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Tower, to be employed by Lord Burghley in the refutation of
Cardinal ^Vllcn,- to distinguish himself in the Irish wars, and
finally to be buried iu the sea-sand of France with military
honors.

' Soaraes, 234.

* Then, as usually after his misfortune, he added Scaevus (left-handed) to his
signature.



CHAPTER V

MORE BATTLES OF THE BOOKS

Late, it seems, in 1583 or early in 1584 bcgiin another battle
of the books about chineh art'airs. It was o])ened by AVilliani
Stoiighton, a professor of the civil law, in a volume ^ intendL-tl
to prove by existing;' statutes that a learned ministry was com-
manded by law, that plur;dities were prohibited, that excom-
munication by one alone was unauthorized, that an ecclesiastical
person could exercise no civil authority, that it was unlawfid to
ordain a minister without a specihc charge, that the manner of
archbishops', bishops', and archdeacons' visitations was unwar-
ranted, and that fees for Letters of Orders were forbidden.
After condemning the incompetent clergy, he refers to the pre-
valent injustice and favoritism, and says : ^ —

!May a Byshoji depriue an honest poore man from his benefice,
dispossesse a faythfuU man of his Mini^terie, stoppe the nioiitli of tlie
Lordes watchmen, and imprison a paynefull [conscientions] teadier
in the Chnke, in case hee weare not a vSurplesse, in case he niarrie
not witli a Ring, in case he crosse not in Baptisme, or in case hee sub-
scribe not to euerie newe Article inucnted by liis Ordinarie ? And
may not the same Bisliop remoue a man that hath o])enly played the
Iiyjtocrite, j)ubhkely falsiried his word. ... If a Puritane (as they
call hiiu) making conscience not to offende liis God in any small
thing, for his conscience sake bee worthie to he whiiiped and excoin-
nmnicated ; is a Foolitane, making no conscience to otl'end his God in
all thinges not worthy once to be sunnnoned ?

The first and second of Stoughton's contentions soon were
replied 2 to by Kiehard Cosin, LL. D., Dean of Arches and

* An Abstract of Certain Acts of Farliamfnt: of certaine her }faie.tt{es Iruunc-
tions: of certain Cannrts, Cnnstituliona and Synodalles proxiinciall : eslablixhfd and
in force, for the peaceable guHernment of the Church, etc., l.")84, -Ito. - 90.

^ An Ansuer to the Tuojirst and iiriucipnH Trentixes (f a certeine factious lihell.
put furrrth litelie, without name rf Author or Print-r. and without apprubation by aa-
thoritie vnder the title of ".In Abstract," etc., l';84, 4to, 1, ',)'.], 170.



142 THE TROTESTANTISM OF OUR FATHERS

Vicar-gcneral of the Pro\ince of Canterbury ; who, although
a civilian, had been granted ecclesiastical jurisdiction. He be-
gins with a sweeping eharacterization : —

It secmetli ti) niee tliat the principall scope of the authour of this
booke was. coiuTtlie to bring the gouernours and gouernenieiit ecelesias-
ticall of this church of Enghiiul into contempt, hatred and oUorpiie,
speciallie with prehulieate and vnwarie readers of it ; as though the
said gouernours were either grossely ignorant, or wilfull breakers of
lawes, canons, vltc. in force, touched in tiiis booke.

This is not without some warrant. But the reader may de-
cide that he sometimes uses strong language not only in re-
sponse to tliat of Stoughton, but also because of the difticulty of
effective reply to the uncomfortably telling arguments of the
" Abstract." Perhaps his strongest position is that

there are not set downe in particidar by Scripture, or by necessarie
collection to be gathered, all circumstances of policie, gouernemeut,
discipline and ceremonies necessarie and vniformlie to be vsed In euerie
seuerall church : and that the christian magistrats and gouernors are
not in the said former points, whereof something is touclied in scriji-
ture, of necessitie tied to that precise forme tliat is there set downe,
but to the generall doctrine concerning them ; to wit, that all be done
to edifieing, orderlie, comelie, and such like.

And perhaps the weakest is the insinuation against the "Ab-
stract" that, if its charge that the existing ministry is largely
unlearned be true, danger to property interests will arise, due to
the possible invalidity of marriages and baptisms.

Dudley Fenner — who had left T\'terhouse at Cambridge be-
fore giaduating to take the ministry of Cranbrook, Kent, and,
dissatisfied with the iState Church, had gone to Antwerp and
INIiildh-berg to be chaplain to the English merchants — speedily
replied to Dr. Cosin in a modest, yet etTective, little IOjuo,^ in
which he considers objections made to the new discipline and
argues strenuously for the eldership. It \nll illustrate how far
the Puritans of those days were from favoring any really ])o])u-

^ A Counter-poi/son, Modtstly Written for the time, to make, aunswer to the obiections
art'l reprahfx, irh'rcirith the aunsi/erer to the .llislrai:t woulij (lis'irare the hull/ Dis-
cipline of Christ. London, 1")S4. Wlien rcprintod in I'jOO by Wal(U';;:rave {I'arte <>f
Jieg. ■i\'2-'j0o). Fennur's ii:inie was prefixed as author, be baviiiy di.jd in lo>>7.
Ibid. G87.



MORE BATTLES OF THE BOOKS 143

lar cluircli governiucut to note how Fenuer parries one of Cosiu's
statements. Cosiu had said : ^ —

He saith, that All the faillifuU of the land haue an inlL-rest in choise
and alknvaiice of then- pastors. So tliat by this recko^iIl;^^ men, women,
and cliildreii (for all the faitlifuU he intercssed) shall haue voices in
election of their minister ; and if one dissent, all must be dashed, if we
follow that rule.

Which Fenner answers thus : ^ —

Hee is not ashamed in steede of encoimtring with the trueth, to
frame lumselfe an vidcnowne aduersarie, that is, in steed of ouer-
throwing the consent of i)eoi)le in Church-elections, to make warre
against a meere populer Election, not gouerned with fore-direction
of tlie Pdders. whicli hath no ground in the scriptures, and was neuer
maintained (as liimselfe confesseth) but by Anabaptists.

To the ohjection that the new discipline wotild destroy the
queen's rightful authority over the Church, Fenner replies tliat
those for whom he ])leads are far from advocating, or even con-
ceiving, the idea of any proi)er church-independency of the
State. Soon after — prohahly^ at the Lidding of his ecclesias-
tical superiors — Dr. John Copcot. then a fellow of Trinity, and
later Master of Corpus Cln-isti College, Camhridge, preached
at Paul's Cross a defence * of the existing constitution of the
Church against Fenner's assault. Besides argtiing squarely
against the Eldersliiji, he accuses the Puritans of denouncing
the Church of England as "• no Church hut after a sort," because
" it lacketh Discipline."' This was denied ^ as soon as the manti-
script sermon could he obtained : —

Our M-ordes, om" preaching and writinges haue alwayes witnessed
that we holde the Churche for a true Churche of Christ, from which
no mendjer may separate him selfe : although he uuist disallowe the

1 ..-Ins. to Abstract, 99, 200. ^ Counttr-poyson, 24, 2S.

« Strype,.ln. iii(l): .144.

* A Sermon preached at Powles Crosse in 1^S4; wherein answeare is made unto the
autor of the ' Cuunter-poi/son,' tonchiny the sense of the Ihh verse of the ffe chujtter of
the first to Titiiothye, etc. Laiiilxth Ms. ceclxxiv : 11"). An extract — tlie sermon
soeuis never to have been printed in full — is in .1 Parte of a litg. SOT-ijOS.

' A defence of the reasons if the ' Coiinter-j)nyson 'for the maintenance of the Eldi r-
shippe, against an ansirtrt ntade to titcni hi/ Doctor Cojjequot, etc., 15Sl'i. I'hno, 'J, .'A.
Usually attributed to F.nner (.1(A. t'liut. ii : T-";). but the introduction inipliis tliat
Bonie one else wrote it. He distin^'tii.shes hiinsi.If from Fenner, and hopes that
Fenner " will take it in jjood part."



1« THE PROTESTANTISM OF OUR FATHERS

•wantes in her. "Wee hauc ahvayes when subscription was vrged. bin
readie to subscribe to tlie Article of ber Muiesties autboritic and to
tbe substance of doctrine, in as lar^e a manner as tlie statut in tbat
bebalfe re(iuired. . . . Wee baue by writingt defended tbe cause of the
Churcbe and our Prince, as nuicb as tbey, tliat we say no more. . . .
Haue we not by perswasions continued many in tbe bosome of tbe
Cburcb ? Yea wbC- tbrougb weaknes, because of many abuses tbey would
haue dei)arted? Ilaue wee sougbt redresse by any otber meanes tha
by hiible suppUcation towards our Superiours according to duetie?
An argiunent of great force follows in proof that the Eldership,
having confessedly had existence once in the Church, is })erpet-
ual.

The movers in this reform comprehended that their best l.ope
of success lay in influencing those masses of the people intelli-
gent enough to comprehend and have an interest in the subject,
yet not high enough socially to feel conclusively the adverse
influences of the Court and the hierarchy. One method wisely
adopted was that of an appeal through the jiopular form uf the
dialogue. Gilby's effort of the sort nearly twenty years before
has been referred to. Three similar endeavors now were made,
in 1584, 1588 and 1589. The first ^ was anonymous and was
printed openly in London. There are four speakers : Ortho-
doxos, a divine who argues for Puritanism; Phllodoxos, a law-
yer, leaning towards candoi", yet no convert to the new way ;
Philochrematos, a bishop's chaplain, who champions the Estab-
lishment ; and Plillodonos, an inn-holder, full of the prejudices
of his class. In the preface the writer draws a sad picture of
the neglected condition of the Church.

Phllodonos begins by the stereotyped complaint that " there
be so manle new-fangled Preachers," who " keep small hospi-
talitie themselues, and not content with that, they jjreaeh and
crie out against it in other men." so that inn-keepers makt; but
" slender provision." He well remembers " when a dozen or
sixteene Geutlrnn-a and wealthie yeomen haue met together,
and made merrle fonre or fine dales, or a weeke. at caiils or
Bowls, as the time did serve. Nowe all good fellowship is
laide aside, the worlde Is waxen stark nought." Ortliodoxos
speaks of the real conditum of multituiU's of pulpits in England

^ A l)ialu<jue conctrninj the utrift of our Churchc : etc., 1">S4, IGiuo, 71, V5, lUO.



MORE BATTLES OF THE BOOKS 145

at that time with a severity justifiable only because of its tremen-
dous truth : —

Are there not a rahlement of vngodlye & vnlcarnecl niC- appointed
to be guides ouer the flock of Christ? Is there not lesse account made
of the soules of gods peojjle, then men make of their hogs ? Are there
not in sundry ])la('es poore sely creatures wliich were Poj)ish priests,
that a man sluiU hardly lind any so sinipk' in all their ])arisli, such as
coulde hardlye line : as seruing men, hankrui)ts & vnthril'tes. haue they
not knocked at the gate and bin let in ? Tailers, sadlers. sliomakers,
and other handy crafts men that could scarce read engllsli l)efore, are
they not consecrated, and become masters in Israel? A nuiltitude of
such as are idle, and canot intlure to take any pains, but louo to play
at bowls, cards & tables a great part of y* week, and to be at the ale-
house drinking among good fellowes, haue founde the ministery y*
fittest place to serue their turne. For their chiefe worke is vpon the
Sunday to read an Homely, and then he hath preached as wel as he
that studied hardest all the weeke. Are there not drunkards, adul-
terers, and men sjjotted with manye foule vices in this holy function.

And, to the plea that, although many of the clergy be " blindo
guids "" yet the j)eople do well enough, because " they depende
upon the bishops and Archdeacons, which can see better than
the Puritans," Orthodoxos replies : —

Noe. no, they can see that they sbal be kept in blindnesse, as they
are, but what can they doe vnto those whome they neuer saw nor
knew ? doth there goe such vertue out of a Byshoppe or an^ Archdea-
con, tliat it can s])reade itselfe ouer all the Country, euen to saue their
soules. that neyther heare nor sec them ? shall the blinde bee ledde by
those that neuer conie nigh them, or by those that are presente and
take them by y*' hand ? for shame, bolde youre peace.

As to the actual spiritual needs of the people, he adds : —

There be thousandes which bee men and women growen, which if a
man aske them howe tlu'V shall bo <aueil they can not tell. As for
wickednesse, in pride, enuie, hatred, & al sinns yt can be named almost,
it doth ouer flowe, & yet you are not asliamed to say, are they not
christians ? do they not call ^1)on God at their ende ?

The second dialogue,^ soon burned by tlie authorities.'- which

^ Tlie Staff of the Chnrrh of Enqlanfh. lairff optn in a conference belweene Diotrejyfies
a Tiyshopp, Tertullus a rnjii^le. I)rwifriii< on Vsurer, J^aitfl'ichus an Inne-keeper, anil
I'aule a preacher of the worde of God [bv Jolin Udall], lij^"^, lOmo (Arber's ed.),
6, :51.

* Demonstr. of Disc. viii.



146 THE PROTESTANTISM OF OUR FATHERS

beyond doubt was by John Udall, who soon after printed the
first brief systematic manual of the new way of discipline, is
shorter and abler. There are five speakers. Diotrej)li('s. the
bishop, and Tertullus, the Papist, meet Demetrius, the usurer,
and Paul, the preacher, in the house and presence of Pandochus,
the inn-keeper. As before, the host begins, and by finding fault.

Our towne standeth on vitelling, because it is a thorowfare. an<l he
[tlie Piiiitan rector] preachtth ai;ainst gi)od fellowsliip (which liee call-
eth (Irunkennesse) and against playing at cardes and tables, wlierein,
if he might haue his wil. I and my neighbors might go on begging
within one twelue-moneths, and he hath so prcuailed. that I take not
80 much by foure pounds in a weeke, as I was woont to doe : yea I
have had ten shillings of one man in a weeke for drincke onelie, that
will nowe scarce spend three.

In general this dialogue resembles the other, but the Conclu-
sion ventures a definite suggestion touching a petition to the queen.

The third dialogue, i anonymous, has four speakers : Puritan,
Papist, Jack-of-both-sides, and blol jNIinister. It is intensely
severe upon the Establishment. Says Puritan : —

"Wei, he [the bishop] stands in the state of damnation as you [I Joll-
niinister] doe, and thus much I say vnto you and to all ministers, and
to him, and all vsurping Archbishoj)s and Lord Bishops : leaue your
vnlawful callings into which you haue intruded your selues, and with
speed repent, and humble your selues before the Majestie of God, con-
fessing your horrible and greeuous sinnes with Peters teares, in that
you are the cause, yea and also the verye murtherers of so manye
soules, as perish in your charges.

Tlie same method also was adopted by others of different
judgment. Two instances should be noted, in 1582 and 1589.
The tone of each, however, suggests that it came, not from a
violent Churchman, but from somebody in s}^npathy with the
effort to deepen and enricli its piety, yet no Separatist. The
former,- indeed, was an early production of one who started

1 A Dialogue vvfurin is plainly laide open the tiprannicall dealing of L. Bishops
against Gods children : with r,rtainc points of doctrine, etc.. 15S9, 12mo, 10.

* A liriefe discotirse of certaine pointa rf th'' religion which is aitiono the comma sort
of Christians, which may be. termed the Q'ltntrie Diuinitie, etc, \.^^'2, Idino. v, 1
verso, 17 verso, '_'■_' verso, IS, 23, Tl). In tlie same year ho published, in anotlier
direction, A Dialogue beticeene A Papist and a Protestant, applied to the capaciiie
of the unlearned, Itjmo.



MORE BATTLES OF THE BOOKS 147

with the Puritans but became an antagonist of the Separatists,
Georjje GiiYonl, minister of iMalJou, Essex, educated at Hart
Hall, Oxford. In its Epistle Dedicatory, to the Earl of "War-
wick, it strongly contirms the complaints by the Puritans of the
deplorable condition of ecclesiastical affairs : —

Our clmrch tliorefore tt common wealth, being the Lords husl)andrie,
is oucrgrowne with weedes »S: ahuost laid waste . . . Among wliich
[causes of this condition] the want of a sincere ministerie of the
woorde is the greatest through al)sence of wluch, there is a flood of
ignoraTice and darknes, ouertiowing the most part of the land : the
feare of God is banished from the greatest parte : the woonderfull
heapcs and piles of sinne, which should bee washed and cleansed away
by tlie word, do vndoubtedly with one voice cry alowd in the ears of
the Lord, for vengeance vpun the whole realme.

To convince of tlieir danger '' indifferent " men, who want to
enjoy the world and little nund what coat of religion they wear,
is the design. The characters are Zelotes, a mild Puritan, and
Atheos, one of the class referretl to. Atheos goes to church and
likes the parson. When asked why, he replies : —

Hee is as gentle a person as euer I see : a verj'e good fellowe, hce
will not sticke when good Followes and honest men meete together
too spunde his groat at the Alehouse.

When asked if this parson is able to teach the people, Atheos
answers : —

I knowe not what teaching yee woulde haue ; hee doeth reade the
eeruice, as well as anye of them all, and I thinke there is as good
edifying in those prayers and llonnlics, as in anye that the Preacher
canne n)ake.

Zelotes reminds him that a boy of ten years old can do all this,
and wants to know if the parson " reprooue naughtincsse,"' to
which Atheos answers : —

Yes, that hce doeth, for if there bee anye that doe not agree, hee
will seeke for too make them friendes : for hee will trettc them too
playe a game or two at Bowles or Cardes, and too drynke together at
the Alehouse : I think it a Godlye waye, to make Charitie.

The faithfulness with which those still unmoved within tlie
Establishment are dealt with aj^pears thus : —



148 THE PROTESTANTISM OF OUR FATHERS

Zelot. This is a coiinnon thing among all the packe of ye. if there
be any man which liath a care to know Goth and seckoth alter his
worde, & will not comit those heastly sins which oueiiiow in all places,
then you wliicli cannot ahide to liane Gods word set foorth, deiiise a
numher of lies and slaunders against them, calling them Puritane?,
lascals, and many such like. On the contrary ])art, let a man be a
comTuon druiikarde, a Dicer, an ignorfit beast, which hath no know-
ledge of God, a wretched worldling, or any kinde of such person : he
is an honest man.

The trutli as to the relation of good men to the law also is set
forth well : —

Zelot. Hee whiche doeth disobeye the Prince, doeth disobey GoD
vnto his damnation, where the ])rince setteth foorth and mainteyneth
Gods worde. But if there be a prince whiche niaketh lawes against
the lawes of God, wee must obey God rather then men.

The point of view of the author as to Puritanism is explained
thus : —

Atheos. Naye you that are precise Puritans doe find faulte where
there is none : y<ju condemne men for euery trifle.

Wliereas ye are but men, and banc your infirmities as well as
other : yet yee woulile make your selues as holye as Angels.

Zelotes. I abhorre the crrour of the Catharistes or Puritans. I con-
fesse that I am loden with corrnjitions : if that be your meaning, to
charge nice with that opinion, which is wicked and diuelislie. But if
yee take the name Puritane for one whidi hath more care to obey
God, then the conmion sort, and therefore laboureth to keejjc him selfe
pure and vnsjjotted of the worlde (as Saint .lames sj)eaketh) then
looke to it, that yee be not founde among those which reuile not men
but God. If ye meane by precise men, those which are so scrupulous,
as to make sinne where there is none, as your wordes doe playnely
showe, then doe I vtlerly renounce that name.

The second dialo^^ue ' is anonvnious and also has two speakers :
Sophronius, a zealous eluurlnnan, and Arizelus, a weaker and
more impetuous brother, who, having failed to find edification
ill the husks of the parson of his parish, Master Timotheus. has
been attracted by the sermons of Master Eulalus. the earnest
rector of a neighboring village. Of course Sophronius gets the

* Sophronistes : A Dialogue persxcading the people to reuerenre and attend the ordi-
nance of God. in the Ministrie of their owne pastors, 15S0, 4to. 16, G8.



MORE BATTLES OF THE BOOKS 149

better of the ai^ument and persuailcs his friend to attend the
parish church. The kernel of the argrimeut lies ehietiy in this
paragraph : — •

Sojjhroniiis. God is not onely the author of the Ministery, but also
the addresser and disj)oser of the seueral labors of his seruants. And
therefore what iniuiie is done vuto the ordinance of God by the Min-
ister that refuseth to teach those vnto whom he is particuhirlv sent :
the same iniurie is done vnto his prouidence, by those of the people
that refuse to be taught by him whom the Lord hath expressely sent
vnto them, and vuto whuse ministery he hath subiected them.

The cliiini that ability to teach is essential to a minister is
parried thus : —

It [this ability] hath in deede more affinitie than other parts that
should bo in liim. Yet, ... I take it not to be simply essentiall, as
tliat without which he is no minister.

Something also was done by printing sermons. One was is-
sued sLx years after its delivery — and in at least three subse-
quent editions, one printed by William Brewster at Leyden —
a discourse ^ at Paul's Cross, October 20, 1578, by Dr. Laurence
Chaderton. lie was a great light of Cambridge, and blaster of
Emanuel College, and when in advanced years — he lived to be
over 102 — he resigned his lectureship at St. Clement's forty
clergymen begged him to reconsider, declaring tliat they owed
tlieir conversion to him. Ilis allusions to the bishops and the
clerg}' are quite as severe as any others. On another point —
because, although he had marked Puritan sympathies, he stood
high in public esti'em, was one of the translators of the " Au-
thorized " version of the Bible, and always was noteil for modera-
tion — his testimony may be taken safely as conclusive. He
says : —

^ A fruitfnl s^-mnn vpon the 3. 4- •5. C. 7. .<- <?. verses of the 12. Chapiter of the
Epistle of a. Pauie to the Romanes, etc., l.")>;4, KJmo, .',.\, table opp. 1, 02, 41'. Not
usually reeorriiizc.l ;i.h by ("li.iderton, and liis latest biotrr.iphy (Diet. Nat. Biog. ix :
4';0) i<,'nores it. IJiit Bro.ik Hi : 44<".| says tlint he preacliod at Paul'.s Cross and that
his discourse was printed ; and Ainswortli {Counttr-poi^son, "JOG), Fuirlambe {litcari-
tation, 19. 27>, Francis Jolin.son {Certai/ne Jieasons. C>), and John llobin.son (iitiiy.
Communion, ii : 81) rt-f.-r to, or cite from, it and call it Cliadiifon'.s. Also C.
UovvniAU {Ilarl. Ms. 704_>. iii) duposed that "he w.as drawn to his present course
by a book of a sermon npon the 12. of Romans, made by Master Chatterton."
Clearly Cliaderton's coutemjxiraries believed him its autiior.



150 THE PROTESTANTISM OF OUR FATHERS

If it bee deiuauiuleJ why tlieie is in the Lande such grossc ii;no-
raunce of God ? the aunswere is at hande, wee waute Doctouies and
teachers. "Whence come such swarmes of Atheistes. Idolaters. Papists,
erronious and heretieall sectaries, of tlie Family of Loue and such like ?
there are no doctors to teach, nor pastors to exhort. How commeth it
to passe that in a Christian church, professing newnesse of life, and
the doctrine of regeneration, there shoulde bee such a huge masse of
old and stinkinge workes, of coniuring, witchcraft, sorcery, charming,
blasjjheming the holy name of Goi), swearing antl forswearing, pro-
phaning of the Lordes 8abl)othes. disobedience to superiours, contempt
of inferioures : murther. Manslaughter, robberies, adulterve. Fornica-
tion, couenant-breakers, falsewilnesse-bearing, liars with all other
kindes of vniversall dealing one with another ? Is not the cause eui-
dent? wee lacke Elders and Gouernours of euerye congregation to
admonish, correct, suspende and excommunicate such noysome, liurt-
fuU, & monslruous beastes, out of the house of God, without respect
of persons.

In general this sermon is an earnest, eflfective plea ngainst
the Church of Eui^-land as it was, and in favor of essential Pres-
byterianisui. It argues that the .six verses of its text contain a
perpetual law, touching the government of Christ's Church ;
umler certain officers, to wit : "■ Pastours, Doctours, Elders,
Deacons, and Widowes ; " ami it condemns the Church of Eng-



Online LibraryHenry Martyn DexterThe England and Holland of the Pilgrims → online text (page 15 of 65)