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Anfw. Moulin fays in his book of the calling of paftors, that because bifhops were the reformers of the English church, therefore they were left remaining: this argument is but of fmall force to keep you in your cathedrals. For firft it may be denied that bishops were our first reformers, for Wickliff was before them, and his egregious labours are not to be neglected: befides, our bishops were in this work but the difciples of priests, and began the reformation before they were bishops. But what though Luther and other monks were the reformers of other places? Does it follow therefore that monks ought to continue? No, though Luther had taught fo. And lastly, Moulin's argument directly makes against you; for if there be nothing in it but this, bifhops were left remaining because they were reformers of the church, by as good a confequence therefore they are now to be removed, because they have been the moft certain deformers and ruiners of the church. Thus you fee how little it avails you to take fanctuary among thofe churches which in the general scope of your actions formerly you have difregarded and defpifed; however, your fair words would now fmooth it over otherwise.
Remonft. Our bishops, fome whereof being crowned with martyrdom, fubfcribed the gospel with their blood.
Anfw. You boaft much of martyrs to uphold your epifcopacy; but if you would call to mind what Eufebius in his fifth book recites from Apollinarius of Hierapolis, you should then hear it esteemed no other than an old heretical argument, to prove a pofition true, because fome that held it were martyrs; this was that which gave boldness to the Marcionifts and Cataphryges to avouch their impious herefies for pious doctrine, because they could reckon many martyrs of their fect; and when they were confuted in other points, this was ever their laft and ftouteft plea.
Remonft. In the mean time I befeech the God of Hea ven to humble you.
Anfw. We fhall befeech the fame God to give you a more profitable and pertinent humiliation than yet you know, and a lefs mistaken charitableness, with that which you have hitherto so perversely misaffected.
APOLOGY FOR SMECTYMNUUS.
IF, readers, to that fame great difficulty of well-doing
what we certainly know, were not added in most men as great a careleffnefs of knowing what they and others ought to do, we had been long ere this, no doubt but all of us, much farther on our way to fome degree of peace and happiness in this kingdom. But fince our finful neglect of practifing that which we know to be undoubtedly true and good, hath brought forth among us, through God's juft anger, fo great a difficulty now to know that which otherwife might be foon learnt, and hath divided us by a controverfy of great importance indeed, but of no hard folution, which is the more our punishment; I refolved (of what fmall moment foever I might be thought) to ftand on that fide where I faw both the plain authority of fcripture leading, and the reafon of juftice and equity perfuading; with this opinion, which efteems it more unlike a christian to be a cold neuter in the cause of the church, than the law of Solon made it punishable after a fedition in the state. And because I obferve that fear and dull difpofition, lukewarmness and floth, are not feldomer wont to cloak themfelves under the affected name of moderation, than true and lively zeal is cuftomably difparaged with the term of indifcretion, bitterness, and choler; I could not to my thinking honour a good cause more from the heart, than by defending it earnestly, as oft as I could judge it to behove me, notwithstanding any falfe name that could be invented to wrong or undervalue an honest meaning. Wherein although I have not doubted to fingle forth more than once fuch of them as were thought the chief and moft nominated oppofers on the other fide, whom no inan elfe undertook; if I have done well
either to be confident of the truth, whofe force is beft feen against the ablest resistance, or to be jealous and tender of the hurt that might be done among the weaker by the intrapping authority of great names titled to falfe opinions; or that it be lawful to attribute fomewhat to gifts of God's imparting, which I boaft not, but thankfully acknowledge, and fear alfo left at my certain account they be reckoned to me rather many than few; or if laftly it be but justice not to defraud of due esteem the wearifome labours and ftudious watchings, wherein I have spent and tired out almoft a whole youth I shall not distrust to be acquitted of prefumption: knowing, that if heretofore all ages have received with favour and good acceptance the early induftry of him that hath been hopeful, it were but hard measure now, if the freedom of any timely spirit fhould be oppreffed merely by the big and blunted fame of his elder adversary; and that his fufficiency must be now sentenced, not by pondering the reason he shows, but by calculating the years he brings. However as my purpofe is not, nor hath been formerly, to look on my adverfary abroad, through the deceiving glass of other men's great opinion of him, but at home, where I may find him in the proper light of his own worth; fo now against the rancour of an evil tongue, from which I never thought fo abfurdly, as that I of all men fhould be exempt, I must be forced to proceed from the unfeigned and diligent inquiry of my own conscience at home (for better way I know not, readers) to give a more true account of myself abroad than this modeft confuter, as he calls himself, hath given of me. Albeit, that in doing this, I shall be fenfible of two things which to me will be nothing pleasant; the one is, that not unlikely I fhall be thought too much a party in mine own cause, and therein to see leaft: the other, that I fhall be put unwillingly to moleft the public view with the vindication of a private name; as if it were worth the while that the people fhould care whether fuch a one were thus, or thus. Yet those I entreat who have found the leifure to read that name, however of fmall repute, unworthily defamed, would be so good and fo patient as to hear the fame perfon not unneedfully defended,
defended. I will not deny but that the beft apology against falfe accufers is filence and fufferance, and honeft deeds. fet against difhoneft words. And that I could at this time most easily and fecurely, with the leaft loss of reputation, ufe no other defence, I need not despair to win belief; whether I confider both the foolifh contriving and ridiculous aiming of thefe his flanderous bolts, fhot fo wide of any fufpicion to be fastened on me, that I have oft with inward contentment perceived my friends congratulating themselves in my innocence, and my enemies afhamed of their partner's folly: or whether I look at these present times wherein most men, now scarce permitted the liberty to think over their own concernments, have removed the feat of their thoughts more outward to the expectation of public events: or whether the examples of men, either noble or religious, who have fat down lately with a meek filence and sufferance under many libellous endorsements, may be a rule to others, I might well appease myself to put up any reproaches in fuch an honourable fociety of fellow-fufferers, ufing no other defence. And were it that flander would be content to make an end where it firft fixes, and not seek to caft out the like infamy upon each thing that hath but any relation to the perfon traduced, I fhould have pleaded against this confuter by no other advocates than those which I first commended, filence and fufferance, and speaking deeds against faltering words. But when I difcerned his intent was not fo much to fmite at me, as through me to render odious the truth which I had written, and to ftain with ignominy that evangelic doctrine which opposes the tradition of prelaty; I conceived myfelf to be now not as mine own person, but as a member incorporate into that truth whereof I was perfuaded, and whereof I had declared openly to be a partaker. Whereupon I thought it my duty, if not to myself, yet to the religious cause I had in hand, not to leave on my garment the leaft fpot or blemish in good name, fo long as God fhould give me to fay that which might wipe it off. Left those difgraces, which I ought to suffer, if it fo befall me, for my religion, through my default religion be made liable to fuffer for me. And, whether it VOL. I.
might not fomething reflect upon those reverent men, whose friend I may be thought in writing the Animadverfions, was not my laft care to confider; if I should reft under these reproaches, having the fame common adversary with them, it might be counted fmall credit for their cause to have found fuch an affiftant, as this babbler hath devised me. What other thing in his book there is of difpute or queftion, in answering thereto I doubt not to be justified; except there be who will condemn me to have wafted time in throwing down that which could not keep itself up. As for others, who notwithstanding what I can allege have yet decreed to mifinterpret the intents of my reply, I fuppofe they would have found as many caufes to have mifconceived the reasons of my filence.
To begin therefore an apology for those animadver
fions, which I writ against the Remonftrant in defence of Smectymnuus; fince the preface, which was purposely fet before them, is not thought apologetical enough, it will be beft to acquaint ye, readers, before other things, what the meaning was to write them in that manner which I did. For I do not look to be asked wherefore I writ the book, it being no difficulty to anfwer, that I did it to thofe ends, which the beft men propofe to themfelves when they write: but wherefore in that manner, neglecting the main bulk of all that fpecious antiquity, which might ftun children, and not men, I chose rather to obferve fome kind of military advantages to await him at his foragings, at his waterings, and whenever he felt himfelf fecure, to folace his vein in derifion of his more ferious opponents. And here let me have pardon, readers, if the remembrance of that which he hath licenfed himself to utter contemptuously of those reverend men, provoke me to do that over again, which fome expect I fhould excufe as too freely done; fince I have two provocations, his latest infulting in his fhort answer, and their final patience. I had no fear, but that the authors of Smectymnuus, to all the show of folidity, which the Remonftrant could bring, were prepared both with skill and purpose