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into consideration; that as we are the great council of
And thus, sir, with a large affection and loyalty to his majesty, and with a firm duty and service to my country, I have suddenly (and it may be with some disorder) expressed the weak apprehensions I have, wherein, if I have erred, I humbly crave your pardon, and so submit myself to the censure of the house.
SIR BENJAMIN RUDYARD.
best speech of his extant. It might pass for the heads of one
Sir Benjamin Rudyard's Speech in the Committee ap
pointed to inquire into the State of Religion. Mr. Pym, I did not think to have spoken to this bill, because I was willing to believe that the forwardness of
this committee would have prevented me; but now I hold myself bound to speak, and to speak in earnest.
In the first year of the king, and the second convention, I first moved for the increase and enlargement of poor ministers' livings. I shewed how necessary it was, though it had been neglected; this was also commended to the house by his majesty. There being then, as now, many accusations on foot against scandalous ministers, I was bold to tell the house, that there was also scandalous livings, which were inuch the cause of the other. Livings of five pounds, nay, even five marks a year; that men of worth and parts would not be muzzled up to such pittances; that there were some such places in England, as were scarce in all christendom beside, where God was little better known than amongst the Indians. I exampled it in the utmost skirts of the north, where the prayers of the common people are more like spells and charms than devotions. blindness and ignorance is in divers parts of Wales, which many in that country do both know and lament.
I also declared, that to plant good ministers was the strongest and surest means to establish true religion ; that it would prevail more against papistry, than the making of new laws, or executing of old : that it would counterwork court connivance and luke-warm accommodation ; that though the calling of ministers be never so glorious within, the outward poverty will bring contempt upon them, especially among those who measure them by the ounce, and weigh them by the pound, which indeed is the greatest part of men.
Mr. Pym, I cannot but testify how, being in Germany, I was exceedingly scandalized to see the poor stipendiary ministers of the reformed churches there, despised and neglected by reason of their poverty, being otherwise very grave and learned men. I am afraid this is a part of the burthen of Germany, which ought to be a warning to us.
I have heard many objections and difficulties, even to impossibilities against this bill. To him that is unwilling to go, there is ever a bear or a lion in the way. First, let us make ourselves willing, then will the easy and safe enough.
I have observed, that we are always very eager and fierce against papistry, against scandalous ministers, and against things which are not so much in our power. I should be glad to see that we did delight as well in rewarding as in punishing, and in undertaking matters within our reach, as this is absolutely within our power. Our own duties are next us, other men's further off. I do not speak this, that I do mislike the destroying and pulling down of that which is ill, but then let us be as earnest to plant and build up that which is good in the room of it. The best and the greatest way to dispel darkness, and the deeds thereof, is to let in light ; we say that day breaks, but no man can ever hear the noise of it ; God comes in the still voice ; let us quickly mend our candlesticks, and we shall not want lights.
I am afraid this backwardness of ours will give the adversary occasion to say, that we chose our religion because it is the cheaper of the two, and that we would willingly serve God with somewhat that cost us nought; believe it, Mr. Pym, he that thinks to save any thing by, his religion, but his soul, will be a terrible loser in the end. We sow so sparingly, and that is the reason we reap so sparingly, and have no more fruit. Methinks, whosoever hates papistry, should, by the same rule hate covetousness, for that is idolatry too. I never liked hot professions and cold aetions; such a heat is rather the heat of a distemper and disease, than of life and saving health.
For scandalous ministers, there is no man shall be more forward to have them severely punished than I will be : when salt has lost its savour, fit it is to be cast on that unsavoury place, the dunghill. But, sir, let us deal with them as God hath dealt with us : God, before he
made man, made the world, a handsome place for him to dwell in ; so let us provide them some convenient liv. ings, and then punish them in God's name; but till then, scandalous livings cannot but have scandalous ministers. It shall ever be a rule to me, that when the church and commonwealth are both of one religion, it is comely and decent that the outward splendour of the church should hold a proportion, and participate with the prosperity of the temporal state ; for why should we dwell in houses of cedar, and suffer God to dwell in tin. It was a glorious and religious work of king James, and I speak it to his unspeakable honour, and to the praise of that nation, who (though that country be noi so rich as ours, yet are they richer in their affections to religion) within the space of one year caused churches to be planted through all Scotland, the highlands and borders, worth 301. a-year a piece, with a house and some glebe belonging to them; with 301. a-year, considering the cheapness of the country, and the modest fashion of ministers living there, is worth double as much as any where within a hundred miles of London. The printed act and commission whereby it may be executed, I have here in my hand, delivered unto me by a noble gentleman of that nation, and a worthy member of this house, Sir Francis Stuart.
To conclude, although christianity and religion be established generally throughout this kingdom, yet, until it be planted more particularly, I shall scarce think this a christian commonwealth ; seeing it hath been moved in parliament, it will lie heavy upon parliaments, until it be effected.
Let us do something for God here of our own, and no doubt God will bless our proceedings in this place the better for ever hereafter ; and for my own part I will never give over soliciting this cause, as long as parliaments and I shall live together.
SIR ROBERT PHILIPS.
This gentleman was not one of those who make speeches out of · mere parade and ostentation ; he never spoke but when he was in earnest, nor indeed till he was in a downright passion.
Sir Robert Philip's Speech on the Dissolution of the
I Perceive, that towards God and towards man, there is little hope, after our humble and careful endeavours, seeing our sins are so many and so great. I consider my own infirmities, and if ever my passions were wrought upon, it is now. This message stirs me up, especially when I remember with what moderation we have proceeded. I cannot but wonder to see the miserable strait we are now in—what have we not done to have merited better? Former times have given woundsenough to the people's liberty; we came hither full of wounds, and we have cured what we could; yet what is the return of all, but misery and desolation! what did we aim at, but to have served his majesty, and to have done that which would have made him great and glorious ? if this be a fault, then we are all criminous. What shall we do, since our humble purposes are thus prevented, which were not to have laid any aspersion on the government ; for they tended to no other end, but to give his majesty true information of his and our danger; and to this we are enforced out of a necessary duty to the king, our country, and to posterity ; but we being stopped, and stopped in such a manner as we are now enjoined, must leave to be a council I hear this with that grief as the saddest message of