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REMONSTRANT. My single remonstrance is encountered with a plural ad
Answer. Did not your single remonstrance bring along with it a hot scent of your more than singular affection to spiritual pluralities, your singleness would be less suspected with all good Christians than it is.
Remonst. Their names, persons, qualities, numbers, I care not to know. Answ. Their names are known to the all-knowing Power above; and in the mean while, doubtless, they reck not whether you or your nomenclator know them or not.
Remonst. But could they say my name is Legion, for we are many. Answ. Wherefore should ye begin with the devil's name, descanting upon the number of your opponents? Wherefore that conceit of Legion with a by-wipe? Was it because you would have men take notice how you esteem them, whom through all your book so bountifully you call your brethren? We had not thought that Legion could have furnished the Remonstrant with so many brethren.
Remonst. My cause, ye gods would bid me meet them undismayed, &c. Answ. Ere a foot further we must be content to hear a preambling boast of your valour, what a St. Dunstan you are to encounter Legions, either infernal or human.
Remonst. My cause, ye gods.
Answ. What gods? Unless your belly, or the god of this world be he? Show us any one point of your remonstrance that does not more concern superiority, pride, ease, and the belly, than the truth and glory of God, or the salvation of souls.
Remonst. My cause, ye gods, would bid me meet them undismayed, and to say with holy David, "though a host, &c."
Answ. Do not think to persuade us of your undaunted courage, by misapplying to yourself the words of holy David; we know you fear, and are in an agony at this present, lest you should lose that superfluity of riches and honour, which your party usurp. And whosoever covets, and so earnestly labours to keep such an incumbering surcharge of earthly things, cannot but have an earthquake still in his bones. You are not armed, Remonstrant, nor any of your band; you are not dieted nor your loins girt for spiritual valour, and Christian warfare; the luggage is too great that follows your camp; your hearts are there, you march heavily: how shall we think you have not carnal fear, while we see you so subject to carnal desires?
Remonst. I do gladly fly to the bar.
Answ. To the bar with him then. Gladly, you say. We believe you as gladly as your whole faction wished and longed for the assembling of this parliament, as gladly as your beneficiaries the priests came up to answer the complaints and outcries of all the shires.
Remonst. The Areopagi! who were those? Truly, my masters, I had thought this had been the name of the place, not of the men.
Answ. A soar-eagle would not stoop at a fly; but sure some pedagogue stood at your elbow, and made it itch with this parlous criticism; they urged you with a decree of the sage and severe judges of Athens, and you cite them to appear for certain paragogical contempts, before a capacious pedanty of hot-livered grammarians. Mistake not the matter, courteous Remonstrant; they were not making Latin: if in dealing with an outlandish name, they thought it best not to screw the English mouth to a harsh foreign termina
tion. so they kept the radical word, they did no more than the elegantest authors among the Greeks, Romans, and at this day the Italians, in scorn of such a servility use to do. Remember how they mangle our British names abroad; what trespass were it, if we in requital should as much neglect theirs? And our learned Chaucer did not stick to do so, writing Semyramis for Semiramis, Amphiorax for Amphiaraus, K. Sejes for K. Ceyx the husband of Alcyone, with many other names strangely metamorphosed from the true orthography, if he had made any account of that in these kind of words.
Remonst. Lest the world should think the press had of late forgot to speak any language other than libellous, this honest paper hath broken through the throng.
Answ. Mince the matter while you will, it showed but green practice in the laws of discreet rhetoric to blurt upon the ears of a judicious parliament with such a presumptuous and overweening proem: but you do well to be the fewer of your own mess.
Remonst. That which you miscall the preface, was a too just complaint of the shameful number of libels.
Answ. How long is it that you and the prelatical troop have been in such distaste with libels? Ask your Lysimachus Nicanor what defaming invectives have lately flown abroad against the subjects of Scotland, and our poor expulsed brethren of New England, the prelates rather applauding than showing any dislike: and this hath been ever so, insomuch that Sir Francis Bacon in one of his discourses complains of the bishops, uneven hand over these pamphlets, confining those against bishops to darkness, but licensing those against puritans to be uttered openly, though with the greater mischief of leading into contempt the exercise of religion in the persons of sundry preachers, and disgracing the higher matter in the meaner
Remonst. A point no less essential to that proposed remonstrance. Answ. We know where the shoe wrings you; you fret and are galled at the quick; and O what a death it is to the prelates to be thus unvisarded, thus uncased, to have the periwigs plucked off that cover your baldness, your inside nakedness thrown open to public view! The Romans had a time once every year, when their slaves might freely speak their minds; it were hard if the freeborn people of England, with whom the voice of truth for these many years, even against the proverb, hath not been heard but in corners, after all your monkish prohibitions, and expurgatorious indexes, your gags and snaffles, your proud Imprimaturs not to be obtained without the shallow surview, but not shallow hand of some mercenary, narrowsouled, and illiterate chaplain; when liberty of speaking, than which nothing is more sweet to man, was girded and strait-laced almost to a brokenwinded phthisic, if now at a good time, our time of parliament, the very jubilee and resurrection of the state, if now the concealed, the aggrieved, and long persecuted truth, could not be suffered to speak; and though she burst out with some efficacy of words, could not be excused after such an injurious strangle of silence, nor avoid the censure of libelling, it were hard, it were something pinching in a kingdom of free spirit. Some princes, and great statists, have thought it a prime piece of necessary policy, to thrust themselves under disguise into a popular throng, to stand the night long under eaves of houses, and low windows, that they might hear every where the utterances of private breasts, and amongst them find out the precious gem of truth, as amongst the numberless pebbles of the shore; whereby they might be the abler to discover, and avoid, that deceitful and close-couched
evil of flattery that ever attends them, and misleads them, and might skilfully know how to apply the several redresses to each malady of state, without trusting the disloyal information of parasites and sycophants: whereas now this permission of free writing, were there no good else in it, yet at some times thus licensed, is such an unripping, such an anatomy of the shyest and tenderest particular truths, as makes not only the whole nation in many points the wiser, but also presents and carries home to princes, men most remote from vulgar concourse, such a full insight of every lurking evil, or restrained good among the commons, as that they shall not need hereafter, in old cloaks and false beards, to stand to the courtesy of a nightwalking cudgeller for eaves-dropping, nor to accept quietly as a perfume, the overhead emptying of some salt lotion. Who could be angry, therefore, but those that are guilty, with these free-spoken and plain-hearted men, that are the eyes of their country, and the prospective-glasses of their prince? But these are the nettlers, these are the blabbing books that tell, though not half your fellows' feats. You love toothless satires; let me inform you, a toothless satire is as improper as a toothed sleek-stone, and as bullish.
Remonst. I beseech you, brethren, spend your logic upon your own works.
Answ. The peremptory analysis that you call it, I believe will be so hardy as once more to unpin your spruce fastidious oratory, to rumple her laces, her frizzles, and her bobbins, though she wince and fling never so peevishly.
Remonst. Those verbal exceptions are but light froth and will sink alone. Answ. O rare subtlety, beyond all that Cardan ever dreamed of! when, I beseech you, will light things sink? when will light froth sink alone? Here in your phrase, the same day that heavy plummets will swim alone. Trust this man, readers, if you please, whose divinity would reconcile England with Rome, and his philosophy make friends nature with the chaos, sine pondere habentia pondus.
Remonst. That scum may be worth taking off which follows.
Answ. Spare your ladle, sir; it will be as the bishop's foot in the broth; the scum will be found upon your own remonstrance.
Remonst. I shall desire all indifferent eyes to judge, whether these men do not endeavour to cast unjust envy upon me.
Remonst. I had said that the civil polity, as in general notion, hath sometimes varied, and that the civil came from arbitrary imposers; these gracious interpreters would needs draw my words to the present and particular government of our monarchy.
Answ. And deservedly have they done so; take up your logic else and see civil polity, say you, hath sometimes varied, and come from arbitrary imposers; what proposition is this? Bishop Downam in his dialectics will tell you it is a general axiom, though the universal particle be not expressed, and you yourself in your defence so explain in these words as in general notion. Hence is justly inferred, he that says civil polity is arbitrary, says that the civil polity of England is arbitrary. The inference is undeniable, a thesi ad hypothesin, or from the general to the particular, an evincing argument in logic.
Remonst. Brethren, whiles ye desire to seem godly, learn to be less malicious.
Answ. Remonstrant, till you have better learnt your principles of logic, take not upon you to be a doctor to others.
Remonst. God bless all good men from such charity.
Answ. I never found that logical maxims were uncharitable before; yet should a jury of logicians pass upon you, you would never be saved by the book.
Remonst. And our sacred monarchy from such friends.
Answ. Add, as the prelates.
Remonst. If episcopacy have yoked monarchy, it is the insolence of the persons, not the fault of the calling.
Answ. It was the fault of the persons, and of no calling; we do not count prelaty a calling.
Remonst. The testimony of a pope (whom these men honour highly). Answ. That slanderous insertion was doubtless a pang of your incredible charity, the want whereof you lay so often to their charge; a kind token of your favour lapped up in a parenthesis; a piece of the clergy benevolence laid by to maintain the episcopal broil, whether the 1000 horse or no, time will discover: for certainly had those cavaliers come on to play their parts, such a ticket as this of highly honouring the pope, from the hand of late, might have been of special use and safety to them that had cared for such a ransom.
Remonst. And what says Antichrist?
Answ. Ask your brethren the prelates, that hold intelligence with him: ask not us. But is the pope Antichrist now? Good news! take heed you be not shent for this; for it is verily thought, that had this bill been put in against him in your last convocation, he would have been cleared by most
Remonst. Any thing serves against episcopacy.
Answ. See the frowardness of this man; he would persuade us, that the succession and divine right of bishopdom hath been unquestionable through all ages; yet when they bring against him kings, they were irreligious; popes, they are Antichrist. By what era of computation, through what fairy land, would the man deduce this perpetual beadroll of uncontradicted episcopacy? The pope may as well boast his ungainsaid authority to them that will believe, that all his contradicters were either irreligious or heretical.
Remonst. If the bishops, saith the pope, be declared to be of divine right, they would be exempted from regal power; and if there might be this danger in those kingdoms, why is this enviously upbraided to those of ours? who do gladly profess, &c.
Answ. Because your dissevered principles were but like the mangled pieces of a gashed serpent, that now begun to close, and grow together popish again. Whatsoever you now gladly profess out of fear, we know what your drifts were when you thought yourselves secure.
Remonst. It is a foul slander to charge the name of episcopacy with a faction, for the fact imputed to some few.
Answ. The more foul your faction that hath brought a harmless name into obloquy, and the fact may justly be imputed to all of ye that ought to have withstood it, and did not.
Remonst. Fie, brethren! are ye the presbyters of the church of England, and dare challenge episcopacy of faction?
Answ. Yes, as oft as episcopacy dares be factious.
Remonst. Had you spoken such a word in the time of holy Cyprian, what had become of you?
Answ. They had neither been haled into your Gehenna at Lambeth, nor strapadoed with an oath ex officio by your bowmen of the arches: and as for Cyprian's time the cause was far unlike; he indeed succeeded into
an episcopacy that began then to prelatize; but his personal excellence like an antidote overcame the malignity of that breeding corruption, which was then a disease that lay hid for a while under show of a full and healthy constitution, as those hydropic humours not discernible at first from a fair and juicy fleshiness of body, or that unwonted ruddy colour, which seems graceful to a cheek otherwise pale; and yet arises from evil causes, either of some inward obstruction or inflammation, and might deceive the first physicians till they had learned the sequel, which Cyprian's days did not bring forth; and the prelatism of episcopacy, which began then to burgeon and spread, had as yet, especially in famous men, a fair, though a false imitation of flourishing.
Remonst. Neither is the wrong less to make application of that which was most justly charged upon the practices and combinations of libelling separatists, whom I deservedly censured, &c.
Answ. To conclude this section, our Remonstrant we see is resolved to make good that which was formerly said of his book, that it was neither humble nor a remonstrance, and this his defence is of the same complexion. When he is constrained to mention the notorious violence of his clergy attempted on the church of Scotland, he slightly terms it a fact imputed to some few; but when he speaks of that which the parliament vouchsafes to name the city petition, "which I," saith he, (as if the state had made him public censor,)" deservedly censured." And how? As before for a tumul tuary and underhand way of procured subscriptions, so now in his defence more bitterly, as the practices and combinations of libelling separatists, and the miszealous advocates thereof, justly to be branded for incendiaries, Whether this be for the honour of our chief city to be noted with such an infamy for a petition, which not without some of the magistrates, and great numbers of sober and considerable men, was orderly and meekly presented, although our great clerks think that these men, because they have a trade, (as Christ himself and St. Paul had,) cannot therefore attain to some good measure of knowledge, and to a reason of their actions, as well as they that spend their youth in loitering, bezzling, and harlotting, their studies in unprofitable questions and barbarous sophistry, their middle age in ambition and idleness, their old age in avarice, dotage, and diseases, And whether this reflect not with a contumely upon the parliament itself, which thought this petition worthy, not only of receiving, but of voting to a commitment, after it had been advocated, and moved for by some honourable and learned gentleman of the house, to be called a combination of libelling separatists, and the advocates thereof to be branded for incendiaries; whether this appeach not the judgment and approbation of the parliament I leave to equal arbiters,
REMONST. After the overflowing of your gall, you descend to liturgy and episcopacy.
Answ, The overflow being past, you cannot now in your own judgment impute any bitterness to their following discourses.
Remonst, Dr. Hall, whom you name I dare say for honour's sake.
Answ. You are a merry man, sir, and dare say much.
Remonst. And why should not I speak of martyrs, as the authors and users of this holy liturgy?