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exhibited by so powerful an ecclesiastical body, whether that tendency pointed to rejoining the Church of Rome, or establishing a similar supremacy in the Church at home. The discussion of the London and other petitions on the 8th of February gave rise to the debate on episcopal government, in which Lord Falkland addressed the House in the following speech :
“ Mr. Speaker,—He is a great stranger in Israel “ who knows not this kingdom hath long laboured under “ many and great oppressions both in religion and “ liberty; and his acquaintance here is not great, or “ his ingenuity less, who doth not both know and acknow“ ledge that a great, if not a principal cause of both “ these have been some Bishops and their adherents. “ Mr. Speaker, a little search will serve to find them “ to have been the destruction of unity, under pretence “ of uniformity—to have brought in superstition and “ scandal under the titles of Reverence and Decency " — to have defiled our Church by adorning our “churches — to have slackened the strictness of that “ union which was formerly between us and those of “our religion beyond the sea : an action as impolitic “ as ungodly. We shall find them to have tithed mint “ and anise, and have left undone the weightier works 6 of the law." ... "It hath been more dangerous for “men to go to some neighbour's parish when they had " no sermon in their own than to be obstinate and “ perpetual recusants; while masses have been said in “ security, a conventicle hath been a crime; and, “ which is yet more, the conforming to ceremonies “ hath been more exacted than the conforming to
“ Christianity." . ...“We shall find them to be like " the hen in Æsop, which, laying every day an egg “ upon such a proportion of barley, her mistress in“creasing her proportion in hopes she would increase “ her eggs, she grew so fat upon that addition that she “ never laid more ; so, though at first their preaching “ were the occasion of their preferment, they after “ made their preferment the occasion of their not “ preaching. We shall find them to have resembled “ another fable—the Dog in the Manger,-to have “neither preached themselves, nor employed those that “ should, nor suffered those that would.” Lord Falkland describes the check given to instruction for “ the “introduction of ignorance, which would best introduce “ that religion which accounts it the mother of devotion;" and he also adverts to the preference shown to the preaching of that doctrine, “ which, though it were not “ contrary to law, was contrary to custom, and for a “ long while in this kingdom was no oftener preached “than recanted. The truth, Mr. Speaker, is,” continued he, “ that, as some ill ministers in our State first “ took away our money from us, and after endeavoured “ to make our money not worth the taking, by turning “ it into brass by a kind of anti-philosopher's stone, so “ these men used us in the point of preaching—first “ depressing it to their power, and next labouring to “ make it such as the harm had not been much if it “ had been depressed. The most frequent subjects even “ in the most sacred auditories being the jus divinum “ of bishops and tithes, the sacredness of the clergy, " the sacrilege of impropriations, the demolishing of
“Puritanism and propriety, the building of the pre“ rogative at Paul's, the introduction of such doctrines “ as, admitting them true, the truth would not recom“ pense the scandal, or such as were so far false that, “ as Sir Thomas More says of the Casuists, their “ business was not to keep men from sinning, but to “ confirm them—Quam prope ad peccatum sine peccato “ liceat accedere; so it seemed their work was to try “ how much of a papist might be brought in without “ Popery, and to destroy as much as they could of the “ Gospel without bringing themselves into danger of “ being destroyed by the law.
“Mr. Speaker, to go yet further, some of them have “so industriously laboured to deduce themselves from “Rome, that they have given great suspicion that in “ gratitude they desire to return thither, or at least to “ meet it half-way. Some have evidently laboured to “ bring in an English, though not a Roman, Popery; “I mean, not only the outside and dress of it, but “ equally absolute, a blind dependence of the people “ upon the clergy, and of the clergy upon themselves, “ and have opposed the Papacy beyond the seas that “ they might settle one beyond the water. Nay, 66 common fame is more than ordinarily false if none “ of them have found a way to reconcile the opinions “ of Rome to the preferments of England, and to be so “ absolutely, directly, and cordially Papists, that it is “ all that fifteen hundred pound a year can do to keep “ them from confessing it.
Referring to Lambeth Palace,
“ Mr. Speaker, I come now to speak of our liberties; " and considering the great interest these men have “ had in our common master,' and considering how “ great a good to us they might have made that interest “ in him, if they would have used it to have informed “ him of our general sufferings; and considering how “ a little of their freedom of speech at Whitehall might “ have saved us a great deal of the use we have now " of it in the Parliament House,—their not doing this “ alone were occasion enough for us to accuse them as “the betrayers, though not as the destroyers, of our “ rights and liberties; though I confess that, if they had “ been only silent in this particular, I had been silent “ too. But, alas! they, whose ancestors in the darkest “ times excommunicated the breakers of Magna Charta, “ did now by themselves and their adherents both write, “ preach, plot, and act against it, by encouraging Dr. “ Beale, by preferring Dr. Mainwaring, appearing for“ ward for monopolies and ship-money, and, if any were “ slow and backward to comply, blasting both them and “ their preferment with the utmost expression of their “ hatred, the title of Puritan.
“ Mr. Speaker, we shall find some of them to have “ laboured to exclude both all persons and all causes of " the clergy, from the ordinary jurisdiction of the tem“ poral magistrate, and by hindering prohibitions (first " by apparent power against the judges, and after by
secret arguments with them) to have taken away the “ only legal bound to their arbitrary power, and made,
1 Referring to the King..
“ as it were, a conquest upon the common law of the “ land, which is our common inheritance, and after " made use of that power to turn their brethren out of “ their freeholds, for not doing that which no law of “ man required of them to do, and which in their “ opinions) the law of God required of them not to do. “We shall find them in general to have encouraged all “ the clergy to suits, and to have brought all suits to “ the Council-table; that, having all power in ecclesi“ astical matters, they laboured for equal power in
temporal, and to dispose as well of every office as of “ every benefice, which lost the clergy much time and “ much reverence (whereof the last is never given when " it is so asked), by encouraging them indiscreetly to “ exact more of both than was due; so that indeed the “ gain of their greatness extended but to a few of that “ order, though the envy extended upon all.
“ We shall find of them to have both kindled and “ blown the common fire of both nations, to have both “ sent and maintained that book, of which the author “ no doubt hath long since wished with Nero, utinam “ nescissem literas, and of which more than one kingdom “ hath cause to wish, that when he writ that he had “ rather burned a library, though of the value of “ Ptolemy's. We shall find them to have been the “ first and principal cause of the breach, I will not say “ of, but since, the pacification at Berwick. We shall “ find them to bave been the almost sole abettors of my " Lord Strafford, whilst he was practising upon another “ kingdom that manner of government which he in“tended to settle in this; where he committed so many