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BETH.

have favoured the Gospel; yet for the satisfying of the way- ELIZAward (if that might be) this liberty is of late restrained, so far as our state can well bear, and it is not possible to have the same altered without great inconveniences, as hereafter follow :

" Inconveniences to the State of the Church. 1. First, seeing the tenth part of the benefices are not severally competent for the state of a mean person, nor the twentieth part esteemed to be worth thirty pounds de claro, (as will be proved,) this restraint will deprive the far greatest part of learned ministers of sufficient maintenance, which hath always been allowed, both by the laws of God and man, not only for necessity, but also for plentiful hospitality.

“ 2. Inequality of gifts requireth inequality of rewards, which cannot be in our state, (the number of competent livings being so small,) unless pluralities be in some sort admitted.

3. Yea, the worthiest men shall (for the most part) be worst provided, for the best livings being few, do seldom fall void. And that will make ministers of the meanest gifts equal with the best.

« 4. Those that are meet to be employed upon preaching before her majesty, or in other solemn places, or to attend upon synods, or other her majesty's services and public affairs, shall not be able to defray their charges.

“ 5. It will overthrow the maintenance of learned men, and hospitality in cathedral churches, where not only many poor are greatly relieved, but divers ambassadors and great persons, to the honour of the prince and realm, are often entertained. For seeing the livings in such churches are not able of themselves to sustain that burthen, it is requisite that they have other benefices, and that they may be sometimes absent from them; else both preaching and hospitality there must needs decay. And in the old churches it is gravely provided, that none be residentiaries but such as are of sufficient ability beside their prebend, to the end the state of their place might be better maintained.

“ 6. The bishops of small bishoprics shall not be able to maintain any tolerable countenance agreeable to their estate, who are chiefly relieved by benefices granted to them in commendam.

7. It is absurd that this bill doth not restrain a layman to

WHIT- have divers benefices impropriated, and to serve them by silly Abp. Cant. curates, and yet doth deny the like liberty to learned divines,

who are bound by law and conscience to discharge their duties upon their livings in person, and to place sufficient substitutes in their absence.

Hindrance of Learning and the Universities. “). · Honos alit artes:' therefore, when the means of preferment is taken from learning, learning itself must needs, in a short time, decay; for rich men will not set their children to school, and poor men cannot, by reason the clergy shall not be able, for want of maintenance, to help them therein, as before they have done. The best wits will divert their studies from divinity ; divines will be less painful, and not labour to excel; and so, in short time all will be brought to ignorance and barbarism.

“ 2. If those that have benefices cannot be, in some respect, non-resident, the public readers in the universities, and the masters of colleges, &c. shall want maintenance, unless they obtain livings sine cura ; (which are few, and hard to come by ;) so that will drive all ancient men from the universities, which would be very prejudicial and dangerous to the same.

“3. By the local statutes of divers colleges, it is wisely provided, that the masters thereof having very small stipends of the house allowed them, should be such as are otherwise furnished with a living for the better maintenance of their countenance and calling; which cannot be in case they cannot have benefices, and be absent from them.

Hindrance of Religion. “ 1. It will bring the ministry into contempt, consequently religion, when the best part of the ministers in our state shall not be able to maintain themselves competently.

“ 2. The want of such competent maintenance will be an occasion for the ministers to preach placentia, and to feed the humours of those from whom they are driven to seek relief.

“ 3. The greatest number of parishes shall either have no ministers for want of competent living, or those that are very base, contrary to the pretences of the bill. And it were better one sufficient man had the charge of two, than two insufficient

of one.

66 4. If it be hurtful for the commonwealth not to commit

ELIZA-
BETH.

667.

divers offices to one, where there are not divers meet, rather than have the offices unlooked unto ; why holdeth not the like reason in offices of the Church and religion, seeing there are not sufficient learned men for the several livings!

“5. In case the ministers may not be absent, her majesty's household and the household of great persons shall be destitute of learned divines for the service of God, and deprived of the use of chaplains for the most part, unless they maintain them at their own charge: the want whereof may breed in time irreligiousness in such places.

“6. The bishops shall not have convenient assistance about them of learned men in their houses for deciding matters of religion, which daily do arise and come unto them. Many men of singular gifts, that may profit the Church publicly, shall be tied within the compass of a parish, where there are not sometimes twenty persons.

It is prejudicial to her Majesty's Authority and State. “1. It abridges her majesty's authority in ecclesiastical causes, whereof dispensations in these cases is one branch.

“ 2. It diminishes the revenues of the crown, which are augmented by the fees of the court of faculties.

“ 3. It abridgeth her majesty of the free employment of any beneficed man in embassage, in any council, in wars, or other necessary attendance, unless he leave his benefice.

“4. Her majesty shall be debarred of many means to recompense and prefer such divines as she shall employ in service.

“5. It will greatly diminish the contributions and provision for horse and armour, which the inferior clergy hath heretofore yielded to her majesty in time of necessity. For that hath been almost altogether borne by such as have pluralities; neither could her majesty have had the like in case they had enjoyed but one benefice a-piece.

“6. It abridgeth her majesty's authority, whereas she may now restrain or enlarge the liberty at her pleasure.

It is prejudicial to the Nobility and Gentry. “1. The privileges granted by the statute to the sons and brethren of noblemen and knights (in case they should be ministers) will be taken away.

It is op

WHIT

“ 2. The queen's council (if happily any be clergymen) shall GIFT, Abp. Cant. lose the like privilege.

“ 3. Noblemen can qualify no chaplains for their honour,

nor have any in their house for their assistance, but upon their Ex Cod.

great charges ?."
Biblioth.
Lambeth.
A bill for

The next thing I shall mention relating to the Church this punishing absentees

parliament, was a bill brought into the house of Commons from

against voluntary absence from church on Sundays. The Church.

forfeiture was to be twelve pence each Sunday, which was to be levied by distress upon a warrant from a justice of peace.

Mr. Owen, a member of the house, disliked this bill upon two posed, and miscurries. accounts. First, upon the score of the penalty, he observed

that there was a severe law already for this purpose; and that the poorest recusant in England was liable to the forfeiture of twenty pounds per month, and therefore the drawing a double punishment upon the same fault was against equity. Secondly, he objected the penal statutes were too numerous without any farther addition. And that if this bill should pass, a justice of peace's house would, like a quarter sessions, be crowded with a multitude of complainants. It was likewise, in his opinion, a breach upon Magna Charta, for that law gives a trial per pares ;' but by this, two witnesses before a justice of peace were sufficient. This bill was engrossed with some amendments. At the third reading, Mr. Bond made a speech against it. He urged that, if the bill passed, two imputations of ill consequence would be drawn upon the state. First, the inferior clergy would lie under discredit and reproach ; and the adversaries would say, they had reformed away their parish, and preached their audience out of the church. Secondly, the bill would imply a strong reflection upon the bishops, and other ecclesiastical governors; it would either suppose them remiss in their management, or else that their authority was in a manner insignificant, and could not come up to the force of a twelvepenny fine. He urged, farther, the real grievances which might be consequent upon the execution ; for, put the case, a person absent from the Church service comes to be examined at the quarter sessions, he may sometimes have a reasonable excuse, which, notwithstanding might be very pre

1 This is perhaps the most ingenious apology for pluralities and non-residences ever written; yet it is still to be wished that some modification of our ecclesiastical polity should remove these stumbling-blocks of weak brethren.

BETH.

of Com

judicial to discover. And, lastly, he observed, that misunder- ELIZAstandings and breach of charity would necessarily follow upon this bill. For supposing the churchwardens present some, and either connive at, or forget others, what complaints would there be of partiality and disaffection? So that, in short, the home prosecution would be extremely troublesome and embarrassed, and all manner of favour or neglect be productive of complaints and quarrels. The bill, notwithstanding, went on, and being put to the question, the noes carried it out by a single vote, upon which the yeas said the speaker was with them, which would make the number even. Upon this, the next question was, whether the speaker had a voice, which the speaker being decided in the negative, the bill was lost. And here the of Commons speaker himself owned he was foreclosed from giving his voice has no vote. by taking the chair; and that by being elected to this post, he was to be indifferent to both parties, and therefore to vote on neither side. Sir Walter Raleigh and secretary Cecil de- D'Ewes's livered themselves to the same opinion, and the house acqui- the House esced in it'. This parliament, being the last of this reign, was

mons, p.663. dissolved on the 19th of December.

682, &c. The convocation met on the 18th of October: the arch- A. D. 1601. bishop presiding exhorted the bishops to manage with vigilance vocation. and vigour, and be careful to observe the canons passed in the last convocation. And particularly he gave them the following cautions :

“ First. Not to proceed in court upon apparitors' suggestions, without churchwardens' presentment, or other just inquisition.

Secondly. That ecclesiastical judges hold no more than one court within the compass of five weeks.

Thirdly. That chancellors and officials do not call men to several courts for the same cause.

“ Fourthly. To have bills of presentment but once a quarter.

“ Fifthly. That the curates of non-residents be able persons, and have good allowances.

Sixthly. That none but chancellors grant licenses for marriage."

There was nothing more material done this convocation, excepting the granting of four subsidies, payable in four

1 In the Commons the speaker has a casting suffrage in case of an equality of votes, and not else, except in committee.

The con

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