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be present at their solemne assemblies and preachings; to BOOK their better encouragement, and the good example of the common sort.
And whereas there hath been a solemne order of long time commonly observed, that every Sunday a publick sermon hath been used and frequented in the Greenyard in Norwich ; it were very convenient, that these superintend ents, having open warning of their days appointed at the synod, should as it were in course be called, to supply that place: not onely to testify to all the world, and to make manifest to the enemies of the truth, the uniformity and consent in religion; but also to confer with the bishop, and his chancellor, touching the several scrolls of every deanry, exhibited, as before; to impart unto them of the amendment of the former abuses certified. And to take both order and courage to procede in the same or other accordingly.
And whereas now the usual synods are gathered together only, as a briday, to set and spend their mony, (the synodmony not commonly received then, but committed over to the registers at their plesure otherwise,) these superintendents, whom the law termeth testes synodales, assembling and meeting there, and having countenance of the bishop or chancellor, setting openly, as their assistants, if any slothful or disorderly minister, or other person whatsoever, after his often private or public admonitions, should not amend and conform himself, he might there be rebuked, or suspended, before all the clergy of the diocess, and the whole congregation there assembled; to his speedy amendment, and the example and terror of others. Where also the bishop or his chancellor, being advertised by conference with them of all disorders, might give present order for redress. And for the undoubted fears of maintaining schismes and factions in prophesyings, if they were established, or preachings otherwise, these superintendents, being conformable men, are to be appointed moderators of the exercise.
And whereas law hath plainly forbidden, that process out of the court should be awarded to be served by the ad
BOOK verse party, or any of his assignment, whereof we see by
daily experience the inconveniency; for that the adversary, keeping the process by him, will await such time and business of the party, that he cannot appear, and often such slender returns are made as bear no credit: it were greatly to the furtherance of justice and indifferent dealing, all process should be directed to the superintendents in their several deanries, by their officers to be executed, and returned authentically according to law. Whereby the subject shall have no cause of grief; and justice better may be executed.
If it be objected, that the usual courts of archdeacons should hereby be abridged: nay, the lawful authority of archdeacons shall be renewed and established; and their unlawful usurping, to the great charges and trouble of the country, restrained ; and law duely exercised without corruption. Beside, that this office of superintendent is presumed by common law to be joyntly at the bishops and the archdeacons appointment, unless the custome and prerogative of the bishop be otherwise. Which is to be proved by continuance above 300 years, by antient record, without interruption, only to appertain to the bishop of Norwich. Whereby the archdeacon's right is shut out, in appointing himself joynt with the bishop: howsoever he be in law a common officer of both.
And whereas probates of wills, and granting of administration, as matter of civil law, are therefore committed to
the queen's disposition and jurisdiction ; for that the law 153 presumeth the bishop, for his profession, to be a man of that
conscience; and for his wisdom a man of that policy and care, most tenderly to provide for the state of widows and orphans; their parents and husbands so deceased : the corruption of the officers hath been such, and the greediness of registers so intolerable, that men of these countries, presuming for a little mony thereupon, have not feared, either to suppress the testators true will, making him dy intestate; or to alter and forge his will after his decease. For that the officers, one greedily snatching before
another, without due examination or consideration of the BOOK circumstances, either unawares, or wittingly, through cor
II. ruption, prove these wills by a proctor. Whereby the party deemes himself to have taken no oath: and therefore may do what he list, as most free. For remedy whereof these superintendents might do great service to us, if any should dy within their deanry, to send for the minister, or some of the parish, to examine the truth of the will without alteration; or the occasion of his dying intestate.
Which all might be very well done at their assembly at prophesies, or preaching every month or fortnight. Whereby all those which otherwise of devotion would not peradventure frequent those exercises, might upon occasion of necessary busines do it. Then the superintendents, upon tryal and knowledge, taking the parties oath, to forth it to the officers, there to be proved accordingly. This one service of the superintendents would stay infinite suites.
And whereas the strength and comfort of God's people consisteth in mutual love, peace, and amity, how many wrangling suites of defamation, tiths, and other causes, shall his wisdom and discretion cut off, before they rise, even at home; for the perfect knowledge he may quickly, or must already needs have of his neighbours causes.
If it be objected, that the archdeacons may prove wills, (although by common law they cannot,) yet let them set down what by prescription or composition they may truly chalenge: and let every man have his own. Or let order be set down, what value the commissary or official shall or may prove. And let them enjoy the same. But in the mean season let not that frivolous delay hinder the course of ecclesiastical discipline : which all good men groan for; and without the which speedily put, and wisely and strongly, in execution, the enemy will even swallow up the state.
And whereas the lewdness of apparitors, scouring of the countries; following their masters trade and exercise ; some have been detected of 40 marks bribery in half a quarter of a year, in half a deanry; the superintendent shall cause some honest, religious, quick person, to whom he shall
BOOK upon his credit commit those things he shall be put in trust
with. Who attending every consistory day upon the court, may certify and return all processes; and advertise of all abuses needing reformation.
And if the making of ministers be according to the late canon ordered, as well for their competent sufficiency, as public ordering upon due and severe examination of half a dozen of such incorrupt persons, as the bishop shall name, with a testimonial of their allowance, subscribed and delivered to the bishop under their hands: and further, for such as be, upon presentation, made by their patrons, instituted to any benefice, one day in the week, and one time appointed, when and where they come to be examined : and then and there, in presence of the bishop or chancellor, with four, five, or six others, orderly appointed, and requested to take pains therein: that as well the parties sufficiency, thorowly sifted and known; and consideration of the greatness of his charge, the quantity of his living, and the necessity of the time, and the party likewise ; to pass their allowance subscribed under their own hands. Which exhibited to the bishop, the bishop then to set to his hand of allowance. And not otherwise to pass the chancellor; to whom the institution by my lord bishops graunt appertaineth.
I do not see, but the minister thus sifted, before his entrance into the ministry, or taking any benefice, and by watchful oversights of superintendents, urged to usual speaking at the exercises, and restrained by admonitions,
and other censures ecclesiastical, from their loose, loitering, 154 or gredy, covetous life; the preaching of the gospel, and
other usual exercises of religion so frequented; but the word of God would flourish, the enemie be daunted, who could not lurk in any corner ; and her majesty have an assured, safe, and quiet government: my lord bishop in part perform his great charge; and his officers enjoy the true comfort of performing their duty to the uttermost of their power. And that which is worth all the world, the number of the elect appear more and more, by the means of preach
ing, the ordinary and effectual means of their vocation. But BOOK this must be done without revocation and it must be ready to be put in execution before it be known to the enemy.
sity of Cambridge, to the vice-chancellor, and the heads
AFTER our very harty and loving commendations, with MSS. acawish unto you all in general, and particular, the grace of demis, God's Spirit, to lead and conserve you in concord and peace. So as the knowledge of God may encrease among you, that by your altercations and dissensions the enemies of learning and of the gospel have not just occasion to rejoyce thereof; and spread abroad slaunderous reports, to the defamation of the whole body of that famous university. And not without cause do I simply begin thus to write, that from the bottome of my heart, perceiving as I have done by late letters received, sealed with your common seal, and subscribed in the name of
the vicechancellor and senate; and other letters also from all the heads and masters of colleges, subscribed with their own proper names; that there is arisen some cloud, containing a matter of some tempest of controversy among you. Which, if by some favourable wind of admonition in God's name, the father of peace, it be not blown over, or dispersed, is like to pour out upon the whole body of that university some contagious and pestilent humour of contention, sedition, or some worse thing than I will name.
And upon the receipt of these contradictory letters, and perusing the grounds and causes thereof, I was somewhat comforted, in that both parties had so courteously and reverently (which I mean in respect of the office I have, to be your chief chancellor) referred the order and direction of