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they are the cause of; lest, thinking to offer him as a present to God, they dish him out for the devil. Let the novice learn first to renounce the world, and so give himself to God, and not therefore give himself to God, that he may close the better with the world, like that false shepherd Palinode in the eclogue of May, under whom the poet lively personates our prelates, whose whole life is a recantation of their pastoral vow, and whose profession to forsake the world, as they use the matter, bogs them deeper into the world. Those our admired Spenser inveighs against, not without some presage of these reforming times:
The time was once and may again return,
But what might arise of the bare sheep,
Nought having, nought feared they to forego:
And little them served for their maintenance:
By all this we may conjecture, how little we need fear that the ungilding of our prelates will prove the woodening of our priests. In the mean while let no man carry in his head either such narrow or such evil eyes, as not to look upon the churches of Belgia and Helvetia, and that envied city Geneva: where in the Christian world doth learning more flourish than in these places? Not among your beloved Jesuits, nor their favourers, though you take all the prelates into the number, and instance in what kind of learning you please. And how in England all noble sciences attending upon the train of Christian doctrine may flourish more than ever; and how the able professors of every art may with ample stipends be honestly provided; and finally, how there may be better care had that their hearers may benefit by them, and all this without the prelates; the courses are so many and so easy, that I shall pass them over.
Remonst. It is God that makes the bishop, the king that gives the bishopric; what can you say to this?
Answ. What you shall not long stay for: we say it is God that makes a bishop, and the devil that makes him take a prelatical bishopric; as for the king's gift, regal bounty may be excusable in giving, where the bishop's covetousness is damnable in taking.
Remonst. Many eminent divines of the churches abroad have earnestly wished themselves in our condition.
Answ. I cannot blame them, they were not only eminent but superemi
nent divines, and for stomach much like to Pompey the Great, that could endure no equal.
Remonst. The Babylonian note sounds well in your ears, "Down with it, down with it, even to the ground."
Answ. You mistake the matter, it was the Edomitish note; but change it, and if you be an angel, cry with the angel, "It is fallen, it is fallen." Remonst. But the God of heaven will, we hope, vindicate his own ordinance so long perpetuated to his church.
Answ. Go rather to your god of this world, and see if he can vindicate your lordships, your temporal and spiritual tyrannies, and all your pelf; for the God of heaven is already come down to vindicate his ordinance from your so long perpetuated usurpation.
Remonst. If yet you can blush.
Answ. This is a more Edomitish conceit than the former, and must be silenced with a counter quip of the same country. So often and so unsavourily has it been repeated, that the reader may well cry, Down with it, down with it, for shame. A man would think you had eaten over-liberally of Esau's red porridge, and from thence dream continually of blushing; or perhaps, to heighten your fancy in writing, are wont to sit in your doctor's scarlet, which through your eyes infecting your pregnant imaginative with a red suffusion, begets a continual thought of blushing; that you thus persecute ingenuous men over all your book, with this one overtired rubrical conceit still of blushing: but if you have no mercy upon them, yet spare yourself, lest you bejade the good galloway, your own opiniatre wit, and make the very conceit itself blush with spurgalling.
Remonst. The scandals of our inferior ministers I desired to have had less public.
Answ. And what your superior archbishop or bishops! O forbid to have it told in Gath! say you. O dauber! and therefore remove not impieties from Israel. Constantine might have done more justly to have punished those clergical faults which he could not conceal, than to leave them unpunished, that they might remain concealed: better had it been for him, that the heathen had heard the fame of his justice, than of his wilful connivance and partiality; and so the name of God and his truth had been less blasphemed among his enemies, and the clergy amended, which daily, by this impunity, grew worse and worse. But, O to publish in the streets of Ascalon! sure some colony of puritans have taken Ascalon from the Turk lately, that the Remonstrant is so afraid of Ascalon. The papists we know condole you, and neither Constantinople nor your neighbours of Morocco trouble you. What other Ascalon can you allude to?
Remonst. What a death it is to think of the sport and advantage these watchful enemies, these opposite spectators, will be sure to make of our sin and shame!
Answ. This is but to fling and struggle under the inevitable net of God, that now begins to environ you round.
Remonst. No one clergy in the whole Christian world yields so many eminent scholars, learned preachers, grave, holy, and accomplished divines, as this church of England doth at this day.
Answ. Ha, ha, ha!
Remonst. And long, and ever may it thus flourish.
Answ. O pestilent imprecation flourish as it does at this day in the prelates?
Remonst. But O forbid to have it told in Gath!
Answ. Forbid him rather, sacred parliament. to violate the sense of
Scripture, and turn that which is spoken of the afflictions of the church under her pagan enemies, to a pargetted concealment of those prelatical crying sins: for from these is profaneness gone forth into all the land; they have hid their eyes from the sabbaths of the Lord; they have fed themselves, and not their flocks; with force and cruelty have they ruled over God's people: they have fed his sheep (contrary to that which St. Peter writes) not of a ready mind, but for filthy lucre; not as examples to the flock, but as being lords over God's heritage: and yet this dauber would daub still with his untempered mortar. But hearken what God says by the prophet Ezekiel, "Say unto them that daub this wall with untempered mortar, that it shall fall; there shall be an overflowing shower, and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall, and a stormy wind shall rend it, and I will say unto you, the wall is no more, neither they that daubed it."
Remonst. Whether of us shall give a better account of our charity to the God of peace, I appeal.
Answ. Your charity is much to your fellow-offenders, but nothing to the numberless souls that have been lost by their false feeding: use not therefore so sillily the name of charity, as most commonly you do, and the peaceful attribute of God to a preposterous end.
Remonst. In the next section, like illbred sons, you spit in the face of your mother the church of England.
Answ. What should we do or say to this Remonstrant, that, by his idle and shallow reasonings, seems to have been conversant in no divinity, but that which is colourable to uphold bishoprics? we acknowledge, and believe, the catholic reformed church; and if any man be disposed to use a trope or figure, as St. Paul did in calling her the common mother of us all, let him do as his own rhetoric shall persuade him. If, therefore, we must needs have a mother, and if the catholic church only be, and must be she, let all genealogy tell us, if it can, what we must call the church of England, unless we shall make every English protestant a kind of poetical Bacchus, to have two mothers: but mark, readers, the crafty scope of these prelates; they endeavour to impress deeply into weak and superstitious fancies, the awful notion of a mother, that hereby they might cheat them into a blind and implicit obedience to whatsoever they shall decree or think fit. And if we come to ask a reason of aught from our dear mother, she is invisible, under the lock and key of the prelates her spiritual adulterers; they only are the internuncios, or the go-betweens, of this trim-devised mummery: whatsoever they say, she says must be a deadly sin of disobedience not to believe. So that we, who by God's special grace have shaken off the servitude of a great male tyrant, our pretended father the pope, should now, if we be not betimes aware of these wily teachers, sink under the slavery of a female notion, the cloudy conception of a demy-island mother; and, while we think to be obedient sons, should make ourselves rather the bastards, or the centaurs of their spiritual fornications.
Remonst. Take heed of the ravens of the valley.
Answ. The ravens we are to take heed of are yourselves, that would peck out the eyes of all knowing Christians.
Remonst. Sit you, merry brethren.
Answ. So we shall when the furies of prelatical consciences will not give them leave to do so.
Queries. Whether they would not jeopard their ears rather, &c.
Answ. A punishment that awaits the merits of your bold accomplices, for the lopping and stigmatizing of so many freeborn Christians. Remonst. Whether the professed slovenliness in God's service, &c.
Answ. We have heard of Aaron and his linen amice, but those days are past; and for your priest under the gospel, that thinks himself the purer or the cleanlier in his office for his new-washed surplice, we esteem him for sanctity little better than Apollonius Thyanæus in his white frock, or the priest of Isis in his lawn sleeves; and they may all for holiness lie together in the suds.
Remonst. Whether it were not most lawful and just to punish your presumption and disobedience.
Answ. The punishing of that which you call our presumption and disobedience, lies not now within the execution of your fangs; the_merciful God above, and our just parliament, will deliver us from your Ephesian beasts, your cruel Nimrods, with whom we shall be ever fearless to
Remonst. God give you wisdom to see the truth, and grace to follow it. Answ. I wish the like to all those that resist not the Holy Ghost; for of such God commands Jeremiah, saying, "Pray not thou for them, neither lift up cry or prayer for them, neither make intercession to me, for I will not hear thee;" and of such St. John saith, "He that bids them God speed, is partaker of their evil deeds."
TO THE POSTSCRIPT.
REMONST. A goodly pasquin borrowed for a great part out of Sion's plea, or the breviate consisting of a rhapsody of histories.
Answ. How wittily you tell us what your wonted course is upon the like occasion: the collection was taken, be it known to you, from as authentic authors in this kind, as any in a bishop's library; and the collector of it says, moreover, that if the like occasion come again, he shall less need the help of breviates, or historical rhapsodies, than your reverence to eke out your sermonings shall need repair to postils or poliantheas.
Remonst. They were bishops, you say; true, but they were popish bishops.
Answ. Since you would bind us to your jurisdiction by their canon law; since you would enforce upon us the old riffraff of Sarum, and other monastical relics; since you live upon their unjust purchases, allege their authorities, boast of their succession, walk in their steps, their pride, their titles, their covetousness, their persecuting of God's people; since you disclaim their actions, and build their sepulchres, it is most just that all their faults should be imputed to you, and their iniquities visited upon you. Remonst. Could you see no colleges, no hospitals built?
Answ. At that primero of piety, the pope and cardinals are the better gamesters, and will cog a die into heaven before you.
Remonst. No churches re-edified?
Answ. Yes, more churches that souls.
Remonst. No learned volumes writ?
Answ. So did the miscreant bishop of Spalato write learned volumes against the pope, and run to Rome when he had done: ye write them in your closets, and unwrite them in your courts; hot volumists and cold bishops; a swashbuckler against the pope, and a dormouse against the devil, while the whole diocese be sown with tares, and none to resist the enemy but such as let him in at the postern; a rare superintendent at Rome, and a cipher at home. Hypocrites! the gospel faithfully preached to the
poor, the desolate parishes visited and duly fed, loiterers thrown out, wolves
Answ. More reclaimed persons seduced.
Answ. Bacchanalias good store in every bishop's family, and good gleek
Remonst. No great offenders punished?
Answ. The trophies of your high commission are renowned.
Remonst. No good offices done for the public?
Answ. Yes, the good office of reducing monarchy to tyranny, of breaking pacifications, and calumniating the people to the king.
Remonst. No care of the peace of the church?
Answ. No, nor of the land; witness the two armies in the North, that now lie plundered and overrun by a liturgy. Remonst. No diligence in preaching?
Answ. Scarce any preaching at all.
Remonst. Truly, brethren, I can say no more, but that the fault is in your eyes.
Answ. If you can say no more than this, you were a proper Remonstrant to stand up for the whole tribe!
Remonst. Wipe them and look better.
Answ. Wipe your fat corpulencies out of our light.
Remonst. Yea, I beseech God to open them rather that they may see good.
Answ. If you mean good prelates, let be your prayer. Ask not impossibilities.
Remonst. As for that proverb, "the bishop's foot hath been in it," it were more fit for a Scurra in Trivio, or some ribald upon an alebench. Answ. The fitter for them then of whom it was meant.
Remonst. 1 doubt not but they will say, the bishop's foot hath been in your book, for I am sure it is quite spoiled by this just confutation; for your proverb, Sapit ollam.
Answ. Spoiled, quoth ye? Indeed it is so spoiled, as a good song is spoiled by a lewd singer; or as the saying is, "God sends meat, but the cooks work their wills:" in that sense we grant your bishop's foot may have spoiled it, and made it "Sapere ollam," if not "Sapere aulam ;" which is the same in old Latin, and perhaps in plain English. For certain your confutation hath achieved nothing against it, and left nothing upon it but a foul taste of your skillet foot, and a more perfect and distinguishable odour of your socks, than of your nightcap. And how the bishop should confute a book with his foot, unless his brains were dropped into his great toe, I cannot meet with any man that can resolve me; only they tell me that certainly such a confutation must needs be gouty. So much for the bishop's foot.
Remonst. You tell us of Bonner's broth; it is the fashion in some countries to send in their keal in the last service; and this it seems is the manner among our Smectymnuans.
Answ. Your latter service at the high altar you mean: but soft, sir; the feast was but begun; the broth was your own; you have been inviting the