« הקודםהמשך »
The whole digested, compiled, and attested from Records, Registers,
original Letters, and other authentic MSS. taken from the
choicest Libraries and Collections of the Kingdom.
MOST REVEREND AND PIOUS FATHER IN GOD,
WILL I A M,
LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY HIS GRACE,
PRIMATE OF ALL ENGLAND, AND METROPOLITAN, &c.
May it please your Grace, I HAVE now lived (by the gracious providence of God) to finish the Lives and Acts (as far as my collections would serve me) of the four first holy Archbishops of Canterbury, those wise and painful, great and good governors of this reformed Church of England. And as I have dedicated the accounts given of the three former unto two most worthy Archbishops of Canterbury, your Grace's immediate predecessors, with their good acceptance; so I take the assurance to offer this last unto yourself, truly deserving the same character.
And indeed to whom could I so fitly dedicate the history of this Archbishop, as to an Archbishop, who desires to tread in his steps, and to follow such a great example; and who reckons it the highest honour, as well as truest satisfaction to himself so to do; (as your Grace piously hath been pleased sometime to declare ;) and who, it appears, makes the welfare, peace, and establishment of this Church your unfeigned care and concernment, as that active predecessor of your Grace did. And surely your
Mundus transit, et
Grace, so well disposed, may meet with some passages in the lives of these Archbishops, and especially this last, that may suggest something to your wisdom and consideration, both for your
direction and comfort in the managery of this weighty charge committed unto you, and to imitate their courage and constancy under the difficulties they met with in their government, by means of unquiet and undermining spirits.
I cannot, May it please your Grace, but observe for this purpose, several singular Christian virtues shining in Queen Elizabeth's three Archbishops, right worthy to be followed by all their successors, as very suitable for their conduct especially.
The first of these was a man above the world, contemning all the faint and fading glories of it;
as his motto (that he affected, taken out of the concupis- word of God) bespake him. So that his high place centia ejus. and dignity did not puff him up, nor hinder his as
piring to, and earnest expectation of, the more substantial satisfactions of another world.
The next had his soul possessed with a firm and comfortable affiance and trust in God, necessary
for his high and holy calling and office. And that, not only when he suffered exile and the loss of all for the cause of Christ; but also afterwards in his elation to the metropolitical see, when the faithful and conscientious discharge of his duty herein created him enemies, contriving to bring him into disgrace
and sorrow; and so they did effectually: but still Turris for the name of the Lord was his strong tower.
Invincible patience was conspicuous in this our third Archbishop, under those many oppositions,
tissima noinen Doni. ni.