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BOOK meam operam ulla in re serenitati tuæ usui esse posse, in II.

genua provolutus reperem potius ad sublimitatem tuam, quàm officio meo deessem. Spero equidem majestatem tuam ætatis meæ rationem habere, et virium mearum imbecillitatem perpendere. Senio confectus sum. Quod ex se morbus est. Unde rude donari, et alteri lampada tradere, id est, valentiori viribus, ingenio, eruditione, et acerrimo legis Dei propugnatori, humiliter ab æquitate tua petebam paucis retro annis. Quando majestas tua benignissime respondit: Nondum hoc fiet.

Moses senescens Josua successorem instituit: Augustinus senescens Alipium sibi succedere curavit. Tuæ fidei tradita est a Deo Anglicana ecclesia, quæ regnum Dei est: in quo patefactus est Christus Jesus in salutem nostram. Hujus tu es gubernatrix, defensatrix. Hinc igitur inutiles sacerdotes, ambitiosi, avari, et simoniaci, ab ecclesia tua pellantur, explodantur, exibilentur. Christus ipse e templo flagellis talia monstra exturbavit. Interim qui pii sunt ecclesiarum pastores, zelo veræ religionis accensi, foveantur, animentur, duplici honore digni habeantur: non contemnantur, non conculcentur, non ostentui babeantur. Grave illud, Qui vos spernit, me spernit. Hæc aperta via est ad Papismum, ad Turcismum, denique ad omnia scelera et iniquitates.

Verum longe alio tendit tuus pientissimus zelus, qui hactenus per gratiam Dei constantissime et dexterrime veram Christi religionem per annos viginti, invito Diabolo, et hostibus tuis universis, conservasti, defendisti. Neque tuæ ecclesiæ nævos abscindere et sanare contaris, verum etiam catholicæ ecclesiæ atque vicinarum ecclesiarum solicitudine tangeris. Nam nuper didici, huc pietatem tuam tendere, ut viros ex tuis mittas ad sedandas contentiones in ecclesiis Germanicis. O! reginam, O! fæminam vere piam, quæ ad Constantini Magni exemplum tam prope accedas.

Præterea, mirifice benedicit conatibus tuis Dominus Deus noster; ut per te regnum tuum (quoad fieri potest) in pietate et tranquillitate degit. Ad hæc, frementibus undique bellis, tu interim prudentissime procuras, ut pax domi, et

II.

foris, sarta tecta conservetur. Denique non possum non BOOK ingentissimas gratias agere eximiæ tuæ pietati, quod contro versiam meam ab implicatis legum tricis benigne exemeris; et cancellariæ, quæ est æqui et boni curia, reddideris. Quæ res tamen non sine magna difficultate obtenta est.

Dominus Jesus Christus celsitudinem tuam servet, de fide in fidem augescentem, et multos annos incolumem, felicique regno beatum, ut tandem cum Christo in celesti paradiso vita fruaris æterna. Ex ædibus meis in insula Eliensi. Episcopus tuus humillimus,

Richardus Elien.

Number XV.

118 Gilbert, bishop of Bath and Wells, to the lord treasurer: to

kinder a design to impropriate a benefice; or to get a lease of it for 500 years.

MAY it please your lordship to be advertised, that the Epist. Ep'alord Thomas Powlet, dwelling within the county of Somer-me, penes set, patron of a parsonage called West Moncton, hath been (as I am informed) minded to make the said parsonage an impropriation to him and his heirs for ever.

But being doubtful he should bring that to pass, he hath changed his mind, and hath gotten the consent of him that is now incumbent to have a lease of the said parsonage for 500 years to come; allowing the incumbent that shall be 301. by year. And the said incumbent to stand to all maner of charges ordinary and extraordinary whatsoever. The said benefice is worth an 1001. by year. So the said lord doth give unto him that is now incumbent, during his life, 801. yearly, charges born. And hath moved me divers times that I would give my assent thereto as ordinary. Which thing I have refused to do; considering the example thereof is like to follow to the great decay of the clergy. For if this precedent should be brought into a custome, there are few benefices, but they should be brought to little or nothing. By such alteration the queen shall loose that is due unto her

BOOK highness; the ministers brought to poverty, more like to II.

ask then to give bread; and so the gospel and ministry brought to utter contempt.

I understand that the said lord Powlet hath given the patronage of the forenamed parsonage unto the queen's majesty; and he that is now incumbent hath made a lease to her highness for 500 years: and that she hath confirmed the same to the said lord Powlet. And so remaineth, that I should put my hand thereto. My humble duty is to obey her majesty. Which I do and shall do while I live; and will in no wise deny that her highness hath done: but would be glad to know what is best to be done; lest that her majesty being misinformed, might graunt that which hereafter shall turn to the great undoing of her clergy.

The letters of such graunt as her majesty hath given to the said lord Thomas Powlet, I have not hitherto seen; but am informed that he hath them. As I shall learn, so will I do your lordship to understand. And in the mean season to stay my hand for confirming; unless I shall be advertised to the contrary by your lordship: having no other refuge to whom I may resort for better advice. I am bold thus much to enterprize: wishing your lordship's prosperity long to continue to God's honour and glory. At Wells, this 21st of November, 1578.

Your lordships daily orator,

Gilbert Bathe and Wells. I understood by my said lord Powlet, that as yet he hath not the graunt from the queen's majesty; but requireth my hand, for the more speedy obtaining of the same.

119

Number XVI.
Wilsford denyes the queen to be supreme head of the church:

better informed, zorites to the lord treasurer to obtain her

majesties pardon. MSS. ec

RIGHT honourable: as man hath his constitution of cles

. penes divers qualities, so is he subject and vexed with divers pas

me.

II.

sions and perturbations. Wherewith I being opprest by BOOK the ingrate and unkind dealing of certain gentlemen I have had to do for in my vocation, that I got my living by: and thereby brought into miserable poverty, that I durst not, nor dare I not, go abroad to provide for my wife and children. And so at home occupying my self in the study of God's book, by the often meditation of the same, and reading St. Powle's Epistle to the Hebrews, in the fifth chapter, concerning the pontification and priesthood of Aaron and Christ; and many other places, as well in the same epistle, as of other epistles of St. Paule, concerning the same dignity of Christ, I perceived that Aaron's pontification and priesthood was earthly, and continued by succession here on earth. But Christ's pontification is celestial, without succession in this world; and not passable ever to any other person in earth. For that Christ is pontifex et sacerdos ad rationem Melchisidechi. And by that means only mediator between God and man; and caput ecclesiæ. And thus being in captivity, as Joseph was; who, for his delivery out of the same, took upon him to expound dreams; so I devised with my self to open to the queen's majesty, that it was not lawful for any person to take upon him to be caput ecclesiæ, except the same person will be Christ's adversary and antichrist, as the pope is.

But since being better advised and admonished by master secretary Wylson of my rash enterprize therein. For that the queen's majesty assumeth not unto her self, neither to be summus pontifex, neither yet to be caput ecclesia, as it is Christ's mystical body: which the pope doth, presuming by his ordinances and traditions to give remission of sins, and to offer sacrifice for the sins of the quick and the dead : whereby he sitteth in the temple of God, boasting himself as God: and so is antichrist. But her majesties supreme government is concerning the civil and political government of the clergy and laity of Christ's church and mystical body. Which authority and supremacy, her majesty, withal other princes and potentates, have in their realms and dominions,

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BOOK justly and dutifully, both by Christ's gospel, and all the II.

apostolical doctrine.

Wherefore I shall withal submission and most humble obedience, beseech your magnificent honour, with all the rest of their honours, to whom this my impudent behaviour is made open unto, to be mediators unto the queen's majesty, to pardon and forgive, as she is a most merciful and clement prince, this my temerarious presumption and impudency; done of good zele towards her majesty, although void of good knowledge and science. And that I may have my liberty, to provide for my wife and children ; which now live in miserable penury by this my captivity. And so shall we all be bound to pray for the prosperous supreme government over all her graces dominions, to the plesure of the eternal God; and also for the eternal felicity of all your honours. The 25th day of November, 1578. Your most humble and addict suppliant,

John Wilsford.

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MSS. academic.

A decree for the restraint of the excess of apparel, both for

the unreasonable costs and the unseemly fashions of the same ; used by scholars and students in the university of Cambridge.

CONSIDERING that the original cause of the collection together of multitudes of men into such publick places as the university of Cambridge is, and the endowing and donation of the same with great lands, liberties, and privileges from kings, princes, and other estates, was onely to bring up and instruct in good learning, godlines, vertue, and maners, all such as should come thither to continue as scholars and students; whereby the church of God and the whole realm might have, as from a storehouse, sufficient provision of meet men in all degrees, that should be able, by God's grace, with their learning and vertues, to serve in

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