previous next


THE CONCLVSION OF THE LORD OF PERRON EXAMINED.

AFTER the L. Cardinal hath stoutly shewed the strength of his arme, and the deepe skill of his head in fortification; at last he leaues his loftie scaffolds, and falls to worke neerer the ground, with more easie tooles of humble praiers and gentle exhortations. The summe of the whole is this: He adiures his auditors neuer to forge remedies, neuer so to prouide for the temporall safetie of Kings, as thereby to worke their finall falling from eternall saluation: neuer to make any rent or rupture in the vnitie of the Church, in this corrupt aage infected with pestilent Heresies, which already hauing made so great a breach in the walles of France, will no doubt double their strength by the dissentions, diuisions, and schismes of Catholikes. If this infectious plague shall still increase and grow to a carbuncle, it can by no meanes poyson Religion, without bringing Kings to their winding sheetes and wofull hearses. The first rowlers of that stone of offence, aimed at no other marke, then to make an ignominious and lamentable rent in the Church. Hee thinks the Deputies of the third Estate, had neither head nor first hand in contriuing this Article; but holds it rather a new deuice and subtile inuention, suggested by persons, which beeing already cut off by their owne practises from the body of the Romane Church, haue likewise inueigled and insnared some that beare the name of Catholiks, with some other Ecclesiastics; and vnder afaire pretence and goodly cloake, by name, the seruice of the King, haue surprised and played vpon their simplicitie. These men (as the Cardinall saith) doe imitate Iulian the Apostata, who to bring the Christians to idolatrous worship of false gods, commaunded the idols of Iupiter and Venus to be intermingled with Imperiall statues, and other Images of Christian Emperours, &c. Then after certaine Rhetoricall flourishes, his Lordship fals to prosecute his former course, and cries out of this Article; A monster hauing the tayle of a fish, as if it came cutting the narrow Seas out of England: For in full efect it is downright the English oath; sauing that indeed the oath of England runneth in a more mild forme, and a more moderate straine. And here he suddenly takes occasion to make some digression: For out of the way, and clean from the matter, he entreth into some purpose of my praise and commendation: He courteously forsooth is pleased to grace mee with knowledge of learning, and with ciuill vertues: He seemeth chiefly to reioyce in his owne behalfe, and to giue me thanks, that I haue done him the honour to enter the lists of Theologicall dispute against hit Lordship. Howbeit he twitches and carpes at me withall, as at one that soweth seeds of dissension and schisme amongst Romane Catholiks: And yet he would seeme to qualifie the matter, and to make all whole againe, by saying, That in so doing I am perswaded I doe no more then my duetie requires. But now (as his Lordship followes the point) it standeth neither with godlinesse, nor with equity, nor with reason, that Acts made, that Statutes, Decrees, and Ordinances ratifiedfor the State and Gouernement of Eng- land, should be thrust for binding Laws vpon the Kingdome of France: nor that Catholikes, and much lesse that Ecclesiastics, to the ende they may liue in safetie, and freely enioy their priuiledges or immunities in France, should beforced to beleeue, and by oath to seale the same points, which English Catholikes to the end they may pur- chase libertie onely to breath, nay sorrowfully to sigh rather, are constrained to allow and to aduow besides. And whereas in England there is no small number of Catho- likes, that lacke not constant and resolute minds to endure all sorts of punishment, rather then to take that oath of allegiance; will there not be found an other manner of number in France, armed with no lesse constancie and Christian resolution ? There will, most honourable Auditors, there will without all doubt: and we all that are of Episcopall dignity will sooner suffer Martyrdome in the cause. Then out of the super-abundance and ouer-weight of his Lordships goodnes, he closely coucheth and conuayeth a certaine distastfull opposition betweene mee and his King; with praises and thanks to God, that his King is not delighted, & takes no pleasure to make Martyrs.

All this Artificiall and swelling discourse like vnto puffe-past, if it be viewed at a neere distance, will be found like a bladder full of wind, without any soliditie of substantiall matter. For the Deputies of the third Estate were neuer so voide of understanding, to beleeue that by prouiding for the life and safety of their King, they should thrust him headlong into eternall damnation. Their braines were neuer so much blasted, so farre benummed, to dreame the soule of their King cannot mount vp to heauen, except he be dismounted from his Princely Throne vpon earth, whensoeuer the Pope shall hold vp his finger.

And whereas he is bold to pronounce, that heretikes of France doe make their benefit and aduantage of this diuision; that speech is grounded vpon this proposi- tion; That professors of the Christian Religion reformed (which is to say, purged and cleansed of all Popish dregs) are heretikes in fact, and ought so to bee reputed in right: Which proposition his Lordship will neuer soundly and sufficiently make good, before his Holinesse hath compiled an other Gospell, or hath forged an other Bible at his Pontificiall anuile. The L. Cardinall vndertooke to reade mee a lecture vpon that argument; but euer since hath played Mum-budget, and hath put himselfe to silence, like one at a Non-plus in his enterprise. There be three yeeres already gone and past, since his Lordship beganne to shape some answere to a certaine writing dispatched by mee in few daies: With forming and reform- ing, with filing and polishing, with labouring and licking his answere ouer and ouer againe, with reiterated extractions and calcinations, it may be coniectured that all his Lordships labour and cost is long since evaporated and vanished in the aire. Howbeit, as well the friendly conference of a King, (for I will not call it a contention) as also the dignitie, excellencie, and importance of the matter, long since deserued, and as long since required the publishing of some or other an- swere. His Lordships long silence will neuer be imputed to lacke of capacity, wherewith who knoweth not how abundantly he is furnished; but rather to well aduised agnition of his owne working and building vpon a weake foundation.

But let vs returne vnto these heretikes, that make so great gaine by the dis- agreement of Catholikes. It is no part of their dutie to aime at sowing of dissen- tions; but rather to intend and attend their faithfull performance of seruice to their King. If some be pleased, and others offended, when so good and loyall duties are sincerely discharged; it is for all good subiects to grieue and to be sory, that when they speake for the safetie of their King & honour of the trewth, it is their hard hap to leaue any at all vnsatisfied. But suppose the said heretiks were the Authors of this article preferred by the third Estate: What need they to conceale their names in that regard ? What need they to disclaime the credit of such a worthy act ? Would it not redound to their perpetuall honour, to be the onely subiects that kept watch ouer the Kings life and Crowne, that stood centinell, and walked the rounds for the preseruation of his Princely diademe, when all other had no more touch, no more feeling thereof then so many stones ? And what neede the Deputies for the third Estate, to receiue instructions from for- raine Kingdomes, concerning a cause of that nature; when there was no want of domesticall examples, and the French histories were plentifull in that argu- ment ? What neede they to gape for this reformed doctrine, to come swimming with a fishes tayle out of an Island to the mayne continent, when they had before their eyes the murders of two Kings, with diuerse ciuill warres, and many Arrests of Court, all tending to insinuate and suggest the introduction of the same remedy ? Suggestions are needlesse from abroad, when the mischiefe is felt at home. It seemes to me that his Lordship in smoothing and tickling the Deputies for the third Estate, doth no lesse then wring and wrong their great sufficiencie with contumely and outragious abuse; as if they were not furnished with suffi- cient foresight, and with loyall affection towards their King, for the preseruation of his life and honour, if the remedie were not beaten into their heads by those of the Religion, reputed heretikes.

Touching my selfe, ranged by his Lordship in the same ranke with sowers of dissention; I take my God to witnes, and my owne conscience, that I neuer dream'd of any such vnchristian proiect. It hath beene hitherto my ordinary course to follow honest counsells, and to walke in open waies. I neuer wonted my selfe to holes and corners, to crafty shifts, but euermore to plaine and open de- signes. I neede not hide mine intentions for feare of any mortall man, that puffeth breath of life out of his nostrils. Nor in any sort doe I purpose, to set Iulian the Apostata before mine eyes, as a patterne for me to follow. Iulian of a Christian became a Pagan: I professe the same faith of Christ still, which I haue euer professed: Iulian went about his designes with crafty conueiances; I neuer with any of his captious and cunning sleights: Iulian forced his subiects to in- fidelitie against Iesus Christ; I labour to induce my subiects vnto such tearmes of loyalty towards my selfe, as Iesus Christ hath prescribed and taught in his word. But how farre I differ from Iulian, it is to be seene more at large in my answere to Bellarmines Epistles written to Blackwell; from whence the Lord Cardinall borrowing this example, it might well haue beseemed his Lordship to borrow likewise my answere from the same place.

Now as it mooues me nothing at all, to be drawne by his Lordship into suspi- tions of this nature and qualitie: so by the prayses, that he rockes me withall, I will neuer be lulled asleepe. To commend a man for his knowledge, and withall to take from him the feare of God, is to admire a souldier for his goodly head of haire or his curled locks, and withall to call him base coward, faint-hearted and fresh-water souldier. Knowledge, wit, and learning in an hereticke, are of none other vse and seruice, but only to make him the more culpable, & consequently obnoxious to the more grieuous punishments. All vertues turne to vices, when they become the seruants of impietie. The hand-maids which the Soueraigne Lady Wisedome calleth to be of her traine in the 9. Prouerb. are morall vertues, and humane sciences; which then become pernicious, when they run away from their Soueraigne Lady-Mistris, and put ouer themselues in seruice to the deuill. What difference is betweene two men, both alike wanting the knowledge of God; the one furnished with arts and ciuill vertues, the other brutishly barbarous and of a deformed life, or of prophane maners ? What is the difference betweene these two ? I make this the onely difference: the first goeth to hell with a better grace, and falleth into perdition with more facilitie, then the second: But hee becom- meth exceedingly wicked, euen threefold and fourefold abominable, if he wast his treasure and stocke of ciuill vertues in persecuting the Church of CHRIST: and if that may be layd in his dish which was cast in Caesars teeth, that in plaine sobernes and well-setled temper, he attempts the ruine of the Common-wealth, which from a drunken sot might receiue perhaps a more easie fall. In briefe, I scorne all garlands of praises, which are not euer greene; but being dry and withered for want of sap and radicall moysture, doe flagge about barbarous Princes browes. I defie and renounce those praises, which fit mee no more then they fit a Ma- humetane King of Marocco. I contest against all praises which grace me with petie accessories, but rob me of the principall, that one thing necessary; namely, the feare and knowledge of my GOD: vnto whose Maiestie alone, I haue deuoted my Scepter, my sword, my penne, my whole industrie, my whole selfe, with all that is mine in whole and in part. I doe it, I doe it in all humble acknowledge- ment of his vnspeakable mercie and fauour, who hath vouchsafed to deliuer me from the erroneous way of this aage, to deliuer my Kingdome from the Popes tyrannicall yoke, vnder which it hath lyen in times past most grieuously op- pressed: My Kingdom where God is now purely serued, and called vpon in a tongue which all the vulgar understand: My Kingdome, where the people may now reade the Scriptures without any special priuiledge from the Apostolike See, and with no lesse libertie then the people of Ephesus, of Rome, and of Corinth did reade the holy Epistles, written to their Churches by S. Paul: My Kingdome, where the people now pay no longer any tribute by the poll for Papall indulgences, as they did about an hundred yeeres past, and are no longer compelled to the mart, for pardons beyond the Seas and mountaines, but haue them now freely offered from God, by the doctrine of the Gospel preached at home within their owne seuerall parishes and iurisdictions.1 If the Churches of my Kingdome, in the L. Cardinals accompt, bee miserable for these causes and the like; let him dreame on, and talke his pleasure: for my part I will euer auow, that more worth is our misery then all his felicitie. For the rest, it shal by Gods grace be my daily endeauour and serious care, to passe my daies in shaping to my selfe such a course of life, that without shamefull calumniating of my person, it shall not rest in the tip of any tongue, to touch my life with iust reprehension or blame. Nor am I so priuie to mine owne guiltinesse, as to thinke my state so desperate, so deplorable, as Popes haue made their owne: For some of them haue bene so open-hearted and so tongue-free, to pronounce that Popes themselues, the key- bearers of Heauen and hell, cannot be saued. Two Popes, reckoned among the best of the whole bunch or packe, namely, Adrian the IV. and Marcelline 2 the II. haue both sung one and the same note; that in their vnderstanding they could not conceiue any reason why, or any meanes how those that sway the Popedome can be partakers of saluation; But for my particular, grounding my faith vpon the promises of God contained in the Gospel, I doe confidently and assuredly beleeue, that repenting me of my sinnes, and reposing my whole trust in the merits of IESVS CHRIST, I shall obtaine forgiuenesse of my sinnes through his Name. Nor doe I feare, that I am now, or shall be hereafter cast out of the Churches lap and bosome; that I now haue or hereafter shall haue no right to the Church as a putrified member thereof, so long as I do or shall cleaue to CHRIST IESVS, the Head of the Church: the appellation and name whereof, serueth in this corrupt aage, as a cloake to couer a thousand new inuentions; and now no longer sig- nifies the assembly of the faithfull or such as beleeue in IESVS CHRIST according to his word, but a certaine glorious ostentation and temporall Monarchie, whereof the Pope forsooth is the supreame head.

But if the L. Cardinall by assured and certaine knowledge (as perhaps he may by common fame) did vnderstand the horrible conspiracies that haue bin plotted and contriued, not against my person and life alone, but also against my whole stocke: if he rightly knew & were inly perswaded, of how many fowle periuries & wicked treasons, diuers Ecclesiastical persons haue bene lawfully conuicted: in stead of charging me with false imputations, that I suffer not my Catholiks to fetch a sigh, or to draw their breath; and that I thrust my Catholikes vpon the sharpe edge of punishment in euery kinde; he would, and might well, rather wonder, how I my selfe, after so many dangers run, after so many proditorious snares escaped, do yet fetch my owne breath, and yet practise Princely clemencie towards the said Catholiks, notorious transgressors of diuine & humane lawes. If the French king in the heart of his kingdom, should nourish and foster such a nest of stinging hornets and busie wasps, I meane such a pack of subiects, denying his absolute Soueraignty, as many Romane Catholiks of my Kingdome do mine: It may wel be doubted, whether the L. Cardinal would aduise his king stil to feather the nest of the said Catholiks, stil to keep them warme, stil to beare them with an easie and gentle hand: It may wel be doubted, whether his Lordship would extol their constancie, that would haue the courage to sheath vp their swords in his Kings bowels, or blow vp his King with gun-powder, into the neather station of the lowest region: It may wel be doubted, whether he would indure that Orator, who (like as himselfe hath done) should stir vp others to suffer Martyrdome after such examples, and to imitate parricides & traitors in their constancy. The scope then of the L. Cardinall, in striking the sweet strings, and sounding the pleasant notes of praises, which faine he would fil mine eares withal; is only by his excellent skil in the musick of Oratory, to bewitch the harts of my subiects, to infatuate their minds, to settle them in a resolution to depriue me of my life. The reason: Because the plotters and practisers against my life, are honoured and rewarded with a glorious name of Martyrs: their constancie (what els?) is admired, when they suffer death for treason. Wheras hitherto during the time of my whole raigne to this day, (I speake it in the word of a King, and trewth it selfe shall make good the Kings word) no man hath lost his life, no man hath in- dured the Racke, no man hath suffered corporall punishment in other kinds, meerely or simply, or in any degree of respect, for his conscience in matter of religion; but for wicked conspiring against my life, or Estate, or Royall dignitie; or els for some notorious crime, or some obstinate and wilfull disobedience: Of which traiterous and viperous brood, I commanded one to be hanged by the necke of late in Scotland; a Iesuite of intolerable impudencie, who at his arraign- ment and publike triall, stiffely maintained, that I haue robbed the Pope of his right, and haue no manner of right in the possession of my Kingdome. His Lordship therefore in offering himselfe to Martyrdome, after the rare example of Catholiks, as he saith, suffering all sort of punishment in my Kingdome, doeth plainely professe himselfe a follower of traytors and parricides. These be the Worthies, these the heroicall spirits, these the honourable Captaines and Coronels, whose vertuous parts neuer sufficiently magnified and praysed, his Lordshippe propoundeth for imitation to the French Bishops. O the name of Martyrs, in olde times a sacred name! how is it now derided and scoffed ? how is it in these daies filthily prophaned ? O you the whole quire and holy company of Apostles, who haue sealed the trewth with your dearest blood! how much are you dis- paraged ? how vnfitly are you paragoned and matched, when traytors, bloody butchers, and King-killers are made your assistants, and of the same Quorum; or to speake in milder tearmes, when you are coupled with Martyrs that suffer for maintaining the Temporall rites of the Popes Empire ? with Bishops that offer themselues to a Problematicall Martyrdome, for a point decided neither by the authorities of your Spirit-inspired pens, not by the auncient and venerable testimonie of the Primitiue Church ? for a point which they dare not vndertake to teach, otherwise then by a doubtfull, cold, fearefull way of discourse, and alto- gether without resolution. In good sooth, I take the Cardinall for a personage of a quicker spirit and clearer sight, (let his Lordship hold mee excused) then to perswade my selfe, that in these matters his tongue and his heart, his pen and his inward iudgement, haue any concord or correspondence one with another: For beeing very much against his minde (as hee doeth confesse) thrust into the office of an Aduocate to pleade this cause; he suffered himselfe to bee carried (after his engagement) with some heat, to vtter some things against his conscience, mur- muring and grumbling the contrary within; and to affirme some other things with confidence, whereof hee had not beene otherwise informed, then onely by vaine and lying report. Of which ranke is that bold assertion of his Lordship; That many Catholiks in England, rather then they would subscribe to the oath of allegiance in the forme thereof, haue vndergone all sorts of punishment: For in England (as we haue trewly giuen the whole Christian world to vnderstand in our Preface to the Apologie) there is but one forme or kind of punishment ordained for all sorts of traytors.

Hath not his Lordship now graced me with goodly testimonialls of prayse and commendation ? Am I not by his prayses proclaimed a Tyrant, as it were ine- briated with blood of the Saints, and a famous Enginer of torments for my Catho- likes ? To this exhortation for the suffering of Martyrdome, in imitation of my English traytors and parricides, if wee shall adde; how craftily and subtilly hee makes the Kings of England to holde of the Pope by fealty, and their kingdome in bondage to the Pope by Temporall recognizance, it shall easily appeare, that his holy-water of prayses wherewith I am so reuerently besprinkled, is a composition extracted out of a dram of hony and a pound of gall, first steeped in a strong decoc- tion of bitter wormewood, or of the wild gourd called Coloquintida: For after he hath in the beginning of his Oration,3 spoken of Kings that owe fealtie to the Pope and are not Soueraignes in the highest degree of Temporall supremacie within their Kingdomes; to explaine his mind and meaning the better, he marshals the Kings of England a little after in the same ranke. His words be these; When King Iohn of England, not yet bound in any temporall recognizance to the Pope, had expelled his Bishops, &c. His Lordship means, that King Iohn became so bound to the Pope not long after. And what may this meaning be, but in plaine tearmes and broad speach, to call me vsurper and vnlawfull King ? For the feudatarie, or he that holdeth a Mannor by fealty, when he doeth not his homage, with all suit and seruice that he owes to the Lord Paramount, doeth fall from the propertie of his fee. This reproach of the L. Cardinals, is seconded with an other of Bellar- mines his brother Cardinall; That Ireland was giuen to the Kings of England by the Pope. The best is that his most reuerend Lordship hath not shewed, who it was that gaue Ireland to the Pope.

And touching Iohn King of England, thus in briefe stands the whole matter. Betweene Henry 2. and the Pope had passed sundry bickerments, about collating of Ecclesiasticall dignities. Iohn the sonne, after his fathers death, reneweth, vndertaketh, and pursueth the same quarrell: Driueth certaine English Bishops out of the Kingdome, for defending the Popes insolent vsurpation vpon his Royall prerogatiue, and Regall rights; Sheweth such Princely courage and resolu- tion in those times, when all that stood and suffered for the Popes Temporall pretensions against Kings, were enrowled Martyrs or Confessors. The Pope takes the matter in fowle scorne, and great indignation; shuts the King by his excommunicatory Bulls out of the Church; stirres vp his Barons, for other causes the Kings heauy friends, to rise in armes; giues the Kingdome of England (like a masterlesse man turned ouer to a new master) to Philippus Augustus King of France; bindes Philip to make a conquest of England by the sword, or else no bargaine, or else no gift; promises Philip, in recompence of his trauell and Royall expences in that conquest, full absolution and a generall pardon at large for all his sinnes: to bee short, cuts King Iohn out so much worke, and makes him keep so many yrons in the fire for his worke, that he had none other way, none other meanes to pacifie the Popes high displeasure, to correct or qualifie the malignitie of the Popes cholericke humour, by whom he was then so entangled in the Popes toyles, but by yeelding himselfe to become the Popes vassal, and his Kingdome feudatary, or to hold by fealty of the Papall See. By this meanes his Crowne is made tributary, all his people liable to payment of taxes by the poll for a certaine yeerely tribute, and he is blessed with a pardon for all his sinnes. Whether King Iohn was mooued to doe this dishonourable act vpon any deuotion, or inflamed with any zeale of Religion; or inforced by the vnresistable weapons of necessitie, who can be so blind, that he doeth not well see and clearely perceiue ? For to purchase his owne freedome from this bondage to the Pope; what could he bee vnwilling to doe, that was willing to bring his Kingdome vnder the yoake of Amirales Murmelinus a Mahumetan Prince, then King of Granado and Barbaria ? The Pope after that, sent a Legat into England: The King now the Popes vassall, and holding his Crowne of the Pope, like a man that holds his land of another by Knights seruice, or by homage and fealtie, doeth faire homage for his Crowne to the Popes Legat, and layeth downe at his feet a great masse of the purest gold in coyne. The reuerend Legat, in token of his Masters Soueraigntie, with more then vsuall pride falls to kicking and spurning the treasure, no doubt with a paire of most holy feet: Not onely so; but likewise at solemne feasts is easily entreated to take the Kings chaire of Estate. Heere I would faine know the Lord Cardinals opinion; whether these actions of the Pope were iust or vniust, lawfull or vnlaw- full, according to right or against all right and reason. If he will say against right; it is then cleare, that against right his Lordship hath made way to this example: if according to right, let him then make it knowen, from whence or from whom this power was deriued and conueyed to the Pope, whereby hee makes himselfe Souereigne Lord of Temporalties in that Kingdome, where neither he nor any of his prececessours euer pretended any right, or layd any claime to Temporall matters before. Are such prankes to be played by the Pontificiall Bishop ? Is this an act of Holinesse, to set a Kingdome on fire by the flaming brands of sedi- tion ? to dismember and quarter a Kingdome with intestine warres; onely to this end, that a King once reduced to the lowest degree of miserie, might be lifted by his Holinesse out of his Royall prerogatiue, the very soule and life of his Royall Estate ? When began this Papall power ? In what aage began the Pope to practise this power? What! haue the ancient Canons, (for the Scripture in this question beareth no pawme) haue the Canons of the ancient Church imposed any such satisfaction vpon a sinner, that of a Souereigne and free King, he should become vassall to his ghostly Father; that he should make himselfe together with all his people and subiects tributaries to a Bishop, that shall rifle a whole Nation of their coine, that shall receiue homage of a King, and make a King his vassall ? What! Shall not a sinner be quitted of his faults, except his Pastor turne robber, and one that goeth about to get a booty ? except hee make his Pastour a Feoffee in his whole Estate, and suffer himselfe vnder a shadow of penance to freeze naked, to be turned out of all his goods and possessions of inheritance ? But be it granted, admit his Holinesse robs one Prince of his rights and reuenewes, to con- ferre the same vpon another: were it not an high degree of tyrannie to finger another mans estate, and to giue that away to a third, which the second hath no right, no lawfull authoritie to giue ? Well, if the Pope then shall become his owne caruer in the rights of another; if he shall make his owne coffers to swell with anothers reuenewes, if he shall decke and aray his owne backe in the spoiles of a sinner, with whom in absolution he maketh peace, and taketh truce; what can this be else, but running into further degrees of wickednesse and mischiefe ? what can this be else, but heaping of robbery vpon fraud, and impietie vpon rob- bery ? For by such deceitfull, craftie, and cunning practises, the nature of the Pontificiall See, meerely spirituall, is changed into the Kings-bench-Court, meerely temporall: the Bishops chaire is changed into a Monarchs Throne. And not onely so; but besides, the sinners repentance is changed into a snare or pit- fall of cousening deceit; and S. Peters net is changed into a casting-net or a flew, to fish for all the wealth of most flourishing Kingdomes. Moreouer, the King (a hard case) is driuen by such wiles and subtilities, to worke impossibilities, to acte more then is lawfull or within the compasse of his power to practise: For the King neither may in right, nor can by power trans-nature his Crowne, impaire the Maiestie of his Kingdome, or leaue his Royal dignitie lesse free to his heire apparant, or next successor, then he receiued the same of his predecessour: Much lesse, by any dishonourable capitulations, by any vnworthy contracts, degrade his posteritie, bring his people vnder the grieuous burden of tributes and taxes to a forreine Prince: Least of all, make them tributary to a Priest; vnto whom it on way apperteineth to haue any hand in the ciuill affaires of Kings, or to distaine, and vnhallow their Crownes. And therefore when the Pope dispatched his Nuntio to Philippus Augustus, requesting the King to auert Lewis his sonne from laying any claime to the Kingdome of England; Philip answered the Legat (as we haue it in Matth. Paris;) No King, no Prince can alienate or giue away his Kingdom, but by consent of his Barons, bound by Knights seruice to defend the said Kingdome: and in case the Pope shall stand for the contrary error, his Holiness shall giue to Kingdomes a most pernicious example. By the same Author it is testified, that King Iohn became odious to his subiects, for such dishonourable and vn- worthy inthralling of his Crowne, and Kingdome. Therefore the Popes right pretended to the Crowne of England, which is nothing else but a ridiculous vsurpa- tion, hath long agoe vanished into smoake, and required not so much as the draw- ing of one sword to snatch and pull it by violence out of his hands: For the Popes power lying altogether in a certaine wilde and wandring conceit or opinion of men, and being onely an imaginary castle in the ayre, built by pride, and vnderpropped by superstition, is very speedily dispersed vpon the first rising and appearing of the trewth in her glorious brightnesse. There is none so very a dolt or block- head to deny, that in case this right of the Pope ouer England, is grounded vpon Gods word, then his Holinesse may challenge the like right ouer all other King- domes: because all other Kingdomes, Crownes, and Scepters are subiect alike to Gods word: For what priuiledge, what charter, what euidence can France fetch out of the Rolles, or any other treasurie of her monuments or records, to shew that she oweth lesse subiection to God then England ? Or was this yoke of bondage then brought vpon the English Nation; was it a prerogatiue, whereby they might more easily come to the libertie of the sonnes of God ? Of were the people of England perswaded, that for all their substance, wealth, and life bestowed on the Pope, his Holinesse by way of exchange returned them better weight and measure of spirituall graces ? It is ridiculous, onely to conceiue these toyes in thought; and yet with such ridiculous, with such toyes in conceit, his Lordship feeds and entertaines his auditors.

From this point hee falleth to another bowt and fling at his heretikes, with whom he played no faire play before:4 There is not one Synode of ministers (as he saith) which would willingly subscribe to this Article, whereunto wee should bee bound to sweare. But herein his Lordship shooteth farre from the marke. This Article is approoued and preached by the Ministers of my Kingdome: It is like- wise preached by those of France, and if need bee (I asssure my selfe) will bee signed by all the Ministers of the French Church.

The L. Cardinall proceedeth, (for hee meaneth not so soone to giue ouer these heretikes:) All their Consistories beleeue it as their Creed; that if Catholike Princes at any time shall offer force vnto their conscience, then they are dispensed withall for their oath of alleagiance. Hence are these modifications and restrictions, tossed so much in their mouthes; Prouided the King force vs not in our conscience. Hence are these exceptions in the profession of their faith; Prouided the Soueraigne power and authoritie of God, bee not in any sort violated or infringed. In am not able to con- ceiue what engine can bee framed of these materialls, for the bearing of Kings out of their eminent seates, by any lawfull authoritie or power in the Pope: For say, those of the Religion should be tainted with some like errour; how can that be any shelter of excuse for those of the Romish Church, to vndermine or to digge vp the Thrones of their Kings ? But in this allegation of the L. Cardinall, there is nothing at all, which doeth not iumpe iust and accord to a haire with the Article of the third Estate, and with obedience due to the King: For they doe not professe, that in case the King shall commaund them to doe any act contrarie to their con- science, they would flie at his throat, would make any attempt against his life, would refuse to pay their taxations, or to defend him in the warres: They make no profession of deposing the King, or discharging the people from the oath of allegiance tendred to the King: which is the very point or issue of the matter in controuersie, and the maine mischiefe, against which the third Estate hath bin most worthily carefull to prouide a wholesome remedie by this Article. There is a world of difference betweene the termes of disobedience, and of deposition. It is one thing to disobey the Kings commaund in matters prohibited by diuine lawes, and yet in all other matters to performe full subiection vnto the King. It is another thing of a farre higher degree or straine of disloyaltie, to bare the King of his Royall robes, throne, and scepter, and when he is thus farre disgraced, to degrade him and to put him from his degree and place of a King. If the holy Father should charge the L. Cardinal to doe some act repugnant in his owne knowledge to the Law of God, I will religiously, and according to the rule of charitie pre- sume, that his Lordship in this case would stand out against his Holinesse, and notwithstanding would still acknowledge him to be Pope.

His Lordship yet prosecutes and followes his former purpose: Hence are those armes which they haue oftentimes borne against Kings, when Kings practised to take away the libertie of their conscience and Religion. Hence are those turbulent Com- motions and seditions by them raised, as well in the Low-countryes against the King of Spaine, as in Swethland against the Catholike King of Polonia. Besides, he casteth Iunius Brutus, Buchananus, Barclaius, and Gerson in our teeth. To what end all this ? I see not how it can bee auaileable to authorize the deposing of Kings, especially the Popes power to depose. And yet his Lordship here doth outface (by his leaue) and beare downe the trewth: For I could neuer yet learne by any good and trew intelligence, that in France those of the Religion tooke armes at any time against their King: In the first ciuill warres they stood onely vpon their guard: they stood onely to their lawfull wards and locks of defence: they armed not, nor tooke the field before they were pursued with fire and sword, burnt vp and slaughtred. Besides, Religion was neither the root nor the rynde of those intestine troubles. The trew ground of the quarrell was this: During the minority of King Francis II. the Protestants of France were a refuge and succour to the Princes of the blood, when they were kept from the Kings presence, and by the ouer powring power of their enemies, were no better then plaine driuen and chased from the Court. I meane, the Grand-father of the King now raigning, and the Grand-father of the Prince of Conde, when they had no place of safe retreate. In regard of which worthy and honourable seruice, it may seeme the French King hath reason to haue the Protestants in his gracious remembrance. With other commotion or insurrection, the Protestants are not iustly to be charged. But on the contrary, certaine it is that King Henry III. raysed and sent forth seuerall armies against the Protestants, to ruine and roote them out of the Kingdome: howbeit, so soone as they perceiued the said King was brought into dangerous tearms, they ranne with great speed and speciall fidelitie to the Kings rescue and succour, in the present danger. Certaine it is, that by their good seruice the said King was deliuered, from a most extreame and imminent perill of his life in the city of Tours. Certaine it is, they neuer abandoned that Henry 3. nor his next successor Henry 4. in all the heat of reuolts and rebellions, raised in the greatest part of the Kingdome by the Pope, and the more part of the Clergie; but stood to the said Kings in all their battels, to beare vp the Crowne then tottering and ready to fall. Certaine it is, that euen the heads and principalls of those by whom the late King deceased was pursued with all extremities, at this day doe enioy the fruit of all the good seruices done to the King by the said Protestants: And they are now disgraced, kept vnder, exposed to publike hatred. What, for kindling coales of questions and controuersies about Religion ? Forsooth, not so; but because if they might haue equall and indifferent dealing, if credit might be giuen to their faithfull aduertisements, the Crowne of their Kings should bee no longer pinned to the Popes flie-flap; in France there should bee no French exempted from subiection to the French King; causes of benefices or of matrimonie, should bee no longer citable and summonable to the Romish Court; and the Kingdome should bee no longer tributarie vnder the colour of annats, the first fruits of Benefices after the remooue or death of the Incumbent, and other like impositions.

But why doe I speake so much in the behalfe of the French Protestants ? The Lord Cardinall himselfe quittes them of this blame, when he telleth vs this doc- trine for the deposing of Kings by the Popes mace or verge, had credit and authoritie through all France, vntill Caluins time. Doth not his Lordship vnder- hand confesse by these words, that Kings had beene alwaies before Caluins time, the more dishonoured, and the worse serued ? Item, that Protestants, whom his Lordship calls heretikes, by the light of holy Scripture made the world then and euer since to see the right of Kings, oppressed so long before ? As for those of the Low Countries, and the subiects of Swethland, I haue little to say of their case, because it is not within ordinary compasse, and indeed serueth nothing to the pur- pose. These Nations, besides the cause of Religion, doe stand vpon certaine reasons of State, which I will not here take vpon me like a Iudge to determine or to sift. Iunius Brutus, Whom the Lord Cardinall obiecteth, is an author vnknowne; and perhaps of purpose patcht vp by some Romanist, with a wyly deceit to draw the reformed Religion into hatred with Christian Princes. Buchanan I reckon and ranke among Poets, not among Diuines, classicall or common. If the man hath burst out here and there into some tearmes of excesse, or speach of bad temper; that must be imputed to the violence of his humour, and, heate of his spirit, not in any wise to the rules and conclusions of trew Religion, rightly by him conceiued before. Barclaius alledged by the Cardinall, meddles not with deposing of Kings; but deals with disavowing them for Kings, when they shal renounce the right of Royalty, and of their owne accord giue ouer the Kingdome. Now he that leaues it in the Kings choice, either to hold or to giue ouer his Crowne, leaues it not in the Popes power to take away the Kingdome.

Of Gerson obtruded by the Cardinal, we haue spoken sufficiently before, Where it hath beene shewed how Gerson is disguised, masked, and peruerted by his Lordship. In briefe, I take not vpon me to iustifie and make good all the say- ings of particular authors: We glory (and well we may) that our religion affordeth no rules of rebellion; nor any dispensation to subiects for the oath of their alle- giance; and that none of our Churches giue entertainement vnto such monstrous and abhominable principles of disloyaltie.

If any of the French,5 otherwise perswaded in former times, now hauing altered and changed his iudgement, doth contend for the Soueraignty of Kings against Papall vsurpation: He doubtles, for winding himselfe out of the Laborinth of an error so intricate & pernicious, deserueth great honour and speciall praise: He is worthy to hold a place of dignity aboue the L. Cardinall; who hath quitted and betrayed his former iudgement, which was holy and iust: Their motions are contrary, their markes are opposite: The one reclineth from euill to good, the other declineth from good to euill.

At last his Lordship commeth to the close of his Oration, and bindes vp his whole harangue with a feate wreath of praises, proper to his King. He styles the King the eldest Sonne of the Church, a young shoot of the lilly, which King Salomon in all his Royaltie was not able to match. He leades vs by the hand into the plea- sant meadowes of Histories, there to learne vpon the very first sight and view, That so long, so oft as the Kings of France embraced vnion, and kept good tearmes of concord with Popes and the Apostolike See; so long as the spouse of the Church was pastured and fed among the lillies, all sorts of spirituall and temporall graces abundantly showred vpon their Crownes, and vpon their people: On the con- trary, when they made any rent or separation from the most holy See; then the lillies were pricked and almost choaked with sharpe thornes; they beganne to droope, to stoope, and to beare their beautifull heads downe to the very ground, vnder the strong flawes and gusts of boystrous windes and tempests.

My answere to this flourishing close and vpshot, shall be no lesse apert then apt. It sauours not of good and faithfull seruice, to smooth and stroake the Kings head with a soft hand of oyled speech, and in the meane time to take away the Crowne from his head, and to defile it with dirt. But let us try the cause by euidence of Historie, yea by the voice and verdict of experience; to see whether the glorious beauty of the French lillies hath beene at any time blasted, and thereupon hath faded, by starting aside, and making separation from the holy See. Vnder the raigne of King Philip the Faire, France was blessed with peace and prosperity, notwithstanding some outragious acts done against the Papall See, and contumelious crying quittance by King Philip with the Pope. Lewis 12. in ranged battell defeated the armies of Pope ulius 2. and his Confederates: proclaimed the said Pope to be fallen from the Popedome: stamped certaine coynes and pieces of gold with a dishonourable mot, euen to Rome it selfe, Rome is Babylon: yet so much was Lewis loued and honoured of his people, that by a peculiar title he was called, the Father of the Country. Greater blessings of God, greater outward peace and plenty, greater inward peace with spirituall and celestiall treasures, were neuer heaped vpon my Great Brittaine, then haue beene since my Great Britaine became Great in the greatest and chiefest respect of all; to wit, since my Great Brittaine hath shaken off the Popes yoke; since she hath refused to receiue and to entertaine the Popes Legats, employed to collect S. Peters tribute or Peter-pence; since the Kings of England, my Great Brittaine, haue not beene the Popes vassals to doe him homage for their Crowne, and haue no more felt the lashings, the scourgings of base and beggarly Monkes. Of Holland, Ze- land, and Friseland, what neede I speake ? yet a word and no more. Were they not a kinde of naked and bare people, of small value, before God lighted the torch of the Gospel, and aduanced it in those Nations ? were they not an ill fedde and scragged people, in comparison of the inestimable wealth and prosperity (both in all military actions and mechanicall trades, in trafficke as merchants, in marting as men of warre, in long nauigation for discouerie) to which they are now raysed and mounted by the mercifull blessing of God, since the darknes of Poperie hath beene scattered, and the bright Sunne of the Gospel hath shined in those Coun- tryes ? Behold the Venetian Republique: Hath shee now lesse beautie, lesse glory, lesse peace and prosperitie, since she lately fell to bicker and contend with the Pope ? since she hath wrung out of the Popes hand, the one of his two swords ? since she hath plumed and shaked his Temporall dominion ? On the contrarie; after the French Kings had honoured the Popes, with munificent graunts and gifts of all the cities and territories, lands and possessions, which they now hold in Italy, and the auncient Earledome of Auignon in France for an ouer- plus; were they not rudely recompenced, and homely handled by their most ingratefull fee-farmers and copy-holders ? Haue not Popes forged a donation of Constantine, of purpose to blot out all memory of Pepins and Charlemaignes dona- tion ? Haue they not vexed and troubled the State ? haue they not whetted the sonnes of Lewis the Courteous against their owne Father, whose life was a pat- terne and example of innocencie ? Haue they not by their infinite exactions, robbed and scoured the Kingdome of all their treasure ? Were not the Kings of France, driuen to stoppe their violent courses by the pragmaticall sanction ? Did they not sundry times interdict the Kingdome, degrade the Kings, solicite the neighbour-Princes to inuade and lay hold on the Kingdome, and stirre vp the people against the King, whereby a gate was opened to a world of troubles and parricides ? Did not Rauaillac render this reason for his monstrous and horrible attempt, That King Henry had a designe to warre with God, because he had a designe to take armes against his Holinesse, who is God ? This makes me to wonder, what mooued the L. Cardinall to marshall the last ciuill warres and motions in France, in the ranke of examples of vnhappy separation from the Pope, when the Pope himselfe was the trumpetor of the same troublesome motions. If the Pope had bene wronged and offended by the French King, or his people, and the Kingdome of France had been scourged with pestilence, or famine, or some other calamitie by forraine enemies; it might haue beene taken in probabililtie, as a vengeance of God for some iniurie done vnto his Vicar: But his Holiness being the roote, the ground, the master-workeman and artificer of all these mis- chiefes; how can it be said, that God punisheth any iniurie done to the Pope? but rather that his Holinesse doth reuenge his owne quarrell; and which is worst of all, when his Holinesse hath no iust cause of quarrell or offence. Now then; to exhort a Nation (as the L. Cardinall hath done) by the remembrance of former calamities, to curry fauour with the Pope, and to hold a strict vnison with his Holi- nesse, is no exhortation to beare the Pope any respect of loue, or of reuerence, but rather a rubbing of memory, and a calling to minde of those grieuous calamities, whereof the Pope hath been the only occasion. It is also a threatning and obtrud- ing of the Popes terrible thunder-bolts, which neuer scorched nor parched any skinne, (except crauens and meticulous bodies) and haue brought many great showres of blessings vpon my Kingdome.

As for France, if she hath enioyed prosperity in the times of her good agree- ment with Popes, it is because the Pope seekes the amity of Princes that are in prosperitie, haue the meanes to curbe his pretensions, and to put him to some plunge. Kings are not in prosperity, because the Pope holds amitie with Kings; but his Holinesse vseth all deuises, & seeketh all meanes to haue amitie with Kings, because he sees them flourish & sayle with prosperous winds. The swallow is no cause, but a companion of the spring: the Pope is no worker of a Kingdoms felicity, but a wooer of kings when they sit in felicities lap: he is no founder, but a follower of their good fortunes. On the other side: let a Kingdome fall into some grieuous disaster or calamitie, let ciuill warres boile in the bowels of the King- dome; ciuill wars no lesse dangerous to the State, then fearefull and grieuous to the people; who riseth sooner then the Pope, who rusheth sooner into the troubled streames then the Pope, who thrusteth himselfe sooner into the heate of the quarrell then the Pope, who runneth sooner to raise his gaine by the publike wrack then the Pope, and all vnder colour of a heart wounded and bleeding for the saluation of soules ? If the lawfull King happen to be foyled, to be oppressed, and thereupon the State by his fall to get a new master by the Popes practise; then the said new master must hold the Kingdome as of the Popes free gift, and rule or guide the sterne of the State at his becke, and by his instruction. If the first and right Lord, in despite of all the Popes fulminations and fire-workes, shall get the honourable day, and vpper hand of his enemies; then the holy Father with a cheerfull and pleasant grace, yea with fatherly gratulation, opens the rich cabinet of his iewells, I meane the treasurie of his indulgences, and falls now to dandle and cocker the King in his fatherly lap, whose throat if he could, he would haue cut not long before.

This pestilent mischiefe hath now a long time taken roote, and is growne to a great head in the Christian world, through the secret, but iust iudgement of God; by whom Christian Kings haue beene smitten with a spirit of dizzinesse: Chris- tian Kings, who for many aages past haue liued in ignorance, without any sound instruction, without any trew sense and right feeling of their owne right and power, whilest vnder a shadow of Religion and false cloake of pietie, their King- domes haue beene ouer-burdened, yea ouer-borne with tributes, and their Crownes made to stoope euen to miserable bondage. That God in whose hand the hearts of Kings are poised, and at his pleasure turned as the water-courses; that mighty God alone, in his good time, is able to rouze them out of so deepe a slumber, and to take order (their drowzy fits once ouer and shaken off with heroicall spirits) that Popes hereafter shall play no more vpon their patience, nor presume to put bits and snaffles in their noble mouthes, to the binding vp of their power with weake scruples, like mighty buls lead about by litle children with a small twisted thred. To that God, that King of Kings I deuote my scepter; at his feet in all humblenes I lay downe my Crowne; to his holy decrees and commaunds I will euer be a faithfull seruant, and in his battels a faithfull champion. To conclude; in this iust cause and quarrell, I dare send the challenge, and will require no second, to maintaine as a defendant of honour, that my brother-Princes and my selfe, whom God hath aduanced vpon the Throne of Soueraigne Maiestie and supreame dignity, doe hold the Royall dignitie of his Maiestie alone; to whose seruice, as a most humble homager and vassall, I consecrate all the glory, honour, splendor, and lustre of my earthly Kingdomes.

1 Aliquot annis post, Apostolicae sedis nuncius in Angliam ad colligendum S. Petri vectigal missus. Onuphri. in vit. Paul. 4. Vide & Math. Paris.

2 Onup. de vitis Pontif. in vit. Mar. 2. doeth testifie, that Marcel. also after Adrian the 4. vsed these words: Non video quo modo qui locum hunc altiss. tenent, saluari possint.

3 Page. 10.

4 Pag. 105.

5 Richerius.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: