« PreviousContinue »
most of the masse in English)' to be publikely read. And its opposers, the brownists, anabaptists, family of love, with a number of other crawling errors, the unnaturall heate of Luthers disputes had produced like insects over all Germany, to be restrained under no slighter penalty then death or imprisonment. Nor was she tempted to this out of a vainer hope then to draw her neighbour princes to the same resolution, already in dis paire of procuring good from any milder indevours then those in power. (The Roman courtiers participating so much of the nature of the mules they ride on, as they will rather indure, through a sullen obstinacy, the last extremity, then remoove never so little out of their track of honour
.: This is too strongly stated; yet there was an obvia ous anxiety to follow the church of Rome, when difference was not essentially required by doctrinal points. Thus the sacramental bread was appointed to be made in the form of the wafers used in the private mass. The reader may consult the “ Queen's Injunctions concerning Clergy and Laity."-SOMERS's Tracts, 1808, vol. I. p. 64.
and profit; no lesse manifest through all ages, then in their carriage towards this princesse, and their later proceedings with the republique of Venice.) From whence more connivance then love fell to the share of the puritans, that abhor'd the lenity of the queene, in not countenancing such as bent their force against the church of Rome (betwixt which and the court there may be a wider difference then our grosser disputes will suffer us to discerne,) from whose practice, though some desired a reformation, a farre greater part thought it damnable to reject it quite : few yet acknowledging any descent or ordination but what was derived from the catholike church, a terme of too great a latitude to be concealed for a day, much lesse for whole ages, as many indeavour to prove. But leaving these disputes to Dr Juell' and the rest of her divines (at that time better able to play the scholars
* The celebrated John Jewell, bishop of Salisbury, who distinguished himself in the controversy with the papists.
prize, then any amongst the fryers were found in their answers,) her juncto, in which she had a choyce number, consisting of both factions, did think it prudence not to stray farther then the inexorable necessity of the time compeld, from that union of doctrine which had a council to vouch, that no faith was to be held with any but themselves ; which must have rendered all her leagues voyd or uselesse to the very oaths she took of her subjects: yet, notwithstanding these shackles, she spunne out a long and as happy a raigne as ever this nation did injoy.
3. The precedent reasons joyning forces with the deplorable condition she lived in during the government of her sister, and meeting with so fortunate a catastrophe, caused a no lesse consternation in the hearts of the papists (already much broken and unsetled in their passage through so many suddaine and unexpected changes) then it produced joy in those of the reformation, who, apprehending her successe as issuing out of the
immediate care God had of their affaires, became so far incouraged and sedulous, that, whilest the other party stood amazed in an expectation which way this new princesse would incline, the ensuing parliament was wholy made up of such persons as had already voted in their words and actions every thing the queene could desire to have confirmed in the house: so as no side but were mistaken in their account, the protestants gaining more, and the catholicks lesse then could be expected, to the taking the title of head of the church, and conferring it on her majesty, which was thought unsutable to her father and brother, and therefore farre more unbecoming the person of a woman ; the cause a declaration was not long after issued out, to shew in what senses it was to be understood. And, to prove they more intended the limitation of the Roman power, then to secure themselves from tyranny at home, an act was passed, inabling the queene and commissioners for the time being to alter or bring what ceremonies or worship they thought decent into the ser. vice of God, without excepting that formerly exploded : whereby a returne, (likelyest to be made use of,) or a farther remove, was left arbitrary at the will of the queene: whose successors not being mentioned in the act, left room to question, It ought to be no longer in force then her life. For whose gratification alone her privy counsell (that did then, and indeed almost all her time, governe parliaments) had intended it. But King James and the bishops finding the advantage it brought the crowne no lesse then the church, did not only owne it amongst the statutes unrepealled and in force, but did print it, with a proclamation to strengthen it, at the begin. ning of the Book of Common Prayer. Neither had the high commission any better vizard to face the tyranny daily practised by the clergy, but what the authority this act did afford ; which may one day tempt the people to a new, if not a more dismall reformation, after experience hath taught