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civil power too: Your Lordships know that the Jack Straws, and Cades, and Walt Tylers of formertimes, did not more cry down Learning then Nobility : and those of your Lordships tkat have read the history of the Anabaptistical tupaults at Munster will need no other Item, let it be enough to say that many of these Sc&aries are of the same profeffion : Shortly cherefore let me humbly move your Lordships to take these dangers and miseries of this poor Church deeply to heart, and upon this occasion to give order for the speedy redressing of thele horrible insolencies, and for the stopping of that deluge of libellous inve&tives, wherewith we are chus impetuoufly overflown ; Which in all duc submission, I humbly present to your Lordships wisc, and religious confideration.
In Defence of the
cannot choose but know that whosoever rises up in this cause mast speak with the disadvantage of much prejudice; and therefore I do humbly crave your Lordships best construction, were it (my Lords) that some few
doubting persons were to be satisfied in some sauples about matter of the Canons, there might have been some life in the hope of prevailing; but now that we are borne down with such a torrent of generall and resolute contradi&tion, we yield; but yet give us leave I besecch you so to yield that pofterity may not say we have willingly betraid our own innocence.First therefore let us plead to your Lordships and the World, that to abate the edge of that illegality which is objected to us, it was our obedience that both alsembled and kept us together for the making of Syaodicall acts. We had the grcat Seal of England for it,seconded by the judgments of the oracles of law and justice; and upon these che command of our superiour to whom we have sworn and owe canonical obe
dience: Now in this case, what should we do ( Was it for us to judg of the great seal of England; or to judg of our Judges ( alas we are not for the law, but for the Gospell) or to disobey chat authority which was to be ever sacred to us, I bescech your Lordihips put your selves a while in to our condition, had the calc been yours, what would you have done ? If we obey not, we are rebels to authority ; if we obey we ake censured for illegall procedures ? Where are we now, my Lords: It is an old rule of Casuits, nemo tenetur effe perplexus, Free us one way or other; and shew us whecher we must racher hazard censure, or incurr disobedience. In the next place give us leave to plead our good intentions ; since we must make new Canons. I pcrfwade my self we all came (I am sure I can speak for One ) with honest and zealous desires to do God and his Church good service, and expected to have received great thanks both of Church and Common-wealth; for your Lordihips see that the main drift of those Canons was to repress and confine the indiscreet and lawless discourses of some either ignorant, or parasiticall, I am sure offensive Preachers to suppress the growth of Socinianism, Popery, Separatism, to redress some abuses of Ecclesiastical courts and officers ; In all which I dare say your Lordships do heartily concurr with them ; And if in the manner of expression there have been any failings I thall humbly befecch your Lordships that those may not be too much stood upon where the main substance is well meant; and in it felf profitable. In the third place give me leave to put your LordThips in mind of the continuall practise of the Christian Church, since the first Synod of the Apostles ( AX. 15.) to this present day; wherein I suppose it can never be showed that ever any Ecc!csialticall Canons made by the Bishops and Clergy in Synods generall,national, provinciall, were either offered or required to be confirmed by Parliaments:Emperours and Princes,by whose authority those Synods were called, have still given their power to the ratification and execution of them; and none others; and if you please to look into the times within the ken of memory or somewhat beyond it, Linwoods Constitutions, what Parliaments confirmed'? The Injun&tions of Queen Elizabeth, the Canons of King James were never tendred to the Parliament for confirmation ; and yer have so far obtained hitherto, that the government of the Church was by them fill regulated; compare I beseech you those of K. Fames with the
present, your Lordships shall find them many, peremptory, resoluce, standing upon their own grounds, in points much harder of digestion then these which are but few, and only seconds to former constitucions: it therefore in this we have erred, surely the whole Christian Church of all places and times hach erred with us ; either therefore we shall have too good company in the censure, or else we shall be excused,
Fourchly give me leave to urge the authority of these Canons ; in which regard if I might without offence speak it, I might say chat the complainants
have not(under correction)laid a right ground of their acculation ; They say we have made Canons and Conticutions ; alas my Lords we have made none.
We neither did, nor could make Canons, more then they can makc laws; The Canons are so to the Church as laws are for the Common-wealth; now they do but rogare legem, they do not ferre or farcire legem, that is only for the King to do, it is le Roy le Vexlt, chac of bills makes laws; so was it for us to do in matter of Canons, we might propound some such constitutions as we should think might be usefull; but when we have done we send them to his Majesty, who porusing them cum avifamento Consilii fui, and approving them
pots life into them, and of dead propositions makes them Cao nons; as therefore the laws are the Kings laws, and not ours; fo are the Canons the Kings Canons, and nor the Clergies, Think clus of them, and then draw what conclusions you please.
As for that pecuniary bufiness of our contribution wherein we are faid to bave trenched upon the liberty of subjects and propriety of goods ; Ibcsecch your Lordihios do but see the difference of times, we had a precedent for it ; The same thing was done in Q!. Eliza
terhs time in a mul&t of 3 s. the pound and that after the end of the Parliament, with the same clauses of Suspenfion, Sequcstration, Deprivation, without noile of any exception which now is cryed down for an unheard of incroachment ; how legall it may be I dispute not, and did then make bold to move; but lee the guide of that example and the zeal that we had to the supply of his Majesties neceffities excuse us a tanto at least ; it having given these as subsidies fitting the Parliament, and the bill being drawn up for the confirmation of the Parliament,we now,upon the unhappy diffolution of it as loath to retract so neceffary a graunt we were willing to atrof-":n:. rife
But, my Lords, if I may have leave to speak my own thoughes, Ithall freely say that whereas there are three general concernments both of persons and causes, merely Ecclesiastical, merely Temporal, or mixt of both Ecclesiastical and cemporall ; as it is fit, the Church by her Synode should take cognizance of, and order for the first whcih is merely Ecclesiastical, lo next under his Majesty, the Parliament should have the power of ordering the other ; but in the mean time, my Lords, where are we? The Canons of the Church boch lace and former are pronounced to be void and forceless, the Church is a garden or vineyard inclosed; the laws and consticucions of ic arc as the wall, or hedg, if these be cast open, in what Stace are we: shall the enemies of this Church have fuch an advantage ofus, as to say, we are a lawless Church, or shall all Men be left loosć to their licencious freedom, God in Heaven forbid : Hitherto we have been quietly and happily governed by those former Canons, the extent whercof we have nor i hope (and for some of us :) I am confident, we have not cxceeded; why should we not be so Átill ? Let these larc Canons flccp since you will have it so, till we awake them, which shall not be cill Dooms-day, and let us be where we were, and regulace our selves by those conftitutions which were quietly submitted to on all hands, and for this which is pakt, fince that which we did was out of our truc obedience, and with honeft and godly intencions and according to the Universal practise of all Christian Churches, and with the full power of his Majestics authority, let it not be impured to us as any way worthy of your Lordships cenlure.