Front Page Titles (by Subject) A SUPPLICATION MADE TO THE COUNCIL - The Works of Richard Hooker, vol. 3
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
A SUPPLICATION MADE TO THE COUNCIL - Richard Hooker, The Works of Richard Hooker, vol. 3 
The Works of that Learned and Judicious Divine Mr. Richard Hooker with an Account of His Life and Death by Isaac Walton. Arranged by the Rev. John Keble MA. 7th edition revised by the Very Rev. R.W. Church and the Rev. F. Paget (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1888). 3 vols. Vol. 3.
Part of: The Works of that Learned and Judicious Divine Mr. Richard Hooker with an Account of His Life and Death by Isaac Walton, 3 vols.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
A SUPPLICATION MADE TO THE COUNCIL
TRAVERS’ SUPPLICATION.THE manifold benefits which all the subjects within this dominion do at this present, and have many years2 enjoyed, under her Majesty’s most happy and prosperous reign, by your godly wisdom and careful watching over this estate night and day, I truly and unfeignedly acknowledge, from the bottom of my heart, ought worthily to bind us all to pray continually to Almighty God for the continuance and increase of the life and good estate of your honours, and to be ready, with all good duties, to satisfy and serve the same to our power. Besides public benefits common unto all, I must needs, and do willingly, confess myself to stand bound by most special obligation, to serve and honour you more than anya other, for the honourable favour it hath pleased you to vouchsafe both oftentimes heretofore, and also now of late3 , in a matter more dear unto me than any earthly commodity, that is, the upholding and furthering of my service in the ministering of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For which cause, as I have been always careful so to carry myself as I might by no means give occasion to be thought unworthy of so great a benefit, so do I still, next unto her majesty’s gracious countenance, hold nothing more dear and precious unto me, than that I may always remain in your honours’ favour, which hath oftentimes been helpful and comfortable unto me in my ministry, and to all such as reaped any fruit of my simple and faithful labour. In which dutiful regard I humbly beseech your honours to vouchsafe to do me this grace, to conceive nothing of me otherwise than according to the duty wherein I ought to live, by any information against me, before your honours have heard my answer, and been thoroughly informed of the matter. Which, although it be a thing that your wisdoms, not in favour, but in justice, yield to all men, yet the state of the calling unto the ministry, whereunto it hath pleased God of his goodness to call me, though unworthiest of all, is so subject to misinformation, as, except we may find this favour with your honours, we cannot look for any other, but that our unindifferent parties may easily procure us to be hardly esteemed of; and that we shall be made like the poor fisher-boats in the sea, which every swelling wave and billow raketh and runneth over. Wherein my estate is yet harder than any others of my rank and calling, who are indeed to fight against flesh and blood in what part soever of the Lord’s host and field they shall stand marshalled to serve, yet many of them deal with it naked, and unfurnished of weapons: but my service was in a place where I was to encounter with it well appointed and armed with skill and with authority: whereof as I have always thus deserved, and therefore have been careful by all good means to entertain still your honours’ favourable respect of me, so have I special cause at this present, wherein misinformation to the lord archbishop of Canterbury, and other of the High Commission, hath been able so far to prevail against me, that by their letter they have inhibited me to preach, or execute any act of ministry in the Temple or elsewhere1 , having never once called me before them, to understand by mine answer the truth of such things as had been informed against me. We have a story in our books, wherein the Pharisees proceeding against our Saviour Christ without having heard him is reproved by “an honourable counsellor2 ,” as the Evangelist doth term him, saying, “Doth our law judge a man before it hear him, and know what he hath done3 ?” Which I do not mention, to the end that by an indirect and covert speech I might so compare those who have, without ever hearing me, pronounced a heavy sentence against me; for notwithstanding such proceedings, I purpose by God’s grace to carry myself towards them in all seeming duty agreeable to their places: much less do I presume to liken my cause to our Saviour Christ’s, who hold it my chiefest honour and happiness to serve him, though it be but among the hinds and hired servants that serve him in the basest corners of his house. But my purpose in mentioning it is, to shew, by the judgment of a prince and great man in Israel, that such proceeding standeth not with the law of God, and in a princely pattern to shew it to be a noble part of an honourable counsellor, not to allow of indirect dealings, but to loveb and affect such a course in justice as is agreeable to the law of God. We have also a plain rule in the word of God, not to proceed any otherwise against any elder of the Church; much less against one that laboureth in the word and in teaching. Which rule is delivered with this most earnest charge and obtestation, “I beseech and charge thee in the sight of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou keep thesec rulesd without preferring one before another, doing nothing of partiality, or inclining to either part1 ;” which apostolical and most earnest charge, I refere to your honours’ wisdom how it hath been regarded in so heavy a judgment against me, without ever hearing my cause; and whether, as having God before their eyes, and the Lord Jesus, by whom all former judgments shall be tried again; and, as in the presence of the elect angels, witnesses and observers of the regiment of the Church, they have proceeded thus to such a sentence. They allege indeed two reasons in their letters, whereupon they restrain my ministry; which, if they were as strong against me as they are supposed, yet I refer to your honours’ wisdoms, whether the quality of such an offence as they charge me with, which is in effect but an indiscretion, deserve so grievous a punishment both to the Church and me, in taking away my ministry, and that poor little commodity which it yieldeth for the necessary maintenance of my life; if so unequal a balancing of faults and punishments should have place in the commonwealth, surely we should shortly have no actions upon the case, nor of trespass, but all should be pleas of the crown, nor any man amerced, or fined, but for every light offence put to his ransom. I have credibly heard, that some of the ministry1 have been convicted off grievous transgressions of the laws of God and men, being of no ability to do other service in the Church than to read; yet hath it been thought charitable, and standing with Christian moderation and temperancy, not to deprive such of ministry and beneficeg , but to inflict some more tolerable punishment. Which I write not because such, as I think, were to be favoured, but to shew how unlike their dealing is with me, being through the goodness of God not to be touched with any such blame; and one who according to the measure of the gift of God have laboured now some years painfully, in regard of the weak estate of my body, in preaching the gospel, and as I hope not altogether unprofitably in respect of the Church. But I beseech your honours to give me leave briefly to declare the particular reasons of their letterh , and what answer I have to make unto it.
The first is, that, as they say, “I am not lawfully called to the function of the ministry, nor allowed to preach, according to the laws of the Church of England.”
For answer to this, I had need to divide the points. And first to make answer to the former; wherein leaving to shew what by the holy Scriptures is required in a lawful calling, and that all that is to be found in mine, that I be not too long for your other weighty affairs, I rest in this answeri .
My calling to the ministry was such as in the calling of any thereunto is appointed to be used by the orders agreed upon in the national synods of the Low Countries2 , for the direction and guidance of their churches; which orders are the same with those whereby the French and Scottish churches are governed; whereof I have shewed such sufficient testimonial to my lord the Archbishop of Canterbury, as is requisite in such a matter: whereby it must needs fall out, if any man be lawfully called to the ministry in those churches, then is my calling, being the same with theirs, also lawful. But I suppose, notwithstanding they use this general speech, they mean only, my calling is not sufficient to deal in the ministry within this land, because I was not made minister according to that order, which in this cause is ordained by our laws. Whereunto I beseech your honours to consider throughly of mine answer, because exception now again is taken to my ministry, whereas, having been heretofore called in question for it1 , I so answered the matter, as I continued inj my ministry, and, for any thing I discerned, looked to hear that no more objected unto me. The communion of saints (which every Christian man professeth to believe) is such as, that the acts which are done in any true church of Christ’s according to his word, are held as lawful being done in one church, as in another. Which, as it holdeth in other acts of ministry, as baptism, marriage, and such like, so doth it in the calling to the ministry; by reason whereof, all churches do acknowledge and receive him for a minister of the word, who hath been lawfully called thereunto in any church of the same profession. A Doctor created in any university in Christendom, is acknowledged sufficiently qualified to teach in any country. The church of Rome itself, and the canon law holdeth it, that being ordered in Spain, they may execute that that belongeth to their order, in Italy, or in any other place. And the churches of the Gospel never made any question of it: which if they shall now begin to make doubt of, and deny such to be lawfully called to the ministry, as are called by another order than our own; then may it well be looked for, that other churches will do the like: and if a minister called in the Low Countries be not lawfully called in England, then may they say to our preachers which are there, that being made by another order than theirs, they cannot suffer them to execute any act of ministry amongst them; which in the end must needs breed a schism, and dangerous division in the churches. Further, I have heard of those that are learned in the laws of this land, that by express statute to that purpose, anno 13 of her majesty’s reign1 , upon subscription to the articles agreed upon, anno 1562, that they who pretend to have been ordered by another order than that which is now established, are of like capacity to enjoy any place of ministry within the land, as they which have been ordered according to that which is now by law in thisk established. Which comprehending manifestly all, even such as were made priests according to the order of the Church of Rome, it must needs be, that the law of a Christian land, professing the Gospel, should be as favourable for a minister of the word, as for a popish priest; which also was so found in Mr. Whittingham’s case2 , who, notwithstanding such replies against him3 , enjoyed still the benefit he had by his ministry, and might have done until this day, if God had spared him life so long; which if it be understood so, and practised in others, why should the change of the person alter the right which the law giveth to all other?
The place of ministry whereunto I was called was not presentative: and if it had been so, surely they would never have presented any man whom they never knew; and the order of this church is agreeable herein to the Word of God, and the ancient and best canons, that no man should be made a minister sine titulo: therefore having none, I could not by the orders of this church have entered into the ministry, before I had a chargel to tend upon. When I was at Antwerp, and to take a place of ministry among the people of that nation, I see no cause why I should have returned again over the seas for orders here; nor how I could have done it, without disallowing the orders of the churches provided in the country where I was to live. Whereby I hope it appeareth, that my calling to the ministry is lawful, and maketh me, by our law, of capacity to enjoy any benefit or commodity, that any other, by reason of his ministry, may enjoy. But my case is yet more easy, who reaped no benefit of my ministry by law, receiving only a benevolence and voluntary contribution; and the ministry I dealt with being preaching only, which every deacon here may do being licensed, and certain that are neither1 ministers nor deacons. Thus I answer the former of these two points, whereof, if there be yet any doubt, I humbly desire, for a final end thereof, that some competent judges in law may determine of itm ; whereunto I refer and submit myself with all reverence and duty.
The second is, “That I preached without license.” Whereunto this is my answer: I have not presumed, upon the calling I had to the ministry abroad, to preach or deal with any part of the ministry within this church, without the consent and allowance of such as were to allow me unto it. My allowance was from the bishop of London, testified by his two several letters to the Inner Temple, who, without such testimony, would by no means rest satisfied in it: which letters being by me produced, I refer it to your honours’ wisdom, whether I have taken upon me to preach, without being allowed (as they charge) according to the orders of the realm. Thus having answered the second point also, I have done with the objection, “Of dealing without calling or license.”
The other reason they allege is, concerning a late action, wherein I had to deal with Mr. Hooker, Master of the Temple. In the handling of which cause, they charge me with an indiscretion, and want of duty, “in that I inveighed,” as they say, “against certain points of doctrine taught by him, as erroneous, not conferring with him, nor complaining of it to them.” My answer hereunto standeth, in declaring to your honours the whole course and carriage of that cause, and the degrees of proceeding in it, which I will do as briefly as I can, and according to the truth, God be my witness, as near as my best memory, and notes of remembrance, may serve me thereunto. After that I have taken away that which seemed to have moved them to think me not charitably minded to Mr. Hooker; which is, because he was brought into Mr. Alvey’s place, wherein this church desired that I might have succeeded: which place, if I would have made suit to have obtained, or if I had ambitiously affected and sought, I would not have refused to have satisfied, by subscription, such as the matter then seemed to depend upon: whereas contrariwise, notwithstanding I would not hinder the church to do that they thought to be the most for their edification and comfort, yet did I, neither by speech nor letter, make suit to any for the obtaining of it, following herein that resolution, which I judge to be most agreeable to the word and will of God; that is, that labouring and suing for places and charges in the church is not lawful. Further, whereasn , at the suit of the church, some of your honours entertained the cause, and brought it to a near issue, that there seemed nothing to remain, but the commendation of my lord the archbishop of Canterbury, when as he could not be satisfied, but by my subscribing to his late articles1 ; and that my answer (agreeing to subscribe according to any law, and to the statute provided in that case, but praying to be respited for subscribing to any other, which I could not in conscience do, either for the Temple (which otherwise he said he would not commend me to), nor for any other place in the Church) did so little please my lord archbishop, as he resolved that otherwise I should not be commended to it: I had utterly here no cause of offence against Mr. Hooker, whom I did in no sort esteem to have prevented or undermined me, but that God disposed of me as it pleased him, by such means and occasions as I have declared.
Moreover, as I haveo taken no cause of offence at Mr. Hooker for being preferred, so there were many witnesses, that I was glad that the place was given him, hoping to live in all godly peace and comfort with him, both for acquaintance and good-will which hath been between us, and for some kindp of affinity in the marriage of his nearest kindred and mine2 . Since his coming, I have so carefully endeavoured to entertain all good correspondence and agreement with him, as I think he himself will bear me witness of many earnest disputations and conferences with him about the matter; the rather, because that, contrary to my expectation, he inclined from the beginning but smally thereunto, but joined rather with such as had always opposed themselves to any good order in this churchq , and made themselves to be thoughtr indisposed to thiss present state and proceedings. For, both knowing that God’s commandment charged me with such duty, and discerning how much our peace might further the good service of God and his Church, and the mutual comfort of us botht , I had resolved constantly to seek for peace; and though it should fly from me (as I saw it did by means of some, who little desired to see the good of our church), yet according to the rule of God’s word, to follow after it. Which being so (as hereof I take God to witness, who searcheth the heart and reins, and who by his Son will judge the world, both quick and dead), I hope no charitable judgment can suppose me to have stood evilaffected towards him for his place, or desirous to fall into any controversy with him.
Which my resolution I sou pursued, that, whereas I discovered sundry unsound matters in his doctrine (as many of his sermons tasted of some sour leaven or other), yet thus I carried myself towards him. Matters of smaller weight, and so covertly deliveredx , that no great offence to the Church was to be feared in them, I wholly passed by, as one that discerned nothing of them, or had been unfurnished of replies; othersy of great moment, and so openly delivered, as there was just cause of fear lest the truth and Church of God should be prejudiced and perilled by it, and such as the conscience of my duty and calling would not suffer me altogether to pass over, this was my course; to deliver, when I should have just cause by my text, the truth of such doctrine as he had otherwise taught, in general speeches, without touch of his person in any sort, and further at convenient opportunity to confer with him on such points.
According to which determination, whereas he had taught certain things concerning predestination otherwise than the Word of God doth, as it is understood by all churches professing the gospel, and not unlike that wherewith Corranus1 sometime troubled thisz church, I both delivered the truth of such points in a general doctrine, without any touch of him in particular, and conferred with him also privately upon such articles. In which conference, I remember, when I urged the consent of all churches and good writers against him that I knew; and desired, if it were otherwise, to understanda what authors he had seen ofb such doctrine: he answered me, that his best author was his own reason; which I wished him to take heed of, as a matter standing morec with Christian modesty and wisdom in a doctrine not received by the Church, not to trust to his own judgment so far as to publish it before he had conferred with others of his profession labouring by daily prayer and study to know the will of God, as he did, to see how they understood such doctrine. Notwithstanding, he, with wavering, repliedd , that he would some other time deal more largely in the matter. I wished him, and prayed him not so to do, for the peace of the Church, which, by such means, might be hazarded; seeing he could not but think, that men, who make any conscience of their ministry, will judge it a necessary duty in them to teach the truth, and to convince the contrary.
Another time, upon like occasion of this doctrine of his, “That the assurance of that we believe by the word, is not so certain, as of that we perceive by sense1 ;” I both taught the doctrine otherwise, namely, the assurance of faith to be greater, which assurede both of things above, and contrary to all sense and human understanding, and dealt with him also privately upon that point: according to which course of late, when as he had taught, “That the church of Rome is a true Church of Christ, and a sanctified Church by profession of that truth, which God hath revealed unto us by his Son, though not a pure and perfect Church;” and further, “That he doubted not, but that thousands of the Fathers, which lived and died in the superstitions of that church, were saved, because of their ignorance, which excusedf them;” misalleging to that end a text of Scripture to prove it2 : the matter being of set purpose openly and at large handled by him, and of that moment, that might prejudice the faith of Christ, encourage the ill-affected to continue still in their damnable ways, and others weak in faith to suffer themselves easily to be seduced to the destruction of their souls; I thought it my most bounden duty to God and to his Church, whilst I might have opportunity to speak with him, to teach the truth in a general speech in such points of doctrine.
At which time I taught, “That such as die, or have died at any time in the church of Rome, holding in their ignorance that faith which is taught in it, and namely, justification in part by works, could not be said by the Scriptures to be saved.” In which matter, foreseeing that if I waded not warily in it, I should be in danger to be reported (as hath fallen out since notwithstanding) to condemn all the fathers, I said directly and plainly to all men’s understanding, “That it was not indeed to be doubted, but many of the fathers were saved; but the means,” said I, “was not their ignorance, which excuseth no man with God, but their knowledge and faith of the truth, which, it appeareth, God vouchsafed them, by many notable monuments and records extant of it in all ages.” Which being the last point in all my sermon, rising so naturally from the text I then propoundedg , as would have occasioned me to have delivered such matter, notwithstanding the former doctrine had been sound; and being dealt in by a general speech, without touch of his particular; I looked not that a matter of controversy would have been made of it, no more than had been of my like dealing in former time. But, far otherwise than I looked for, Mr. Hooker, shewing no grief orh offence taken at my speech all the week long, the next Sabbath, leaving to proceed upon his ordinary text, professed to preach again that he had done the day before, for some question that his doctrine was drawn into, which he desired might be examined with all severity.
So proceeding, he bestowed his whole time, in that discourse, confirmingi his former doctrine, and answering the places of Scripture which I had alleged1 to prove that a man dying in the church of Romek is not to be judged by the Scriptures to be saved. In which long speech, and utterly impertinent to his text, under colour of answering for himself, he impugned directly and openly to all men’s understanding, the true doctrine which I had delivered; and, addingl to his former points some other like (as willingly one error followeth another), that is, “That the Galathians joining, with faith in Christ, circumcision, as necessary to salvation, mightm be saved; and that they of the church of Rome may be saved by such a faith of Christ as they had, with a general repentance of all their errors, notwithstanding their opinion of justification in part by their works and merits:” I was necessarily, though not willingly, drawn to say something to the points he objected against sound doctrine; which I did in a short speech in the end of my sermon, with protestation of so doing not of any sinister affection to any man, but to bear witness to the truth according to my calling; and wished, if the matter should needs further be dealt in, some other more convenient way might be taken for it. Wherein, I hope, my dealing was manifest to the consciences of all indifferent hearers of me that day, to have been according to peace, and without any uncharitableness, being duly considered.
For that I conferred notn with him the first day, I have shewed that the cause requiring of me the duty at the least not to be altogether silent in it, being a matter of such consequence, the time also being short wherein I was to preach after him, the hope of the fruit of our communication being small upon experience of former conferences, and my expectation being that the Church should be no further troubled with it, upon the motion I made of taking some other course of dealing; I suppose my deferring to speak with him till some fit opportunity, cannot in charity be judged uncharitable.
The second day, his unlooked-for opposition with the former reasons, made it to be a matter that required of necessity some public answer; which being so temperate as I have shewed, if notwithstanding it be censured as uncharitable, and punished so grievously as it is, what should have been my punishment, if (without all such cautions and respects as qualified my speech) I had before all, and in the understanding of all, so reproved him offending openly, that others might have feared to do the like? which yet, if I had done, might have been warranted by the rule and charge of the1 Apostleo , “Them that offend openly, rebuke openly, that the rest may also fear;” and by his example, who, when Peter in this very case which is now between us, had, not in preaching, but in a matter of conversation, not “gone with a right foot, as was fit for the truth of the Gospel2 ,” conferred not privately with him, but, as his own rule required, reproved him openly before all, that others might hear, and fear, and not dare to do the like. All which reasons together weighed, I hope, will shew the manner of my dealing to have been charitable, and warrantable in every sort.
The next Sabbath day after this, Mr. Hooker kept the way he had entered into before, and bestowed his whole hour3 and more only upon the questions he had moved and maintained; wherein he so set forth the agreement of the church of Rome with us, and their disagreement from us, as if we had consented in the greatest and weightiest points, and differed only in certain smaller matters: which agreement noted by him in two chief points, is not such as he would have made men believe. The one, in that he said, “They acknowledge all men sinners, even the blessed Virgin, though some of them freed her from sin;” for the council of Trent holdeth1 , that she was free from sin. Another, in that he said, “They teach Christ’s righteousness to be the only meritorious cause of taking away sin, and differ from us only in the applying it:” for Thomas Aquinas their chief schoolman2 , and archbishop Catherinus3 , teach, “That Christ took away only original sin, and that the rest are to be taken away by ourselves;” yea, the council of Trent teacheth, “That righteousness whereby we are righteous in God’s sight, is an inherent righteousness;” which must needs be of our own works, and cannot be understood of the righteousness inherent only in Christ’s person, and accounted unto us. Moreover he taught the same time, “That neither the Galathians, nor the church of Rome, did directly overthrow the foundation of justification by Christ alone, but only by consequent, and therefore might well be saved; or else neither the churches of the Lutherans, nor any which hold any manner of error could be saved; because,” saith he, “every error by consequent overthroweth the foundation.” In which discourses, and such like, he bestowed his whole time and more; which, if he had affected either the truth of God, or the peace of the Church, he would truly not have done.
Whose example could not draw me to leave the Scripture I took in hand, but standing about an hour to deliver the doctrine of it, in the end, upon just occasion of the text, leaving sundry other his unsound speeches, and keeping me still to the principal, I confirmed the believing the doctrine of justification by Christ only, to be necessary to the justification of all that should be saved, and that the church of Rome directly denieth, that a man is saved by Christ, or by faith alone, without the works of the law. Which my answer, as it was most necessary for the service of God and the Church, so was it without any immodest or reproachful speech p to Mr. Hooker: whose unsound and wilful dealings in a cause of so great importance to the faith of Christ, and salvation of the Church, notwithstanding I knew well what speech it deserved, and what some zealous earnest man of the spirit of John and James1 , surnamed Boanerges, Sons of Thunder, would have said in such case; yet I chose rather to content myself in exhorting him to revisit his doctrine, as Nathan2 the prophet did the device, which, without consulting with God, he had of himself given to David, concerning the building of the temple: and, with Peter the Apostle3 , to endure to be withstood in such a case, not unlike unto this. This in effect was that which passed between us concerning this matter, and the invectives I made against him, wherewith I am charged. Which rehearsal, I hope, may clear me (with all that shall indifferently consider it) of the blames laid upon me for want of duty to Mr. Hooker in not conferring with him, whereof I have spoken sufficiently already; and to the High Commission, in not revealing the matter to them, which yet now I am further to answer. My answer is, that I protest, no contempt nor wilful neglect of any lawful authority stayed me from complaining unto them, but these reasons following:
First, I was in some hope, that Mr. Hooker, notwithstanding he had been over-carried, with a show of charity, to prejudice the truth, yet when it should be sufficiently proved, would have acknowledged it, or at the least induced with peace, that it might be offered withoutq any offence to him, to such as would receive it; either of which would have taken away any cause of just complaint. When neither of these fell out according to my expectation and desire, but that he replied to the truth, and objected against it, I thought he might have some doubts and scruples in himself; which yet, if they were cleared, he would either embrace soundr doctrine, or at least suffer it to have its course: which hope of him I nourished so long, as the matter was not bitterly and immodestly handled between us.
Another reason was the cause itself, which, according to the parable of the tares, (which are said to be sown among the wheat,) sprung up first in his grass: therefore, as the servants in that place are not said to have come to complain to the Lord, till the tares came to shew their fruits in their kind; so I, thinking it yet but a time of discovering ofs what it was, desired not their sickle to cut it down.
For further answer, it is to be considered, that the conscience of my duty to God, and to his Church, did bind me at the first, to deliver sound doctrine in such points as had been otherwise uttered in that place, where I had now some years taught the truth; otherwise the rebuke of the Prophet1 had fallen upon me, for not going up to the breach, and standing in it, and the peril of answering fort the blood of the city, in whose watch-tower I sate; if it had been surprised by my default. Moreover, my public protestation, in being willingu , that if any were not yet satisfied, some other more convenient way might be taken for it. And, lastly, that I had resolved (which I uttered before to some, dealing with me about the matter) to have protested the next sabbath day, that I would no more answer in that place any objections to the doctrine taught by any means, but some other way satisfy such as should require it.
These, I trust, may make it appear, that I failed not in duty to authority, notwithstanding I did not complain, nor give over so soon dealing in the case. If I did, how is he clear, which can allege none of all these for himself? who leaving the expounding of the Scriptures, and his ordinary calling, voluntarily discoursed upon school points and questions, neither of edification nor of truth? Who after all this, as promising to himself, and to untruth, a victory by my silence, added yet in the next sabbath day, to the maintenance of his former opinions, these which follow:
“That no additament taketh away the foundation, except it be a privative; of which sort neither the works added to Christ by the church of Rome, nor circumcision by the Galathians, were; as one denieth him not to be a man, that saith, he is a righteous man, but he that saith he is a dead man:” whereby it might seem, that a man might, without hurt, add works to Christ, and pray also that God and St. Peter would save them.
“That the Galathians’ case is harder than the case of the church of Rome, because the Galathians joined circumcision with Christ, which God had forbidden and abolished; but that which the church of Rome joined with Christ, were good works, which God had commanded.” Wherein he committed a double fault: one, in expounding all the questions of the Galathians, and consequently of the Romans, and other Epistles, of circumcision only, and the ceremonies of the law (as they do, who answer for the church of Rome in their writings), contrary to the clear meaning of the Apostle, as may appear by many strong and sufficient reasons; the other, in that he said, “The addition of the church of Rome was of works commanded of God.” Whereas the least part of the works whereby they looked to merit, was of such works; and most were worksx of supererogation, andy works which God never commanded, but was highly displeased with, as of masses, pilgrimages, pardons, pains of purgatory, and such like. Further, “That no one sequel urged by the Apostle against the Galathians for joining circumcision with Christ, but might be as well enforced against the Lutherans; that is, that for their ubiquity it may be as well said to them, If ye hold the body of Christ to be in all places, you are fallen from grace, you are under the curse of the law, saying, ‘Cursed be he that fulfilleth not all things written in this Book,’ ” with such like. He added yet further, “That to a bishop of the church of Rome, to a cardinal, yea, to the pope himself, acknowledging Christ to be the Saviour of the world, denying other errors, and being discomforted for want of works whereby he might be justified, he would not doubt, but use this speech; Thou holdest the foundation of Christian faith, though it be but by a slender thread; thou holdest Christ, though but by the hem of his garment; why shouldest thou not hope that virtue may pass from Christ to save thee? That which thou holdest of justification by thy works, overthroweth indeed by consequent the foundation of Christian faith; but be of good cheer, thou hast not to do with a captious sophister, but with a merciful God, who will justify thee for that thou holdest, and not take the advantage of doubtful construction to condemn thee. And if this (said he) be an error, I hold it willingly; for it is the greatest comfort I have in the world, without which I would not wish either to speak or live.” Thus far, being not to be answered in it any more, he was bold to proceed, the absurdity of which speech I need not to stand upon. I think the like to this, and other such in this sermon, and the rest of this matter, hath not been heard in public places within this land since Queen Mary’s days. What consequence this doctrine may be of, if he be not by authority ordered to revoke it, I beseech your honours, as the truth of God and his gospel is dear and precious unto you, according to your godly wisdom to consider.
I have been bold to offer to your honours a long and tedious discourse of these matters; but speech being like to tapestry, which, if it be folded up, sheweth but part of that which is wrought, and being unlapt and laid open, sheweth plainly to the eye all the work that is in it; I thought it necessary to unfold this tapestry, and to hang up the whole chamber of it in your most honourable senate, that so you may the more easily discern of all the pieces, and the sundry works and matters contained in it. Wherein my hope is, your honours may see I have not deserved so great a punishment as is laid upon the Church for my sake, and also upon myself, in taking from me the exercise of my ministry. Which punishment, how heavy it may seem to the Church, or fall out indeed to be, I refer it to them to judge, and spare to write what I fear, but to myself it is exceeding grievous, for that it taketh from me the exercise of my calling. Which I do not say is dear unto me, as the means of that little benefit whereby I live (although this be a lawful consideration, and to be regarded of me in due place, and of the authority under whose protection I most willingly live, even by God’s commandment both unto them and unto me); but which ought to be more precious unto me than my life, for the love which I should bear to the glory and honour of Almighty God, and to the edification and salvation of his Church, for that my life cannot any other way be of like service to God, nor of such use and profit to men by any means. For which cause, as I discern how dear myz ministry ought to be unto me, so it is my hearty desire, and most humble request unto God, to your honours, and to all the authority I live under, to whom any dealing herein belongeth, that I may spend my life (according to his example1 , who in a word of like sound, buta of fuller sense, comparing by it the bestowing of his life to the offering poured out) upon the sacrifice of the faith of God’s people, and especially of this church, whereupon I have already poured out a great part thereof in the same calling, from which I stand now restrained. And if your honours shall find it so, that I have not deserved so great a punishment, but rather performed the duty which a good and faithful servant ought, in such case, to do to his Lord and the people he putteth him in trust withal carefully to keep; I am a most humble suitor by these presents to your honours, that, by your godly wisdom, some good course may be taken for the restoring of me to my ministry and place again. Which so great a favour, shall bind me yet in a greater obligation of duty (which is already so great, as it seemed nothing could be added unto it to make it greater) to honour God daily for the continuance and increase of your good estate, and to be ready, with all the poor means God hath given me, to do your honours that faithful service I may possibly perform. But if, notwithstanding my cause be never so good, your honours can by no means pacify such as are offended, nor restore me again, then am I to rest in the good pleasure of God, and to commend to your honours’ protection, under her Majesty’s, my private life, while it shall be led in duty; and the Church to him, who hath redeemed to himself a people with his precious blood, and is making ready to come to judge both the quick and dead, to give to every one according as he hath done in this life, be it good or evil; to the wicked and unbelievers, justice unto death; but to the faithful, and such as love his truth, mercy and grace to life everlasting.
Your Honours’ most bounden, and