three ſuch Benefices. And then what good dealing is this in the Petitioners, to make the world beleeve, that it is a common fault, which is ſcarce to be found in a few?

3 Their diſpoſing of Impropriations,The Eccleſi. aſticall diſcipl. pag. 114. doth notably be­wray their lacke of Conſcience, their little love to lear­ning and Religion, their temporizing and fitting their motions to the Laieties good liking. For who ſeeth not that it would be the certain overthrow, and utter ruine of Biſhopricks, Colledges, and Cathedrall Churches, if their Impropriations ſhould be demiſed to Vicars or Curats, the Incumbents, at the old rent, without fine, without im­provement? Againe, who be they, and how many, that by this meanes would be provided for? A few, and thoſe the meaneſt of the Clergy. But the inconveniences that would hereof enſue, are very many, and intolerable. Therfore we reſerve that diſcourſe to a fit opportunity. On the other ſide, who doth not know, that for a Lay­man to hold an impropriation (which is a Tithe) is origi­nally unlawfull, and cleane contrary to the firſt inſtitu­tion? Yet theſe men in all their purity, zeale, and conſci­ence, can content themſelves, and their preaching In­cumbents, with the ſeventh part onely of an Impropriati­on, in a Lay-mans fee.

4 Are theſe all, or the beſt meanes, that a Thouſand mē, ſuch as they would be reputed, can propoſe to his High­neſſe for the bettering of the Church maintenance? If we might know, that it would ſtand with his Majeſties good liking, and ſhould not be imputed unto us as a breach of duty; It were very poſſible, that the men whom they ſo much contemne, would be able to propoſe ſome other20 courſe for the bettring of the Church maintenance, with out the alteration or injurie of any other ſtate.

4 Concerning Church Diſcipline.

1 UNder the name of their Diſcipline, we have bin hertofore taught by theſe men to underſtand, The kingdom of Chriſt upon earth. A thing of no leſſe importance then theddEccleſ. Diſci. pag. 13. T.C. Epiſt. to the Church of England. Goſpell of Chriſt Jeſus; An eſsentiall part of the Goſpell. A matter of faith to be recei­ved upon paine of damnation: An eſsentiall marke of the true Church without the which our Church was no Church, our faith no faith, our Goſpell no Goſpell, &c. And it is now come to be ſo indifferent, that it may bee admini­ſtred accordingly; Or elſe at the leaſt, that theſe enormities may be redreſsed? Will it now ſuffer ſuch an Or elſe, at the leaſt.

Were we perſwaded that their Diſcipline, their Preſ­bytery, the life and being of their Diſcipline, were indeed of Chriſts inſtitution; were we perſwaded it were a part of Gods Word, an eſsentiall part of his Word; could we be contented to bee without it? Could wee content our ſelves to live any where but under it? Would we not re­deem it with much perill and paine? With certain loſſe? And that willingly?

But the experience that his moſt excellent Maieſty hath had, of the manifold miſchiefs and miſeries that at­tend their pretended Diſcipline, doth make them not dare to ſpeake plainly for it. They therefore faulter in ſeeking to obtain that, which yet in heart they do affect, and ſpecially deſire.

But to theſe Enormities; theſe heinous Enormities. Is21 it not well, that now at length, theſe quick-ſighted men can eſpie no fouler Enormities in our Church govern­ment?


1 THAT Excommunication come not forth under the name of Lay perſons. Firſt, it may truly be ſaid, that though it did come forth under the name of a Chancellour or a Commiſſary, yet came it not forth under the name of Lay perſons. For a Chancellor or a Commiſſary is not a Lay-man in this caſe: The Or­dinary and He are but Ʋnus Judex. Or rather, whatſo­ever the Chancellor doth in this behalfe, he doth it in the authority of the Ordinary, according to the power that is committed unto him. A thing not unuſuall in the Civill ſtate, wherein the Lord Chancellor doth diſpoſe of many things, which are originally in the Crown; and againe, writeth Teſte meipſo unto many particulars, that never paſſe by bill aſſigned.

Secondly, No Lay-Chancelor or Comiſſary whatſoe­ver doth at any time excommunicate any man; or ſend­eth out in his own name any excōmmunication. But this is the practice of the Church of England. IneeConſt. Eccle. 1597. cap. de Exceſſ. circa Excom. refor. the cenſu­ring of notorious and more grievous crimes, the Arch-Bp, the Biſhop, the Deane, the Arch-deacon, or a Preben­dary that is a Prieſt, pronounceth the ſentence of Excō­munication in his own perſon. And in matters of leſſe offence, as contumacy in not appearing, and the like, the Vicar-generall, Officiall or Comiſsary, that is not in holy orders, holdeth this courſe. Firſt, upon knowledg and e­xamination of the cauſe, he adjudgeth the party worthy22 to be excommunicated; then the Miniſter (aſſociated un­to him by expreſſe authority from the Ordinary) doth pronounce the ſentence of Excommunication againſt him; Laſtly, the Chancellor ſendeth to the Paſtor of the Pariſh where that party dwelleth, requiring him, pub­likely to declare the ſaid party to be a perſon excommu­nicated by the ſentence of the Miniſter his aſſociate. And all this, according to the forme of the Articles ſet forth by her Majeſties authority, Anno 1597.

Thirdly, are not theſe execellent Enormity makers, that can finde ſuch an Enormity in the Name of a Layman (in whoſe name notwithſtanding, the excommunication never commeth forth) when yet, if it did come forth in his name, the nature of the thing it ſelfe is ſuch, as juſtly cannot be reproved? They are not ignorant, that ex­communication doth proceed as is afore-ſaid; if not in the name, yet in the Authority and Juriſdiction of the Biſhop, or ſome other chiefe Clergy-man, to whom the power of the Keyes doth belong, and unto whom the Church of England hath aſſigned the execution of that part of our Diſcipline. Who, if they uſe the adviſe and Miniſtery of a wiſe and religious Civilian, in decreeing who is to be excommunicate, (whereupon thoſeffPerpetuall govern, of the Chu. pa. 320. out­ward penalties doe enſue, which attend the authority, and follow the ſentence of Excommunication, in this Church & Common wealth:) how doth that in any wiſe violate Chriſts inſtitution as touching excōmunication?

Laſtly, if the Diſcipline they long for, were once on foot among us, we ſhould then heare tell of certaine Lay-Parſons that ought to have a principall hand in their ex­communications. Thus, as they are weake in judgment for matter of learning in this point, not being able23 to reſolve of any thing in certaine; ſo are they as partiall in preſcribing their plots for matter of practiſe; whiles they reprove that in others, which in themſelves they doe allow. Except peradventure they will tell us (and we muſt needs beleeve them) that their Lay-Elders be­come Clergy men ipſo facto, becauſe they are of their Conſiſtory; & have voyces (according to their learning) in theſe Eccleſiaſticall cenſures.

2 That none be excommunicated forggThe order of Excom. &c. in the Church of Scot. Printed June, 1571. Cap. 4. Thus any ſmall offence may juſtly deſcrve Excommuni­cation, by rea­ſon of the con­tempt & diſo­bedience of the offendor. trifles and twelve penny matters. They are not. Contempt is then the grea­ter, when the matter wherein they ſhew their contempt is of leſſer valew: As contrariwiſe, obedience is then more commendable, when it is ſeen in a matter of greater dif­ficulty. But theſe men are ſo accuſtomed to diſobedi­ence, that they account it but a trifle; And therefore ca­lumniate us and our diſcipline; as if with us, men were excommunicated for trifles, when (in truth) they are cenſured for their contempt.

3 That none be excommunicated without conſent of his Paſtor. Without conſent, is a captious tearm. For in our underſtanding, the Miniſter of the Pariſh doth give his conſent, when he publiſheth the excommunication; as alſo when he doth certifie what he hath done in denoun­cing the ſame. And this manner of conſent we take to be ſufficient, and as much as is requiſite in a private Pa­ſtor, that hath no Juriſdiction.

But what is it that theſe men doe meane? Would they (thinke you) that every Paſtor ſhould have a Negative in the excommunicating of his Pariſhioners? Undoubt­edly they would: threby intending the utter overthrow of the preſent Church government, and in ſteed thereof the ſetting up of a Presbitery in every Pariſh. Or rather,24 that which is worſe (if worſe may be) the enabling of e­very particular Paſtour to Excommunicate by himſelfehhPerpetuall go­vernment of the Church, pag. 321. alone.

Except peradventure they will ſay, that the particular Paſtor ought to be joyned in cōmiſſion with the Chan­celour. And then behold what would enſue. On the Miniſter, a world of troubles: he muſt be ſent for as oft as any of his pariſh is preſented, he muſt attend the hea­ring and debating of the whole cauſe; he muſt be pre­ſent as oft as the Chancellor ſitteth, as long as the mat­ter dependeth, to his great travaile and pains, his exceſ­ſive charge, and the cauſleſſe neglect of his calling. On the other ſide, if this Miniſter will be wilfull, and in fine diſſent from the Chancelor in opinion; then is all the la­bor loſt; the Judge hath ſpent his ſkill and care in vain, and the Biſhops Conſiſtory muſt down to the ground: either Paſtor muſt prevaile, or nothing muſt be done; To the intollerable hinderance of Juſtice, and exceſſive de­triment of the plaintiffe. Theſe and the like, are the well adviſed Propoſitions, wherof there is ſtore in their Diſ­cipline. By which it doth ſufficiently appeare, that as yet it is not throughly refined.

4 Extorting of unreaſonable fees, who approveth? Who diſliketh not? Who would not have it redreſſed, in any that offend? Beſides there are veryiiConſtit. Eccl. 1597. cap. de Feodisquae off. Eccleſ. ſevere laws already made in that behalfe.

5 Farming out of Juriſdictions and Regiſters places, though we commend it not, nor greatly like of it; yet it is of it ſelf a matter indifferent; neither good nor ill, but as it is uſed.

6 The reſtraint of Mariage at certaine times (falſe­ly called a Popiſh Canon) waskkConſil. Laodi. Can. 52. anciently uſed in the25 Church of God; and being rightly underſtood, is now commendable in this of ours.

7 The Long-ſomnes of Suits in Eccleſiaſticall Courts, is a matter of fact, not of Conſtitution; nor is the fault of the Court, nor of the Judge neceſſarily (as theſe men would ſeem to imply,) but ſometime error in pleading, ſometime the intricatenes of the cauſe, ſomtime the per­verſeneſſe of the Clyent, ſometime the cunning of the Proctors, are the occaſion that ſuits depend long. And when all is ſaid, that they can ſay, this is none other fault than is incident to the courſe of Juſtice at the Common Law; and might befall their Conſiſtory, or a better and more equall kind of triall.

8 The Oath ex officio, is uſed as it ought, by men of place, of wiſdome, and experience; by men of Religion, learning, and conſcience. Unto whom the authority to adminiſter it as occaſion is offered doth juſtly belong, not by ſpeciall Commiſſion only, but by the laws of this land, by the two Laws Canon and Civill; and by the war­rant of ſundry examples of the word of God: as that wor­thy and learned Dean of the Arches (the ornament & ho­nor of his profeſſion in his time) in his judiciousllThe Apolog. 2 part, Cha 9. and ſo ſorth to the end of the ſame. Apolo­gy of certain proceedings in Courts Eccleſiaſticall, doth prove at large,

9 Licenſes for Mariage without Banes, are moſt cau­tiouſly granted; and that uponmmConſt. Eccl. 1597. cap. de moder. indulg. ſevere puniſhment to enſue, if ſo be the Conſtitution be violated. But what will ſatisfie theſe men, who thus intimate unto his High­neſſe, that there is rigor in the former point, and negli­gence in this, when as all moderation and carefulnes is u­ſed in them both?

And are not theſe heynous enormities?


Their Concluſion.

THe ilde vaunt that the Petitioners make of being a­ble to ſhew that theſe and other ſuch abuſes (as they call them) remaining and practiſed in the Church of Eng­land, are not agreeable to the Scriptures, doth appeare to be the more ridiculous; becauſe they have paſſed over in deep ſilence many learnednnThe perpet. gover of Chri. Chur. Aſurvey of the pret. holy diſc. The anſwer to the Abſtract. The Apol. of certain pro­ceed in Court Eccle. A treatiſe of Eccleſ. Diſcip. De Presbyt. e­juſquenova &c. De div. Miniſt. Evan. grad, &c. The Remon­ſtrance. Querimonia Eccleſiae. The 5 books of the laws of Eccleſ. polit. Tracts publiſhed long ſince, wherein their vain fancies, and illiterate objecti­ons are refuted at large. If notwithſtanding they will yet venture to write, it will be anſwered; If they will needs argue and diſpute, there are ready that will either ſatisfie them, or by argument ſilence them. And were it not in regard that we would not ſeem as undutifull in ac­cepting, as they have been in the offering of this Chal­lenge: it is the thing we would urge, and inſtantly en­treat, that theſe matters might be debated between us in writing. But in the mean time, what motions are theſe for the reformers to make unto a moſt prudent Prince in his ſettled and peaceable government; who for many years, hath had triall in that his other kingdome, of their pretended reformation; and in this alſo hath ſeen the gracious effects under her Majeſties late hapy Raign of that Church Diſcipline, which they would ruinate and overthrow.

God hath appointed his Majeſty unto this Kingdome. It is true; and we magnifie the goodneſſe of God for it, and congratulate his Highnes in the proſperous poſſeſſion of it, from the ground of our hearts. But that God hath ap­pointed him to this kingdome for ſuch a purpoſe as they conceite; what ſpirit of divination is in them, that they ſhould foreſpeake it? Nay rather, ſeeing almighty God hath ordained him as the great Phyſitian (next and im­mediately under himſelfe,) to take care of the body po­litique,27 both of his Church and Common-wealth; he will ſurely cure ſuch diſeaſes, as theſe men are ſick of. (For turbulent and diſcontented humors are like to breed ve­ry dangerous deſeaſes in a civill State:) And not be per­ſwaded (as they fondly imagine) by ſuch ſuggeſtions as theſe, to alter that ſtate of the Church, which is accep­table to God, honorable to his Highnes, comfortable to many thouſand Miniſters, the Nurſe of good learning, admirable to ſtrangers, approved by our**The letters that Mr. Beza. hath written to the Arch. biſh. of C. that now is. Oppoſites, envied of our enemies, diſtaſtfull unto none, but ſuch as know neither how to rule, nor how to obey.

The very names of puniſhments are unpleaſant indeed; but the things themſelves are neceſſary ſometimes, and their effects good and profitable for preſervation of the whol; howſoever the induring of them, may be grievous in the particular. And he that will indifferently conſider the true cauſes of the corrections here mentioned; ſhall have juſt cauſe to approve the Juſtice,**Conſpiracy for pretended Reformation. and commend the mildnes, that hath bin uſed towards this ſort of men.

As for that clauſe of Mens traditions, it is too too odi­ous; and would imply Superſtition or Popery to be in ſome of them; But how vainly, and how injuriouſly, hath in ſome ſort been heretofore declared.

That other of beeing prejudiciall to none but thoſe that ſeek their own, &c. is as injurious to all the reſt of the Min ſters of this land. Be we the men that are ſo addicted to our own quiet, credite, and commoditie in the world? Where then be the the fruits of our covetouſnes, the ef­fects of our ambition, the marks of our idlenes? We be the men, that in the teſtimony of a good conſcience, for the repelling of ſuch a malicious contumely, and ſlanderous reproach, may truly ſay: We put not out our mony to u­ſury; we deteſt all filthy lucre; we contain our ſelves with­in28 our Vocations; we forſake not our holy callings, we omit not to labour in our ſeverall charges; we ſuſtaine the places of great labour, travaile, and expenſe; we neg­lect not in publike, in private, in word, in writing, at home and abroad, to put to ſilence, and ſtop the mouth of the common Adverſary, which theſe men have enlar­ged againſt us, and our moſt holy faith.

To conclude, the thing they ſeeke is ſo prejudiciall, both to the Civill ſtate in generall, and in particular, to ſo many of the very beſt of the Miniſtery; that if it ſhould take effect, but God of his mercy, and the Kings moſt ex­cellent Majeſty in his Chriſtian wiſdome, will not ſuffer it) it would breed a ſtrange alteration in the One; and in the Other it would for the preſent, not only impoveriſh us, and our Univerſities, but make both them and us, and the whol Clergy very baſe and contemptible in the eies of our own people, as alſo a by-word and ſcorne to our neighbour Nations; And for ſucceeding ages, it would cut off all hope of a learned Miniſtery, and of that grounded learning, which as yet is, and heretofore hath been, the glory and honour of this kingdome.

For manifeſtation of this point, look upon the face of all the reformed Churches in the world; and whereſo­ever the deſire of theſe Petitioners doth take place, be it duly conſidered; firſt, how well their proceedings do ſuit with the ſtate of a Monarchy; And then, how poverty on the one ſide, and lack of learning on the other, doth creep upon the whole Clergy in thoſe Dominions.

As to the firſt: would it not beſeem the ſupereminent authority and Regal perſon of a King, to be himſelf con­fined within the limits of ſome particular pariſh; & then to ſubject his ſoveraigne power, to the pure Apoſtolicall ſimplicity, of an over-ſwaying and all-commanding29 Preſbytery? Would it not do him much good, in a time of need, that his people ſhould be rooted and grounded in this truth; viz. That his meeke and humble Clergy, have power to bind their King in chaines, and their Prince in lincks of iron? that is (in their learning) to cenſure him, to enjoyn him penance, to excommunicate him? yea (in caſe they ſee cauſe) to proceed againſt him as a tyrant?

We ſpeake not here of other points, as namely, that all appeales in cauſes Eccleſiaſticall (and what doe they not make Eccleſiaſticall?) muſt finally lie, not unto the Prince, but unto the Aſſembly Provinciall; That they a­low the ſupreme Magiſtrate, not poteſtatem juris, but on­ly facti; while they make him the maintainer of their proceedings, but no commander in them. Theſe and the like, are but petty abridgments of the Praerogative Roy­all, while yet the KingaaT.C. l. 1. p. 180 ſubmits his Scepter unto the Scep­ter of Chriſt, and licks the duſt of the Churches feete.

Neither may it be truely ſaid, that theſe are only Spe­culations. There are ſome of high place yet alive, and o­ther ſome are dead, that have felt the ſmart hereof in their own experience, and have ſeen the worſt of all this put in wofull execution.

As to the ſecond. Do we not ſee it at this day verified among them, which hath been ſo often truly ſaid, and as often unadviſedly denied, that honos alit artes; and con­trariwiſe, where due reward of learning and liberal maintenance of the Miniſtery, is fraudulently impaired, or in­juriouſly taken away,bbEccleſiaſ. dif­cipl. pag. 114. there Religion and learning com to decay? There Atheiſme and Barbariſme and confuſi­on muſt needs enſue? It is too aparent, that as the reve­nues of thoſe Churches have been embeazled by men of corrupt mindes,Pſal. 83.11. which ſaid in their hearts, as it is in the Pſalme, Let us take to our ſelves the houſes of God in poſſeſ­ſion:30 ſo the remainder of that grounded learning, which was bred up in former times, is now through ſucceſſion of time, almoſt cleane worne out.

Nec bona tam ſequitur, quam bona prima fuit.

Inſomuch, that there is neither ſufficient maintenance in thoſe parts, for any ſtore of excellēt learned men, nor yet many men brought up among them in this laſt refor­ming age, worthy of that wonted honorable mainte­nance.

God knows we ſpeak not this with a detracting Spirit but with grief of heart: to ſee the ruines of the Miniſte­ry in particular, and generaly of all profound learning in other reformed Churches. As likewiſe to ſtirre up this whol nation to a thankfull acknowledgment of that ſin­gular bleſſing in this behalfe, which God of his goodnes hath long, and yet doth continue unto us of this Realm. And withall, to put to ſilence the malicious ingratitude of thoſe evill men, which looking upon us & this Church through the colourd glaſſe of their prejudicate opinions; can ſee nothing among us but defects and deformities, and abuſes and enormities, and the like. And therfore in their high diſcretion, would have us reduced and made con­formable to the calamities of other places.

Whereas, in truth, if we ſhall bring back the eyes of our minds from forrein parts, and indifferently (without either detraction or flattery) take notice of the preſent ſtate of this Church and Comon-wealth; we ſhall eaſily diſcern, that it were an incomparable happines for them, if all that profeſſe the truth as it is in Chriſt Jeſus, were in our condition.

We ſhall ſee, how that our Church government is du­ly ſubordinate unto the ſupreme civill ſtate, and withall doth mightily ſupport the ſame. That our reverend Pre­lates31 (men of ſingular worth, not to be matched in any one kingdom) though preferred unto higheſt roomes, doe yet contain themſelves within ſuch bounds as pre­ſerves that eſtate from creeping to any Papal corrupti­ons. That our inferior Clergy, by their godly and pain­full labors in their vocation, have been and are the moſt effectuall meanes to ſettle the tranquility of this land; by inducing mens minds to Piety towards God, Loyalty to their King, and civill honeſty among themſelves. That our people generally (excepting ſome few malecontents of all ſorts, whom wee leave to the mercy of the Magi­ſtrate) are inured unto Peace, accuſtomed to ſubjection, deteſt diſloyalty, and with all alacrity yeeld their obedi­ence unto their Soveraign.

That the Colledges, the Cathedrall-Churches,Saravia de fa­crilegiis, ca. 9. the Biſhops and other Miniſters of this land, have yet remai­ning unto them (yet after the many and great ſpoyles of this Church; which notwithſtanding, never proſpered with them that got them, but were as ruſt to the reſt of their ſilver and their gold, or as a Canker, that fretted out themſelves, their poſterity or their poſſeſſions) that yet there is remaining unto them more competent and ſufficient maintenance; more comfortable and honorable encouragements, then there are to all other reformed Churches in Chriſtendom.

That anſwerable therunto (to ſtop that mouth of ini­quity, which is wont to traduce us, for a dumbe, unlear­ned Idoll Miniſtery) there are at this day more learned men in this Land, in this one kingdom;1 Cor. 9. 2 Cor. 13. then are to bee found among all the Miniſters of the Religion in France Flanders, Germany, Poland, Denmarke, Geneva, Scotland; or (to ſpeake in a word) all Europe beſides.

Which yet, may not juſtly be imputed to us for vani­ty,32 the Apoſtle that knew how to be abaſed, and to make himſelfe of no reputation; yet when the impeaching of his perſonall gifts was abuſed to the diſgrace of his cal­ling; did without either arrogancy or folly, give his De­tractors plainly and roundly to underſtand, that he was not inferior to the chief Apoſtles, nay that hee labored more then they all; and ſo by his own juſt defence & cō­mendation, did free himſelf, his worth and his vocation, from their baſe and odious imputations. In a like caſe (we doubt not) a truth may be averred of our ſelves, even by our ſelves, without any oſtentation at all; when it is ſo in­juriouſly impeached & trodden under foote, to the high diſhonor of God, the diſgrace of his Goſpell, and to the ſlander of this moſt Chriſtian Comon-wealth. Pſal 47.10.Yea the rich mercies that God hath continued unto us theſe 45 yeeres, ought to repleniſh our hearts with joy, and that our lips ſhould break forth with thankfulnes & ſing, Non facit taliter omni natione; neither have the Regions round about vs been made partakers of the like bleſſings.

Now the father of Mercies, and God of all Conſola­tion, enlarge the wiſe and underſtanding heart of our thrice noble King, noble in byrth, noble in wiſdom, no­ble in all manner of good learning; aſſiſt him ever with his holy Spirit, the ſpirit of Councell, of Sanctification and of Truth: make him admirable in the ſwaying of this Scepter as was Salomon in all the world, as long as he walked in the firſt way of his father David: That ſo hee may long weare this mortall Crown, in all abundance of piety, peace and proſperity, and hereafter obtaine that immortall Crown that Chriſt hath purchaſed for them which by continuance in well doing ſeeke glory and honor and immortality.


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TextThe humble petition of the ministers of the Church of England desiring reformation of certain ceremonies and abuses of the Church with the answer of the vicechancelor, the doctors, both the proctours, and other the heads of houses, in the Vniversity of Oxford.
AuthorUniversity of Oxford..
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SeriesEarly English books online.
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Bibliographic informationThe humble petition of the ministers of the Church of England desiring reformation of certain ceremonies and abuses of the Church with the answer of the vicechancelor, the doctors, both the proctours, and other the heads of houses, in the Vniversity of Oxford. Answere of the vicechancelour, the doctors, both the proctors, and other the heads of houses in the Universitie of Oxford. University of Oxford.. [4], 32 p. s.n.],[London :Printed anno, 1641.. (A reprinting of "The answere of the vicechancelour, the doctors, both the proctors, and other the heads of houses in the Universitie of Oxford", originally published in 1603 by the University of Oxford, "made to look as if it were of 1641 by the omission of prefaces, dates, and names, which might show its antiquated character"--Madan.) (Place of publication from Wing.) (The first leaf is blank.) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Church of England -- Customs and practices -- Early works to 1800.
  • Church of England -- Controversial literature -- Early works to 1800.

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  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2012-10 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A86830
  • STC Wing H3562
  • STC Thomason E170_4
  • STC ESTC R9252
  • EEBO-CITATION 99873511
  • PROQUEST 99873511
  • VID 157032

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