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Concerning the power of
VAD Y Lords this is the strangest bill that ever I heard fince I
was admitted to fir under this roof, for it strikes at the very fabrick and composition of this house ; at the style of all lawes; and therefore were it not that it
comes from such a recommendation it would not, I suppose,undergo any long consideration ; but coming to us from such hands, le cannot but be worthy of your best thoughts; and truly for the main scope of the bill I shall yield it most willingly, that Ecclefiaftical and sacred persons should not ordinarily be taken up with sccular affairs.
The Minister is called Vir Dei, a Man of God; he may not be Vir Seculi, he may lend himself to them upon occasion, he may not give himself over purposely to them: Shordly,he may not fo aitend
worldly things as that he do neglect divine things. This we gladly yield matters of justice therefore are not proper, as in an ordinary trade, for our function, and by my consent fhall be as in generally waved and deserted, which for my part I never have medled wich but in a charitable way; with no profit, but some charge to my self, whereof I shall be glad to be caled : Traitent fabrilia Fabri, as the old word is : But if any man fhall hence think to infor, that some spiricual person, may nyt occasionally be in a special service of his King or Countrcy;& when he is so required by his Prince, give his advice in the urgent affairs of the Kingdome (which) sup pose is the main point driven at ) is such an inconsequence as I dare boldly say cannot be made good, cither by divinity or reason; by the lawes either of God or man; whereas the contrary may be proved and inforced by both.
As for the grounds of this bill, that the Minifters dury is so great that it is able to take up the whole man, and the Apostle faith 'tis
i nero, who is sufficient for these things, and that he who warfares to God, should not incangle himself with this world, it is a sufficient and juft conviction of those who would divide themselves berwixs God and the World, and bestow any main part of their time upon fecular affairs ; but it hath no operation at all upon this tenet which we have in hand; char a man dedicate to God, may not so much as when he is required, caft a glance of his eye, or fome minures of time, or some motions of his tongue upon the publick business of his King and Country.
Those chat expe& this from us may as well and upon the saine reason hold that a minister muft have no family at all, or if he have one, must not care for it ; yea that he must have no body to tend, but be all Spirit: My Lords, we are men of the same composition with others, and our breeding hath been accordingly, we cannot have lived in the World but we have seen it, and observed it too, and our long experience and conversation both in Men and in books, cannot but have put something into us for the good of others; and now having a double capacity ; qua cives, qua Ecclefiaftici; as members of the common wealth; as Ministers and Governours of the Church, we are ready to do our best service in boch; one of them is no way incompatible with the other, yea the subječts of them both are so united with the Church and Commonwealth,that they cannot be severed : ycaso, as that, not the one is in the other, but one is the other, is both: so as the services which we do upon chesc oce casions to the Comonwealth are inscparable from our good offices to the Church : to as upon this ground there is no reason of our exclusion.
If ye say that our sitting in Parliament takes up much çime which we might have imployed in our studies or pulpits; consider I bescech you; that whiles you have a Parliament,
we must have a convocation; and that our attendance upon that will call for the same expense of time which we afford to this service, so as herein we have neither gor por loft.
But I fear it is not on some hands the tender regard of the full scope to our calling that is so much here stood upon; as the conceit of too much honour that is done us in taking up the room of Peers, and voring in this high Court; for surely chose that are averse from our votes, yet could be content we should have place upon the wool
sacks; and could alow us ears, but not tongues. If this be the mitter I beseech your Lordships to consider that chis honour is not done to us but our profession; which (what ever we be in our several persons) can not easily be capable of too much respc& from your Lordihips, Non tibi fed i fidi, as he said of old: Neither is this any new grace that is put upon our calling ; ( which if it were now to begin might perhaps be juftly grudged to our unworthyness) but it is an ancient righe and inheritance inherent in our station : No less ancient then there walls wherein we sit ; yca more; before ever there were Parliaments in the Magna Coxfilia of the Kingdome we had our places ; and as for my predecessors ever since the Conqucrours time, I can show your Lordships a juft caralogue of them that have far before me here ; and cruely though I have just cause to be mean in mine own eyes , yet why or wherein there should be more unworthiness in me then che rest, that I should be strip of thac priviledg which they so long injoyed chough there were no law to hold me here, I cannot sce, or confesse. What respects of honour' have been put upon the prime Clergy of old both by Pagans, and Jewes, and Christians, and what are still both within Christendom and vvithout, I shall not need to urge, it is cnough to say, this of ours is not meerly arbitrary, but stands so firmely establifhed by law and custome, that I hope it neither will nor can be removed except you will shake chose foundations which I believe you desire to hold firme and inviolable.
Shortly then, my Lords, the church craves no new honour from you,and jukly hopes you will not be guilty of pulling down the old: as you are the cldeft fons, and next under his Majesty the honourable patrons of the Church, so she expects, and beseeches you to re-ceive her into your tendereft care, fo to order her affairs chat ye leave her to pofteriey in no worfc cafe then you found her. It is a true word of Damafus,uti vilefcit nomen epifcopi,omnis ftatua perturbatur Ecclefia; If this be suffered, che misery will be the Churches the dishonour & blurre of the a& in future ages will be yours.To shut up therefore,let us be taken off from all ordinary trade of fecular imployments,and if you pleasc abridge us of intermeddling with matrers of common justice, but leave us poffefsed of those places and priviledges in Parliament which our predecessors have so long and peaccably injoged.
CATHEDRAL OF EXCETER:
Ord what am I ? A worm, duft, vapor, nothing!
What is my flesh ? My souls uneafic clothing !
My time, my flesh, my life, and I ;
Where am I Lord ? downe in a vale of death:
My way, my trade, sport, Aay, and place
help up to make up my dolefúll case.
Thy self, chy place, thy dayes, thy Itace
Pass all the thoughrs of powers create.
oħlet these wings that way alone