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“ mighty and so manifest enormities and oppressions, as “ the like have not been committed by any governor in “ any government since Verres left Sicily; and after “ they had called him over from being Deputy of Ire“ land to be in a manner Deputy of England (all “ things here being governed by a junctillo, and the “ junctillo governed by him), to have assisted him in the “ giving such counsels and the pursuing of such courses, “ as it is a hard and measuring cast whether they “ were more unwise, more unjust, or more unfortunate, “ and which had infallibly been our destruction if by " the grace of God their share had not been as small “ in the subtility of serpents as in the innocency of u doves.
“Mr. Speaker, I have represented no small quan“ tity and no mean degree of guilt; and truly I believe “ that we shall make no little compliment to those, and “ no little apology for those, to whom this charge “ belongs, if we shall lay the faults of these men upon “ the order of the Bishops—upon the Episcopacy. I “ wish we may distinguish between those who have been “ carried away by the stream and those who have been “ the stream that carried them—between those whose “ proper and natural motion was towards our ruin and “ destruction, and those who have been whirled about “ to it contrary to their natural motion by the force “and swing of superior orbs; and as I wish we may “ distinguish between the more and less guilty, so I yet “ more wish we may distinguish between the guilty and “ the innocent.
“ Mr. Speaker, I doubt, if we consider that, if not
. “ the first planters, yet the first spreaders of Chris
“ tianity and the first and chief defenders of Christianity “ against heresy within and paganism without, not only “ with their ink but with their blood, and the main “ conducers to the resurrection of Christianity, at least “ here in the Reformation, and that we owe the light “ of the Gospel we now enjoy to the fire they endured “ for it, were all bishops; and that even now, in the “ greatest defection of that order, there are yet some “ who have conduced in nothing to our late innovations “ but in their silence—some who, in an unexpected and "mighty place and power, have expressed an equal “ moderation and humility, being neither ambitious “ before nor proud after, either of the crozier's staff or " white staff-some who have been learned opposers of “ Popery and zealous suppressors of Arminianism “ between whom and their inferior clergy infrequency “ of preaching hath been no distinction—whose lives “ are untouched, not only by guilt but by malice, scarce “ to be equalled by those of any condition, or to be “ excelled by those of any calendar ;-I doubt not, I “ say, but, if we consider this, this consideration will “ bring forth this conclusion—that bishops may be good “men; and let us give but good men good rules, we “ shall have both good governors and good times.
“ Mr. Speaker, I am content to take away all those “ things from them which to any considerable degree “ of probability may again beget the like mischiefs if " they be not taken away. If their temporal title, “ power, and employment appear likely to distract “ them from the care of, or make them look down with
“ great distance between them and those they govern
“ to them, and occasion insolence from them to their “ inferiors, let that be considered and cared for. I “ am sure neither their Lordships, their judging of “ tithes, wills, and marriages, no, not their voices in “ Parliaments, are jure divino ; and I am sure that 6 these titles and this power are not necessary to their “ authority, as appears by the little they have had with “ us by them, and the much that others have had “ without them.
“ If their revenue shall appear likely to produce the “same effects—for it hath been anciently observed that “ Religio peperit divitias et filia devoravit matrem“ let so much of that as was in all probability intended
“ upon them out of the doors; let us only take care to “ leave them such proportions as may serve in some “ good degree to the dignity of learning and the en “ couragement of students ; and let us not invert that “ of Jeroboam, and, as he made the meanest of the people “ priests, make the highest of the priests the meanest of “ the people. If it be feared that they will again “ employ some of our laws with a severity beyond the “ intention of those laws against some of their weaker “ brethren, that we may be sure to take away that “ power let us take away those laws, and let no cere“monies which any number counts unlawful, and no “ man counts necessary, against the rules of policy and “ St. Paul, be imposed upon them. Let us consider
“ that part of the rule they have hitherto gone by“ that is, such canons of their own making as are not “ confirmed by Parliament-have been, or, no doubt, 6 shortly will be, by Parliament taken away. That the “ other part of the rule (such canons as were here re.66 ceived before the Reformation, and not contrary to “ law) is too doubtful to be a fit rule ; exacting an exact “ knowledge of the canon law, of the common law, of " the statute law : knowledges which those who are thus “ to govern have not, and it is scarce fit they should “ have. Since, therefore, we are to make new rules, “ and shall, no doubt, make those rules strict rules, and “ be infallibly certain of triennial Parliaments to see “ those rules observed as strictly as they are made, and “ to increase or change them upon all occasions, we shall “ have no reason to fear any innovation from their “ tyranny, or to doubt any defect in the discharge of “ their duty. I am as confident they will not dare “ either ordain, suspend, silence, excommunicate, or “ deprive otherwise than we would have them; and if “ this be believed, we shall not think it fit to abolish “ upon a few days' debate an order which hath lasted “ (as appears by story) in most Churches these sixteen “ hundred years, and in all from Christ to Calvin; or “ in an instant change the whole face of the Church “ like the scene of a mask. Mr. Speaker, I do not “ believe them to be jure divino-nay, I believe them “ not to be jure divino ; but neither do I believe them “ to be injuriâ humanâ. I neither consider them as “ necessary nor as unlawful, but as convenient or incon« venient. But since all great mutations in govern“ ment are dangerous (even where what is introduced " by that mutation is such as would have been profitable “ upon a primary foundation); and since the greatest “ danger of mutations is, that all the dangers and incon“ veniences they may bring are not to be foreseen ; and “ since no wise man will undergo great danger but for “ great necessity, my opinion is, that we should not “root up this ancient tree, as dead as it appears, till we “ have tried whether by this or the like topping of the “ branches the sap, which was unable to feed the whole, “ may not serve to make what is left both grow and “ flourish. And certainly, if we may at once take away “ both the inconveniences of bishops and the incon“ veniences of no bishops—that is, an almost universal “ mutation—this course can only be opposed by those “ who love mutation for mutation's sake.
“ Mr. Speaker, to be short (as I have reason to be " after having been so long), this trial may be suddenly “ made. Let us commit as much of the ministers' “ remonstrance as we have read, that those heads, both of “ abuses and grievances, which are there fully collected, s may be marshalled and ordered for our debate. If “ upon the debate it shall appear that those may be “ taken away and yet the order stand, we shall not “ need to commit the London petition at all, for the “cause of it will be ended ; if it shall appear that the “ abolition of the one cannot be but by the destruction “ of the other, then let us not commit the London “ petition, but let us grant it.” I
Rushworth, Coll., vol. iv. pp. 184-186.