Page images
PDF
EPUB

MINTING PRIESTS.

19

shall one leave it for minting? I cannot tell you; but the saying is, that since priests have been minters, money hath been worse than it was before. And they say that the evilness of money hath made all things dearer. And in this behalf I must speak here to my country, England, as Saint Paul did in his first epistle to the Corinthians, the sixth chapter ; for Paul was no sitting bishop, but a walking and a preaching bishop. But when he went from them, he left there behind him the plough going still; for he wrote unto them, and rebuked them for going to law, and pleading their causes before heathen judges : “ Is there,” saith he, “utterly among you no wise man, to be an arbitrator in matters of judgment ? What, not one of all that can judge between brother and brother; but one brother goeth to law with another, and that under heathen judges! Constituite contemptos qui sunt in ecclesiâ, &c.' Appoint them judges that are most abject and vile in the congregation.” Which he speaketh in rebuking them; "For," saith he "ad erubescentiam vestram dico.” I speak it to your shame. So, England, I speak it to thy shame; is there never a nobleman to be a lord president, * but it must be a prelate? Is there never a

* In those days it was as common for clergymen to hold civil offices, as it was for laymen to enjoy ecclesiastical dignities.

[ocr errors]

wise man in the realm to be a comptroller of the mint? I speak it to your shame. I speak it to your shame. If there be never a wise man, make a water-bearer, a tinker, a cobbler, a slave, a page, comptroller of the mint: make a mean gentleman, a groom, a yeoman, or a poor beggar, lord president.

Thus I speak, not that I would have it so ; but to your shame, if there be never a gentleman meet nor able to be lord president. For why are not the noblemen and young gentlemen of England so brought up in the knowledge of God, and in learning, that th y may be able to execute offices in the commonweal ? The king hath a great many of wards, and I trow there is a court of wards; why is there not a school for the wards, as well as there is a court for their lands? Why are they not set in schools where they may learn? Or why are they not sent to the universities, that they may be able to serve the king when they come to age ?

If the wards and young gentlemen were well brought up in learning, and in the knowledge of God, they would not when they come to age so much give themselves to other vanities. And if the nobility be well trained in godly learning, the people would follow the same train. For truly, such as the noblemen be, such will the people be. And now, the only cause why noblemen

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

THE BRINGING UP OF GENTLEMEN.

21

[ocr errors]

be not made lord presidents, is because they have not been brought up in learning.

Therefore for the love of God appoint teachers and schoolmasters, you that have charge of youth; and give the teachers stipends worthy < their pains, that they may bring them up in 2 grammar, in logic, in rhetoric, in philosophy, in the civil law, and in that which I cannot leave unspoken of, the word of God. Thanks be unto God, the nobility otherwise is very well brought up in learning and godliness, to the great joy and comfort of England; so that there is now good hope in the youth, that we shall another day have a flourishing commonweal, considering their godly education. Yea, and there be already noblemen enough, though not so many as I would wish, able to be lord presidents, and wise enough for the mint. And as unmeet a thing it is for bishops to be lord presidents, or priests to be minters, as it was for the Corinthians to plead matters of variance before heathen judges. It is also a slander to the noblemen, as though they lacked wisdom and learning to be able for such offices, or else were no men of conscience, or else were not meet to be trusted, and able for such offices. And a prelate hath a charge and a cure otherwise; and therefore he cannot discharge his duty and be a lord president too. For a presi.

dentship requireth a whole man; and a bishop cannot be two men. A bishop hath his office, a flock to teach, to look unto; and therefore he cannot meddle with another office, which alone requireth a whole man. He should therefore give it over to whom it is meet, and labor in his own business; as Paul writeth to the Thes. salonians ; “Let every man do his own business, and follow his calling." Let the priest preach, and the noblemen handle the temporal matters. Moses was a marvellous man, and a good man. Moses was a wonderful fellow, and did his duty, being a married man; we lack such as Moses was. Well, I would all men would look to their duty, as God hath called them, and then we should have à flourishing Christian commonweal.

And now I would ask a strange question ; Who is the most diligentest bishop and prelate in all England, and passeth all the rest in doing his office ? I can tell, for I know him who it is; I know him well. But now I think I see you listening and hearkening that I should name him. There is one that passeth all the other, and is the most diligent prelate and preacher in all England. And will ye know who it is? I will tell you : it is the devil. He is the most diligent preacher of all other ; he is never out of his diocese ; he is never from

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

A DILIGENT BISHOP.

23

his cure; ye shall never find him unoccupied ; he is ever in his parish ; he keepeth residence at all times; ye shall never find him out of the way, call for him when you will; he is ever at home, the diligentest preacher in all the realm ; he is ever at his plough ; no lording nor loitering can hinder him ; he is ever applying his business; ye shall never find him idle, I warrant you.

And his office is to hinder religion, to maintain superstition, to set up idolatry, to teach all kind of popery. He is ready as can be wished for to set forth his plough, to devise as many ways as can be to deface and obscure God's glory. Where the devil is resident, and hath his plough going, there away with books and up with candles ; away with bibles and up with beads; away with the light of the gospel, and up

with the light of candles, yea, at noondays. Where the devil is resident, that he may prevail, up with all superstition and idolatry,-censing, painting of images, candles, palms, ashes, holy water, and new service of men's inventing; as though man could invent a better way to honor God with, than God himself hath appointed. Down with Christ's cross, up with purgatory pickpurse, up with him, the popish purgatory, I mean. Away with clothing the naked, the poor and impotent, up with decking of images, and gay garnishing

« EelmineJätka »