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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 triumph 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. Ed.]
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, aequitate 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 aedificant.” 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. II. cap. 3. Tom. ix. p. 82. Paris. 1837. Ed.] prejudice to others that would come to a better perfection. Though things may be borne with for christian liberty sake for a time, in hope to win the weak; yet, when liberty is turned to necessity, it is evil, and no longer liberty: and that that was for winning the weak suffered for a time, is becomen the confirming of the froward in their obstinateness. Paul used circumcision for a time, as of liberty; but when it was urged of necessity, he would not bend unto it. Bucer, when he was asked why he did not wear “quadrato pileo,” made answer, “Quia caput non est quadratum.” Wherein surely he noted well the comeliness of apparel to be, when it was fashioned like the body, and great folly, when a square cap was set on a round head. God be merciful to us, and grant us uprightly to seek his honour with all earnestness and simplicity's The Lord long preserve your lordship to the comfort of his afflicted church, and grant, that in this old age of the world we may serve the Lord of hosts in singleness of heart, and root out all stumbling blocks in religion; that Christ's glory may nakedly shine of its self, without all man's traditions or inventions, as in the beginning, when it was purest, and all such devices unknown, but invented of late to blear the eyes of the ignorant with an outward shew of holiness. So craving pardon for my boldness in so long a tale, I humbly take my leave, and commend your honour to him that gives all honour, and to whom all honour is due.
THE STATUTES OF RIVINGTON SCHOOL,
IN THE county of LANCAstER,
FOUNDED BY BISHOP PILKINGTON.
From the “Statutes and Charter of Rivington School, &c. By the
I. Meetings of the Governours.
But before they begin to talk, they shall call on God by prayer severally, every one by himself, desiring God so to rule their minds, that they may do those things that be for his glory, and profit to his people; and if they meet for the choosing of a governour, or schoolmaster, they shall procure also an exhortation to be made by the schoolmaster, or some other learned man, to move them to consider deeply their duty and weighty cause that they have to do, declaring to them what good may follow in choosing a good man, and what harm, if they do not.
Chap. II. p. 147-8.
II. Character of the Governours.
• The schoolmaster, usher, or curate, shall not be chosen a governour; but it shall be well to use the assistance and advice of them, and other honest neighbours, as occasion shall serve: none shall be chosen a governour also, but he that is sober, wise, discreet, a favourer of God's word, and professor of pure religion, and is a hater of all false doctrine, popish superstition and idolatry: further, he that is chosen a governour, must be of honest name and behaviour, no adulterer nor fornicator, no drunkard nor gamester, no waster of his own goods, but able
to live of himself. Chap. iii. p. 150-1.
III. An oath to be taken of every one that is appointed and chosen Governour.
I, A. B., chosen governour of this school of Rivington, do swear and promise here afore God and the world, that I shall be true and diligent in this office of governing this school, scholars, and goods thereto belonging, to the uttermost of my power and knowledge; I shall suffer no popery, superstition, nor false doctrine, to be taught nor used in this school, but only that which is contained in the Holy Bible and agreeing therewith. These statutes of governing, nurture, learning, and teaching, which James Pilkington, bishop of Durham, hath allowed and appointed for this school, I shall see diligently practised and put in use. The goods and lands belonging now to this school, or that hereafter shall belong, I shall not consent at any time to turn them or any of them to any other use, but on the school, schoolmaster, usher, and scholars only; such lands or rents as be given or shall be given to this school hereafter, or bought, I shall never consent to sell, change, give, or put away, all or any part of them, except it be for procuring as good or better, and of the same yearly value at the least, and to be bestowed on this school as the other was; and that I shall see done afore any bargain and putting away of any lands, rents, or goods be made, stated, and delivered: what office or charge soever shall be put to me by the governours of this school, I shall willingly take it, and faithfully to my wit, power, and knowledge discharge it, so help me God, and as I hope to be saved by Jesus Christ.
IV. Devotions of the Scholars.
In the morning, afore they come out of their chamber, every scholar shall pray kneeling, as followeth:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. Most merciful God and loving Father, I give thee most hearty thanks for that it hath pleased thy godly Majesty to save, defend, and keep me thy unworthy servant all this night, and hath safely brought me to the beginning of this day, and for all other thy benefits and blessings, which of thine only goodness and not for our deserving thou hast bestowed, not only on me, most vile, wretched, and miserable sinner, but also