Page images
PDF
EPUB

parsonage, or for some other cause, it is reported that he procured Mr. Gilpin to be troubled and, molested by the Bishop. of Durham. Now so it fell out, that whiles the Bishops minde began to be turned from Mr. Gilpin, the Bishop sendeth unto him and giveth him notice that it is his pleasure to have him to preach at a visitation in time and place appointed. Which thing fell out at the very same instant when Mr. Gilpin was preparing for his accustomed northerne journey, to wit, amongst them of Riddesdale and Tindale: wherefore he dispatched his servant unto the Bishop to make bis excuse unto him, and to informe his Lordship the reason of his purposed journey; and to intreat the Bishop that he be pleased to appoint some other to preach at the visitation, seeing there were many who would be willing enough to preach at the visitation, but that there was not a man who would performe that duty among those borders if he neglected it: and that at any other time he would be ready to performe his duty. The servant having beene with the Bishop returneth to his master, who demanded of him whether hee had made his excuse to the Bishop: “ I have, saith he?” Well, and what” (saith Mr. Gilpin) " was the Bishops answer?” Whereunto the servant answered, the Bishop made no reply, but held his peace. " Qui tacet, consentire videtur,” saith Mr. Gilpin: He that replyeth not seems to consent.” Therefore Mr. Gilpin went on with his progresse. Which thing so soon as the Bishop understood, he presently suspended Mr. Gilpin from all ecclesiastical imployment. Mr. Gilpin returning home findeth himselfe suspended, a thing that he little dreamed of, yet he tookeit patiently. The Bishop having notice that Mr. Gilpin was returned home, sendeth unto him instautly, warning him to mecte him and the rest ofthe

clergy

clergy at Chester". Mr. Gilpin being come to Chester findeth there the Bishop with many of the clergy, who were all commanded to assemble thenselves in the church. The Bishop had at that time a brother of his owne one John Barnes who was his Chancellour, a man, of whom it is hard to say whether he was more lustfull or more covetous: who whereas he should have beene the man that ought to have reformed many enormities in the Diocesse, was indeed the authour of them, permitting base and dishonest persons to escape scotfree for a piece of money, so that the Bishop had a very ill report every where. When they were all met together the Bishop calleth Mr. Gilpin unto him, and saith, Mr. Gilpin, I must have you preach to day. Mr. Gilpin desired to be excused, * for I came not" (saith he) “ provided; and moreover I am suspended." “ But I can free you" (saith the Bishop) “ from that suspension, and doe now free you." Mr. Gilpin replyed, that he durst not goe up into the pulpit unprovided. “ But we know" (saith the Bishop) that you are never unprovided, for you have now gotten such an habit of preaching, that you are able to performe it, if you please, even upon the sodaine.” Mr. Gilpin remained unmooveable in his resolution, answering that God was not so to be tempted, saying that it was well with him, if he were able to performe any thing in this kinde upon mature deliberation. Whereunto the Bishop replyed, “ I command you upon your canonicall obedience to goe up into the puplit forthwith.” Mr. Gilpin delaying the time a little while, answered:

is Well sir, seeing it can be none otherwise, your Lordships will be done:” and after a little pause began his sermon. As hee was in his sermon hee observed some extraordinarily prepared who wrote all he spoke. But yet he proceedeth in his sermon, untill he came to a word of exhortation, and reprehension of vices. At the last he proceeded to the reproofe of those enormities which then raigned in that Diocesse, and were every where spoken of. And now, saith he “ Reverend Father, iny speech must be directed to your fatherhood. God hath exalted you to be Bishop of this Diocesse, and God requireth an account of your government' therof: a reformation of all those matters which are amisse in this church is expected at your hands, and an account thereof is required. And now lest perhaps, while it is apparant that so many enormities are committed every where, your Lordship should make answer that you had no notice of them given you, neither did these things ever come to your knowledge,” (which words Mr. Gilpin used, because hee knew well enough that this was the Bishops usual answer, that whensoever men made any complaints against the evill government of the Chancellor, the Bishop was accustomed to say, alas, these things I never knew of: what is done can not be undone; I will take a better order in these matters hereafter, if any such shall come to my knowledge.)“ beholde, said Mr. Gilpin, I bring these things to your knowledge this day: let not your Lordship say these crimes have beene committed by the fault of others without your knowledge: for whatsoever either your self shall doe in person, or suffer through your connivency to be done by others, is wholy your owne.

s At Chester.] “ A towne in the diocese of Durham, where the bishops of that see formerly resided.” Gilpin's Life of Bernard Gilpin. p. 277.

Therefore in the presence of God, his angels, and men, I pronounce your fatherhood to be the author of all these evills, yea and in that strict day of the

generall

generall account I shall be a witnes to testifie against you that all these things have come to your knowledge by my means; and all these men shall beare witnesse hereof who have heard me speaking unto you this day.” Now whiles that Mr. Gilpin thundered out these things, hee did thereby put all his friends into a great feare, and distrust what would become of him. Therefore when he had made an end of his sermon, his friends came about him and tolde him with teares, that now at last the Bishop had gotten that advantage against him which hee had long desired and sought for : : “ you have,” say they, “ put a sword into his hand to slay you: if heretofore he hath beene offended with you without a cause, what may you now expect from him, who being provoked sball make use of his owne power to injure you by right or wrong?" to whom Mr. Gilpin made answer, saying: “Be not afraid: the Lord God overruleth us all: so that the truth may be propagated, and God glorified, Gods will be done concerning me.” After the sermon they met all together at dinner, and all men were afraid that the Bishop would have done Mr. Gilpin some shrewd turn for his sermon, and silently expected what would become of the matter. After dinner Mr. Gilpin commeth to the Bishop to see him, and to take leave of him, and so to returne homewards. “ It shall not be so,” said the Bishop, “ for I will bring you to your house :” And so Mr. Gilpin returned home in the company of the Bishop.

And when they were now come to Mr. Gilpin's louse, and walked within into the parlour, the Bishop upon a sodaine caught Mr. Gilpin by the hand, and used these words upon him: “ Father Gilpin, I acknowledge you are fitter to be Bishop of Durham, then my selfe to be parson of this

church

church of yours: I aske forgivenesse for errours passed; forgive me father: I know you have hatched up some chickens that now seeke to pick out your eyes; but so long as I shall live Bishop of Durhain, be secure, no man shall injure' you.” AIr. Gilpin's friends, that is all good men, began to rejoyce, and to give God thanks, acknowledging the powerfull band of God, in that the Bishop being so offended with him, was so prevented by the power of God, as that the thing which he had purposed for his disgrace, should turne to his greater credit. In the meane while Mr. Gilpin reaped the fruit of a pious life in all plentifull manner.

After that age began to grow upon him, there was in the towne of Newcastle one Genison who had received to home a sonne of his owne brothers Jately returned from the parts beyond the seas. This Genison was much aggrieved for that his brothers sonne was (as he understood) made a jesuite: whereupon lee sent the young man to Mr. Gilpin, intreating him to have a care of him, and to disswade him if he could possibly from his wicked and dangerous opinions. After that Mr. Gilpin had often conferred with him, he found the young fellow most insolently proud, and armed with boldnesse and impudence, corrupting the holy Scriptures with certaine new and unheard of expositions. Whereupon Mr. Gilpin wrote to his uncle Mr. Genison, that he was a most audacious young fellow, and came not to him to be instructed, but to teach him rather.

“ The young fellow,” saith he, “ thinking I know not how, a great deale too well of himselfe, had an hope to draw me at these yeares, to acknowledge certaine absurdities. I see that the jesuites have found out certaine new expositions of Scrip

ture

« PreviousContinue »