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of our subject_namely, that the people of the country were not so ready to take part for them, as against them. This is not the place to enter into the subject, but it is worth while to direct the reader's attention to the point.
“CHAP. XIII. The redinesse of the people to defende idolatrie, superstition, and
earthly commodities : and their slouthfulnesse in mayntegning the contrarie. How they are charged to see the Lawes of God kept, and the transgression of the same punished, if their rulers do neglecte them. And that they may lawfully punish their Magistrates as priuate persones transgressing the Lordes preceptes.
"But what remedie? (saye you) we being but subiectes with out power, and wisdome cannot helpe it. The more pyttie deare Countriemen, that you haue so stoutly or rather stubbernely shewed your willes and power in the dayes of Godly kynge Edwarde the VI. your late Prince and gouernour, and the zelous seruant of God: who soght to rule you in Gods feare, and vnder whom you had the comfortable worde of God, and were delivered from the Romishe Antichrist, and from all superstition, for the most parte, hauing your Realme free from strangers, and quiete from all enimies, enioying your goods and freinds in peace with out all force, imprisoning, reuiling, banishing, or murthering.) It is to be lamented (I saye) that then receauing all these blessinges of God, by the means of so worthie a Prince, ye were able to conspire, rise and rebell with the daunger of bodies, goods and soules, agaynst your godlie and lawfull kinge: and that chiefly to defende the deuelishe Masse, and all the puddels of poperie with the Caterpillers and rable of all vncleane spirites, as Cardinalls, Bishopps, Priestes, Monkes, Freers, Nonnes, &c. And now in these matters wherein consisteth the glorie of God, the preseruation of yo owne liues, and defence of your countrie you are without all will, power and helpe.
“To restore Antichrisht agayne, whom ons God had banished to all your comfortes, you were not ashamed to terme it obedience, and to count yourselues therin no rebells, but lawfull resisters; but to defende Christe and his confortable Gospell (which then you had in possession) that are you persuaded to be open rebellion. To arme your selues agaynst your superiors, to defend your commons and earthly coramodities with holden from you, by the greedy desier of new vpstarte gentlemen, how willing and redie haue you shewed your selues? But to holde and reteyne your spiritual possession not promised onely, but geven into your handes, you are moste slowe without all hope and courage. Shall not this be to your iuste condemnation ? When God calleth you to a rekening, what can you have to answere?”-Goodman, p. 175.
The direct reference, and the manner and spirit in which that reference is made to the open rebellions of the former reign, may surprise some readers; but the trio who under
took to instruct the Christian church on the subject of loyalty, did not mean to mince matters ; witness the following defence of Wyat, and lamentation over the miscarriage of his "great Gun” and his rebellion.
“Therefore yf they did well in demandinge succour, and he discharged his conscience in graunting their request, why is it not also lawfull for you to seeke helpe of them that be able and willing : and for them likewise to grante helpe, to whom God hath lente it for that vse especially?
“But I know your answere: experience (saye you) hath taught vs the contrary. For if God had bene pleased herein withe Syr Thomas Wyat that valiant Capitayne taking in hande the like enterprise : it shulde vndoubtedly haue had better successe. But he being a man, and of God, of great estimation amongest all goodmen, was notwithstandinge apprehended, condemned, and at the last (althogh he was promised his pardon) as a traytor beheaded. And besides him Sir Henry Isley knight, with many godely men for the same facte, hanged, and murthered. The like also ye will affirme of that Noble man Henry Lorde Graye, Marques Dorset, and Duke of Suffolke; who onely for the zeale that he had to promote Gods glorie, and the libertie of his countrie, prepared him self with that power he coulde make to the ayde of the sayed Wyat, accordinge to his promisse. But being deceaued, or rather betrayed by such as he trusted vnto, was in the ende also apprehended, and with his brother the Lorde Thomas Gray (a Gentleman of great courage, and towardnesse), likewise beheaded.
“Althogh I minde not to stand long in the praise of these worthye mens factes, who most cowardly were of many betrayed, which since perchance have felt some parte of worse misery: yet so muche must I nedes confesse in their behalf, that none but papistes, or traytors can iustly accuse them of treason or disobedience. Of whom to be misdained or slandered, is in the eyes of the godly, no small commendation, and prayse. For to passe ouer with silence the duke of Suffolke (whose noble parentage and ernest love that he bare to the promoting of Christes Gospell, and the welth of his countrie, is all to Englishe men sufficiently knowne) what I beseche you moued Wyat that worthy knight to rise ? Was it his pouertie? Beholde, he was a famous Gentleman of great landes and possessions, stowt and liberall in the seruice of his Prince, faithefull to his countrie, and mercifull to the poore. Soght he ambitiously honour ? Which of his enemies coulde herewith iustly charge him? Did he this bicause he was of a troublesome and busy nature, which coulde not be vnder lawfull gouernement. His great wisedome, modestie, and gentle behauiour at all tymes, and to all persons, did well declare the contrary: euer more being founde a faythfull capitayne to his Prince in the fielde, and an obedient subiecte at home. What then moned him to this dangerous entreprise ? Verely, the zeale of Gods trueth and the pitie that he had to his Countrie, for the miseries he saw to approche by the vsurped power of vngodly Iesabell, and her merciles papistes the sowldiars of Anticbriste. Yf it be treason to defend the Gospel and his Countrie frome cruel strangers and enemies, then was Wyat a traytor and rebell; but if this was his duetye, and all others that professed Christe amongest you, then are all such traytours, as did deceaue him: and such at toke not his parte also, when tyme and occasion by him was justly offered.
“And thogh his enterprise had not such successe, as we woulde haue wisshed: yet was it no worse then our cowardnesse, and vnworthinesse deserned. Whiche nether oght of anie therfore to be condemned, nether shulde be anie discouragement to others in the like. For some tymes we see the verie seruantes of God to haue euill successe in their doinges, according to man's iudgement : and yet God is well pleased therwith. As the example of the Israelites, wherof we made mention before dothe moste manifestlie approue : at what tyme they armed them selues agaynst the Beniamites, and that at the commandement of God, and yet were twise disconcfyted, losing the first tyme 22, thousand men: and the next day folowing 18. thowsand : bothe tymes, consulting with the Lorde, and folowing his commandement.”—Goodman, p. 201.
Whether this affords ground for supposing that Goodman was in Wyat's rebellion, I do not know; but it naturally reminds one of Ponet, aud a few words from him may be quite in place, though they are too much in the same strain to afford much variety.
“If nature, reason, honestie and lawe dothe so greviously punishe him, and cast him out of all honest mennes companies, that is negligent in a trifle, how muche more ought he to be punished and cast out of all mennes sight, that is necligent in the greatest matiers? If he ought so sharpely to be vsed, that deceaueth one poore man, how much more sharpely ought he to be punished, and of all men to be abhorred (yea cast to the dogges) that deceaueth a hole realme of ten or twentie hundred thousaunt persones? If he be thus to be abhorred and punished, that is required to doo an other mannes busynesse, and deceaueth him, how muche more ought they to be abhorred and hated that take vpon them to doo for others not desired but suying for it, not called thereto but thrusting in themself, not prayed but payeing, geuing many lyuereyes, procuring and making frendes to geue them their uoices, obteynying of great mennes lettres, and ladies tokens, feasting freeholders, and making great banketting cheare, not by the consent of the parte, but by force and streinght, with tropes of horsemen, billes, bowes, pykes, gonnes, and such like kynde of qualityes.”—Ponet, Sig. A vii. 6.
Surely Ponet had forgotten the great“gonne”; or else he thought that such things were lawful on one side only. He gives indeed a hint in one place, as if he thought that practices generally esteemed more discreditable than“ great Guns” in broad daylight, might be lawfully used for the removal of obnoxious persons. At least I know not what was the meaning of continually picking out scraps of history, unless these writers expected and intended every man to be his own Croxall and moralize forth the inference, “ We see by this story that when a man is a very wicked man, it is a good thing to go and kill him." There are too many such passages; and one, though somewhat out of place, may be here given as a specimen. As to Caligula ;
“Many other noble actes by his absolute power he wrought: and at leynght he commaunded that his ymage should be set vp in the temple at Ierusalem, and ther worshipped: as not vnlike Saint Gardiners (for he hathe done no smal thinges) shalbe shortly by Anticipacion in England. But what was thende of Caligulaes absolute power? whan he had reigned three yeares and ten monethes, his owne householde seruauntes conspired against hym, and the general of his owne Armie slewe him.”- Ponet, Sig. B vii.b.
I must add another from Goodman, which regards the general subject, because there is something about it which to those who would be likely to receive and be influenced by it at the time, might appear argumentative and scriptural, and my object (I trust I have shown it by the length of these extracts) is not to catch at a hasty expression, or make any man an offender for a word, but to show what was the doctrine quietly and carefully taught by those who were accredited as teachers by their party.
“The like commandement is also geuen in the 17. and 18. Chap. of the same boke [Deuteronomy] charging all the people of God in generall, to see idolatrie punished without mercie, and that in all persones. Wherefore we may moste certaynely conclude, that if the Rulers and Magistrates in this case, woulde not execute the Lawes of God where with they are so straightly charged, that then the people are not discharged, excepte they put it in execution to take the euil from amongest them, to whom it also belongeth.
"Next, that no persone is exempted by any Lawe of God from this punishment, be he kinge, Quene or Emperour, that is, either openly or priuely knowne to be an idolatrer be he neuer so neare or deare voto vs, he must dye the death. For God hath not placed them aboue others to transgresse his Lawes as they liste, but to be subiecte vnto them as well as others, ouer whom they gouerne.
“And if they be subiecte vnto his Lawes, they muste be subiect to the punishment also, when they be fownd disobedient transgressors: yea, so muche the more as their example is more daungerous. For looke what wickednesse reigneth in the Magistrates, the subiectes comonly take incouragement therby to imitate the same, as we see in the examples of Iereboam, Achab and wicked Manasses, who being suffred in the beginninge to commit idolatrie, and to erecte idoles, made the same likewise lawfull to all their subiectes. For the same cause God commanded Moyses to hange vp all the capitaynes and heads of the people, for that by their example
they made the people idolatrers also: he had no respect to their auctocitie, because they were Rulers, but so muche the rather woulde he haue them so sharplie punished, that is, hanged agaynst the sunne without mercy: which iudgement, thoghe it was done at Gods commandment firste, and after at Moyses, yet were the people executors of the same, and all did vnderstand that it was iuste: and not for that tyme onely, but to be a perpetuall example for euer, and a sure admonition of their duetie in the like defection from God, to hange vp such Rulers as shulde drawe them from him.
"And thoghe it appeare at the firste sight a great disordre, that the people shulde take vnto them the punishment of transgression, yet when the Magistrates and other officers cease to do their duetie, they are as it were, without officers, yea, worse then if they had none at all and then God geueth the sworde in to the peoples hande, and he him selfe is become immedialty their head (Yf they will seeke the accomplishment of his Lawes) and hath promised to defend them and blesse them.”—Goodman, p. 183.
Perhaps I have given the reader sufficient materials for judging how the doctrine of loyalty and rebellion in general was treated by puritan writers; and we may proceed to what more particularly concerns Queen Mary personally, and her government in particular.
PURITAN POLITICS. No. III.
RESPECTING QUEEN MARY IN PARTICULAR.
John Knox and Christopher Goodman, as has been already stated, are the two great authorities with regard to puritan politics during the reign of Queen Mary. They laid down the law very plainly; and I am not aware that, while that unhappy monarch lived, any one of the exiled party offered one word in contradiction, qualification, or explanation of the fierce regicidal libels of those two writers.
As to Goodman, I hope that the reader has been enabled by the preceding paper to form some opinion of his doctrine on the subject of loyalty, and obedience to authority, in general. That doctrine was applied with ferocious zeal to