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to be restored again ; and also the statute of the emperor, (they call it the Interim,) by the which it is enacted, that such of the clergy as were married should not be divorced from their wives.
Thus turning his style from this matter to the university, he reproved in few words their unfaithfulness towards these men. For if the Lord suffered not the bones of the king of Edom, being a wicked man, to be taken up and burnt without revengement (as saith Amos), let us assure ourselves, he will not suffer (Amos ii. 1.] so notable a wrong done to his godly preachers, unrevenged. Afterward, when he came to the condemnation (which we told you in the former action was pronounced by Perne, the vicechancellor, in the name of them all), being somewhat more moved at the matter, he admonished them, how much it stood them in hand to use great circumspectness, what they decreed upon any man by their voices, in admitting or rejecting any man to the promotions and degrees of the university. For that which should take his authority from them, should be a great prejudice to all the other multitude, which (for the opinion that it had of their doctrine, judgment, allowance, and knowledge) did think nothing but well of them. For it would come to pass, that if they would bestow their promotions upon none but meet persons, and let the unmeet go as they come, both the commonwealth should receive much commodity and profit by them, and besides that they should highly please God. But if they persisted to be negligent in doing thereof, they should grievously endamage the common weal, and worthily work their own shame and reproach. Over and besides that, they should greatly offend the majesty of God, whose commandment, not to bear false witness, they should in so doing break and violate.
In the mean while that he was speaking these and many other things before his audience, many of the university, to set out and defend Bucer withal, beset the walls of the church and church-porch on both sides with verses, some in Latin, some in Greek, and some in English, in the which they made a manifest declaration how they were minded both toward Bucer and Phagius. Finally, when his sermon was ended, they made common supplication and prayers. After thanks rendered to God for many other things, but in especially for restoring of the true and sincere religion, every man departed his way.
THE EARL OF LEICESTER,
IN BEHALF OF THE
REFUSERS OF THE HABITS.
(From Strype's Life of Archbishop Parker, Appendix xxv. Vol. 11.
p. 69. Oxford, 1821.)
Right honourable, my duty considered, and under correction :
I understand by common report, and I fear too true, that there is great offence taken with some of the ministery for not
[ In Tanner's account of Bishop Pilkington there is mention made of an “ Epistola Consolatoria (contra usum vestium pontif. in sacris)" as existing in the MSS. of the Bodleian. This appears to be a mistake. There are two MS. letters of Pilkington's in that collection, viz. this to “the Right Hon. Lord Rob. Dudley, Earl of Leicester," and the Latin letter to his brother-in-law, Andrew Kingsmill, inserted in the Appendix to this volume. The “ comfortable letter” is found in a printed volume in the same library, and is only another form of the present letter. The author appears to have made a double use of this letter, addressing it as a letter of comfort to the refusers of the habits, and as a letter of intercession to the earl of Leicester on their behalf: or more probably, the former use was not made of it by himself, but by some one else after his death. There is no reason to think that in either form he wrote it in Latin. There are some unimportant variations between the letter as printed by Strype from a manuscript in his possession, and that in the volume above mentioned; chiefly to change the form of the letter from that of an address to an influential individual to that of a consolatory epistle to “the refusers of the habits”: but these, as already noticed, do not appear to have been made by Bishop Pilkington himself, but at a later date.The beginning and ending are here subjoined, as they stand in the printed book; which is that “very rare” volume entitled, A parte of u Register, printed 1593, at Edinburgh, an account of which, and the circumstances attending its suppression, is given by Herbert in his Typographical Antiquities, Vol. 1. p. 1414. See also Archbishop Barcroft's Dangerous Positions, as there quoted.
“Grace and peace, with all manner spiritual feeling and living worthy of the kindness of Christ, be with all that thirst after the will of God.To my faithful and dear brethren in Christ Jesu : As in common danger
using such apparel as the rest do. Therefore, as in great common dangers of fire or such like, they that be far off come to succour those that have need; so I, being out of that jeopardy and far off, cannot but of duty wish well to those that be touched in this case. In this liberty of God's truth, which is taught plainly without offence in the greatest mysteries of our religion and salvation, I marvel much that this small controversy for apparel should be so heavily taken. But this is the malice of Satan, that where he cannot overthrow the greatest matters, he will raise great troubles in trifles. Peter and Paul agreed in the chiefest articles of our salvation; and yet they differed so about meats, that Paul withstood and rebuked him openly. Paul and Barnabas fell at such bitter contention, whether Mark should go with them or no, so that they parted companies, and went either sundry ways. God defend us from the like! Paul circumcided Timothy, when there was hope to win the Jews; but when they would have it of necessity, he would not circumcide Titus. Therefore compelling would not be used in things of liberty. In this rude superstitious people, on the borders, priests go with sword, dagger, and such coarse apparel as they can get, not being curious or scrupulous what colour or fashion it be, and none is offended at them. But such grief to be taken at a cap among them that are civil and full of knowledge, is lamentable. Consider, I beseech your honour, how that all countries, which have reformed religion, have cast away the popish apparel with the pope ; and yet we, that would be taken for the best, contend to keep it as a holy relic. Mark also, how many ministers there be here in all countries, that be so zealous, not only to forsake that wicked doctrine of popery, but ready to leave the ministery and their livings, rather than to be like the popish teachers of such superstitions, either in apparel or behaviour. This realm has such scarcity of teachers, that if so many worthy men should be cast out of the ministery for such small matters, many places should be destitute of preachers.
of fire or such like, well beloved, they that be far off come to succour those that have need; so I, being out of jeopardy, &c."
“God grant that we may give all honour to whom all honour is due, both inwardly and outwardly, to serve him unfeignedly all the days of our life. Farewell, dear brethren in the Lord Jesus, who ever keep us in his faith, fear, and love for ever. Amen.” Ed.]
And it would give an incurable offence to all the favourers of God's truth in other countries. Shall we make so precious that, that other reformed places esteem as vile? God forbid. St Paul bids women use such apparel as becomes them that profess true godliness. Which rule is much more to be observed of men, and specially preachers. But if we forsake popery as wicked, how shall we say their apparel becomes saints and professors of true holiness? St Paul bids us refrain from all outward shew of evil: but surely, in keeping this popish apparel, we forbear not an outward shew of much evil, if popery be judged evil. As we would have a divers shew of apparel to be known from the common people, so it is necessary in apparel to have a shew, how a protestant is to be known from a papist.
It has pleased God to call your lordship to honour worthily, (God be praised for it !) and the same God will preserve and increase it, if ye diligently endeavour yourself to set forth his glory again. For so he has promised, “ Honorantes me glorificabo ; qui vero contemnunt me, contemnentur.” When Hester made courtesy to speak for God's people, being in danger, Mardocheus said to her: “Si nunc tacueris, alia ratione liberabuntur, et tu et domus patris tui peribitis.” Wherein it easily appears by these threatenings, how great a fault it is, not to help God's people in their need, or not to further religion when they may. But of your good lordship’s inclination to further God's cause no man doubts; and seeing many good men have felt and rejoiced of it, I am bolder to crave it. When Terentius,' a good christian captain, returned with great triumpii and victory, the emperor Valens bad him ask what he would, and he should have it, for his good service: he, having God afore his eyes, desired neither riches nor honour, but that those which had aventured their lives for true religion, might have a church allowed them to serve their God purely in, and several from the Arians. The emperor, being angry with his request, pulls his supplication in pieces, and bade him ask some other things. But he gathered up the pieces of his paper, and said, “ I have received my reward, I will ask nothing else.” God increase about princes the small number of such zealous suitors and promoters of religion; and then, no doubt, God's glory shall flourish, when we seek his due honour, and not our own profit.
[ See p. 324. En.]
Your honourable gentleness toward all has encouraged me thus boldly to speak for this case; and I doubt not, but your accustomed goodness has sundry times spoken in it; and though ye speed not at the first, yet importunity procures many things in time. Austin in mine opinion gives a good rule, how a man should behave himself in contentions of religion, to avoid both schisms and breaking the quietness and peace of christian men; which God grant might take place in this case! “Quisquis quod potest arguendo corrigit, vel quod corrigere non potest, salvo pacis vinculo excludit, vel quod salva pace excludere non potest tolerat, æquitate improbat : hic est pacificus, et a maledicto alienus.” Contra Epist. Par.”
But how this christian peace should be kept in this church, when so many, for so small things, shall be thrust from their ministery and livings, it passes my simple wit to conceive. St Paul's rule in such things is, “Omnia mihi licent, sed non omnia expediunt: omnia mihi licent, sed omnia non ædificant." Therefore in this case we must not so subtilly dispute, what christian liberty would suffer us to do, but what is meetest and most edifying for christian charity and promoting pure religion. But surely, how popish apparel should edify, or set forward the gospel of Christ Jesus, cannot be seen of the multitude. Nay, it is so much felt, how much it rejoices the adversary, when they see what we borrow of them, and contend for therein, as things necessary. The bishops' wearing of their white rochets began first of Sisinius, an heretic bishop of the Novatians : and these other have the like foundation. But they have so long continued and pleased popery, which is beggarly patched up of all sorts of ceremonies, that they could never be rooted out since, even from many professors of the truth.
Thus, setting shame aside in God's cause, and forgetting my duty in troubling your honour so much, I most humbly beseech your honour to defend this cause, though it be with some displeasure. God will reward it.
But while I defend others, it may be said, “ Medice, cura teipsum :" and let your doings and sayings agree in yourself. Surely, my good lord, though I in this case follow St Austin's rule afore rehearsed, yet should not any man's doings be a
[Con. Epist. Parmen. Lib. 11. cap. 3. Tom. ix. p. 82. Paris. 1837. Ed.]