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thence it was carried to Wellstone in Warwickshire, and ELIZAfrom thence to Manchester, where both press and printer were seized by the earl of Derby. The charge of the press was borne by Knightly of Fausley, a gentleman of good fashion. This man was drawn into the cause by Snape and some other leading ministers of that county. But these 607. enterprising people were brought into the Star-chamber, and in danger of receiving a smart correction. But here, as it happened, the person they had most insulted, appeared their friend. For upon their submission, archbishop Whit- Archbishop Whitgift gift solicited strongly for them, and prevailed with the court solicits for the discharge to discharge their imprisonment, and remit their fines. It of some is somewhat remarkable, that the Puritans were most active Puritans, in setting up their discipline, and scattering their scandalous cures it. pamphlets, when the Spanish Armada was sweeping the seas, and menacing the kingdom with a conquest. It is probable they thought themselves privileged at this juncture, and that the government had neither leisure nor courage to call them to an account. This mutinous behaviour under so terrible a crisis lost them the friendship of the earl of Bancroft's Dangerous Leicester and sir Francis Walsingham. These great men, Positions. as it is said, declared they had been horribly abused with their hypocrisy. This, though a late, might be a serviceable discovery to their patrons; for the earl died this year, and Walsingham within two years after.
That Walsingham abated in his affection to the Puritans, may be collected from his letter to monsieur Critoy, a French gentleman. From hence it appears, at least in Walsingham's opinion, that the queen was willing to indulge liberty of conscience, provided it might have been granted without danger to the state: that she was forced on rougher expedients in her own defence: and that it was only the mutiny and misbehaviour of the Papists, which drew the Secretary Walsingseverity of the laws upon them. The letter is a remarkable ham's letter paper: I shall give it the reader in the secretary's words.
to monsieur Critoy, se
"Whereas you desire to be advertised touching the ceedings here in the ecclesiastical causes, because you seem against to note in them some inconstancy and variation, as if we both kinds.
WHIT- sometimes inclined to one side, sometimes to another; and, Ap Cart as if that clemency and lenity were not used of late, that was used in the beginning: all which you impute to your own superficial understanding of the affairs of this state; Sacra, 3d 32 having, notwithstanding, her majesty's doing in singular reverence, as the real pledge which she hath given unto the world of her sincerity in religion, and of her wisdom in government, well meriteth. I am glad of this occasion to impart that little I know in that matter to you, both for your own satisfaction, and to the end you may make use thereof towards any that shall not be so modestly and so reasonably minded as you are. I find therefore her majesty's proceedings to have been grounded upon two principles.
"1. The one, that consciences are not to be forced, but to be won and reduced by the force of truth, with the aid of time, and the use of all good means of instruction and per
"2. The other, that the causes of conscience, when they exceed their bounds, and grow to be matter of faction, lose their nature; and that sovereign princes ought distinctly to punish their practices and contempt, though coloured with the pretence of conscience and religion.
"According to these principles, her majesty at her coming to the crown, utterly disliking the tyranny of Rome, which had used by terror and rigour to settle commandments of men's faith and consciences, though as a prince of great wisdom and magnanimity, she suffered but the exercise of one religion, yet her proceedings towards the Papists was with great lenity, expecting the good effects which time might work in them. And therefore her majesty revived not the laws made in the 28th and 35th years of her father's reign, whereby the oath of supremacy might have been offered at the king's pleasure to any subject, though he kept his conscience never so modestly to himself; and the refusal to take the same oath, without further circumstance, was made treason. But contrariwise, her majesty, not liking to make windows into men's hearts and secret thoughts, except the abundance of them did overflow into overt and express acts, or affirmations, tempered her law so, as it restraineth every manifest disobedience, in im
pugning and impeaching advisedly and maliciously her ELIZAmajesty's supreme power, maintaining and extolling a foreign jurisdiction. And, as for the oath, it was altered by her majesty into a more grateful form, the hardness of the name and appellation of supreme head was removed, and the penalty of the refusal thereof turned only into disablement to take any promotion, or to exercise any charge, and yet with liberty of being re-invested therein, if any man should accept thereof during his life. But after, when Pius Quintus had excommunicated her majesty, and the bulls of excommunication were published in London, whereby her majesty was in a sort proscribed: and that thereupon, as upon a principal motive, or preparative, followed the rebellion in the north; yet, because the ill humours of the realm were by that rebellion partly purged, and that she feared at that time no foreign invasion, and much less the attempt of any within the realm, not backed by some potent succour from without, she contented herself to make a law against that special case of bringing and publishing of any bulls, or the like instruments; whereunto was added a prohibition upon pain, not of treason, but of an inferior degree of punishment, against the bringing in of Agnus Dei, hallowed bread, and such other merchandise of Rome, as are well known not to be any essential part of the Romish religion, but only to be used in practice as love tokens, to enchant the people's affections from their allegiance to their natural sovereign. In all other points her majesty continued her former lenity. But when, about the twentieth year of her reign, she had discovered in the king of Spain an intention to invade her dominions, and that a principal point of the plot was to prepare a party within the realm, that might adhere to the foreigner; and that the seminaries began to blossom, and to send forth daily priests, and professed men, who should by vow taken at shrift, reconcile her subjects from their obedience; yea, and bind many of them to attempt against her majesty's sacred person; and that by the poison which they spread, the humours of most Papists were altered, and that they were no more Papists in conscience, and of softness, but Papists in faction, than were there new laws made for the punishment of such as should submit themselves to
such reconcilements, or renunciations of obedience. And because it was treason carried in the clouds, and in wonderful secrecy, and seldom came to light: and that there 608 was no pre-suspicion thereof so great, as the recusancy to come to divine service: because it was set down by their decrees that to come to church before reconcilement, was to live in schism: but to come thither after reconcilement, was absolutely heretical and damnable: therefore there were added laws containing punishment pecuniary against such recusants, not to enforce conscience, but to enfeeble and impoverish the means of those of whom it resteth indiferent and ambiguous, whether they were reconciled or
And when notwithstanding all this provision, this poison was dispersed so secretly, as that there were no means to stay it, but by restraining the merchants that brought it in: then, lastly, there was added another law, whereby such seditious priests of new erection were exiled, and those that were at that time within the land shipped over, and so commanded to keep hence upon pain of treason.
"This hath been the proceeding, though intermingled not only with sundry examples of her majesty's grace towards such as in her wisdom she knew to be Papists in conscience, and not in faction and singularity; but also with an ordinary mitigation towards the offenders in the highest degree committed by law, if they would but protest, that in case this realm should be invaded with a foreign army by the pope's authority for the Catholic cause, as they term it, they would take party with her majesty, and not adhere to her enemies.
"For the other part which have been offensive to this state, though in other degree, which named themselves Reformers, and we commonly call Puritans, this hath been the proceeding towards them a great while: when they inveighed against such abuses in the Church, as pluralities, non-residence, and the like, their zeal was not condemned, only their violence was sometimes censured: when they refused the use of some ceremonies and rites as superstitious, they were tolerated with much connivance and gentleness; yea, when they called in question the superiority of bishops, and pretended to bring a democracy into the Church, yet their propositions were heard, considered, and by contrary
writings debated and discussed. Yet all this while it was perceived that their cause was dangerous, and very popular: as because papistry was odious, therefore it was ever in their mouths, that they sought to purge the Church from the relics of popery, a thing acceptable to the people, who love ever to run from one extreme to another. Because multitudes of rogues and poverty were an eyesore and dislike to every man, therefore they put it into the people's head, that if discipline were plaintive, there should be no beggars nor vagabonds; a thing very plausible. And in like manner they promise the people many other impossible wonders of their discipline; besides they opened the people a way to government by their consistory and presbytery, a thing, though in consequence no less prejudicial to the liberties of private men, than to the sovereignty of princes, yet in the first show very popular. Nevertheless, this (except it were in some few that entered into extreme contempt) was borne with, because they pretended but in dutiful manner to make propositions, and to leave it to the providence of God, and the authority of the magistrate. But now of late years, when there issued from them a colony of those that affirmed the consent of the magistrate was not to be attended; when, under pretence of a confession to avoid slanders and imputations, they combined themselves by classes and subscriptions; when they descended in that vile and base means of defacing the government of the Church by ridiculous pasquils; when they began to make any subjects in doubt to take an oath, which is one of the fundamental points of justice in this land, and in all places; when they began both to vaunt of their strength and number of their partizans and followers, and to use the communications that their cause would prevail, though with uproar and violence; then it appeared to be no more zeal, no more conscience, but mere faction and division: and therefore, though the State was compelled to hold somewhat a harder hand to restrain them than before, yet it was with as great moderation as the peace of the Church and State could permit. And therefore to conclude, consider uprightly of these matters, and you shall see her majesty is no temporizer in religion. It is not the success abroad, nor the change of