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namely, man; describing him, depicting him, appealing to him, letting him hear about himself in our sermons; instead of endeavouring to unveil the Son of God to him; preaching man, in a great diversity of states it may be, and with respect to things that are interesting to him, it is admitted, but still preaching man ; rather erring by leaving out the grand subject, than by saying any thing directly against him ; erring by not doing what is right, rather than by doing what is wrong. Is it not important, then, since the taste of the age absolutely forbids an ample exposition of the Scriptures, the best, if not the only real kind of preaching, in the humble opinion of your correspondent, that every text we fix upon should have some direct truth concerning the person of the Lord Jesus Christ in it? And are we not in danger of choosing texts, such as it may be supposed will be soothing and comforting to some classes of believers, apart from thinking whether they be or be not texts that contain the living substance of the life-giving gospel? I am afraid, my dear Sir, of wearying you with my interrogatories; but I would just beg further to add—bave we a right to believe that the Holy Spirit will pour forth his energies into the hearts of men in connexion with preaching, except upon one subject—the gospel ; the living, manifested, incarnate Word? Is not the general representation by our Lord, before his death, of the office of the Holy Spirit, conclusive on this subject? That he will convince the world of sin, because they do not believe on Christ; of righteousness, because Christ is no more visible on earth, therefore he must be revealed in heaven in glory; of judgment, because Christ has judged and cast out the prince of this world? Does it not thus appear that the manifestations of the Holy Spirit to all classes of persons on earth, are inseparably associated with the person of the Son of God, the Son of Man? I have had some thoughts also upon the worship of this divine person, the second in the order of mention of the glorious Trinity, as to whether the worship of him expressly be not a thing too much neglected; with which thoughts, should these sentiments prove acceptable, I may hereafter trouble you; and in the mean time I remain, My dear Sir, affectionately and sincerely your's,
G. Barrow Kidd. Macclesfield, Oct. 8, 1840.
P.S.-It will not be understood that it is intended, in the observations above, to exclude any kind of appeal to man; of remonstrance, persuasion, argnment, or description, but still to make the subject of discourse, Jesus; and every part of it impregnated with the virtue of his atoning sacrifice, and pervaded by the life and energy of his present Spirit.
FRAGMENTS OF PURITAN HISTORY.
No. VII. We find it difficult to calculate the amount of mischief brought into the christian church, by the imposition of subscription to human creeds and articles of faith; it is a well-known fact, that multitudes of puritan ministers who refused subscription, because they could neither resist their convictions, sacrifice their consciences, nor tramiple on their principles, were treated by the bishops with wanton cruelty. The prelates were urged forward in this unrighteous warfare, not only by the sanction and stimulating influence of Queen Elizabeth, but also by those dominant notions which they had derived partly from the antichrist of Rome, and partly from their worldly exaltation. Though all this was in perfect accordance with the station they occupied, and extremely soothing to human pride; yet no infatuation could be more injurious to religion, or more opposed to the spirit and instructions of the gospel. The celebrated Sir Francis Knollys, one of her Majesty's privy council, the patron of humanity, and preeminently distinguished for piety and uprightness, wishing to counteract this enormous evil, addressed the following letter to Archbishop Whitgift, dated Westminster, June 8, 1584:
“ My very good Lord, “ If your grace have not done with my book of notes, it may please you to keep it until the next term, or otherwise return it to me at your own pleasure. Your grace doth know how much my poor estate is bound to wish and pray for, and to be careful of, her Majesty's safety; not only by general duty of conscience, but also by the strong bonds of nature. And I do know that her Majesty doth repose the truth of the virtuous and good politic government of the Church of England especially in your hands. Although it doth import her Majesty's greatness, that, in this government, a special regard must be had, that her Majesty's safety, and the good preservation of her Majesty's person, crown, and dignity, be not impaired, but fortified; and not laid open to the undermining Jesuits and their traitorous scholars and diligent followers; but fenced and defended with plenty, and diligent and zealous preachers of the gospel, to stir up true obedience to her Majesty, in the fear of God; and to draw her Majesty's subjects from that treasonable obedience to the see and Popish Church of Rome. Your grace's wisdom and learning doth well know, that by natural corruption, we, her Majesty's subjects, are in general headily given to superstition and idolatry; which are the arms of the Pope, to draw us into his pompous, glittering kingdom of strong delusions : where, in his throne of majesty, be looketh disdainfully upon the despised flock of Christ in this world, that will not be marked in the forehead, nor drink of the cup of that whore of Babylon, filled with all abominations. And since this mighty offending of God, and of her Majesty, so full of treasonable practices, cannot be withstood but by opening the mouths of preachers, zealous and sound in doctrine, although as men, they have otherwise infirmities, as well in discretion, as in difference of judgment concerning matters politic and things indifferent. Therefore, I do presunte again, as I have done aforetime, most humbly to beseech your grace to open mouths of all zealous preachers, that be sound in doctrine, howsoever, otherwise they may refuse to subscribe to any tradition of man, not compellable by law, or be infirm as before is said. Although herein I may seem to some to speak superfluously like a fool, yet I trust your grace will think, that I speak like a laithful subject to her Majesty, according to that small measure of wit and
understanding that God hath given me. Thus, with all humbleness, I take my leave of your grace..
“ Your grace's to command,
“F. Knollys."* One dangerous error usually leads to another. The dominant prelates, not satisfied with oppressing and persecuting the faithful ministers of Christ, begun to assume the divine right of their order, and the consequent superiority of bishops as appointed by God. This dangerous error created great alarm, and Sir Francis Knollys wrote several letters to the Lord Treasurer, Burghley, in one of which he addressed his lordship as follows:
" I have received your lordship's letter of the first of August, wherein I have received very little comfort, and small hope of good maintenance of her Majesty's safety, consisting in the sincere maintenance of her Majesty's supreme government, against the covetous ambition of usurping rulers. Your lordship saith, that the question is very disputable, whereof I wrote unto your lordship; and I must needs confess. that Campion's disputation against the humility of Christ's doctrine, and for the advancement of antichrist's doctrine, was not only allowed to be disputable, but also that it was very plausible in the minds of all those who favoured the worldly pomps of church government. The nature of covetous ambition in church government, hath always despised the humble and base style of Christ's doctrine and government. The high priests and the great governors of the church of the Jews, when Christ came unto them, made it disputable, whether Christ was worthy to die or not; but their disputation lasted not long; for the proud ambitious rulers of the church resolved quickly, that Christ was worthy to die; and Christ, bewailing the proud ambitious government of the scribes and pharisees, burst out and said, 'O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! thou that killest the prophets.' Whereby it appeareth, that the church government in all times that is stuffed with the ambition of worldly rule in the church could never away with the humility of Christ's heavenly doctrine, and of his heavenly and spiritual rule in the church.
“As touching the superiority of bishops to be disallowed as a false claim, it seemeth to me, that Christ himself hath plainly decided the matter, when his apostles at two sundry times seemed to murmur and strive who should be the greatest, after Christ's departure from them, where, it seems to me, that Christ plainly condemned all claiming of superiority among the apostles. The church's rule, if our bishops would follow it, as no doubt they would, if her Majesty's supreme government were stoutly maintained; then they would be contented to forbear their claimed superiority of government in the church, which Christ condemned in the apostles; and they would be satisfied with that equality which Christ left to his church among the apostles. But here you must not take me to deny, that bishops may have any lordly authority or dignity they have enjoyed, so that they claim it not from Christ's authority, but directly from her Majesty, I do not mean hereby to contend with your lordship, through whose assistance I have always hoped that her Majesty's safety, consisting in the true maintenance of her Majesty's supreme government, should be zealously preserved.
"Your lordship must pardon me, although I do not think that her Majesty's safety is any the better preserved, because our bishops dare not oppose themselves and their credit against her Majesty's supreme government ; for it is the Jesuits, and not our bishops, that must bring her Majesty's safety into peril, if this maxim may be allowed unto the said Jesuits, that our bishops of England are not under-governors to her Majesty over the clergy; but that their superior government over the said inferior clergy is God's own ordinance. Whereupon It must needs follow, that her Majesty is not supreme governor over the clergy,
if so be that our said bishops be not under-governors to her Majesty, but supreme governors from a higher claim than directly from her Majesty. But my trust is, that the cause of your lordship's writing unto me, that the question is very disputable, is not that your lordship is of that opinion, but rather that your lordship would bridle and stay me from running too fast before your lordship, in the matter of her Majesty's safety. Although I have always been, and must ever be, plain with your lordship in this matter, yet, if it shall please your lordship to set all the bishops and all their favourers against me, to prove me a disturber of their government in suppressing the preachers or otherwise, your lordship shall find that none of them shall be able to prove any substantial matter against me, since the time that her Majesty at Windsor did command me, that I should not deal with the puritans, as then her Majesty called them ; because her Majesty did commit the government of religion to her bishops only: since which time I have dealt no more with matters of religion, than doth appertain to her Majesty's safety, consisting in the true preservation of her Majesty's supreme government. This may best be called matter of her Majesty's policy, and not matter of religion: although the Jesuits call all their treasons matter of religion.
“ Thus, fearing that I have been too bold with your lordship, although I do know your lordship doth love to have all men's opinions, that your wisdom may the better judge thereof, I do most humbly take my leave, at Dwilline Lodge, the 4th of August, 1589.
“ Your lordship's to command,
“ F. KNOLLYS." Sir Francis, having received a publication from Lord Burghley, sent his lordship, during the same month, the following epistle:
“My very good lord, “ I have perused your courtly learned divine his writing, which you sent me; and I am glad your lordship did mislike his answer to the beginning of my book. Though I am not worthy to judge of matters of divinity; yet I think this divine courtier hath much more audacity than truth, in his answer to the writing of the grave and learned man, (meaning no doubt Dr. John Rainolds) which he mentioned unto you, touching the superiority of bishops. And I know but one chaplain of her Majesty, that would write with such audacity against the plain truth of Scripture. For he saith that because St. Paul did appoint Timothy and Titus to ordain elders in every congregation; he, therefore, takes it proved, thai they had superiority over other elders. Wherefore, if that be proved which your worthy divine would seem to have for proof, may be allowed into them, then I do not marvel, that our bishops' claim of superiority may be allowed to have some show of truth, to make it disputable. But I return the same divide courtier's answer, desiring your lordship that you may find the same answer to be replied unto, by the grave and learned man aforesaid. The cause of this my desire is, that your good lordship might judge indifferently between the said grave and learned man, and your courtly divine; which of them doth speak according to the humble Spirit of Christ; and which of them doth speak according to the proud spirit of antichrist, and of his maintainer, Dr. Allen and the Jesuits.
“I do most humbly beseech your lordship to pardon my boldness, in standing against this claimed superiority of bishops. I am persuaded that her Majesty's safety against all popish doctrine, is especially to be defended by the denial of this claimed superiority ; which is, and hath been, the foundation of all popery, and the overthrow of the supreme government of princes. This supreme government of princes is so plainly taught in St. Peter's general epistle, that! need not to speak any more thereof. Christ himself denied to have any such superiority over the bodies or estates of clergymen or others; because his kingly government in this world was not over the bodies, but over the souls, of such as did believe in his heavenly doctrine; and he forbad superiority among his apostles.
ut I will trouble your lordship no further at this time; and, therefore, with y humble commendation, I take my leave of your lordship. This 15th of ugust, 1589. “Your lordship's to command,
“ F. KNOLLYS."* Sir Francis addressed another epistle to his lordship the 18th of September, observing that prelatical superiority was appointed by . the wisdom of men ;” and he agreed with his lordship, “ that none If our bishops could maintain the contrary; although their claimed nperiority, and their unlawful using of subscription, doth show heir ambition and covetousness, to the prejudice of her Majesty's upreme government.”+ He afterward addressed an epistle to Burghley, as follows:
- My very good lord, " Your lordship knows how violent the archbishop hath often been against the request of the parliament in behalf of suffering ministers; and how greatly, if mot tyrannically, the archbishop hath urged subscription to his own articles without the law; and your lordship doth also know how plainly the said archbishop, in his book against Cartwright, bath claimed the right of all bishops and superiority belonging to them, over all inferior clergy, from God's own ordinance, to the popish injury of her Majesty's supreme government. It is no sufficient recompence for the archbishop to say barely, that he does not claim, at present, a superiority over the inferior clergy, from God's own ordinance; but that he also retracts this claim, as printed in his book against Cartwright. Without which retraction, her Majesty's supreme government, as I think, can neither be salved, nor preserved. In my opinion, the faithful duty of English subjects goeth backwards, and the increase of recusants goeth forwards, continually to the danger of her Majesty's safety by the said claim of superiority openly printed, and sometimes openly practised, and by the open urging of submission against the law!
« I do most humbly beseech your lordship, in the fear of God, according to your great wisdom, it will please you to have a zealous care of her Majesty's extreme danger, so violently intended and laboured by the Pope and the king of Spain, and by these confederates in this dangerous time. My opinion is, that the only way to save her Majesty from the danger aforesaid, is to abate the ambition and covetousness of bishops, by making them to acknowledge, that they have no superiority over the inferior clergy, but from her Majesty's supreme authority, granting them that superiority by the statute of the 25 of King Henry VIII.; and the same renewed in the first year of her Majesty. By which statute the bishops are barred from offending her Majesty's prerogative royal, and from offending the laws and customs of the realm : whereby the said bishops are not only subject to the supreme government of her Majesty, but also subject and answerable to the counsellors of state in that behalf, contrary to their unbridled claim of superiority, and contrary to their unbridled practice of urging subscription to their unlawful articles.
« Thus craving pardon for troubling your lordship, I shall most humbly commit your good lordship to the merciful protection of our Almighty God. At Greenwich this last of March, 1590.
“ Your lordship's to command,
“ F. KNOLLYS." I
This celebrated statesman further declared to Burghley, that archbishop Whitgift ought to be reqnired to make an open recantation * Lansdowne's MSS. vol. Ixi. No. 57.
Ibid. No. 66. | Ibid, vol. lxiv. No. 32.