Page images

devotion it importeth : That as the body without the soul is . but a carcase, so is all bodily worship wherein the pulse of the heart's devotion beats not. Now, Mr. Doctor, what was there, in all this, that an honest, discreet and moderate man, being so persuaded as I am, might not speak? But you will say, What need had I to say any thing at all? I will tell you. My opinion in these things was well known to many in the University. Our pulpit had a long time been inflamed with such discourses. My obstinate silence,--having had more than once opportunity to declare myself, and being studied in these matters,—was imputed to me by some to proceed either ex malitioso affectu toward such as furthered these things, or out of too much addiction and tenderness to the Puritan faction; which is a crime here, if it be once fastened upon a man, nullo oceano eluendum. I thought good therefore to declare myself ; which

yet I did, with that caution and tenderness which might not give any just cause of offence to those who were contrary-minded ; who yet, now I perceive, deserved it not by their over-lavish report of what was spoken.*-Besides, I observed, both out of books daily printed and out of such discourses as I had heard, upon what dangerous grounds some defended these things; namely, such as would in time infer the lawfulness of image-worship. I thought good therefore, in more private discourses, to set them upon safer principles, and such as might, if it were possible, prevent such an evil. And, in all this, why may not I say, What have I done? Was there not a cause ?" This letter was dated May 2, 1637, six years before the appointment of Dr. Twisse as Prolocutor of the Assembly of Divines, for which office he had long proved himself to be well qualified.

To this masterly reply Dr. Twisse and his friends seem to have found nothing effectual to say, till July the 2nd 1638, soon after Mr. Mede had in the simplicity of his heart presented the Doctor with a copy of his recently published treatise on Churches, which he had dedicated to his patron the Archbishop of Canterbury. On that occasion Dr. Twisse writes thus: " I have lately received a book from you by the hands of Mr. Hartlib, for which I heartily thank you. The title you give in your dedication, sublati discriminis inter sacrum et profanum assertori eximio, I doubt, will do you wrong with many, and make them to conceive that the sacrum

et profanum you speak of is, in your account, only in respect of PLACE, and not at all in respect of

But I know the contrary, which makes me wonder at it the more.

I had recourse to you about the holiness of places long ago, merely for information; and I was then as abrasa tabula, apt to receive aught that I saw reason for. But to this

* Thus, it appears, that, whether the speaker was Joseph Mede or Archbishop Laud, if the things spoken did not agree with the preconceptions of the Calvinists, they were certain to be misreported.


[ocr errors][ocr errors]


hour I am not satisfied; whether the fault be in

my understand ing or in my affections, God knows, or in the sufficiency of evidence convincing. And that ту

affection should sway me, I have this reason against it; I find myself naturally pliable that way which you take, even to superstition, as now I find, calling myself to examination. And I have been very prone to your interpretation of that in Paul, (1 Cor. ii, 22.), ČWhat? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not :) insomuch that the way others take to the contrary seemed to me at first sight wondrous strange, that I understood not so much as their meaning at the first, nor did I come to understand what they would, without some plodding: And when I did understand it, it seemed harsh unto me, until I came to examine what it is to despise or dishonour a place, and compared it with dishonouring of days. And surely neither days nor places are to be honoured by us, but God in them : But, notwithstanding the difference between us herein, you shall always be as dear to me as you have been: and that not as a civil friend only, but as my christian brother too, were our difference in opinion greater than these: For I manifestly perceive, how easy a thing it is for good men to take your way about the Holiness of Place; and hereunto myself have been exceeding prone."

- Dr. Twisse then adduces the arguments which he has repeated in page 501, concerning the axiom of there being the same reason of time and place :" To which, and to his remarks about the dedication of his treatise, Mr. Mede returned the following judicious reply:

“ Now, Sir, for my book, I sent it not to you as an auctoramentum or press-money to bind you to be of my opinion, but only as a testimony of that honour I thought I owed you; and yet so much the more willingly, because the argument confirmed some grounds of Mr. Potter's, if I am not deceived. It was my New Year's Gift to my Lord's Grace, after he had taken me under his name ; which some friends informed me was a ceremony of decorum, that I could not now at the first omit, and would serve instead of a journey to London to thank his Grace, &c. I had this ready, and sent it in that name, with the inscription which you see ; save only that the words, In novi anni auspicium gratique, &c. now appear not, being thought by some fit to be omitted when it was to go to the press : to which honour, the author, if I know his mind, had no ambition it should have been preferred. Well, but, howsoever it came about, you say that the part of the eulogium in the inscription, you.

doubt, will do me wrong, [namely, Sublati inter sacrum et profanum discriminis asserlore] although you know the contrary to what they will be ready to conceive thereupon.' It is true,


there be some men that will never find the true sense or reason of any thing quod dictum aut factum nollent. I have heard of the constructions of my new relation, but, God forgive them! I have witnesses enough, which they are aware of, of their unadvisedness, that I may give it no worse term. I am beholden, yea exceedingly beholden, to my Lord's Grace for his good opinion of me, (notwithstanding he well knows, that in some things I differ from him,) and I am bound to acknowledge it. Howbeit he yet knows not his chaplain de facie, nor his chaplain him. But because there are some that forget there is

* This is a fine and delicate reproof of Dr. Twisse, who was in the pumber of those “ who never would find the true sense or reason of any thing, the mention or the execution of which they wished to suppress. On a former occasion, (page 530,) the same truth was more plainly told, thus, “I can remember when you understood me more rightly, and interpreted my freedom with much more canduur," &c. In fact, the able reasons produced by Mr. Mede for several rites, against which the Calvinists objected, were exceedingly perplexing to the whole of that party, who could make out a much more specions case for themselves when they encountered some of the replies to which reference is made in the text, than when they had to combat those of our author. In the letters which passed between him and Dr. Twisse, when the latter was unable to grapple with the arguments of his friend, he appears sometimes to have tried to awe him into silence by the overwhelming authority of Archbishop Usher. But this stratagem had not the desired effect; for Mr. Mede knew more than Dr. Twisse about the Lord Primate's sentiments, who lived long enough to feel the unkindness of such rigid Calvinists as the Doctor and his party. On this point the following remarks, by Dr. Gauden, will be read with interest :

As to his personal policy, domestic subtilty, or private cautiousness, truly he had little enough of the serpent; but as to his barmless innocency, be bad very much of the dove, ever esteeming piety the best policy and sanctity the safest sanctuary. If any thing might seem to have been as a venial alloy in him, it was a kind of charitable easiness and credulity, which made him prone to hope good of all, and loth to believe evil of any especially if they made any profession or shows of piety. He did not think there could have been so much gall and vinegar mixed with the shows or realities of some men's graces, until he found by sad experience some godly people and Presbyters professing much godliness, who formerly were prone to adore him as a God or an oracle, were (uow) ready to stone and destroy him with all his bretbren ihe British Bishops. He was most prone to err on the right hand of charity, and to iucline to those opinions in things disputable which seemed to set men furthest off from pride, licentiousness and profaneness ; of which he was better able to judge than of hypocrisy, being more jealous of irreligion, than of superstition which is the right hand and the more venial extreme of religion. He had not, till of late years, felt the scalding effects of some men's over-boiling zeal, or the dreadful terrors of their righleousness who affected to be over-righteous, who despised his learned, wise, and inoderate counsels touching the settling of peace, order and government in the church: For the advance of which he could have cheerfully sacrificed all his private interest of honor or profit, and have been reduced to teach school in a belfry, as his phrase was. But he ever held to his pristine and constant judgment in the most prosperous times, which enjoyed him the same as did his adversities; no losses and distresses, (to which the fatality, fury, folly, or ingratitude of this age reduced bim,) being able to cloud his judgment or discompose his tranquility, in any other, or in this sharp controversy touching Episcopacy."

t." When he newly related to his then Grace of Canterbury, and now glorious martyr, (neither of whom, I believe, had seen each other's face in all their lives, I am sure he told me su not long before his death,) he

either upon

a Ninth commandment, [· Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour,'] as well as a Second, and have given me cause to speak, I would have them know what I now say, that I defy them, whosoever they or he be, that says, • He is less ' ambitious or less discontented with his present condition than "I am, or

were when this happened unto me.' And this by the way.* I said, there was eadem ratio loci et temporis, not simply but eadem ratio loci et temporis sacri : to wit, for the sanctification (that is, holy and discriminative usance,) due unto them both, and the formal reason in respect whereof it is due. For the reason why a thing is to be sanctified or sancte habenduin is, because it is sanctum or sacrum. Now, whatever is appropriate unto God and his service, is such, whether the determi. nation thereof be by God's own immediate ordination or man's devotion it is all one in this respect, so the appropriation or dedication therefore be supposed lawful and agreeable to the Divine will. For this sanctification we speak of, depends not

the difference of the cause or manner whereby the thing is consecrated, nor upon the diversity of natural and artificial being, but upon the formalis ratio of the object, because it is holy or sacred, therefore to be sanctified with holy usance. For to sanctify in scripture is, not only to make holy umpor, but to do unto a thing as becometh ils holiness, 17. Moreover, I believe the sanctification of a place to be intended in the fourth cominandment, as well as that of time: and that, not only from desired me to tell him freely what I heard men say concerning bis chaplainship, &c. The sum of my auswer was, that I perceived he was looked

upon as a rising man, and that many rejoiced at it because of his known 'merits,' &c. To the latter part of my answer he replied, 'I am much • bebolden to my friends for their good opinion of me, &c. But no man • knows my defect so well as myself.' And this was but the native language and dialect of his innate modesty. But when he came to reply to the former part, which spake him a rising man, here he used more than ordinary solemnity, and with a grave, composed countenance uttered these words: • As to my rising, come now, I will make you my Confessor. I can safely appeal to that Infinite Majesty who hears me, that, if I might obtain but a donative sine cura, which I may keep with my fellowship, I would set up my staff for this world. And the reason why I desire this, is, that I might • be able to keep a nag for my recreation sometimes, in taking the air, and in ' visiting my friends in the country, since this my corpulency (then growing upon him,) makes ine unwieldy for walking.' Mede's Life. * Mr. Mede immediately adds the following paragraph:

I come again to the eulogium, where I am not so narrowly pent, that I should be confined to the discrimen between sacrum et profanum in places only, to make it true. You may remember, that once upon occasion with you I made four sorts of things sacred : io wit, 1, Persona sacra, 2. Res sacre, 3. Loca sacra, 4. Tempora sacra : Persone sacræ, as the clergy, Res sacr@, (specially so called,) as Bona Ecclesiastica, g'c. Now I think the world takes notice, that my Lord is Assertor eximius of the discrimination of the first three from common : and I hope an instance of one particular amongst four,against the other three,doth not make an indefinite alfirmation not true. Besides, I add the word, sublati ; but the discrimidation of sacred time with us was done of the sublata, though somewhere it be as well as tbe rest. And the field of my defence is so much the larger if it be considered, that one of the three, Res Sacræ, is capable of sub-division. But enough of this, it being no well-becoming theme to dispute upon."

[ocr errors]

the rule observed in the interpretation of the rest of the commandments, (by one of the kind named, to understand all the rest ejusdem generis,) but especially the Lord himself hath conjoined them as pairs : " Keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my

Sanctuary.' (Leviticus xix, 30.) And why not, when they are so near akin, being both circumstances of action? why may I not then say, Quce Deus conjunxit nemo separet? And it may be, (if it be well looked into,) the sanctification of the Lord's day might be urged with far more advantage upon the ground I intimate, than upon that other which is so much controverted.*

* How untenable the ground on which the Puritans defended their views of the sanctification of the Sabbath, will be perceived by the following extract from T'HORNDIKE's Epilogue : “ There is an opinion too well known amongst us, that the First day of the week is kept by Christians in virtue of the Fourth Commandment, which obliged the Jews to keep the Seventh

day of the week. Which opinion if it be true, they have some ground for confining the service of God to it. But it cannot be maintained without two assumptions : The FIRST, That the Seventh day in the Fourth Commandment signifies, not the Seventh day of the week on which God rested from creating any more, but one of the seven days.'—The SECOND, “That the resurrection of Christ upon the first day of the week, is a reason that necessarily determines all christians to do that which they are bound to do on one day of the seven-upon the First and none else. Neither of which is true, though the latter have far the more appearance of truth in it. For it is manifest, that the will of God may be, having obliged the Jews to keep one day in seven, to oblige Christians to keep one in six or less, unless it be otherwise determined by some commandment of God's. Now it appeareth, that The First day of the week was kept in the times of the Apostles, our Saviour having appeared unto them after his resurrection upon that day.But, of any precept to make this a law to all christians, nothing appears in the scriptures of the New Testament. Again, it may be said, that the Gospel requireth more ..plentifulfruits of obedience than the Law; and therefore if the Law required one day of seven for the service of God, that the Gospel requires more.' Nor will it concern me here to prove, that this opivion is true: It is more than enough that I can say, that, before this novelty came into England, it cannot appear that any christian thought otherwise. For I argue no more in this place, but that the rising of our Lord upon the First day of the week doth not necessarily determine the Church to keep one day of the seven, as the command of God doth. For, had God commanded one day of seven to be kept under the Gospel as under the Law, there had been no room for further consideration. But so long as there is only a reason on the one side, i that the Resurrection to Christians is as the Creation to Jews,'-and a reason on the other side, that it becomes Christians in this, as in all, to do "more than Jews,'-I cannot deny that there is a sufficient reason, for him that hath power of determining that which God hath not determined, to appoint the First day of the week. But I utterly deny, that there is any

law of God,

before the act of this power, to determine it. And the reason is plain : For, in matters of this nature, there may be sufficient reason for several determinations, because it is not the substance but the circumstance of that which is by nature necessarily good and God's service. Agaiu, supposing that Christians are bound to keep one day of seven for God's service, may I not ask, Why the pussion of Christ should not determine them to keep the Sixth, as well as the Resurrection the First day of the week ? especially in the sense of them who think they have reason to feast on Good Friday, and to celebrate their Fasts on the Lord's day! For, if the Resurrection of Christ be no reason to make the day thereof festival, nor bis Passion [a reason] why we should rather fast on the day of it, certainly, where both cannot be kept, the one concerns us as much as the other does; and therefore there is as much reason to keep this as that.” THORNDIKE's Épilogue.

« PreviousContinue »